It’s possible that the narcissistic injury Trump suffered when his stupid comments about injecting bleach and/or beaming light into people’s bodies to cure COVID-19 became international punchlines exceeds all other self-inflicted humiliations he’s suffered in office. Trump has been ridiculed before, obviously. He was roundly criticized for his obsequious behavior toward Putin in Helsinki, was impeached for shaking down a vulnerable ally like a common protection racket enforcer and countless other acts of self-ownership, all of which would be deeply humiliating to a normal person. But Trump isn’t a normal person.
Also, a Greek chorus of wingnut sycophants has trailed him through each and every misstep, insisting that he didn’t say what he said and that if he did, it wasn’t as dumb or corrupt or treasonous as it obviously was. But you can tell by Trump’s own angry denials and threats to take his ball and go home (i.e., shut down the conferences), etc., that this is different. There are a few remoras clinging to Trump’s anal fin even through this episode — Geraldo Rivera, for one. But the lunatic output on Twitter since the bleach ingestion incident is, well, probably as close to a “cry for help” as an ambulatory stack of toxic garbage can emit.
This may be another sign:
Dog help us. I’m not saying BleachGate was a “turning point” — we’ve rotated at high speed for three years and change now, so I no longer believe in such things as “turning points” like Bush’s Katrina, Obama’s tan suit, etc. But I do believe a flailing, failing madman can plumb new depths of decompensation right before our eyes as the prospect of exposure and an electoral humiliation loom.