Everyone except the stupidest, and those who comment at Catallaxy (what a Venn diagram that would make) can see that Trump badly hurt himself with his inane comment on the Muslim parent's appearance at the DNC. I thought this Vox commentary really got to the heart of it:
The second thing, as Salam says at the end of his argument, is that Trump is easily baited. He couldn’t swallow his hurt and anger over the Khan’s speech, he had to lash out, to fight back, to smear them in response. This doesn’t make sense if you understand the goal of an election as getting elected, but it does make sense if you understand the goal of an election as playing out an endless series of dominance games.
This is a point TPM’s Josh Marshall has repeatedly made about Trump. A need for dominance, Marshall writes, "is the key to understanding virtually everything Trump does. Whatever is actually happening he tries to refashion it into a dominance ritual or at least will not engage before performing one. You saw that in those numerous examples where he said he would participate in a debate but only after the other party wrote a major check to charity. It's primal."
The Khans’ speech hurt Trump. He watched it. He read the coverage of it. He felt slighted, inferior, humiliated. And so he needed to rebalance the scales. He needed to regain his dominance. He seems confused that anyone faults him for this — isn’t it obvious that they attacked him, and so he should get to attack them back?
This is the logic of a schoolyard bully, which Trump is. But it’s a dangerous mindset for a president.
Putting Trump in the Oval Office would open a huge vulnerability in our national security. It’s much easier to bait Trump than it is to attack the United States. Our enemies’ aim is often to provoke us into overreacting and overcommitting abroad because they can’t hope to seriously hurt us here. With Trump in control of the armed forces, the path to manipulating us into that kind of overreaction would be clear.
By the way, monty, if you're reading. Could you pass on a message over at an open thread that this piece made me realise why CL has such sympathy towards Trump - he's psychologically the same in this key respect.
Update: sorry monty, had you done the "wrath of Khan" reference already?