On Tuesday evening Donald Trump will deliver his very first Oval Office address to the American people. And the critical subject matter that necessitates this extraordinary and urgent communication just happens to be a “humanitarian and national security crisis” that is being fabricated from thin air by Trump and his team of propaganda fabulists.
There is no credible evidence of a crisis at the southern border. By every metric that is measurable, undocumented immigration, drug trafficking, gang members, violent crime, etc., the incidence of illegal activity has been steadily declining for several years. But since Trump is badly losing the PR war for his idiotic and useless vanity wall, he has decided to take his case directly to the public. Which is a pretty terrible idea considering his historically low approval and the fact that he’s regarded by most Americans as untrustworthy. Even less trustworthy than the media that he despises.
Just who does Trump think he will convince that a wall that is decidedly unpopular, and the equally out of favor government shutdown he engineered to force Congress to pay for it, is really a great idea that everyone should embrace? If Trump thinks that his innate (albeit imaginary) charm will win over converts, he is going to be wallowing in a deep trench of disappointment.
Consequently, The administration sent their secret charisma weapon, Vice-President Mike Pence, out to save the day for Trump and company. He was interviewed by Jonathan Karl of ABC News. And one question in particular really hit the sweet spot for determining whether Trump’s TV ploy can succeed or not (video below):
Karl: How can the President’s word be trusted on this when he has said so many things that are just not true about this crisis? He said that Barack Obama had a ten foot wall built around his house here in Washington. You know that isn’t true. He said that some of his predecessors told him that they wanted to build a wall. But all four living presidents have now put out statements saying that they never had any such conversation with the President. And then you saw Sarah Sanders say that nearly 4,000 terrorists come into the country every year, and that’s not true either.
How can the American people trust the President when he says this is a crisis when he says things over and over again that aren’t true?
Pence: Well, the American people aren’t as concerned about the political debate as they are concerned about what’s really happening at the border. And that’s what the President’s been focusing on.
So Pence is spinning Trump’s flagrant dishonesty as “political debate”? This tells you something about how Republicans regard politics. And the absurdity of his contention that nobody cares about Trump lying is evident in Trump’s dismal approval polling.
When Karl tried to press Pence on the credibility question again, Pence launched into his robo-lie that 4,000 “known or suspected terrorists” were apprehended, still falsely implying that the southern border was their point of origin. Then he continued on auto-pilot with assertions about drugs pouring into the country, being deliberately deceitful about the fact that the vast majority come in by air or through valid checkpoints. And at this point you might be wondering what any of this have to do with the question about Trump’s lying? But finally, Pence painted Trump’s pathological fibs as simply his “passion” to “protect the American people”:
Pence: “The passion you hear from President Trump, his determination to take this to American people, as he will tonight in his national broadcast from the oval office, comes from his deep desire to do his job to protect the American people. And we’re gonna continue to carry that case forward until the Democrats in Congress come to the table and start negotiating. Not just to end the government shutdown, but to address what is an undeniable crisis at out southern border.”
It’s cute how Pence tries to evade the topic by shifting to a “blame the Democrats” posture, despite Trump being the immovable object who refuses to compromise, or even agree to the legislation that he previously agreed to. But Pence’s assertion of “an undeniable crisis” is especially ridiculous. That’s going to be a tough sell considering that even people like Fox News senior judicial analyst, Andrew Napolitan, denies it. He also denies that Trump has any legal right to move forward with his wall by declaring a national emergency. When his Fox colleague Maria Bartiromo asked this directly, Napolitano told her that:
“In a word, no. That’s not me saying no, because the Supreme Court said no when Harry Truman attempted to do that. […] the Supreme Court has made it very clear, even in times of emergency, the president of the United States of America cannot spend money unless it has been authorized by the Congress.”
None of this will prevent the circus that is going to unfold tonight for Trump’s Oval Office Reality TV episode. And his likely incoherent, lie-riddled speech won’t change the mind of a single viewer. Except for those who are finally disgusted enough by his ignorance and dishonesty and refuse to be further exploited by it. For Trump, this clown show is a lose-lose.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.
My question to the VP: "How can the American people trust the President when he says this is crisis when he says things over and over again that aren't true?" pic.twitter.com/eni6LAVCqf
— Jonathan Karl (@jonkarl) January 8, 2019