Things We’re Watching:
Trump Butthurt Over Being Booed
Dan Abrams, host of new News Nation feature, “Dan Abrams Live”, hosted a segment on Monday with Bill O’Reilly, disgraced former Faux News bloviating buffoon, to discuss with O’Reilly, the incident earlier this week in Houston, Texas on the final leg of the “History Tour” in which O’Reilly randomly mentioned the coronavirus vaccine and the booster and Trump admitted that he had received both.
“Both the president and I are vaxxed and uh, did you get the booster?” Trump responded in the affirmative.
That set off a chorus of boos in response and Trump scolded the crowd as he insisted that it was just a small segment of the audience. “Oh, don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t – yeah that’s a very tiny group over there” and pointed to an area in the assemblage he perceived the disapproval emanating from.
Trump Test Marketing
One item that surfaced in the interview and has been amplified in other comments from Trump, is Trump having authorized the development of the coronavirus vaccine. President Biden referenced it in his speech to the nation on COVID this week, without specifically referencing Trump personally:
“Let me be clear. Thanks to the prior administration and our scientific community, America was one of the first countries to get the vaccine. Thanks to my administration and the hard work of Americans, we led a roll out, made America among the world leaders in getting shots in arms.”
This did not go unnoticed by Donald Trump, who reacted telling Fox News, “I was surprised to hear it. I think it was a terrific thing, and I think it makes a lot of people happy.” It made Trump happy for a few, fleeting moments. For people with needy psychologies, praise – even faint praise, is like Cotton Candy.
Trump also said that he hoped Biden’s comments will “help a lot” in bridging political divides in the country. “Bridging political divides”? If my memory serves me well, as the song says, I seem to recall that Trump himself, was and is, the principal architect and beneficiary of the political divide in this country. But I repeat myself.
The broad acknowledgement was a gracious gesture from Joe Biden, but as usual, it tells you more about Biden’s character than it does about Trump’s. If Trump’s superficial about face on the vaccine seems authentic or like a pivot point, don’t cash that check yet – there’s no money to cover it.
What this is – and we’ve seen it before, is simply test marketing. Trump has fallen back into the delusion that he can narrowcast divergent messages to divergent groups and the intended audiences won’t ever be the wiser. May work with the cultists, but everyone else? Not so much. But he’s always test marketing.
The Net Accounting On Trump’s Vaccine Role
Other news analysts also acknowledged Trump’s initial role, however, a reality check is in order, particularly with reference to the history of the vaccine development, Trump’s statements and his behavior before and during the race to arrive with a vaccine that could be implemented.
Last Thanksgiving, following his loss in the election, Trump told Americans from the Oval Office, “The vaccines – and by the way, don’t let Joe Biden take credit for the vaccine. . . . Don’t let him take credit for the vaccines, because the vaccines were me.”
Trump’s prime concern and nothing else comes second – is assigning himself a starring role. This is exclusively a factor arising from his extreme narcissistic disorder. In another of many episodes, Trump remarked about Task Force member, Dr. Anthony Fauci:
“He’s got this high approval rating. So why don’t I have a high approval rating with respect – and the administration – with respect to the virus? We should have it very high. So it sort of is curious, a man works for us, with us, very closely, Dr Fauci and Dr [Deborah] Birx also, very highly thought of – and yet, they’re highly thought of, but nobody likes me? It can only be my personality, that’s all!”
To cite numerous other examples would be to belabor the point. But Trump really had no option, practically or politically, than to approve the race to create a vaccine for SARS-CoV-2.
Trump had been advised politically that he needed to show some extent of leadership, because his base would not be enough to get him re-elected. He needed a majority of swing voters, who viewed both the coronavirus and vaccines through a different lens than his core followers.
To listen to Trump, you would think he directly participated in the R&D and other logistical functions that brought the Moderna, Pfizer and J&J vaccines into existence. Trump could not even be described as a helicopter parent of the vaccine. If anything, the hard work and dedicated innovation proceeded to completion despite him.
