Did anybody really think “The Donald’s” presidency would be any different? Yes, many Republicans insisted that “winning will change him”, blah, blah, blah. It did not.
The truth came from his predecessor, clearly Trump’s moral and ethical superior, former President Barack Obama: “The presidency is like a microscope, it magnifies who we are as individuals”.
Now there’s an insight that’s proved on the money.
At the State of the Union, Trump says, “We should reject the politics of revenge and retribution”, then he tweets later, “There will be payback”. His “Press Secretary” Stephanie Grisham, who doesn’t do daily pressers anymore because of “the questions”, goes on Faux News the day after and says, “These Democrats that put Trump through this will face payback”.
Self-awareness, where art thou?
Here’s Trump on February 6, 2020 in the East Room of the White House following his Senate impeachment acquittal: “This is really a celebration, we’ve been put through hell… sick evil people lying about me, Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person… tell Utah I’m so sorry about Romney, he used religion as a crutch, but he never has before… Russia, Russia, Russia, nothing but BULL___!… look what happened to Hillary, nothing, someone should investigate her…this has been so unfair”, and on and on he went for over an hour. Worse, by miles, the whole time this profanity- laced, vindictive tirade was happening, Trump’s “Attorney General” Bill Barr, who’s been nothing short of a mob-protector, sat in the audience alongside congressional Republicans, Vice President Mike Pence and his wife Karen, Trump’s cabinet and various others, all of them smiling and laughing and cheering and clapping like trained seals; the very definition of sycophants.
(And, by the way, for the first time in American history, a Senator from the President’s party voted to impeach and remove. Also, Barr just concluded a three-year investigation into Hillary Clinton announcing: “there’s nothing there”.) The entire East Room fiasco was a grotesquery of wild proportions.
Not that I didn’t expect as much, what with his performance a few hours earlier at the National Prayer Breakfast.
Following Harvard lecturer Arthur Brooks’ eloquent speech about Jesus’s call to love your enemies and pray for them, Trump took the podium, insisting, “I have been put through a terrible ordeal by corrupt people…I don’t like people who use their faith to justify what they know is WRONG (Mitt Romney)…and when they say ‘I pray for the president’ (Nancy Pelosi who is four seats over) yet they know it’s a lie (because The Donald is all-knowing) … but the courageous GOP (shaking in their boots pondering a mean tweet) did what was right and acquitted”, all parenthesis mine.
Former GOP Congressman Joe Scarborough (FL): “Trump opened his prayer breakfast speech mocking Jesus’s teaching to pray for your enemies… no economy is worth this… besides, my party needs to accept the fact that we’re in the eleventh year of the Obama economic recovery, his GDP growth was greater, averaging 3.5 to Trump’s 2.3, job creation was better, Obama reduced unemployment from 9 percent to 4.6 and Trump has reduced it another point-and-a-half, his two trillion-dollar tax cut has increased the deficit by two trillion, Obama decreased it by one trillion”.
Contrast Trump’s post-Senate acquittal speech with former President Bill Clinton’s: “I want to once again convey to the American people how profoundly sorry I am for the things I’ve done and said, I am grateful for the grace I’ve been shown, I want to move ahead in a bipartisan manner and get big things done.”
Or, Obama at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast: “These moments of prayer slow us down and humble us so we can see the face of God together, reminding us of what is really important”.
So, tell me again that liberals are necessarily the bad guys and conservatives the good?
Get this: at The Donald’s aforementioned State of the Union speech, which was riddled with lies and falsehoods, he had the gall to present the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Rush Limbaugh on live TV; without first clearing the unwise gesture with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.
Limbaugh has spent a career cleaving and dividing America; saying derogatory things about African-Americans, hoping “Obama fails” and “he needs to take the bone out of his nose”; smearing the children of Democrats, comparing Chelsea Clinton, an eleven-year old girl, to a dog; insulting women and parading sexist ignorance with great comedic ceremony, calling a young female campus organizer (Sandra Fluke) a “slut and a prostitute”; accusing an ill Michael J.
Fox of “faking, the way he’s shaking and trembling, clearly he’s acting”.
Limbaugh’s stage-four cancer diagnosis is sad, but it doesn’t change his history of hatreds. Former GOP Rep.
Charlie Dent on CNN: “Imagine if during a State of the Union speech, Barack Obama had invited George Soros, or MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow, and had Michelle Obama place the Presidential Medal of Freedom around either’s neck”. The Republicans would’ve thundered, hollered and howled until they brought down the lid of the Congress. Lastly, does anybody think Obama would’ve gotten laughs like Trump did if he was asked at the Faith and Freedom Summit, “Have you ever asked God for forgiveness?”, and Obama answered, “Ask forgiveness for what, what have I ever done?” The gasps and grumbling from the audience would’ve been audible. And we wonder why churches are half-empty and dying; the example we set shaming Jesus.
It simply doesn’t get any worse. Let’s learn from our mistakes.
Bernie Evans is a local writer whose opinions have appeared in local publications, TIME and The Nation.