SIMON: Does Donald Trump ever lose?
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He’s been washed up so many times, you’d think he’d be dripping seaweed by now.
He’s got more lives than a cat.
Political bullets bounce off this guy.
He doesn’t just break the rules, he makes the rules.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! It’s Donald Trump!
Next week he will deliver his first State of the Union address. But it will really be a State of the Trump address.
And he is not worried. He believes America loves him. Polls don’t scare him. Special prosecutors don’t give him the willies.
He is Donald Trump, and he never loses.
Start at the beginning: Major presidential candidates always release their past tax returns. And at the beginning of the presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he would, too.
But has he? You bet he hasn’t. Why not? Because he’s Donald Trump, that’s why!
Presidential candidates don’t usually insult racial and ethnic groups. In the case of Trump, however, it is hard to find groups he has not insulted.
Take his announcement speech. “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best,” Trump said. “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”
It is pretty clear Trump enjoys attacking. The New York Times has been keeping track:
On Jan. 3 of this year, the newspaper published an article headlined: “The 426 People, Places and Things Trump Has Insulted on Twitter.” Arrayed alphabetically, it ranged from ABC News — “Fiction writers!”, “Fake News” — to Mort Zuckerman — “dopey,” “has a major inferiority complex,” “dopey clown.”
But Trump also attacked John McCain. A Navy pilot during the Vietnam War, McCain was shot down over Hanoi, captured and tortured. He served 5 1/2 years in a prison camp, two of them in solitary confinement.
Trump, who dodged service in Vietnam through a medical deferment for “bone spurs” (bone spurs that did not keep Trump from skiing), was not impressed with McCain.
“He’s not a war hero,” Trump said. “He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured…. I think John McCain’s done very little for the veterans. I’m very disappointed in John McCain.”
What? Outrageous! Repellent! Disgusting!
Surely now Trump was through. Before he just had been a creepy goof. But now things would change. Politico’s story on Trump’s McCain attack began, “Donald Trump might finally have crossed the line.”
But he hadn’t. When it came to Trump, there was no line to cross.
And this drove the media crazy. The New York Times probably set a modern day record for venom when it wrote of Trump in an editorial on Jan. 12 of this year: “Remember, Mr. Trump is not just racist, ignorant, incompetent and undignified. He’s also a liar.”
Trump ran on a platform, if anything so rickety could be called that, of being a master negotiator. He could make a deal with anyone. “Deals are my art form,” he wrote in his best-selling book, “The Art of the Deal.”
So in his first major deal as president — a budget deal that would keep the government running even when it had no budget — Trump failed. There was no deal and very little evidence that Trump cared.
After all, Trump had other problems to swat away, like the $130,000 deal his people had reached with a porn star to shut up about his affair with her a few months after the birth of his son in 2006.
And then there was the wall. Remember the wall? Trump was going to build a border wall, and it now looked like it would cost a staggering $21.6 billion or, in Washington terms, one and a half aircraft carriers.
Master deal maker Trump wanted Congress to vote for the funds to pay for the wall.
Except, wait. Didn’t Trump promise that Mexico would pay for the wall?
But Mexico was refusing to pay. Some deal. Some deal maker.
There are those who say Trump came to power because his opponents did not take him seriously.
But Hillary Clinton took him seriously.
“Donald Trump’s ideas aren’t just different — they are dangerously incoherent,” Clinton said in a June 2016 speech in San Diego. “They’re not really ideas, just a series of bizarre rants, personal feuds and outright lies…. He is trying to scam America the way he scammed all those people at Trump U.”
But even though Hillary got more votes than Trump, he slithered into office via the Electoral College.
Trump’s next deal could be very, very big. He is going to be questioned by a special counsel investigating possible criminal acts committed by members of the Trump administration, including Trump himself.
“I’m looking forward to it, actually,” Trump said Wednesday.
So are the rest of us.
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