Goldberg: Trump works off of Liberal assumptions of what Conservatives want to hear

He’s always pretended to be a conservative while working on liberal assumptions of what conservatives want to hear.

.. His “punish the women” comments were of a piece with his refusal to condemn the Klan on CNN. It’s not that he wants to punish women who have abortions — I’d bet he’s paid more abortion bills than he will ever sign — it’s that he thinks that’s what pro-lifers want to hear. It’s not that he’s a Klansman or that the pillowcases at Mara Lago come with eyeholes cut out in advance. It’s that Trump thinks lots of his fans like the Klan and he wants to pander to them. I have heard first-hand stories from people who’ve worked with Trump about how he disparages women’s appearance routinely. That’s who he is. If you’re attacking him because he retweeted a bad picture of Heidi, that’s not you being principled, it’s you getting cold feet.

.. By all means, if Trump continues to unravel (a huge if), please abandon Trump. But don’t think for a moment that the rest of us will automatically take your word for it when you say this or that statement changed your mind about the man. He hasn’t changed, your calculations have.

.. Trump is a master of a kind of passive aggression — though it can often just seem like plain old aggression. When caught in a lie, Trump doesn’t merely stick to the lie, he enlarges it. Not only did Lewandowski do nothing wrong, he saved Trump from an assault! That pen could have been a bomb! A bomb!!! (Remember when he suggested a protester who charged the stage was with ISIS?)

.. We’ve all had dinner parties or family gatherings ruined by that oaf who refuses to bend to simple politeness. They force polite people to either swallow small — or large — insults for the sake of civility.

..  Like all demagogues, he’s using his lies as a loyalty test for his followers.

.. For instance, when Trump was caught saying something typically ignorant about abortion, he told Eric Bolling that MSNBC cut out the nuance of what he really said.

“You really ought to hear the whole thing,” Trump told guest host Eric Bolling. “This is a long convoluted question. This was a long discussion, and they just cut it out. And, frankly, it was extremely — it was really convoluted.”

Of course, Trump knows that MSNBC ran the clip in its entirety, and Bolling probably does, too.