When you can’t see past your own eyelashes

Another version of Trump’s problem with other minds: he’s been so public in his efforts to stifle Mueller that he can’t stifle Mueller.

The president himself might not quite realize it yet, and he probably doesn’t understand why it happened. But he has lost that conflict, and the reason is simple: His attempts to fight Mueller were so ham-handed and so public that it made it impossible for him and his administration to shut Mueller down.

The president is simply incapable of subtlety and judges everything by how it plays out in the media. But in this case, the more attention he drew to his rage at Mueller, the greater the consequences of moving against Mueller became.

He’s incapable of subtlety because he’s incapable of grasping that the way he sees things is not the way everyone sees things; mind-blindness.

The Sessions problem for instance: he kept roaring in public about how furious he was that Sessions recused himself, which made it untenable for him to get rid of Sessions. To those of us who aren’t totally mind-blind, it seems like such a simple point to grasp, but to Trump it might as well be particle physics.

So months passed while Mueller was diligently working away — amassing evidence, turning witnesses and handing down indictments — and Trump could fire Sessions only after the midterms were over.

Then when he finally did it, Trump once again acted without any subtlety or understanding of how his moves would be interpreted publicly, installing Matthew Whitaker as acting attorney general likely in no small part because of Whitaker’s apparent hostility to the Mueller investigation.

Again – we think, how could he possibly not understand how that would be perceived? But it’s by being such a thorough narcissist that he has no theory of mind at all. It’s something to behold.

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