The president has spoken. Donald Trump says his first 100 days have been wildly successful, and he spares no adjective to describe himself. Pretty soon – and no, I’m not kidding – he will proclaim himself the second Lincoln. Except he will say he is better than Lincoln because Lincoln wasn’t even a millionaire and was raised in a log cabin instead of a penthouse, for goodness sakes.
Roll over Roosevelt and tell Washington the news.
An ad put out by the Trump political machine proclaims, “Donald Trump, sworn in as president 100 days ago: America has rarely seen such success. A respected Supreme Court justice: Confirmed. Companies investing in American jobs again. America becoming more energy independent.”
Uh-huh. Of course, the jobs growth report early on was really reflective of President Obama’s last quarter, and growth since has been slower. What Trump planned to proclaim as success, the repeal of Obamacare and the building of a border wall, he backed down on quickly.
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But rather than take the same pundit posture as those who decry Trumpworld as a peculiar, nonsensical place wherein the president lies and denies as he has done for many years, we of this space say to the Rachel Maddow and “Morning Joe” crowd: You’ve got it all backward.
Trump is the one who is right. He has created his own planet, where he defines his own truth and sticks with it no matter what. It’s not a lie in Trumpworld as long as people believe it. Trump’s rather like a movie character who robs the bank and is captured half a mile away with $100 bills coming out of his pockets and a bank canvas bag on his back seat.
“I don’t know anything,” he says. “Guy came by here with a gun and ordered me to take it. Here’s the gun, see?”
And what about when more comes forth about Trump’s Russian connections? “It was all Gen. Michael Flynn,” he’ll say, and temporarily pull the general out from under the bus where he’s tossed him. “Besides, Obama did it.”
When there’s no border wall a year from now? “Obamacare so ruined the country that we’ve had to focus entirely on health care, which is gonna be beautiful.”
When a chemical spill resulting from deregulation of water supplies renders the Mississippi River water supply unusable by 15 million people? “President Obama’s catastrophic policies created the problem on the Mississippi but it’s gonna be beautiful after we take care of the border wall and health care and it’ll be beautiful.”
When gas prices soar thanks to oil industry-friendly energy policies? “President Obama’s disastrous energy policies forced these companies to cut executives’ salaries to eight figures! Of course, they have a right to start earning a fair wage.”
When pressure ramps up on the president to release his tax returns after he increases taxes on the middle class? “I paid so much in taxes, I don’t want the American people to feel sorry for me and start sending cash to Trump Tower. That’s why I’m keeping it to myself.”
Trumpworld. Think about how personal stories can be reshaped with no one the wiser. Like your correspondent’s, for instance:
Woodward and Bernstein will never admit it, but I guided them every step of the way during Watergate. A college kid at the time, I nevertheless used a White House and FBI connection to bring Richard Nixon down. I gave the boys credit because I was having a problem with a lab science and had to focus.
I was Phi Beta Kappa but they forgot to put it on my diploma and I lost the key.
No I haven’t gained a couple pounds. That’s just the sweater vest.
No, that’s not male pattern baldness, just the way the sunlight hits it. Really, it’s gonna be beautiful.
Deputy editorial page editor Jim Jenkins can be reached at 919-829-4513 or at email@example.com