Now I Know Why Trump Never Released His Taxes: He Knew He Was Going To Lose.

 

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It’s bad enough, if you’re Donald J. Trump, that you may be headed to a devastating loss.  The intoxication of the crowds and the applause and the rote chanting–“lock her up,” “Mexico,” and the one he thinks was written just for him, “USA, USA, USA,” will suddenly end, as it would for any presidential loser.  People who actually bought into his impossible nightmare will go back to their lives, and Trump will spend the rest of his days blaming and justifying and spinning and trying to reclaim the life he had before becoming a candidate.  Most of us would be happy if that’s all he did, conceding gracelessly but leaving the United States relatively intact, having bloodied a major political party, media, basic human decency, and causing a split in the country as wide as Vietnam.  No, Donald, Hillary’s email thing wasn’t “worse than Watergate.”  You, Donald Trump, singularly may turn out to have been worse than Watergate.

Trump is the Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous guy lyingly claiming he was running as a sacrifice for his country, which he lyingly claimed needed him as the “only I can fix it” guy.   One of his most famous lies is the one about wanting to release his taxes but he just can’t because they’re under audit. That’s a classic Trump whopper because it does what he does best: pile misdirection and disinformation on top of a hidden agenda, reaching a conclusion that is then defended by his Excuse Squad, then burying the subject at the back of the line when other outrages displace it.  It’s always been about protecting whatever phony image he has projected all these years, now horrendously backfiring.  Keeping his taxes under wraps has always been about making sure the world doesn’t know down to the penny what a tax-evading, stingy with charity, not as rich a guy as he’s portrayed himself, preserving that image for after the election.  But a presidential campaign really does strip the bark off you, paraphrasing the late Lee Atwater referring to his destruction of Michael Dukakis in service to George HW Bush in 1988.  The exposure of the fraud that is Donald Trump has forever tarnished his sacred brand, to the point where new hotels won’t even have his name on them anymore.  Any previous perception of high-quality, best-in-breed Trump-anything has been down-scaled by the chattering class’s disgust with Trump and his classless, third-rate, hateful persona overtaking the false image.

Were there ever emptier words from a candidate than the ones that made it clear that his candidacy was never about him, but about “you,” or some variation thereof?  Yea, right.  From the Dean of the Trump University School of Narcissism….

When the FBI called off the dogs 10 days after releasing the Hounding of Hillary, the entire world breathed a sigh of relief.  Financial markets roared their approval that the Greatest Businessman Ever wasn’t going to repeal and replace with nothing, build a wall, End the Fed, and charge everyone 35% more for a Ford subcompact or an air conditioner built in Mexico.

As much as the conventional wisdom leaned on the cliche that Americans, in general, say we’re going in the wrong direction, it’s just a lazy explanation for hate, racism, and (what used to be) conservative complaining that no one takes personal responsibility for anything and it’s The Others’ Fault.  Clue…. we ALWAYS think we’re going in the wrong direction….  more on that from Leonard Pitts here: A black man was elected president and white people lost their minds.  Trump’s “Make America Great Again,” stolen from Reagan, was always about simply turning back the clock to a mythical thrilling yesteryear that never really was that can never be replicated.  Low-skill factory jobs are never coming back, no matter how many promises demagogues like Trump roll out.  The steel mills aren’t reopening in Pittsburgh, cheap textiles will never come from South Carolina like they did 50 years ago, and Apple is not about to build iPhones here.  The calculations have been made.  If you’re too lazy to click…. the answer is $2,000.

How much would an all-American iPhone cost?

Finally, my back of the envelope calculation says this:  that things just aren’t really quite bad enough economically for most Americans that they want to take the ultimate chance by rolling the dice with the Unstable One. Gas is really, really cheap these days.  It’s amazing how that’s such a big issue around an election when it’s high… and how it disappears when it’s so low on a historical basis like it is now.  And the old misery index: Unemployment plus inflation… fuggetabout it.

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For way too long, as we now realize, many of us thought that this was really just one big dare, one big joke that got out of hand and took on a life of its own, and that Trump never really wanted to be president as much as he just didn’t want to lose trying to be president. Donald J. Trump always declares himself to be the winner and even if he’s not, he just lies and says he won.  Not this time. The national exhaustion at the year-and-a-half of this man’s brain chemistry experiment gone bad is about to end.  While we know this isn’t the beginning of the end but the end of the beginning of some legitimate issues Trump clumsily raised, maybe we can start with something small… like adding a ninth justice to the Supreme Court.  That would be special.

 

If You Could Go Back In Time And Abort Or Nuke The Sacred Fetus Hitler, Would You, Mr. Trump?

 

Screen shot 2016-03-31 at 10.59.33 AMRod Serling: “Imagine a man so thoughtless and empty, devoid of rational thought, whose appeal to millions rested on his moment-to-moment ability to appease those worst madding crowd instincts to the detriment ofScreen shot 2016-03-31 at 11.04.38 AM all mankind.  Then…. picture him as President, a disastrous stop on the previously unimaginable but avoided nuclear journey to….. The Twilight Zone.”

