Trump Ignores the First Rule of Holes

As virtually everyone condemns him for his appalling attack on John McCain, Donald Trump is, true to form, not backing down but doubling down. On ABC on Sunday morning, he tried to make it all about caring for veterans, which is just an attempt to change the subject, and said he thinks it will help him in the campaign:

RADDATZ: So let me just get this clear. You are not apologizing. And you are certainly not pulling out of the race as some of your opponents have suggested.

TRUMP: Of course they’d love to have me do that because I’m leading the pack. I’m certainly not pulling out; I’m leading and I’m leading in many states. North Carolina just came in; I’m way in the lead there. Nevada, as I said, just came in. I’m way in the lead there. And, interestingly, in Nevada, I lead in Hispanics by a tremendous — the Hispanics, I’m way into the 30s with Hispanics. Which I said, if I get the nomination, if I run for president, I will win the Hispanic vote, because I’ll be able to take jobs back from China, jobs back from Japan and Mexico, and everybody else that’s ripping us off on trade. And everybody knows that. And I will win the Hispanic vote.

RADDATZ: So you think this will actually help you? This is involving veterans and you heard what I said about those veterans groups. You still think this will help you in the polls?

TRUMP: I believe that I will do far more for veterans than John McCain has done for many, many years, with all talk no action. He’s on television all the time, talking, talking. Nothing gets done. You look at what’s happening to our veterans — they’re being decimated, OK. So I will do far more for veterans than anybody. I’ll be able to build them new hospitals, I’ll be able to build them care centers. I’ll be able to help the veterans.

John McCain has failed. Because all you have to do is take a look — what you report on all the time, take a look at the scandal at the Veterans’ Administration and the disastrous conditions under which our veterans have to live. And believe me, I built, with a small group, the Vietnam Memorial in downtown Manhattan. I know what it is to help people and I know what it is to help veterans.

As David Kurts at Talking Points Memo put it, he won’t back down because he can’t back down. It just isn’t who he is:

From that clumsy pivot came a Facebook post and a series of tweets, all in which Trump seems to try to be yelling ever more loudly over the din of condemnation from his fellow candidates and from his own party for having savaged McCain.

The he-man brand Trump has built for himself and which is at the root of his appeal doesn’t allow him to apologize or recant or soften. Trump thrives on these confrontations, and they are what define him to his for-the-moment supporters. He can only get louder and more over the top. He later took a shot at Mitt Romney, too, because like McCain, he is a loser to Obama. Losers both.

And as the Washington Post points out, Trump endorsed McCain in 2008 and accompanied it with a lecture about how no one shows any respect anymore:

It’s worth noting that Trump endorsed McCain during the latter’s 2008 bid for the presidency. At the time, Trump said that McCain was “a man worthy of respect.” He continued: “And this country no longer has respect. What we need more than anything else is just that word: Respect.”

This is Donald Trump. This is why I predicted the day that he announced his candidacy that his campaign will implode in a spectacular way. He has no advisers who can tell him to shut the fuck up and he wouldn’t listen to them if he did have them. He says whatever is on his mind and acts like a troll in an AOL chat room most of the time. And his ego will never allow him to admit that he’s wrong.

I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that Trump will end up running as an independent candidate once he’s bounced out of the Republican race. And that would be a very good thing for the Democrats.

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  • eric

    Trump is his own Baghdad Bob: whatever he says – in his own eyes – helps his campaign. Doesn’t matter how it polls or the response, every statement is a win, every utterance a success, regardless of what the result is.

  • Trebuchet

    It’s what I call CEO syndrome. The higher you get up the ladder, the harder it becomes to admit mistakes; until you can’t do it at all and come to believe you’ve never made one. There was a quite amazing press conference in which GW Bush was asked repeatedly to name a mistake, any mistake, he’d ever made in his life and was unable to do so. Bill Clinton, of course, suffered from the same syndrome.

  • John Hinkle

    @2

    Wasn’t it Dubya who once admitted “mistakes were made”? Obviously not that he made them.

    They made themselves.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    I’d say there’s a pretty good chance that Trump will end up running as an independent candidate once he’s bounced out of the Republican race. And that would be a very good thing for the Democrats.

    Would it? Trump is so great that he’d take the Democrat’s Base, too, and if he takes just 25% of each party’s voters that, like, 50% of the vote.* Add in Trump’s own vote for Trump and Trump is guaranteed to win the election.

     

    * Math provided by TrumpMath Inc, LLC. TrumpMath: The Greatest, Best and Classiest Math for People Who Aren’t Losers.®

  • colnago80

    In some fairness, the Donald did bring up in his initial remarks on the subject that, in his considered opinion, McCain and the current ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, Bernie Sanders, had done zippo about the scandals in the Veterans Administration.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    TRUMP: I believe that I will do far more for veterans than John McCain has done for many, many years, with all talk no action. He’s on television all the time, talking, talking. Nothing gets done. You look at what’s happening to our veterans — they’re being decimated, OK. So I will do far more for veterans than anybody. I’ll be able to build them new hospitals, I’ll be able to build them care centers. I’ll be able to help the veterans.

    He’s got something of a point there, in that McCain likes to praise veterans for their service, but has done very little to help them – because it would cost money. So – how is Trump going to pay for these new hospitals and care centers? By raising taxes?

  • abb3w

    @2, Trebuchet

    It’s what I call CEO syndrome.

    Looks to me like basic Social Dominance Orientation per Sidanius, perhaps with a smattering of Henrich’s work on Dominance versus Prestige.

  • Randomfactor

    “mistakes were made”?

