The other day, anti-Trump Republican David Brooks wrote, of the debate, that Hillary “behaved in the normal manner on Sunday night. But Donald Trump did not. Trump treated his questioners as unrelatable automatons and delivered his answers to the void, even when he had the chance to seem sympathetic to an appealing young Islamic woman. That underlines the essential loneliness of Donald Trump. Trump seems to him to be a man incapable of making human connection. “He is essentially adviser-less, friendless. His campaign team is made up of cold mercenaries at best and Roger Ailes at worst. His party treats him as a stench it can’t yet remove.” Brooks has come to pity him.
Imagine if you had to go through a single day without sharing kind little moments with strangers and friends.
Imagine if you had to endure a single week in a hate-filled world, crowded with enemies of your own making, the object of disgust and derision.
You would be a twisted, tortured shrivel, too, and maybe you’d lash out and try to take cruel revenge on the universe. For Trump this is his whole life.
Trump's excuse for human connection in the adrenalin-pumping adulation at his monstrous hate rallies. Like him, the deplorables– what I've been calling, sadly, “life's losers” all cycle– also want to “lash out and try to take cruel revenge on the universe.”
Imagine you are Trump. You are trying to bluff your way through a debate. You’re running for an office you’re completely unqualified for. You are chasing some glimmer of validation that recedes ever further from view.
Your only rest comes when you are insulting somebody, when you are threatening to throw your opponent in jail, when you are looming over her menacingly like a mafioso thug on the precipice of a hit, when you are bellowing that she has “tremendous hate in her heart” when it is clear to everyone you are only projecting what is in your own.
Trump’s emotional makeup means he can hit only a few notes: fury and aggression. In some ways, his debate performances look like primate dominance displays– filled with chest beating and looming growls. But at least primates have bands to connect with, whereas Trump is so alone, if a tree fell in his emotional forest, it would not make a sound.
It’s all so pathetic.
Another anti-Trump Republican operative, Stuart Stevens, tweeted last night that “the only thing between Trump and a van by the river with Free Candy on the side is his inherited wealth.” A day earlier, Chuck Todd noted that the Republican civil war is shaking the party to its foundations, and less than a month before the election.
According to the poll, two-thirds of GOP voters– 67%– say that Republican congressional candidates should continue to support Donald Trump after his lewd 2005 comments about women. Another 9% of Republican voters say these GOP candidates should no longer support Trump, and an additional 14% believe they should call on him to drop out of the presidential race. While that overall 67%-23% margin seems like good news for Trump, you can't win a national election when nearly a quarter of your party thinks its candidates should dump Trump. Maybe more importantly, if you're a Republican candidate who DOES want to discard Trump, you have two-thirds of your party's voters disagreeing with you. It's an unsustainable position for the Republican Party – and it explains why Republican members of Congress up for re-election are so conflicted about how to thread this needle.
Trump has given up on winning. It's now all about destruction– dragging Hillary into the open sewer he lives in, wrecking the Republican Party that never really embraced him, and getting revenge against anyone who he perceived to be his enemies. Yesterday, Monica Langley, reporting for the Wall Street Journal wrote that Trump is doubling down on the far right-populism that Bannon is feeding him, a strategy aimed directly at the deplorables that will further alienate women, minorities, independents and mainstream conservatives. They're hoping to turn the last 3 weeks into something so ugly that turnout will be depressed and only the deplorables will both voting. He's turning his campaign into even more of a full-time attack machine with a total scorched-earth strategy. “The decision,” wrote Langley, “means that a campaign already marked by intensely personal attacks is primed to grow even uglier in the remaining four weeks. Mr. Trump plans to keep up a relentless assault on Mrs. Clinton… [Trump's] core supporters don’t make up a majority of the electorate, and most analysts see no path to victory unless he adds to them, even if Mrs. Clinton’s vote total is driven down. And a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll shows him trailing the Democratic nominee by nine percentage points among likely voters.”
Kevin Madden, a Republican strategist who worked on the presidential campaigns of Mitt Romney and George W. Bush, said Mr. Trump’s approach would drive turnout among his base, “but alienating his own party and swing voters won’t grow his vote. His remarks and tactics can have the adverse effect of energizing the Democratic base.”
Last night the NY Times reported that Jessica Leeds, now 74, was assaulted by Trump on a plane was she was much younger.
About 45 minutes after takeoff, she recalled, Mr. Trump lifted the armrest and began to touch her.
According to Ms. Leeds, Mr. Trump grabbed her breasts and tried to put his hand up her skirt.
“He was like an octopus,” she said. “His hands were everywhere.”
She fled to the back of the plane. “It was an assault,” she said.
She was hardly the only one. Rachel Crooks was a 22 year old receptionist working in Trump Tower when Trump attacked her in front of an elevator. Other women have spoken to other media outlets about Trump's inappropriate behavior towards women.
In a phone interview on Tuesday night, a highly agitated Mr. Trump denied every one of the women’s claims.
