Trump's Presser Was Appalling, Even by His Standards

Yesterday afternoon, Donald Trump gave a rare press conference that lasted 81 minutes, during which he gave an execrable performance full of lies and attacks and rape apologia.

If you missed it, and I sincerely hope you did, the Toronto Star's Daniel Dale live-tweeted it in a thread that begins here, and the Washington Post's Ashley Parker has a decent recap, filed under the deservedly blunt headline, "'Give it to me': Trump lets loose with 81 minutes of bluster, falsehoods, and insults."

While it was nearing its end, I noted on Twitter: "Today's presser is what it looks like when your president is an unhinged authoritarian goblin with zero checks and balances."

That, for me, is the most important takeaway, more than any one thing he said — because he said a lot of terrible things, and he will face zero consequence for any of them.

He will face no consequence for lying. He will face no consequence for insulting and attacking people. He will face no consequence for his rank rape apologia. He will face no consequence for saying horrible things that frighten all reasonable and decent people.

Even if, and it is a huge if, he faces consequences one day that result in his removal from office, he is doing so much incredible damage in the meantime. The goalposts have been moved so far that they're not even on the field anymore. If we haven't already reached a point of no return to a functional if flawed democracy, we're getting damn close.

And that road has been paved with appalling displays just like yesterday's press conference, whether Trump was standing at a podium holding forth in front of an adoring crowd of deplorables or responding to reporters' questions with whatever mendacity and tangents his trash-bin of a brain decided to disgorge from his anusular maw.

The particulars of the lies he tells and the precise flavor of vile bigotry he spews hardly matter anymore. It's all bad. What matters is that he is wholly unconstrained, and the escalation of his freewheeling fuckery shows that he knows it.

He's behaving like a despot who believes he's untouchable. Because, for the moment, he is. And he's making maximum use of that power while he's got it.

Which should profoundly concern and anger anyone who remembers what it used to be like to live in a democratic republic, and hopes that they may again one day.

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