There is one thing that most fair-minded observers can agree on with regard to Donald Trump: He lies virtually every time he opens his mouth. He lies about things both big and small. He lies about matters political and personal. It is often said that he is a pathological liar, but isn’t fair to people who suffer from that psychological syndrome and can’t help themselves. Trump lies deliberately and knowingly.
Which makes the opinion column by Marc Thiessen in the Washington Post especially absurd. The title of the screed is all you need to know about how preposterous the rest of it is: “Trump could be the most honest president in modern history.” Thiessen is a former speechwriter for George W. Bush and a reliably off-kilter wingnut. But in this article he has devolved into a full blown Trump cultist who is willing to contort reality to fit his ludicrous premise. The piece begins with this bit of self-contradiction:
“Donald Trump may be remembered as the most honest president in modern American history.
“Don’t get me wrong, Trump lies all the time. He said that he ‘enacted the biggest tax cuts and reforms in American history’ (actually they are the eighth largest) and that ‘our economy is the strongest it’s ever been in the history of our country’ (which may one day be true, but not yet). In part, it’s a New York thing — everything is the biggest and the best.”
So Thiessen holds the implausible opinion that a president who “lies all the time” will be remembered as the “most honest” ever. That’s the sort of logic that runs rampant in the Trump Cult, where Trump, and only Trump, must be believed, no matter how ridiculous his baseless outbursts are. Thiessen justifies his slobbering praise by saying that “when it comes to the real barometer of presidential truthfulness — keeping his promises — Trump is a paragon of honesty.” But there is a big difference between honesty and promises. For instance, if Trump promised to stop the Martian invasion, he could not later claim that he was honest because there aren’t any Martian soldiers surrounding the White House. (Although we probably shouldn’t give him any ideas- Space Force!)
The fact that Trump has kept some of his campaign promises has no bearing whatsoever on his honesty, or obvious lack thereof. But even worse for Thiessen, Trump’s record of keeping promises is abysmal. According to the PolitiFact Trump Meter, the President has has kept a paltry 13.7 percent of his promises to date. The examples itemized by Thiessen are mostly promises that were previously made by the Republican congress. And it was Congress that fulfilled them. Some of Thiessen’s examples of Trump’s promises kept have not been. Like his pledge “to open China’s markets and stop its theft of intellectual property.” All Trump has done about that is implement tariffs that are hurting American companies and workers more than China.
Among the unkept promises are the ones that Trump pushed the hardest for. He has made no progress on the border wall (although he lies that he did), or getting Mexico to pay for it. He has failed to repeal ObamaCare. Although he has tried to sabotage it on the margins. There has been no appointment of a special prosecutor to “lock up” Hillary Clinton. He is reneging on his pledge not to cut Social Security and Medicare. He has not enacted, or even proposed, an infrastructure bill. Not only has he failed to eliminate the deficit, he is growing it to record numbers. And, of course, he still hasn’t released his tax returns.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
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So by Thiessen’s “real barometer” of promises kept, Trump is a miserable failure. Of course, the barometer that everyone else uses to determine honesty is whether or not someone makes statements that are true or false. And by that measure Trump is way beyond being a miserable failure. It’s interesting to note that Thiessen’s op-ed was published by the Washington Post, which also publishes an ongoing catalogue of Trump lies. To date they have documented more than 5,000 of them. Apparently Thiessen doesn’t read the Washington Post.