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A common disease of the right

Every once in a while I read something that makes me feel good, because I can honestly say I got there first, and when I see such a thing I feel I owe it to me reader or readers to point this out.

Case in point, these observations from Josh Marshall regarding Trump:

Going on two years ago I read something formative to my understanding of Donald Trump. It was a by then-Times business columnist Joe Nocera. The column was about a particular swindle with a golf resort. Standard Trump. But the part that mattered was Nocera’s observation about Trump’s fundamental way of doing business and interacting with other people, one he knew from years of covering Trump.

What was taking place in Jupiter was an essential part of Trump’s modus operandi. In every deal, he has to win and you have to lose. He is notorious for refusing to pay full price to contractors and vendors after they’ve completed work for him. And he basically dares the people he has stiffed to sue him, knowing that his deep pockets and bevy of lawyers give him a big advantage over those who

In every deal, he has to win and you have to lose. It actually goes a bit deeper. He doesn’t know he’s won until you lose.

Marshall goes on to observe that Trump’s approach to life, while well suited to his former life as a grifter, is not well suited to the post to which he was elected.

The fact of the matter is that this attitude is one that is endemic in this nation, particularly among those on the right, even what is considered the respectable right. On many occasions I’ve made reference to a great line uttered by the corporate villain played by Robert Vaughan in Superman 3: “It is not enough that I succeed, everyone else must fail!”. To my mind, the line perfectly encapsulates the mindset of so many on the right. Consider the ultra-respectable Pete Peterson, a billionaire who has dedicated his life to destroying social security so that while he enjoys his billions others will live the lives of poverty to which they should justifiably be consigned. And lets not even start on the Koch Brothers, who want to destroy every benefit the rest of us derive from our government, while they themselves ram their snouts into the public trough.

The difference between these establishment right wingers and Trump is that they are smart enough and self aware enough to pretend they have other motivations. The Koch Brothers don’t want to destroy unions in order to impoverish workers, you see, they want to destroy unions in order to preserve liberty. It’s merely a side effect that by so doing they are not only succeeding, but everyone else is failing. Pete Peterson doesn’t want to destroy social security in order to manufacture millions of losers, he just wants to balance the budget, which is an important objective except when it doesn’t mean a thing. Even in the movie, Vaughn’s character uttered the line outside of public hearing. Trump is too transparent to pull that sort of thing off, but it is only in that that he differs from scores of right wingers.

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