Donald Trump may be dancing with the devil in 2016 according to POLITICO’s Roger Simon. | AP Photo
Alone in his bedroom on a dark and stormy night, Donald Trump was inventing some tax returns, when the devil appeared before him.
“Fear not,” the devil said. “You need not file tax returns. Ever. Also, I will make sure you are elected president this year and again in 2020.
“But in return, you must sell me your soul. You must betray all decent principles. You must pander, trivialize and deceive. You must gain victory by exploiting bigotry, fear, envy and greed. And you must conduct a campaign based on lies, sham, hype and distortion.”
“So?” Trump said. “What’s the catch?”
It could have been worse. The devil could have asked Trump to prove he really had “bone spurs” that kept him out of the Vietnam draft. Or prove he knew that Crimea was part of Russia. Or prove that he knew anything about the U.S. Constitution.
The Constitution! Jeez, Louise! Nobody told Trump that was going to be on the final.
A few months later, the leader of the Brain Gang would be … what’s-his-name. The guy who looked like he combed his hair with teeth whitener. Pence. That was it. Mike Pence. Mr. Personality.
But who had vetted Pence? And speaking of vetting, they couldn’t have found a veteran to put on the ticket?
Trump went over to the World Wide Interweb machine that his kids had bought him so they wouldn’t have to answer his questions. Trump typed in: “How many veterans are there in the United States.”
The machine answered instantly: “There are 21.8 million veterans of the U.S. armed forces as of 2014, according the Census Bureau … ”
In 2012, neither party had a veteran on the ticket, which was the first time since 1932. Both Pence and Democratic vice presidential nominee, Tim Kaine, have sons in the Marines. The last veteran to be on a major party ticket was John McCain in 2008. McCain, a retired Navy captain, was ridiculed by Trump for being captured by the North Vietnamese.
Trump knew a trap when he saw one. He went over to his Interweb machine and found out the Constitution could not possibly be kept in a jacket pocket. In fact, the Constitution is on display in a row of large glass cases in the Rotunda of the National Archives Museum. You would need a crane to lift it.
So Khizr Khan lies, and this was one of the rare times that Trump had proof.
“Mr. Khan, who does not know me, viciously attacked me from the stage of the DNC and is now all over T.V. doing the same — Nice!” Trump tweeted Monday.
“This story is not about Mr. Khan, who is all over the place doing interviews,” Trump also tweeted, “but rather RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM and the U.S. Get smart!”
ABC’s George Stephanopoulos had gotten all snippy about the whole thing on Sunday, asking Trump why Khan had accused Trump of sacrificing nothing for his country.
And, when you think about it, Trump had not only sacrificed nothing personally to fight RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM, but in his almost 71 years on this planet, it appears Trump had never done much, if any, public service whatsoever.
This might not be so striking, except that prior public service used to be considered a prerequisite for election to the presidency.
Stephanopoulos: “He said you have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
Trump: “Well, that sounds — who wrote that? Did Hillary scriptwriters write it?”
Stephanopoulos: “How would you answer that father? What sacrifice have you made for your country?”
Trump: “I think I’ve made a lot of sacrifices. I work very, very hard. I’ve created thousands and thousands of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, built great structures.”
Stephanopoulos: “Those are sacrifices?”
Trump: “Oh, sure. I think they’re sacrifices.”
And, in a way, Trump may be correct. As to the “great structures” he has built, Trump has sacrificed almost all sense of taste, artfulness, style and creativity.
So maybe he did that deal with the devil after all.
Roger Simon is POLITICO’s chief political columnist.