As befitting his very large ego and power and very tiny brain, Donald Trump is constantly surrounded by people trying to manipulate him. (The temptations of doing so explain why people keep joining his administration despite the chaos and almost inevitable humiliation that ensues.) On most issues, Trump does not know what to think, so he gravitates toward whatever position is expressed most sycophantically. The “debates” within the party therefore play out in the form of competitive groveling for his favor.
The other day, Senator Rand Paul, as isolationist, promoted an attack on Representative Liz Cheney, a neoconservative hawk. Paul’s argument naturally framed Cheney as anti-Trump:
Cheney replied that she is the one standing with Trump and also it is disrespectful to tweet mean things about Liz Cheney on 9/11 for some reason:
Paul shot back with an attack reiterating his claim that he is on Trump’s side and Cheney likes the adviser Trump fired, skipping over the awkward fact that it was also Trump who hired him in the first place:
Cheney replied with a vintage put-down of Paul from the campaign, when the two candidates were still running against each other:
And Paul retorted that Trump opposed her dad’s foreign policy:
The secret here is that Paul and Cheney, while anchoring opposite sides of an intellectual debate within their party, both consider Trump a moron, but each thinks he or she can gain influence with him and his supporters by presenting the other one as his enemy.