The Ubermoron

« February 2018 »

Memo to Donald Trump: SIGH.

One of the things that makes the Donald Trump presidency so exhausting and so maddening is the central paradox that lives at the heart of it. You see, because Donald Trump is Donald Trump, nothing he says means a goddamned thing. But because Donald Trump is the president, we have to treat everything he says as if it means something. Even though it doesn’t. He is the epitome of IDIOTS SAY THE DAMNDEST THINGS!

“They were like death. And un-American. Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not?” - Donald Trump, at a campaign rally in Ohio.

Nothing Rally Trump says means anything, because Rally Trump exists for one sole purpose - to get people to clap and cheer for him. He has a bunch of things he knows works, so he says them, and then he just wings it, careening from sentence to sentence, never letting a thought get more than 20% finished, listening for things people cheer and then running with them.

And by fishing for applause by eventually working his way around to calling anyone who doesn’t applaud for him a traitor to America, he’s reached a kind of insane feedback loop that would destroy a normal person in much the same way Trump’s diet would destroy a normal person YET SOMEHOW IT DOESN’T. And then he asks “Why not?” like he’s ever listened to an answer to that question seriously in his entire wretched fucking life.

”I’m not even saying. I’m non-braggadocious. But if I don’t set a tone like, ‘You’re not gonna keep taking our jobs...’” - Trump, again in Ohio.

The most consistent rule of thumb for his speaking pattern is that, with every single word that comes out of his mouth, he is desperately trying to get to the next word. Or sentence. Or paragraph, even though he doesn’t know what a paragraph is. Or conversation. Whatever he’s talking about, he needs to move on to something else before he goes so far off the rails he can’t get back. He’s successful maybe 60% of the time, and gets away with the other 40% because American politics are completely broken. Let’s call this one Desperate Trump.

You see this more often when he’s in a press gaggle and gets a question he wasn’t expecting or can’t handle, which is most of them. He throws out a bunch of platitudes, a vague time frame (I can only imagine what a Lexis-Nexis search on “Trump couple of weeks” would give you) and walks away, and depending on how he lurched out of his latest conversational crisis, we have to spend between six hours and two weeks debating what he could possibly be talking about. Even when he doesn’t make up words like “ non-braggadocious”

“If we don’t change the legislation, let’s have a shutdown. We’ll do a shutdown.” - Donald Trump, at yet another meeting pretending that MS-13 is a really important thing.

There’s not a huge difference between Rally Trump, Desperate Trump, and the Trump here, Policy Trump. Policy Trump thinks he knows what his policies are and most of the time is wrong, because he’s a complete fucking idiot. This is is where the weird institutional magpie nature of the press and politics comes into play - and how we get President Do-Over. A White House spokesman comes out and said that thing the president just said isn’t what the president thinks, which is technically true because the president doesn’t think.

And we all shrug and say “Oh, OK” and move on for a couple of days until he does it again, because we all can’t admit that the person in charge of our country has no idea what he’s doing. Yesterday, Sarah Huckabee-Sanders literally said “We are not advocating for a shutdown” hours after her boss said “I’d love a shutdown” and none of this is adding up to some kind of cumulative ledger. Data points leading to an inescapable conclusions. But it’s 2018, and all conclusions are escapable.