During the grotesque period between Chump’s election and inauguration, one of the things with which those of us with our minds still intact consoled ourselves was the conviction that we would be able to stop the “normalization” of Chumpism — the idea that somehow we could, through sheer force of will, keep the whole thing seeming aberrant for four solid years.
We see now that this was pure fantasy. We can no more put a halt to the normalization of Chump’s lies, his tacky, petty obsession with “fake news” and disobedient journalists, and so on, than we can stop the earth from turning. In fact, what no one foresaw was that merely reporting the news would itself serve to normalize it. In other words, when the news is crazy, as it mostly is in the Chump era, reporting it makes insanity seem everyday.
Take the New York Times’ extraordinary collection of all of Chump’s lies, which the newspaper has been running daily in its web edition. At first, when the Times began calling them what they were — lies — it was shocking. The newspaper even ran a piece explaining its editors’ decision, bold at that more innocent time, to go with the word “lie” instead of employing standard, fluffy euphemisms like “misspoke,” “inaccuracy,” “falsehood,” and the like.
But nobody foresaw the tsunami of lies that has defined the Chump administration from Day 1. So paradoxically, David Leonhardt and Stuart A. Thompson’s catalogue of his rampant lies only serves to make them seem routine. They flow forth so regularly from the Oval Orifice that one has to wonder if he is even remotely aware that what he says is complete and utter bullshit.
Leonhardt and Thompson take a few topics and analyze them in detail. For example, they noticed that “Trump’s public lies often changed with repetition,” that the moron “can’t even keep his untruths straight.” They cite his complete turnaround on a campaign pledge to label China a currency manipulator and the varying times he claimed that China had stopped the practice. On April 21, it was “from the time I took office.” On April 29, it was “during the election.” It became “as soon as I got elected” on April 30, but by May 1, the very next day, it had turned into “since I started running.” It still wasn’t over; three days later, he asserted that China stopped the practice of manipulating currency “since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation.”
I blame his tiny penis. Ever since the great, late-lamented Spy magazine began calling him “the small-fingered vulgarian,” Chump has been unable to stop talking about the size of his hands, which clearly stand in, in his mind, for his dick. He even referred to his dick directly during one of the presidential debates, marking what was then a tacky new low in his supremely tacky run for office. (He quickly surpassed that moment, however. By the end of the election, calling him a “vulgarian” might well have been considered praise.)
Lying about the size of one’s cock is, for men, the primal lie. Once you’ve crossed the line on that topic, there’s no turning back. In a sense, Chump’s lies are in varying measures the measure of his manhood. I never thought I’d be writing about the president’s piddling rod, but here we are.
The real enemy?
“At a time when we should be focusing on the threats from North Korea and Putin and ISIS, we’re having to deal with a threat here at home — a domestic threat — of allowing transgenders [sic] in our service, which is a real problem because it impacts their readiness, and it’s a huge cost for our military.”
This is what Representative Vicky Hartzler, a Missouri Republican, puked up on what Think Progress’ Zack Ford described as a call “to the anti-LGBTQ hate group the Family Research Council,” but what was more likely a call to the group’s radio show. Hartzler is upset at the idea of inclusion; trans folks apparently should be barred from serving in the military because, well, they cost too much. She repeated what Ford calls “her completely bogus claim,” first floated during a meeting of the House Armed Services Committee, “that transgender-related surgeries will cost the military $1.35 billion over the next 10 years. That figure is 16 times more than the highest estimates provided by the RAND Corporation, and Hartzler’s office has still not responded to a ThinkProgress inquiry as to where she came up with that number.”
If you’re going to exaggerate costs, you may as well go for broke.
You Can’t Make This Shit Up
“Angry Christian activist Linda Harvey wants to trademark the rainbow to prevent it from being raped by gays and lesbians.”
Oh, really? How exactly does one rape a rainbow?
“The sweet rainbow image has been violated, raped by the deluded and fraudulent, and it now serves too often as a garish signpost for slavery to grave homosexual sin. From shameful pride parades to hats, T-shirts, wristbands, and buttons sold at Target or Walmart, sexual deviance is being colorfully and arrogantly proclaimed from America’s rooftops.”
This insanity is chronicled by Michael Stone on Patheos.com under the subhead “Progressive Secular Humanist.”
“At once both ludicrous and malicious,” Stone writes, “a breathless Harvey continues her absurd, hate-filled, anti-gay rant: ‘It’s clear God did not intend for the rainbow to represent rebellion, iniquity, and division. So how did this precious symbol become the banner, with few objections, for human depravity, lust, defiance, and heresy? Rainbow flags are flown in America from some government buildings, at some of our embassies, and these colors on several occasions even lit up our White House (under the former regime, thank God).’”
What have those fiwthy homosexuaws done with God’s pwetty wainbow? They’ve wuined it!