Charlie Pierce on yesterday’s victory lap:
As you undoubtedly know by now, El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago’s wounded musk-ox bellowing at the National Prayer Breakfast on Thursday morning was only an undercard attraction on the bill of CrazySlam ’20. The main event came later, in the East Room of the White House, where the president* put on a performance that should have had copies of the 25th Amendment inscribed on tablets of gold falling from the sky around him.
His trolley went around the bend and off the tracks. His sanity had expired and met its maker. It has ceased to be. It was a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. It’s kicked the bucket, rung down the curtain, and joined the bleeding choir invisible. But, alas, this is not yet an ex-administration*, and it still derives its only energy from the incredibly toxic stew of vengeful rage and inflamed victimhood that is the only sign of sentient life in the brain of its president*. A sample follows:
And this is really not a news conference, it’s not a speech, it’s not anything, it’s just we’re sort of — it’s a celebration because we have something that just worked out. It worked out. We went through hell unfairly. Did nothing wrong. Did nothing wrong. I’ve done things wrong in my life, I will admit. Not purposely, but I’ve done things wrong. But this is what the end result is. We can take that home, honey, maybe we’ll frame it. It’s the only good headline I’ve had in the Washington Post. Every paper is the same, does anybody have them, because they’re all like that and I appreciate that. Some of the people here have been incredible warriors, they’re warriors. And there’s nothing from a legal standpoint. This is a political thing, and every time I say this is unfair, let’s go to court, they say, sir, you can’t go to court, this is politics. And we were treated unbelievably unfairly, and you have to understand we first went through Russia, Russia, Russia. It was all bullshit.
We had a rough campaign. It was nasty. It was one of the nastiest, they say. Andrew Jackson was the nastiest campaign but we topped it. It was nasty in both the primaries and the election. We thought after the election, it would stop, but it didn’t stop. It just started. Tremendous corruption. Tremendous corruption. So we had a campaign. Little did we know we were running against some very, very bad and evil people with fake dossiers, with all of these horrible, dirty cops that took these dossiers and did bad things. They knew all about it. The FISA courts should be ashamed of themselves. It’s a very tough thing.
So I always say they’re lousy politicians, but they do two things. They’re vicious and mean. Vicious. Adam Schiff is a vicious, horrible person. Nancy Pelosi is a horrible person. And she wanted to impeach a long time ago when she said, I pray for the president. She doesn’t pray. She may pray but she prays for the opposite. But I doubt she prays at all. These are vicious people.
And the Republicans, all of them, sitting there like brain-dead fish all schooled in one spot, applauding on cue, accepting the president*’s sourball compliments as though they were being blessed from Above. (There was one particularly weird passage when he congratulated Rep. Steve Scalise for surviving his gunshot wounds and then went into how lousy a second-baseman Scalise is and expressed amazement that Scalise’s wife was upset that Scalise had been shot. “He was not going to make it. I said, she loves you. Why? Because she was devastated. A lot of wives wouldn’t give a damn.” Ask the man who knows, I guess.)
I have resisted using the word “cult” to describe where the Republican party is at right now because I think it absolves too many of the people that made something like Trumpism inevitable. But, Lord above, we’re looking at a battalion of drill-thralls now, with no minds of their own and no souls to speak of.
Wow, if this is what he’s like when he wins, I can’t wait to see what he’s like when he loses.