He does not finish stories he starts—he starts his riff about forcing Ford, which has built a plant in Mexico, to pay 35% tariffs, but something else grabs his attention…not once, not twice, maybe three or four times before he sees it to the end, and the end, when it comes, is clumsily delivered, he steps on his punchline, darting off in some other direction. It occurs to me that the Tweet is the extent of this man’s attention span. He is the ADHD candidate. It occurs to me that being a “low-energy” candidate, in Trump’s mind, means a candidate who requires actual thinking on the part of his or her supporters to be comprehended. Thought moves slower than tweet. It needs to be explained. How boring.
Am I being too hard on the guy? Well, I’ve known some brilliant demagogues in my time—starting with George Wallace—and they could take you for a ride; it was thrilling to watch Wallace or Pat Buchanan or Al Sharpton in full flight.
Yes. George Wallace and Al Sharpton are the same. George Wallace, who as a sitting governor of one of the United States literally put his body between young black people and education, and Al Sharpton, who has said some ill-advised and noisy shit on occasion while governing exactly nobody. They are UTTERLY equivalent.
And Wallace, thrilling? Perhaps, if you are a self-satisfied white prick who thinks politics is all a game of rhetoric and thought experiments and you will eat at whatever lunch counter you want no matter who wins public office. Perhaps then you can be thrilled by speeches like this:
Today I have stood, where once Jefferson Davis stood, and took an oath to my people. It is very appropriate then that from this Cradle of the Confederacy, this very Heart of the Great Anglo-Saxon Southland, that today we sound the drum for freedom as have our generations of forebears before us done, time and time again through history. Let us rise to the call of freedom- loving blood that is in us and send our answer to the tyranny that clanks its chains upon the South. In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever.
Perhaps if you’re not one of the people whose human rights George Wallace is describing as “tyranny” and vowing to oppose with every breath in his body, you can appreciate the pure wordsmithing and the skillful delivery. Me, I get tripped up by the FUCKING GENOCIDAL GARBAGE FIRE GOING ON IN THAT MAN’S MIND.
This little sideline into what really impresses Joke Line (fancily worded racism, guys, and the attention span to express it vociferously) comes in the middle of the usual elitist horseshit about how Trump just isn’t worthy of Joe Klein’s attention:
Actually, puckishly, I harbor a distant fantasy that my colleagues would treat him for what he actually is. He is not a politician. He has nothing—not a thing—of substance to say about the actual challenges facing the country. He shows no interest in governance—I mean, what would he do if he were actually elected? That wouldn’t be much fun at all.
So maybe we should ask him questions appropriate to what he is—a reality TV celebrity. Maybe we should ask him things like:
*How do you think Kim Kardashian has managed her career so far?
HAHAHAHA good one, Joke! So funny. If only you had the ability to treat him like that, instead of spending an entire column whinging about how much it sucks you have to cover him like you do. Maybe somebody can get you a bus ticket somewhere more … thrilling.
Like Alabama, in 1963.