Posted Tuesday morning, October 11, 2016.
Found this one from back in June adrift in the Twitter stream. It’s from shortly after he’d sewed up the nomination and was beginning to establish his pattern of following up a good day for him with a public meltdown. I’ve hauled it ashore and patched up some leaks with some consultation of the notebooks and am relaunching it because I’m kind of proud of it and, unfortunately, it's still relevant.
What would happen if Trump picked a popular, qualified vp, started talking only abt need to change DC, middle class, Hillary=status quo?— Mark Halperin (@MarkHalperin) June 19, 2016
People would start looking in his basement for the pod. https://t.co/yDOXZ8ZyQt— Lance Mannion (@LanceMannion) June 19, 2016
There’s been no presidential pivot. There’s not going to be a presidential pivot. There never was going to be a presidential pivot. The reason is simple. Donald Trump is never going to stop being Donald Trump.
Many members of the political press corps, not just the egregious Mark Halperin, still haven’t gotten their heads around this. Many who have still haven’t come to terms with it and don’t know how to continue to cover this election except in the same way they’ve covered past elections---badly and shallowly, as horseraces and performance art, focusing on personality and process and who’s up and who’s down in the polls today, ignoring issues and the candidates’ proposed policies as much as as possible and never, ever coming close to making a call as to who’s right and who’s wrong, whose policies would work and whose are unworkable, except when they can make it sound like the Democrat is wrong even when she’s right because, as we all know, she’s inauthentic. She’s not in touch with regular Americans and, never mind what she plans to do, she’s a terrible a candidate and people don’t like her. This has to be said over and over again, as if it’s a fact and not a self-defensive excuse. It has to be done for the sake of “balance” because God forbid anyone accuse journalists of having a liberal bias.
But Trump with all his awfulness, his shameless demagoguing, his constant, brazen, and borderline psychopathic lying, his racism, xenophobia, sexism, know-nothingism, and general hatefulness, makes covering this one like any other nearly impossible. What’s a poor objective journalist trying to describe his view from nowhere to do?
Pray he’ll change. Pray he’ll transform right before our eyes into a version of a Republican that doesn’t exist. That idealized avatar of Ronald Reagan whom too many members of the press corps pine nostalgically for. That genial, twinkly-eyed, fatherly moderate and pragmatist. The Reagan who didn’t mean anything he said. The Reagan who didn’t do his no small bit to help push the GOP farther to the ideological and racist right. The Reagan who didn’t try to sell an Us vs Them vision of America. The Reagan who didn’t blather about Welfare Queens and Young Bucks and how government wasn’t the answer it was the problem, government happening to be in our democracy how we all work together to make this that Shining City on a Hill he also blathered on about.
That Ronald Reagan.
That’s the one they want to take over Trump’s body and infuse it with something resembling a soul.
Only one way that’s going to happen. But I wouldn’t go searching in the basement any time soon.