Ten Thousand Lies

It’s been a while since I reminded you why I only, and will ever only, call him Unindicted Co-Conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio.

First of all he’s the bastard product of electoral Fraud and Theft and thus unfit to enjoy any Office of honor, Trust or Profit under the United States, so any title is inappropriate and another identifier is necessary.

Unindicted Co-conspirator because it has been proven in a Court of Law that he directed a conspiracy to make hush money payments to Stephanie Clifford and Karen McDougal.

Bottomless Pinocchio because of the sheer volume of lies, many endlessly repeated to the point that the Washington Post had to create a whole new category, namely, Bottomless Pinocchio.

It’s not malicious, simply factual.

It comes up again in the context of Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio achieving a new milestone in mendacity- 10,000 lies.

For the initial 601 days Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio averaged an impressive 8 lies a day but, like many things (as verified by Stephanie Clifford), those 5,000 lies were not “Yuuge” enough.

So for the last 226 days he’s been telling 23 lies a day, hitting peaks on several occasions of a lie every single minute.

How can you tell when he’s lying? I dunno, are his lips moving?

Trump has made more than 10,000 false or misleading claims
By Glenn Kessler, Salvador Rizzo, and Meg Kelly, Washington Post
April 29, 2019

(T)his seven-month period, which included the many rallies he held before the midterm elections, the partial government shutdown over his promised border wall and the release of the special counsel’s report on Russian interference in the presidential election.

This milestone appeared unlikely when The Fact Checker first started this project during his first 100 days. In the first 100 days, Trump averaged less than five claims a day, which would have added up to about 7,000 claims in a four-year presidential term. But the tsunami of untruths just keeps looming larger and larger.

As of April 27, including the president’s rally in Green Bay, Wis., the tally in our database stands at 10,111 claims in 828 days.

In recent days, the president demonstrated why he so quickly has piled up the claims. There was a 45-minute telephone interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News on April 25: 45 claims. There was an eight-minute gaggle with reporters the morning of April 26: eight claims. There was a speech to the National Rifle Association: 24 claims. There was 19-minute interview with radio host Mark Levin: 17 claims. And, finally, there was the campaign rally on April 27: 61 claims.

The president’s constant Twitter barrage also adds to his totals. All told, the president racked up 171 false or misleading claims in just three days, April 25-27. That’s more than he made in any single month in the first five months of his presidency.

Now that’s some wholesale lying. One can only marvel at the volume.

About one-fifth of the president’s claims are about immigration issues, a percentage that has grown since the government shutdown over funding for his promised border wall. In fact, his most repeated claim — 160 times — is that his border wall is being built. Congress balked at funding the concrete wall he envisioned, and so he has tried to pitch bollard fencing and repairs of existing barriers as “a wall.”

Trump’s penchant for repeating false claims is demonstrated by the fact that The Fact Checker database has recorded nearly 300 instances when the president has repeated a variation of the same claim at least three times. He also now has earned 21 “Bottomless Pinocchios,” claims that have earned Three or Four Pinocchios and which have been repeated at least 20 times.

Trump’s campaign rallies continue to be a rich source of misstatements and falsehoods, accounting for about 22 percent of the total. The rally in Green Bay on April 27 was little different, with claims that covered a range of issues.

There’s more, but you can look it up.

Trump may have degraded U.S. politics for a generation to come
By Paul Waldman, Washington Post
April 29, 2019

Try to remember when the president telling a single lie was considered worthy of headlines and condemning editorials. It wasn’t that long ago. And now? Democrats shout about Trump’s pathological dishonesty, the media dutifully documents the rushing river of lies, and Republicans insist that it doesn’t matter. They won’t try to claim that Trump is anything but a liar; instead, they’ll wave away the question of honesty as something no one cares about anymore.

This is, at its root, the implicit Republican case to the public about Trump. So long as he’s pursuing policies they like, it doesn’t matter what he does or says, because there should no longer be any objective moral or ethical standards by which a president is judged. Power is all that matters.

Let me offer one vivid example. The White House made clear last week that it would refuse to comply with any subpoena from the House of Representatives (“We’re fighting all the subpoenas,” Trump said), an unambiguous expression of contempt for the Constitution. So people went back and found a video of a 1998 speech by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham, then one of the most aggressive advocates of Bill Clinton’s impeachment and now one of Trump’s most ardent defenders.

In his speech, Graham notes that one of the articles of impeachment for Richard Nixon concerned Nixon’s refusal to comply with congressional subpoenas, his argument being that Clinton should meet Nixon’s fate.

The point of spreading this video may have been to criticize Graham for his hypocrisy, which he certainly deserves. But at the very least you can say that in 1998 he was standing up for a principle. However cynical his motivations might have been, he argued that when the president violates not only the law but the standards to which we ought to hold a president, we should consider removing him.

But what principle is Graham, or any Republican, arguing for now? What standard of presidential behavior are they encouraging us to uphold? Where do they now perceive the line between acceptable and unacceptable conduct?

The answer is that they are arguing for no principle at all. There is no line that Trump could cross that would make them say, “Now he has gone too far.” There is no volume of lies he could tell, no extent of his corruption that could be revealed, no amount of bigotry he could spread, no number of family members he could appoint to high positions in government, no degree of profiteering off the presidency, no amount of admiration he could express for authoritarian dictators, no obstruction of justice he could engage in, no assault on the integrity of his office too appalling for them not to enthusiastically defend him.

And when they do so, they barely bother to hold up a principle that could broadly be applied to justify behavior like Trump’s. That’s no longer how they argue. Even as they shout “No collusion,” Trump’s lawyer says, “There’s nothing wrong with taking information from Russians,” and when asked whether the Trump reelection campaign plans to welcome the Kremlin’s help in 2020, Trump’s spokesperson refuses to say no.

So why do I say Trump threatens to transform our politics in ways other presidents couldn’t? The comparison with Nixon is instructive. When Nixon’s crimes and corruption were revealed, the specific acts found few defenders. Republicans didn’t rush to the TV cameras to insist there was nothing wrong with breaking into the other party’s headquarters to steal information, or with paying hush money, or with trying to enlist the CIA to quash an FBI investigation. They did what they could up until the end to minimize the damage, but they didn’t claim that those acts themselves were perfectly fine.

Yet closely analogous actions when committed or celebrated by Trump have not just been defended; they have been defended by almost the entire Republican Party. With just a few exceptions here and there, one of our two great parties has committed itself to the proposition that there is no longer any such thing as standards of presidential behavior that need to be upheld.

We won’t know for sure how far Trump has degraded our democracy until some time after he has left office. We don’t yet know how long it will take to revive the idea that the president should be a person of strong character — or at the very least, not the embodiment of everything you’d teach your children not to be. We’ll have to wait to see how long it will take the nation to recover from the infection of Trump and Trumpism, from the way he encourages us to always cultivate and elevate the worst in ourselves.

But we can say this: If you aren’t disgusted by Trump and what his party does to defend him — and what together they’re doing to American politics — then you’re helping him make things worse.

I wish to congratulate Unindicted Co-conspirator Bottomless Pinocchio on his remarkable performance. We shall never see his like again (I hope).