Raining on Donald Trump’s parade

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I finally got a close-up of those orange flowers I’ve been seeing recently. I don’t think they’ll be in bloom very much longer—despite the copious amounts of rain we’ve been receiving, a preponderance now seem to have wilted.


Donald Trump

So Donald Trump made himself the butt of many jokes at his war celebration by suggesting that the U.S. Revolutionary Army seized airports. A writer at the Guardian also noticed that he conflated the War of 1812 with the U.S. Revolution.[1]

It can’t quite be said that Trump explained this away: “I knew the speech very well so I was able to do it without a teleprompter but the teleprompter did go out and it was actually hard to look at anyway because there was rain all over it.”[2]

So:

  1. Never ever rely on technology for your speech. Test the fuck out of the technology before you use it. Always have notes. Yes, they taught me this when I was an undergraduate. Yes, I got burned once or twice when I failed to do this. And yes, I taught this to my own public speaking students. This is basic stuff.
  2. Trump’s claim that he “knew the speech very well”[3] is undermined by the gaffes. I mean, really, if you’ve been caught without your notes, would you really think to say the Revolutionary Army seized the airports? Really?

But of course we already knew Trump is an idiot, in addition to being a racist, misogynist, Islamophobic, transphobic (I’m sure I’m missing something, maybe more than one thing) delusional raging narcissist-in-chief. So there’s really not much more to be said about this. I hope.

British Broadcasting Corporation, “Trump blames ‘airports’ gaffe on teleprompter,” July 5, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/48885319

Kate Lyons, “Flight of fancy: Trump claims 1775 revolutionary army ‘took over airports,’” Guardian, July 5, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/05/flight-of-fancy-trump-claims-1775-revolutionary-army-took-over-airports


Census

After the Supreme Court called the government’s reason for the question “contrived,” many wondered how the government could suddenly come up with a new rationale.

“What were they going to say?” said Dale Ho, director of the Voting Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union and a lead attorney for plaintiffs in the New York lawsuit. “ ‘Here’s our real reason? Or here’s a new reason?’ Well, that’s kind of reverse engineering on a decision that’s already been made, which was the very definition of pretextual. . . . We had them in an inevitable checkmate.”[4]

Thomas Wolf, counsel with the Democracy Program at the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University School of Law, said there is “no path” forward for the government to add the question at this point.

“The court vacated the Voting Rights Act rationale as a contrived pretext,” he said. “What they’re trying to do now is the textbook definition of a pretext — telling the court, ‘We plan to do this but we don’t know why yet.’ ”[5]

Tara Bahrampour et al., “Trump administration scrambles to save citizenship question on census,” Washington Post, July 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-scrambles-to-save-citizenship-question-on-census/2019/07/04/238fe3fa-9e85-11e9-9ed4-c9089972ad5a_story.html

Tara Bahrampour and John Wagner, “Government lawyers step up effort to get a citizenship question on 2020 Census, court filing shows,” Washington Post, July 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/trump-says-he-is-thinking-of-executive-order-to-revive-census-citizenship-question/2019/07/05/d3ec5986-9f20-11e9-9ed4-c9089972ad5a_story.html

Aaron Blake, “Trump just admitted something he probably shouldn’t have about the census citizenship question,” Washington Post, July 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/07/05/trump-just-admitted-something-he-probably-shouldnt-have-about-census-citizenship-question/


  1. [1]Kate Lyons, “Flight of fancy: Trump claims 1775 revolutionary army ‘took over airports,’” Guardian, July 5, 2019, https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/05/flight-of-fancy-trump-claims-1775-revolutionary-army-took-over-airports
  2. [2]Donald Trump, quoted in British Broadcasting Corporation, “Trump blames ‘airports’ gaffe on teleprompter,” July 5, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/48885319
  3. [3]British Broadcasting Corporation, “Trump blames ‘airports’ gaffe on teleprompter,” July 5, 2019, https://www.bbc.com/news/48885319
  4. [4]Tara Bahrampour et al., “Trump administration scrambles to save citizenship question on census,” Washington Post, July 4, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-administration-scrambles-to-save-citizenship-question-on-census/2019/07/04/238fe3fa-9e85-11e9-9ed4-c9089972ad5a_story.html
  5. [5]Tara Bahrampour and John Wagner, “Government lawyers step up effort to get a citizenship question on 2020 Census, court filing shows,” Washington Post, July 5, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/legal-issues/trump-says-he-is-thinking-of-executive-order-to-revive-census-citizenship-question/2019/07/05/d3ec5986-9f20-11e9-9ed4-c9089972ad5a_story.html

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