It’s revealing to re-examine Trump’s actual behavior before and after the launch of “Operation Warp Speed”. New York Times‘ White House correspondant Maggie Haberman notes that “The president credits himself with vaccine development. The Moderna timeline shows it began working on a vaccine while the president was still denying the virus was spreading in the U.S.”
It’s even worse than that. Trump, as you will recall, politicized COVID-19 by not only entertaining junk-science theories about treatment and prevention, but publicly amplifying them on social media. Not only there, but also on the near daily task force briefings in which he embarrassed and contradicted the actual team of doctors and scientists who should have been taking the lead in communicating with the American people – emphasizing prevention and safety and dispelling misinformation.
Equally damning is that while Trump was politicizing the admittance of skilled tech workers, such as bio-scientists under the H1-B program, the fact is that these vaccines were being pioneered by work visa applicants and immigrants, such as Katalin Karikó – now Senior Vice President at BioNTech, whose foundational work on a successful mRNA vaccine was the basis for what became the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines.
O’Reilly told Abrams that Trump was dismayed and disappointed at the reaction. He likely was also disappointed in the diminished interest in his appearances with O’Reilly both in Florida and Texas.
It’s hard to say for sure if this is indicative of an obsessive fan base that is shrinking at the margins. Objectively, one would think that the storylines that were reset at these mendacious jam sessions would eventually prove to be tiresome and threadworn by now – the endless recitations of the election having been “rigged” – (“That’s all the Democrats are good at, politics and stealing elections”); that COVID was the result of a deliberate effort at virus warfare launched by China – which has prompted numerous hate crimes against Asians here in America.
Other nonsense we have witnessed ad nauseum from the Trumpian Right, such as “BLM and Antifa were among the crowd”, was regurgitated at the crap show – with regard to which, it goes without saying, there is not a single shred of evidence to support. Moreover. even some of the principals that coordinated the activity leading up to the attack on the Capitol, have confirmed that the violent sedition consisted exclusively of Trump partisans.
And, not to be left out of the mix, is Joe Biden’s leading role in welcoming “The toughest, meanest people from prison” to enter America from Mexico. Authoritarian long con operations such as Trump’s, require set up men (O’Reilly, Carlson, Hannity, et al) to act not only as fools, but as foils. O’Reilly desparately needed a renewal of relevance, but it will prove fleeting. In fact it’s already vanished like a snowflake when the temperature hits 33 degrees Fahrenheit.
Much more mystifying and incomprehensible to anyone but themselves, is the dissonance between the adoration of a coward and disgrace of a human being (Trump) and the recitation of a solemn sacred hymn, a rendition of “How Great Thou Art” at the festivities in Houston. But the mystery resolves itself, if you realize that for these devotees of Agent Orange – God and Trump are functionally indistinguishable.
The First Baptist Church of Dallas even invited Trump to appear as a ‘Special Guest’ at their Christmas service, which remarkably, was allowed to proceed, even during the fictitious war on Jesus’ birthday. But why waste time on small potatoes like Trump?
Why not his holiness, the Devil, Satan, the Prince Of Darkness himself? If you are going to go evil, go big or go home.
The ‘History Tour’ By The Numbers
It wasn’t reported whether O’Reilly brought up his thread bare bugaboo about the “War On Christmas”, which I have at length demonstrated does not exist other than in the imaginations of Trumpanistas. A reposting of a portion of that essay from December of 2019 follows this report as a backgrounder. It’s quite an eye opener with respect to Trump’s cynicism and duplicity on the matter.
One of the tour stops in Florida was in Orlando, where the venue for the event was the Amway Center, which has a capacity of close to 17,000. Actual ticketed attendance was 6,201. This in contrast to Trump’s previous appearance at a campaign rally in 2019, when 19,792 showed up. Even given the fact that the ‘History Tour’ with O’Reilly was a paid event, the contrast is notable.
Aubrey Jewett, a professor of political science at the University of Central Florida, told the Sentinel.
