Whether you love or hate Donald J. Trump, you’ve got to admit he’s a crackerjack salesman with an uncanny gift for manipulating the press like a three-armed clown juggling pin-pulled grenades on an express elevator to hell.
Yes, we’re talking about him again. Why? Because every single day something he touches starts smoking. You’ve heard of the Midas touch? Donald Trump has the Hades touch. His very being is constructed to strike the flint that shoots a spark towards the tetchy kindling he calls staff.
At least in the Eastern and Central time zones, folks experience the pandemonium in real time. But those of us out West are doubly disconcerted, constantly waking up to wonder, “What fresh human bonfire is already burning?” In California, while we fitfully slept, the Orange Firestarter had a three-hour head start to light another fuse to Armageddon.
In his first White House press conference, the forty-fifth President ignited new conflagrations by calling the media “dishonest,” then disputing both logic and math. Say what you will, he does punch upward. Logic and math are not lightweight opponents.
The real-estate-developer-turned-apprentice-leader-of-the-free-world is an expert in ranting and raving while holding the press to standards he refuses to live up to or believe in. He repeated the bizarre claim to have won more electoral votes than anybody since Reagan, which is only true if you don’t count Clinton, Bush One, or Obama.
When a reporter pointed out the discrepancy, Trump dismissed him with, “Well, I don’t know, I was given that information.” Presumably by the same people who told him he won the debates, enjoys widespread popularity, and has accomplished more than any other President at this juncture in his reign.
Trump mentioned ratings numerous times. He gets good ratings. CNN has lousy ratings. He eats Ratings Bran for breakfast. From out of nowhere he proclaimed a “nuclear holocaust would be like no other,” which is like saying total human extinction would be odd. You get the feeling he’d be OK with one as long as the ratings were huge. Which they would be, initially. Later on, not so much.
Anything Trump doesn’t like or disagrees with gets labeled “fake news.” Since the election he’s jumped on the phrase like an old dog with a new chew toy. Fake news. Fake news. Fake news. He repeats the phrase so much he runs the risk of becoming the Fake News President. Although many folks maintain the “news” part is superfluous.
He finished by calling his administration “a fine-tuned machine.” Which sounds better than “out-of-control dumpster fire,” but is a tad less accurate. Whatever machine he’s talking about, you’ll want to wear a hard hat and keep the kids fifty feet away decked out in fire-retardant clothes. The machine may be fine-tuned but the mechanics are either undertrained, have the wrong tools, or are disciples of the Three Stooges.
Since his January coronation, DJT has partied like it’s 1939, issuing polarizing edict after polarizing edict. The surprising thing is that Fox News hasn’t started to refer to him as Chancellor Trump. Or Gropenfuhrer. Yet. Traditionally, the newly elected, first-time President hits the ground running with hand outstretched in a gesture of sociability, solidarity, and camaraderie. Not Donny John.
He hit the ground whining, with a fistful of disdain for everyone he slapped upside the head: Democrats, Republicans, the media, Iran, Mexico, Australia, Great Britain, the media, Meryl Streep, Nordstrom, his own Cabinet appointments, refugees, the media, the NSC, TSA, and National Park Service. And don’t forget the media.
Trump says he knows stuff nobody else does. I can’t imagine what it could be, but I’m fairly certain we can rule out anything algebra-based. Meanwhile, the biggest fear of a three million-majority segment of America is that once this guy realizes he’s destined to go down as the worst President in history, he might prefer to be remembered as the last President in history.