Trump’s obsession with winning at all costs, no matter how low he needed to stoop nor how loathsome he would appear to anyone with a shred of decency, was evident throughout the campaign, but even after being elected president, he has been incapable of declaring victory and moving on. From the first day of his term, he felt compelled to crow about the election results every chance he could, even if the topic had absolutely no bearing on the discussion at hand. He was the champ, and he didn’t want anyone to forget it.
There were, however, two major problems. First, while he garnered the votes required from the electoral college, he still lost the popular vote to Clinton by roughly three million ballots. Second, his inauguration was not nearly as well-attended nor as well-received as Obama’s. Trump, with his fragile ego and need for adulation, could not bear the thought of either. He commenced upon a mission to invalidate the popular vote loss as having been caused by voter fraud, and to erase the inauguration photos by insisting that they had been doctored. He even sent out his loyal minions, Spicer and Conway, to parrot the “alternative facts.”
Fast forward one month. The nation has been buffeted by a maelstrom of half-truths and blatant lies from the White House. The most threatening of these revolve around an issue that has plagued the Trump transition team and subsequent administration from the beginning: Russian influence in the election and possible collusion by Trump personnel in that activity. James Comey, now former Director of the FBI, was leading the effort. Again, Trump’s frail ego could not bear the thought of anyone daring to question the legitimacy of his election. How did he react? The way all petty tyrants, mob bosses and basic thugs do. He called Comey into his office on February 14th for some alone time, and made veiled references about how job security may be predicated on the investigation being shelved. He asked Comey to kiss the ring, to swear his absolute loyalty and allegiance. Comey politely demurred.
As the investigation continued, and the FBI’s focus on fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn intensified, Comey ramped up his active involvement and requested more resources. Trump’s reaction was to fire him unceremoniously by having his lackey/bodyguard hand-deliver a letter of termination to Comey’s D.C. office at FBI headquarters while Comey was in Los Angeles recruiting new FBI agents. He followed that by going on the interview circuit and casting aspersions on Comey’s competency and character.
Trump brags about how he is the consummate businessman, but the way he fired Comey was a chump move. A half-decent boss would have enough respect for his employees that he would call the employee to his office, explain to him in person why he was being terminated, then wish him well in his future endeavors. Trump likes to think of himself as Big Man on Campus, but, in reality, he is a craven little boy who is afraid of dissent and confrontation. He must be surrounded by yes men who will soothe his frail ego by reassuring him that he’s good enough, he’s smart enough and, doggone it, people like him.
Unfortunately, he impugned the wrong guy. Comey, for all his shortcomings, is not only a Boy Scout, he’s an anal-retentive one, prone to keeping copious contemporaneous notes about meetings where he thinks inappropriate discussions are taking place. As a consequence, instead of the investigation being shelved, it has grown threefold. If you go after the king, you best not miss. Trump missed Comey by a mile.