Revisiting Trump of the 90's

I forgot about this very long Vanity Fair profile of Donald and Ivana Trump by Marie Brenner in 1990. It's frightening how little he's changed, and how the media knew he was full of it but kept writing about him anyway.

I forgot about the wall he tried to build on the West Side of Manhattan to keep out the homeless:

On the Saturday of Donald Trump’s forty-fourth-birthday celebration, I tried to take a walk on the West Side yards above Lincoln Center in Manhattan. The railroad tracks were rusty, the land was overgrown. The property stretched on, block after block. .... The only sign of Trump was a high storm fence topped with elaborate curls of barbed wire to keep out the homeless people who live nearby. It was on this land, at the height of his megalomania, that Trump said he would erect “the tallest building in the world,” a plan which was successfully thwarted by neighborhood activists who were resistant to having parts of the West Side obscured in shadow.

“They have no power,” Trump said at the time, baffled that anyone would resist his grandiose schemes.


Brenner writes about Trump's economic condition at the time of his 44th birthday, which he celebrated with a party in Atlantic City:

Hundreds of casino employees had been told to be on the Boardwalk to greet him, since Manhattan boosters were in short supply. The day before, he had defaulted on $73 million owed to bondholders and bankers.

... Within days, the bankers agreed to give Trump $65 million to pay his bills. Much of his empire would probably have to be dismantled, but he would retain control. His personal allowance would now be $450,000 a month. “I can live with that,” Trump said. “ ...“This is a great victory. It’s a great agreement for everybody,” he said.

Not exactly. Trump’s bankers were said to be so upset at Trump’s balance sheet— he was reportedly over half a billion dollars in the hole—that they demanded he sign over his future trust inheritance to secure the new loans. Trump’s father, who had created him by helping him achieve his first deals, now seemed to be rescuing him again. “Total bullsh*t,” Trump told me. “I have been given five years by the banks. The banks would never have asked me for my future inheritance, and I would never have given it.”

The last incident in the article takes place at the federal courthouse the day Trump testified as a defendant in a civil case against him and his contractor for hiring undocumented Polish workers and paying them peanuts.

Along with his contractor, Trump had been accused of hiring scores of illegal Polish aliens to do the demolition work on the Trump Tower site. “The Polish brigade,” as they came to be called, had been astonishingly exploited on the job, earning four dollars an hour for work that usually paid five times that.

...Trump had said that he knew nothing about the demolitions, that his contractor had been “a disaster.” Yet one F.B.I. informant testified that he had warned Trump of the presence of the Polish brigade and had told him that if he didn’t get rid of them his casino license might not be granted.

Brenner muses:

I thought about the ten years since I had first met Donald Trump. ....Trump became more than a vulgarian. .... Trump appeared to believe that his money gave him a freedom to set the rules. No one stopped him. His exaggerations and baloney were reported, and people laughed. His bankers showered him with money. City officials almost allowed him to set public policy by erecting his wall of concrete on the Hudson River. New York City, like the bankers from the Chase and Manny Hanny, allowed Trump to exist in a universe where all reality had vanished.

Brenner ends the article quite presciently, with an account of her visit to the press room at the courthouse after his testimony (he had already gone.) Keep in mind this was published in Vanity Fair in September, 1990.

I wandered down to the pressroom on the fifth floor to hear about Trump’s testimony. The reporters sounded weary; they had heard it all before. “Goddamn it,” one shouted at me, “we created him! We bought his bullsh*t! He was always a phony, and we filled our papers with him!”

But read the whole thing. It covers his life, his family history, his marriages and children, with more than a few outrageous moments. For example, Brenner describes a dinner party Trump and Ivana attended a few months before their split. He kept telling all the guests he had been on Larry King Live that day. He had told King on the air King had bad breath.

He had been belligerent to King that night, and he wanted the guests to see him, perhaps to confirm his powers. “Do you mind if I sit back a little? Because your breath is very bad—it really is,” he had told Larry King on national TV.

