Wednesday, August 26, 2020

RNC is 'grandstanding at the confluence of audacity and absurdity'.

Frank Bruni of the NY Times reviews The Epic Shamelessness of the Republican Convention. In TheTrump world, he reminds us, Norms are for chumps, not for Trumps.

Here are some excerpts.

… I … don’t recognize [the speakers’] version of Trump. Their Trump brims with empathy. Their Trump burns with passion to improve the lives of ordinary Americans. Their Trump heroically spared the country from the worst ravages of Covid–19, which is surely news to the relatives and friends of more than 175,000 Americans (and counting) who have died from it.

On the convention’s first two nights, you didn’t hear that figure. You didn’t hear any explanation for why the United States has the world’s highest number of recorded deaths related to the coronavirus and the highest number of reported infections.

No one examined why much of the world won’t let Americans in: because we’re too contaminated — by the virus, yes, but also by a faith misplaced in a government that doesn’t deserve it and in a president who doesn’t have the foggiest clue how to govern.

To recast Trump’s record on the coronavirus as a triumph isn’t revisionist history. It’s science fiction. It’s historical erasure: of all the times that he said or suggested that the virus was some hoax; of all the times that he or his enablers charged Democrats with hyping its threat just to hurt him; of “it is what it is”; of his ruminations about the potentially curative ingestion of bleach; of briefing after briefing in which he crowed about his ratings and bellyached about his critics, caroming from self-love to self-pity and back again.

… Tuesday night was a special showcase for their shamelessness.

Shameless: Tiffany Trump, the president’s younger daughter, accused his opponents of suppressing truth and pressing falsehoods. “This misinformation system keeps people mentally enslaved,” she said. Apparently she’s unacquainted with that adage about the pot and the kettle.

Shameless: Pam Bondi, the former attorney general of Florida, charged Biden’s family with rank nepotism and opportunism, focusing on Ukraine. Apparently she’s unacquainted with Donald Jr., Ivanka, Eric and Jared, and she somehow missed that sordid chapter of Trump’s presidency in which he tried to extort the president of Ukraine and was rightly impeached for it.

Bondi went further, praising Trump for donating his presidential salary to charity. She left out the part where he had to shut down the Donald J. Trump Foundation because of various legal and ethical violations and was ordered to pay a $2 million settlement for misusing its funds for his own benefit.

In this convention’s upside-down vision, Trump’s big tax cut was for the middle class, not the rich. He loves Black people and they love him back.

He’s also a champion of women — the first lady floated that screamer. It’s as if the “Access Hollywood” tape was apocryphal. It’s as if his put-downs of Nancy Pelosi and Kamala Harris don’t have the barest hint of sexism in them.

[The speakers at RNC] are scaring me, because they are demonstrating Trump’s most formidable advantage over Joe Biden, which isn’t incumbency. It’s shamelessness.

Thanks to our Editor-at-large Sherry for this tip.

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