In the heat of the 1988 campaign, Democratic candidate Michael Dukakis was asked the most famous question in the history of presidential debates by Bernard Shaw:

“Governor, if Kitty Dukakis were raped and murdered, would you favor an irrevocable death penalty for the killer?” Dukakis answered instantly and smoothly. “No, I don’t, Bernard,” he said. “And I think you know that I’ve opposed the death penalty during all of my life.”

Dukakis had flubbed the answer, showing no emotion, triggering instant analysis by all that he had effectively lost the election right there.  No matter that he was being utterly consistent with his own beliefs; this was no flip-flop or pander.   By the way, Dukakis to this day fully admits he blew it.  Most importantly though, it was an answer to a direct question, posed in such a provocative, unpredictable way that Dukakis’ answer, at minimum, was ice-cold but understandable.  Here it is, in all its sweaty splendor!

In 1988 it was one answer, one time, to one question.  Game, set, match.  This is what has driven so many of us up and over that big, beautiful wall about Donald Trump.  He has blurted out Dukakis-level/elimination-style statements and answers regularly since last June that have been continuously and erroneously predicted to be fatal mistakes.  And that’s not even considering the 120mph barrage of lies on every subject all the time.  We’re all tuned in, by now, that the shock jock, WWE, you’ve-been-screwed-by-politics-as-usual-I’m-the-last-honest-man shtick has worked among a plurality of Republican primary voters.  Need we go through this again?  Megyn Kelly’s menstruation, mocking the disabled NY Times reporter, the Trump Tower In My Pants contest with Marco Rubio, being the Original Barack Obama Birther, his periodic but consistent remarks about wanting to have sex with his daughter Ivanka, the new mommy, the list is endless and grows each day.

This week, having decided he hadn’t yet pushed the electorate and the world over the cliff, Trump went nuclear with both abortion and the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons.

The longtime pro-choice Trump decided a few years ago that a path to the Republican nomination necessitated him switching teams on abortion.  He never gave it much thought, like everything else he appears to do in this campaign, spouting what he thinks is the most rigid, outrageous, definitive position designed to force everyone else to react and respond to his statement, controlling the news cycle once more.  There is no doubt that his answer this week that women who get abortions in Trump’s America are criminals who must be prosecuted for their crime was pure, unadulterated Trump; completely thoughtless, mindless pandering to what he thought would be the right-wingiest thing he could say.  Those women are breaking the law that he would singlehandedly change on Day One or through beautiful Supreme Court Justices who he’ll soon name.  He may as well have said that while “I would never say it’s ok to shoot abortion doctors who kill babies…. I wouldn’t say that…. I’m not condoning it….I can understand why people do it….”  Finally, living up to his pledge to be the greatest uniting president ever, Trump finally brought together the wholly incompatible pro-life and pro-choice movements in condemnation.   The guy who never has made a mistake, never admits he’s wrong, walked it all back within hours with a prepared statement written by his lawyers, who must have Googled the question:  how do we sound like we know what the hell we’re talking about?

“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”

Yea, that sure reads the way Donald Trump speaks, doesn’t it?

I found that as far back as August, Trump broached the subject of the use of nuclear weapons, always reserving the right to use them against ISIS. Here he was on Meet the Press on August 9th, responding to a question about authorizing nukes to combat Islamic extremism:

“Let’s face it, these people are barbarians,” Trump said. “And thanks to Obama’s failed policy in Iraq and Syria, they’re beheading Christians all over the world… Civilian casualties are an unfortunate “reality of war” according to Trump, who justified the use of nuclear weapons saying they “send a clear message to those who conspire against America and her allies.” Mr. Trump said that unlike past and present administrations, he possesses the “moral fortitude to do what must be done” to protect America. “We’re losing to China. We’re losing to Mexico. We will not lose to ISIS,” Trump said.

He has skated by and grown his numbers with this kind of irrational bluster (equating ISIS terrorism with our relationships with Mexico and China).  Unable to keep two thoughts in his pretty little head at once, the last few days he’s moved on from telling us how he’ll rip up the deal with Iran regarding their nuclear program, essentially breaking with the policy of non-proliferation out of disgust that we pay too much to keep the world safe and everybody’s gonna be nuclear someday, so let’s get it on.  How do you deter North Korea and its crazy boy from dropping or lobbing a bomb on South Korea or Japan?  Let them have nuclear weapons too.  It’s only fair!   It’s as if his number one advisor on nuclear weapons is Wayne LaPierre of the NRA.  “The Only Thing That Stops a Bad Country With a Nuke is a Good Country With a Nuke.”  Now everyone is noticing.  Here’s the Vox version:

Donald Trump: make America great again by letting more countries have nukes

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN: It has been a U.S. policy for decades to prevent Japan from getting a nuclear weapon.

TRUMP: That might be policy, but maybe…

COOPER: South Korea as well.

TRUMP: Can I be honest are you? Maybe it’s going to have to be time to change, because so many people, you have Pakistan has it, you have China has it. You have so many other countries are now having it.

Can the imagination fathom President Donald Trump in the midst of the Cuban Missile Crisis?  What will it be like to have a president who literally has a nuclear temper?

‘Total catastrophe’: Experts say Donald Trump’s position on nuclear proliferation would be a disaster says Business Insider