Then there's Ivana. Despite being described by her lawyer as having Stockholm syndrome from Donald, it's hard not to laugh at loud at this:

Soon after Trump Tower was completed, the Trumps took possession of their triplex. Ivana’s lawyers often talk about her love of the domestic arts and describe her homemade jams and jellies. Yet the kitchen of her city apartment, which she designed, is tiny, no more than a kitchenette, tiled with gold linoleum. “The children’s wing has a kitchen, and that is where the nanny cooks,” a friend said. The Trump living room has a beige onyx floor with holes carved out to fit the carpets. There is a waterfall cascading down a marble wall, an Italianate fountain, and the famous murals. Their bedroom had a glass wall filled with arrangements of silk flowers. After a time, Ivana tired of the décor. She called in a renowned decorator. “What can I do with this interior?” she reportedly asked him. “Absolutely nothing,” he said.

In 2015, Vanity Fair followed up with these 7 "takeaways" from Brenner's article.

More prescience: Richard Cohen's article in the Washington Post in 2011, iThe Comeback Huckster, about Trump's potential presidential bid, recalling Brenner's Vanity Fair article:

In 1990, Trump was mired in debt. Some of his important real estate ventures were under water and his marriage was coming apart. He was carrying on a very public extramarital affair with Marla Maples, whom he later married and still later divorced. The Vanity Fair article, punctiliously reported over a period of months by Marie Brenner, captured Trump in all his flamboyant egocentrism. He refers to himself often in the third person (”Trump says . . . Trump believes”).

He is bombastic, sometimes cruel, utterly domineering and not in the least bit fastidious about the truth. He exaggerates his exaggerations, which is an occupational failing in the real estate business, where every building is 100 percent rented and all basements are dry.

And yet, like Melville’s whale or Spielberg’s shark, he keeps coming, coming, coming. His TV show thrives. His real estate empire survives. In this city, I look out my hotel window as I write this column. Before me is a huge box of bling. The desert sun enflames the name at the top: “T-R-U-M-P” in bold gold letters. It spells BEWARE!

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    Interesting quote (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by Ga6thDem on Sat May 07, 2016 at 09:18:34 AM EST
    in the article: "Donald believes in the theory of the big lie" Of course, that makes him the perfect GOP nominee.

    "Ivana's lawyers often talk about (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 07, 2016 at 11:59:21 AM EST
    ... her love of the domestic arts and describe her homemade jams and jellies."

    There is so much dissonance in that single sentence.

    Great read - thanks Jeralyn. (5.00 / 3) (#3)
    by desertswine on Sat May 07, 2016 at 12:28:15 PM EST

    Poking around the Donald's policy positions (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Mr Natural on Sat May 07, 2016 at 12:41:06 PM EST
    "I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal," Trump told CNBC. If the U.S. borrowed too much and invested its fresh cash in unproductive products, Trump would tell creditors to accept less than what he'd initially agreed to.  

    Another way to describe this plan: "I would default on the national debt." Except Trump also told CNBC that he wouldn't default on the debt, because advocating contradictory positions is part of his #brand.

    Bankruptcy is the plan, man...

    I don't think (none / 0) (#5)
    by TrevorBolder on Sat May 07, 2016 at 01:24:47 PM EST
    He quite grasped the difference between personal bankruptcy, and national bankruptcy.

    He'll get there


    You have more faith in him than I do (5.00 / 1) (#6)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat May 07, 2016 at 03:29:16 PM EST
    With faith in Trump, (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by christinep on Sat May 07, 2016 at 04:06:23 PM EST
    we could well jeopardize the ultimate US role and credibility since his bankrupt notions equating his business approach with his aspired to government practice lead directly to the loss of "full faith & credit." His cavalier business attitude means default and loss of full faith & credit.  

    in addition to Trumps stupidity (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by Molly Bloom on Sat May 07, 2016 at 04:57:00 PM EST
    many of Trumps supporters supported defaulting on the debt rather than raise the limits in the vain hope of ending Obamacare.  

