Friday, February 10, 2017

February 10, 2017--Ridicule

Thursday morning we finally made it down for breakfast at 10:00. At least an hour later than usual. We lingered in bed as the snowstorm intensified. It was magical to watch our terrace turn into a giant snow globe. And we also lingered, in truth, because so much was going on. With and among Donald Trump and his band of co-conspirators.

By 10:00 AM the following had already happened--

In a series of three tweets he savaged John McCain for criticizing the ill-fated Navy SEAL operation in Yemen. McCain, he raged has been "losing so long that he doesn't know how to win."

Senators from both parties who had informal one-on-one meetings the day before with Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Neil Gorsuch, were quoting him as saying that he was "demoralized" and "disheartened" by Trump's overnight tweets and comments that disparaged the federal courts. He made it known to the senators that he was comfortable with their quoting him directly.

I have been following these matters for decades and cannot recall anything even vaguely comparable.

Rona said, "That's because there has never previously been anyone like Trump in the White House. Even Nixon was more restrained in his assaults on the courts and never has a Supreme Court nominee allowed his words to be quoted publicly."

Trump took to mocking one of the senators who shared Garland's lament--Connecticut's Richard Blumenthal. In yet another tweet Trump blasted him for inflating his resumé in regard to his service in Vietnam, something Trump himself did when, after receiving four or five deferments, claimed he did his service in high school when he attended the New York Military Academy.

Then there was the Ivanka Trump flap. Trump began it himself when he called Nordstrom out for cancelling Ivanka's line of clothes. Trump said it was for political reasons, the store said it was because they weren't selling.

Brother Don, Jr., chimed in suggesting in a tweet of his own that shippers should boycott Nordstrom and signal they are doing so by cutting up and returning their credit cards.

Not to be outdone, favorite flunky Kellyanne Conway, while being interviewed on the inane "Fox and Friends" called for Trump supporters to "go buy Ivanka's stuff.  Doing so, as a government official, may be against the law. She was reportedly "counseled" for this infraction later in the day.

Finally, over coffee, wondering what this all means, Rona said, "I know how we can get rid of Trump."


"No, resignation."

"No way but I'm interested in what you're thinking."

"Through ridicule."

"Say more."

"What's the one thing he craves the most?" She answered her own question, "To be in the center of things, in the spotlight, with all eyes on him while being adulated. That's why he's so obsessed with how he's faring in the polls, how large his crowds are at rallies and the Inauguration. That's why his touchstone no matter the purpose of the meeting is 'The Celebrity Apprentice.' He even began his comments at the Annual Prayer Breakfast by mocking the ratings Arnold Schwarzenegger was pulling after taking Trump's place as the host. 'Pray for his ratings,' he incredibly said."

"And so?"

"He thinks of himself as the entertainer or celebrity in chief. That's why he watches TV all the time. To see what people are saying about him. To be famous is his highest aspiration and that's why he's so protective of his image, his brand and can't stand it when late night talkshow hosts make fun of him or, much worse, how a show he used to appear on regularly, 'Saturday Night Live,' ridicules him mercilessly week after week."

"We don't watch it that much," I said, "But did the last few weeks. Via On Demand, and they sliced him up savagely, hilariously. Alec Baldwin has taken on his essence and the skit with Melissa McCarthy mocking his press secretary were works of comic genius. But I'm not entirely getting your point about the political impact of this."

"If all of these folks keep it up, Trump will not be able to appear in public. He certainly will not be viable in Manhattan at his favorite 21 Club or soon in Palm Beach. This would be like cutting off his oxygen supply. And so he'll wind up living alone in the White House. Don't underestimate the power of satire and ridicule. In his case, it could very well do him in."

"He'll resign?"

"That's what I'm thinking. Comedy as another of our checks and balances."

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