Donald Trump is the best thing to happen to impressionists since at least George W. Bush, if not since Nixon himself. In addition to talking like a Jerky Boys character, his word choice is so consistently weird as to offer anyone who mimics him a readymade vocabulary: tremendous, (h)uge, great, believe me, trust me, you’ll see, I do not have a personality disorder, I’ll sue you for defamation, et cetera. Maybe none of the entries in this lexicon is as strange as “bigly,” a word Trump says—or people think he says—a lot. According to the New York Times and linguist Dr. Susan Lin, however, he’s actually saying “big league.” I thought we all agreed on that.
Wouldn’t it be great if the American people rose up? I’m talking about a popular revolution. I’m talking about a government, an economy, and a society run by regular folks for regular folks—a moment, a movement if you will, to throw off the yokes of political corruption and corporate greed and bring popular values to Washington. Of course I mean such popular values as thrift and hard work, not so much xenophobia or contempt for education. And I’m not saying I want populism in culture, either. Obviously I don’t want to see centuries of tradition reduced to The Big Bang Theory. Today is Friday, and I want a popular revolution without the racism, cultural repression, stupidity, or war of vengeance in the Middle East. Won’t you try to cram the genie back in the bottle with me?
Do not read it aloud or you will summon her, but the full text of Sarah Palin’s endorsement speech for Donald Trump is here. Props to Smick for the link. Palin’s style has always worked better in speech than it does in print. More than one journalist has complained that the hardest part of transcribing her is knowing where to put the periods. She hews to a verbless, pastiche style reminiscent of Allen Ginsberg, if Ginsberg worked primarily in cliché. What is most striking about Palin’s speech from last night is the way it swings from phrase to ready phrase—in it to win it, drill baby drill, failed agenda, lead from behind, we the people and, now, make America great again—much as Tarzan swings from vine to vine. She’s just hollering in the spaces between. Still, certain themes emerge. Video after the jump.
Now that Donald Trump is a Republican candidate for president, he has to lie about how often he reads the Bible. Last week, he told interviewers from the Bloomberg program With All Due Respect that it was his favorite book. They asked him to cite a favorite verse. Instead of just saying “Jesus wept” and staring at the hosts until they fell silent, he ad libbed:
Trump: I wouldn’t want to get into it, because to me that’s very personal. You know, when I talk about the Bible, it’s very personal, so I don’t want to get into verses…The Bible means a lot to me, but I don’t want to get into specifics.
Interviewer: Are you an Old Testament guy or a New Testament guy?
Trump: Uh, probably equal. I think it’s just an incredible…the whole Bible is an incredible…I joke, very much so, they always hold up The Art of the Deal, I say “my second favorite book of all time.”
It tells us something about our present politics that the man who called Mexicans drug dealers and rapists during his announcement speech won’t just say he doesn’t read the Bible. Video and close reading after the jump.
With approximately 48 hours until we hit the federal debt ceiling and maybe cause dead financiers to rise from their graves and devour the faces of the living, the Senate is working on a deal. If you read down a few paragraphs in that article, you will find a quote that Ben al-Fowlkes described as the kind of thing you’re supposed to talk about with your caucus, not the New York Times. “Anybody who would vote for that in the House as a Republican would virtually guarantee a primary challenger,” says Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R–KS). Not a primary challenger to Tim Huelskamp! How will the Republic survive? In the contest between individual selfishness and collective responsibility that is our legislative October, selfishness is still fighting. Case in point: Sarah Palin’s screed of misinformation and contradictory indictments of the president, posted yesterday on her damn Facebook wall.