    They don't care and (erroneously) believe the US is going to default eventually because of all the liberal spending, so to them it doesn't matter.


    What makes it silly is that most (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mr Natural on Mon May 09, 2016 at 08:51:29 AM EST
    of that debt we owe ourselves.  Trump's chucklehead hordes see the trillion in debt held by China and think, "wow, no downside, F'em."  

    Trump's voters are like that long ago ABC "Agony of defeat" skier tumbling uncontrolled into an economic abyss.  

    Watch it all on the Donald's Reality Show, "The Wide, Wide, World of Idiocy."  


    Mr. Nat , I met that guy (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by fishcamp on Mon May 09, 2016 at 11:00:55 AM EST
    that crashed in fear off the ski jump.  He was at an ABC Christmas party and recieved a longer louder standing O than Roone Arlege.  Japanese fellow.  That teaser opening changed weekly, but he always made th cut.

    My favorite part of that (5.00 / 2) (#8)
    by CaptHowdy on Sat May 07, 2016 at 04:10:06 PM EST
    Is still the Hitlers speeches on the bedside table part.  Later confirmed in an interview wth Donald himself.

    The most terrifying statement I've heard..... (5.00 / 1) (#23)
    by NYShooter on Sun May 08, 2016 at 07:25:42 PM EST
    Donald trump will begin receiving National Security briefings as soon as his candidacy is confirmed at the Convention.

    For a guy who didn't know what our nuclear triad was this news should scare the bejesus out of any sentient person alive.

    I know it's scaring the crap out of our senior military officials, and, those in charge of our security apparatus.

    You can forget every issue expected to be brought up in the coming campaign. The most important thing to consider, the thing that should propel Hillary to a historic landslide victory, is the nightmare threat of handing this ignorant, walking & talking disaster the existential means of ending life on the planet.

    This is a bit less frightening (none / 0) (#24)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 08, 2016 at 07:35:07 PM EST
    On further information.  I have seen widely what you said.  He will start receiving intelligence briefings.

    Not exactly.  He will, once he is actually nominated, receive ONE intelligence briefing.  I saw this being discussed somewhere.  Supposedly it usually last a couple of hours and is pretty vague.  It reveals nothing about sources and methods.

    Still, I agree it's pretty scary.  But IMO less scary than the implied idea he would start receiving regular in depth briefings.


    NYTimes (none / 0) (#25)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 08, 2016 at 07:42:12 PM EST
    But that overstates the information Mr. Trump will receive. After the party conventions and before the election, the major-party nominees for president and vice president receive only a one-time intelligence briefing about the state of the world.

    If the NYT (5.00 / 2) (#29)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 08, 2016 at 08:26:35 PM EST
    is right about that all I can say is WHEW!

    It is horrifying for (none / 0) (#27)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 08, 2016 at 08:03:30 PM EST

    DSM-5 criteria for narcissistic personality (5.00 / 1) (#30)
    by leap on Sun May 08, 2016 at 08:55:40 PM EST
    disorder include these features:

    -Having an exaggerated sense of self-importance
    -Expecting to be recognized as superior even without achievements that warrant it
    -Exaggerating your achievements and talents
    -Being preoccupied with fantasies about success, power, brilliance, beauty or the perfect mate
    -Believing that you are superior and can only be understood by or associate with equally special people
    -Requiring constant admiration
    -Having a sense of entitlement
    -Expecting special favors and unquestioning compliance with your expectations
    -Taking advantage of others to get what you want
    -Having an inability or unwillingness to recognize the needs and feelings of others
    -Being envious of others and believing others envy you
    -Behaving in an arrogant or haughty manner

    I heard an interview with a clinical psychologist, discussing Trump's personality, stressing as he has not met with him, cannot diagnose him. However, he outlined the features of narcissistic personality disorder noted above. One thing he did say is that it is one condition that is almost impossible to treat, as one needs to establish empathy between the patient and the specialist. People who have this personality definitively do not have empathy.

