The flop sweat gushing from Donald Trump is flowing like a tsunami the closer we get to Election Day. His polling continues to languish near historic lows for both reelection and job approval. And even his traditional allies are politically distancing from him for fear of being swept away themselves. it’s a downward spiral that shows no sign of slowing down.
Trump’s response to the imminent peril that he finds himself in has been to triple down on the lies, insults, and fear mongering, that have been the staples of his campaign. As a result he lashed out at Dr. Deborah Birx, his hand-picked Coronavirus Task Force medical expert, as “pathetic” just because she told the truth for a change. He flip-flopped on his opposition to mail-in voting (but only in Florida where he needs the votes of senior citizens who might not otherwise cast ballots). He made a ludicrous and unconstitutional proposal to delay the election. And he even threatened to ban TikTok from the United States in retaliation for criticism on the app from people like Sarah Cooper.
But that’s not all. Trump’s recent interview by Jonathan Swan of Axios exposed his shallow and hostile knee-jerk defensiveness and inability to engage in a coherent discussion. A PolitiFact analysis identified 22 false statements in the interview. And in a desperate effort to counteract the pitiful image he displayed, he immediately sought refuge in the warm embrace of his Fox News sycophants.
In the past three days Trump has done three phone-in interviews on Fox. One with his BFF Sean Hannity. One with Fox’s Senior Trump-Fluffer, Lou Dobbs. And on Wednesday morning, a full hour (video below) with the “Curvy Couch” potatoes of Fox and Friends. Here are a few of the lowlights:
ON SUSPENDING THE PAYROLL TAX:
FOX: What’s your plan for businesses when it comes to the payroll tax cut?
TRUMP: Well, I may do it myself. We’re negotiating right now. I have the right to suspend it. And I may do it myself. I have the absolute right to suspend…ah, the payroll…ah, do the payroll tax. We call it a payroll tax suspension.
Did our “stable genius” president come up with the idea of calling suspending the payroll tax a “payroll tax suspension” himself? More importantly, does he know that the payroll tax is used exclusively to fund Social Security, and that his proposed suspension would put the program at risk? And finally, he clearly doesn’t know that he has no authority whatsoever to suspend or otherwise alter tax laws passed by Congress. To his great dismay, he is not the American Dictator.
ON OPENING SCHOOLS:
FOX: What is the latest in your view as to how these schools should reopen?
TRUMP: My view is schools should reopen. This thing is going away. It will go away like things go away. And my view is that schools should be open. If you look at children, children are almost – and I would almost say definitely – but almost immune from this disease.
My view is that Trump is almost – and I would almost say definitely – but almost completely insane. He repeats himself ad nauseam without ever answering the question or making an intelligible point. And above all, he is comfortable with exposing children and their families to a deadly virus that is still out of control due to his negligence and incompetence.
ON OBAMA’S EULOGY FOR JOHN LEWIS:
FOX: Do you agree that [Obama’s eulogy for John Lewis] seemed like a campaign speech and less of a eulogy?
TRUMP: I thought it was a terrible speech, it was an angry speech. It showed there’s anger there that people don’t see. He lost control and he’s been really hit very hard by both sides for that speech. That speech was ridiculous.
You really have to wonder if Trump even saw Obama’s inspiring and heart-felt tribute. It is Trump’s review that is “terrible” and “angry” and utterly “ridiculous.”
ON HIS 2ND TERM:
FOX: Mr. President, what is your second term agenda? What are your top priorities?
TRUMP: I want to take where we left – we had the greatest economy in the history of the world. We were better than any other country. We were better than we were ever. We never had anything like it in this country […] What I want to do is take it from that point and build it even better.
Trump went off on a deranged rant about everything from unemployment to the stock market to how awful our allies are. What he never bothered to mention was anything about his second term agenda.
Needless to say, no one on Fox News challenged Trump’s lies or even bothered to ask a follow up question. They merely tossed him softballs and let Trump ramble on incoherently for twenty minutes. So Trump gets away with claiming he can unilaterally undo tax legislation, baselessly project his own anger onto Obama, and failing to articulate an agenda for the future. And for the record. Trump unleashed another 20 falsehoods on the Fox interview.
Which is why the one thing Trump said that is remotely connected to reality was just slightly off the mark. Referring to his prediction about the forward course of the coronavirus pandemic, Trump babbled that “This thing is going away. It will go away like things go away.” However, that typically inane Trumpism is more aptly applied to his presidency. And for those of you with exceptionally strong stomachs and nothing better to do, below is the full Fox and Friends interview.
How Fox News Deceives and Controls Their Flock:
Fox Nation vs. Reality: The Fox News Cult of Ignorance.
Available now at Amazon.