We’re routinely peppered with twisted missives from our Commander-in-Tweet, and this weekend was no different. But it’s worth parsing his latest thumbings, because this was a special occasion.
With protestors in as many as 150 cities hammering him for his refusal to release his tax returns – remember, he was the first major party candidate in 40 years to stonewall disclosure – Trump bared his insecurity, and his sensitivity to the issue, by lashing out with his trademark irrationality. It’s amazing how many lies and absurdities he can pack into a tweet or two.
Exhibit A, yesterday morning: “I did what was an almost an impossible thing to do for a Republican-easily won the Electoral College! Now Tax Returns are brought up again?”
Exhibit B, six minutes later: “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!”
Here are seven reasons why those tweets were inane. I’ll count down to the reasons that ticked me off the most:
7. Trump thumbed, “I did what was an almost an impossible thing.” He’s on record declaring his “love” for “the poorly educated,” but a president should at least try to set a good example for the poorly educated by proofreading his own pronouncements, rather than sounding subliterate. Sad!
6. Trump thumbed that the tax-return rallies were “small.” We all know he has a problem with crowd size – he thinks his Inaugural crowd was the biggest ever when it actually wasn’t close – and I don’t believe that a tax march that flooded the length of New York’s Sixth Avenue meets the definition of “small.” And the protest near Mar-a-Lago was deemed large enough to reroute his limo.
5. He’s still marinating in the fiction that he “easily” won the Electoral College – when in truth, in terms of ease, his win ranks 46th of the 58 presidential elections. If a mere 77,744 votes in three states (Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan) had swung the other way, he would not have squeaked through.
4. He thumbed, “The election is over!” But last I checked, the First Amendment right to protest a president remains in effect 24/7, even between elections. That’s certainly how he operated; the ’08 election was long over when he launched his racist lies about President Obama’s birth, and the ’12 election was over when he sustained the lies.
3. He thumbed in wonderment, “Now the Tax Returns are brought up again?” (Someone tell this subliterate that “Tax Returns” should not be capitalized.) Anyway, we all know why the tax returns keep coming up. Most Americans (by 53-32 percent, in the latest national poll) say that Trump should be required to release his tax returns, because they want to know if he’s hiding something. Like, is he really the great financial success he claims to be? Is he perhaps deep on debt to crooked Russian oligarchs – and perhaps beholden to Vladimir Putin – a potential can of worms for the FBI and Capitol Hill probers?
2. When Trump said that the tax protestors had been “paid,” it sounded eerily familiar. Care to guess who else says junk like that? In 2011, confronted with protestors in Moscow, Vladimir Putin claimed they were “paid agents.” Putin said, “I know that students were paid some money.” This is how authoritarian thugs seek to dismiss legitimate protests. Putin offered no factual evidence, but authoritarian thugs never do. And inspired by Putin (yet again), Trump offered no evidence either.
1. Let’s look at the whole sentence: “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday.” This was the most despicable thing that Trump thumbed. He’s cognitively incapable of understanding that Americans often act on their deeply-held beliefs without a shred of profit motive. His cluelessness is not surprising, because he himself has no deeply-held beliefs, aside from ego. He has long inhabited a cynical world where everyone has a price tag, and he seems to think (or deludes himself into thinking) that a conscience is just another item, like a gilded chair, that can be bought and sold.
And so he lashes out. So be it. It’s what weak people do.