In search of the national press: We haven't watched Mitt Romney's full speech about Candidate Trump. That said:
Perusing a transcript of the speech, we were struck by this excerpt:
ROMNEY (3/3/16): Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark.Concerning those alleged "thousands of Muslims," Romney is being too kind, of course.
He claimed that he had spoken clearly and boldly against going into Iraq.
Wrong. He spoke in favor of invading Iraq.
He said he saw thousands of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating 9/11.
Wrong. He saw no such thing. He imagined it.
His is not the temperament of a stable, thoughtful leader. His imagination must not be married to real power.
It isn't clear that Trump "imagined" that event. It's just as likely that he simply made it up.
At any rate, he kept insisting the event had occurred long after it became clear that it hadn't. Romney's statement seems to be true:
"Dishonesty is Donald Trump's hallmark."
Romney cites two remarkably bogus claims. Because Romney is playing to the anti-Obama crowd, he skipped a third heinous example—Trump's endless claims, in 2011 and 2012, that he had sent investigators to Hawaii, and that these investigators were stunned by what they were learning about President Obama's birth status.
Obviously, Trump was lying about that. By any normal standard, his conduct was disgraceful, appalling.
Today, Romney cited two episodes in denouncing Trump's dishonesty. To see a few more of Trump's crazily inaccurate policy claims, read Kevin Drum's recent post.
(Also, do you remember the time he said he got friendly with Putin?)
Today, Mitt Romney has denounced this deeply strange behavior. We ask you to ask yourself this:
Why did Romney have to do this? What ever became of the nation's "national press?"
As a candidate, Trump has engaged in a pattern of apparent lying which is basically without precedent. You'd never know this from the treatment he has received from that "national press."
Simply put, the national "press corps" has refused to address Trump's apparent pathological lying. Their avoidance of his birtherism is the ugliest case in point.
Good God! When Trump announced his candidacy last June, a few reporters actually tried to ask him about his repeated birther claims. Trump told them he no longer wished to discuss that topic—and they bowed to his request!
We haven't seen a single news org revisit that ugly, destructive episode or challenge Trump about it. In all the Republican debates, the topic has never been raised. As the national "press corps" fumbles about, looking for lies they can pin on Clinton, they've all agreed to turn tail and run from that ugly, destructive history.
In fairness, the "press corps" has also turned tail and run from Trump's ridiculous claims about Iraq. From the blatant craziness of his blatantly crazy tax proposal. From the endless series of giant misstatements about a wide range of policy matters.
Still, of all the lunacy they've agreed to avoid, the ugliness of the birther claims is the most egregious. This brings us back to the strangest press event of last year—Rachel Maddow's behavior when Trump announced he was running for president.
As you may have heard by now, MSNBC's corporate brass changed the channel's orientation during the course of the past year. Presumably, the decision to rework the channel's mission has been reflected in the massive dumbing-down of Maddow's now-ridiculous program.
That said, Maddow's a world-class hustler. She hustled the liberal world hard last June, back when Trump announced.
We discussed her bizarre coverage of Trump's announcement in real time, when it actually happened. Long story short:
On Day Two of the Week of Trump, she completely ignored the ugly speech with which Trump had launched his campaign. On Day One, she weirdly stressed the fact that she had nothing against Mr. Trump:
MADDOW (6/15/15): In 2014, he said he was going to run for governor of New York. At the last minute, he decided he wouldn't run for governor of New York after all.It wasn't that she disliked Mr. Trump! People, it was nothing like that. It wasn't qualitative at all!
Now, apparently, we are on the eve of him announcing whether or not he is going to run for president this time, in 2016, as a Republican.
And here we get to the limits of my abilities as a person who has a job like this. Because it is not at all that I dislike Mr. Trump and, therefore, don't see the appeal because I don't share the affection for him that his supporters have.
It's nothing like that. It's not qualitative at all.
I do not recognize—what's going on here is that I don't recognize, I cannot see that what he is doing is something that might conceivably, to anyone, have any political appeal.
Frankly, I think he is going to run. I think he is also very easily going to make the debate cut, when a lot of serving Republican governors of major states are not going to make that cut.
But at a very base and a very present level, I just don't understand this. I don't know how this works politically. I don't know how to analyze this phenomenon because part of me does not believe it is real. It is real. Republican voters believe it is real, but I do not get it. I do not understand it.
Forget the fact that Maddow couldn't see the political appeal to a Candidate Trump. What amazed us was the way she stressed the fact that she didn't "dislike Mr. Trump."
It wasn't like that at all! It was nothing qualitative!
Three years before, Trump had gone through the endless birther disgrace. But there was Rachel, stressing the fact that she didn't see anything there to dislike.
The following day, on June 16, Trump made his ugly speech about all the Mexican rapists. But so what? Our Darling Rachel clowned her way through that evening's program.
Weeks went by before she saw that it was safe to criticize Trump for that speech. The liberal world was being played by its leading corporate hustler.
(To visit her award-winning TV room/bathhouse, go ahead—just click here. Be sure to view the slide show!)
Today, it took a village by the name of Romney to state the obvious about Trump. He decided to skip the birther lies, concerning which the national "press corps" has chosen to hide in the woods.
Rachel was hiding there right from the start. We can't explain her pathetic performance in that initial Week of Trump, but of one thing you can be fairly sure:
She was playing some sort of political game, a political game which involved her career. Maddow's our tribe's number-one con man. She's quite good at playing us marks.
A final question: Again and again in recent weeks, Trump has claimed that he constantly gets standing ovations when he says he won't let anyone die in the streets.
Has he ever received any such ovation? Inquiring minds may want to know, but the national "press corps" does not.