Good morning. It is the end of the world as we know it. By the end of the day, we will no longer be able to pretend it was all just a bad dream or that some Eleventh Hour reprieve would save us.
Welcome to the gaudy facade of hell. Who knew it would look so cheap?
An air of unreality hovers over the United States this morning as Donald Trump prepares to ascend to the throne…ahem…prepares to enter the Oval Office as the personally-chosen pick of Vladimir Putin and FBI Director Comey, if not the American people.
Did we just put up with eight years of Republicans challenging the legitimacy of Barack Obama’s presidency only to have Trump’s paid hack Corey Lewandowski claim on “The John Fredericks Show” this week that no Republican ever questioned Obama’s legitimacy?
Why yes, yes we did.
Lewandowski asserted, echoing Reince Priebus earlier this month,
“You’ve seen that the Democrats are trying to say that he’s not a legitimate candidate. Can you imagine just for a second if a Republican congressman would have gone out and said this about Barack Obama and continued that narrative? It would be an uproar in the mainstream media.”
We don’t have to imagine it. We lived through it. And there was no real uproar in the mainstream media. In fact, Donald Trump, on whose behalf Lewandowski is now whining, led the anti-Obama chorus with his birther campaign.
Lewandowski also claimed that Trump had “the largest electoral victory since Ronald Reagan’s re-election campaign in 1984.”
“In reality,” as PFAW’s Brian Tashman points out, “not only did Trump lose the popular vote, he won by a smaller margin in the Electoral College than did Obama in 2008 and 2012, Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996, and George H.W. Bush in 1988.”
Here we might interject the reaction of Newsweek‘s Kurt Eichenwald not to this episode specifically but to the broader picture:
Its so bizarre to have ppl firmly pound the table, insisting utter, provable falsehoods are true. Who decided propaganda was pro-American?
— Kurt Eichenwald (@kurteichenwald) January 20, 2017
Well, the answer would be yes, apparently. Propaganda is firmly pro-American given it is the basis of Trump’s #MAGA. Heck, Trump even has propaganda about making America great again.
Trump didn’t invent the idea and as Eichenwald says, the concept goes back to the last years of the 20th century, but we now know who is its greatest practitioner.
The Joesph Goebbels award goes to….Donald Trump. Does that make up for the three Emmys you say you deserved? No, there will always be a big empty hole where your soul is supposed to be.
Jackie Kennedy invented the idea of Camelot after JFK was assassinated in Dallas in order to rewrite his legacy. She told us her husband was fond of this couplet from the play:
“Don’t ever let it be forgot, that once there was a spot, for one brief shining moment that was Camelot.”
We don’t have to wait for Trump’s eventual passing for that sort of propagandistic flourish. And don’t let the surreal be confused with shining, despite the garish decor.
Above is a photo of Donald Trump sitting in a hallway pretending it is an office, holding a pen and a blank pad of paper as he pretends he is hard at work composing his inaugural address.
As has been pointed out, he is not as he claims “at the Winter White House, Mar-a-Lago” but seated behind a receptionist’s desk in a public hall at Mar-a-Lago.
Everything surrounding Donald Trump is political theater, an illusion, an elaborate display of smoke and mirrors.
Trump wants his glory while he is alive to enjoy it so we get the airbrushed version before he ever sits behind the desk in the Oval Office. Why wait when he can sit behind a receptionist’s desk and claim it’s his own palatial offices with golden toilet just out of view?
This is the illusion, the bait and switch of fantasy for the reality of the tax returns we will never see. Kennedy got Camelot. Trump gives us a receptionist’s desk and says it’s a palace. He sent his ex-wife and daughter Tiffany out begging for a free haircut for his big day today.
That’s the reality.
The ugliness beneath can’t be hidden. It is in the soulless eyes of the man whose very life is a lie and who is about to invite you to participate in his own horrific version of the Game of Thrones.
It’s playing today. Everywhere. Starting at 11:30 am ET.