Offering asides, recommended links, blogworthy quotations, and more, In Brief is the Northwest Progressive Institute's microblog of world, national, and local politics.

Aside

Trump blows off ceremonial presidential duties so he can sulk in the White House

The magnitude of last Tuesday’s losses have sunk in.

For weeks this fall, an ebullient Trump traveled relentlessly to hold raise-the-rafters campaign rallies — sometimes three a day — in states where his presence was likely to help Republicans on the ballot.

But his mood apparently has changed as he has taken measure of the electoral backlash that voters delivered Nov. 6.

With the certainty that the incoming Democratic House majority will go after his tax returns and investigate his actions, and the likelihood of additional indictments by special counsel Robert S. Mueller III, Trump has retreated into a cocoon of bitterness and resentment, according to multiple administration sources.

Behind the scenes, they say, the president has lashed out at several aides, from junior press assistants to senior officials. “He’s furious,” said one administration official. “Most staffers are trying to avoid him.”

Trump may project confidence through social media or when he appears in public, but it’s apparent that behind the scenes, he’s not feeling confident at all. There really was a blue wave… and it hasn’t even crested yet. Races keep getting called in favor of Democrats, and in Florida (where recounts are underway), it’s unclear who won the top races: Trump’s loyalists or their Democratic opponents.

All those Democratic gains — and the ongoing media coverage of them — have seriously wounded Trump’s pride and left him feeling very bitter and angry.

Trump ought to have been able to see this coming. The pendulum has always historically swung back after periods of one party rule. But Trump is a narcissist and sociopath, so he was nicely positioned for a big emotional crash.

Although Democrats did win a number of special elections last year (and took back the governorship of New Jersey in addition to keeping the governorship of Virginia), the just-held midterms showed that Trump’s Republican Party isn’t invulnerable.

Democrats are on track to have their best showing in U.S. House races since the 1970s. The party has flipped seven governorships and increased the number of trifectas in its column. And it also took two U.S. Senate seats away from the Republicans in the southwest with the victories of Jacky Rosen and Kyrsten Sinema.