    Not sure what meds the Donald (none / 0) (#31)
    by fishcamp on Mon May 09, 2016 at 06:41:19 AM EST
    may be taking, but there are recent reports that many common over the counter drugs may cause dementia.  I'm not liking this since I take the generic form of the stomach acid reducer Prilosec, which is on that list.  Granted they say there's a 44% possible likely hood of this affecting people over 75, and it hasn't been proven.  Some heart medications are in this category as well.  This relatively new aspect of some drugs is worrisome.  Which drugs will be next on the dementia list?  

    Omeprazole (Prisolsec) (5.00 / 1) (#43)
    by KeysDan on Mon May 09, 2016 at 12:18:20 PM EST
    may bring risks other than dementia (see the Captain's link on this subject).  An important one, particularly relevant in the case of A-fib patients (A subject I recall you mentioning awhile back)is stroke--about a four fold increase.  While still a small risk, in and of itself, it may be an additive risk in arrhythmias  since the major goal for the pharmacological treatment of that condition is the prevention of stroke.

    Unless endoscopy has indicated that the GERD involves Barrett's Esophagus, Omeprazole is probably not necessary. (Barrett's occurs in about 5% of the cases. It is a chronic inflammation that changes the tissue lining of the esophagus to more like that of the intestines; such a change suggests increased risk of esophageal cancer.)

     Ranitidine (Zantac) or Famotidine (Pepcid), which have a mechanism of action different from Omeprazole, should control the acid reflux. Or, even the old-fashioned Tums or baking soda for quick action (although easy on the baking soda, due to the sodium).  


    Can't speculate (5.00 / 1) (#47)
    by KeysDan on Mon May 09, 2016 at 02:15:34 PM EST
    on what medications Trump might be on; but it would be irresponsible not to speculate that Trump is off his meds.

    Thanks for this (none / 0) (#32)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 09, 2016 at 07:29:11 AM EST
    I was ignorant of any of this and I also take generic Prilosec.  After reading the bad news I may not take it any more.   Oddly I ran out a few days ago and had not gotten around to resupplying.  I would have Coen that today.  I think not.  More oddly I have not been experiencing any particular reflux problem.

    I think I will see how it goes.  Or start treating it in other ways.


    FWIW, fishcamp, there have been no signs of (none / 0) (#33)
    by Mr Natural on Mon May 09, 2016 at 08:42:55 AM EST
    dementia in any of your posts.  Nor in yours either, CaptHowdy.

    Hmmm (none / 0) (#35)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 09, 2016 at 10:30:14 AM EST
    Maybe we should vote

    Seriously tho (none / 0) (#36)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 09, 2016 at 10:36:43 AM EST
    It's not just dementia.  There are LOTS of suspected side effects of PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) which sounds like something Marvin would have on the shelf next his Space Modulator and Cyclon 6 Flux Inhibitor.


    not sure how I missed this but my heartburn is reall not that bad.


    I was being jerked out of my sleep (none / 0) (#37)
    by jondee on Mon May 09, 2016 at 11:00:39 AM EST
    two or three times a week by severe reflux episodes, and following the advice of a Sicilian friend of mine started taking two table spoons of extra virgin olive oil a day and it completely eliminated my reflux problem.

    I don't know how it works, but it defiantly worked. Probably something to do with the whole acid/base dynamic..


    Do you just fill measuring spoon (5.00 / 1) (#41)
    by caseyOR on Mon May 09, 2016 at 11:22:06 AM EST
    with EVOO and swallow? Or do you mix it in with food?

    I took a PPI for years and my reward was osteoporosis in my 50s. Yes, those drugs screw up one's calcium, and calcium is pretty important to building and maintaining strong bones.

