Well … well, well, well. One never runs out of something to write about here in 2017. And I suppose I ought to thank Donald Trump for providing so much fodder for the grist mill here on Filosofa’s Word.
Yesterday, Sean Spicer walked out of the morning press briefing without saying a word or taking a single question. I had wondered how the poor bumbler was going to handle the most recent situations created by his boss, what spin he could possibly put on them, and now I know. There is … nothing he can say to explain. Sometimes it is just better to say nothing, however, this is the press and they have a right to some answers … We The People have a right to some answers. So what am I rambling about? Read on …
To brag about the nothingness of his first 100 days, which he argued was a “ridiculous” marker (it is, but Trump was the one who made a YUGE deal out of what he had ‘accomplished’ within those 100 days), he went on the interview circuit, giving a series of long interviews to a variety of news outlets. It was the interview with Salena Zito of the Washington Examiner, a conservative website/weekly magazine, that set off the madness that Spicer couldn’t put a spin on.
Back in March, Trump flew to Nashville, Tennessee, where he visited the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home, and placed a wreath at his tomb. Trump apparently really admires Jackson, as within his first week in office, he hung a portrait of the late president. So, during the aforementioned interview, Ms. Zito asked Trump about his visit to Hermitage. And the conversation went like this:
TRUMP: [Jackson] was a swashbuckler. But when his wife died, did you know he visited her grave every day? I visited her grave actually, because I was in Tennessee.
ZITO: Oh, that’s right. You were in Tennessee.
TRUMP: And it was amazing. The people of Tennessee are amazing people. They love Andrew Jackson. They love Andrew Jackson in Tennessee.
ZITO: Yeah, he’s a fascinating…
TRUMP: I mean, had Andrew Jackson been a little later, you wouldn’t have had the Civil War. He was a very tough person, but he had a big heart. And he was really angry that — he saw what was happening with regard to the Civil War. He said, “There’s no reason for this.” People don’t realize, you know, the Civil War — if you think about it, why? People don’t ask that question, but why was there the Civil War? Why could that one not have been worked out?
Never mind that Andrew Jackson (March 15, 1767 – June 8, 1845) had been dead for some 16 years by the start of the Civil War. And never mind that hundreds of books have been written about the Civil War, proving that yes, people have questioned, studied, and researched the war, the causes and issues. I cannot decide whether to hang my head in shame that our president is so utterly uneducated and ignorant, or whether to laugh. Perhaps a bit of both.
In his Gettysburg Address on 19 November 1863, Abraham Lincoln said, “The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.” Well ….
But that is not all …
In another interview the same day, this one with John Dickerson of Face the Nation, Dickerson asked Trump whether he stood by his totally and completely unproven claim that then President Obama had wiretapped Trump Tower during the 2016 election. His response?
“I don’t stand by anything. I just– you can take it the way you want. I think our side’s been proven very strongly. And everybody’s talking about it. And frankly it should be discussed. I think that is a very big surveillance of our citizens. I think it’s a very big topic. And it’s a topic that should be number one. And we should find out what the hell is going on.”
I don’t stand by anything. Pretty much sums up the character of Donald Trump, don’t you think?
Last Friday, in an interview with Reuters, Trump said:
“There is no reason there’s not peace between Israel and the Palestinians — none whatsoever.”
I have shelves full of history books, including a whole shelf on the Middle East … perhaps I should send a few to the White House? But then again, he has said he doesn’t read much, so perhaps he wouldn’t be able to read them anyway. Perhaps he could just watch the Ken Burns series on PBS … but oh wait, he is de-funding PBS! This whole thing is giving me ideas for writing an alternative history book … hmmmmm ….
So back to Tuesday morning’s press briefing. After Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly and White House budget director Mick Mulvaney spoke about the bi-partisan budget agreement, they left the room, and so did Sean Spicer, even though journalists were calling to him that they had questions. Not a single word. One could speculate that he just decided he had had enough and went back to his office to write his letter of resignation. Or, one could think that perhaps he needed another 24 hours to think up something good. Whatever the reason, it does nothing but further infringe on the freedom of the press and our right, as citizens, to have answers. I wonder what this morning’s press briefing will bring? Perhaps it will be canceled? Stay tuned!