Wednesday, February 06, 2019


But we knew that. From coverage at my newsletter (to which you really should subscribe):
Trump keeps going on women-empowerment, and then onto the trade deficit, and then NAFTA, and then... But there’s nothing left. He keeps talking, about infrastructure, about bipartisanship, about “cutting-edge industries”; but the air doesn’t vibrate to him; he calls for coverage of “pre-existing conditions,” and there isn’t even the Trumpian frisson from a Big Lie well-told, not even the sinful shiver that used to come for many of us from [his] flouting of standards of decency, the giddy feeling of going too far. Even the Republicans’ applause turns pro-forma, a few hard smacks and siddown. When Trump talks about stopping AIDS, a noble and doable goal, his habit of lying boldly works against him — a large gesture that’s supposed to stir the soul instead of sneers and smirks can’t stir shit. Even the great joke of Trump pretending to care about abortion and “the holy image of God” falls flat, and the North Korea thing is so dumb the Republican applause falters with embarrassment, which is what they have instead of shame.
The N. Korea line, for the record, was "If I had not been elected president of the United States, we would right now, in my opinion, be in a major war with North Korea." Of course the whole thing was a dense burrito of lies, and the abortion one was unspeakably gross, but his claim that El Paso went from one of the most dangerous cities in America to one of the safest because of a border wall particularly bothered me -- partly because the lie was so easy to check, but mostly because it's such a perfect example of his lying style: Creating a phony crisis, then claiming to have solved it with one of his hobby-horses.

I will only add:

  • I don't know why a panel of pharmacologists hasn't been convened to discuss what Trump's Adderal was cut with last night to soften and slow him down (in, I assume, an attempt to convey gravitas). Ativan? Horse tranks? 
  • Whatever they drugged him with, why didn't they add something to keep his mouth from going all gummy?

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