Monday, August 7, 2017

Trump on crying and
begging for forgiveness

Donald Trump’s three tweets about Richard Blumenthal:

Interesting to watch Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut talking about hoax Russian collusion when he was a phony Vietnam con artist! Never in U.S.[ ]history has anyone lied or defrauded voters like Senator Richard Blumenthal. He told stories about his Vietnam battles and conquests, how brave he was, and it was all a lie. He cried like a baby and begged for forgiveness like a child. Now he judges collusion?
These tweets are a perfect example of whataboutism, a persistent Trump tactic. They’re also replete with falsehoods: while Blumenthal did lie about serving in Vietnam, there is no evidence that he told stories of battle and bravery. Nor is there any record of his defrauding voters or crying or begging for forgiveness.

To point out that Blumenthal, unlike Trump, at least served in the military would also be mere whataboutism. What most interests me about these tweets is the way that Trump characterizes remorse and shame — as a matter of crying like a baby and begging for forgiveness like a child. Trump has said that he has not cried since babyhood (2015) and is not a “big crier” (2016). He has also said that “I never like to say sorry because that means there was a mistake” and that “probably the last time I said sorry was a long time ago” (2015).

Remorse and shame require self-awareness and a functioning moral compass, an ability to reflect upon one’s actions and consider them in relation to some ethical standard. But being a man, on Trump’s terms, means just about never having to say you’re sorry. And never ever asking for forgiveness. That’s for kids.

[In combining the three tweets, I’ve removed the endless “. . .” clutter.]

comments: 8

Stefan said...

Great post, Michael. I've been waiting since yesterday to hear a second critic (the first was a former congresswoman whose name I did not catch) echo the point that instead of saying false and disparaging things about Sen. Blumenthal, the president might have expressed concern for the three marines evidently lost off the coast of Australia yesterday or about an apparent mosque bombing in Minnesota. American soldiers were killed in Afghanistan over the weekend, and several boy scouts were killed in a boating accident. There are many things, obviously, that a real president might do with the communication technology available to him, things that might comfort or elevate. The fact that he seems only to use it to bludgeon or lie is, to use his favorite word, sad.

P.S. Thanks for "You Dyed Your Hair Chartreuse," which is really delightful and caused me to learn that a Charlotte Russe is a dessert. What a nice antidote to all things Trump.

Michael Leddy said...

I have to admit that I never thought for a moment that Trump would tweet anything about the service members killed or the bombing or the scouts. But it’s necessary to register what he didn’t say.

About charlotte russe: which kind?! I suspect that the songwriters were thinking of the New York variety.

Stefan said...

I'll have to go with the variety that you describe win response to the Nancy strip, since your description matches the photo I found. (It was surprisingly difficult to learn about this confection, as you suggest.) But I must correct my claim that "Chartreuse" introduced me to the charlotte russe, since I now remember reading your original post. I guess it's more accurate to say that the song reminded me of something that I didn't currently know what I once knew.

As for what we might expect or shouldn't expect from this president, you are right, of course. There's no evidence that he's even able to think in positive or compassionate terms or to communicate in ways that suggest he is the president of us all. But, well: sigh.

Michael Leddy said...

There should be a term for things you once knew that you then realize you once knew. (I’m thinking of the handful of words that I have to look up again and again.) Pre-knowns? But that’s too much like Donald Rumsfeld’s known knowns, known unknowns, unknown unknowns.

Anonymous said...

Would "recycled discoveries" do?

Michael Leddy said...

It could. Thanks for reading and suggesting. I thought of “forget-me,” like a shortened version of “forget-me-not.”

Stefan said...

I thought of this shortly after you posed the question, but it seems so obvious now that I can't tell if it's clever or dopey: deju knew? You be the judge.

Michael Leddy said...

Gulp: I thought of it too (while shopping in Wal-Mart), and ran it by Elaine. Her reaction tells me that it must be both. :)