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They're all barbarians now

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They’re all barbarians now

by digby

The GOP has always had a very high tolerance for snotty assholes. (c.f. Newt) But since Trump it’s become a positive embrace.  Here’s proof:

Just hours after having multiple senior aides vouch for his calm state of mind after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused him of a temper tantrum, President Trump took to Twitter late Thursday to push an edited video of the top Democrat supposedly “stammering” through a news conference, jumping on a conspiracy-theory bandwagon that had been raging on social media throughout the day.

The video, which was first aired by the Fox Business Network and appeared to have been cleverly edited to make Pelosi’s speech seem impaired, came after several doctored videos purporting to show a “drunk” Pelosi slurring her words spread like wildfire on social media, all while Trump tried to convince the public that Pelosi was not to be taken seriously because she is “crazy” and “a mess.”

Even Fox News reported that the videos were doctored, but that didn’t stop Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani from tweeting out a link to one of the already debunked videos late Thursday.

“What is wrong with Nancy Pelosi?” Giuliani wrote. “Her speech pattern is bizarre.” He later deleted the tweet, but the flames of the “Pelosi-can-barely-string-a-sentence-together, she-must-be-senile-or-drunk” hoax that apparently originated among Trump supporters had already been fanned, and Fox, predictably, was to thank for keeping the whole thing going.

Frequent Fox Business guest Ed Rollins on Thursday backed up the president’s earlier assertion that Pelosi is a “mess,” citing the edited video as evidence that the speaker is inarticulate and therefore unwell. Prior to Rollins’ remarks, guest host Gregg Jarrett had played a highly edited and manipulated clip of Pelosi speaking earlier in the day that made it appear that she stammered and struggled through a press conference.

Notably, the clip repeatedly replays Pelosi saying the number three while holding up two fingers, something Jarrett mocked immediately afterward.

Fox issued a statement after the segment defending the video.

“The FOX Business segment featuring clips from Speaker Pelosi’s speech today did not slow down any aspect of her address,” the network said.

Meanwhile, Rollins and Jarrett weren’t the only ones implying that Pelosi didn’t have all her mental faculties during Thursday’s Lou Dobbs Tonight broadcast. Pugnacious former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski seemingly referenced the doctored videos while criticizing Pelosi’s remarks about Trump’s current mental fitness.

“Can you imagine, for one second if that was a Republican question Nancy Pelosi is mental fitness?” Lewandowski exclaimed. “The way she slurs and repeats herself. They would be called racist, misogynist, xenophobic and every other word possible.”

Trump quickly fed Fox‘s claims back out to the Twitterverse, seizing on the network’s coverage to lend some legitimacy to the whole thing. “Nancy Pelosi should not be out there doing the kinds of things she is doing,” the president tweeted, quoting Rollins. “She will diminish herself and her membership. She cannot put a subject with a predicate in the same sentence. What’s going on?”

Trump captioned the tweeted video: “PELOSI STAMMERS THROUGH NEWS CONFERENCE.”

During the 2016 presidential election, then-candidate Trump and his allies relentlessly courted in unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton‘s mental and physical health. Those theories only gained more steam after she nearly passed out at a 9/11 memorial from what was later diagnosed as walking pneumonia.

Giuliani later told a Washington Post reporter that he’d deleted the tweet but that he noticed a mental decline. Then today he posted this:

I won’t say it, but you are thinking it I’m sure …

This whole thing is a strategy. It’s not just off-the-cuff nastiness. It’s exactly what they did in 2016. And, by the way, that particular smear was amplified by  the Russian bots — and when Clinton got pneumonia, the mainstream press went to town on it too. “She doesn’t have the strength and stamina to be president” was something they bought into as well, if only subliminally.

That’s what “sleepy Joe Biden” is all about too. Trump is an idiot but he’s got an instinct for this sort of juvenile insult that appeals to wingnuts — and, sadly, the media.


I’ve written before about Trump‘s obvious sensitivity on this issue. His father had Alzheimer‘s Disease and I think he’s probably terrified that he’s got it too. If he doesn’t have symptoms then he should probably stop acting like a fool and making everyone think he does. If he does have symptoms then he shouldn’t run again.


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