June 22, 2017

LAUGHINGSTOCK:

Trump Turns an Iowa Rally Into a Venting Session (MAGGIE HABERMAN, JUNE 21, 2017, NY Times)

Free from his handlers for roughly 70 minutes, Mr. Trump described his administration as he wished it to be: one in which he had made historic governing accomplishments and been stymied solely by the "resistance."

"I think health care is going to happen, and infrastructure is going to happen, and I look forward to being able to produce it," he said.

He derided trade deals despite an Iowa economy that relies in part on exports. He denounced the $6 trillion spent and the lives lost in the Middle East over the last 15 years, despite his administration's decision to reauthorize troops in Afghanistan.

He toggled back and forth between telling farm-rich Iowa that he had fought for forgotten voters and lauding the wealth of Gary D. Cohn, his top economic adviser and a former executive at Goldman Sachs, the Wall Street giant that Mr. Trump derided in commercials in 2016.

"In those particular positions, I just don't want a poor person -- does that make sense?" he said of Mr. Cohn's job and that of Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, another immensely wealthy man whom Mr. Trump lauded as a "legendary Wall Street genius."

"Brilliant business minds" are what the economy needs, he said.

And the president frequently embellished details during his speech, or told outright falsehoods. He tried to catch himself at one point, saying, "I have to be a little careful, because they'll say, 'He lied!'"

But he nonetheless plowed ahead, including misstating whether the Paris climate agreement, from which he plans to withdraw the United States, is binding. While doing so, he also prompted the audience to name the agreement themselves. "P... p... p," he said.

"Like hell it's nonbinding!" thundered Mr. Trump, who in fact called the accord nonbinding in his Rose Garden speech announcing the withdrawal this month.

"We're not even campaigning, and look at this crowd!" he said at another point. The rally was advertised, sponsored and organized by his campaign committee.

He also repeated his frequent, untrue campaign refrain that the United States is one of the world's highest-taxed nations.

The president dismissed the potency of wind-harnessed energy in a state filled with thousands of turbines. "I don't want to just hope the wind blows to light up your house and your factory," he said, "as the birds fall to the ground."

And he vented throughout against the news media: "the fake news," he said, one of his favorite and most therapeutic invocations.

Mr. Trump also condemned Democrats as "obstructionists" -- but then added that he wanted to work with them and might be damaging those prospects. "But who cares," he concluded. He ignored the fact that Republicans hold majorities in Congress.

Sublime.

Posted by at June 22, 2017 9:36 AM

  

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