It was “an inflection point,” The New York Times declared in a devastating assessment of Donald Trump’s status.
Columnist Nate Cohn wrote that Republican “elites quickly moved to condemn [Trump’s] comments,” and that “his support will erode as the tone of coverage shifts from publicizing his anti-establishment and anti-immigration views … to reflecting the chorus of Republican criticism of his most outrageous comments.”
Trump’s shocking remarks “were nothing less than an invitation for the rest of the Republican Party to begin their long-awaited offensive.” Cohn concluded. “Nearly all [Republicans] have incentives to pile on, and Mr. Trump — without a deep base of support and with few party allies — will struggle to hold on.”
The comments in question had nothing to do with the Nazi riot in Charlottesville this weekend. If fact, they had nothing to do with anything Trump has said while President, or even while he was the presumptive nominee.
The “turning point” that Cohn’s piece declared had just taken place was Trump’s remark on July 18, 2015, that John McCain “was a war hero because he was captured” and that he likes “people who weren’t captured.”
Just weeks after Donald Trump descended that golden escalator to start his journey toward becoming God’s Greatest Job Creating President Ever JOBS, the media started declaring his campaign had hit a turning point, and nothing would ever be the same for him.
They’ve been wrong every time.
Want more proof? Here’s more turning points that turned nowhere:
Establishment Republicans swore up and down in April 2016 that the Wisconsin primary would be a turning point in the effort to stop Trump. He won, and it wasn’t.
That truly disgusting Access Hollywood tape that surfaced in October, where Trump discussed his deep, abiding love of groping women? It was “a breaking point” for Republican men, the New York Times declared. Hell, even Mike Pence rebuked his ticket-mate, an unheard of admonishment in a campaign. A month later, Trump won the election.
In March, the Washington Post wondered in an op-ed if Trump’s first address to Congress was “a turning point or a head fake.” Congressional Republicans showered the speech with praise, and Paul Ryan called it “a home run.” Weeks later, Trump surrogates were publicly demanding Ryan step down as Speaker of the House.
Both former FBI Director James Comey’s firing by Trump in early May, and the revelation of the memos he kept on his interactions with Trump were called turning points, by Esquire and the New Yorker, respectively. While in one sense they were, as it was Comey’s firing that spurred the hiring of Robert Mueller as special counsel, in another sense, they weren’t, as Republican support for Trump did not erode in the slightest.
And Trump’s hiring of Anthony Scaramucci as his communications director in July was hailed as a turning point by Time Magazine. The Mooch was fired less than two weeks later.
Trump’s latest turning point is alleged to be his remarks yesterday at Trump Tower. He declared that “good people” were on both sides of the fascist vs. anti-fascist riot, that it was the “alt-left” responsible for the violence because they didn’t have a permit to protest, confused the Civil War with the Revolutionary War, and promoted a winery that he doesn’t actually own.
To be sure, the reaction among Republicans was harsher than ever. A number of Members of Congress openly condemned Trump’s remarks by name, while his much touted Manufacturing and CEO Councils collapsed after a wave of resignations. Even a few Fox News pundits (not Sean Hannity, obviously) criticized Trump.
But the last two years are a graveyard of pivots, turning points, moments where Trump “became presidential,” and opportunities for growth and unity.
Sure, calling violent Nazis “good people” is worse than some of the other things Trump has done. But some of those things were REALLY BAD.
And nothing changed because of them.
If Trump is going to be outlasted, it’s not because of a turning point or pivot, because 71-year-old-billioinares with nuclear arsenals at their disposal don’t have turning points or pivots.
It will be because his party, the politicians and pundits who burned their boats and threw their lot in with a madman to stop Hillary Clinton from being president, decide they’d rather be able to sleep at night than have tax cuts for the rich.
It will be because they finally decide country matters more than party, that the republic is in mortal danger, that Donald Trump isn’t and never was fit to be president, and that it’s time to pull the trigger on impeachment.
But none of that has happened yet. Nothing Trump has said or done in the two years since he declared he likes people who weren’t captured has persuaded Republicans to stop following him.
Why would declaring “not all Nazis” be the turning point now?