Discover more from Scranton Time - bits and pieces from Tom Flannery
"Florida Man makes announcement..."
And there he was yet again, gibbering like a drunken Uncle at Thanksgiving. We all know guys like this. When they show up at a party everybody suddenly starts looking at their watch. His speech grew so incoherent that even Fox News was embarrassed enough to cut away from it. Even they seem to be running out of things to say at this point. The man is a boil on the nation's ass, and after years of fawning sycophancy, many seemed to have grown bored and moved on. Republicans are in love again, but this time it's with the Governor of Florida, a younger and smarter man who can speak in complete sentences and correctly spell his favorite foods. But he's just as much of a dick, so that makes it sorta ok.
It's a fool's errand to try to enter the mind of Donald Trump. It's been suggested that he believes running for President will shield him from the countless criminal investigations he's facing. Our DOJ say that's not true, but Merrick Garland's silence over the years sends a different message, especially to someone used to zero consequences. Many of us sit here and wonder how a man who kick-started a violent coup is even ALLOWED to run for President in the first place. I realize that dudes like Ben Franklin and Thomas Jefferson never quite imagined they were claiming independence for a nation that would one day be imbecilic enough to elect someone like Donald Trump, but last I checked they put some safeguards in place just in case…right?
No matter. That train left the station a long time ago, Bubba. There are not new rules. There are no rules. Anything goes. If you hit upon the right combination of real and imagined white grievances, you too can be President of the United States. Or at least a Senator.
Of course I may be reading too much into this. He could just be addicted to the spectacle......being the center of attention is heady enough when you are smart. If there's nothing in your head I suspect it can be positively intoxicating. At the height of his powers Donald Trump could make nations and markets tremble with a single tweet. He could change the weather with a sharpie and exchange love letters with that dwarf from North Korea and claim it a diplomatic triumph. And at the same time his mind was such that he never quite got over the novelty of being able to push a button on his desk and have a butler bring him a can of Diet Coke. How could you not write about this guy?
Or maybe it's even simpler. For a lifelong grifter, the only thing better than being in the White House is being able to raise money to get back to the White House. Anybody unlucky enough to have their cellphone or email shared in Trump circles knows the guy is completely shameless when it comes to hitting up the rubes for rubles. He even solicited donations at the end of a statement announcing the death of his ex-wife.....and then had her buried on the first fairway of his golf course for a tax write-off. Just last week he sent out messages asking for donations for Herschel Walker’s upcoming Georgia run-off, and if you looked at the fine print you'd see that Trump pocketed 90% of the funds himself.
Pretty heady stuff for a supposed billionaire who somehow got away with not releasing his taxes and charging his own secret service detail $1185 a night to stay in one of his shitty hotels.
But the mid-terms came and went and some of his most prized nutters got beaten like gongs, all while DeSantis was stomping Democrats like grapes in Florida. The Murdoch empire turned on him with a cover proclaiming "DeFuture" and then put last night's 2024 announcement on page 26 of the Post, with the savage lead of "Florida Man Makes Announcement."
The gloves have come off. Nobody is afraid of his tiny hands anymore.
Even Mike Pence got Mother's permission to say, in a rare show of almost-balls, "I think we will have better choices", suggesting that he himself might have actually been more upset than he let on when Trump's cult threatened to hang him. And during last night's announcement, filled with the usual lies and batshittery, Trump himself seemed strangely subdued and formulaic. In 2016 he had to pay bystanders $50 to stand around that gilded staircase at his hotel as he announced his candidacy....but it made for a great photo-op. Last night his coterie looked more like hostages. Ivanka begged off, as did Don Jr, no doubt piling up the gobs of cocaine he’s gonna need over the next 2 years. Their slack was picked up by the Pillow Guy and Roger Stone, who somehow is not in prison.
The media is currently flailing away with mea culpa editorials, finally admitting to their own hand in all this. Turns out stenography and straining for "balance" is not the same as actual reporting. And using the word “lies” instead of “untruths” or “purported falsehoods” is perfectly acceptable….and saves barrels of ink.
That being said…..Rupert Murdoch and the editorial page of the Wall Street Journal turning on you is one thing. The guy down the street with the “Let’s Go Brandon” flag flying at half-mast is another thing entirely.
In a bit…