One of the things that continues to boggle my mind is how persistent the myth of Trump the supergenius dealmaker is with some people. After Trump was made to look the fool yesterday in the Nancy Pelosi Show, guest starring Chuck Schumer with special guest an animated orange lump of shit, some people I have known for decades and who are not in many regards stupid people, were posting their reactions. They ranged from “Man he cleaned their clocks” to “they clearly have never read the Art of the Deal and don’t know how to deal with him.”
It’s amazing how the image continues to, ahem, trump the reality of the situation. Trump is not particularly smart. He’s not particularly savvy. He’s not a good deal maker. He’s not really a good businessman. He’s not particularly learned, and he is not versed in history, science, mathematics, philosophy, art, music, literature. I honestly don’t think he has read a book since college, if he even did then. Other than the wealth and privilege into which he was born, he basically has a few things “going for him.”
1.) He is a narcissist and overly confident in himself.
2.) He’s a psychopath and has literally no feelings for anyone other than himself.
3.) He, like all grifters, is good at spotting easy marks.
And that’s it, really. If you’re handed a bunch of money and a real estate empire, and you are willing to say anything and ruthlessly screw over everyone whose path you cross, you too could be Donald Trump. Because that’s what he does. It isn’t particularly shrewd negotiating to agree to a deal, and then when you walk away from the table not live up to your end of the bargain. It’s not particularly top-notch dealmaking to agree to pay people to build things for you and then, when they are done, either pay them half what you agreed or don’t pay them at all. It’s not particularly savvy business dealmaking to get yourself leveraged way over your head, borrow money, and then just default on everything but having enough amoral lawyers to make sure none of it can be clawed back.
That’s what Trump does. He’s not a dealmaker, he’s just a fucking crook and he literally does not give one fuck about anyone and just doesn’t care. He can burn someone and turn the corner and on the next block find someone else foolish enough to do listen to his bullshit and too greedy to do due diligence and end up getting hosed by him. And by the time they realize it, Trump will be fucking someone else. It’s not going to bother his conscience because he doesn’t have one- he doesn’t care if your flooring business is going to go under because you spent the entire year working on his hotel and now he’s just not going to pay you. He doesn’t give a fuck.
It’s just that simple.
Most, if not all, of his moronic supporters will never “realize it.” It will always be someone else’s fault — the Demon-rats, Obama, Hitlary, “those” people, Soros, libtards. They will NEVER have what I call a “Col. Nicholson moment.” And for that, I quote noted scholar efgoldman:
Quaker in a Basement
Trump University alone should have gotten him laughed out of town.
This is one of the things I will light people up with in person as it’s a way of attacking Trump that isn’t overtly about his politics.
It’s clear that almost no one who thinks Trump is a good businessman actually knows anything about Trump’s businesses so when you start going on, with actual facts, about stuff he’s done they have no response.
And we all know what the most found substance is in a stable (and it ain’t hay). In the case of Dolt 45’s stable, Hercules would throw up his hands in disgust and shout “Screw it, I’m outta here.”
They have drank from the fountain of white supremacy and are unwilling to let the old dream die. They are fine with this particular messenger for their need to be superior. In fact, he embodies it. There is no mark so gullible as the one who wants to be fooled.
White people will fucking kill themselves, along with everyone else, before they accept equality.
This is what Trump made me realize.
This shit is so fucking entertaining. It would be better if we could all stop watching andlet it wither on the vine and move back to reality, but we can’t. So at least the next best thing is getting to the part of the story where this fucking egregious abomination of a shitstain of a fraud has to play out the other part of the timeline. The one where lots more people figure out what he really is.
God, get this thing away from the button.
They live in an alternate reality. Even people like Orrin Hatch. I saw him today excuse Trump’s felonies by saying something to the effect of “Well, it’s all ok because the economy is doing so much better than before” so the felonies don’t matter.
I’ve been seeing this over and over. They believe, actually believe, that the economy was tanking under Obama and that it’s “exploding” under Trump. They’ve quieted down a bit the last couple of weeks since the DJIA has dropped 1500 points, but even that is stupid, as if the stock market is “the economy.” And if you look at it, the GDP growth and wage growth is in line with about the last two years of the Obama administration, and job growth has been flat and even a little down lately. So, no, the economy under Trump hasn’t done anything different than it did under Obama. But the Trumpanzees are all convinced that it’s night and day different, and that Trump has caused it.
