Some people want micromanagers in higher office; perhaps they feel secure in the idea there exists a final check on their math at the very top.

But others see this as impractical, as the higher up the food chain you go there is more of which to keep track. This school of thought holds that if, even if his motives were pure, President Donald J. Trump’s calling Georgia’s secretary of state with instructions on how many votes to “find” is absurd on its face.

There’s no way to put lipstick on a pig. In a way, it had to happen. When you govern the way Trump has, the loyalty test gets this personal. Other presidents, for instance Richard Nixon, had guys with crew-cuts to do their dirty work for them. The amazing thing about that last phone call, the one that led to his impeachment, was the fact that Trump does it himself.

For Trump, the ideal underling is his former golf caddy, Dan Scavino, to whom he dictates his tweets.

While the Ukraine call remains subject to interpretation, the Georgia call was something else entirely. We’re used to pushing around foreigners, it frequently happens the moment an American disembarks anywhere abroad (moreover, we’ve now seen there is more to the Hunter Biden story than the mainstream media has been covering). But states take pride in the independence of their top electoral officials, and Georgia is probably not an exception to that.

Tuesday (our deadline precedes when we’ll get the results by about 12 hours) will be the proof of that. On the ballot are two Republicans who have been (bizarrely) accused of insufficient loyalty to Trump: will that be a blessing or a curse?

Since Ukraine and Trump have become so intertwined, what if we compare this recent call to his 2019 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Ukrainians are used to foreign interference. Fifteen years before the Trump-Zelensky call, the discovery of a Russian plan to fix the vote count there sparked an “Orange Revolution” that overturned a falsified result.

Against such a background, a little American interference could even be seen as reassuring.

But where Trump was merely suggestive in his conversation with Zelensky, theoretically a peer, with Brad Raffensperger he was at times directive and at others pleading. The framers of the Constitution and the authors of the Federalist Papers could not have envisioned such a spectacle, intrigued though they might have been by it. The brilliance of having states administer their own elections has never been clearer, indeed it is a triumph of our brand of federalism because we know it happened. There could be no better argument against an all-powerful federal bureau of elections.

Together with Madison, Hamilton and Jefferson, the Ukrainians are likely amused by this latest imbroglio. They assume of course that politicians play tricks to hold onto power, but might ask “why does he do it himself, and why so clumsily?” After all, in a power vertical, this would be Georgia Governor Brian Kemp’s job.

But in the crash and burn style of Trumpism, you inevitably reach a point in time when there is no one left to implement your orders. Let us not forget, this is a man who sent his bodyguard to deliver the letter firing FBI Director James Comey (who may well have deserved the firing, but still).

Business and bureaucratic organizations rely on the written word: emails, memoranda, the findings of blue-ribbon commissions and the like. Criminal organizations, by contrast, put little in writing. It becomes less sotto voce, though, when the other side presses "record."

If anything, this whole episode proves Susan Collins wrong about Trump learning his lesson. He definitely didn’t. The only way it really matters now (and to Collins herself who will or won’t get the appropriations chair based on what happens) is how Georgians react to it. My wild guess? Not well.

Sam Patten is a recovering political consultant who was raised in Knox County and worked for Maine’s last three Republican senators.