    Yeah, in 2000 and again in 2004. Leading to an incompetent being in office when the fit hit the shan.

  • Michael Heath

    Trebuchet writes:

    It’s what I call CEO syndrome. The higher you get up the ladder, the harder it becomes to admit mistakes; until you can’t do it at all and come to believe you’ve never made one. There was a quite amazing press conference in which GW Bush was asked repeatedly to name a mistake, any mistake, he’d ever made in his life and was unable to do so. Bill Clinton, of course, suffered from the same syndrome.

    Your two illustrative anecdotes refer to political executives, not CEOs.

    Do you have any empirical findings that reveal what you claim here is an attribute of CEOs?

  • busterggi

    You forget – cognitive dissonance is a virtue to conservatives.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    colnago80 “In some fairness, the Donald did bring up in his initial remarks on the subject that, in his considered opinion, McCain and the current ranking member of the Armed Services Committee, Bernie Sanders, had done zippo about the scandals in the Veterans Administration.”

    To you mean besides everything that they did do (or tried to)?

  • Synfandel

    Reginald Selkirk @6 asked:

    So – how is Trump going to pay for these new hospitals and care centers? By raising taxes?

    It’s simple. Trump will make the Mexicans pay for the fence and make the veterans pay for the hospitals.

  • abb3w

    If he stopped digging, he’d never get a supersonic ballistic intraplaneary subway transport to China built; and what kind of businessman would that make him?

  • Trebuchet

    @9: Seriously? How about D. Trump, for a starter. He’s a business tycoon, not a politician. You can add in pretty much all of the big cheeses in the company I worked for, quick to claim credit but to blame the unions for everything that went wrong. Which was almost always because of them making promises that couldn’t be kept.

    Then there’s Jack Welch and all of his accolytes.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    He’s a business tycoon, not a politician.

    He’s an entertainer, not a tycoon.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    You’re all wrong. He’s a floor wax and a dessert topping.

  • noe1951

    ” I’ll be able to build them new hospitals, I’ll be able to build them care centers. I’ll be able to help the veterans.”

    What a bag of hot air. He could already do this, AND move jobs from China and Mexico back to the states (what about the companies making his brand clothing?). I haven’t seen any action from him…either..

  • Hoosier X

    colnago seems to as knowledgeable on Bernie Sanders as he is on Iran.

  • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

    Wasn’t it Dubya who once admitted “mistakes were made”?

    I can’t positively deny that Bush ever said it, but you may be thinking of what’s possibly the most famous Presidential usage of that phrase, which was Reagan’s:

    On January 27, 1987, U.S. President Ronald Reagan used the phrase in the State of the Union Address while discussing contacts with Iran in what came to be known as the arms-for-hostages scandal within the Iran-Contra affair. He said, in part: “And certainly it was not wrong to try to secure freedom for our citizens held in barbaric captivity. But we did not achieve what we wished, and serious mistakes were made in trying to do so. We will get to the bottom of this, and I will take whatever action is called for.”

  • colnago80

    Re Hoosier X @ #18

    Hey, I was only citing what Trump is saying. In no way, shape, form, or regard am I agreeing with it.

  • colnago80

    Laugh it up, Trump is now leading the pack amongst the Rethuglicans.

    http://goo.gl/HfLP6k

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    Trump is getting away with it because a) he’s attacking someone who’s already been on his way out to pasture for years, and b) yes, the person he’s attacking really IS a “loser,” both by electoral standards (he lost an election) and by intra-party-ideological-dispute standards (he’s someone the party’s base never really trusted).

    Same goes for Romney: he’s blatantly saying what many Republicans have been more tactfully saying for years. And no one in the Republican “establishment” will ever really take an effective stand against Trump, because none of them have any real accomplishments of their own to hold up against Trump’s fake businesslike toughness.

    And not many people on the left will take an effective stand against him either, because we’ve always thought McCain and Romney were spineless poseurs too.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    And besides, which national-level Republicans ever showed more REAL respect or support for either our troops or our veterans than Trump is now showing? They all love to hide behind the trouser-legs of Our Brave Men and Women In Uniform, and keep on accusing everyone else of demonizing and spitting on our armed forces; but what have they really done either to keep our armed forces ready for the next fight, or to give our veterans the help and support they need when they come home from the last fight?

  • Nick Gotts

    when the fit hit the shan. – Randomfactor@8

    I recently came across the following from wikipedia on Roger Zelazny’s novel Lord of Light:

    George R. R. Martin (who later reused the names “Lord of Light” and “Sam” for major characters in A Song of Ice and Fire), describes in his afterword to Lord of Light how Zelazny once told him that the entire novel sprang from a single pun (or spoonerism): Then the fit hit the Shan.

    Was this discussed here, or is your use of the phrase coincidental, Randomfactor?

  • Nick Gotts

    Ever since the 1980s I’ve had the suspicion that we’re living in a science fiction storyline (AIDS, ozone layer, collapse of USSR, climate change, jihadis..). If Donald Trump gets elected I’ll know the sub-genre: black comedy.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    And let’s stop pretending Trump’s blatant disrespect for McCain’s military record is at all unusual. Remember how Bush Jr’s people treated the war-hero during the Y2K Republican primaries?

  • colnago80

    Re Nick Gotts @ #25

    If Donald Trump gets elected I’ll know the sub-genre: black comedy.

    Well, terrorist apologist Jeremy Corbyn ain’t exactly a paragon either.l

    http://goo.gl/5SJc2i

  • Nick Gotts

    colnago80@27,

    You forgot to mention Nostradamus and Neville Obama.

  • colnago80

    Re Nick Gotts @ #28

    Yawn.