Peggy Noonan Watched Chuck Todd's Trump Interview, Thinks That Trump Kid's Got MOXIE!
Yes, yes, we really will get to the 912 craziest things President Brokebrain said to Chuck Todd in just a second. But the old codger was demented yesterday, he's demented today, and tomorrow's forecast calls for ... oh, hey, demented with a chance of senility! Anyway, we got distracted because Todd aired the interview in studio for a distinguished panel, and Dame Peggy had #Thoughts.
PEGGY NOONAN: Do you remember, on The Ed Sullivan Show, when we were little children, there was a guy who came and balanced plates? There'd be a stick. He'd put a plate up. He'd get it going.
In point of fact, the last episode of The Ed Sullivan show aired before Chuck Todd or any of the other panelists were born. But, please, Madame, go on with this extremely apt analogy.
NOONAN: He'd get another, get another. And then he'd run back and forth, just trying to keep them all up. Balancing plates is part of the tone of this administration and of this president. Look, it's nonstop harum-scarum. Even something that, in the past, might've been as cleanly, logically handled as the Iran thing became nonstop harum-scarum. "It has this meaning. No, it has this meaning. I did it for this reason." He is exhausting. I think a threat for the president is that he tends to exhaust, not into submission, but into ultimate aversion. Many people in the middle, who'd like to, you know, be sympathetic towards him but just think, "Oh, my goodness. This is too much."
There you have it. Donald Trump is like a novelty act from the late '60s, all spinning plates and chaos. And you look for rhyme or reason, but there is none, because it's just a pointless distraction that grabs your attention briefly before it all comes clattering down and you're left standing there in a pile of broken crockery.
Sadly, Peggy Noonan got closest of all to acknowledging, in her own particular argot, the plain truth that Donald Trump is a mountebank, a card sharper, a flimflam man. He's an illiterate bullshitter who has flown by the seat of his pants his entire miserable life and can't string together a single coherent sentence. Forget NO CLOTHES -- the emperor is naked in a puddle of his own filth, eating belly button lint and babbling incoherently about people who left office years ago.
And yet, all the Very Serious Journalists will swear they're deducing valuable information by staring intently into this rancid bucket of goat entrails. There is no THERE THERE, but we're still watching Lanhee Chen, a professor at Stanford University, pretend that there was some kind of plan in last week's aborted strike on Iran.
So you think about it this way. There's a piece of leverage that, maybe, he's created. And he doesn't allow people to really know what he's thinking. And so he may or may not exercise or use that leverage. And he uses that to bring his adversary to the table. You've seen it with North Korea. You've seen it with China. You've seen it with Mexico. And now, you're seeing it with Iran. And in many ways, it has become entirely predictable. The unpredictable has become entirely predictable. So the interesting question will be, what next? But I think you're right. I think, if you look at Trump from the campaign, you look at the Donald Trump who we know, about not wanting to get entangled in the Middle East, it was very unlikely, I think, that he was ever going to launch that strike.
That was in response to THIS:
TODD: You know, Reuters is reporting that you sent a message to the Iranians saying, "I don't want war. I want to talk."
TRUMP: Wrong. It's wrong. I did not send that message. I did not send that message. I don't know who --
TRUMP: I don't know who would have said that.
TODD: Send a message right now to the Ayatollah.
TRUMP: I mean it's fake news.
TODD: Then send a message right now to the Ayatollah.
TRUMP: Wouldn't be much different than that message.
TODD: Which is?
TRUMP: I'm not looking for war and if there is, it'll be obliteration like you've never seen before. But I'm not looking to do that. But you can't have a nuclear weapon. You want to talk? Good. Otherwise you can have a bad economy for the next three years.
TODD: No pre-conditions?
TRUMP: Not as far as I'm concerned. No pre-conditions.
If we might recap: He wasn't sending a message, and Reuters is lying, but if he were sending a message, it would be exactly what Reuters said, which is entirely true. Also, he still hasn't worked out that a drone is by definition unmanned -- "They shot down an unmanned drone, plane, whatever you want to call it." But let's all keep sitting here acting like we're watching Bobby Fischer beat Deep Blue.
WATCH: Trump's strategy is to "create a crisis" and then be the "solver of the crisis," @peterbakernyt tells… https://t.co/7rZE2PeIia— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press)1561329788.0
Really? A man who stumbled into bankruptcy after bankruptcy, had unprotected sex with multiple porn stars in one weekend, a man who hired Michael "Taxi Medallion" "Birken Bag" "Cooley Law" Cohen as his lawyer has A STRATEGY? You bet!
Here's his "strategy": He bumbles from one fuckup to the next, making shit up and blaming everyone but himself.
Trump Bullshits on Immigration
TODD: Why aren't you doing something?
TRUMP: Are you ready?
This has been happening long before I got there. What we've done is we've created, we've, we've ended separation. You know, under President Obama you had separation. I was the one that ended it. Now I said one thing, when I ended it I said, "Here's what's going to happen. More families are going to come up." And that's what's happened. But they're really coming up for the economics. But once you ended the separation. But I ended separation. I inherited separation from President Obama. President Obama built, they call them jail cells.
