As readers of my recent posts will have discerned, I detest Donald Trump. I have despised him for thirty years, ever since Spy magazine so sublimely labeled him a "short-fingered vulgarian." This loathing has kept me from fully appreciating the public service he has been, albeit unintentionally, performing by exposing the bigotry and ignorance and hypocrisy that pervade the noxious soul of today's Republican Party. Then came Saturday night in South Carolina.
In the course of attacking his rival Republicans more enthusiastically than I've seen any of them attacked by a Democrat, Donald Trump became the first politician ever to go on record -- on national television, no less -- and speak the unspeakable sacrilege that has been waiting more than a decade to be spoken: George W. Bush -- the smirking chimp on whose watch 9/11 happened after he blithely ignored CIA warnings about the likelihood of such an event, and who went so far as to tell the messenger, "All right, you've covered your ass now," and who proceeded to destabilize the Middle East and create a new generation of terrorists -- does not get to claim that he "Kept Us Safe."
It was as exhilarating a truth as has passed the lips of an American politician in this century, and only someone as boundary-free as Trump -- whose propensity for lashing out indiscriminately is unencumbered by his standing for anything beyond his own id -- could have said it. And he said it again at the solo town hall that MSNBC fellated him with last night. And tonight he is going to share a CNN stage with Jeb! -- okay, Kasich will be there, too, like anybody cares -- and there's no way he won't say it yet again. And when he does, Donald Trump will once more mock my odium of him by highlighting the not inconsiderable thing we have in common: our deep distaste for Bushes.
Of course, as no one needs to be reminded, Trump is exhaustively vile: a crass boor, an uncouth lout, a coarse churl, by any accepted standards of human behavior utterly repulsive. He is a multi-billionaire -- really, just think about what a happy and generous person you would be if you had billions of dollars -- whose only true joy in life seems to derive from inflicting pain. For him, the best thing about being rich is the ability wealth confers to behave badly with impunity, especially toward those who most thoroughly disdain him: the Republican establishment that created him, suicidally underestimated him, and now has not a clue of how to scrape him off its shoe.
Nonetheless, if those who shamefully and shamelessly represent everything I abhor -- the racists, the neocons, the climate-change deniers, the religious wrong, and the one-percenters who still somehow don't have enough! -- are terrified of this Ugliest American, don't I have to acknowledge that, on some heretofore unthinkable level, Donald Trump, the enemy of my enemies, is my ... friend?
Lunacy is the new sanity.