I wonder, though, about the stockbrokers and bankers and other business people who can’t afford to detach themselves from reality that way. How do they keep seeing it?
That’s a good start …
Regarding yesterday’s “negotiations” with Pelosi and Schumer, Colbert had it spot-on, comparing Trump’s behavior to someone playing poker: “I have a full house right here I can lay down any time I want.” – “Then go ahead, lay it down” – “Any time I want…oh, go ahead, take my money. Hey could anyone buy me a sandwich? I’m all out of money.”
Starts around 4:10
Lots of them sure. But lots of “white people” have figured out that equality is essential, is what happiness depends upon. Not enough of them, but lots.
“they clearly have never read the Art of the Deal and don’t know how to deal with him.”
They clearly don’t know that Trump did NOT write “The Art of the Deal” and also don’t know that true author would, in retrospect, retitle the book “The Sociopath”.
If Schumer were true to his NY roots, about halfway through Lying Littledick’s “I could get it passed in the House” bullshit, he would have said “Money talks, bullshit walks, and right now I ain’t seeing a lot of money, dickless. So, you gonna put up? Or shut up?”
I got no emotions for anybody else
Better understand, I’m in love with myself
Myself, in love with myself
Gee, all those people absitively, posilutely, bet the farm and your first born on it sure that a pardon of Cohen was forthcoming seem to have gone to the cornfield.
No doubt Trump is complete fraud but I gotta admit he is quite a showman. In a carnival barker way.
One thing that trump understands is that there seems to be a bottomless pool of morans/idjits in America who will listen and believe anything he tells them. At least 27 to 44%.
Anecdote =/= data, but to judge by the wingers I know personally, they believe info if they like it, if it confirms their preconceptions. Racist and wilfully ignorant. Plug-and-play.
Like everything else in the realm of largish numbers it’s not every last white person who thinks that white is right. We do think republican is white, no doubt about it. But can we at least acknowledge that not every white person is a raving racist? Because this is no different than saying that all black men are gangbangers/rapists/thieves/pimps and all black women are prostitutes. There are black people who are those things and there are white people who are as well, and probably a greater number of white people. Now if you wanted to say that way too many white people are self important, racist, morons. thieves and republicans, then we are absolutely in agreement.
It is worth remembeting the story behind the writing of the Art of the Deal. Trump did not write a word, and the book was suggested to both Trump and the ghost writer Tony Schwartz by Si Newhouse at Random House. Trump liked the idea, but the ghost rider was reluctant. He met with Trump, who wanted to go forward and asked what the terms were to employ the ghost writer. He quoted an absurdly generous rate for ghost writing the book. Trump immediately accepted. The deal gave Schwartz writing credit on the book plus half of the advance and half of the royalties.
So the book not written by Trump resulted from Trump getting badly outmaneuvered by the ghost writer, who made a fortune off the deal at Trump’s expense.
I have to wonder if Tim O/brien, who “co-authored” the Art of the Deal, is just a bit regretting what he did with that book.
oops, am I mistaken about Tim Obrian? I see something about Scwartz. Maybe I should just delete this comment. ohwell.
Carnival Barker & Roustabout Anti-defamation League on line 1.
Adam L Silverman
The President, despite his belief that he knows both the price and value of everything, actually knows the price and value of nothing.
@Quaker in a Basement: Is the jail located out of town?
Because they want to keep seeing it that way. That doesn’t mean they all will make financial decisions based upon their political ideology, but some of them will.
Don’t forget this republicans are better at financial crap has been going on for decades. Someone who is 30-50 and in the financial business has been hearing this for their entire lives but for sure all of their adult lives.
You’ve got it, John.
“Then celebrated by angrily shoving some papers off a desk as he stomped from the room, and spending the rest of the day in a pissy mood.”
And remember, that’s what his staff said.
I give the totus thug this. He is the living proof that you can con most of the white people all of the time.
Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
This is all true, but I think Donald Tяump’s biggest mistake was in forgetting that if you’re a con man, you don’t stick around the same town for too long pulling the same old cons. Shit. Didn’t this guy ever see the Music Man?
