I had an entirely different article planned for today. Then I watched a snippet of news on the television this morning which sparked me. I’m a few days ahead of my normal writing schedule in order to accommodate some medical procedures and am writing this early Friday afternoon. Let’s explore.
The motivation was watching a bit of the press gaggle President Trump held as he was about to board Marine One and flee Washington for one of his golf clubs for the remainder of the holiday weekend. I’m certain he needs some time away to unwind from the pressures of being the headline act as last night’s Trumpapalooza and plotting a way to defy a Supreme Court decision.
I know, I know, I’m being hard on Trump. It is probably that the White House and Camp David (both of which we pay for) do not have adequate facilities to handle all the high level meetings and conference calls he will be taking in New Jersey. Oh, by the way, we will be paying for his transportation and security. It just so happens he owns the New Jersey facility he will be staying at so he will personally profit from the trip. Don’t worry; we still get to pick up the tab. Maybe that is his idea of a working vacation.
In the brief part of the gaggle I caught Trump told a number of lies and they weren’t even very believable ones if you can divide and read. Perhaps that, in large part, explains why his base is so loyal.
A reporter asked him about Ivanka at the G-20 and he went on about how all the world leaders loved her. Had he left it there it could have been looked upon as a difference of opinion as to what the world leaders thought, (invoking the late Tim Russert, “Roll the tape.”) Trump went on to say what a great job she was doing at significant personal sacrifice. Then came the whopper; Trump claimed that she had overseen the creation of 10 million jobs. This was on the same day that the White House was elated over the June jobs report which said 224,000 jobs had been added last month. Simple division came into my mind. The Trump administration has been in place about 29 months, so if you divide 10 million by 29 you something over 344,000. In other words if Trump is to be believed his daughter created more jobs than exist and nobody else has done anything on the jobs creation front. More believable and consistent with past behavior Trump simply pulled a number out of air (I’m being polite today) and lied.
Trump has been even more deceptive than normal on the cost of yesterday’s Trumpapalooza. The $2.5 million taken from the National Parks has gotten plenty of press, but it appears to be a very, very small part of the total production cost which I estimate exceeds $100 million. The last time the Department of Defense did a parade embellishment cost estimate for a prior Trump request it was $92 million. Those two line items alone have us nearing $95 million. What about other items? What about the lost productivity for people stranded on highways, in airports or diverted to accommodate Trumpapalooza?
Another question centered on the citizenship question being included in the 2020 census. Trump insists it will be and has his administration working on it. When pressed he cited the need in order to reapportion Congressional representation. He is flat out incorrect! House representation is largely a function of population without regard to eligibility to vote and therefore residency, not citizenship, is at question. Theoretically a member of Congress represents a three year-old and a sixty year-old equally. To the chagrin of Trump and many of his supporters we no longer allow slavery in America and do not count black people as three-fifths of a person.
Trump may just be doing a lot of posturing to placate the large racist and xenophobic portion of his base but if he defies a Supreme Court ruling then we will find ourselves in a constitutional crisis. I do not throw that term around loosely and to my recollection that is the first time I have used it in a column. The President openly defying a Supreme Court ruling is an attack on the very underpinning of our Constitutional Republic!
Here is the thing that perplexes me: with all the practice he has had at lying (dating back well before his political career) why is Trump so inept at it?
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