Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Ryan Owens died for Trump's applause

At least that's what Trump said:
And Ryan is looking down right now, you know that, and he’s very happy because I think you just broke a record. For as the Bible teaches us, there is no greater act of love than to lay down one's life for one's friends. Ryan laid down his life for his friends, for his country, and for our freedom –- and we will never forget Ryan.

Yes. Yes, he did. It didn't bother Chris Cillizza, who was too busy swooning over the stagecraft (h/t Captain Steve Rogers):

Archangel Michael. Via Radio Bulgaria.
Trump rapidly grasped that this was a real moment — and he didn't step on it by trying to immediately return to his speech. Lots of politicians, obsessed with making sure they got the speech out in the allotted time, would have moved on too quickly — missing the resonance of the cascades of applause that washed over the rawly emotional Carryn Owens. Trump understands moments; he stepped away from the podium, looked to Owens and just clapped. For the better part of two minutes, the only thing you heard in the room was loud applause and the only thing you saw was Owens crying and looking heavenward. Very powerful stuff.
Sidestepping the fact that while this poor woman understandably welcomes the suggestion that her husband's death wasn't completely meaningless, his father, a Navy veteran himself, has refused to meet with the president and demanded an investigation in pretty stark terms, as he told the Miami Herald:
Why at this time did there have to be this stupid mission when it wasn’t even barely a week into his administration? Why? For two years prior, there were no boots on the ground in Yemen — everything was missiles and drones — because there was not a target worth one American life. Now, all of a sudden we had to make this grand display?
Or the fact that Trump ducked responsibility for the failed mission, blaming it on "my generals":
“This was a mission that was started before I got here. This was something they wanted to do,” Trump said of the raid in an interview with "Fox and Friends" Tuesday. “They came to see me, they explained what they wanted to do ― the generals ― who are very respected, my generals are the most respected that we’ve had in many decades, I believe. And they lost Ryan."
People like Cillizza are congratulating Trump for "looking presidential"—for his skill in getting through reading his writers' text off the TelePrompTer without the usual added repetitions and interpolations ("believe me"), as you might admire Tom Hanks for his nerve under pressure when he landed that plane in the Hudson River (spoiler: it was somebody else who did that, in what we call real life; what Hanks does, extremely well, is to look real, and what Trump did last night was to look a bit more real than he usually does, thanks to an unusual amount of preparation, like going over his lines beforehand) and for riding that applause wave.

But he did throw in the one spontaneous line of his own displaying the psychopathic monstrosity of the way he thinks, taking consolation in a man's death from the thought that it was all ad maiorem Trumpi gloriam. Jesus wept.

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