Donald Trump Digs Up John Dingell's Corpse, Flogs It On Stage
Donald Trump never runs out of ways to make us sick. During his banana pants rally last night in Battle Creek, Michigan, the freshly impeached president attacked Rep. Debbie Dingell, who'd voted to bounce him from office and fumigate the White House afterward. Trump considered her vote a betrayal because he'd done the bare minimum expected of a president when Dingell's husband died early this year. John Dingell Jr. was the longest-serving member of either house of Congress. He worked to pass Medicare, Medicaid, the Civil Rights Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, and the Affordable Care Act. He also was a bone-spur free veteran of World War II. Trump insulted his memory in the state he'd served faithfully for decades without ever once being impeached.
TRUMP: Debbie Dingell, that's a real beauty. So she calls me up like eight months ago. Her husband was there a long time. But I didn't give him the B treatment. I didn't give him the C or the D. I could've. I gave the A+ treatment. I gave him everything. I don't want anything. I don't need anything for anything. She calls me up: "It's the nicest thing that's ever happened. Thank you so much. John would be so thrilled. He's looking down. He'd be so thrilled. Thank you so much, sir." I said, "That's OK, don't worry about it."
Trump's usually lying when he claims someone called him "sir," but Dingell is a polite woman who respects the office of the presidency. Let's assume this exchange took place. Trump has already insulted dead people, war heroes, children, and the disabled. It's almost old hat. But his remarks last night put him in the running for the Nobel Prize in evil.
SCUMBAG: Maybe [John Dingell's] looking up, I don't know. I don't know. Maybe. But let's assume he's looking down.
Trump has no moral center, so he assumes everything in life is transactional. He did a "favor" for Debbie Dingell and she showed him "disrespect." So Trump responded like any average psychopath and suggested her late husband is rotting in hell. A rabid animal will always lash out, and Dingell shared the bite marks on Twitter.
This is all Donald Trump is. He can wound people more than he could ever inspire them. Dingell demonstrated tremendous grace -- still addressing Trump as "Mr. President" -- after the orange lesion pissed on her husband's grave in public. Unfortunately, the media still wanted to push Dingell into the mud pit where Trump resides.
The president didn't just "speak about" John Dingell. He put him in the same living facility as Stalin. And his widow, who has a name, didn't "hit back." She just said "ouch." The media insists on framing Trump's personal attacks as equal-opportunity "feuds." NBC News describes Trump's gross comments as a "'hell' crack" and a "macabre quip." This actively spins Trump's cruelty as envelope-pushing "comedy." If the Senate actually removes him from office, maybe Netflix can give him a comeback special. Trump is not a "funny guy." He's not a "fighter," either. He's just a bully.
Trump's new material might've bombed, though. Republican Rep. Fred Upton said he should apologize, and even Fox News host and Trump fan club member Maria Bartiromo thought his comments were "unnecessary." Part-time White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham, making the morning show circuit, tried to argue for kicking a man when he's dead:
GEORGE STEPHANAPOULOS: Why did you think the president said that last night?
GRISHAM: You'd have to talk to the president about that.
OH MY GOD! She sucks so bad. Lady, we're asking you about the president's actions because you're his representative to the press. Grisham really doesn't get what her job is. Did she skip orientation?
GRISHAM: He was at a political rally. He has been under impeachment attack for the last few months and just under attack in general for the two and a half years.... The president is a counter-puncher. It was a very supportive and wild crowd, and he was just riffing...
Trump has previously blamed the crowd for hateful statements at his rallies. They are such loyal patsies. If the strain of impeachment is too much for him, maybe he shouldn't have campaign rallies for the next year so he doesn't continue "riffing" on dead people in public.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).