Monday, May 20, 2019

Not An Idiot, Part Infinity

Merriam-Webster defines "idiot" as "a foolish or stupid person."  Donald Trump is no idiot, although the former mayor and cabinet secretary from Texas evidently believes he is, given that


Democratic presidential hopeful Julián Castro heard about President Trump’s rally in Panama City Beach, Florida, on Wednesday night—and he’s not having it. 

“The president,” he said in an interview with Mother Jones on Thursday, “is being a grade-A idiot.”

Trump was speaking about the tens of thousands of migrants at the US-Mexico border when he started talking about Border Patrol agents using deadly force. “And don’t forget—we don’t let them and we can’t let them use weapons,” Trump said. “We can’t. Other countries do. We can’t. I would never do that. But how do you stop these people? You can’t. There’s—”
From the crowd, a woman reportedly yelled out, “Shoot them!”

The president paused before deadpanning, “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that stuff. Only in the Panhandle!

People love being name-checked, even if it's in apparent ridicule. Evangelical Christians adore Donald Trump not only because he supports forced-birth and puts right-wing judges onto the US Supreme Court, but also because he mentions them, directly or indirectly.   It's why the Christian right loved him his flippant remark "That's my second favorite book of all time. You know what my favorite is?" The Bible! Nothing beats the Bible, not even The Art of the Deal. Not even close." (Of course, Trump wrote about as much of "The Art of the Deal" as he did of the Bible.)  

It's why he came out unscathed- arguably even more popular- when he demeaned, by misrepresenting, the sacrament of communion by stating "When I drink my little wine — which is about the only wine I drink — and have my little cracker, I guess that is a form of asking for forgiveness, and I do that as often as possible because I feel cleansed. I think in terms of ‘let’s go on and let’s make it right.'”

And it's one of the reasons the crowd roared it's approval when Trump,with  a "boy are these people off the wall" look,  said "it's only in the Panhandle you can get away with that stuff."

Mother Jones added

In an exclusive interview in San Antonio, Castro slammed Trump, calling his behavior “unbecoming of a president.”

“I mean, the president is being a grade-A idiot,” he said. “Entertaining the idea that you would shoot a human being just because they’re looking for a better life. You know, somebody can think that that’s all fun and games, but we’ve already seen during this administration the level of hate crimes increase. We’ve seen so many white supremacists go out there and say that they’re inspired by President Trump and shoot people. And so he’s being a grade-A idiot.

The President is no grade-A idiot, or any kind of idiot. Journalist Greg Sargent and another tweeter recognize:

Trump is skillfully trying to have it both ways, yet either approach satisfies the longing of Trump's base supporters for the red meat it wants served up to them. It is an effective strategy which belies the argument that the President is an idiot or his remarks idiotic.  And each time Julian Castro or another political opponent mistakes evil for idiocy, it reinforces the impression that Donald J. Trump as merely another flawed politician, but one devoted to the interests of his supporters and of the country

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