Anyone else think it’s odd that a theme of Trump’s rally tonight was, “Even if you hate me, you have no choice but to vote for me”? (With weird anecdote about unnamed billionaire who hates him but is helping him? ??)
He. Is. So. Scared.
— Asha Rangappa (@AshaRangappa_) August 16, 2019
Trump's remarks tonight – going on two hours – are among the more aimless I've heard from him. Crowd thinning out significantly.
— Elaina Plott (@elainaplott) August 16, 2019
Fact-checking most politicians requires weighing their claims against the known facts. Fact-checking Trump often requires a futile search for any facts at all. https://t.co/Wz53xagv1t
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) August 16, 2019
Dave Roth, at Deadspin:
… Donald Trump believes that everything he says is made true by virtue of him having said it, and once he begins believing something he is incapable of not believing it. This is why he says things more than once. The challenge is figuring out how he says things for the first time.
So: Trump got it into his head that he had received a Michigan Man Of The Year Award, and despite some complicating factors—he didn’t, for one, and also such an award does not appear to exist—he has continued to bring it up whenever the mood strikes him. There’s a whole story around it, and as is his custom he tends to retell it with more additions of the words “very” and “sir” as the years go by. “I’ve been fighting for the car industry for years,” Trump said the first time he told the story, in Michigan and two days before the 2016 Presidential election. “I was honored five years ago. Man of the Year in Michigan. That was a great honor for me.” As Trump told and has since re-told the story, he was criticized for giving a speech in which he talked about “what Mexico and these other countries are doing to us. And especially what they’re doing to Michigan.” …
What is useful about this, and what would be beautiful about it if everything around it was not so luridly toxic, is how plain it all is. Trump is a being of pure reaction and grievance and avarice, and as such is never really very difficult to parse. When he lies about money it’s because he wants people to think he has more of it than he does; when he lies about golf it’s because he wants people to think he’s a better golfer than he is. Those lies tell you something about how Trump wants to be seen, but they’re incidental to the bigger questions of who and what he is. Stranger lies like the Michigan Man one reveal more about how he sees the world and understands his relationship to the other people in it, which is fundamentally as someone cleaning up at an endless televised awards show.
Most of the idiocies at the core of Trump’s being were created in the same way that pearls are—an irritant lodges itself in the spongy matter of his mind years ago, actively or passively, and then is worried into something bright and very hard. In this case, though, we can watch this accretive work happening in real time—some dumb speech, long forgotten, grows into a great honor bestowed by strangers who admired him, and then into a controversial stand for which he was criticized but for which he boldly refused to apologize. And now it is something he can bring up, whenever he is feeling under-appreciated or anxious or when nothing else will come. He stalls and sputters and his pale eyelids flutter and suddenly then there it is, glistening on the dais in front of him—that time that Charles Woodson called to concede victory in the Michigan Man Of The Year Award, a few years ago or whenever it was. “Sir,” the Heisman Trophy winner said through his tears to Donald Trump, “you deserve this more than anyone.” What a beautiful memory.
“Typically rambling, veering on and off script seemingly at random over an hour and a half, he repeated points he had already made earlier in the evening as if he did not remember already making them.” https://t.co/tIKCTrkDoV
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) August 16, 2019
QAnon followers have showed up for the Trump rally in New Hampshire these evening. Though they report that Secret Service has asked them not to wear Q shirts inside of the venue. pic.twitter.com/hUYEJy2XRS
— Travis View (@travis_view) August 15, 2019
In the stages of grief, I believe this is the “bargaining” stage. https://t.co/XkWnHl7unD
— The Hoarse Whisperer (@HoarseWisperer) August 16, 2019
Trump keeps saying his rallies are full, but doesn’t look like it.
Wow, I would hate for #EmptySeatMAGATour to trend so people knew the truth.
— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) August 16, 2019
This might be the platonic ideal of a Trumpian own-goal. pic.twitter.com/1QeKGYAHaL
— Daniel W. Drezner (@dandrezner) August 16, 2019