It’s the bit from Scooby-Doo, that’s what’s been going on for a while now. Velma loses her glasses, and drops to her knees to search for them: completely blind, she feels around on the floor. That’s been Donald Trump looking for the line. Donald was going to find the line, dammit, and when he did: that sumbitch was getting crossed. But he couldn’t find it, not for months.
It wasn’t kicking off his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists, nor the fact that he lost a billion dollars in a year when the S&P index was up 37%. The line did not lie on Twitter, where he has repeatedly retweeted White Nationalists. Stating that a judge’s ethnicity should disqualify him from hearing a case was also not the line.
When he shook and rattled in his funniest spastic dance onstage to mock a disabled reporter, that was not the line, and neither was picking a fight with Gold Star parents whose son, a U.S. Army captain, was killed In Iraq running towards a car with a suicide bomber in it. His name was Humayun Khan, and he was trying to save the lives of the men and women under his charge, and all the strangers, too, and then Donald Trump picked a fight with his parents after he died from a suicide bomb in Iraq. Not the line, not the line, where’s the line.
Doing business in Cuba? No. Stiffing Polish construction workers? No. Claiming climate change is a hoax perpetrated by China? Nope. Threatening Japan and South Korea with extortion for military protection? Not even close. Hiring a campaign manager directly from the palace of the Ukrainian dictator? That actually worked for a week. Publicly declaring how much he’d like to fuck Putin? Not the line.
Not the taxes (none); not the bankruptcies (four); not the lawsuits (thousands). Not the utter and total dismantling of his main supposed selling point, which is that he’s a good businessman, the best. Let’s all say it again, together, and with feeling: if Donald Trump had taken the original stake of $14m that his daddy gave him, put it in an index fund, and not touched it, then he would actually be worth the the ten billion he lies about being. You cannot claim to be a good businessman when “doing nothing whatsoever” beats your best efforts. His business dealings did not contain the line.
He prepared for the presidential debate, the most-anticipated event in American culture that was not the Super Bowl in decades, by golfing with Roger Ailes. At the debate, instead of talking about the problems facing the nation, Trump chose to attack a daytime television host who rose to prominence throwing Koosh balls at people.
The people who represent him have been outstanding numbskulls, bombastic and delirious and immune to any reality not approved by Mr. Trump. If a serious candidate for president employed one–one!–of the belligerent dipshits that have been speaking for him daily, it would end his or her campaign. Hiring Katrina Pierson, and Hope Hicks, and Corey Lewandoski, and the “So What?” guy and then tasking them to be your public surrogates is a sign of incompetence so obvious that the only analogy would be one of those old-timey multi-winged planes that collapsed in flickery black-and-white the first time they tried to fly. None of them were the line.
But I forgot to say the end of the bit, the one from Scooby-Doo. Velma is looking for her glasses, but the gag is that she finds them, but they’re resting on the shoe of a monster.
Congratulations, Donald. Pussy grabbing was the line, and you finally found it, and crossed it, and I guess we all did, too. The Republican party is now leaving you, and taking their money and ground operations and voter lists and rolodexes with them. It’s a coin toss right now whether your running mate quits. It’s just you and your ugly children and rat-faced Rudy and desperate Christie in your tower, which must be feeling like a bunker right about now.You never had any friends, Don, but now you have no allies.
And in less than 24 hours, you will be on live teevee, in a format you have not prepared for, debating about topics you are not familiar with, and almost one hundred million people will be watching.
You found the line, Don, and then you crossed it. Good for you getting what you wanted. You’re a winner.