On Monday morning the Republican National Convention got off to rocky start. It was preceded by a week of bad news including the arrest of Trump's White House advisor Steve Bannon for fraud, tapes of Trump's sister calling him “cruel” and a “liar,” a federal court ordering Trump to hand over his taxes, and the resignation of his senior White House counselor, Kellyanne Conway. Not to mention the continuing tragedy of ever escalating illness and death due to the Trump Virus.
The early morning schedule for the convention was dominated by the roll call to tabulate the delegate votes to renominate Trump for 2020. That tedious affair had some competition as Congress was concurrently holding a hearing to interrogate Trump's new Postmaster General, Louis DeJoy. CNN and MSNBC aired the hearing, while in the Trump-friendly Fox News bunker they stuck to the terminally boring RNC roll call. Naturally, this infuriated Trump who tweeted his objections.
Shortly there after, it was Trump's turn to take the stage. He is scheduled to appear on all four days of this ego-stroking, reality TV production. And today's outing provided a glimpse into what the remaining three days will hold. What Trump had promised would be a convention filled with optimism and positivity, is already parroting the “American Carnage” the typifies Trump's public addresses.
As anyone not in coma for the past four years would have expected, Trump went on a wild-eyed rampage against his stock crew of perceived villains, including Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Democrats in general. He lied brazenly about imaginary achievements, voting by mail (which Trump now contends will give you the coronavirus), the economy that is in recession, and the free press that he despises. CNN fact checker, Daniel Dale, noted that “There is way, way more dishonesty in this first convention speech by Trump than in every Democratic convention speech combined.”
But most of all, Trump went completely off the rails with delusional depictions of the state of the pandemic in America (video below). From the start, Trump has tried to downplay the horrific consequences that have burdened the lives of millions of people in the United States. He has belittled the suffering of the those most vulnerable. He has given false assurances to younger victims. And he has actually bragged that the death toll that is nearing 180,000 is something to be proud of. And not only is Trump proud, he has the audacity to criticize Joe Biden for deferring to scientists and doctors:
“Most of the country is right now doing very, very well. They've done an incredible job. And to have a man sitting on television the other day say ‘oh I’d shut it down. I’d shut it down.' Like it's easy. And oh, by the way, when you shut it down – and we did the exact right thing. We shut it down, then we reopened. And that's what we're doing now. We're well into it. If we didn't shut it down at that point we would have had millions of people dead. Millions of people.”
If you're trying to make sense of any of that, stop. You might hurt your brain. Clearly, we are not “doing very, very well” right now. To the contrary, we are still seeing more than 1,000 deaths a day, and more than 50,000 new cases reported. What's more, Trump never shut the country down. Not for a single day. Some governors took action to mitigate the spread, and they were attacked for it by Trump. And Trump is still dishonestly comparing the current death toll to estimates if nothing were done at all.
Following that tirade, Trump went into a rant blaming governors for all the of problems. You know, the problems he's now saying never occurred because everything went so well. Apparently he was lying about that. The problems did occur, it's just that, in his cartoon brain, none of it was his fault. Because it isn't like he's the one person who has the authority to manage a national crisis.
Sadly, the media appears to have learned nothing about how Trump takes advantage of them to promote himself. While CNN cut away after twenty minutes, MSNBC and Fox News carried the whole freakout live. Trump's incoherent, stream-of-unconsciousness babbling on the first day of the GOP convention may look familiar. It's precisely what he did for many months when he could jaunt around the country to perform at his ego-stroking cult rallies. And it's what he did when assuming the starring role at his phony coronavirus Task Force briefings.
In short, it's what he always does to exalt himself before his glassy-eyed disciples to soak up the adoration that he craves. And now he'll do it for the next three days at the RNC, despite the fact that these displays of narcissistic indulgence and hostility only bring his already abysmal approval ratings down even more. And for that, I suppose Democrats should thank him. If it just weren't so nauseating to watch.
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