He’s gotten himself on too big a stage, and people are beginning to clue into what his game is–not all of them, not by a long shot, but more and more every day. And the people he depends on to prop him up in Congress, they’re beginning to get antsy. Somebody here posted from Twitter that somebody compared Republicans in Congress to burnt out lawyers just going through the motions. I compare them to the team losing the last game of the World Series 19-0. They have to keep going out there, and at least making the gestures of playing out the game, but they know it’s really over. I think we’re almost at this point, if we aren’t there already.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
He lost money on:
1) The Plaza Hotel
2) the Atlantic City adventures
3) the airline
he had to pay $25 million in fines for a scam business training program
I can’t remember which football league– USFL? Arena?– he either lost money in, or they would never let him buy in with money to be lost
I figure he must have lost money on the steak-by-mail business or he’d still be doing that
I think the only things he’s made money on, separate from Old Man Fred’s operation, was that silly TV show and the money laundering opportunities that have flowed from that
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
How exactly did Trump “clean their clocks”? By talking over them constantly like an asshole? Like you Cole, I don’t get it.
@ Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.)
The proverbial fat lady is ensconced in her limo and on the way to the opera house, but it’s still a long drive, with three full acts yet to play out on stage before her shining moment.
Steve in the ATL
@Mike J: I got not traction with this earlier. Don’t leave me hanging!
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: It does take a special talent to lose money running a casino, one of the few industries where profit is mathematically guaranteed. Obviously excepting the cases where the casino is a cover for money laundering.
hells littlest angel
@lollipopguild: Most people understand that. Trump’s “skill” is that he is enough of a shit-head to be willing to take advantage of them.
Those people that think he’s a great business man inspite of all the in your face evidence are what is referred to as “marks”.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Banana oil is a lousy lubricant.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@pat: IIRC Schwartz cowrote art of the deal, and now goes on TV to tell people that only he understands trump. I think he’s also the source of an amusing anecdote that when trump asked him what his terms were, he drily joked that he wanted half the royalties, trump took the deal, and apparently that’s an unheard-of payday for a ghost-writer. So he’s one of the few people to make money in partnership with trump.
Tim O’Brien wrote a book about trump, including speculation that trump was worth nowhere near $10 billion, trump sued, lost and those depositions were the source of trump admitting that three of his fantasy ten billions were the value of his name.
@lollipopguild: It’s like Pappy Maverick said back in the fifties, “You can fool all of the people some of the time and some of the people all of the time and those are pretty good odds.” 35% of “the people” are stone-cold suckers and that’s just how it is. Maybe a higher percentage going forward if Republican “educational policies” take hold more than they already have.
What you don’t understand is he was MADE on TV. They are believing in Trump the PERSONA not Trump the PERSON.
So there you have this carefully built persona and narrative into which Donald the person slipped like into a meatsuit and all his cult followers and pundits and assorted assholes, but I repeat myself, are falling for the PERSONA.
We here on this blog, the never-Trumpers, the Resistance, and the list goes on, saw the difference and concluded that Donnie the PERSON is an asshole and an idiot and a mobster and that his PERSONA is just a shtick.
That’s your difference and that’s where you have to start.
Great article John-You nailed it.
Cathie from Canada
The other thing is that Trump and everyone around him – everyone he sires or hires — are incurably second-rate.
I believe sociopaths are like insects; they’re always around, but under the right conditions their numbers multiply quickly. Under certain conditions their rate of reproduction accelerates and you have an infestation on your hands.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: This. I’ve even heard people on this here blog claim that “Trump would never walk away from the Presidency, he’s got too big an ego, he’ll hang on till the bitter end”. Fact is, Trump has never failed to walk away from a deal that he’s completely FUBARed, which is to say, any deal he’s ever been involved in.
ETA: You can add two marriages onto that list
??? Goku (aka Amerikan Baka) ??
I wonder if Nancy didn’t used toddler-reverse-psychology to goad him into a public statement :
N. SMASH : We don’t need the press for this discussion.
BIZARRO POTUS : [must not let woman determine course taken]
Press must stay. Me will smash government if not get wall. Write that.
@Smedley Darlington Prunebanks (formerly Mumphrey, et al.): Well said.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
Just what it says, referring to the cleaning clock thing.
His biggest insight was realizing that in America white collar criminals very rarely get prosecuted or otherwise held to account. Coupled with his narcissism–he ‘knew’ he was too smart to be the exception to the rule–and this insight emboldened him to lead a life of crime. And he would have gotten away with it forever if he hadn’t won the election (and he still may slide).
