I have long believed that Donald Trump has a special knack, a particular gift for making his most dedicated fans look foolish.
These are people like Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway and the conservative media loyalists who defend the president even when he's saying things that aren't true; or who earnestly represent his latest position only to have him come up with a completely different position 10 minutes later.
They're also people like Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who shamelessly defends the president's vicious and needlessly personal tweets, as she did after Trump fired off an ugly barrage against two MSNBC morning show hosts who have been vicious and personal themselves, calling the president everything from demented to unpatriotic, a man who doesn't love his country. But Mika and Joe are just two TV talking heads who have figured out that bashing Donald Trump is good for business. Donald Trump on the other hand is the president of the United States of America -- and that makes his sin worse.
I almost feel sorry for these people who defend the president no matter what, but no one is forcing them to stick around and be humiliated. There's no law that says they have to be the president's sycophants.
But Donald Trump has another special knack. He also makes his most passionate enemies look foolish. He induces in these people the dreaded Trump Derangement Syndrome, which results in them looking worse than him.
For instance, Trump-hating liberals will proudly tell you they're part of the "resistance" which means that if Donald Trump is for it, they're against it. That's bad enough, but I'll bet if you injected Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi with sodium pentothal (truth serum) they'd tell you that resistance is only the appetizer. The main course is termination of the Trump presidency.
Collusion with the Russians to throw the presidential election would be grounds for bringing him down, but so far there's not a shred of evidence to support that theory or any other that would warrant Congresswoman Maxine Water's favorite word -- impeachment.
Trump Derangement Syndrome is no laughing matter, except when it is. When the president decided to leave the Paris Climate Accord, a progressive writer in the Nation magazine called it a "crime against humanity." But if that's so, what name should we attach to the use of poison gas against civilians, including children, in Syria?
President Trump's nonstop promise during the campaign to uproot Obamacare is tantamount to murder in Trump Derangement land. Bernie Sanders says if the Trump-backed GOP bill passes "thousands of people will die" -- a strangely precise 217 thousand over the next decade, according to the left-wing Center for American Progress. Hillary Clinton tweeted, "If Republicans pass this bill, they're the death party."
Campus intellectuals, of course, have long had an aversion to Republicans, but nothing like the animus they've shown to Donald Trump who they've routinely compared to Hitler. Moshik Temkin, a Harvard associate professor of history, recently wrote in The New York Times that, "similarities abound" between Hitler, Mussolini and Donald Trump "like their jingoism and contempt for democratic institutions."
And yet, "Compared to Hitler, Mr. Trump looks less threatening then he actually is. Unlike Mr. Trump, European fascists were deeply ideological and would have despised his decadence. ... And the story of Hitler and Mussolini is flattering to most Americans: We defeated them."
In other words, let's not compare Donald Trump to Hitler. Not because it's unfair to Donald Trump but because in some ways it's unfair to Hitler. Hitler may have been a mass murderer but still he would despise Trump's "decadence." Besides, the Hitler story "is flattering to most Americans." I'm glad he lost and we won, but "flattering" is a word "most Americans," I'm pretty sure, would not associate with the story of Adolf Hitler.
For the record, I'm no fan of Donald Trump. I don't like his desperate need for adulation or his thin skin or the vindictiveness that goes with it. I don't like the needless scraps he gets into. I don't like his many (let's just call them) untruths.
But there's something I'm starting to dislike more than all of that: his enemies. Not just the unhinged variety like Madonna, who wants to blow up the White House, or Kathy Griffin, who would like to behead him, but also the more mainstream liberals in Congress who won't stop resisting until they terminate his presidency.
It's a rare talent this president possesses. It's not easy making both your most passionate fans and your most passionate antagonists look foolish. But Donald Trump has managed to do just that.