I have to say that I haven’t learned anything I didn’t expect from the January 6th Commission so far, but it’s still nice to see the precise detail with which they’re building their case.
Did Trump Know that he Lost?
The first question is whether Donald Trump knew that he lost the election, or has he become detached from reality. And I think the answer to the question is: both.
Whatever else Trump may be, he isn’t stupid. He is extremely deluded, but he’s not stupid. Enough people told him that he had lost, enough people told him that the count could not be overturned in five different states, that there must be a part of him that clearly understood this at some point in time.
But then there is another part of the man who also clearly could not tolerate the notion that he had lost to “sleepy” Joe Biden. Or that he would have to give up the intoxicating power and attention that comes with being the President of the United States.
As we know from cognitive science, the mind can do incredible things when it wants to convince itself of something. Trump’s mind clearly wanted to convince him that he could not have lost to Biden.
What does Trump believe today? Who the fuck knows. But my guess is that he’s somehow convinced himself that he really could not have lost the election, and actually believes the mountain of bullshit that comes with the Big Lie.
Did Trump throw Pence under the Bus?
There can be absolutely know doubt on this one. Trump threw Pence under the bus in about as major a way as you can throw somebody under a bus. With complete disregard for his life or safety, Trump improvised all the lines at his January 6th rally that fired up the crowd against Pence.
Would people actually have hanged Mike Pence? That somehow seems unlikely. It seems more symbolic than a real threat to me. But his physical safety was clearly not guaranteed, nor that of his family. He spent hours in a parking garage making phone calls and ordering protective measures while Trump watched TV and tweeted out more provocations.
And then Trump never called Pence to see if he and his family were okay.
This, after Pence spent four years more or less licking Trump’s boots in a way that must have been very painful at times. I mean, it was his choice to lick Trump’s boots, but still.
Of course, Pence harbors his own delusions. He harbors the delusion that he might someday be President and that he will need Trump voters to get there. I think most Trump voters gave up on Pence when he didn’t kowtow to the Big Lie. So I don’t think Pence will ever be President.
But you never know.
It’d be nice for him to appear before the January 6th Committee and tell the world what he really thinks of Trump. Now there would be television worth watching!