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Mike Littwin

"The pump don't work 'cause the vandals took the handles."

Littwin: The ugliness of “this ugly incident” is all Trump’s

Littwin: The ugliness of “this ugly incident” is all Trump’s

So what do you do with someone who admits, sort of, to telling an egregious, racist lie by telling even more lies?

In the United States in 2016, you very much consider electing him president.

You’ve seen the clip by now. Donald Trump calls a news conference at his new D.C. Trump hotel – yep, the campaign is still all about the brand – to say what every sentient person already knew: that Barack Obama was born in the U.S.A.

The news isn’t about Obama, who would say he was already aware he was born in the United States. It’s about Trump and why it took him so long to say the words and why he needed a news conference, at this late date, less than two months from Election Day, to state the obvious.

We know why.

If he tells the truth, he might as well admit that birtherism was nothing more than Trump’s pathway to winning the hearts of the fringe “deplorables” – you know, like the apologetic Mike “Obama’s Not an American in His Heart” Coffman. And once he admits that, he also admits that he was spreading a lie meant to delegitimize America’s first black president. And if he goes that far, he might as well go the full distance and admit to being the con man that everyone should know he is.

So, here’s the quote:

“Hillary Clinton and her campaign of 2008 started the birther controversy. I finished it. I finished it. You know what I mean. President Barack Obama was born in the United States, period. Now we all want to get back to making America strong and great again.”

Let’s see. Hillary Clinton, whatever her faults, did not and would not start the birther controversy. As lies go, that’s nearly as big as the Obama-born-in-Kenya lie. Or the I’ve-sent-detectives-to-Hawaii-and-they-can’t-believe-what-they’ve-found lie. Or the lying insinuation that Obama had something to do with the death of Hawaii’s state health director who had verified Obama’s “birth certificate.” The scare quote marks are direct from a Trumpian tweet.

I covered that Clinton-Obama campaign in 2008. Some diehard Clinton supporters did question Obama’s citizenship. Clinton did not. Her campaign did not. (Yes, we know about the infamous Mark Penn memo in which he suggested Clinton should raise the issue of Obama’s otherness for having lived in a foreign country. Clinton wisely ignored the advice. And in any case, it had nothing to do with his citizenship.) Every fact-checker known to God and man has checked this. Every one comes to the same conclusion. Who you gonna believe, Trump or your lyin’ eyes?

The funny thing is that he’s trying to shift the blame (undeserved) to Clinton for bringing up the phones-baloney issue, while at the same time trying to give himself credit (undeserved) for resolving the non-issue issue.

Trump did not finish it. The scare quotes come from 2013, long after Obama released his long-form birth certificate. This year, Trump said in a CNN interview that he’d love to “keep talking” about the birth certificate, about which he had tweeted in 2012 and 2014.

He did not finish it with this news conference because, among other things, he didn’t apologize (of course) for being the most prominent advocate of a conspiracy that had no basis in fact, or even in evidence for that matter. And he didn’t say why, if he was wrong about Obama’s birth, he was so easily duped. Or if he wasn’t duped, what he had to gain by spreading this calumny.

And, of course, it’s worse than that.

We got to this point because Trump sat down in his airplane for an interview with the Washington Post’s Robert Costa, who asked if Trump finally believed, as his spokespeople had been saying, that Obama was born in Hawaii. Trump refused, saying, “I’ll answer that question at the right time. I don’t want to answer it yet.”

The right time was apparently the next day, five years – that’s right, years – after Obama had released his long-form birth certificate.

As he made his statement, which James Fallows described as not unlike a negotiated hostage statement, Trump was having his best week of the general-election campaign. When it looked as if the birther non-statement wasn’t playing well, Trump adviser Jason Miller put out a statement that Trump did, in fact, believe Obama was born in the United States. But, in the most amazing part of Miller’s argument, he then credited Trump for bringing “this ugly incident to its conclusion by successfully compelling President Obama to release his birth certificate.”

So, that’s the story. Clinton brought this up. Trump, patriotically, carried “this ugly incident” forward to its conclusion so all America could rest easy. He’s right. It was an ugly incident, one that goes to the heart of racism that lingers still in America.

Of course Trump didn’t call it an “ugly incident.” And he didn’t apologize for all the lies and all the insinuations and all the grandstanding and for not having the cojones, political or otherwise, to say that he was wrong. So, for the record, let’s say it for him: Trump was shockingly, disturbingly, demagogically, unpatriotically, unrepentantly wrong.

Flickr photo by oSonoUnaFotoCamera

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About the Author

Mike Littwin

He has covered Dr. J, four presidential inaugurations, six national conventions and countless brain-numbing speeches in the New Hampshire and Iowa snow.
mlittwin@coloradoindependent.com | Twitter @mike_littwin

2 Comments

  1. Will Morrison on said:

    Anyone who still thinks that the Donald is anything but a sociopath is a miserable judge of character. The man doesn’t have the ability to just stand up there and say “I was wrong”. And even that would be a lie. He KNEW it was crap, and he didn’t CARE. HE was the big one keeping this alive, in fact, he kept it alive LONG after it had been put to bed officially and for all to see.

    This “man” is incapable of decent human thought or emotion. EVERYTHING to him is an excuse for his own inflated ego. He won’t ever say “I screwed up, I shouldn’t have done that”, instead, it’s blame the injured party for THEIR mistake, even if there weren’t any mistakes to blame. He is incapable of even sticking to a single story or line. He completely contradicts himself within almost every speech, sometimes in the same paragraph. He isn’t mature enough to be able to be confronted with even a 25 word tweet. This man is NOT worthy of the job he’s seeking.

