BLUES: Donald J. Trump gave a poisonous speech!


Here's what one blue army found: This past Saturday, presidential candidate Donald J. Trump delivered a remarkable keynote address at the annual CPAC political gathering.

C-Span's videotape can be seen here. Warning! The tape is almost two hours long—and it seems to be the videotape of last year's CPAC address! 

More on that below. Regarding Trump's actual CPAC speech from this actual year, here's the start of the report, headline included:

Trump calls himself a ‘proud political dissident’ in CPAC speech

Former President Donald Trump cast November’s presidential election as “judgment day” and declared himself a “proud political dissident” during a speech before conservative activists outside of Washington Saturday as he again cloaked his campaign in religious imagery.

Speaking at the Conservative Political Action Conference ahead of his win in the South Carolina Republican primary, Trump painted an apocalyptic vision of the future if President Joe Biden wins a second term as the two prepare for an expected rematch election.

“For hardworking Americans, Nov. 5 will be our new liberation day. But for the liars and cheaters and fraudsters and censors and imposters who have commandeered our government, it will be judgment day,” he said to loud applause.

Trust us! From our own blue tribe's political perspective, things went way downhill from there. Unless we've been looking at the address Trump gave last year!

At any rate:

Based on that full AP report, Trump's speech this past weekend was stunning. Let us also say this:

Assuming that C-Span has aired the tape of the actual speech, this is the actual way the candidate started last Saturday's speech. Even if this was the start of last year's speech, this tiny bit of text establishes a well-known basic fact:

I want to start by thanking Matt and Mercedes Schlapp and everyone at the American Conservative Union—thank you, Matt—for hosting this wonderful event. It really has been something over the years..."

That's the way Trump began the speech—the speech which seems to date to last year. He started that speech by thanking Matt Schlapp of the American Conservative Union—but also by thanking Mercedes Schlapp, the gentleman's well-known wife.

As everyone knows, this annual conference "was founded in 1974 by the American Conservative Union and Young Americans for Freedom." As of last year, Matt Schlapp was still riding high as kingpin of the gathering.

As far as we know, Schlapp was still in charge of the conference this year, but he and the conference itself had fallen on harder times. In this report from last Thursday, Politico's Ben Truss summed it up like this:

The event had once been perhaps the premier conference for American conservatives. But its stature has gradually declined in recent years as it has come to be seen as a mere adjunct of Trumpism and, as its head, Matt Schlapp, has fended off allegations of sexual misconduct and financial mismanagement.

As far as we know, Schlapp was still in charge of CPAC this year. But the last year has been a bit messy.

At any rate, Trump seems to have given a fire-breathing CPAC speech this year. Here's more of the AP's report on last Saturday's address:

Last year, Trump used his speech at CPAC to tell his supporters that his 2024 campaign would be one of “retribution.”

“In 2016, I declared: I am your voice. Today I add: I am your warrior. I am your justice. And for those who have been wronged and betrayed, I am your retribution,” he said then.

This time, he cast himself as a savior standing between his supporters and near-anarchy as he spoke of “hoards of illegal aliens stampeding across our borders,” warned the country’s social safety net and education system would “buckle and collapse,” and claimed that, “the gangs will be invading your territory.”

“These are the stakes of this election: Our country is being destroyed and the only thing standing between you and its obliteration is me,” he declared, casting Biden’s leadership as “an express train barreling toward servitude and to ruin.”

”A vote for Trump is your ticket back to freedom, it’s your passport out of tyranny and it’s your only escape from Joe Biden and his gang’s fast track to hell. And in many ways, we’re living in hell right now,” he said, adding that: “the unprecedented success of the United States of America will be my ultimate and absolute revenge.”

The AP went on from there to perform some basic fact-checking. But on that very Saturday night, as blue tribe pundits gathered together on our blue tribe's "cable news" channel, we blue tribe viewers were handed a somewhat peculiar takeaway concerning Saturday's CPAC address.

For the record, Lawrence O'Donnell seemed to think that the CPAC speech had been delivered on Friday. That minor error isn't the problem with what O'Donnell now said, as his gang of allies happily chuckled and agreed with his pronouncements.

Below, you see part of what O'Donnell said at 7:15 this past Saturday night. As he starts, he's talking about Trump's recently concluded victory speech in South Carolina. From there, he makes a peculiar claim about Trump's earlier CPAC address: 

O'DONNELL (2/24/24): When Donald Trump was doing his initial thanks [in South Carolina], it was to his family. 

If you want to roll the tape, you will see him reading from notes, beginning with the word "Melania," which he got wrong yesterday [sic].

