Donald Trump attempting to convey false modesty is ridiculous enough in and of itself. But doing so in regard to his inept handling of a massive natural disaster, and ignoring the loss of human life in the process, is exceedingly crass, even for Trump.
Donald Trump tried it, but he cannot convince people that there is ever a time when he doesn't want praise.
And a transparent attempt at false modesty and a put-on humble nature won't help — particularly when it comes in the midst of a still roiling natural disaster for which it took him days to formulate something even close to a proper response.
So when he visited Corpus Christi, Texas, Tuesday to be briefed on the current state of the storm and the relief and recovery efforts, it would have been a golden opportunity to show that he can, in fact, respond to something this serious like a human being ought to do.
Alas, he failed.
In his brief remarks alongside his wife, Melania, as well as several members of his cabinet, numerous Texas state officials, and representatives from various relief organizations, Trump failed to make any mention whatsoever of the now 14 victims who have died.
What he did make clear was that he is incapable of even pretending to be modest.
He noted to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott how "great" his people had been, and that "we want to do it better than ever before."
"We want to be looked at in five years, in ten years from now, as 'This is the way to do it,'" he continued.
But despite the blatantly congratulatory tone, Trump declared, "We won't say 'congratulations.' We don't want to do that. We don't want to congratulate, we'll congratulate each other when it's all finished."
Pres. Trump: "We won't say congratulations. We don't want to do that...we'll congratulate each other when it's all finished." pic.twitter.com/SjrILiD1iA
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 29, 2017
Or perhaps, you could not worry about ever being "congratulated" for doing the job you ostensibly wanted to do, and instead focus on the families of the 14 victims and the thousands of others who have lost everything they own.
Maybe that's asking too much of Trump, who is preoccupied with being jealous that FEMA administrator Brock Long has "become very famous on television" during the hurricane.
Trump's handling of the hurricane has been a bizarre embarrassment from the start. He began his weekend of ineptness by flippantly wishing "good luck" to Texans awaiting Hurricane Harvey's landfall. He then proceeded to flail around on Twitter, babbling about a book by a violent extremist, the November election, and NAFTA.
His tweets about the hurricane treated it like it was a new Michael Bay movie, and noticeably lacked any urging to his followers to donate time, money, or goods to relief efforts. And he even used the storm to hawk his merchandise.
Now, even as he visits the victims of the hurricane, he cannot help himself.
Despite his behavior, the pro-Trump Breitbart repugnantly labeled him the "winner" of the hurricane.
But by ignoring victims, praising himself, and doing literally the bare minimum, Trump showed the world once again that he's nothing but a loser.