Wafting out from Mar-a-Lago on Tuesday night, pungent as a three-day-dead rat in a basement closet, came the unmistakable stench of a loser.
Yes, in 2016, Donald Trump pulled an inside straight, with FBI Director James Comey’s unintentional help, to become president over the most emotionally unattractive major party nominee in modern history. (Even then, he lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million ballots.) He has won almost nothing since.
Trump lost when trying to overturn Obamacare, torpedoing the House effort when it had a real chance by calling it “mean, mean, mean” and “a piece of s***.” He lost when trying to build the wall, somehow coming away from a government-shutdown fight with less wall funding than the Democrats themselves had first offered to support. He lost when trying to get a “better deal” on trade with China, which predictably failed to abide even by the minor “deal” Trump unconvincingly announced as a victory. And he hindered U.S. efforts to prosecute Huawei’s intellectual property theft while basically giving China carte blanche to oppress the Uyghurs and destroy Hong Kong’s freedom.
Trump lost plenty of this nation’s international prestige when he said he had “fallen in love” with North Korea’s tinpot totalitarian and when he repeatedly threw verbal roses to Russia’s Vladimir Putin and when he abandoned an air base and tons of equipment in Syria that Russia predictably snatched up. Trump lost badly when he made a big public deal of backing the electorally legitimate eviction of communists from power in Venezuela, only to dither at numerous key moments and watch the eviction effort fail. Trump laid the groundwork for a major U.S. debacle in Afghanistan by negotiating directly with the terroristic Taliban behind the back of the Afghan government.
He lost for Republicans all pretense of being the party of fiscal sanity by eagerly presiding over the biggest spending, most-indebted peacetime U.S. government in history, even before the pandemic hit. He lost almost every legislative effort in Congress, succeeding only in signing a tax-cut bill already teed up by House Speaker Paul Ryan, which any Republican president would have signed. Other than that, his legislative wins for four full years were slim and none.
Politically, he drove Republicans to big losses. Under his aegis, Republicans lost a House majority in 2018. They lost the Senate majority in 2020-21 when Trump himself undercut two Republicans in Georgia runoffs. And, of course, they lost the presidency (by more than 7 million popular votes!) in 2020 when Trump couldn’t beat a corrupt, doddering, flim-flam man who spent almost the whole campaign hiding in his basement. Then they and Trump lost their marbles (and constitutional legitimacy) by lying about and trying to overturn that election, then having Trump incite a mob desiring to execute his own vice president.
Trump wasn’t finished in causing Republicans to lose. He essentially chased away potentially winning Senate candidates in New Hampshire, Arizona, Pennsylvania, and even Maryland and Vermont and trashed an excellent candidate in Colorado. From those who remained after the first choices didn’t enter, Trump endorsed big losers over much stronger general election candidates in Senate primaries in Pennsylvania, Arizona, New Hampshire, and Georgia (maybe) and in numerous House, gubernatorial, and secretary-of-state races.
In the Arizona Senate primary, for example, he trashed one of the nation’s best attorneys general in favor of an arguably antisemitic admirer of the Unabomber’s manifesto. In Pennsylvania, he opposed an impressive businessman in favor of a nonconservative, quasi-quack TV doctor who lives in New Jersey and carries water for Turkey’s Islamist president, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. In New Hampshire, he helped a loon who repeatedly asserted that public schools were forcing children to use kitty litter instead of commodes. And despite an electorate that blamed the other party for a bad economy, Trump-besotted Republicans barely won the House, actually lost state legislative seats and several chambers across the country, and lost competitive statewide offices galore.
Now Trump is running for president again, but even his friends at RedState are unimpressed, with longtime fan Bob Hoge calling his announcement a “snoozefest” and a “yawner” that engendered “a surprising lack of excitement.”
Trump is a tired, bitter, sociopathic old grifter. He’s the biggest loser — he should exit the stage.