    Anyone falling for this fool is an idiot.

  2. Don Lopez on said:

    Apparently for Mr. Littwin candor is a highly perishable commodity with an extremely limited shelf life. Just 72 hours after admitting—-finally!—- that Mrs Clinton might have at least one political weakness ( “But what do you call it when (Mrs. Clinton) makes the same error over and over again?”) Mr. Littwin has abandoned his short-lived experiment with candor and is back to the same old repetitious and unhinged attacks on Donald Trump.

    But if only half—-just 50 percent—-of what Mr. Littwin says of Mr. Trump is true it begs the question: Why can’t Mrs. Clinton pull away in the polls? If, as Mr. Littwin has said, Donald Trump is ”a demagogue, a xenophobe, a misogynist, a bigot, a sexist, an authoritarian, a boor, a crypto-fascist and the least-prepared person ever to be nominated by a major party,” and if, as Mr. Littwin said in this column “(Donald Trump is) entirely unfit for the job” and “It’s clearly unfit Trump being clearly unfit Trump.” then November’s election should be a piece of cake, a walk in the park, a slam dunk for Democrats. But it isn’t!

    Shouldn’t Mrs. Clinton be pulling away from Mr. Trump in the polls by now? Instead it’s a very close race. But why? It should be an easy question for Mr. Littwin to answer since he is a self-described political guru “I’ve always had a pretty good handle on politics. For one thing, it’s not that complicated.” Sooner or later Mr. Littwin will have to address why, despite all of Mrs. Clinton’s advantages (e.g. wife of a former president), the race is thisclose and why polls show she is closer to 40 percent than 50 percent? Unless, of course, he plans to ignore those questions the way he ignored the shooting of Laquan McDonald.

    And while admitting “I covered that Clinton-Obama campaign in 2008” there are still things Mrs. Clinton said during that campaign that Mr. Littwin appears even today extremely reluctant to discuss such as this 2008 quote in which she attempts to explain why she continued to campaign after Barack Obama had already clinched the Democrat presidential nomination: “My husband did not wrap up the nomination in 1992 until he won the California primary somewhere in the middle of June, right? We all remember Bobby Kennedy was assassinated in June in California . . . ”

    That’s pretty dark!

    And there’s this from Reuters.com:

    “An election analysis conducted in the Reuters/Ipsos States of the Nation project shows that the race has tightened considerably over the past few weeks, with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump projected to win Florida, an essential battleground state, if the election were held today.
    The project, which is based on a weekly tracking poll of more than 15,000 Americans, shows that the 2016 presidential race could end in a photo finish on Nov. 8, with the major-party candidates running nearly even in the Electoral College, the body that ultimately selects the president.

    Polling aggregators, which calculate averages of major polls, have shown that Clinton’s lead over Trump has been shrinking this month. The most recent individual polls put Clinton’s advantage at 1 or 2 percentage points.”

    The same Reuters/Ipsos poll showed Mrs. Clinton leading Mr. Trump 42-38 which means 50 days from the election fully one-fifth of American voters are either undecided or supporting a third party candidate.

    This from CBS News:

    “The race across the combined battlegrounds is as tight as can be, tied 42 percent to 42 percent.
    Clinton was up one point last week, and was up two points back on Labor Day weekend. Voters in these states are still looking for change, while the partisan divide remains particularly deep.”

    Could Mr. Littwin be spiraling down into political grief? The five stages of clinical grief are denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance while the five stages of political grief are frustration, anger, panic, hysteria and apoplexy. Mr. Littwin is currently hysterical and on the fast train to apoplexy.

    All aboard!

    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    “Donald Trump is gaining support among African-American voters — whose enthusiasm for Hillary Clinton is eroding, a tracking poll released Saturday revealed.” – New York Post

    Trump – 47.7% Clinton – 41.0% Los Angeles Times September 18, 2016

    “Lagging support among Hispanic voters for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and congressional candidates in crucial races has stoked deep concern that the party and the presidential campaign are doing too little to galvanize a key constituency.

    That reality has prompted a flurry of criticism of Clinton’s and the party’s Hispanic strategies. Despite a uniquely favorable environment with Trump’s repeated attacks on undocumented immigrants, Democrats are increasingly worried that the opportunity is slipping away to meet a long-standing party goal of marshaling the nation’s growing Hispanic population into a permanent electoral force. The concerns are compounded by Trump’s recent surge in several battleground states.” – Washington Post

    “But even some zealous Clinton defenders have grown frustrated with their candidate, marveling at the prospect of her snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, for which some say they would never forgive her. The campaign’s decision last week not to acknowledge Mrs. Clinton’s pneumonia until two days after a diagnosis, once video surfaced of her stumbling out of a Sept. 11 memorial service on Sunday, has especially rankled.

    A cartoon in The New Yorker captured it best: A woman sits in her psychiatrist’s office, perspiring in distress. The doctor scribbles on a pad. “I’m giving you something for Hillary’s pneumonia,” the caption reads.” – New York Times

    “If Mr. Trump appears to be waging his campaign in rallies and network interviews, Mrs. Clinton’s second presidential bid seems to amount to a series of high-dollar fund-raisers with public appearances added to the schedule when they can be fit in. Last week, for example, she diverged just once from her packed fund-raising schedule to deliver a speech.” – New York Times

    “’Cause I don’t have no use
    For what you loosely call the truth” – Tina Turner

    Greenlight a Vet
    Folds of Honor
    Special Operations Warriors Foundation
    Garysinisefoundation.org
    Veterans Day – November 11, 2016

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