Lies about Obama: CHECK.
If the Democrats would change the asylum laws and the loopholes, which they refuse to do because they think it's good politics, everything would be solved immediately. But they refuse to do it. They refuse to do it.
You know what? If they change those, I say, I used to say 45 minutes. It's 15 minutes. If they changed asylum and if they changed loopholes everything on the border would be perfect.
And lies about Democrats: CHECK. Because if Democrats would only allow him to summarily deport all asylum seekers back to be slaughtered or starve in their countries of origin, then there wouldn't be any kids in concentration camps obviously.
Trump Bullshits About Healthcare
TODD: Mr. President, you had full Republican control and they couldn't pass anything.
TRUMP: Chuck, are you ready?
He can totally get it done this time, since now John McCain is dead, see?
We had a negative vote from John McCain. It was a surprising vote. But I got rid of the worst part of Obamacare which was the individual mandate. We will always protect pre-existing conditions. And the reason Obamacare continues is my decision. Wait, I made a big decision. We have a man named Azar, our secretary, he's fantastic man, Alex. A total pro. I could have managed Obamacare so it would have failed or I could have managed it the way we did so it's as good as it can be. Not great, but it's as good -- It's too expensive and the premiums are too high. I had a decision to make. I could have politically killed Obamacare. I decided not to do it.
Sentient persons will note that Republicans lost control of the House -- meaning they can't gut Obamacare legislatively right now -- and also that the Trump administration is currently suing to have Obamacare declared illegal in its entirety by the Supreme Court, which would immediately allow insurers to discriminate against people with pre-existing conditions, not to mention kicking millions off Medicaid.
Dame Peggy, what say you?
But I'll tell you, I was listening to your audience here as we were watching this interview. And man, I thought of the-- look, this president, we shouldn't lose sight of it, because we see him every day. This is a compelling character who people are watching closely. This is a character. He reminded me-- He's got a line on every subject. And he reminded me of the old real estate salesman saying, "Always be closing."
I sense he is always closing. But I heard a lot of laughter from your audience. I'm not sure I could interpret the kind of laughter. But man, it was total engagement.
WHY IS EVERYONE LAUGHING AT THIS COMPELLING CHARACTER WHO VERY DEFINITELY HAS A PLAN AND ISN'T WINGING IT FOR 30 MINUTES UNTIL HE CAN GO BACK OUT TO THE GOLF COURSE?
Donald Trump Bullshits on Jamal Khashoggi
Trump: "If [Saudis] don't do business with us you know what they do? They'll do business with the Russians or with… https://t.co/CTsuG8iJMQ— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press)1561305186.0
TRUMP: Here's where I am, you ready?
TRUMP: Iran's killed many, many people a day. Other countries in the Middle East, this is a hostile place. This is a vicious, hostile place. If you're going to look at Saudi Arabia, look at Iran, look at other countries, I won't mention names, and take a look at what's happening. And then you go outside of the Middle East, and you take a look at what's happening with countries. Okay? And I only say they spend $400 to $450 billion over a period of time all money, all jobs, buying equipment.
You will be astonished to learn that Saudi Arabia hasn't purchased anything close to $400 billion, a number which goes up every time he tells this ridiculous lie. It was going to be $4 billion, except Trump just greenlighted a plan to let the Saudis build some of that equipment in their own country. So, not so much with those jobs. Also, we aren't selling arms to the Iranians, and they're not killing lawful US residents in the embassies of third party allies. But maybe we're just distracted by all those plates spinning on sticks.
Lest we end on a sad note, though ...
Trump Bullshits on the Presidential Library
Guess Chuck Todd was all the way to READY this time, since Trump just launched right into it.
WATCH: Trump tells Chuck Todd in the Oval Office that he has a “lot of options” for a presidential library. #MTP… https://t.co/ruYf94FGm1— Meet the Press (@Meet the Press)1561320528.0
TODD: Have you thought about a Presidential Library?
TRUMP: I am so busy.
TODD: Do you know where yet you would want it?
TRUMP: I have a lot of locations actually.
TODD: I know you do.
TRUMP: The nice part, I don't have to worry about buying a location.
This fool thinks the president owns his own library. But please, tell us more about his unerring instinct and cat-like reflexes!
TODD: Would you want it at one of your properties?
TRUMP: I've been treated so great in Florida. You know, the win in Florida. I've been treated so great in so many states.
TODD: I take it you want your library where your people would go. So Florida sounds like a --
TRUMP: Well my people, my people are going to a lot of different places --
TODD: That's true. People will go --
TRUMP: My people are great. I think somebody said, I read this morning, I have the greatest base ever in politics and I really believe that.
Nobody said he read anything this or any morning. Except Peggy Noonan, who thinks it's charmingly roguish that Donald Trump would seek to turn a non-profit, presidential library into a charitably funded, money-making venture for the Trump Organization. PROBABLY.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.