Trump Forfeited His Constitutional Right To Sarcasm The Minute He Announced

 

screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-12-40-17-pm

Those of us who have a growing sense of relief that this edition of Our Long National Nightmare Is Over is about to go to press…. that Donald J. Trump is not only about to lose, but possibly lose bigly…. still have another two weeks or so of wishing the World Series would be a best of 15 that would continue right through November 8th.  But at least for now we have future Emmy winner Alec Baldwin on Saturday Night Live, who was screen-shot-2016-10-21-at-10-20-10-amlurking bigly in Donald Trump’s great brain as he seemed to be imitating Baldwin imitating him at the third debate.  That’s the debate where Trump was determined to get himself onto the alltime presidential debate highlight reel with “there you go again” and “I knew Jack Kennedy. Jack Kennedy was a friend of mine…” by playing a card not even in the deck and pre-announcing his non-acceptance of the result of the election because it has been so clearly “rigged.”  The next afternoon, Trump tried sarcasm:

“Ladies and gentleman I want to make a major announcement today,” Trump said, continuing, “I would like to promise and pledge to all of my voters and supporters, and to all of the people of the United States, that I will totally accept the results of this great and historic presidential election …”

But there was more. Trump then finished that sentence with, “if I win,” seemingly admitting a strange logic: that a system rigged against him would be totally acceptable if that rigging ultimately worked out in his favor.

He smiled right after “if I win,” but it’s too late for that kind of subtlety and nuance from the guy who has millions and millions of people believing that he, alone, “can fix it.”

Thursday, October 20th, would be the same day that would end with his dropping trou at the Al Smith Dinner in New York in a bombing string of not-funny insults that made one wish for a Gong Show intervention..

I can’t remember at what point I lost my sense of humor about all this. It wasn’t on the granular, day to day basis of analyzing each successive dose of calculated insanity that drove each previous outrage to the back of the (Access Hollywood) bus. Easily disproven lies that pushed calls for violence at rallies pushed out attacks on Megyn Kelly’s humanity and Carly Fiorina’s face, which displaced the attack on the disabled reporter, John McCain’s military service and the non-existent Muslim celebrators of 9/11 he said he saw… the businesses that cut ties to him early on as he attacked Mexicans and promised to force them to build a wall, which was complimented by his call to shut down all Mosques (all of those things from a full year ago)…. this list could go on seemingly forever, right up to today…. it never really was funny.  A Gordian Knot of Knuttiness….

Maybe the urgency of the situational, national cancer that Trump has metastasized into was being signaled to us when he first leaned on the oldest, lamest excuse to try and wiggle out of whatever his latest limits-testing absurdity was at the time: it was a joke, I was being sarcastic, and you have no sense of humor for taking me seriously like all of the Angry, White Male Einsteins at my rallies who I love because they take me seriously.

When he slammed John McCain in July of 2015 because he said he likes “people who weren’t captured,” Trump then tweeted, “Captured or not, all of our soldiers are heroes.” He thought that might be the end of it. Do you recall saying to yourself that just the piece of video (here) of him saying that about McCain was way more sickening than lesser things that have sunk other candidates of the past?  The next day, his response to the universal condemnation reigning down on him set the pattern which we have seen literally hundreds of times since then. Here was the double down on the outrage, never apologize template being tested, early on. Via CNN:

Asked by ABC News whether he owes McCain an apology, Trump said: “No, not at all.”
“People that fought hard and weren’t captured and went through a lot, they get no credit. Nobody even talks about them. They’re like forgotten. And I think that’s a shame, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said Sunday.
“People that were not captured that went in and fought, nobody talks about them. Those are heroes also,” he said.
It wasn’t really funny then, but we were six months ahead of the first primary vote, and Trump was still an attention-grabbing novelty act that surely would close before it ever got out of Altoona. Wrong.

 

For awhile, Trump was going hot and heavy on saying things he knew he shouldn’t say by saying them and then telling you he wasn’t going to say them. Ha. Ha.  Here’s ABC’s version of the earliest use of a word that would come back to grab and haunt Trump really, really bigly as an October surprise via Billy Bushgate.

Ahead of the New Hampshire primary in February, Trump had been discussing Cruz’s remarks about waterboarding during the ABC News debate days earlier. 

“You heard the other night at the debate, they asked Ted Cruz a serious question: “Well what do you think of waterboarding?” Is it okay? And honestly I thought he’d say absolutely and he didn’t,” Trump told the audience.

After that, a woman shouted a crude word.

“Okay you’re not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that again,” Trump said in response. “I never expect to hear that from you again.”

But then Trump repeated the woman’s remarks.

“She said he’s a PUSSYthat’s terrible,” he said, before throwing his hands up.

Trump pointed to the fact that he was repeating the words of a supporter — rather than initially saying them himself –- as the reason why he said the word, nonetheless.

