The other day, Trump gave a very newsworthy speech to Congress. I didn’t watch the speech because I can’t stand listening to the guy, but I read about it the next day. It was apparently newsworthy not for the things he said in the speech, because, as usual, he didn’t say anything. The speech was light on policy and details, and long on slogans and self-congratulation. This is Trump as expected, so nothing newsworthy there. The best part, for me, was Trump imploring others to put aside “petty fighting”. Hilarious. Coming from a guy who has done nothing but petty fighting for years, this sage piece of presidential wisdom can only be offered in the Bizarro world.
No, it was newsworthy because Trump seemed, finally, to be “presidential”. Maybe this is the long hoped-for “pivot”, the pundits said. Maybe there really is another Trump who is actually qualified to do this job. In the Bizarro world, it is headline news when the President of the United States does not appear to be a petulant, incompetent, vulgar clown for twenty minutes.
Things that have been considered real news in the past are getting a little harder to find, but I was able to tease out a paragraph or two about the U.S. participating in the re-taking of Palmyra from ISIS. It is certainly good news to free this treasure trove of antiquities from barbarians. But what struck me is that we are now apparently in a coalition with Russia, the Assad government, Hezbollah, and, by association, Iran. I guess it’s expected at this point that we would be in bed with the Russians, but probably most people overlooked the fact that it means being on the same team as Hezbollah, the Iranian client, as well. After all Trump’s anti-Iran rhetoric, wouldn’t you think he’d be the last guy to authorize this? Not in the Bizarro world.
Everyone knows that Bill Clinton and Monica Lewinsky did certain things that Clinton tried to say were not “sexual relations”. His otherwise excellent eight years of peace-and-prosperity were just about ruined by this unfortunate parsing of words. The crime he was impeached for was not these relations, sexual or otherwise, but lying to Congress about them under oath – the greatest sin you can commit in our government. Remember? Well, now comes Jeff Sessions who, it turns out, lied to congress under oath about conversations he had with Russians during the campaign. He has recused himself from the Trump administration’s investigation of itself (Bizarro!), but, really, shouldn’t he resign from his position as the nation’s top law enforcement official after committing the greatest sin you can commit? Not in the Bizarro world.
Hillary Clinton also committed an unpardonable sin, for which she was investigated repeatedly by the FBI and hauled up before congress on multiple occasions: she used a public email account while Secretary of State. It might have been hacked, her opponents howled. There might have been Top Secret info in those emails! It wasn’t and there weren’t, but it was enough to derail her presidential aspirations. Now comes Mike Pence, who, you may remember, was one of Clinton’s harshest critics on this matter. Guess what? He also used a public email account while Governor of Indiana. And it was hacked. And there was confidential information in his emails. And he’s fighting tooth and nail in the courts to make sure the emails are not made public. Will there be any consequences for Pence? Not in the Bizarro world.
And, then there’s the beloved Kellyanne Conway. I personally do not care if she puts her shoes on the furniture in the Oval Office or anywhere else, but I just love the hypocrisy of those who condemned Obama for doing the same. Remember?
In the Bizarro world, only one of these acts is outrageous. But, as I said, ho hum. More important is the sanctioning that Conway will or will not receive for improperly hawking Ivanka Trump’s crap while being interviewed on TV. You can’t do that, Kellyanne. The Office of Government Ethics (remember that thing Congress tried to do away with overnight a while back?) recommended disciplinary action against Conway, but, in the Bizarro world, you know how that’s gonna work, right? From the Washington Post:
Stefan C. Passantino, who handles White House ethics issues as deputy counsel to President Trump, wrote in a letter Tuesday that his office concluded Conway was speaking in a “light, offhand manner” when she touted the Ivanka Trump line during a Feb. 9 appearance on “Fox & Friends.”
In the Bizarro world, the appearance of misconduct is just fine. And the appearance of being “presidential” is just awesome.