(Jared Kushner not pictured)

Nice piece in the Washington Post today about how Donald Trump's top aides seem to be locked in a competition to see who can offer the most over-the-top declarations of what a terrific, brilliant, smart, kind, manly, and long-fingered leader he is. Not that this is really a terribly new thing; Trump has always surrounded himself with suck-ups and yes-men, but the effort to sustain a cult of personality around the puffy orange real-estate developer seems a tad excessive, and may even approach the level of fawning sycophancy that rightwing blogs always accused Barack Obama of encouraging among his fans.

As a case study, reporter Jenna Johnson looks at staff fluffing of the presidential ego over his trip to the Mideast and Europe, which was, at best, a "moderate success that was at times overshadowed by viral GIFs" -- or a possible disaster for relations with Europe. But the White House's official statements about the trip portrayed it as arguably the greatest achievement in foreign travel by any president, ever, because Donald Trump is such a superlative guy:

“It truly was an extraordinary week for America and our people,” White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday afternoon as he kicked off a gushing recap to reporters that lasted roughly nine minutes and featured the word “historic” a half-dozen times.

Spicer channeled his boss as he declared that Trump’s speech to leaders of more than 50 Arab and Muslim nations “was a historic turning point that people will be talking about for years to come” and “was met with nearly universal praise.” He claimed that the president single-handedly “united the civilized world in the fight against terrorism and extremism” and that his meetings at the Group of Seven summit in Sicily “were marked by outstanding success.”

Did you feel extraordinary last week? We're not sure we felt extraordinary. A bit worn out, maybe, but not extraordinarily so. But Spicer had more to pile on, because Donald Trump can't fart without it being a far classier fart than any gas Barack Obama passed. Indeed, the walls of the White House are only now beginning to recover from the damage inflicted on them by the feckless farts of Trump's incompetent predecessor:

“We’ve never seen before at this point in a presidency such sweeping reassurance of American interests and the inauguration of a foreign policy strategy designed to bring back the world from growing dangers and perpetual disasters brought on by years of failed leadership,” Spicer said.

And to think we were under the impression he alienated our European allies and knows nothing about how many German companies build cars in America.

But if Spicer was an enthusiastic Trumpfluffer, that's nothing compared to the praise Hope Hicks heaped on her wise, kind boss. In response to rumors Trump sometimes demeans his staff (unthinkable!), Hicks issued a long statement to the Post in rebuttal, saying, among other things,

President Trump has a magnetic personality and exudes positive energy, which is infectious to those around him. He has an unparalleled ability to communicate with people. . . . He is brilliant with a great sense of humor.

There was almost certainly something in there about how he's also the kindest, bravest warmest, most wonderful human being Hicks has known in her life. In fact, if there's a communications problem at the White House, where former communications director Mike Dubke barely escaped being cooked into meat pies because there's no way to direct communication in that madhouse, it's that no other human being is truly capable of conveying the brilliance that is the mind of Donald Trump, as Spicer explained:

“Ultimately, the best messenger is the president himself,” Spicer said at the briefing. “He’s always proven that he is the best messenger — not just for what he wants to articulate, but that the American people resoundingly chose him as their president because he understands the frustrations and concerns and values of the American people. And he is probably the best person to communicate that.”

Spicer then stared at his feet and muttered, "Hey, man, you don't talk to the president. You listen to him. I mean I'm... no, I can't... I'm a little man, I'm a little man, he's... he's a great man! I should have been a pair of ragged claws scuttling across floors of silent seas..."

Naysayer Tommy Vietor, who worked for the failed president, Barack Obama, told Johnson Team Trump's spin wasn't all that convincing, because "The first rule of spin is that it has to be believable." Then again, Vietor is a loser whose boss wasn't even elected again, so why listen to him? He suggested the bafflegab from Spicer and others just made any day's given spokesperson "look like an idiot," because the whole show sounds like North Korean propaganda:

“It’s baffling, because it doesn’t convince anyone. It doesn’t serve anyone to insist that black is white, that down is up, or that Donald Trump is this warm and fuzzy guy,” Vietor said.

After hearing of Vietor's criticism, Trump had to be restrained by staff from storming into a pet shop, grabbing a cute puppy, and demanding it visibly love him in front of a camera, imaginary White House sources told Wonkette.

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.


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