Donald Trump Measuring His Dick Again, Beto O'Rourke Edition
Donald Trump held one of his hate rallies in El Paso, Texas, Monday night and millions of people showed up in his mind. The rally was intended to hype up Trump's stupid WALL, but El Paso native Beto O'Rourke decided to throw his own counter rally, the "March for Truth," with actual people and facts.
Trump claimed during his State of the Union address last week that El Paso was once a wretched hive of scum and villainy before border fencing was erected. QED: WALL good. Even the Republican mayor of El Paso gently pointed out that Trump had confused reality with racist paranoia. This is one of Trump's dumber lies. Pissing on O'Rourke's hometown more than justifies the former congressman coming out of emo-retirement to challenge the president. If O'Rourke launches a 2020 presidential campaign, immigration could be his signature issue, and his talent for moving oratory was on full display last night.
BETO: We know that walls do not save lives, walls end lives. We stand for the best traditions and the values of this country ... for who we are when we're at our best, and that's El Paso, Texas.
O'Rourke also repeatedly spoke Spanish to the diverse crowd. He's bilingual and Trump is barely monolingual. Did Trump have any new, compelling WALL-related messages to share last night?
TRUMP: We need the wall, and it has to be built.
Oh, well, why didn't he say that earlier? If we'd only known we needed a useless WALL, we could've avoided a lot of pointless debate. There were banners at the rally demanding that we "Finish the Wall" because that shows progress that Trump hasn't actually made when it comes to "building" WALL. Trump remained true to form, not offering any insight or inspiration at the rally -- just random insults and lies. He claimed the Democratic Party currently represents "socialism, late term abortion, open borders, and crime." He suggested that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was going to take away all our airplanes, and he somehow managed to make us feel bad for Ralph Northam.
You have to wonder about the level of intellect that would believe doctors are "executing" babies in front of their parents like some slasher film. Reportedly, almost 18,500 people showed up to listen to Trump's bullshit. This is far too many, but Trump's team wasn't satisfied with that still depressing number so they made up their own.
Brad Parscale, who manages Trump's re-election campaign, tweeted last night that 35,000 people attended the rally. He absurdly claimed 8,000 people were inside the El Paso County Coliseum where Trump spoke, which would've been a fire code violation. The maximum number permitted, standing and seated, is 6,500.
Parscale ludicrously lowballed attendance at O'Rourke's counter rally as less than a thousand people. Trump himself claimed it was only "200 to 300 people." This was a rally, not regional theatre. The El Paso Police Department estimated that between 10 to 15,000 people showed up at Chalio Acosta Sports Center for the anti-WALL rally. The crowd included the loved ones of undocumented immigrants, who'd committed no crime greater than the original Pilgrims and who built decent, respectful lives for themselves here. The protestors were all united by a shared love for El Paso and resentment toward Trump, who denigrated their community for political gain.
Trump turned up for an ass-kissing, post-hate rally wrap up with fellow hatemonger Laura Ingraham. He demonstrated an unhealthy fixation with O'Rourke's crowd size. By this point, he was claiming the only people there were former members of O'Rourke's punk rock band. He also threw up more WALL-related lies that O'Rourke, the El Paso mayor, literally everyone, have clearly debunked.
The Washington Post today gave Trump and his backers a way of spinning O'Rourke's successful rally that isn't simply denying reality. Maybe they can just argue he had the "home court advantage"?
The crowd included many local Republicans who said they were excited to see so many like-minded people gather in such a liberal area to support the president and the wall. There were also Trump supporters who drove for hours to get to the rally from elsewhere in Texas and from New Mexico.
Look at all those white people driving into predominately brown areas to show their support for keeping out brown people! It brings a tear to your eye. Clinton beat Trump's ass like a drum in El Paso, but what Trump really wants everyone to remember is that O'Rourke is the big loser.
TRUMP: How about Beto? Beto was defeated, too. But he suffered a great defeat.
Did Trump just learn who O'Rourke was yesterday? This is his weakest diss track yet.
TRUMP: [O'Rourke's] a young man who's got very little going for himself, except he's got a good first name.
Huh? OK, we guess the "joke" here is that "Beto" sounds like "Beat-o" and Beto was, er, "beaten-o." Hilarious. Or maybe Trump is just reminding everyone that O'Rourke's first name is technically "Robert" and there's something immediately sinister about nicknames. Who knows, really. Maybe Trump should stick with Native American genocide humor.
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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.