This Guy Was President?

Thursday, January 13, 2022

Having to do an inordinate amount of driving around lately, I've been treating myself to some very interesting podcasts. One of these was last year's discussion of the events of that January sixth by Elan Journo and Onkar Ghate of the Ayn Rand Institute. I'm not all the way through it, but this has been very thought-provoking and I highly recommend it. (See Note below if video appears to be unavailable.)

As someone who did not closely follow the events then and have no truck with partisan accounts on either side of it, this has been the even-handed analysis I have wanted.

One bizarre thing that came up -- about the point I'm at now -- was a well-debunked claim that Trump has made repeatedly since about 2013, including several times while in office, about being one of the last five guests on Oprah Winfrey's show:
Her last couple of shows. You know, it was a big deal, who was gonna be her last week; I guess her last week. I was on her show for the last week.

In other words, the entire show was devoted to I think five different people. I was one of the five. Oprah liked me. And maybe still does, I don't know. But Oprah is great.
Ghate ably discusses the philosophical implications of the fact that Trump made this arbitrary claim at all and then continues to do so in blatant disregard for the truth.

I will simply ask -- and I don't know as of the time I am writing this if Ghate or Journo take up this line of inquiry -- Why on earth would someone feel the need to make such a claim? And related, I can't help but wonder: Can there be nobody out there who could make a complete ass of Trump during a political debate for making this and (I am sure) similar ridiculous pronouncements?

This guy basically intimidated all the other GOP candidates on his way to the nomination and managed to get elected to a term -- and pulled the second-highest vote total in history when he lost his reelection bid, if memory serves.

I am not sure which I find more disturbing: that this psychological pygmy won the GOP nomination or that nobody in the room, as it were, could or would stand up to him.

-- CAV

Note: I have noticed that if I am logged out of Google, YouTube will claim that the "live event" is unavailable. If you have this problem, go here for alternate sources. There is also a brief written description of what the podcast covers.


: Added comment on availability and alternate link.)


Snedcat said...

Yo, Gus, you write, "I will simply ask ... Why on earth would someone feel the need to make such a claim?" Easy, it's a four-dimensional chess move totally owning the libs, that's why.

Ironically, you posted this the same day Biden's equally flagrant lies came up in your feed; I chuckled when I read your post because I read that one first. (Basically, given my morning reading, you might say you always get the last word.) And with Biden, I remember being appalled when he had to drop out of the presidential race in 1987 for plagiarism; callow youth that I was, I was sure that was the end of his political career. Silly sweet summer child me! My less exasperated comment (heh) is that politicians have always traded in lies, it's just our special shame now that their partisans take pride in publicly avowing them in lock-step.

But more seriously, I remember Trump-haters telling me it was necessary to vote for Biden to restore a respect for truth. They didn't tell the truth either. Neither man is committed to the truth; they're both inveterate liars. Worse, they both have armies of enablers and hucksters who insist over and over that those two are in essence the only choice we have, trying to gaslight us into accepting each as the photo negative of the other rather than his mirror image. Fortunately, Trump was lazy and Biden is thoroughly incompetent (well, Harris is thoroughly incompetent, so perhaps we can say Biden is almost thoroughly incompetent); I suspect that both parties are now primed to accept the energetic, competent fellow spouting the same lies for the same malign ends.

Gus Van Horn said...


I, too was once as callow as sweet summer child as you!

On a more serious note, (1) the fact that I know your first paragraph is a joke is, per Poe's Law, owing only to long familiarity,(2) the fact that Biden is only a poor imitation of Trump, and (3) the weird either-or about the two will all come together nicely when you hear the discussion about tribalism.

The price you'll pay for that clarity will be a steep increase in concern for the future of our republic.