“There are different ways to bake the cake, depending on what sort of cake you want. Different flavoring, different temperatures, different ingredients yield different types of cake, and the president as the master baker is testing recipes and deciding what type of cake he wants.”
— a senior official, explaining President Trump’s approach to impeachment to The Washington Post on Monday
For the last time, this is all part of the plan. Getting himself impeached is actually a strategic triumph for President Trump, and anyone who thinks otherwise is just not playing chess in enough dimensions. Consider what is the greater mark of strategic genius: to mire yourself and your administration in an endless series of idiotic and pointless controversies, often rife with misspellings, damaging your standing at home and abroad, or to NOT do that? If you say the second, you are a fool. This is all part of the plan. Actually, this is good. Actually, this is great.
I repeat, every move that Trump makes, has made or is making, currently, with the president of Finland sitting helplessly by his side, wearing an expression of alarm, is planned. It is a genius plan. It might look like the random, haphazard flailing of a cat that has gotten its head stuck in a bucket. But actually he is in total control.
He is like a master baker, preparing everything just exactly the way he would like it. You can’t make a cake without breaking eggs! That is why he has broken all the eggs and will not stop breaking eggs until there are no eggs anymore. He is baking the chess pieces into a cake, and it is brilliant, and that is why no one has thought to do it before. If it looks messy, if it looks like he is covered in batter and surrounded by trolls and incompetents and family members (but I repeat myself); well, that is not correct. I’m embarrassed that you would think that maybe he did not know what he was doing, just because he looked and sounded and acted like he did not know what he was doing. Really, the fool here is you.
Ah, the genius of this man! Moriarty wept, and also the Borgias, and also Jesus, although that may have been for unrelated reasons. His is the shrewdness of Alexander the Great, cutting through the Gordian knot. He has the vision to cut through things, even if the things he is cutting through say “THIS IS LOAD-BEARING, DON’T CUT.” He dares to push the buttons labeled “DO NOT PUSH: WON’T DO ANYTHING GOOD, AND WILL RELEASE OPOSSUM.” There is no puzzle, norm or rule of whatever degree of complexity he cannot immediately dismantle with a single movement.
Don’t embarrass yourself by saying, “This is embarrassing!” or “That is not how you spell ‘little’ ” or “That isn’t a hyphen” or “A *MOAT* with ALLIGATORS? Oh, for blank’s sake.” Don’t you see? You are playing into his hands. He wants you to get caught up in this! Only to someone with a small, sad brain like yours would these seem like the movements of a lost, perplexed, damaged person who did not understand what a hyphen was and was too embarrassed to ask, who thought “jock strap” was a dirty word, who genuinely has a temper tantrum when told a moat full of alligators around the country would neither be good nor feasible. This man is astronomical units beyond our frail capacity to understand. The kind of chess he is playing has not even been invented yet. If he appears to be chewing on the pieces and crying, that is its strategy.
It has to be! It cannot be that he is exactly as he appears, that I am doing all this on my own, that I have poured all my intellect into a bottomless void around which time itself seems to warp. It cannot be that he is exactly as he appears. Or why else would he be defeating me?
Follow Alexandra Petri on Twitter @petridishes.