Althouse | category: Trump rhetoric



an endless succession of beans and nuts.

"What makes [Bobby] Kennedy most like Trump, though, is the overlay of conspiracy and contempt that tinges nearly everything he says..."

"... the destructive distrust in the electorate he seeks to channel. During the rambling, nearly two-hour, Trump-like monologue in which he launched his campaign in Boston, Kennedy sketched the bleak tableau of a government wholly owned and controlled by corporations, of nefarious powers in both parties hellbent on enslaving people with bureaucratic mandates."

And: "Like Trump, Kennedy is given to skillful demagoguery.... ... Kennedy explained how the covid vaccine — which he seems to regard as a vast societal evil, like opioids, or the War on Christmas — utterly failed to stop transmission of the coronavirus, just as the government secretly knew it would. Of course, the main point of the vaccine wasn’t to stop us from catching variants of the virus — it was to stop those variants from killing us at intolerable rates. Which it did."

Was "the main point of the vaccine... to stop those variants from killing us at intolerable rates"? Didn't that just become the main point after it turned out that's all the vaccine was doing? Back when we eagerly lined up to get the vaccine, we believed it would keep us from catching the disease.  

This is a very sleazy column by Matt Bai. If he's so disgusted by Trump's handling of the facts, he should look at his own.

By the way, it's already so obvious that when Trump finally leaves the political arena, there will be an endless supply of new candidates who are declared just like Trump. 

I just spent 40 minutes sucked back into yesterday — Trump's mangled Mother's Day message.

I'm trying to go forward on a Monday morning. Admittedly, I despaired at the front-page collage of headlines in the NYT and WaPo — the debt, Turkey, Ukraine — and felt blocked. But I needed to go back to respond to what I was told was an apt criticism of a post title of mine from last night — "Donald Trump has a Mother's Day message for the 'Lunatics and Maniacs' — the 'Mothers, Wives and Lovers of the Radical Left Fascists, Marxists, and Communists.'"

You can go there to see the 5 paragraphs I ended up adding to a post that was just that title on top of Trump's tweet/"truth." To figure out the extent to which I'd misunderstood him, I had to untangle multiple ambiguities and then, acknowledging the intended meaning, critique that. Then I got into an in-person debate about my reaction to Trump. Do I just continually react emotionally to his weirdness — his abnormality — or am I genuinely engaged in textual interpretation and earnest devotion to copy editing? This conversation took a long detour into the analogy of Trump's writing to Dylan's singing.

Now, Trump probably took something like 20 seconds to dash off his light-heavy shot at mothers of left-wingers, and here I am, the next day, putting 40 more minutes into receiving his message. His taking less time requires me to take more time. I know, I'm probably in the smallest group of the 3 sets of people who read that tweet/"truth." There were the people who get Trump and like what they're getting, and they had fun in the real time it took to skim Trump's 2 sentences. There were the people who loathe Trump, saw the nasty, rough words, quickly thought "I hate that guy," and continued on their righteous way. And then there was Group 3, my group, who got sucked into parsing the whole thing, sorting it out, looking at the unwound entrails, and writing and talking it to death.

He's not writing for me. He's writing for those other 2 groups, playing them off each other and scampering off with delight, and he will communicate again when something new momentarily crosses his mind. Meanwhile, I need to choose my distractions well. In this case, I think I did!

"Thanks Althouse. You read the liberal/left crap, so I don't have to...."

Commented rcocean, after I posted a massive block of links to articles about the Trump/CNN town hall. 

Maybe rcocean was referring to things I do elsewhere — I blog mainstream news every day — but I didn't read any of that analysis of the town hall. I watched the town hall myself, and I stayed tuned for some of the CNN panel discussion afterwards, but I was getting nothing out of it — it seemed like pro forma outrage — and turned in for the night, slept until time for the sunrise run, and, finally approaching the blog at 6:30 a.m., wrote that post to distance myself from the yammer about the town hall

I don't subject myself to an ordeal of reviewing liberal media. I follow my own interests, which, you can see, had to do with a song I'd heard on my run/walk and some feathers strewn on the trail before I posted that block of links, which I called "an image of outrage," about the town hall. It was a snapshot of something seen only from a distance.

What's striking to me now, writing this post, is what's not in those headlines: There was no one terrible thing Trump said that everyone's talking about.

There's just generic stuff about how Trump is awful. It's hard even to think of an answer to the question: What would you use if you had to choose one thing from the town hall to attack Trump?

Calling E. Jean Carroll a "wack job"? Saying he'd (maybe) pardon (some of) the January 6th convicts? Refusing to agree that Ukraine must be the winner? Standing by his longtime insistence that the 2020 election was "rigged"? Agreeing with himself that women "let" stars sexually abuse them? It's all a big stew.

And some people love the stew. There were all those people in the audience lapping it up! You could attack them to attack Trump. Why, they laughed at some things about which other people maintain sobriety! Want to use that? I see some Trump antagonizers are using that talking point... in amongst so many other talking points... it's all so blah blah blah.

"Trump claimed in a deposition that he couldn’t remember if he was seeing Marla Maples before his divorce. It would be quite a thing to forget."

That's the subheadline for "Trump’s affair was huge tabloid news. Now it’s apparently news to him" by Aaron Blake (WaPo).
At one point, [E. Jean] Carroll’s attorney asked Trump a basic factual question: “Isn’t it true that you were seeing Ms. Maples before you were divorced from Ivana Trump?” 
Trump responded, amazingly, “I don’t know,” in the sworn deposition. “It was towards the end of the marriage. So I don’t know, really. It could be a lapover, but I don’t really know.”...

It was such bullshit he had to invent a word: "lapover." 

Or... wait... Google says it is a word:


It's a word for the way those hospital gowns are supposed to cover your ass but famously don't. Good use of the language, Trump. What a comedian! Even under oath. What's funnier than a deposition? An ass protruding from a skimpy hospital gown. 

The WaPo column dishes up this Trump quote from 1994, when Trump said something about the "long-rumored Christmas 1989 standoff" between Ivana, the wife, and Marla, the girlfriend:

"We were actually standing near the restaurant, getting ready to put skis on. And I was standing there like an idiot and Marla and Ivana were here. And there wasn’t shouting, but you could obviously see there was some friction. And a man who was standing right next to me, who weighed about 350 pounds and wasn’t a very attractive guy, said to me, ‘It could be worse, Donald. I’ve been in Aspen for 20 years and I’ve never had a date.’ And I’ll never forget the statement and it sort of lightened it up a little bit for me. I’m saying, ‘You know, I guess it could be worse.'... My life was so great in so many ways. The business was so great. ... I mean, a beautiful girlfriend, beautiful wife, beautiful everything. I mean, life was just a bowl of cherries."

Beautiful girlfriend, beautiful wife, beautiful everything.... 

Asked at deposition about whether it's "True with stars that they can grab women by the pussy," Trump said...

"Well, historically, that’s true with stars... Well, that’s what — if you look over the last million years, I guess that’s been largely true. Not always, but largely true. Unfortunately or fortunately.”

"There are those who demonize and pit people against one another. And there are those who will do anything and everything, no matter how desperate or immoral...""Trump claimed in a deposition that he couldn’t remember if he was seeing Marla Maples before his divorce. It would be quite a thing to forget."

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