How Democrats won the presidency
WASHINGTON -- Rarely, if ever, have so many presidential winners and losers been so incessantly chatty.
Hillary Clinton -- who lost the 2016 election, in case you weren't sure -- is on a book tour with her campaign memoir, "What Happened." (Hint: She's a woman, the Comey letter.)
Donald Trump -- who is still campaigning despite having won -- is chatting up Democrats to try to get something done. Anything! By week's end, he was recanting every mean thing he ever said about illegal immigrants and was softening his vow to send Dreamers (children brought here by their parents) back to their point of conception.
Meanwhile, Barack Obama, who already had his turn but can't quite quit the presidency, is still talking. All the time.
Finally, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, who lost the Democratic nomination to Clinton, is still running and still ranting about Medicare for everyone. Given the likely eventuality of a single-payer healthcare system, he and Larry David may as well take a victory lap. It's beginning to seem that Sanders won after all. As did the Democrats.
On the losing side are the Republicans who put their faith in a guy who promised the moon but has managed only to deliver a galaxy of tweets and several significant staff replacements. Trump the Republican was always a strain to credulity, but people can make themselves believe just about anything, as thousands of years of ritual sacrifice and snake dances confirm. Trump the salesman has always known this, either instinctively or as the result of his first successful con.
There are two things to know about con artists: One, they're having fun; two, once a bluffer tastes the sweet satisfaction of scamming a sucker -- one's born every minute, you know - he can't stop. Once The Donald realized people would buy his brand of unction, he couldn't resist. No matter what he said or did, people of good (and not so good) faith donned their protective glasses and refused to see.
Trump was never ideologically driven, though he did surround himself with ideologues as helpmates. Or were they the biggest suckers of all?
This thought finally began to take shape when Trump recently met with the enemy - House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Depending on whose version one prefers, they discussed making a deal on both the future of hundreds of thousands of young undocumented immigrants and what Trump called "extreme security."
Almost instantly, Breitbart slapped Trump with a headline and a nickname: "Amnesty Don." How quickly Steve Bannon shape-shifted from former senior White House policy adviser and Trump's personal Pravda to his antagonist. Other Republicans, presumably speaking for the base, declared Trump's presidency kaput.