Hell, anyone who’s watched him just since he took office should be able to figure out that he sucks at making deals.
@John Revolta: You could argue that this is the one failure he can’t walk away from, because it will only make it worse for him. But that would require not just ego, but him actually being smart enough to recognize that, which isn’t likely
I haven’t paid close attention, but from what I’ve seen, the Kim regime in N.K. has Trump’s number, and is, in this case, the party to a “deal” they will not honor.
Donnie Dazzlehands doesn’t care, because he got his photo ops and headlines. Now it’s just nonproliferation nags and State Dept underlings paying attention to the fail.
Totally nailed it.
One more thing he has going for him is the unfortunate fact that we, as a society, have decided to reward these attributes. He is a failure of us.
@slag: Yep, every day I get new infusions of anger at those 63 million Americans who voted for such an obvious and unqualified fraud.And when senior elected Congresspersons continue to wax ecstatic about Trump’s great Presidency, I have to conclude that he’s got pictures.
John, it sounds like you’ve had this conversation way too many times with people you care for. I’m sorry.
To quote the old saying, if these people can’t spot the marks at Trump’s table . . .
The irony of the whole “Wall” debate is it will probably never get built even if it is funded. There are already walls near most of the border crossings. The border west of El Paso are just fences and vehicle barriers until you get to California which is pretty much all you need since it is a very long walk across very hostile terrain to anywhere.
In Texas the border is the Rio Grande River which means a wall will have to be built across mostly private property whose acquisition is a very lengthy and difficult process. There is still litigation going on after nearly ten years over some border fence/barrier improvements.
The “Wall” is basically a fantasy in Trump’s mind. He promised it in his campaign and will not let go of the idea. Pelosi got it right when she said it is really a “manhood” thing and it has nothing to do with border security.
@BretH: Yeah. I’m not going to try to make up witty names to call him; lots of other people are happy to do that for me. But I have to say I’m gobsmacked at the people who are saying he cleaned their clocks, he really destroyed them, they don’t know how to deal with a genius businessman like him. Honestly, they have to be perceiving a different world than I am. There’s something out of kilter with the universe. Of course my wiring isn’t up to code, but I think this is something over and above my own deficiencies.
He’s already wandering around muttering ‘get me out of here’. I think if he could he’d have walked away on 11/10 he would have done it. The parties and rallies and meeting with cool important people have kind of kept him engaged for a little while. The biggest problem for him is he just doesn’t know how to quit this deal. Who does he hand in his resignation to? Who can he sue? It’s not something he can sell and walk away from. He has no experience with this kind of job and it’s level of accountability. It’s not like Kelly was going to let him run off to Mar-A-Lago and stay there. Since the mid terms there have been numerous reports and incidents where he is just refusing to appear in public and/or get out of bed. Kelly may have been the only thing keeping him from going full metal Howard Hughes. Now that Nancy is the new sheriff in Congress, that’s no fun anymore either. And likely to be repeatedly embarrassing. Either he becomes completely subservient to Nancy Smash and starts following her around like a puppy or he finds a COS who let’s him move permanently to the Trump Versailles and the GOP pulls a full on coup.
I think we may have reached peak Trump
His supporters don’t really care if he makes any “deals” or not — they just want him out there pwning the libs. Ezra Klein made this point recently over at Vox: Trump basically treats the presidency as a reality show. Making policy “deals” has nothing to do with it. It’s all about orchestrating a combination of bluster, conflict, and braggadocio. If you watched those sessions on The Apprentice where he’d have all the contestants in the board room so he could dress them down and then decide which one to fire, that’s exactly how he was acting with Pelosi and Shumer (except they were having none of it). He doesn’t want a deal on the wall. If he really thought the wall was important, he would have made a deal to get the wall. Democrats have made it clear: they’re willing to give him money for border security, including a wall, in return for protecting DREAMers and other immigration reforms. Trump has turned them down flat. What he likes is going to his rallies and yelling a lot about building a wall and making Mexico pay for it. “Deals” have nothing to do with it.
@azlib: He’s also listened to Netanyahu and the Israelis sing the praises of their wall on the West Bank and figures he can do the same. What’s a few thousand extra miles?
This is an apt description of what Republicans have come to represent, for the last 30 years (their public face), just in politics, instead of business