Joe Walsh meets Wallace and friends: What might Donald Trump do next year, assuming there is a next year, if he's behind in the polls?
Might he start a serious war? Might be try to declare martial law and cancel the upcoming election?
We're not asking if he could succeed at such an approach. Regarding the attempt to cancel the vote, we're asking if he might try such an approach, with all the concomitant damage such an effort would cause.
Also, how about this:
Might he actually get involved in trying to hack voter tallies? Might he engineer a situation in which it's obvious that vote totals did get hacked somewhere, then use that circumstance to declare the election he lost null and void?
Might he even do something like this with Vladimir Putin's help? Might he start a war post-election, then declare that a nation at war can't change horses in midstream?
We're not asking if he could succeed at such approaches. We're asking if he is disordered enough to engage in such conduct.
For the record, we can't swear to you that he isn't. Did we mention the possibility of that war, whether pre- or post-election?
We thought such thoughts as we watched Joe Walsh speak with Nicolle Wallace and some of her favorite reporters and friends on yesterday's Deadline: White House.
We'll recommend that you watch the videotapes. Our takeaways:
For starters, we never knew that John Heilemann was so amazingly morally pure. Beyond that, we think Wallace is holding back in her war against Trump in a fairly obvious way, a type of accusation she directed at Walsh a few times.
Don't get us wrong! Wallace was mainly quite sensible during her eighteen minutes with Walsh. It was Heilemann who amazed us with his remarkable moral purity, with the morally pure David Jolly not too far behind.
These favorite reporters and friends amazed us with their moral grandeur. That said, Wallace engaged in this exchange early in the interview:
WALLACE (8/26/19): This idea of [Trump's] fitness—"It's a hard story to cover," Wallace said, referring to Trump's apparent lack of mental or psychological "fitness." As you can see, Walsh was a bit more direct.
WALSH: He's nuts. Nuts!
WALLACE: And I think the truth is that, whether people say it disparagingly or affectionately, anyone that comes in contact with him comes away saying he's crazy. But this is a hard story to cover and it's a hard attack to make. What are sort of your proof points?
WALSH: He's a psychopath. He lies every time he opens his mouth. He's the biggest narcissist we've ever had in that office, and that's saying a lot, John.
But is Trump's possible lack of "fitness" actually "hard to cover?" At the end of the interview, Wallace returned to this general topic, copping out once again:
WALLACE: I hope we can keep having this conversation. There's a lot to talk about, and I'm telling you, I think that, if you sort of marshal all the evidence—"The person who serves as our country's commander in chief?" The person who could imaginably start a self-serving, crazy war?
David Brooks wrote in 2017 about a group of Republican senators leaving a meeting with Trump thinking he displayed the early signs of Alzheimer's.
If you look at the reporting just from this trip [to the G-7 conference].
If you look at the reporting on the speech last week, the rally, where he forgot what he said.
I'm not a doctor, but if you really want to make that case and you do the work of putting together all that evidence, it's a really compelling case to Republicans who, I'm old enough to remember, used to care a whole lot about the person who served as our country's commander in chief.
WALSH: And the rule of law.
"I'm not a doctor," Wallace said, after suggesting that Trump may be suffering from cognitive impairment.
"I'm not a doctor," she said. But then again, neither is Walsh.
Luckily, Bandy X. Lee actually is a doctor. It's time that Wallace bit the bullet and interviewed Lee, and other professionals, on her TV program.
We're sorry, but this actually isn't "a hard story to cover." As with other topics, you just have to interview sensible specialists who know what they're talking about.
For the record, Wallace should stage a solo interview with Lee, not a revival of Crossfire. In our view, we'd be well served if she left the remarkably pious Heilemann and Jolly home that particular day.
Wallace complained that, in certain ways, Walsh isn't going all in on his crusade against Trump. That said, neither is Wallace, if she suspects what she obviously does, but won't interview respectable, competent specialists.
Some final words of praise:
A. B. Stoddard threw Heilemann and Jolly overboard and under the bus in a highly sensible followup segment. Heilemann and Jolly are the kind of Dimmesdales who don't want anyone rejecting Trump unless they're directly responding to direct orders from People Exactly Like Us.
Stoddard left these Dimmesdales for dead. We'd like to link you to what she said, but it's the one segment the Deadline staff chose not to post at their site.
Stoddard said Walsh might be exactly the type of guy who can erode Trump's support over there on the right. We think she got it right.
We leave you with a question we ourselves can't answer:
What might this disordered president imaginably do next year? Start a war? Hack the vote? Do you feel sure where he'd stop?