I’ve been grappling all day with Trump’s morning tweet about how, as president, he could pardon himself. On the face of it, it’s a ludicrous assertion. While Trump is not an intelligent man, he is a man of low cunning (to crib a joke from an old Life in Hell panel, he is “stupid like pig but cunning like serpent”)... there is a very good reason for this ridiculous statement.
Trump is floating a trial balloon, by which I mean a pre-trial balloon: by introducing the bizarre notion that he can pardon himself, he is pushing the boundaries of acceptable discourse. He, his minions, and the corporate propaganda outlets that back him will repeat the notion in order to normalize a previously unthinkable position. Given the piss-poor performance of the mainstream media in holding Trump accountable for his atrocities and the complicity of the Republican Congress, this strategy just might work.