Friday, July 5, 2019

Randing the ramparts

The hashtags #RevolutionaryWarAirports and #RevolutionaryWarAirportStories will provide a short-lived diversion. What interests me more is a possible explanation of Trump’s mistake.

My best guess as to what he said: “Our army [manned?] the [?], it rand the ramparts, it took over the airports, it did everything it had to do.”

What I think he was supposed to say: “Our army manned the ramparts, it took over the port, it did everything it had to do.” The port would be that of Baltimore. And, yes, he’s conflating the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Details!

This morning Trump blamed his airport incoherence on a teleprompter going out right in the middle of that sentence: “I knew the speech very well, so I was able to do it without a teleprompter but, ahh, the teleprompter did go out, and it was actually hard to look at anyway, because there was rain all over it.”

A more plausible explanation: Trump was reading words written for him, words that he didn’t really understand and hadn’t bothered to work on. See also “Douglass, you know, Frederick Douglass, the great Frederick Douglass” and all the syntactically awkward pauses in his delivery. (Watch at C-SPAN.)

Frederick Douglass, too, had something to say about the Fourth of July.

I wanted to check my transcription against the official text, but so far has nothing.


4:26 p.m.: Now there’s an official text, but it’s a transcript, complete with indications of applause. Here’s what the White House has Trump saying: “Our Army manned the air [inaudible], it rammed the ramparts. It took over the airports. It did everything it had to do.”

comments: 4

Daughter Number Three said...

Aside from all the garbled stuff, I was most surprised by the way the speech as written (it appears) ran the Revolutionary War into the Fort McHenry and the War of 1812. There were 30 years or so between the two, but in the speech it was as if they were in direct time sequence.

Michael Leddy said...

I just added a link to a Washington Post piece noting that confusion (and others). Who wrote this stuff?

The Crow said...

I doubt Trump would have gotten the speech right even if the best speech writer in our history had penned it and it had been run in 1-inch letters across the screen.

(Why do I hear Mark Twain, Will Rogers, Dorothy Parker and Bob Hope laughing their heads off at this farce? Maybe Fellini wrote it. The list goes on, but my brain is in a holding pattern right now and can't think straight.)

Michael Leddy said...

Trump’s problems are what come of being a non-reader, don’t you think? And non-practicer?

Have you seen this photo? The attention and care evident are unimaginable in today’s White House occupant.