-- Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on Trump
It wasn't the bluntness of Speaker Pelosi's comment towards a lame duck president that stood out to me yesterday -- and her counting the hours, not the days which requires a calendar rather than a ticking watch -- it was her use of "little hands." As is well-known by now, Trump is deeply sensitive whenever the small size of his hands is ever referenced, seeing it as a reflection on what that purportedly means about the size of another of his important male body parts.
By the way, the origin of that sensitivity goes back to January, 1998, when Graydon Carter, co-founder of the bitingly satirical Spy magazine out of New York, wrote an article that described Trump as a “short-fingered vulgarian.” It upset Trump so much that for many years he would send photos of himself, generally torn out of magazines, to Carter with his hands circled in gold Sharpie and a personally-written comment to the side, "See, not so short!" In a 2015 article in Vanity Fair (where he was then the editor), Carter said that the most recent mailing had come earlier that year and added, "I sent the picture back by return mail with a note attached, saying, 'Actually, quite short.' Which I can only assume gave him fits."
The knowledge of that sensitivity -- and the reality that he still would respond to it, even in public -- it a high point in the GOP presidential primaries that same 2015 when Marco Rubio made a reference to it, saying, "I don't understand why his hands are the size of someone who is 5-foot-2, And you know what they say about men with small hands? You can't trust them." That, of course, is not what they say about men with small hands, unless they are trying to clean it up for public consumption, and Trump knew that well. And so, with all the insecurity that the country has come to know, he responded in defense of his hands a week later during an actual presidential debate. "Look at those hands, are they small hands?” he said, holding them up for the world to see, despite being the front-runner as Republican nominee for president of the United States. “And, he referred to my hands – ‘if they’re small, something else must be small.' I guarantee you there’s no problem. I guarantee." Never mind that Rubio didn't say that, Trump knew what was meant, and so he brought the presidential conversation down into the scatological gutter. For all I know, it's where the origin of his "Little Marco" insult came from.
And Nancy Pelosi most-certainly knew all this. So, not only did she bluntly tell Trump off, she knowingly insulted his manhood. And of course, it wasn't an insult of his manhood from just anyone, but from a woman. And not just any woman, but an 80-year-old woman who was insulting his manhood. And not just any 80-year-old woman, but the most powerful woman in the United States.
And on top of insulting his manhood, saying she planned to throw him out.
Oh, and the "by his hair" wasn't too shabby as far as insults go, either, especially when dealing with a man famous for his elaborate comb-over.
But what perhaps leaped out the most was the response from Republicans in Congress. And that response was -- silence. No outrage, no cries of how unbecoming it was for the Speaker of the House -- and not just any Speaker, but the hated Nancy Pelosi, who Republicans have been fundraising off of for years, indeed decades. Just... silence. Forget the sly insults, just simply saying she planned to throw him out would normally be enough to send Republicans into apoplexy. And not even because it's Nancy Pelosi or a generic Speaker of the House, but have we ever heard any politician be so blunt about getting rid of an outgoing president?? And as far as I can tell, there wasn't a word of complaint from any Republican.
I don't think that's necessarily because they didn't want to defend Trump -- they clearly have no trouble with that, even now, as many continue Trump's assault on democracy. The best I can figure is that even they are just weary by it all and heard Speaker Pelosi's response as the natural reaction to Trump Mania.
And in the end, that's what you get when your party leader is a short-fingered vulgarian.