As yet another week of Donald John Trump’s sordid, failed Presidency lumbers through yet another morass of scandals, lies and missteps heads for week’s end, Americans who increasingly wait and wonder about what is happening to their country shake their heads in disbelief.
With his runaway mouth, lack of solid feeling or compassion and burdened by an incredible ego, Trump urged one Senator to work up a compromise on health care, then walked away from it, told a widow whose husband died in war that he “knew what he was signing up for” and claimed he had “proof” that claims of what he said was a lie and that proof turned out to not exist.
Trump’s antics week brought blistering observations from one former Republican president (George W. Bush) and the Democrat one (Barack Obama).
In his normal mode, Trump used his primary method of communication (Twitter) to pound out his tweets on his smartphone in the wee hours of the mornings. The Secret Service repeatedly warns Trump that his personal smartphone is not secure and should not be used by a president but Trump, as usual, ignores the warnings.
Trump’s incendiary lies have brought strong responses.
- Former Attorney General Eric Holder: “Stop the damn lying.”
- Former White House deputy security adviser Ben Rhodes: “An outrageous and disrespectful lie even by Trump standards.
- Former Obama administration official Alyssa Mastromonaco: “A fucking lie” from a “deranged animal.”
Trump claimed he had called all of the families of servicemen killed since he became president. Not even close. The Associated Press checked with 20 of the families of the 43 who have died since Trump took office and more than half said he hasn’t called.
Paul Waldman, senior writer for The American Prospect, notes:
Trump takes his own particular combination of ignorance, bluster and malice, and sets it off like a nuclear bomb of misinformation. The fallout spreads throughout the country, and no volume of corrections and fact checks can stop it. It wasn’t even part of a thought-out strategy, just a loathsome impulse that found its way out of the president’s mouth to spread far and wide.
If you’re one of those who marvel at the fact that Trump’s approval ratings aren’t even lower than they are, this is a big reason for that. It’s absolutely necessary to correct Trump’s falsehoods, but we shouldn’t fool ourselves into believing that any poisonous lie he tells won’t find an eager audience. And the whole country gets dumber and dumber.
To paraphrase and old Mark Twain statement about “three kinds of lies, ” the new version should read: “There are three kinds of lies: Lies, damn lies and uttered by Donald Trump.”
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