Those of us who have a growing sense of relief that this edition of Our Long National Nightmare Is Over is about to go to press…. that Donald J. Trump is not only about to lose, but possibly lose bigly…. still have another two weeks or so of wishing the World Series would be a best of 15 that would continue right through November 8th. But at least for now we have future Emmy winner Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, who was lurking bigly in Donald Trump’s great brain as he seemed to be imitating Baldwin imitating him at the third debate. That’s the debate where Trump was determined to get himself onto the alltime presidential debate highlight reel with “there you go again” and “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine…” by playing a card not even in the deck and pre-announcing his non-acceptance of the result of the election because it has been so clearly “rigged.” The next afternoon, Trump tried sarcasm:
“Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today,” Trump said, continuing, “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election …”
But there was more. Trump then finished that sentence with, “if I win,” seemingly admitting a strange logic: that a system rigged against him would be totally acceptable if that rigging ultimately worked out in his favor.
He smiled right after “if I win,” but it’s too late for that kind of subtlety and nuance from the guy who has millions and millions of people believing that he, alone, “can fix it.”
Thursday, October 20th, would be the same day that would end with his dropping trou at the Al Smith Dinner in New York in a bombing string of not-funny insults that made one wish for a Gong Show intervention..
I can’t remember at what point I lost my sense of humor about all this. It wasn’t on the granular, day to day basis of analyzing each successive dose of calculated insanity that drove each previous outrage to the back of the (Access Hollywood) bus. Easily disproven lies that pushed calls for violence at rallies pushed out attacks on Megyn Kelly’s humanity and Carly Fiorina’s face, which displaced the attack on the disabled reporter, John McCain’s military service and the non-existent Muslim celebrators of 9/11 he said he saw… the businesses that cut ties to him early on as he attacked Mexicans and promised to force them to build a wall, which was complimented by his call to shut down all Mosques (all of those things from a full year ago)…. this list could go on seemingly forever, right up to today…. it never really was funny. A Gordian Knot of Knuttiness….
Maybe the urgency of the situational, national cancer that Trump has metastasized into was being signaled to us when he first leaned on the oldest, lamest excuse to try and wiggle out of whatever his latest limits-testing absurdity was at the time: it was a joke, I was being sarcastic, and you have no sense of humor for taking me seriously like all of the Angry, White Male Einsteins at my rallies who I love because they take me seriously.
When he slammed John McCain in July of 2015 because he said he likes “people who weren’t captured,” Trump then tweeted, “Captured or not, all of our soldiers are heroes.” He thought that might be the end of it. Do you recall saying to yourself that just the piece of video (here) of him saying that about McCain was way more sickening than lesser things that have sunk other candidates of the past? The next day, his response to the universal condemnation reigning down on him set the pattern which we have seen literally hundreds of times since then. Here was the double down on the outrage, never apologize template being tested, early on. Via CNN:
Asked by ABC News whether he owes McCain an apology, Trump said: “No, not at all.”“People that fought hard and weren’t captured and went through a lot, they get no credit. Nobody even talks about them. They’re like forgotten. And I think that’s a shame, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said Sunday.“People that were not captured that went in and fought, nobody talks about them. Those are heroes also,” he said.
For awhile, Trump was going hot and heavy on saying things he knew he shouldn’t say by saying them and then telling you he wasn’t going to say them. Ha. Ha. Here’s ABC’s version of the earliest use of a word that would come back to grab and haunt Trump really, really bigly as an October surprise via Billy Bushgate.
Ahead of the New Hampshire primary in February, Trump had been discussing Cruz’s remarks about waterboarding during the ABC News debate days earlier.
“You heard the other night at the debate, they asked Ted Cruz a serious question: “Well what do you think of waterboarding?” Is it okay? And honestly I thought he’d say absolutely and he didn’t,” Trump told the audience.
After that, a woman shouted a crude word.
“Okay you’re not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that again,” Trump said in response. “I never expect to hear that from you again.”
But then Trump repeated the woman’s remarks.
“She said he’s a PUSSY…that’s terrible,” he said, before throwing his hands up.
Trump pointed to the fact that he was repeating the words of a supporter — rather than initially saying them himself –- as the reason why he said the word, nonetheless.
By this past week’s debate, Trump’s bizarre defensiveness surrounding all things Russian and all things Putin is another of those would disqualify anyone else things that’s been pushed to the background by other bundles of crazy. But Trump, the man who would be way more likely to read Putin his Miranda rights than Hillary hers upon their respective arrests, held a news conference at the Democratic Convention where he called (“sarcastically,” he said later) for Russian hackers to find the tens of thousands of deleted emails from Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, ABC reported.
“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you would probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said at the news conference.
When pressed about it later in the same news conference, he said “I hope they do” find the emails.
He later said it was a joke.
“Obviously I was being sarcastic and a lot of people really smiled and laughed. It was said in a sarcastic manner, obviously,” he told Fox News.
At a later event in Iowa, Trump was asked how voters are supposed to know when he is and isn’t being sarcastic.
“I think people understand that very… I think it’s very understandable,” he said.
No, it’s not understandable. It’s not funny, and the game is almost over.