A few weeks ago, I inventoried some of the best of the best in the international effort to find a new tag for GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump (other than "GOP presidential nominee," which gives me the oogies every time I type it.)
As I explained, I'd coined the phrase "slo-mo exploding citrus" for in-house use here at the blog, but with repetition I find it's just too clunky. "Short-fingered vulgarian" will always be a sentimental favorite, of course, and "Cheetos Jesus" is a damned fine piece of work, too.
And the to-the-point "Litigious Deadbeat" also deserves recognition. Same with "Homegrown Demogogue" – plus, it's sort of amusing to imagine Trump hearing that and thinking, "Hey, people think I'm a demigod!", except that such a misunderstanding is likely beyond the grasp of his peurile working vocabulary. (Even though.)
This morning I had made it no more than half-way through my daily online reading when I realized that I'd seen three different writers already who had each selected the word "unhinged" to describe Trump's performance at his – for want of a better term – press conference yesterday morning.
So maybe "unhinged" should be under consideration as le mot juste. The Unhinged Donald Trump? The Unhinged One?
Of course, the press conference's high-water mark, Trump calling on Putin use the good offices of the FSB in finding and leaking the emails from Hillary's term as Secretary of State, was walked back by Trump as "sarcasm" barely 24 hours later – which is a little odd; usually he would simply have denied that he said it. And that, in turn, has furthered the process of tying Vladimir Putin to Trump's ass like a tin can. (Last week Josh Marshall detailed Trump's financial dependence on Putin and Putin's friends. This week, George Will suggested that's the reason Trump won't release his tax records.)
It's a maxim here at p3 that, if everybody's interests all lay in the same direction anyway, you don't need a conspiracy. (Ockham may have said it first, but I said it better.) That's why I'm not including "The Manchurian Candidate" or its geographic variants in this list. Putin doesn't need to directly control Trump in order to realize the benefits of Trump's candidacy. He just has to recognize them. Similarly, Trump needn't be making a gift of the his policy positions to Putin – for example, his ideas about NATO are essentially unchanged from the days when the Soviet Union was presided over by Mikhail Gorbachev. No, I doubt that Trump is Raymond Shaw to Putin's Dr. Yen Lo. He's more like Chester to Putin's Spike.
But this does suggest another moniker for Trump, and one with a certain piquant historical resonance:
The search continues.