It is such an odd, ubiquitous detail—that Trump is “enraged.” He is apoplectic, incensed, irate, vexed, sore, peeved, tantrum-y, mad online, mad offline, mad in a boat, mad with a goat, mad in the rain, mad on a train. The president’s rage, his defining characteristic, is not of the contemporary political moment. It is something archaic, mythological, like the rage of Achilles. How can you be “enraged” about an investigation that has already found clear evidence of your team’s wrongdoing and yet that your allies have moved mountains to hinder? Why is it infuriating that the American people want to resolve the question of whether an authoritarian country meddled in their election? A man with nothing to hide would feel indignant, surely, but not this all-consuming rage; a man with secrets would presumably feel dread or guilt. But Trump’s wrath is not the response of a conventional politician. It is the lashing out of a mad king against the disobedience of his subjects.
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