Who is either scared to death or plain dumb? That would be our president, Donald J. trump. Yes, it would. Why? He seems very scared, petrified even when given a chance to say how noxious Russia is when it comes to basic decency and rights. But Trump sees the good side of Russia, always has. Why back in the1980s he was gung-ho for becoming the great peacemaker. He actually made an effort to get face time with Gorbachev.

The effort failed. Trump was seen as being grandiose. But given the subsequent train of events, his impulses were not out of line.

And then there was Putin.

Putin is poison

Dictators are lethal. That is how they gain power. They kill at will. Thay see it as Machiavellian and good. They are doing it for the people. Trump has some fascinations that tend in that direction.

Putin is a poster child for the modern dictator. He kills and lies and is a consummate actor. He seems a central casting choice for someone to beguile Donald Trump. He is a canny chess opponent. The last thing he wants is to be disrespected or ignored. If all is vanity, Putin is all.

Now you could argue that Trump is simply a fan of Putin.

He would gladly swat down anyone who accused him, the Donald, of corruption. If Trump could jail such a miscreant, he would. .He wants to jail his political opponents who are guilty of no crimes whatsoever. You could argue that the reason Trump does not attack Putin is that they are brothers.

But is this credible? Is this any reason to bring almost all the GOP with him on this embarrassing Moscow love fest?

The narcissist thesis

If we see Trump as the epitome of narcissism, we are forced to a different theory. Trump is for Trump alone, and nothing else matters. If so, whatever he did in Russia can hurt him. Hurt is not allowed. It is OK if hurt is torture done by others to enemies. But not here.

No one knows what is making the president tick.

We only know that there is a war behind closed doors between people who are Scared To Death and people who are vociferous in denying that there is any problem. If Trump is responding with visceral anger and fear because Putin has him hooked, then nothing will move him but men in white or blue coats; or whatever the military is wearing these days.

The fear

The fear hypothesis has legs. Trump has cut off public events at the mere mention of Flynn's name. He is apparently spared mention of anything that might set him off and Russia sets him off. His denials of Steele allegations are more than likely designed to validate an insanity defense. Many of the Steele inferences are valid. If Trump is not guilty, he is nuts.