    I stopped cold turkey when I learned about the bone troubles. I still have some episodes of reflux, but never at night thanks to my purchase of an adjustable bed. I keep my head elevated while sleeping and sleep through the night.

    There are so many types of adjustable beds at many price points now. Tempurpedic is no longer the only game in town. One of the best purchases I ever made.


    I could easily eat (none / 0) (#42)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 09, 2016 at 12:01:54 PM EST
    Several tablespoons with some good bread.  That was my plan.  Can't see why it would matter.

    Olive oil is (none / 0) (#44)
    by KeysDan on Mon May 09, 2016 at 12:34:55 PM EST
    an old-timer in the relief of gastric reflux symptoms.  It can be taken just by swallowing or, if that can't be tolerated, by use in cooking--replacing other oils, butter, etc.  Olive oil decreases the acid produced by the stomach; be sure to use virgin olive oil rather than the cheaper oils--the more processed, the more the therapeutic contents are reduced.

    For ginger fans: Fresh gingers works well (none / 0) (#45)
    by christinep on Mon May 09, 2016 at 12:55:01 PM EST
    Thanks for the tip (none / 0) (#39)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 09, 2016 at 11:05:02 AM EST
    I already eat lots of EVO.  If more is needed it will be easy.

    Jondee, that's a good tip (none / 0) (#40)
    by fishcamp on Mon May 09, 2016 at 11:18:01 AM EST
    that I believe and I'm sure Zorba would approve.  My wizard pharmacist said Pepcid over the counter are 10 mg., but they make prescription 20's and 40's.  I'm looking into those.

    One of the problems with sever acid reflux is the breakdown and destruction of the lower esophagus, which can lead to Barret's Disease and can then go to cancer.  While the side effects of ppi's are evolving, cancer is still worse.  That 44% possible dementia likelihood is for people over 75 years old, and they haven't proven it yet.


    Trump begins his pivot (none / 0) (#10)
    by Mr Natural on Sun May 08, 2016 at 01:13:25 PM EST
    WASHINGTON, May 8 (Reuters) - U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said on Sunday he is open to raising taxes on wealthy Americans, backing off his prior proposal to reduce taxes on all Americans.

    "I am willing to pay more, and you know what, the wealthy are willing to pay more.

    "By the time it gets negotiated, it's going to be a different plan," Trump told ABC. He emphasized in interviews with both ABC and in a separate interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" that his priorities were lowering taxes on the middle class and businesses.

    "The middle class has to be protected," Trump told NBC. "The rich are probably going to end up paying more."

    He also is now (none / 0) (#11)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 08, 2016 at 01:42:40 PM EST
    Suddenly open to raising the minimum wage.  He made the rounds this morning and was asked about, and defended, both of those reversals.  Pretty deftly I thought.

    Deftly, (none / 0) (#12)
    by FlJoe on Sun May 08, 2016 at 02:04:04 PM EST
    In the same sentence with Trump does not work for me, any other politician who did this would be crucified for being a serial flip flopper.

    Sorry it doesn't work for you (none / 0) (#13)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 08, 2016 at 02:19:14 PM EST
    But that's the word I would have used for any politician.  He was asked pretty aggressively about flip flopping and didn't get prickly or defensive.  He explained in reasonably terms why after traveling the country for months and talking to lots of voters he changed his mind.

    It was deft.  Bullsh!t spin   But deftly done.  Sorry.


    I believe deft works (none / 0) (#14)
    by KeysDan on Sun May 08, 2016 at 03:33:05 PM EST
    for most of his campaign.  Trump has been skillful and clever in his demagoguery to a much greater extent than say, Mittens was, in his clumsy and witless attempts at trickery and deceit.

