Even on script, Trump can’t keep facts straight

President Donald Trump looks up during the military flyovers at the Independence Day celebration in front of the Lincoln Memorial, Thursday, July 4, 2019, in Washington. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

On one of the rare occasions that President Donald Trump stuck to the script, he says the script failed him.

Trump’s recitation of highlights from American history in his Fourth of July speech detoured into a mashup of war and centuries. He segued from the War of Independence to modern times and back to the War of 1812 so fast that it seemed he thought George Washington’s forces seized airports, ages before airplanes existed — though he did not state that was his belief.

“The teleprompter went out,” Trump said Friday. “Right in the middle of that sentence it went out.” He added: “I knew the speech very well so I was able to do it without a teleprompter.”

The White House did not release a text of the speech that had been prepared for him so it’s not known what he meant to say.

As a light rain fell, he told the crowd about 15 minutes before the end of his event: “The Continental Army suffered a bitter winter of Valley Forge, found glory across the waters of the Delaware and seized victory from Cornwallis of Yorktown.” After an unintelligible reference to an army at the “ramparts,” he went on: “It took over the airports. It did everything it had to do. And at Fort McHenry, under the rockets’ red glare, it had nothing but victory. And when dawn came, their star-spangled banner waved defiant.”

Trump then proceeded in a more chronological fashion, mentioning the Civil War and the world wars.

The Battle of Fort McHenry took place in 1814, when Americans repulsed a British attempt during the War of 1812 to take over Baltimore. It inspired the poem and song that became the national anthem more than a century later, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

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Associated Press writer Lynn Berry contributed to this report.

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Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

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The impossible dream is just that

They had so much hope, so much hype and so much promise for change, this new Congress of 2008 when they swept into power two years ago with Barack Obama at the helm and a trustful nation behind them.

Now, with time running out, with so little accomplished and so little consensus, the bitter Congress that can do has become the petty, little legislative body that can’t — a mere shadow of itself running hither and yon as time runs out and the great mantle of hope is reduced to the ashes of political reality.

In reality, we expected too much of a novice president and a collection of political extremists with narrow-focused agendas and a gridlocked mentality. Governing is a black art of deal-making and Satanist coalitions and neither appears possible in today’s winner–take all mentality.

As an overburdened lame duck Congress winds toward a new year that promises even more chaos, the government of the once-great United States of America careens down a path of self-charted self-destruction, united only by mutual greed and a no-return path of disarray, disassociation and dysfunction.

Rationality — if such an arcane concept actually existed in the American political system — becomes a mythical parody of competing Man of LaMancha stories, scuttled by an impossible dream of political cohesion fanned by windmills of impossible philosophical dreams . Our hero fights not just an impossible concept but also an inevitable reality.

At one time, perhaps, such fights against impossible odds helped pull a nation together.

Now they just complete the task of driving it apart.

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