From "Mr. Trump’s Wild Ride/Down the homestretch with the impossible nominee" published in the NYT. I'm noticing it today because the author, Robert Draper, was a panelist on "Meet the Press" today.
I tried to find an image that would help us with that description "like a Habsburg patriarch in repose." Maybe:
On "Meet the Press," Chuck Todd said that the "Wild Ride" piece was "epic" and would "take days to finish reading," and Draper self-effacingly called his own piece "Unreadably long." Maybe the affectation of modesty works somehow as a criticism of Trump's braggadocio. And then poor meek Draper got scarcely any speaking time. And yet this enormous sentence did at one point emerge from his lips:
But I think instead what they'd like to do is imagine this sort of boastful CEO of a company that bears his own name becoming or assuming the moral mantle of responsibility of being a public servant, which obligates you to, among other things, learn about the world and learn about your own issues with more granularity than he has currently demonstrated.By the way, the NYT readers are livid about Draper's piece, if I may judge from the comments. Highest-rated:
Note to NYT: Stop, stop STOP!! plastering the front page with three or four articles about Donald Trump every single day. The media made him, and that includes you. Write about his rivals, and the issues, not about yourselves (the media). This is shameful non-journalism. Your readers expect and deserve better.Second-highest-rated:
It's increasingly disturbing to me that we can't even rely on the NYT to take a racist, sexist, ignorant bigot to task for his abhorrent views and statements. This piece glosses over it and continually normalizes and romanticizes him; a yuuge disservice to the American public.I'm fascinated by the concept of "normal" in relation to Trump. Have you noticed how hard many people — including Hillary — are working to frame Trump as non-normal?
Ah, yes, here's Hillary on that same "Meet the Press" episode. She was asked whether she was going to accept the invitation to debate Bernie Sanders before the California primary. She answered — infuriatingly — "You know, I haven't thought about it." How is that possible? That's an unforced lie.
And then she immediately — figure out this train of thought — segued to "But I think what's important is we're not going to let-- at least, my campaign is not going to let Donald Trump try to normalize himself in this period."
Todd pushed her a bit — "So you think a competitive Democratic primary is doing nothing but helping Donald Trump right now?" — and she went into a tirade about staying "focused on Donald Trump" in which she repeated this Trump-must-not-be-seen-as-normal meme:
"I do not want Americans... to start to believe that this is a normal candidacy."I feel like I can hear the behind-the-scenes brainstorming: Americas must not be allowed to begin to think that Trump is normal.
But how is that going to work? Is she not going to respond on the merits as he serves up various issues in a thoughtful-seeming way? If she treats the GOP candidate as if his various policy statements are beneath response, won't she seem abnormal? And isn't this sneering at him going to generate empathy for him? It does in me. If you treat someone like an outsider, it triggers my inclusiveness instinct.
I know a big old self-satisfied billionaire is hardly an outcast in need of love, but the whole business of loving and hating politicians is crazy and surreal, and psychically it is about love and hate.