Bruni interviews a Republican governor in a blue state (Maryland) and listens to him talk about how he doesn’t really feel the need to speak out about anything Trump does other than, you know, the whole “tweeting” thing:
You said, regarding Trump, “I don’t want anything to do with this.” Anything to do with what?
He wasn’t the type of guy who I thought should be president. I didn’t like the tone during the campaign. There were a lot of people running, and I didn’t think he was the most qualified. I didn’t think he was going to win, either.
I’ll say this: One on one, he’s a different person than the persona you see out there. But I don’t like the tweeting. I don’t like the name-calling. The divisiveness really is not good for the country. But he’s not the only one to blame.
In what ways do you think he’s doing the most damage?
I wish he would stop tweeting.
I’ll be the first person to say that the inside of Donald’s head is like the third Port-a-Potty from the main stage on Lollapalooza weekend but that’s not, in and of itself, a disqualification from being president.
If FDR had needed to grab some pussy to win WWII and pass the New Deal I’m sure we could have found some volunteers. Lyndon Johnson’s mouth makes Donald Trump’s sound at home in the Sistine Chapel. John F. Kennedy was putting a dude on the moon while actually inside a Mafia prostitute. We have no IDEA the sorts of things Rutherford B. Hayes got up to.
The tweeting isn’t the problem. The name-calling isn’t the problem. Donald Trump’s issue isn’t that he’s a shitty human being. It’s that he’s a shitty president, corrupt and incompetent in equal measure, and the party that nominated and elected him is being all EWWWW GROSS when he’s not actually veering from their chosen path all that much.
What matters to them, really? Pointless belligerence on the foreign stage, judges who oppose abortion rights, and tax cuts. He’s satisfied all those requirements, like any Republican president would have, so this is all just goddamn dinner theater. Not the good kind. The kind where you gum your boiled beef and watch a former member of the Monkees warble his way through Oliver.
Republican candidates are going to start coming out and trying to challenge Trump for 2020, and they’re going to have to be asked the question none of these garden weasels could answer in 2016: How are you any different?
Because, you know, Ted Cruz might not have been an actual fascist but he certainly would be nominating judges off the same Christianist pecksniff cheat-sheet. John Kasich, that voice of moderation and reason, is actually wandering the wilderness to the right of Trump on abortion, and not just the kind for one’s mistresses. Mitt Romney ran against his own health care program after Obama took it national.
The only thing these personifications of whiskey-dick can offer is the idea that they will be nicer about their regressive, segregationist positions than Trump is. Their conventions will feature “Blue Lives Matter” segments instead of physically humping the flag. They’ll deny women medical care, but won’t call them cunts. They’ll leave insinuations about opponents’ patriotism to their surrogates and think-tank partners, and deny any relationship when questioned.
The problems we’re having under Trump are not because Trump is weird and gross and probably a rapist, and spends too much time on Twitter. The problems we’re having under Trump are the problems we’ve had under Republican rule in 30 plus states and the federal government: exacerbation of economic inequality and segregation, gerrymandering and vote suppression, encouragement of racism and/or punitive patriotism, contempt for education and labor, I could go on.
Trump disappears tomorrow, and that baloney pony Bruni’s interviewing up there or someone just like him will breathe a sigh of relief, get elected president by yelling the word UNITY a thousand times, and quietly deregulate some more giant banks that foreclosed on widows and orphans. All without a tweet.