Dull as Dishwater
(Door Hugo Kijne te Hoboken USA)
That is how Malcolm Nance characterized Trump’s commencement speech at West Point, for which over 1000 graduates had to come back to campus and stay in quarantine for two weeks. Trump only left the teleprompter three times, each time to mention that he had attended the Army-Navy game, redundantly emphasizing that it was all about him. And at a time when the whole country was crying out for change the president came up with the following reactionary doozy: ‘when times are turbulent and the road is rough, what matters most is that which is permanent, timeless, enduring and eternal.’ So much for change, and that became even clearer when Trump signed an executive order prohibiting chokeholds, unless an officer fears that his life is at risk, which is the biggest loophole since companies like Shake Shack were allowed to receive pandemic relief money meant for small businesses. After delivering his address Trump had trouble getting down a ramp, prompting speculation about his physical condition, which led him to tweet that the ramp had been slippery but that he broke a world record on the last 10 feet.
The White House event where the president signed the executive order was a bag of mainly bad intentions. Families of some of the victims of racist police violence had been invited and briefly met with Trump but did not attend the signing, where they would have been out of place among the white law enforcement officials headed by the inevitable Bill Barr. Only the uninformed attendees wore face masks, as Trump’s cockamamie idea that it’s better to die of COVID-19 than to sacrifice an inch of one’s masculinity appeared to gain traction in his inner circle. His base will be tested on that same conviction in Tulsa on June 20, when the president intends to have an indoor rally with 19,000 attendees and an additional 40,000 deplorables in an overflow area, in spite of a rapid rise of COVID cases in Oklahoma. Face masks will be distributed but don’t have to be worn. Experts fear that the event will be a corona virus ‘superspreader,’ but Trump has not spoken with Dr. Fauci in two weeks and made clear that he has no need for scientists, saying ‘if we’d stop testing now we’d have very few new cases,’ an opinion that was immediately echoed by Mike Pence.
Meanwhile the president who doesn’t read is under attack from the publishing business. First there is a book about Melania’s art of the deal, describing how she renegotiated her prenuptial with moving into the White House as leverage, then there is an upcoming book by Mary Trump, revealing how she helped the New York Times unravel her uncle’s nefarious financial history and adding some more dirty laundry, and finally there is John Bolton’s ‘tell all’ book about his time as National Security Advisor that Trump is desperately trying to keep out of the bookstores.
The president’s legal action is an exercise in futility, however, because the book has already been leaked to the press, so it’s now common knowledge that Trump asked Xi Jinping to help with his re-election and approved of China’s building concentration camps for Uighurs. Additionally, the president’s ignorance about Great Britain’s being a nuclear power is matched by his geo-political insight that Finland is part of Russia, and his opinion that some journalists should be executed.
After a week in which there were suggestions that Trump might not even run for re-election because of his tanking poll numbers he showed some surprising flexibility, by calling a SCOTUS decision in favor of the LGBTQIA community ‘very powerful’ and saying that he ‘would love’ to see Colin Kaepernick play football again. It will be a real shocker if he repeats those things in Tulsa.
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