Monday night Donald Trump interrupted America’s TV viewing with a speech that was supposed to address the war in Afghanistan. That war is presently the longest running war in American history. It has burdened two previous presidents with its complexity and lack of effective solutions. So it hardly seems likely that a totally inexperienced “leader” with no military background is going to find the way to victory and peace.
Nevertheless, that’s what Trump talked about in his rambling speech. And despite the false bravado he exuded, he said almost nothing of substance. He described a commitment to defeating the terrorists without offering any hint of a strategy. He wouldn’t confirm the deployment of more troops. There was a promise to attack at some unspecified future. The whole speech could have been summed up in tweet saying “I plan to do something at some time, and then we win.” And that wouldn’t have preempted the latest episodes of American Ninja Warrior, or Bachelor in Paradise.
Trump’s speech was another of his more restrained adventures with the Teleprompter. He read cautiously and devoid of emotion, often placing emphasis on the wrong words. But this is what some in the media regard as a “presidential” demeanor. It often triggers a knee-jerk response to proclaim that Trump has finally grown into the job. Sadly, that’s never true. But that doesn’t stop some reporters from gushing over Trump’s occasional ability to read without spitting up. For instance, here is what Philip Rucker of the Washington Post wrote following the speech:
Tonight is a new President Trump: Acknowledging a flip-flop and talking about gravity of office, history & substance.
— Philip Rucker (@PhilipRucker) August 22, 2017
Really? What exactly is new about this? It precisely what he has done on prior occasions when he’s been in deep trouble over some stupid remark or action. It’s a tactic to change the subject from something controversial to something utterly hollow. In this case, Trump wants to distract people from his abhorrent defense of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in Charlottesville. But for Rucker to assert that there was anything of substance in that speech is puzzling. The Twitter community noticed this and was quick to respond:
— ?? Charles Gaba ?? (@charles_gaba) August 22, 2017
Yes! I've already forgotten about his support for white nationalism
— Tom Kent (@thomasgkent) August 22, 2017
I am really enraged at the colossal stupidity of Rucker. That's the Washington Bureau Chief of a once great paper? Arggghhhh!
— Jon Bowzer Bauman (@JonBowzerBauman) August 22, 2017
Just fucking stop it. Please, for the love of God and country, just fucking stop it.
— David Call (@davidscall) August 22, 2017
In 24 hours he will be off script insanely pandering to his base in AZ and you'll be watching screenshots of this tweet scroll by.
— pourmecoffee (@pourmecoffee) August 22, 2017
Come on Philip, this was a read TelePrompTer speech. Same thing many said after his state of union. And after Monday's scripted text. Stop
— Matthew Dowd (@matthewjdowd) August 22, 2017
Jesus. U fell for that. Cmon stop drinking. Or start.
— Kathleen Madigan (@kathleenmadigan) August 22, 2017
— Parker Molloy (@ParkerMolloy) August 22, 2017
If he truly has had a change of heart (and head), then he'll recognize his bigly short comings and resign. Sad.
— mike edmonson (@mikeedmonson) August 22, 2017
Sure, one time reading from the teleprompter is a magic eraser of the entire rest of his life.
— Susan Fuchtman (@susanfuchtman) August 22, 2017
.@PhilipRucker-2 questions for you.
— Scott Dworkin (@funder) August 22, 2017
This is eerily similar to what battered women tell their friends when they take their abusers back. https://t.co/mqro4nGgt9
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) August 22, 2017
This is one of the most idiotic things I've read. (And why people hate the media). https://t.co/hU7sOuMw9B
— Soledad O'Brien (@soledadobrien) August 22, 2017
Watching karaoke must be such a confusing experience for you. https://t.co/USJNdXPqjv
— J.K. Rowling (@jk_rowling) August 22, 2017
— News Corpse (@NewsCorpse) August 22, 2017
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
It’s long past time for the press to get over the notion that Trump is going to click his boot heels and become presidential. He’s a seventy-one year old narcissist who has only ever done and said whatever the hell he wanted. And every time the press has thrown out this nonsense about a pivot point they have been badly burned. Usually within a matter of hours. So stop it, already. Realize that Trump is Trump and no matter how frightening that may be, he isn’t going to change.