     AS Frank Bruni (NYT, May 8, 2016) opines in "Sex and the Singular POl,"  Trump has deployed his vulgarity and carnal conquests as the corner-stone of his can-do braggadocio. Whereas, other candidates (and presidents) have admitted or denied nothing, or avoided everything, Trump has exploded these paradigms and torched pieties. Not as a sex-positive progressive, but as a retro-rascal--a puff of musky nostalgia. Crass en mass.

    Ted Cruz's Indiana reminder that Trump was a proud, serial philanderer was greeted by Republican primary voters as, ...well, just Trump's firmly held belief.  Sort of a twist on his slogan: Get America Laid Again.

    Trump, I would say, deftly, unmasked the pious family values preachers and their flocks for the prime concerns of his supporters:  A superficial make-over on social issues: opposing abortion, grudging on gay marriage, and Hallelujahs to the dead Scalia.  That was enough assurance to permit the real focus to be on the popular campaign core, racism and nativism.  Deftly done, for the plurality of the Republican primary show goers. Now, how will it play at the Palace.


    Deftly (5.00 / 3) (#16)
    by FlJoe on Sun May 08, 2016 at 04:56:56 PM EST
    like a frigging sledge hammer.

    Deftly stated (none / 0) (#15)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 08, 2016 at 04:49:48 PM EST
    Ryan, Graham, Romney, the Bush clan and the others do not have a problem with Donald Trump.

    They have a problem with the republican base.  The base they created.   The base they have manipulated and played tricks on for election cycle after election cycle.  Whipping up their ugliest and worst inclinations to their own purposes and then snickering at their gullibility as they ignore promise after promise.  Again and again.  Excited over and over with no release the blue balls of the base have finally burst and out came Donald Trump in an frenzied orgasm of xenophobia and white nationalism.  And the pious high priests of the republican establishment are clutching their pearls in horror at the awful mess on the carpet and telling the base they have SINNED.   They ain't buyin it.
     After telling them that, for the hood of the party, they had to fall in line for Dole and McCain and Romney and even Bush they are now being told it their turn to fall in line,  to push pull or get the fu@k outta the way.


    The entertainer and more? (none / 0) (#17)
    by christinep on Sun May 08, 2016 at 05:06:45 PM EST
    I also agree that Trump has been quite deft/adept and one step ahead.  A fast mover, like the hare in The Tortoise & The Hare.

    Your references to how Donald Trump dove right into braggadocio sex and coupled that talk with strength got me to thinking about the calculation he may have made, over the months, about the risks and/or payoffs of pushing the edge in a brash, vulgar, bravado style.  Certainly, it is no secret that numbers of people who chafed under what they viewed as excessive PC & who may have felt powerless to control most things in life seemed to have applauded his approach.  Yet, I think there might be something more going on.

    Just a thought: Could Trump's seemingly unbound braggadocio--in all aspects & exploits of life--be precisely what is gathering in his adherents to date. What if the people screaming, shouting, and pumping fists at Trump events actually do feel powerless and maybe even like the "losers" he rails against? What a pretext for strength that gives those who would wrap themselves in his bragging proud talk!  On top of that, the attraction is a variation of the Bad Boy ... in film (Clint Eastwood's character beginning with the stylized spaghetti-westerns through the make-my-day challenge), in literature (19th century Russian novelist Lermontov with his idolized characterization of the Anti-Hero ... btw, my favorite), and in politics from time to time (the "Bring it on" simple, daring of a W, most recently.)  

    What do I know about Anti-Heroes? Not much, other than to feel that--if done with flair--that persona can have a strong initial magnetism.  In the Trump case, think about the excerpts from those impressed by him for the supposed reasons that he is direct, "telling it like it is," owes nothing to anyone, etc.  To me, that's hogwash, obviously.  So ... that is where his entertainment training & background take over.  The bottom-line becomes: Can the Entertainer-Pol be shown for what he is OR will his speed keep him in front awhile longer? How will the entertainment con be exposed ... or can it be in this day when straightforward entertainment governs so much of our lives.  (Note: And here I am, a perpetual fan of "Survivor," the original hit "reality" show ... yeah, the season is down to 5 as it moves to the season's winner.  I promise to let you know should I begin to have difficulty distinguishing our general election process with "reality" TV.)


