In an op-ed for The Washington Post this Friday, Paul Waldman contends that the only thing that equals President Trump's hyper narcissism is his inclination to dodge responsibility when things go wrong.
"It’s something he’s very experienced at. You have a big, splashy event in front of the cameras announcing that you’ve built the most luxurious hotel or golf course or casino the world has ever seen, and then if it goes bankrupt, you skedaddle out of town, leaving other people holding the bag," Waldman writes. "So now Trump is preparing to put that experience to work with the coronavirus pandemic and the economic crash it created."
According to Waldman, Trump is in the midst of a transition between claiming credit for things he doesn’t deserve to evading the blame for things that he does deserve.
Another example of Trump's penchant for avoiding blame is when he says he's going to “get to the bottom” of something. What's he's actually saying is "something nefarious took place, something for which he is not at fault but others might be blamed (and inevitably, there is actually nothing to “get to the bottom” of, nor will he try)." But after touting his unparalleled authority in determining how states will reopening their economies, Trump reversed himself. Why? Probably because "someone managed to convince him that as a matter of law and the Constitution, he was completely wrong in his belief that he could order governors around," Waldman writes. "Or perhaps it was because he realized his goal of “reopening the country” by May 1 was spectacularly ill-advised, all but guaranteed to give the pandemic new life."
"Trump was always skilled at outrunning his debts," Waldman continues. "In one famous case, he couldn’t pay a $640 million loan he had taken from Deutsche Bank to finance a tower in Chicago, so he sued the bank for $3 billion, claiming that he was the victim. But when you’re president, sloughing responsibility on to someone else isn’t so easy."
Read his full op-ed over at The Washington Post.