By this time, I’m well past the point of exhaustion from having to read, respond to or generally deal with this sort of nonsense. This is why Trump was correct not to go to Nerd Prom. This is why he shouldn’t have gone to the Gridiron Dinner. Perhaps even more to the point… this is why we can’t have nice things anymore.
For reasons I can only speculate about (and believe me, I shall), President Trump decided to show up at the annual Gridiron Dinner. At a fundraiser ahead of the event, he proceeded to use his time to make a few points on policy but do so while weaving in jokes and barbs, some aimed at himself and others targeting his usual list of suspects (mostly the media). Why was this a bad idea? Because, in their usual fashion and just as they do with his Twitter feed, the press decided to interpret one of his jokes as a new policy pronouncement. This time it dealt with the idea of repealing the 22nd Amendment and allowing someone to serve as president for life. (Huffington Post)
U.S. President Donald Trump praised Chinese President Xi Jinping Saturday after the ruling Communist party announced it was eliminating the two-term limit for the presidency, paving the way for Xi to serve indefinitely, according to audio aired by CNN.
“He’s now president for life, president for life. And he’s great,” Trump said, according to audio of excerpts of Trump’s remarks at a closed-door fundraiser in Florida aired by CNN. “And look, he was able to do that. I think it’s great. Maybe we’ll have to give that a shot someday,” Trump said to cheers and applause from supporters.
The linked article goes on to say that it’s “not clear” if the president meant the remark “in jest” or not. Is that supposed to also be a joke and I’m just too spent after the past two years of political circus stunts to get it? Sure, you might say that it’s just the Huffington Post, so what’s the big deal, right? They’ll criticize Trump for sneezing. But it wasn’t just them.
I woke up and turned on CNN only to hear one of their commentators saying, “We now have a sitting president openly musing about becoming a dictator.” And there wasn’t a hint of irony in her voice. The Washington Monthly led off with, “When someone tells you who they are, believe them.” Mediaite phrased it as the President having, “seemingly voiced interest in making the commander-in-chief role a lifetime position.” Even James Joyner, a writer who I have respected greatly since I first began blogging, was moved to say, “He didn’t seem to be joking.”
Have you people lost your collective minds? I still remember all the talk about Bush Derangement Syndrome and Obama Derangement Syndrome, and sometimes those charges were thrown around with no signs of proportionality or restraint. But the trend emerging out of the Gridiron Dinner is the epitome of Trump Derangement Syndrome. Did any of you actually listen to the audio clip? Here it is, just in case you missed it.
The crowd is laughing. Trump is laughing. We don’t have the video, but just from the tone, you can see in your mind the image of the President with that smirk on his face which shows up when he’s baiting the media and his opponents. And he knows that you know it, but you’ll talk about it anyway. He thrives on that sort of thing and you feed into it by taking the bait every single time.
Some of the President’s many detractors are fond of saying that he must be some sort of mentally inferior being, but do any of you honestly think he’s unaware what it would take to change the rules and allow for a “President for Life” in the United States? Perhaps an even larger question is whether you believe that he’d even be interested in the job if it were possible. Heck, I’m still not entirely convinced he actually wants the job now.
If you are among the crowd saying these things this morning and you ever get to wondering why some of us don’t take you more seriously when you criticize the President over more serious matters, think back to this moment. And since everyone seems to be in the mood to be annoying today anyway, we can close with that equally annoying pair of hashtags from Twitter which crop up at times like this.
Article updated to clarify that the remarks in question were made at a fundraiser in advance of the Gridiron Dinner.