News organizations, pundits and bloggers all continue to express their amazement at the number of bald-faced lies uttered by the current occupant of the Oval Office. And it is certainly baffling; after all, virtually all of these falsehoods are easily disproved. Why would someone who presumably wants to be taken seriously provide political opponents and the general public with constant evidence of his lack of credibility?
Every day brings a new example. In his address to Congress, Trump cited a study by the National Academy of Sciences; according to Trump, that study showed illegal immigration costs the country billions of dollars a year. The authors of that study immediately responded that it said no such thing.
As the chair of the panel of scientists convened to write that report and one of the consultants who analyzed the effect of immigration on government budgets, we can state unequivocally that this was not our conclusion. Our report looked at the evidence from all sides and found that the economic and fiscal consequences of immigration are generally positive, or at least not likely to be negative. How, then, can the report be used to argue the opposite?
As blatant as that mischaracterization is, it is of course nothing compared to Trump’s evidence-free accusation that President Obama had wire-tapped him–an accusation that has been debunked by the FBI, the Department of Justice and all of America’s intelligence agencies. But hey–what do they know. He saw it on Fox, so it must be true….
Observers have attributed this behavior to Trump’s obvious mental instability, and although that’s certainly plausible, I have another theory. I don’t think Trump or the people around him know how to read.
For example, immediately after he unveiled his proposed budget, his crack team sent out their “Daily Update” to their email list, with a prominent link to the following article:
I’m sure the geniuses who sent it out loved the headline; unfortunately, the article was a biting–and very effective– satire. The first two paragraphs should have given them a clue:
Some people are complaining that the budget proffered by the Trump administration, despite its wonderful macho-sounding name, is too vague and makes all sorts of cuts to needed programs in favor of increasing military spending by leaps and bounds. These people are wimps. Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has called it a “hard power budget” which is, I think, the name of an exercise program where you eat only what you can catch, pump up your guns and then punch the impoverished in the face. This, conveniently, is also what the budget does.
This budget will make America a lean, mean fighting machine with bulging, rippling muscles and not an ounce of fat. America has been weak and soft for too long. BUT HOW WILL I SURVIVE ON THIS BUDGET? you may be wondering. I AM A HUMAN CHILD, NOT A COSTLY FIGHTER JET. You may not survive, but that is because you are SOFT and WEAK, something this budget is designed to eliminate.
Or maybe it isn’t that they can’t read; maybe the Trump Administration really is the Gang That Couldn’t Shoot Straight.
On Friday evening, following the day’s earlier, humiliating defeat of the GOP’s Obamacare “replacement,” advertisements praising several congressional Republicans for “keeping their promise” to replace the Affordable Care Act aired during national basketball games. Evidently, none of those “best people”with whom Trump has surrounded himself, thought to pull the ads, which had obviously been prepared and scheduled beforehand.
This level of incompetence would be funny if our Buffoon-in-Chief didn’t have the nuclear codes…..