Donald Trump seems to see the White House these days more as a prison than a perch for absorbing the nation’s adoration for all he’s accomplished. To make matters worse, he says he’s being “unfairly” treated by the media. In case you missed it, he gave a speech about himself to the graduates at the Coast Guard Academy Wednesday:
“Look at the way I’ve been treated lately,” Trump said, with a broad shrug. “Especially by the media. No politician in history—and I say this with great surety—has been treated worse or more unfairly.” After that splendidly ahistorical reminder of how fine the line is between self-aggrandizement and self-pity, Trump continued, “You can’t let them get you down. You can’t let the critics and the naysayers get in the way of your dreams.” At that, there was a smattering of applause, which Trump sucked in as if he were a
balloon in need of a hit of helium. “I guess that’s why we won,” he said.
Ahistorical, indeed, as Gail Collins reminds us in her column:
We will pause now to recall that Abraham Lincoln was accused of everything from drunkenness to treason to being a “fungus from the corrupt womb of bigotry and fanaticism” before being assassinated. You’d think Trump would remember that, since he seems to regard himself as an expert on Lincoln.
All this whining about mistreatment and unfairness comes from a guy who launched his first presidential campaign on the back of his adoption of the racist conspiracy nonsense about President Obama’s birthplace being Kenya. Trump kept calling for Obama to release his long-form birth certificate, and the media, mostly disbelieving of, but distracted by, and attracted to the flashy billionaire, gave him what he wanted: attention. Seeing his agenda blurred if not buried by this continuing controversy, Obama reluctantly released a photo of the form in April 2011, saying in a brief statement: “We’re not going to be able to solve our problems if we get distracted by sideshows and carnival barkers.”