Following up on our piece yesterday, Trump is now spinning his wheels backwards like a cartoon character trying to vamoose out of there, building up a big puff of smoke and then – whoosh!! He’s gone.
In yet another crazed, rambling statement on Trump Social he wrote --
(Quick side note: I'm not sure if it's a great idea for Trump to ever post anything that includes any of the words, "DISINFORMATION," "LIES," "RUSSIA, RUSSIA, RUSSIA," "HOAXES," "SCAMS, "FRAUD," "DECEPTION" and "FOOLS" -- let alone all of them together. It tends to draw attention back on so many of Trump's worst qualities," and gets people thinking, "Oh, yeahhhh...this guy.")
The thing is, it’s a bit hard to know who this was directed to, considering that he had previous written, “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution.” Which, as far as reading goes, is pretty clear.
On the one hand, since it hasn’t been fully established that his base cares to read all that much and therefore might have missed his call for terminating the Constitution, it might have been directed at them. But if so, then there’s a reasonable chance they wouldn’t read his attempt at a denial, so it’s unnecessary. And since his base would almost certainly continue following him even if they knew he called for terminating the Constitution, it’s also unnecessary on that level, as well,
On the other hand, this suggests his act of desperation with this denial was intended for everyone else. But the problem with that is that all these people did read what he wrote – and understand that when someone writes, “…termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution,” it means, yes, they did, in fact, say he wanted to terminate the Constitution.
The main thing about his denial rant, though, is not who it was intended for – especially since in Trump’s fevered mind it may have just been the need for him to hear himself say it out loud and convince himself of the lie. But rather what’s important is that his writing it shows he’s aware how much he screwed up and is terrified by the problem he created for himself.
And he most certainly created a huge problem for himself – both politically (leaving himself wide open for direct attack, especially since every public official has to swear an oath to God to protect and defend the Constitution he just called to terminate) and legally (since he’s at risk of his words potentially being used against him in court).
It also causes a huge problem for Kevin McCarthy, if he does end up becoming Speaker of the House (still an “if.”) That’s because McCarthy has said that if he’s Speaker, then on the first day of the new Congress all Republicans are going to read the U.S. Constitution. And what that will serve to do, unlike McCarthy’s infantile intent, is shine a massively bright light on what Trump said as GOP leader about terminating the Constitution, in blatant contrast to GOP actions on the House floor. The alternative is backing away from McCarthy’s announced plan to avoid the hypocritical embarrassment. The problem there is that that too will shine a light on what Trump said and show that House Republicans support him for it by not reading the Constitution. I suspect they will go ahead, but it’s still the ol’ proverbial rock and a hard place. Because they’re screwed either way. But that’s what happens when you let a fascist lead you into fascist land.
Oddly, my favorite response to this all has come from a Republican senator. Weird because Republican officials have been notably and reprehensibly silent in their condemnation of Trump calling to terminate the Constitution. It came from Mitt Romney, who’s probably still pissed off by how Trump humiliated him when initially elected and had Romney come in to ostensibly interview to be Secretary of State, a job Trump had no intention of hiring him. Romney wonderfully pulled a page out of the Trump Playbook and mocked him as a RINO!
Speaking to reporters on Capitol Hill, Romney said, “Well, the Republican Party is the Constitution party. So, when he calls to suspend the Constitution, he goes from being MAGA to being RINO.”
Putting aside that I’m not sure when the Republican Party has ever been “The Constitution Party,” but most especially over the past six years – and putting aside that Trump didn’t say “suspend” the Constitution, but “terminate” it – it’s a pretty good dig at Trump throwing his own word back at him in a way that can be very impactful.
There was an old deodorant commercial whose ad line was, “Never let them see you sweat.”
With Trump’s latest statement yesterday, it’s pretty hard not to see the sweat dripping from him like a tsunami.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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