“None of this ever took place,” said Mr. Trump, who began shouting at The Times reporter who was questioning him. He said that The Times was making up the allegations to hurt him and that he would sue the news organization if it reported them.
“You are a disgusting human being,” he told the reporter as she questioned him about the women’s claims.
Trump is threatening to sue the NY Times again. A Trump flack, Jason Miller, released this statement from Trump Tower:
This entire article is fiction, and for the New York Times to launch a completely false, coordinated character assassination against Mr. Trump on a topic like this is dangerous. To reach back decades in an attempt to smear Mr. Trump trivializes sexual assault, and it sets a new low for where the media is willing to go in its efforts to determine this election.
It is absurd to think that one of the most recognizable business leaders on the planet with a strong record of empowering women in his companies would do the things alleged in this story, and for this to only become public decades later in the final month of a campaign for president should say it all.
How creepy is this? Especially if you have a young daughter? I wonder if craven Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte wants to go on TV again and look into the camera and tell New Hampshire voters without blinking that she thinks Donald J. Trump would make a good role model for their children.
On an April 11, 2005, Howard Stern show, Donald Trump bragged about some of the special perks he enjoyed while owner of the Miss USA pageant. They came not in a locker room but a dressing room.
“I'll go backstage before a show and everyone's getting dressed and ready and everything else,” he said. “And you know, no men are anywhere. And I'm allowed to go in because I'm the owner of the pageant. And therefore I'm inspecting it.”
Said Stern: “You're like a doctor.”
Responded Trump: “Is everyone OK? You know they're standing there with no clothes. And you see these incredible looking women. And so I sort of get away with things like that.”
…According to Tasha Dixon, Miss Arizona of 2001, there was more inspecting than doctoring.
In an interview with the station, she described her experience with Trump as a contestant that year in a dressing room where she and others were changing into bikinis:
“He just came strolling right in. There was no second to put a robe on or any sort of clothing or anything. Some girls were topless. Others girls were naked.
“Our first introduction to him was when we were at the dress rehearsal and half naked changing into our bikinis.
“To have the owner come waltzing in, when we're naked, or half naked, in a very physically vulnerable position and then to have the pressure of the people that worked for him telling us to go fawn all over him, go walk up to him, talk to him, get his attention.”
She suggested that such opportunities were among the reasons Trump owned beauty pageants.
“I'm telling you Donald Trump owned the pageant for the reasons to utilize his power to get around beautiful women. Who do you complain to? He owns the pageant. There's no one to complain to. Everyone there works for him.”
Maybe Monday she'll be on MSNBC so Joe Scarborough can savage her. (You're aware he slithered away from a murder investigation by resigning from Congress, right?) Oh… and the Greek Nazi Party, Golden Dawn, endorsed Trump today.
Trump's ascendency within his party drove George Will to such despondency that he not only refused to back Trump, it resigned from the GOP and re-registered as an independent. A couple of days ago he told his Washington Post readers, once again, that Trump is too disgusting for any self-respecting human being to support. “His sexual loutishness is a sufficient reason for defeating him,” wrote Will, “but it is far down a long list of sufficient reasons. But if it– rather than, say, his enthusiasm for torture even “if it doesn’t work,” or his ignorance of the nuclear triad– is required to prompt some Republicans to have second thoughts about him, so be it.”
For example, Sen. Richard Burr, a North Carolinian seeking a third term, represents a kind of Republican judiciousness regarding Trump. Having heard the tape and seen Trump’s “apology” (Trump said, essentially: My naughty locker-room banter is better than Bill Clinton’s behavior), Burr solemnly said: “I am going to watch his level of contrition over the next few days to determine my level of support.” North Carolinians will watch with bated breath as Burr, measuring with a moral micrometer, carefully calibrates how to adjust his support to Trump’s unfolding repentance. Burr, who is chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, has not received this nugget of intelligence: Contrition is not in Trump’s repertoire. Why should it be? His appetites, like his factoids, are self-legitimizing.
Trump is a marvelously efficient acid bath, stripping away his supporters’ surfaces, exposing their skeletal essences. Consider Mike Pence, a favorite of what Republicans devoutly praise as America’s “faith community.” Some of its representatives, their crucifixes glittering in the television lights, are still earnestly explaining the urgency of giving to Trump, who agreed that his daughter is “a piece of ass,” the task of improving America’s coarsened culture.
…Trump should stay atop the ticket, for four reasons. First, he will give the nation the pleasure of seeing him join the one cohort, of the many cohorts he disdains, that he most despises– “losers.” Second, by continuing to campaign in the spirit of St. Louis, he can remind the nation of the useful axiom that there is no such thing as rock bottom. Third, by persevering through Nov. 8 he can simplify the GOP’s quadrennial exercise of writing its post-campaign autopsy, which this year can be published Nov. 9 in one sentence: “Perhaps it is imprudent to nominate a venomous charlatan.” Fourth, Trump is the GOP’s chemotherapy, a nauseating but, if carried through to completion, perhaps a curative experience.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.” — Sinclair Lewis