October dawned with hope. That hope died on October 2nd, at approximately 8 p.m. EST in Southaven Mississippi at a MAGA rally. Still, hope does spring eternal, so perhaps it is just napping again.
Trump is right about one thing—I have a concerns about being a male—but not because of women.
But, the press corps was ready to hear what the president had to say. Of course since we gathered in his name and there was love, we all wanted to ask about:
- Judge Brett “I Still Like Beer!” Kavanaugh
- The accusations about multiple sexual assaults
- Whether or not Senator Lindsey Graham was grandstanding to get a job as Attorney General
- Those high school house parties
- All the alleged lies Kavanaugh told the Senate
- What, if any, limits the White House had imposed on the FBI supplemental background investigation of Kavanaugh's past
RELATED: BRETT KAVANAUGH
Granted, the Rose Garden news conference was as factually deprived as any other conversation in any other setting in which the president speaks. He told us that the Great Depression began in 1928. “Forget it. He’s rolling,” someone said in response to the quip, which made us all think of John Belushi’s sermon in Animal House. Trump also misquoted economic facts. He was, in other words, the Trump we’ve all seen for the last year and a half.
Still, his appearance gave us a small ray of hope. On Tuesday, another small sliver came as he left for one of his mind-numbing rallies. Gathered on the South Lawn with a gaggle of reporters, including Alexander and Major Garrett from CBS, we waited for Trump to walk out of the Oval Office and on to Marine One. “I’d rather he did this than a dozen Sarah Huckabee Sanders news briefings,” someone offered. Others agreed. After all we’re there to cover Donald Trump, not Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
Trump doesn’t do drugs, or so he claims, so the adulation of the crowds is the only way to get that good endorphin rush to which he apparently is addicted.
He compared Kavanaugh to himself. “I am abnormal,” Trump explained in a sentence that caused more than one raised eyebrow and a few chuckles from the press corps. He defended Senator Graham, whom he characterized as a “great friend for the last six months.”
“He’s definitely going to be the next Attorney General,” someone smirked as Trump blew a wet kiss Graham’s way. Toward the end, Trump reiterated that he has never tried beer or alcohol. “Did you ever try anything else?” I asked. He smiled and chuckled. “No,” he said as he pointed his finger at me. “I never did.” With that he excused himself.
Later, when about a dozen or so reporters watched the playback of the video in the briefing room, it got additional chuckles. I pumped my fist and took a bow. “Thank you. Thank you. The highlight of my career in asking this,” I smiled.
It was the most human moment I’d seen from Trump in more than a year and a half covering him. It also gave me insight into his public rallies. Those things are like a narcotic to him. He doesn’t do drugs, or so he claims, so the adulation of the crowds is the only way to get that good endorphin rush to which he apparently is addicted.
“Think of your son, think of your husband,” Trump told a mostly white crowd at one of his patented MAGA rallies. Men, he said, are being unfairly targeted. To be fair, he also said it on the South Lawn, but he really worked himself into a frenzy with it at his rally. He said nothing about victims of sexual assaults, but those who are accused of sexual assaults are the true victims in this upside down world.
Men, he told us, are under fire from a bunch of people who want to hold them accountable for what they do—to the point they’ll make up things to do it. Trump is right about one thing—I am concerned about being a male—but not because of women. I have a concern about men because of men like Donald Trump.
Senator Graham came out and in lockstep with the president declared that the whole Kavanaugh process has energized the Republican Party. I have to wonder, Senator Graham: What part of a private citizen coming forward to allege a sexual assault and then being used as a political football “energizes” you?
Even Kavanaugh, in his attempt to deflect and deny he ever drank too much or blacked out didn’t doubt Dr. Ford. He acknowledged he believed she had been assaulted, only that it wasn't he who committed the assault. But Graham and the president took the ball and ran much further. A few times I thought Graham might burst into tears or flames and kneel at Kavanaugh’s feet, shouting, “I am not worthy!”
The president merely treated Dr. Ford as a liar while continuing to praise a Supreme Court nominee who threatened revenge against the Democrats, repeatedly told us how much he liked beer and lied to us about sexual euphemisms by referring to them as either flatulence or drinking games. By Wednesday, Sanders was back in the briefing room calling reporters liars and backing the president’s ill-conceived insults hurled at Dr. Ford.
“I don’t have a problem stating facts,” she exclaimed. “I know that’s something you probably do have a problem with.” By Thursday the FBI investigation was completed and Senator Mitch McConnell held it in a super-secret sound-proof booth, or perhaps former EPA director Scott Pruitt’s “Cone of Silence.”
The Republicans came out after reading the FBI report and announced the matter settled. The Democrats got rattled. McConnell set the final vote in the Senate. Trump was back calling Kavanaugh a decent man, the Democrats “evil”, reporters “fake” and the United States the greatest its ever been. Then the administration announced new limits on refugees, ignored the problems of immigrant detention, gave up trying to find The New York Times anonymous op-ed writer while denouncing an 18-month investigation into Trump’s taxes published by the Times. Somewhere a dog barked. A chicken cackled and a Democrat howled. The ray of hope was gone. Trump was back like a zombie on speed, ready to chew through the countryside and daring anyone to take him out.