Peggy Noonan contends that Trump persuaded Americans this week that he’s crazy.
I think this week marked a certain coming to terms with where the election is going. Politics is about trends and tendencies. The trends for Donald Trump are not good, and he tends not to change.
All the damage done to him this week was self-inflicted. The arrows heâ€™s taken are arrows he shot. We have in seven days witnessed his undignified and ungrateful reaction to a Gold Star family; the odd moment with the crying baby; the one-on-one interviews, which are starting to look like something he does in the grip of a compulsion, in which Mr. Trump expresses himself thoughtlessly, carelessly, on such issues as Russia, Ukraine and sexual harassment; the relitigating of his vulgar Megyn Kelly comments from a year ago; and, as his fortunes fell, his statement that he â€œwould not be surprisedâ€ if the November election were â€œrigged.â€ Subject to an unprecedented assault by a sitting president who called him intellectually and characterologically unfit for the presidency, Mr Trump fired backâ€”at Paul Ryan and John McCain.
The mad scatterbrained-ness of it was captured in a Washington Post interview with Philip Rucker in which five times by my countâ€”again, the compulsionâ€”Mr. Trump departed the meat of the interview to turn his head and stare at the television. On seeing himself on the screen: â€œLot of energy. We got a lot of energy.â€ Minutes later: â€œLook at this. Itâ€™s all Trump all day long. Thatâ€™s why their ratings are through the roof.â€ Heâ€™s all about screens, like a toddler hooked on iPad.
Mr. Trump spent all his time doing these things instead of doing his job: making the case for his policies, expanding on his stands, and taking the battle to Hillary Clinton.
By the middle of the week the Republican National Committee was reported to be frustrated, party leaders alarmed, donors enraged. There was talk of an â€œintervention.â€
Here is a truth of life. When you act as if youâ€™re insane, people are liable to think youâ€™re insane. Thatâ€™s what happened this week. People started to become convinced he was nuts, a total flake.
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