Much has been made of the fact that one of Trump’s defenses (there were many, and not all of them can be advanced simultaneously without obvious and major contradiction, but even so) against Trump’s obvious efforts to get Russia to help his election campaign is that he was simply naive about the law when making pronouncements like, “Russia, if you’re listening…”.
Now, obviously he’s not learned that lesson and his claims of naivety ring hollow given that in the early summer he said that if offered dirt by a foreign nation in the 2020 election, he would still accept it, knowing as he does the illegality and the political consequences of doing so.
But let’s not pretend that this is unique or that he has some capacity to learn which was overridden by the magnitude of what he might gain if re-elected. No, even when there’s little or nothing to gain, Trump is happy to repeat past mistakes.
“When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems. …They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists, and some, I assume, are good people.”
That was in 2015 on the day he (officially) announced his campaign for he Republican nomination for POTUS.
Fast forward four years, with Trump possessing vastly more political experience than he did then, and we get this, just yesterday:
“You know, these animals in the press. They’re animals, some of the worst human beings you’ll ever meet. [Heard in the background: “Fake news!”] They’re scum. Many of them are scum, and then you have some good reporters, but not many of them, I’ll be honest with you.”
It is just staggering to me that we haven’t had a serious conversation about invoking the 25th. He’s repeating mistake after mistake over literally years without ever seeming to learn anything at all. We sometimes mention that he won’t read memos and written briefing notes, but we don’t talk about the fact that it’s unclear that he’s capable of learning from such documents even if he did read them.