He called her "Mercedes" yesterday [sic] in his speech. So yes, there's a presidential candidate who doesn't get his wife's name right. But you won't find out about that among the headline writers and political coverage

STEPHANIE RUHLE (with snark): Lawrence, perhaps it would be easier to get her name right if she were standing next to him at the podium. But alas, she is not.

At this point, Chris Hayes threw to Rachel Maddow for further comment. To watch O'Donnell's fuller statement, you can start by clicking here.

Mercifully, O'Donnell's multipart flight into fantasy was temporarily done. Question:

Did Donald J. Trump really call his wife "Mercedes" during Saturday's CPAC address? We're going to guess that the answer is no, but let us direct you to this:

At that link, you will read a takedown from Newsweek about this claim—about the claim which swept certain precincts of blue tribe social media in the hours before O'Donnell spoke.

Newsweek made the obvious observation. Almost surely, Trump was referring to the rather well-known Mercedes Schlapp in the comment to which O'Donnell now referred. 

As Newsweek notes, you probably know you've gone off the rails when Keith Olbermann attacks an attack on Donald J. Trump, as Olbermann would later do in this tweet:

OLBERMANN (2/24/24): Trump spews out astonishing evidence of his dementia, brain trauma, and possible substance abuse on an hourly basis. There is NO reason to add to this list easily disproven nonsense. He did NOT call his wife "Mercedes" at CPAC. 

He's unmistakably referring to Mercedes Schlapp.

At least that's what Olbermann said. For the record, "easily disproven [blue tribe] nonsense" tends to help Donald J. Trump.

If you watch the videotape from blue tribe cable in which O'Donnell makes his angry claims, you'll see a bunch of blue tribe tribunes chuckling and enjoying themselves as O'Donnell apparently misstates this point and makes other apparent blunders. We'll further explore this silly trivia as the week proceeds.

For today, let's review:

On Saturday, Candidate Trump gave a remarkable speech at the annual CPAC event. By 7:15 that night, the best our blue tribe pundits could do was to chuckle and enjoy themselves as one of their number made a trivial claim which is almost surely inaccurate.

Fellow citizens, please! Mercedes Schlapp has long been a big deal and a major presence at CPAC!

Beyond that, she served "as White House Director of Strategic Communications in the Trump administration," then worked "on the Trump 2020 re-election campaign as senior advisor for strategic communications." 

You'd think those facts would have occurred to any blue tribe pundit before he ran onto national TV and repeated a highly improbable (and trivial) claim. That said, let's continue our review:

C-Span seems to have posted last year's speech by Donald J. Trump as if it was this year's speech. Everybody makes mistakes, but that one should be corrected.

Early last week, O'Donnell offered a detailed, very smart critique of the suggestion that the Democratic Party could simply replace Joe Biden as its nominee at the party's August convention. Things went straight downhill from there, leading to the amalgam of apparent blunders he authored last Saturday night to approving clucks from his helpmates.

As we've noted in recent weeks, red tribe "cable news" is routinely a virtual parody of actual journalism. The blue tribe tape to which we've linked isn't gigantically better.

These are the fruits of the current "segregation by viewpoint" which afflicts so much of our nation's journalism. Our own blue pundits were joking and laughing and enjoying themselves, but the various things they were saying were utterly trivial and were almost surely wrong.

The red tribe's armies are in the field, conducting their siege of the Biden White House. At the same time, our own blue tribe pundits are conducting a siege of Candidate Trump.

The Achaeans armies fought outside the walls of Troy for ten years until their siege was at last successful. This week, we'll start to review the type of warfare being conducted, this very year, by the armies of our own blue tribe.

As we do, we'll ask you to take The Citizen's Challenge:

Can you conceive of the possibility that corporate employees who vote your way can, on the rare occasion and in the small way, be unhelpful or even just wrong?

Can you conceive of that possibility? Can such vaunted blue tribe stars be unhelpful, be wrong?

Tomorrow: A shout-out to her beloved colleagues and to her beloved viewers


  1. "Russia Election Interference Has Already Begun
    February 26, 2024 at 7:06 am EST By Taegan Goddard

    “Russia is already spreading disinformation in advance of the 2024 election, using fake online accounts and bots to damage President Joe Biden and his fellow Democrats,” NBC News reports.

    “The dissemination of attacks on Biden is part of a continuing effort by Moscow to undercut American military aid to Ukraine and U.S. support for and solidarity with NATO.”

    “A similar effort is underway in Europe. France, Germany and Poland said this month that Russia has launched a barrage of propaganda to try to influence European parliamentary elections in June.”

    1. Somerby says: "This week, we'll start to review the type of warfare being conducted, this very year, by the armies of our own blue tribe."

      Shouldn't he be more concerned about the type of warfare being conducted on the right, letting Russia do their dirtywork in exchange for sabotaging US efforts to help Ukraine stay free?

