Monday, May 04, 2020

Dishonest But Effective Response

He's no dope. In mid-April we learned

the president declared, “LIBERATE MICHIGAN!” and “LIBERATE MINNESOTA!” — two states whose Democratic governors have imposed strict social distancing restrictions. He also lashed out at Virginia, where the state’s Democratic governor and legislature have pushed for strict gun control measures, saying: “LIBERATE VIRGINIA, and save your great 2nd Amendment. It is under siege!”

Those folks were rallying in large groups and many of them were without masks. However, we know when it comes to his own health and safety, the President is more sensible because two weeks later The New York Times reported

President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence are tested frequently, aides who come into close contact with them are tested weekly and the list of people who need to be tested daily keeps expanding, according to officials familiar with the process.

At her press briefing on Friday, Presidential Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany slammed Joe Biden with

Well, what I would say is that we are pleased that the former Vice President has decided to go on the record.  It took him less than — what? — 16 hours to follow the advice of the President of the United States and come out and publicly address those claims.  So, you know, we’re glad to see that he’s on the record on this.

Twenty-five women have accused Trump of sexual harassment and/or assault, he is on tape bragging that they let him do it, and he threatened before he was elected to sue every one and since has sued none. But he knows how to seize an opportunity. So while McEnany took the low road, Trump grabbed a chance during a podcast to give a backhanded compliment to his rival when

“I have been falsely accused by people that I’ve never even seen,” Trump said on conservative media personality Dan Bongino’s podcast Friday. “I’ve never even seen many of these people, and some of them, I’ve met them and zero interest. OK? Like zero. And all of the sudden you become a wealthy guy. You’re a famous guy, and then you become president, and people just, people that you’ve never seen, that you’ve never heard of, make charges.”

Trump continued: “I guess in a way, you could say I’m sticking up for him. But the mother was very compelling certainly, and the girlfriend, or the friends were very compelling. And certainly far more compelling than anything they had with respect to Brett Kavanaugh.”

President Trump did it all there. In the age of "Believe women," he tried to identify with a woman herself claiming to be a victim when he whined "you're a famous guy and then you become president and people just, people that you've never seen, that you've never heard of, make charges."

Yet again, he is eager to present himself as a winner, a man's man, "I've met them and have zero interest. O.K.? Like zero."  (This is a ludicrous defense and very sexist but it does play well in some precincts.) Moreover, he strategically diverted attention to his own peccadillos- some would call them sex crimes- by invoking the name of Brett Kavanaugh, who will not be the Republican candidate for President in November.

Kavanaugh is a chronic liar and the biggest whiner American politics has seen in decades (not that those are characteristics of alcoholics, not at all). However- no, therefore- Republicans have been obsessing over the grave injustice done to Kavanaugh, who now must endure a lifetime seat on the United States Supreme Court. Trump's shout-out to the Judge similarly reminds both the Republican base and its donor class of what they owe the President.

The GOP grabbed the opportunity on Friday for a win-win on the (false) Reade accusation. President Trump appeared a little generous- "in a way, you could say I'm sticking up for him"- while his supporters luxuriated in the gutter. It's a wise combination, one demonstrating yet again that there is method to Donald J. Trump's madness.

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