“He’s still influential and still popular within the Republican Party. But a lot of his fans apparently were not willing to pay 100 bucks a crack to hear him talk for two hours.”
Things were pretty skimped in Houston likewise. The Houston Chronicle reported that “top sections were blocked off” inside the Toyota Center on the 18th of this month, “and there were still plenty of seats available” well after the show was to get underway.
Trump’s fake Merry Christmas rescue … you don’t know the half of it.
In the “Trump will tell you anything you want to hear if you are a MAGA cult member” file folder, are his phony claims that he brought back “Merry Christmas”.
That he didn’t, is something you don’t even need to fact check. The real question is – does Trump actually believe anything he tells his voting base? After covering Trump for over 3 years, National Compass has arrived at the conclusion based on the fact pattern, that no he doesn’t believe any of it, except when he’s bragging about himself.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, earlier this month, had Trump for a sit down interview and the Huckster straightaway opened with the obvious flatulance that “Americans went through a long period where people quit saying ‘Merry Christmas.’ It was all ‘Happy Holidays.’ You deliberately changed that.”
Trump took that as his cue to spew:
“When I started campaigning I said ‘You’re gonna say Merry Christmas again…They are saying ‘Merry Christmas’ again. That was a big part of what I was doing.”
The question then follows, is “does he realize he’s lying or does he just think the things he asserts are ‘truthful hyperbole’ minus the truth part?”
Since the dust is settling somewhat, from the irrational exuberance of unbridled consumerism and self indulgence that marks Christmas more than anything else, we can quickly dispel the notion that Trump gives a skinny rat’s ass about the birth of Jesus Christ. “That much I can tell you.”
Betraying it as the culture clash theater it is – this tweet from as recent as 2010:
But Trump devotees might chide me, saying that, the tweet is from 2010 and that Trump has, in the intervening years, gotten ‘religion’ on Christmas, just as they claim he has become, in some fashion, a Christian (consider yourself fortunate you can’t hear me laughing maniacally).
Here, facts are inconvenient things, just as they are with most everything Trump ever claims. But alas, Trump is kiting two different messages – one to his core voting constituency and another to his more cosmopolitan clientele.
Whereas Trump pontificated, “Don’t shop at stores that don’t say ‘Merry Christmas”, Trump’s online merchandise outlet, “The Trump Store” doesn’t feature a Christmas gift guide, but on the contrary, the catalog is dubbed, the “Holiday Gift Guide”.
Holiday, not ‘Christmas’.
“Shop our Holiday Gift Guide and find the perfect present for the enthusiast on your list,”says the website, adding, “Carefully curated to celebrate the most wonderful time of year with truly unique gifts found only at Trump Store. Add a bow on top with our custom gift wrapping. Happy Holidays!”
And if you were to stop in at the Trump Tower in Manhattan, you would discover that the word Christmas is nowhere to be seen. Instead, for example, at the restaurant, the menu is a “Holiday Menu”, not a Christmas menu.
And Trump Tower’s promotional twitter account told viewers, “Happy holidays from Trump Tower!” a month after he won the 2016 election. It did so again in 2017 and in 2018 and again twice this year, as in this tweet:
The Guardian adds more context to the contradictions:
Trump Tower has similarly betrayed the president’s hardline Christmas stance. “Happy holidays from Trump Tower!” the building’s Twitter feed exhorted in December 2016 – a month after Trump’s election victory should have represented the final blow in the Christmas war. It has used the phrase twice this month alone.
Going back even further, there is evidence that Trump has waged his own personal war on Christmas. After Trump bought a building close to Central Park in 1981, he refused to decorate the lobby for Christmas – part of a concerted strategy, according to the New York Times, to hound out residents from the building, so he could knock it down and build a big tower.
The thing that crossed my mind on this, is that here is evidence of Trump having, you might say, ‘broken’ Merry Christmas. So Trump had a hand in breaking it, yet he wants to pawn off the damage assignment on Barack Obama.
The only problem is this video montage: