Paul Krugman Was Right, Donald Trump's Campaign is Going into a "Derp Spiral"

Trump is so petty that he cannot allow an attack to go unanswered even if it hurts his campaign.
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Justin Rosario
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Trump is so petty that he cannot allow an attack to go unanswered even if it hurts his campaign.

At the beginning of August, Paul Krugman predicted that Donald Trump's bid for the White House would end in a train wreck:

Krugman, not having bought in to the media's Trump narrative ("He'll pivot any second now and act more presidential! We promise!"), knew that Trump would be unable to control his temper and the second Hillary got under his skin, he would turn into the rabid misogynist he's been his entire life.

And that's exactly what's happening as the Trump campaign has signaled a new, suicidal line of attack on Hillary:

“For too long, the Clintons have skated by without adequate attention being paid to how they went from being dead broke when they left the White House to being worth $100 million,” said Jason Miller, a senior communications adviser for Mr. Trump, accusing the couple of trading donations “for official access.”

Mr. Miller also accused them of having “traded favors” and being “willing to do anything to make a buck.”

Put mildly, this is an insane tactic and a sign of desperation. The Clintons' tax returns have been public for over 20 years. What new revelations are the Trump campaign possibly going to "discover"?

The AP tried to pull this smoke and mirrors act with its much-pilloried reporting on the Clinton Foundation. Yes, it got a lot of traction and fed into the favored "Hillary is corrupt" narrative of the press, but it left a bad taste in the mouth of a lot of people when the deep, systemic bias and entirely artificial nature of the reporting came to light. Fool me once and all that.

But the most insane part of this is that Trump is now under renewed scrutiny for his missing tax returns. And that was before part of his 1995 tax returns was leaked (possible by an ex-wife with a grudge). I know his whole spiel is "counterpunching" but he's made it screamingly obvious that he's refusing to release his tax returns because their content will end his campaign. Trying to make Hillary defend her very public and heavily scrutinized financial history will only increase the pressure on Trump to defend his own almost certainly indefensible record.

Another example of Trump's campaign flying off the rails is the campaign's new talking point about Bill Clinton's infidelities. Considering Trump's long history of bragging about his own infidelities, being twice divorced and his numerous sexist-bordering-on-misogynist statements about women, bringing this topic up has to be something his advisers begged him not to do.

Hillary clearly has gotten under Trump's paper-thin skin and he wants to hurt her by any means necessary. Hillary, of course, knew this when she laid the most obvious trap in the world at the first debate for Trump to blunder into and has been reaping the benefits for an entire week (That's roughly 6 months in election coverage time). But Trump is so petty that he cannot allow an attack to go unanswered even if it hurts his campaign.

Krugman was right, Trump is caught in a derp spiral of his own creation and it's only going to get worse from here.