When a GOP strategist expressed dismay over Donald Trump’s Twitter behavior, MSNBC’s Joy Reid was quick to remind her that this is who Trump has always been.
Donald Trump’s absurd behavior on Twitter was embarrassing enough when he was merely a presidential candidate. Now that he occupies the Oval Office, it’s downright mortifying — particularly for members of his party who are constantly trying to either defend or ignore it.
But Republicans simply have no leg to stand on if they wish to feign shock at Trump’s antics.
As MSNBC’s Joy Reid made clear to GOP strategist Noelle Nikpour, there is nothing new when it comes to Trump’s behavior. In fact, it is one of the things that a lot of the country tried to warn Republicans about during the election.
But they ignored that too, and now they have to pay the humiliating price for it.
On Hardball, host Steve Kornacki reminded Nikpour of all the GOP’s claims — now proven hollow — that Trump would change if and when he became president. She agreed that he had not changed a bit, lamenting that he puts Republican pundits like herself in a “very strange position … because personally, we want to leave him in the dust, but politically, we agree with him.”
She went on to say that, even after so many of his staff and associates have begged him to stop tweeting, he won’t back off. And she found it “bizarre” that Trump, who is no stranger to the world of television, is letting comments like those of Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough get so obviously under his skin.
Nikpour implored Trump to heed the words of former First Lady Michelle Obama: “When they go low, we go high.”
But Reid had a quick and pointed response: “Michelle Obama is a mature adult … and Donald Trump is Donald Trump.”
“He’s always been this guy,” Reid continued. And she reminded Nikpour that a whole lot of people tried to warn the GOP that Trump was “fundamentally unfit to be president.”
“And surprise! He is!”
NIKPOUR: So many Republicans, from the pundits to the media to people, you know, congressional — people in congress, people in the Senate have said this: ‘Mr. President, put down your Twitter. Or if you are going to use Twitter, at least say things that are productive.’ And what I don’t understand is, he won. He’s there. Mika and Joe — he’s in the industry. I’ve got to tell you guys, he was in the TV industry. He knows what happens. He knows that, you know, political shows, they analyze and they talk about presidents, Fox News did it about Obama.
So this is no big surprise. Why he’s letting this get under his skin is bizarre, and I’d love to evoke something that Michelle Obama said. Michelle Obama said, ‘When they go low, we go high.’ So I’m asking him, he needs to go high, really high. This is unbelievable.
REID: But isn’t the Occam’s Razor answer because Michelle Obama is a mature adult, Barack Obama is a mature adult. and Donald Trump is Donald Trump? You bought a go-kart and want a Maserati. You want it to be one way, it’s another way. This is Donald Trump. You all were willing to endorse and elect a man who is this guy — he’s always been this guy!
The agenda you’re taking about is Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell and you guys’. It is not his. Donald Trump doesn’t even necessarily know what’s in the health care bill. He just wants something popular he can go and do rallies at so that more people can fill that dark void inside of him that needs praise. He needs praise, every day. There are stories about him going around to his staff today and saying, ‘Well, I know that wasn’t presidential, but wasn’t that tweet amazing?’ Well, what are they going to say? They have to say it’s great. This is a person who everybody told y’all was fundamentally unfit to be president. And surprise! He is!
The notion that becoming president would somehow magically transform Trump from a boorish, ignorant disaster into a paragon of decorum and virtue was always ludicrous, but Republicans held fast to it, likely in order to justify supporting someone so downright toxic and unpresidential.
And five and a half months into his time in office, it is clear Trump had no intention, nor harbors any aspirations, to better himself and to better represent the nation.
Republican strategists and pundits can kvetch all they want about that, but they may want to quiet down and listen instead — just like they should have before November 8, 2016.