News, I am sad to report, continues to occur.
And it is even worse than I thought. If President Trump’s press appearances Wednesday and Thursday were any indication, we are still trapped inside the 2016 election and will stay trapped there forever. It is the Groundhog Day edition of Hell. We will stay trapped in here until Trump learns his lesson, or we learn not to be so free with Hitler comparisons, or something. Which is to say, we will be trapped here forever.
Trump is very upset with the bad job that our government is doing, and he is finally going to do something about it: He will run for president. It’s about time. Whoever is in there now is terrible, and we can’t have this any longer!
Trump will be holding a rally in Melbourne, Fla., this weekend to kick off his 2020 campaign. Most people, presented with the option of spending the night in the White House or hanging out in an airport in Melbourne, might choose the former, but Donald Trump is not most people. Besides, the president is doing such a bad job that it is imperative that an outsider such as Trump finally run for public office. Please do not tell Trump what his current job is, as I fear it will come as a shock to his fragile system.
He promises to “put people before government.” In this case, it is literally true. Instead of putting together anything that resembles a government, he is going to an airport in Melbourne to hang out with some … people. I guess?
Trump announced Thursday that “I’ll be in Melbourne, Florida, 5 o’clock on Saturday, and I heard — just heard that the crowds are massive that want to be there.” Trump has on good authority that his crowds will be massive in the future. And they say that the CIA is keeping things from him!
On Wednesday, Andrew Puzder withdrew from consideration as a potential secretary of labor in a way that allowed everybody to feel they had accomplished something. Puzder was like a Rorschach test — everyone who looked at him saw something they disliked, and it was more about them than it was about him. It could have been because he employed undocumented labor and did not remember to pay their back taxes, or because of sexism, opposition to minimum wage increases and allegations of spousal abuse, or because he had a relatively mild and sane idea about increasing legal immigration. The good news for anyone in the Senate who wanted to oppose him was that you could just say, “I oppose him for the obvious reason” and your constituent would be immediately pleased, but you might actually not be talking about the same thing.
Russia continues to be news. Former Trump campaign czar (whoops, Russian word!) Paul Manafort explained possible contact with Russian intelligence officers by saying, quite logically, that there was no way to tell you were speaking to a Russian spy, ever. Maybe you are a Russian spy! Maybe we’re all Russian spies. How can we really know, in our heart of hearts, that we aren’t? In conclusion, if everyone the Trump campaign had talked to for months turns out to have been a Russian spy, that is just bad luck.
Poor Mike Pence. It is bad enough that he gets his news from The Post. Pence had said that he speaks on the phone or in person to Trump every day, but it doesn’t seem as though Trump is as invested in this relationship as Pence is. Instead of telling him useful information about national security, Trump — perhaps missing Chris Christie – has been sending him to perform humiliating errands. I invite you to think of the saddest possible thing that a human being could be doing instead of being told that the national security adviser had misled him and he was looking like a fool in public. Do you have one?
Okay, here is what the Wall Street Journal said Pence has been doing: Trump told him to go see the statue of Douglas MacArthur at West Point, and so he walked out in the freezing cold to see the statue and mimed polishing its shoes. That is the act of a man who is in the loop and has lots of important things to do!
On Wednesday Trump also made waves because, in a press conference with Israeli Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu, he appeared to abandon the two-state solution. Or something. “I’m looking at two-state and one-state and I like the one that both parties like,” Trump said, which does not at all sound like the policy equivalent of glancing frantically around the table to see which fork everyone is using. But his supporters on the Internet assure me that this is just another brilliant strategy, characteristic of Trump, where he lures America’s foes into a false sense of security by appearing not to have any idea what he is talking about at any time.
Asked about the ways in which his election and his supporters might have lent strength to the forces of anti-Semitism, Trump explained that he had not been expected to win the election and that it was stunning how he had prevailed in the electoral college, then concluded that we were all going to see a lot of love. “Well, I just want to say that we are, you know, very honored by the victory that we had — 306 electoral college votes. We were not supposed to crack 220. You know that, right? There was no way to 221, but then they said there’s no way to 270. And there’s tremendous enthusiasm out there.”
And on Thursday, speaking to the press about, I think, the new labor secretary nominee, Trump noted, “I put it out before the American people, got 306 electoral college votes. I wasn’t supposed to get 222. They said there’s no way to get 222, 230’s impossible. 270 which you need, that was laughable. We got 306 because people came out and voted like they’ve never seen before so that’s the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan.”
It turns out that when Trump said “we don’t win anymore” and “you will get sick of winning,” what he meant was that he will answer every question put to him over the next several years by telling you the story of how he won the election. I am sick of winning, definitely.