It also has a
bit lot to do with his projected veneer of narcissism that is itself a lifelong cover for an incredibly fragile, emotionally insecure, and probably psychologically disturbed inner self. In any event, that is pretty much the only rational conclusion to draw from McKay Coppins’ must-read piece on the would-be orange god-king, over at BuzzFeed.
Looking back on [the 2011 White House Correspondents’ Dinner at which Trump was a frequent butt of jokes], Favreau and Lovett told me they were torn about having added weight to the chip on Trump’s shoulder “I really don’t take any pleasure in Trump being the nominee, sincerely, even if it means they lose,” Lovett said. “If only we hadn’t made that joke, maybe we’d have peace in our time.” …
Trump told me that Romney and his advisers were simply “afraid of me”—worried about how much less presidential Mitt would look compared to him. But people close to Trump said he has never stopped seething over the campaign’s [2012 Republican] convention snubs. “They treated him like s**t,” said one confidante…
While other 2016 contenders carefully strategized over how to bag billionaire mega-donors—from the Koch brothers to Paul Singer—Trump simply assumed that his status as a financial peer would do all the selling necessary, two of his former aides told me. But when he tried making his appeals to them, he was spurned—sometimes in humiliating fashion. To woo Sheldon Adelson, for instance, Trump mailed the Jewish casino magnate a booklet containing glossy photos of himself being honored at a recent Jewish gala in New York. “Sheldon, no one will be a bigger friend to Israel than me!” he wrote on it. Apparently unmoved by this gesture, Adelson instead took a liking to others such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio…
One morning in early June, [former assistant Sam] Nunberg recalled, he was sitting in Trump Tower as his boss read that day’s New York Post. There was a column by conservative writer Jonah Goldberg gleefully ridiculing the Apprentice star’s 2016 prospects. “He’s a more plausible candidate than, say, Honey Boo Boo,” it read, “but that’s mostly because of constitutional age limits.” When Trump finished, he set the paper down quietly on his desk.
“Why don’t they respect me, Sam?” Trump asked….
“I don’t know what’s going to happen in this election,” [Nunberg] recalled telling Trump. “But no matter what, they’re gonna write about it a hundred years from now. And they’re never gonna be able to say you didn’t run.”
Trump adopted this as a kind of mantra in those final, anxious days before entering the race. “They’re never gonna say I didn’t run,” he recited to one aide after another. “They’re never gonna say I didn’t run.” …
“I started off in a small office with my father in Brooklyn and Queens,” Trump said. “And my father said … ‘Donald, don’t go into Manhattan. That’s the big leagues. We don’t know anything about that. Don’t do it.’ I said, ‘I gotta go into Manhattan. I gotta build those big buildings. I gotta do it, Dad. I’ve gotta do it.’”
You really ought to read the whole thing, which paints the life portrait of a wildly unprincipled, shoot-from-the-hip opportunist with a lot of accompanying emotional and psychological baggage.
The Republican Party establishment, in 2016, will do all it possibly can to allow this disturbed man to become the leader of the free world. The GOP wants Donald Trump, who goes on racist rants against sitting federal judges, to decide the fate of the U.S. Supreme Court. The GOP wants Donald Trump, who calls Mexicans (and also international trade deals) “rapists,” complains about female debate moderators’ menstruation, calls his promiscuous Manhattan adulterer days his “personal Vietnam,” mocks disabled journalists, and obliquely alludes to his manhood on national television, to lead the party of “family values.” The GOP wants a man who peddles the worst of the far Left’s calumnies about “Bush lied and people died” 9/11 Trutherism to become the leader of the “peace through strength” Reaganite party. The GOP wants a man who actually thinks that judges sign bills—a man whose anti-constitutional strongman overtures are so very strong so as to make him the very demagogue the Founders feared—to become the face of the Party of the Lincoln. The party of abolitionism. The party of laissez-faire. The party of civil rights for blacks in the Jim Crow South. The party that won the Cold War by defeating Communism.
Yes, Erick is right: the GOP really is so blinded by Hillary-hatred—so heavily invested in the false “politics is sports” tribalist narrative—in 2016 that it almost certainly would go to bat for a truly evil man if that evil man found himself running against Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The Republican Party—the party with which I have been formally affiliated since the day I turned eighteen years old, on whose first great leader’s birthday I consider myself fortuitously blessed to have been born—has gone to Cleveland this week to die. The Resistance will do do what we can to staunch the bleeding, but it is difficult to stop a political party of sycophantic Branch Trumpidians hellbent on following their cult leader to a Jonestown-esque mass suicide.
There remains an escape hatch. If Republicans have any moral fortitude—indeed, if Republicans have any desire to continue to be a major political party in America, instead of becoming marginalized as a proto-fascist party of noxious white-identity politics—then they will make use of that escape hatch.