By this past week’s debate, Trump’s bizarre defensiveness surrounding all things Russian and all things Putin is another of those would disqualify anyone else things that’s been pushed to the background by other bundles of crazy.  But Trump, the man who would be way more likely to read Putin his Miranda rights than Hillary hers upon their respective arrests, held a news conference  at the Democratic Convention where he called (“sarcastically,” he said later) for Russian hackers to find the tens of thousands of deleted emails from Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, ABC reported.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you would probably be rewarded mightily by our press,” he said at the news conference.

When pressed about it later in the same news conference, he said “I hope they do” find the emails.

He later said it was a joke.

“Obviously I was being sarcastic and a lot of people really smiled and laughed. It was said in a sarcastic manner, obviously,” he told Fox News.

At a later event in Iowa, Trump was asked how voters are supposed to know when he is and isn’t being sarcastic.

“I think people understand that very… I think it’s very understandable,” he said.

No, it’s not understandable.  It’s not funny, and the game is almost over.

 

There’s Only You and Me and We Just Disagree as America’s Togetherness Myth Melts Away. Thanks, Trump.

As we enter the final month of Donald Trump’s Journey of Self-Discovery… as he discovers the traits that made him Fake Business Genius Bully Trump are not acceptably transferrable to become President Trump… it’s important to recognize the horrible legacy he’s leaving behind.  The King of Reality TV Stars thought he could cross over to the screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-2-09-38-pmWhite House as easily as Hootie went country.  Not gonna happen.  But like the cartoon Tasmanian Devil, Trump is leaving behind a damaged, divided citizenry. I knew I recognized Trump from pop culture from somewhere other than Celebrity Apprentice:

Taz is generally portrayed as a ferocious, albeit dim-witted, omnivore with a notoriously short temper and little patience. His enormous appetite seems to know no bounds, as he will eat anything in his path. He is best known for his speech consisting mostly of grunts, growls, and rasps (in his earlier appearances, he does speak English with primitive grammar) as well as his ability to spin like a vortex and bite through nearly anything

You surely remember the depiction of the Civil War that could literally tear a family apart, pitting brother against brother or father against son as each rallied to the flag of the cause that captured his heart.  Not since the height of the Vietnam War has the country been so divided.  But Vietnam was over something that truly was a life and death situation.  This is about Donald Trump, who has emerged as the black hole of all of the worst aspects of America.  Some of those characteristics are noted here, in The Atlantic’s first endorsement of a presidential candidate since 1964, when they warned of the danger of Barry Goldwater and backed LBJ. That followed a 104 year-record of non-endorsement, when they’d backed the saving of the Union by getting behind Abe Lincoln in 1860.  The magazine was founded in 1857.  Imagine all those angry subscription cancellations! Hardly head over heels for Hillary, a flawed candidate for sure, the Atlantic makes the choice and comes to the conclusion that:

Donald Trump….has no record of public service and no qualifications for public office. His affect is that of an infomercial huckster; he traffics in conspiracy theories and racist invective; he is appallingly sexist; he is erratic, secretive, and xenophobic; he expresses admiration for authoritarian rulers, and evinces authoritarian tendencies himself. He is easily goaded, a poor quality for someone seeking control of America’s nuclear arsenal. He is an enemy of fact-based discourse; he is ignorant of, and indifferent to, the Constitution; he appears not to read.

“Appears not to read,” is a good dividing line.  You either believe that education and study and scholarship and learning about stuff outside your main area of interest is important…. or you think a narrow, self-interested, unprepared, simple closed mind that is 100% convinced of its own invincibility is just great.  Trump needs to be asked the “what newspapers or magazines do you read?” question.

Much has been written about people at the office not talking to each other about the election.  Bumper stickers and yard signs seem scarcer than ever out of fear of your car getting bashed, someone flipping you off, or your house burned down.  It’s even infected Fox News Channel, where adherence to the code has made them number one for 20 years.  Sean Hannity and Megyn Kelly went at each other this past week, then pretended to make up, sending out a picture of the two of them faking togetherness as they realized the checks still don’t bounce from Rupert Murdoch every 2 weeks.  Mommy and Daddy were fighting but they love each other now!

Megyn Kelly, Sean Hannity bury the hatchet, much to media’s chagrin

screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-40-35-pmFinally, my favorite Division of America.  Inside medicine, you can almost predict your doctor’s likely political leanings based on their specialty. The most Top Gun-like specialties of them all, surgery, and their necessary screen-shot-2016-10-07-at-1-46-39-pmsidekicks in anesthesiology, are easily the most Republican-leaning. Pediatrics, psychiatry, and infectious disease docs, who spend more time than others face to face with people they have to talk to, lean most heavily Democratic.  

More here from the New York Times:

The fields with higher average salaries tended to contain more doctors who were Republican, while the comparatively lower-paying fields were more popular among Democrats. That matches with national data, which show that, for people with a given level of education, richer ones are more likely to lean Republican (possibly because of a concern over the liberal policy goal of taxing the wealthiest at a higher rate).

156 years after The Atlantic endorsed the house divided against itself cannot stand guy, we’re a month away from the possible Trumpocalypse. Hang on.