Donald Trump is nothing, if not predictable.
While many would respond by saying, “you mean predictably deplorable!”, the president has certain behavior patterns that can be counted on as reliably as the turning of the seasons.
Traveling to play on the weekends at considerable taxpayer expense at one of the several pricey golf resorts he owns is one of those things that can be as expected as the return of the swallows to Capistrano or the molting of the trees in the autumn.
Waking up in the morning and watching how the cable news networks are portraying him — and then exploding into a rage on Twitter over any negative portrayals — is another recurring pattern in his limited behavioral repertoire.
This morning those two nasty habits commingled when Trump tweeted out a defensive justification of his golfing addiction, referring to riding along in a golf cart — surrounded by Secret Service agents in similar vehicles rented at government expense at an exorbitant price with the money going directly back into the president’s personal pocket — as his “exercise.”
…rounds, no problem. When I play, Fake News CNN, and others, park themselves anywhere they can to get a picture, then scream “President Trump is playing golf.” Actually, I play VERY fast, get a lot of work done on the golf course, and also get a “tiny” bit of exercise. Not bad!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 12, 2020
At least he had the modicum of self-awareness to put “exercise” in quotes.
Trump points out that CEOs and other politicians who spend time at the gym don’t get harassed for their physical fitness regimes while failing to note that those people’s routines don’t involve pricey security retinues, travel costs, or financial self-enrichment.
Also, those people are not the president of the United States, a job that requires 24-hour-a-day, 7-day-a-week vigilance, and a fact that undercuts Trump’s lame defensive note that he mostly avoids golfing during the week.
Trump lapses into another one of his more predictable patterns by reflexively lying about comparisons to the length and frequency of the rounds played by his predecessor Barack Obama. Remarkably, it is one of the few times you’ll ever find Trump unfavorably comparing his own length and stamina to Obama’s.
When you get to the second tweet in the president’s thread, however, you realize that what he is actually tweeting a complaint about is the fact that cable news networks — networks that he regularly characterizes as “FAKE NEWS” — try to obtain video shots of the reality of his playing golf, as if by showing what Trump is actually doing they are somehow misleading the American people.
This is a full Orwellian appeal “to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears.”
Trump tries to soften the cognitive dissonance of the obvious conflict between his words and objective reality by claiming to be a speed golfer who is pondering important matters of state while being driven from hole to hole while exerting himself about as much as his girth would suggest.
Only someone who has something to be ashamed of would issue such a hollow defense of his irresponsible shirking of his duties in favor of recreation — rather than the more productive use of his time in the middle of the largest crisis this nation has seen in decades.
One look at his offspring indicates that recreation is not something that Donald Trump should have ever contemplated.
Please spare us his musings and excuses on the topic.
Update!: Trump was greeted at the gates of his golf resort this morning by a protestor dressed as the grim reaper and carrying a sign emblazoned with the number of Americans dead from COVID-19.
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Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.