If you are in any way tethered to observable reality, you will have noticed that this was not a good week for Donald Trump, American president. A parade of witnesses testified under oath that he'd engaged in a corrupt scheme to force a foreign government to attack American democracy for his personal benefit. Luckily for him, he's not tethered at all, and neither is his favorite teevee network, The Fox News Channel. The impeachment hearings over the last fortnight have exposed that we do indeed live in two worlds: one, where members of Congress interviewed witnesses familiar with events, under penalty of perjury, to better understand what happened; two, the world of CrowdStrike, and Bruce and Nellie Ohr, and the Steele Dossier, and the "nude photos," and whatever the hell else the reprehensible Devin Nunes kicked off every hearing by ranting about.
It was that world in which the president elected to keep himself safely ensconced on this Friday morning, as he joined his best friends in the whole world—the Fox & Friends—to discuss the week's events. But as you will see, his view on events is no longer merely filtered through the kaleidoscopic bullshit of The Fox News Channel. He is now living in an entirely alternate reality, one where Ukraine attacked us in 2016, not Russia, who were framed, and Ukraine was in some kind of cahoots with the Democratic National Committee, and then the DNC gave the Ukrainians a server, which the Ukrainians refused to give the FBI, and if we could just get the server, which he asked President Zelensky for "very directly," then we'd all get to the bottom of this little spy caper.
That is to say: the president is a Fox News Grandpa who phones into his favorite teevee show and sounds like one of the more deranged callers on C-SPAN who's cut off midway through their third sentence. Trump was on-air for nearly an hour.
"They gave the server to CrowdStrike ... that's what the word is" -- here's Trump pushing the absolutely insane, debunked conspiracy theory that the DNC's server is in Ukraine and that Russia was framed for interfering in the 2016 election pic.twitter.com/PXClTXfJhd— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 22, 2019
"The FBI went in and they told 'em, 'Get out of here, you're not—we're not giving it to you.' They gave the server to CrowdStrike, or whatever it's called, which is a country—a company owned by a very wealthy Ukrainian. And I still want to see that server. You know, the FBI's never gotten that server. That's a big part of this whole thing. Why did they give it to a Ukrainian company?"
Literally none of this is true. It is insanity. It has no bearing on reality. It seems to be one of those situations where the President of the United States convinced himself of some loony thing to protect himself from the truth, and now has repeated it so many times he genuinely believes it.
But wait—was that pushback from two of the Couch Geniuses, Brian Kilmeade and Steve Doocy? Did they just dare ask the world's most powerful man if the nutso conspiracy theory that is percolating in his mushy brain is...real? Perhaps we were too hasty in saying the network is completely detached from reality. Sure, they gave him close to an hour to rant and rave about his various intergalactic resentments and rage-theories, but they did question whether the DNC sent a server to Ukraine, or whatever. (Did they FedEx it? Why not just wipe it? Ah, that's right: the president—in the Year of Our Lord 2019—has never used a computer.) No matter, however: "That's what the word is," the president said to explain his sourcing. Case closed!
Elsewhere, the Leader of the Free World could be found ranting and raving about CHY-NA.
Fox & Friends hosts struggle to get a word in as Trump yells about Hunter Biden and "CHY-NA" pic.twitter.com/egkcLZ3wpV— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 22, 2019
Good Lord. Kilmeade tried to stop the bleeding, to no avail. And then we learned why he was eager to replace the Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch.
"She wouldn't hang my picture in the embassy ... it took like a year & a half or 2 years for her to get the picture up ... this was not an angel, ok?" -- Trump says one of his big beefs with Ambassador Yovanovitch was that she wasn't eager to hang up his portrait pic.twitter.com/KJKjd2WKpX— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 22, 2019
If you heard your own grandpa talking like this, what would you do? Would you give him control of the most powerful military force in the history of the world? Or would you take the car keys?
Trump also did everyone a favor and admitted, again, that he defenestrated the former FBI director, James Comey, over investigations in which he was implicated.
Trump claims that if he hadn't fired Comey, "I would have been in some trouble right now, because they were coming after me ... turned out to be the best move I ever made -- firing Comey. Because they were looking to take down the president."— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 22, 2019
Sounds like obstruction! pic.twitter.com/bt9iqyQj5p
For all you lawyers out there, this looks a lot like an admission to one of the many counts of obstruction of justice laid out in the Mueller Report.
And here he is ranting about what a star he is, and how many stars he's made over the years, and how he knows a lot about stardom, and how Rep. Elise Stefanik, a newly minted apparatchik, is a star.
Trump's ramblings on how many "stars" he's made over the years are completely off the rails pic.twitter.com/8k9rSguomE— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) November 22, 2019
We are currently running an experiment on ourselves, except we long ago lost any control over how it's conducted. We traded our lab coats in to become the rats. There is a man who appears to be in cognitive decline, who does not read and who gets all of his information from the TV screen—he admitted here that he watched Fox News for five hours (!) yesterday—in charge of the country. He seems legitimately unable to parse what is true and what is false, because it does not occur to him that it would matter. All information is judged on a single criterion: Is it good for me, or is it bad for me? Do they like me, or do they not like me? This is insanity. The contours of reality cannot be bent forever to prop up one loud grandpa's fragile self-conception. Eventually the bend will become a break, and it's all of us—the whole nation—who will fall into the void.
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