      But Somerby is worried about the blue tribe!

    2. You have to be careful because of most of the Russian interference stories are propaganda meant to scare people and take their minds off of real issues. Stuff like the fact both parties only pretend to have voter's interests in mind, etc.

    3. When reports of propaganda are themselves possible propaganda, we are certainly entering a new age of disinformation... unless your claim is itself propaganda...

    4. If it's from NBC you can expect that it is propaganda. If the source is "former U.S. officials and cyber experts", check your wallet as Bob says. If someone calls themselves a "disinformation expert" as some in the NBC story do, they are disinforming you 99 out of100 times. They are scaring, distracting and dividing us. All they want is another wheelbarrow full of billions and billions to send to Ukraine so they can continue to steal it. That's all this false story is about.

    5. Why would anybody lie about their contacts with Russia/ Putin?
      It can't just be because they were asked by the FBI.

    6. The FBI tricks them into lying.

    7. It's an old trick. And then they use that as leverage.

    8. Only the best people can be tricked by the FBI.

    9. yeah, don't trust mainstream western journalists and U.S. public servants. instead, trust Weirdo Mao and the Russian propaganda he has gullibly imbibed

    10. Yeah, there are so many reasons to trust mainstream western journalists and U.S. public servants. They so lookout for us and have our best interests at heart. One can't trust them enough especially when it comes to reporting about wars and threats of war and scary stories of attacks from foreign countries that unnamed former U.S. officials told them. Those always turn out to be true. And why would they lie??!! They have no reason to lie, amirite?

    11. Where else does anyone read current events? They tend to keep each other honest.

    12. yeah, mainstream western journalists and u.s. public servants are all a monolith, all acting in unison, all just one big conspiracy to harm everyone, amirite? no difference between, say, Sean Hannity and Anne Applebaum, amirite? no difference between, say, Jim Jordan and Bernie Sanders, amirite? idiot

    13. In terms of the Russian interference stories being propaganda meant to scare people by taking their minds off of real issues?

    14. 8:41 You read them but with the understand they have the power to propagandize you because it is in their interest to do so. They have done it before and they will always do it. You just have to look out for it.

    15. Mike - you used "mainstream journalists" in a false choice above that's why I was riffing on it.🥊

    16. Fox propagandizes but it is obvious to anyone watching more than Fox because the fact-based media are all mostly on the same page and it is different from Fox. The mainstream media are reporting from the same sources about reality. Fox differs because they are making shit up.

    17. 11:19 Yes, only one of two things are possible. The issue is pure black and white. ;)

    18. 3:28,
      The corporate media reports from two views. Far-Right and Center-Right.

    19. Exactly. Mainstream Dems are solidly center-right. Dems evolved into pro-corporate, war supporting, CIA-loving center right Republicans over the last 20 years.

  2. This is odd. Somerby suggests that C-SPAN was showing last year's CPAC speech, but it is the same speech as shown on Al Jazeera, Youtube and other sources.

    I saw the portion of the speech where Trump refers to Mercedes. It is right after he talks about his wonderful wife. If he were talking about Mercedes Schlapp, it would be majorly inappropriate because of how he did it, the emphasis on the name and the feeling behind it, which would be right when talking about Melania, but not the wife of the CPAC organizer.

    Somerby is wrong about both of these criticisms. And he is especially wrong when he claims Trump was not referring to his wife when he said Mercedes. But this does show how far Somerby will reach to discredit O'Donnell and blue cable.

    He says: "People love her" and the audience stands and applauds. Then he says: "Mercedes, look at that, that's pretty good," while he surveys the audience and people continue applauding. Then he continues "And she loves our country and she loves the people..."

    Why on earth would he suddenly talk to Mercedes in the middle of the speech, continuing to refer to his wife both before and after that mention of the name? THAT makes no sense at all. Somerby is wrong that he was addressing anyone but Melania with that sentence, and yes, he got her name wrong.

    But Somerby has to gaslight us today, pretending that Trump didn't do what he plainly did.

    1. If you were giving a speech and you mentioned your wife at length and she was given a standing ovation, would you then break off your speak in order to tell another woman "look at that," before continuing to praise your wife?

      I cannot think of a situation that would justify doing something like that (in public), and that is just as demented as getting one's wife's name wrong.

      The fact that the CPAC organizer's wife is named Mercedes suggests where the name confusion came from. He no doubt heard the name recently. It doesn't explain why he would substitute it for his wife's name, without any recognition that he had made such a mistake.

      Or was Olberman trying to suggest that Mercedes organized the standing ovation, something that is supposed to be spontaneous? Why would she have to do that?

