If you’re looking for one consistency in Donald Trump’s life, it’s that he’s sucked at everything he’s tried. His decades in real estate got him six bankruptcies, a smaller net worth than if he’d simply invested his inheritance in a mutual fund, and indebted to the Russias. He sucks at marriage. He sucks at fatherhood. He sucked so much as a candidate that he lost by three million votes even after Russia rigged it for him. Now that’s he’s a failed president on his last legs, we’re seeing something else: he sucks at losing.
Everyone loses sometime. President Obama was firmly losing during at least a couple stretches during his presidency when his agenda had stalled out and his popularity was sinking. But he managed to survive those stretches, and on the whole he’s remembered as successful and beloved. No one could argue that Bill Clinton was winning during his Lewinsky scandal, but his presidency is seen as successful overall. George W. Bush was an all-time loser in office, but at least he had the relative decency to largely get out of history’s way once his failed presidency was over. Now that Donald Trump is failing, we’re seeing something different. Take the past week alone.
Trump sensed that Hope Hicks was likely flipping on him, so he began berating her to her face, prompting her to resign, thus guaranteeing that she’s going to flip on him. Trump probably just drove his own son-in-law Jared Kushner to flip on him as well with a poorly handled feud over security clearances. He’s merely hastening his own demise in the Russia scandal. This comes even as Trump has decided that the best way to save his presidency is to start a trade war over steel, and a war of words with Alec Baldwin. That’s an economic concept he doesn’t understand, and an actor whose name he keeps getting wrong.
If you looked up “losing” in the dictionary, you’d probably just find a description of Donald Trump’s actions over the past week. He’s losing because he sucks at this; he sucks at everything. But now that his back is truly against the wall, he’s revealing that he even sucks at losing.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report