    Yes, Trump's (5.00 / 1) (#19)
    by KeysDan on Sun May 08, 2016 at 05:35:33 PM EST
    unbound braggadocio seems part and parcel of Trumpism.  He loves the poorly educated and loser base; and they love everything about him.  Trump and his base share an ignorance of government.  They hold, in common, too, the fact that neither he nor they have ever held an elected office. But, they have a lot of ideas about it all. Run it like a business.  And, run it like a country club they saw in the movies. No free stuff for those people.

     It is unsurprising, too, that little outrage is registered by the holiness crowd with a running mate suggestion such as Gingrich. Between them, they have had six wives, matching Henry VIII. Albeit, these ladies have enjoyed a more pleasant fate.   As long as Trump maintains the racist and nativist core of his campaign, he is their man. Polices can easily be flip flopped when they are fluid to start.


    Capt. and KeysDan: A mix? (none / 0) (#20)
    by christinep on Sun May 08, 2016 at 06:24:31 PM EST
    Since I have no idea what makes Trump--other than various speculations--I find that both of your statements make sense to me.

     The Captain's discussion about the probability that this persona is Trump's real self has a lot of draw to me IF looked at as a person who has incorporated a number of "selves" over the years so that the line between the this-is-who-I've-always-been has merged with the role of the dealer and showman ... and, that no one (not even him) can tell the difference. That is very scary, especially looking at the ever-changing inconsistent boasts.

    KeysDan's point about the ignorance of government that Trump shows makes the situation even scarier then because Trump seems to rebuke advice from anyone other than himself.  A kind of Know Nothingism.  KeysDan also mentions the many wives of the Trump-Gingrich combo ... and recognizing the implication of glass houses, nonetheless, Donald Trump appears to be barreling along the losing arc of a Gingrich in 1998.  

    At this middling juncture, my instinct says: (1) I honestly believe that Trump has more than a problem with women that will translate to unrecoverable loss with women voters.  Whether it is a time warp or miscalculation, the nicest way to put it is that the reality or the act or both of Donald Trump when it comes to women voters will be a bigger bite out of his butt than anyone has written of to date. Braggadocio and Bad Boy Anti-Hero or not, he appears to be taking that demographic on the same kind of trajectory as he has brought about with Hispanic voters. (2) While I continue to think that humor directed at whatever persona he is--when coupled with smart ridicule--is quite effective, to unmask whatever persona he is in order to reveal a mean or malevolent & totally self-benefitting streak (say, the Trump University bit) may be a real awakener for those who bought the he-tells-it-like-it-is routine.  Should it be discovered via his business dealings that "mendacious" fit him, that changes everything.  I still suspect that may be so.


    FWIW (none / 0) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 08, 2016 at 06:46:04 PM EST
    I still think Donald will lose.  And better and possibly more importantly I believe he will be a down ticket disaster.  

    But a troubling gnat buzzing around that certainty is the fact that when he rode down the escalator he was polling, like, 10 with republicans and everyone laughed.  They have stopped laughing.


    This (none / 0) (#18)
    by CaptHowdy on Sun May 08, 2016 at 05:31:53 PM EST
    got me to thinking about the calculation he may have made, over the months, about the risks and/or payoffs of pushing the edge

    I think I honestly wish I believed this.  I don't.  I get the feeling very little calculation was involved.  Since Indiana Trump himself has all but admitted he never expected to win we he got in.  Meaning what many people thought, that he was really just trying to raise his profile, was probably right.  And the facts support this.  That he never assembled a team the way serious politicians do.  The way he just walks onto the stage and speaks off the cuff.

