My sense is that Democrats to some extent keep being surprised and taken aback by just how many people are willing to abase themselves for Trump and by just how expansively they’ll shred etiquette, trash tradition, junk their reputations and test the very boundaries of the law. It’s one of the great perversions of his administration: that a president so undeserving of fealty and protection gets a magnitude of it — from congressional Republicans, from Steve Mnuchin, from Bill Barr, from Wilbur Ross, now from Joseph Maguire, the acting director of national intelligence — that worthier predecessors in the White House didn’t.
Part of what could be called the Corey Lewandowski trap is Democrats’ failure to accept this. Part of it is their assumption that Trump’s cocky comrades would hesitate to display the garish public colors that they do. But those colors are much of what the president’s supporters like and what fires them up. They embrace Trump as someone who raises a middle finger to propriety, to elites and to the establishment, because they somehow don’t see him as part of that crowd and because they deem that gesture necessary and courageous. So Lewandowski happily mimicked it, not just at the hearing but also the morning after, during an interview with CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, when he inaccurately described Mueller’s report while blithely conceding that he hadn’t read it.