The most frustrating thing about Trump for those of us who want to bid farewell to the Clintons forever is his seeming inability to resist obvious traps. Conrad Black finds the perfect metaphor:
Yet Mr. Trump seems to have no concept of how to press the strategic advantage and stay clear of back alleys and side issues in which he can only dissipate his advantages. Like a not overly smart fighting bull, he allows the Democrats to cause him to charge diagonally past his real targets and squander political capital in nonsense. The presentation of Mr. Khan at the Democratic convention, father of a winner of a decorated war hero killed in action, was squalid and outrageous, as was the subsequent fawning of the press and the bunk about Mr. Khan's just "happening to have a copy of the Constitution in [his] pocket."
But Trump charged and dove into a trap in which he could not win. He should have said something like "All Americans share in Mr. Khan and his family's sorrow and in their pride, and in the circumstances it is not appropriate for me to comment on his partisan reflections on me." He should have said, when Mrs. Clinton threw "Miss Piggy" at him, that "that was a regrettable choice of words about someone who had violated her undertakings on entering the Miss Universe contest." He could have neutralized, or even won on, both issues but failed to see them as the baited traps they obviously were.
Americans are eager for a leader who sees citizens as more than irritants to be bought off, and Trump appeals to the widespread frustration many feel at being ignored by the elites for decades. But, to switch metaphors, every bad cop needs a good cop -- the bad cop alone isn't enough. Trump has shown mastery of bad-cop, but I sure wish he would demonstrate some proficiency with good-cop.