Right, so as you know, the Trump era in American politics has been defined by a generalized aversion to facts and a demonstrable (and very often comically ridiculous) tendency for the President and his subordinates to tell the public that up is down, the sky isn’t blue, the grass isn’t green and that’s not a Russian.
It is, as more than a few outlets and commentators have decried, a “post-truth” environment.
Everyone knows Trump is a pathological liar – even the GOP. As Bob Corker put it back in October when the President was quite literally just making things up about the Tennessee Senator:
I don’t know why the president tweets out things that are not true. You know he does it, everyone knows he does it, but he does.
Yes, “he does” and so do the people around him. It’s gotten to the point now where the rest of us have almost resigned ourselves to a fate of listening to demonstrable lies for the foreseeable future because until Robert Mueller turns the screws on this administration in earnest, there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
One thing Trump lies about is the extent to which he’s kept his campaign promises. For instance, he and the GOP bent over backwards to pitch the tax cuts as a “middle class miracle” despite the fact that bipartisan analysis clearly showed the benefits accrue disproportionately to the wealthy.
In the same vein, Trump and Republicans have insisted that deficit-funded tax cuts and reckless spending somehow don’t imperil the U.S. fiscal position when literally every Wall Street projection (not to mention projections from the IMF and others) say exactly the opposite. Here are some posts on that in case you need to see the actual math:
- Goldman Warns On U.S. Fiscal Policy: ‘We Are Heading Into Uncharted Territory’
- ‘Is Nobody Gonna Tell Him?’ MAGA And The Pedal To The Metal Economy
- ‘This Is Poorly-Timed’: Credit Suisse Ups Rate Hike Forecast Amid Budget Boondoggle
- Albert Edwards: ‘Trump’s Grotesquely Ill-Timed Stimulus Will Be Trigger For Market Implosion, Recession’
This propensity to simply deny reality perpetually puts Trump’s minions in uncomfortable situations with one classic example coming earlier this year when notorious budget hawk Mick Mulvanely was forced to explain how Trump’s completely unnecessary military parade (which will reportedly cost anywhere between $10 and $30 million) is in any way, shape or form consistent with budget discipline.
The look on Mick’s face when he tried to “explain” that said it all:
Well the latest example of this devolution into contradiction and hypocrisy and outright lies came this week when it was revealed that multiple large corporations paid Trump attorney (and man who is now wondering if orange is his color when it comes to jumpsuits) Michael Cohen millions of dollars for “insight” into the administration’s thinking on important issues or, more to the point, he was selling access to the President.
Clearly, that is the exact opposite of “drain the swamp”. It’s special interests and corporations paying huge sums of money to what amounts to a slush fund that was also used to pay off porn stars and, perhaps most damning of all, got a half million dollars from a Putin-linked Russian oligarch.
AT&T and Novartis have since acknowledged their payments to Cohen and quite clearly regret having made them, but the question for voters is simply this: how in the hell is that consistent with Trump’s promise to rid Washington of special influence peddling?
Well thankfully, Sarah Huckabee Sanders has an answer to that.
Believe it or not, the revelations about Cohen’s accounts actually reveal the opposite of what they appear to reveal. The way Sanders sees it, taking millions of dollars from corporations proves Trump is in fact “draining the swamp.”
And yes, I am fucking serious. Listen to Sanders respond to a visibly incredulous Eamon Javers:
Got that? The fact that Michael Cohen accepted millions of dollars in payments from special interests is “proof that the President is not going to be influenced by special interests.”
And do note how hilarious it is that just as she’s busy peddling what is perhaps the most counterintuitive line she’s ever peddled (and that’s saying something), the ticker tape on the screen reminds you that this is the same administration that has recently been joking about how quickly John McCain is likely to die of cancer.