If it was at all unclear before, the last night of the Republican National Convention proved one thing definitively: the Trump family and the GOP have decided that no lie is too outlandish, no talking point too slimy or untrue to use. I suspect they know they cannot win with the truth so they have decided to try to win dirty because that is the only hope they have.
I was watching CBSN, the internet-only arm of CBS News, and one of their real journalists on a panel commented on how Trump’s presentation of himself as a successful businessman who is a friend of the little guy is at odds with his record of stiffing contractors, subcontractors and hourly employees for sums large and small, often leaving small businesses bankrupt.
The pro-Trump person on the CBSN panel answered without shame that if that many people complained about not being paid, imagine all the people whom he did pay and how that helps the economy!
I cannot tell if the other CBSN panelists were too shocked to respond as they should have done, or if their rules of absolute impartiality required that they let any ridiculous claim pass unchallenged, no matter how outrageous.
This all happened shortly before Ivanka Trump appeared to introduce her father with a gauzy video and speech that were as huge glops of Vaseline on a video camera lens — meant to obscure what the rest of us are truly seeing.
According to Ivanka, her father is not some lying fascist megalomaniac who hungers for ever more fame and power. Rather, she insisted, it is Donald Trump who is giving up time building the businesses he loves in order to save America from itself.
So this is how it will be: the would-be first family will make every effort to lie its way into 1600 Pennsylvania, with the assistance of a Republican Party so shorn of morals and standards that Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, who previously could have represented the wingnuttiest arm of the GOP, is now seen as a wise elder statesman.
Just minutes before Ivanka (and Trump himself) did their song-and-dance, GOP Chair Reince Priebus, the oily weasel who has overseen the Republican descent into madness, opened the final night of the convention with a 15-minute speech that, as near as I could tell, contained not a single statement of truth in it. He blamed Hillary Clinton and the Democrats for just about every ill which could be laid at the GOP’s doorstep, including jobs moving to Third World countries, the shabby treatment of veterans, and others.
Fortunately the following day Trump himself came to the rescue with his grubby, greedy, petty ego in tow, as this article in the New York Times explains:
Donald J. Trump lashed out at Senator Ted Cruz on Friday, rehashing a long list of grievances from their primary battle during a news conference here only hours after he accepted the Republican Party’s presidential nomination at a weeklong convention meant to unite the party.
After bragging that he had unified the party in one of the most “lovefilled” conventions in political history, Mr. Trump launched an extended diatribe against Mr. Cruz, who pointedly declined to endorse him during his own convention speech on Wednesday night, instead urging people to vote their conscience. The speech embarrassed Mr. Trump and cast a shadow of discord over the convention, which had already been marred by plagiarism in Mr. Trump’s wife’s speech Monday night. “I don’t want his endorsement,” Mr. Trump said angrily, in a rambling stream-o-consciousness performance that seemed half standup routine, half vengeful rant.
“If he gives it, I won’t accept it.” The remarks were a remarkable display of lingering tension within the party and Mr. Trump’s own inability to let go of grudges from the past.
They also represented a seemingly inevitable reappearance of Mr. Trump’s irrepressible id; The Republican nominee, having spoken from a teleprompter for more than an hour Thursday evening for the final night of his convention, seemed almost incapable of restraining himself any longer as the campaign moved to its next phase. “Now it was the summer of Trump, it was the autumn of Trump, it was as the Christmas of Trump,” Mr. Trump said, with characteristic braggadocio. “It was everything.”
Clearly still stung by Mr. Cruz’s actions, Mr. Trump ruminated aloud about why the senator from Texas would not back him. He recalled their personal fights during the nominating contests, including the unflattering picture that Mr. Trump reposted on Twitter of Mr. Cruz’s wife, Heidi, and he defended his suggestion that Mr. Cruz’s father might have had a role in the assassination of John F. Kennedy, citing a report in The National Enquirer. “This is a magazine that frankly in many respects should be very respected,” Mr. Trump said of the tabloid.
Mr. Trump’s comments about Heidi Cruz — which prompted an audible gasp from a member of his traveling press corps as he began his riff — is also likely to remind voters that he attacked Mr. Cruz’s wife during the nominating contest. Mr. Trump is already struggling to woo female voters, who still view him overwhelmingly negatively, polls show.
Trying to explain away the incident also left him in the slightly uncomfortable situation of mentioning Penthouse, a risqué magazine known for its nude photographs…. (He mentioned the magazine in asserting that a nearly nude picture of his wife, Melania, was “artsy” and in GQ, which he said was hardly Penthouse.)
LOL. Yes, that’s what Melania’s photos have been. Artsy. One looks forward to the day when they appear in the Louvre, especially the ones of her in nearly crotchless panties leaning on a jet holding a gun and a can of beer.
So there you have it. For less than 24 hours Trump kept this lid on himself while his family and the GOP tried to polish him up for public consumption.
Our only hope is that Trump continues in his inability to be anyone but who he really is.