How many lies did Trump spew from the CPAC podium yesterday afternoon? Around 6 minutes in he began denouncing the media as “the enemy of the people,” very standard fascist claptrap. The audience loved it, of course. 69% of them had just helped him top the straw poll. The only other potential presidential candidate to get beyond 2% was Ron DeSantis, at an anemic 24%. He didn't show up for this show; neither did Pence or any other plausible candidates. It was the Trump and Orbán show.
Trump's speech was everything you would expect from the idiot reading a teleprompter— gaslighting, projectionism, grievances galore, piles and piles of his signature truculent bullshit.
“Our country is being destroyed, more from the inside than out," be brayed. "America is on the edge of an abyss and our movement is the only force that can save it… We cannot be complacent. We have to seize this opportunity to deal with the radical left, socialist lunatics and fascists and we have to hit them very, very hard. It has to be a crippling defeat because our country cannot take it.”
“We did much better in the second election than we did in the first by many millions or votes, much, much better… It’ll be Venezuela large scale or Venezuela on steroids; that’s what’s happening to our country.”
“We have to take this chance to shatter the corrupt Washington establishment once and for all… The woman [Pelosi] brings chaos… You could take the 5 worst presidents in American history and put them together and they would not have done the damage that Joe Biden has done to our country in less than 2 years.”
Let’s see, that would be... from terrible to worst:
The contrast between the Trump administration’s amazing success and the Biden administration’s breathtaking failure could not be more stark. Let’s look at the facts. I got gasoline for cars $1.87/gallon. They have it now at $5, $6, $7. A friend of mine from California called me this morning. He just paid $8.55 he told me. It’s not even believable.”
That’s true; it isn’t believable. Because it’s false. The whole speech was false— every detail. It was meant to be entertainment for the red meat fascist crowd that paid to see him play the clown. Interestingly, the speech was mostly ignored by the media. There were few stories about it even in the political press. I mean at this point, what is there to even report? Trump spoke and he told x number of lies per minute?
On Friday, Krugman dealt with one of the twisted lies Trump never stops harping on— inflation. Directly contradictiing what Trump never stops saying, he wrote that “Inflation is coming down— fast” and that “Gas prices are leading the parade.”
Unlike Trump’s imaginary friend in California paying $8.55 a gallon, “The majority of gas stations in the United States are already charging less than $4 a gallon… Food prices are also coming down… And business surveys are suggesting a broader decline in inflation.”
Republican efforts to regain control of Congress have rested almost entirely on blaming Joe Biden for inflation— and gas prices in particular.
Did Donald Trump— who is still the dominant figure in the GOP, attempt to ioverturn a legitimate election? Gas is over $5 a gallon! Are Republican judges and state legislators taking away rights women have had for decades? Gas is $5 a gallon!
Now the party’s main election plank— pretty much their only election plank— is being sawed off at the base. I’ve been wondering what they’ll do. After spending many months doing all they can to dumb down the debate, Republicans will have a hard time suddenly pivoting to nuanced arguments about headline numbers versus underlying inflation.
So far, their main response seems to be to ignore the inflation slowdown and hope voters don’t notice.
…When— I’m pretty sure that’s a “when,”not an “if”— official data also shows a sharp decline in inflation, my guess is that we’ll see denial supplemented by conspiracy theories: claims that the Biden administration is faking the numbers or somehow manipulating the commodity markets.