    Which leads to what IMO is a far more frightening prospect.   That he is just doing what he does and he is the perfect vessel for what has poured out of the lanced boil of his rallys.  That he is, in fact, a man whose time has come.

    To me that possiblilty is the most terrifying thing imaginable.  And something that for some reason occurred to me early in this process.

    In a discussion recently someone pointed out that the last person with as little experience in politics who ran for president was Eisenhower.  But it's different, they said.   He was a Great War hero.  And I thought Hummm, in the 50s the best masculine role model  was a war hero and so he was a perfect candidate for his time.  Its frighteningly possible that the best masculine role model for many in the early 21st century is a reality TV hero.  Coukd he be the perfect candidate for his time?

    Think about that.


    Well, he's certainly (none / 0) (#22)
    by Ga6thDem on Sun May 08, 2016 at 07:10:45 PM EST
    the perfect candidate for some people for sure. Exactly how many is yet an unknown. Chris Cilliza interviewed a GOP operative who says it's worth 160 EV's. We shall see.

    I have (none / 0) (#26)
    by FlJoe on Sun May 08, 2016 at 07:50:28 PM EST
    thought that Trumps has been winging it from day one. As far as I'm concerned he walked into a perfect storm of bitterness. The Republican base got hammered early last summer. First the racists started losing their precious flag because of the Charlestown shooting, them the bible thumpers took a hit with Obergefell and finally The Supremes ruled that Obama remained crammed down the throat of Tea partiers. These people were severly pissed off and when Trump started calling all of the Republican leaders stupid losers he earned all his "telling it like it is" cred. A cred that he never seems to lose among his core supporters.

    i dont feel he's winging it (none / 0) (#28)
    by linea on Sun May 08, 2016 at 08:22:05 PM EST
    trump seems to have been provided a platform designed to address middle-class issues and concerns such as the flooding of the country with cheap labor, h1b visa abuse, exporting jobs overseas, and the loss of good-paying facttory jobs.

    he occasionally makes a statement that runs counter to his platform (eg, work visas and importing cheap labor) and the campaign has to retract what he said.  that why i feel he was provided that platform.


    Trump's one-by-one approach (none / 0) (#46)
    by christinep on Mon May 09, 2016 at 01:06:48 PM EST
    to picking off and politically incapacitating the so-called leaders or spokespeople of his newfound party is rather methodical, imo.  Reflect first on the summer-fall process of elimination ... he focused, attacked, dangled bait, attacked again ala strong-arm "negotiation" in business acquisitions, stock-takeovers, etc.  Each caved rather quickly (except "lying Ted".)  

    Now, he focuses on a set of Repub elite with the recent zeroing in on Paul Ryan.  That domino game is interesting.  Will Ryan fold or will he be able to finesse?

    Should Ryan continue to hold out, Trump has met a bit of resistance that he either attempts to push over or go around.  The Tax Question is definitional for the Repubs in the past quarter century, after all.  Should Ryan fall in line quickly, Trump is free to focus--methodically--on party definition and purpose (televised in the most magnetic way) during the convention. One-by-one.

    Part method, part mad-man bargaining style, and part, um, unstable unpredictability.


    IMO (none / 0) (#48)
    by CaptHowdy on Mon May 09, 2016 at 02:49:27 PM EST
    Ryan's problems are more about the social safety net.  His whole career and political life has been about dismantling them.  Trump has said early and often no one will touch Social Security and Medicare.

    For Ryan that's the political equivalent of Satan worship.



    he's a "true-believer" (none / 0) (#49)
    by linea on Mon May 09, 2016 at 11:59:26 PM EST
    i agree!!

    per wiki, seems ryan is an ayn rand devotee.  it's not just about turning SocSec into another 401k to the glee of wall street.  for ryan, it's all about ushering in the long-awaited Libertarian Utopia where men are real men piloting starships with blasters strapped to their hips and where women wear tight spandex catsuits like in that Heinlein science fiction novel he read when he was sixteen years old.  yep.