One angry rant after another

The Post has more on the horror in Phoenix.

Before the Gilded Nazi took the stage, four stooges told the audience that he’s a great, lovely, loving, spiritual guy who loves all god’s children. Then he made a liar out of all of them. (They were Ben Carson, a niece of Martin Luther King, Franklin Graham, and Pence.)

Trump spent the first three minutes of his speech — which would drag on for 75 minutes — marveling at his crowd size, claiming that “there aren’t too many people outside protesting,” predicting that the media would not broadcast shots of his “rather incredible” crowd and reminiscing about how he was “center stage, almost from day one, in the debates.”

“We love those debates — but we went to center stage, and we never left, right?” the president said, reliving his glory days. “All of us. We did it together.”

Over the next 72 minutes, the president launched into one angry rant after another, repeatedly attacking the media and providing a lengthy defense of his response to the violent clashes in Charlottesville, between white supremacists and neo-Nazis and the counterprotesters who challenged them. He threatened to shut down the government if he doesn’t receive funding for a wall along the southern border, announced that he will “probably” get rid of the North American Free Trade Agreement, attacked the state’s two Republican senators, repeatedly referred to protesters as “thugs” and coyly hinted that he will pardon Joe Arpaio, the former sheriff of Maricopa County who was convicted in July of criminal contempt in Arizona for ignoring a judge’s order to stop detaining people because he merely suspected them of being undocumented immigrants.

But he went on so long that some people left, and other people stopped paying attention.

Early in his speech, when Trump still had the attention of his followers, he recited his definition of what it means to be a Trump supporter.

“This evening, joined together with friends, we reaffirm our shared customs, traditions and values,” Trump began. “We love our country. We celebrate our troops. We embrace our freedom. We respect our flag. We are proud of our history. We cherish our Constitution — including, by the way, the Second Amendment. We fully protect religious liberty. We believe in law and order. And we support the incredible men and women of law enforcement. And we pledge our allegiance to one nation under God.”

The bugle-call of the far right – nationalism, militarism, flag-worship, theocracy, police-worship, theocracy mixed with nationalism. Not a word about equality, human rights, justice, environmental stewardship, sharing, caring, progress, compassion…

Minutes later, Trump transitioned to a topic that he would return to again and again.

“What happened in Charlottesville strikes at the core of America,” Trump said, appearing to read from the teleprompters placed on stage. “And tonight, this entire arena stands united in forceful condemnation of the thugs who perpetrate hatred and violence.”

Many in the crowd lit up at the use of the word “thugs” and applauded. Later in the evening, Trump would repeatedly use the same word to describe the protesters who showed up to his campaign rallies.

“But the very dishonest media,” Trump continued, “those people right up there, with all the cameras.”

He was cut off by loud booing. He smirked and nodded in agreement. A few people shouted, “Fake news!”

“I mean truly dishonest people in the media and the fake media, they make up stories,” Trump said. “ … They don’t report the facts. Just like they don’t want to report that I spoke out forcefully against hatred, bigotry and violence and strongly condemned the neo-Nazis, the white supremacists and the KKK.”

Trump reached into his suit pocket and removed a different set of talking points.

“I’m really doing this to show you how damned dishonest these people are,” Trump said, promising that this would take “just a second” and would be “really fast.”

Trump then took more than 16 minutes to read the various statements that he made about Charlottesville over several days, noting the use of all-caps for one word and skipping over the part where he said that “many sides” were responsible for the violence. After reading each snippet, Trump would detail why that response was not good enough for the media.

“Why did it take a day? He must be a racist,” Trump said, the first of the five times he imitated people calling him a racist.

Along the way, Trump defended his use of Twitter and bragged that he went to “better schools” and lives “in a bigger, more beautiful apartment” than those who are considered elites. He said the “failing New York Times … is like so bad,” mocked CNN for its ratings and accused The Washington Post of being “a lobbying tool for Amazon” because the newspaper is owned by Jeffrey P. Bezos, who founded Amazon. The crowd repeatedly booed the reporters in their midst and chanted: “CNN sucks! CNN sucks!”

This is his “base.” It’s a small minority. Everybody knows it’s a small minority – yet Trump feels perfectly entitled to whip it into a frenzy in order to bully and intimidate the rest of us. It’s a small minority but it’s a heavily armed one.

“The media can attack me, but where I draw the line is when they attack you, which is what they do. When they attack the decency of our supporters,” Trump said, without explaining what he meant. “You are honest, hard-working, taxpaying — and by the way, you’re overtaxed, but we’re going to get your taxes down.”

Trump would return to taxes later — but first, he had to blame the media for “fomenting divisions” in the country, “trying to take away our history and our heritage” and “giving a platform to these hate groups.” He called reporters “sick people” and “really, really dishonest” and accused them of turning “a blind eye” to gang violence, public school failures and “terrible, terrible trade deals.”

“You would think they’d want to make our country great again, and I honestly believe they don’t,” he said. “I honestly believe it.”

Trump took a brief detour into immigration, prompting him to ask the crowd: “By the way, I’m just curious. Do the people in this room like Sheriff Joe?”

The crowd burst into wild cheers, thinking that Trump was about to pardon Arpaio — something the press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders had said just hours earlier would not happen that day.

“So, was Sheriff Joe convicted of doing his job?” Trump continued. “You know what? I’ll make a prediction. I think he’s going to be just fine, okay? But I won’t do it tonight, because I don’t want to cause any controversy. Is that okay?”

He’s pickling us all in his filth.

5 Responses to “One angry rant after another”