I have to say that I’ve enjoyed the spectacle of all the orchestrated hand-wringing over Trump’s ongoing feud with the Khans, and his completely unprovoked attacks on Paul Ryan, John McCain and Kelly Ayotte. The truly enjoyable thing about it all is watching Republicans who have bowed the knee to Trump (which is to say, almost all of them) act surprised at what was, by all accounts, a fairly mild week in Trump land.
This is a guy who mocked a disabled person for his disability on live television. A guy who suggested Megyn Kelly was on her period because she asked him tough questions at a debate. A guy who said a “Mexican” judge (who was born and raised in America) wasn’t fit to judge a case involving him. A guy who not only attacked John McCain but attacked his war service specifically and mocked the fact that he got captured.
The scuttlebutt is that Trump is surprised that the Khan thing has dragged on this long or actually hurt him. And why wouldn’t he be? Always before when he did something outrageous or unforgivable, he was rewarded, or at least not punished, by the electorate he was chasing. He seems to have been under the impression that the portion of the general electorate that was behind him in the halcyon days of the Republican convention was exactly the same, but is is about to find out that they are not. The reality that Trump doesn’t want to expect is that most of the people who initially said they preferred him over Hillary had no idea what a nasty, ignorant, petty person he is. But they know now.
The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior. And past behavior predicts that Trump is going to get a whole lot worse than what he said about and to the Khans/Paul Ryan before this thing is over. And nothing his handlers can do will change that. They’ve been trying to get him “on message” for months and they’ll succeed for a few days at a time but inevitably, the old Trump leaks out.
Everyone was warned about this. Everyone was warned that the media would turn on him literally the second he won the primary. Everyone was warned that the general electorate would hate him for things the primary electorate gleefully forgave him for. No one wanted to listen. And so now it gets to get a lot worse before it gets better – if it ever does.