1) Donald Trump likes to brag about his Ivy League education — in part because he likes to brag about everything (and bragging, as we all know, is a classic conservative trait). Recently, he said, “I went to an Ivy League school. I’m very highly educated. I know words, I have the best words.”
Normally, the populist Right hates the Ivy League, and would hate anyone who bragged about attending an Ivy League college. But nothing can shake Trump’s admirers from that admiration.
Say that George Will or Charles Krauthammer or Bill Kristol bragged about his Ivy League education. It’s inconceivable, but just say. The populist Right would go absolutely nuts.
Trump first attended Fordham, then transferred to the Wharton School at Penn. The old joke is that, if someone says he went to an Ivy League college, he went to Penn — because Harvard people say, “I went to Harvard,” Yale people say, “I went to Yale,” etc.
I think Penn grads should be loud and proud. Say it, Donald! “Penn”! No shame!
2) Trump says he’s good with words. (“I know words, I have the best words.”) I agree. I like to listen to him talk. And, as I keep saying, he’s an utter natural on television.
One of his big phrases is “total disaster.” “That was a total disaster,” he’ll say. Recently, he crossed it up a little. He was once full of praise for Congressman Trey Gowdy, the conservative from South Carolina. But when Gowdy endorsed Marco Rubio for president, Gowdy, of course, had to become a villain.
Talking of Gowdy and Benghazi, Trump said, “His hearings were a disaster [!]. Everybody was looking forward to something that was going to be really productive. And he didn’t win with those hearings. It was a total not-good for Republicans and for the country.”
A total not-good. I expect to incorporate that into my vocabulary (seriously).
One thing that rankles is that Trump speaks of the good of the Republican party. Not long ago, he was saying that Hillary Clinton would “make a great president.” He was donating to her, and to Harry Reid. And now he’s the arbiter of what is good for the GOP?
Chutzpah, they say in Yiddish (or something).
3) On to something more serious. As I mentioned in this post, Trump is a great defender of, and apologist for, Putin. When asked about Putin’s killing of journalists, Trump answered, “I think our country does plenty of killing also.” And he said, “I’ve always felt fine about Putin.”
A reminder: Putin tortured Sergei Magnitsky to death. Real slow. Magnitsky was interested in a democratic Russia, and thought he had a right to one. Putin tortured him to death over the course of one year.
Couldn’t he have killed him sooner? Donald, don’t you think a half a year of torture, say, would have been enough? Strong enough? Not-weak enough? Strong-leader-like enough?
Boris Nemtsov was another Russian interested in a democratic Russia. Putin had him killed last year. He then pretended he would hunt for the real killers.
About Putin, Trump said, “It has not been proven that he’s killed reporters.”
Huh. Maybe Trump could join Putin and, O.J.-style, hunt for the real killers? Let us know how it goes, okay?
4) One of the best things Trump has ever done is restore the Wollman Rink, in Central Park. The city had let it go to pot. Trump asked to take it over, and then quickly brought it back to life.
I took a youngster skating there this week. Trump’s name is plastered all over the place. Is that really necessary? Still, it was a good act. A “civic” act, as we used to say, an act of good citizenship.