  3. "We're going to guess that the answer is no, but let us direct you to this:

    At that link, you will read a takedown from Newsweek about this claim"

    Unfortunately, the link Somerby included there is a link to nowhere, leading to a nonexistent page on his own blog. I point this out because Somerby so often complains about links to nowhere on other people's webpages. Perhaps he will fix it, but more likely he will be oblivious to this problem, since he doesn't read his comments.

    1. Attempted takedown. I don't think Olbermann is convincing. Note that the Newsweek article is in response to an attempt to correct the record and repair the gaffe by Mercedes Schlapp, who worked for Trump's former administration, not just CPAC.

  4. From now on, I’ll call Cecelia “Mercedes”.

  5. These Dems are playing a sort of “gotcha” game, turning around Biden’s supposedly shocking gaffs on him by pointing out Trump has made supposedly like gaffs. Trump has always done plenty of babbling incoherently (google “Trump” and “Elton John”) so it seems like hair splitting. Yes, it’s kinda dumb, but what are they supposed to do, go after Trump on content?
    Trump has always made awful speeches saying ugly things and Bob has always struggled to let him off the hook with the stray disclaimer.
    Bob “see no racism” Somerby should be awarded a pair of golden sneakers for his efforts. At the same time, Bob is always very concerned about Biden’s age and his gaffs.
    This makes one curious as to weather Bob ever listen to Trump’s whole speech on January 6th. Few on the left have, it isn’t easy. Any rational person who does cannot draw a clear line between that Speech to those who were beaten and killed that day.
    But Bob didn’t even have the moral sense to assess the hearings ABOUT what that speech produced. He tried for a couple posts, then gave up-and turned away.

    1. If t's not worth the time of political reporters to listen to a word Trump says, why should it be worth the time of anyone to do so?
      Also, Right-wingers have told us they don't believe a word Trump says. Personally, I think they hear the bigotry loud and clear, but I get why they deny it.

  6. "We'll further explore this silly trivia as the week proceeds."

    We'll endlessly further explore... FTFY

    But it is not "silly trivia" when a presidential candidate is obviously suffering from dementia, as Trump appears to be. There were so many other examples from that same speech of oddness and craziness. And now even Steve Bannon is saying that he recognized that Trump had dementia back in his first term and wanted to use Article 25.

    "Former White House strategist Steve Bannon thought Donald Trump was suffering from early-stage dementia and campaigned covertly to remove him from office via the 25th amendment, according to a veteran TV producer."

    This may have been part of the clash with other Trump advisers that led to Bannon being fired.

  7. Trump gives a poisonous speech. Again

    1. insane /= fire-breathing

      Somerby seems to see energy where there is vacuous stupidity.

    2. I see energy everywhere.

  8. "The red tribe's armies are in the field, conducting their siege of the Biden White House. "

    The red tribe is not trying to take down the White House. They are trying to undo American Democracy, promote Putin's interests, remake our government as a theocracy, force women to become second class citizens again, plunder American resources (held in trust for the people) on behalf of the rich, and continue selling more guns.

    This isn't about Biden. It is about what the right wing stands for and the damage Trump would do as he tries to take revenge on his enemies and evade responsibility for his crimes.

    Somerby silly analogy to Troy has none of the elements that are important to the upcoming election. And that makes it ignorant, perhaps deliberately so. Don't be fooled by Somerby's sophistry on behalf of Trump and his venal supporters.

  9. “Missouri law says pregnant women can’t get divorced, in case you were under the false impression that Republicans care about protecting life. It’s. All. About. Controlling. Women.”

    There are similar laws in TX, AZ and Arkansas.

    These are state, not federal laws, but this is what is at stake in the upcoming election. When people elect down ballot Republicans, these are the kinds of laws they pass. Voting matters, not just at the top of the ticket.

    What is the problem with this law? It forces a woman who is being abused to stay in a dangerous marriage. Men who abuse their wives frequently also abuse the children. Women are killed by domestic violence. There should be some means of escape from an abusive spouse. (The same goes for men who are abused in their marriages but they aren't prevented from leaving by pregnancy.)

  10. "other apparent blunders"

  11. An amazing aspect of the huge political divide is that the two parties agree on pretty much all the goals. Both want to save democracy. Both oppose racism and bigotry. Both want a clean environment. Both want a healthy economy. Both oppose censorship. Both want less crime.

    1. I don’t see the right caring about racism and bigotry or the environment. The right opposes equality for women and it supports invasion of personal privacy.

    2. The key to believing the Republican Party wants to save democracy, is to wave away any concern about their blatant vote suppression.
      Try it yourself, and see how it works.

    3. Conservatives do not want a clean environment.

    4. Both want abortion on demand.

    5. Y'all do realize that David is just trolling. He posts some version of the exact same nonsense every so often just to see what kind of reaction he gets.