Living Large in Carson City: The “Everything You Say Bounces Off Me and Sticks to You Edition

The White House has a favorite excuse to explain away some of Trump’s most controversial statements

Donald TrumpDonald Trump. Jonathan Ernst/Reuter

“When the White House is asked about some of President Donald Trump’s more controversial comments, they’ve frequently returned to one favorite excuse:

He’s just joking.

Both White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders and deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said the president made the remark in jest. Sanders said the president was “clearly joking,” while Gidley said the comment was “tongue-in-cheek.”

At first it was funny then a little pathetic. Trump apologists were everywhere. Now, it’s become a dangerous obsession. It boggles the mind how Republicans can go on national television and make obscene claims that are meant to justify Trump’s daily outbursts. Of course, the Republican primary and presidential race should have been warning enough that a storm of half-baked, utterly insane Trump justification by his army of sycophants was on the horizon. Remember this?

“I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose any voters, okay? It’s, like, incredible.”

He was talking about his supporters, both hired and from his 33 percent basket of deplorables. America laughed at him then and thought surely this will sink any chance he has of taking the top post in our American democracy.  It didn’t. Still, there was the hope that his base and hirelings would some day come around and see him for the blowhard that he is in a gesture of American solidarity. They haven’t.

This week, Trump accused Democrats who didn’t clap for him in the State of the Union address as treasonous. Just so it is crystal clear, treasonous means betraying one’s country or being guilty in an attempt thereof. Besides being ludicrous, self-serving and just down right wrong, it sets a dangerous precedent for the days ahead.

A true statesman’s job is not to point out the differences between the people, but their job is to find a way to unite disparate beliefs in spite of their differences. Trump’s take no prisoners who disagree with him attitude and his often-incomprehensible antics and snide statements are divisive and beneath the office he seems bent on destroying.

One could argue this is just the ugly side of political infighting. Shit happens, but not to the degree or the regularity that Trump seems to think is acceptable. Paid advisers and talking heads of the media earn their living doing this day in and day out. It is what American politics is about, whether we like it or not.

What is most disturbing is how Trump supporters are beginning to react. Get involved in any online debate on Facebook or other social media outlets. The level of vitriol has ratcheted up to a degree that is both disturbing and a bit darkly comical. There is no reasoning with these supporters. Facts mean zip. They have swallowed the lies and innuendos as the truth. And it is spreading to the absurd.

The Trump administration’s attack on American free press is especially disturbing. Every totalitarian regime begins by attacking and trying to control the press. Trump has been at this task since the presidential campaign. Next, they begin attacking the opposition party like he did his week by labeling Democrats treasonous for having the courage to show their displeasure with his actions. What comes next? Obviously firing Mueller and/or Rosenstein in an attempt to shut down the Russia investigation seems logical.

Logic, however, has never been a synonym applied to Trump’s thought process. What he does next is anyone’s guess.


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