Sunday, January 6, 2019

The Dishonest and Delusional Donald

Yesterday I posted 2019 is the year of impeachment and included several excerpts from David Leonhardt’s op-ed in the NY Times, The People vs. Donald J. Trump. He listed four offenses worth of impeachment.

  • Trump has used the presidency for personal enrichment.
  • Trump has violated campaign finance law.
  • Trump has obstructed justice.
  • Trump has subverted democracy.

Today I add more items to that list. My motivation is Leonhardt’s observation that “Throughout his career, Trump has worked hard to invent his own reality, and largely succeeded.”

Daniel Patrick Moynihan asserted that “Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts.” As a corollary, let’s say that “Everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but not to his own reality.”

As of December 30th, the Washington Post’s Fact Checker, Glenn Kessler, reported that In 710 days, President Trump has made 7,645 false or misleading claims. In fact, the rate of lies per day has been climbing. In another post, Kessler reported that “By the end of the year, Trump had accumulated more than 7,600 untruths during his presidency — averaging more than 15 erroneous claims a day during 2018, almost triple the rate from the year before.”

Steve Benen (MSNBC/MaddowBlog) reports that The unsettling list of Trump’s made-up conversations keeps growing. Here is just one of several examples.

[Trump] told reporters about conversations he’s had with his American predecessors. Referring to construction of a border wall, Trump said:

“This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me and they all know it.

“Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”

During Trump’s time in office, he’s only had five living predecessors: Jimmy Carter, George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. (H.W. Bush, of course, passed late last year.)

None of them made any effort to build a giant border wall, and none of them have publicly endorsed Trump’s crusade. In fact, none of them even voted for this guy. We’re nevertheless supposed to believe that “some” of these five men – not just one of them – have privately told Trump that the United States should’ve built a giant border wall.

I’m comfortable concluding that he made this up, not only because common sense still exists, but because Trump keeps describing conversations that occurred only in his mind.

So my additions to Leonhardt’s list, based on the evidence mentioned here, are these:

  • Trump has proven to be habitually dishonest.
  • Trump has proven to be frequently delusional.

My additions might not be construed themselves as “high Crime and Misdemeanors” but, in my view, they are fundamentally responsible for the impeachable offenses listed by Leonhardt.

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