The President of the United States tweeted out a video clip of the Speaker of the House taken from the Lou Dobbs program on Fox News, which had edited together every moment of routine dysfluency from her news conference. At one point, she said “three things” and held up two fingers, which the clip repeated.
The tweet from the President of the United States said “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE”—quotation marks and capital letters as written—which the President of the United States had cribbed from the chyron on his TV screen.
What is there to say? It was, almost precisely, the Two Minutes Hate—the segment ran 1 minute 47 seconds, the greater part of which consisted of two mushmouthed men mumbling to one another about how the Speaker was decrepit and worn out and probably a helpless puppet for the crazed radical wing of her party. Except George Orwell hadn’t seen enough of the future to imagine Big Brother himself watching the program, frightened and desperate for reassurance, whipping himself into a frenzy with his own propaganda.
It’s the same thing every day, only worse. Article Two Section Four and the Twenty-Fifth Amendment are scrap paper, blowing on the gusts of wind through the president’s mind. There’s no point in rehashing the whole thing. Even the president isn’t dumb enough to believe any of it. Elsewhere his followers were tweeting out more footage of Nancy Pelosi, slowed down to make it seem as if she were slurring her words. Everyone knows what a highlight reel of the president’s own verbal and mental breaks would look like, or even any randomly chosen 60 seconds of any speech. The holiday weekend is arriving, when the country celebrates the people who died in its military service—who made the ultimate sacrifice, the old creed would say, to preserve our freedom and self-government. The president, at last report, planned to mark the occasion by pardoning a batch of war criminals, because the ghouls in his TV, on his special channel, told him to. Get out in the sunshine. There’s still a long way to go.