Something unusual is about to happen. I’m quoting a Politico story approvingly. It’s the whole blind pig acorn thing writ large:
With the GOP front-runner scooping up delegates in a march toward the Republican nomination, POLITICO subjected a week’s worth of his words to our magazine’s fact-checking process. We chronicled 4.6 hours of stump speeches and press conferences, from a rally in Concord, N.C., on Monday to a rally on Friday in St. Louis.
The result: more than five dozen statements deemed mischaracterizations, exaggerations, or simply false – the kind of stuff that would have been stripped from one of our stories, or made the whole thing worthy of the spike. It equates to roughly one misstatement every five minutes on average.
From warning of the death of Christianity in America to claiming that he is taking no money from donors, the Manhattan billionaire and reality-show celebrity said something far from truthful many times over to the thousands of people packed into his raucous rallies. His remarks represent an extraordinary mix of inaccurate claims about domestic and foreign policy and personal and professional boasts that rarely measure up when checked against primary sources.
I’d like to thank these reporters for listening to the Insult Comedian blather and bloviate so we don’t have to. Here’s the deal: most politicians-hell, most public speakers-get things wrong in the heat of the moment. I’m all for giving candidates a mulligan on up to half-a-dozen mistakes but five dozen? That’s enough donuts to feed a precinct of cops with leftovers.
I’m glad the MSM is finally starting to hold Trump to account for his egregious truthiness. But they helped create this monster, and now they’re shocked, shocked that the beast they made is devouring the process. More shocking is the increasing level of violence at Trump events and his belligerent response to it. Josh Marshall sums up the mentality behind it quite nicely:
Trump was born very rich and ascended on his own to the level of the fantastically rich. He has achieved much but only known levels of privilege and entitlement few of us can imagine. And yet the early embrace of birtherism, the sting of the humiliation at Barack Obama’s hands, the palpable psychic energy he derives from ramping up a climate of racial confrontation all suggest he is animated, even driven, by the same rage at upended privilege and cultural and yes racial loss as his followers. All of which is to say that it is not that Trump can’t control the beast he’s unleashed. He cannot control himself because the same psychodrama and politics of resentment that is playing out among his followers is playing out within himself. Trump can pivot to the general all he wants. But the primaries will follow him there. Indeed, he will bring them.
Trump is all id. That’s what makes him dangerous. The only thing he believes in is himself and his capacity for self-delusion is staggering. The next time you hear someone casually urge that an institution should be burnt down, think of the chaos and wildness at Trump’s rallies. That’s what happens when someone tries to burn it down.