Standing behind the lectern in the White House briefing room Tuesday afternoon, President Barack Obama characterized Donald Trump’s proposal for getting Mexico to pay for a wall on the Mexican border as “half-baked.”
It was at this point I expected Trump to pop up from behind Obama, wave his hands and say, “Hey, I’m not half-baked. I’m fully baked! And I had an uncle who was a great professor at MIT. He had good genes, very good genes. And I come from the same gene pool — although I come from the shallow end.”
None of this is too odd to be true. Eight years ago, the press did piece after piece on “Hillaryland,” the tight core of advisers who clung to Hillary Clinton like a wet suit and shaped her dazzling loss to Obama in the Democratic primary.
Trump does not have a tight core. His advisers do not work on policies; they work on chokeholds. And they may already be planning to force NBC to change the name of its premier Sunday show from “Meet the Press” to “Beat the Press” should Trump become president.
Trump is not bothered by the nuanced concepts behind his policies. That’s because he doesn’t have nuances. Or concepts. Or policies. Trump is selling but one thing: Trump.
That allows him to do things other campaigns would not dare to attempt. This is from a story this week by Ashley Parker in The New York Times: After the New York Post interviewed Trump’s first wife, “Ivana Trump’s staff later called the paper to say Mr. Trump was, in fact, a feminist, before calling again to say he was not — and then calling a final time to say he was, indeed, a feminist.”
Par for the course. He changes his stance on feminism three times in a single day. Earlier, he changed his stance on abortion five times in three days.
You got a problem with that?
Maybe you are a foreign country with Russia on your border and you are wondering what a Trump presidency would mean for your defense against a Russian invasion.
Last week in Washington, more than 50 world leaders convened to discuss nuclear terrorism, and what do you think they talked about? According to President Obama, they talked about Donald Trump.
Trump has suggested withdrawing U.S. troops from South Korea and Japan and replacing them with their own nuclear weapons.
Replacing ground troops with nuclear bombs is both moronic and extremely perilous, but there is no point in telling Trump that.
Trump, Obama said, “doesn’t know much about foreign policy or nuclear policy or the Korean Peninsula or the world generally.”
As if Trump should care what Obama thinks. Obama wasn’t even born in America, according to Trump. And Obama never had an uncle who was a professor at MIT. Or if he was, he was probably a very, very stupid, low-energy uncle.
Just as Trump is impervious to learning anything, he is also impervious to being ridiculed for it. If you don’t like him, you’d better shut up about it. Why? Because he will murderlize you; that’s why.
“Anybody that hits me, we’re gonna hit them 10 times harder,” Trump said in summing up his domestic policy to Sean Hannity in November.
This has begun to trouble some people. Ann Coulter, an extreme right-wing Republican, said last week: “Our candidate is mental. Do you realize our candidate is mental?”
Yes, Ann, we do.
He is mental, mean-spirited, bigoted and doltish. But he also is a natural-born citizen of the United States, has been a resident here for at least 14 years and is 35 years of age or older — which is all the Constitution requires.
But keep this in mind: The only people who have voted for Trump thus far have voted in Republican primaries and caucuses.
Trump, in other words, is a creation of today’s Republican Party. So don’t blame all of America for him or think all of America can’t stop him.
Even Republicans are beginning to realize what this means.
Michael Gerson, a very bright conservative columnist, wrote the other day: “If the worst enemies of conservatism were to construct a Frankenstein figure that represents the worst elements of right-wing politics, Donald Trump would be it. But it is Republicans who are giving him life. And the damage is already deep.”
Unlike Ronald Reagan, Trump has no ideology to fall back on. Unlike Richard Nixon, Trump is not power-hungry. He is like a kid who steals cars to take a joy ride, not because he wants a car. Today Trump wants to joyride the United States. After eight years, he’ll give it back.
He thinks it won’t matter; he thinks you won’t mind. That’s how foolish he really is.
Roger Simon is Politico’s chief political columnist. His new e-book, “Reckoning: Campaign 2012 and the Fight for the Soul of America,” can be found on Amazon.com, BN.com and iTunes. To find out more about Roger Simon and read features by other Creators writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Web page at www.creators.com.
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Photo: Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to reporters as he leads the news media on a tour of the construction site of the Trump International Hotel at the Old Post Office Building in Washington, March 21, 2016. REUTERS/Jim Bourg