, 16 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
"Trump says a lot of things." has basically been the key defense of Doanld Trump since day 1.
All the times that Trump has just blurted out admissions of crimes, all the times that he has contradicted the message he yelled at his proxies to push, all the times he's given away the game...

The defense, from his defenders, is that we can't trust anything he says.
And this is the same shoot-from-the-hip/"gut politician" thing I was talking about earlier in the week, where the fact that Trump will contradict himself in the course of a single sentence sometimes is somehow magically transformed into a kind of honesty.
There's a thing that right-wingers do when you back them into a corner about one of their idols lying, where they wind up by saying, "Okay, it was technically wrong, but you can't say he was lying because it was essentially true."

Essentially true. Having the *essence* of truth.
Trump is assumed to be speaking from his gut, and that's the definition of honesty, so you can't say he's lying even if he says something that is wrong, that he knows is wrong.

And also he's joking.
Like, watch how quickly Steven Crowder ping-pongs back and forth from being a crusading conservative voice with important, serious things to say and a harmless, powerless comedian, depending on what people like Ben Shapiro need him to be at the moment.
Every major conservative talking head who made a name for themselves has used this dodge. Glenn Beck is a rodeo clown. Rush Limbaugh is a comedian. Bill O'Reilly does bits. It's our fault for taking them seriously, right?
But the people who defend these as just jokes will then turn around and go, "And anyway, he has a point. It's funny because it's true."
It's a joke when they need it to be a joke, and the truth when they need it to be the truth. Harmless and irrelevant when that's useful, powerful and important when that is.
Trump can spit out twenty different contradictory things, and all of them are just talk (hyberbole, locker room talk, jokes, speaking off the cuff) except when it's useful for him to have meant that one thing.
The lack of any kind of unified message out of the White House has enabled this. At various points during Trump's reign, we've had "The White House" saying one thing, "The West Wing" another, Trump saying a third, and "spokespersons for the president" saying yet another.
The net effect of this is not only to dilute the concept of truth, it makes accountability impossible. No one is responsible for anything, and the president does not speak for the president.
Even while Donald Trump continues to grasp with both hands to accumulate more power directly under himself than any president has ever had, his aides have helped him to craft a Notional Presidency in which power is vested... nowhere, really.
He can change federal policy with a tweet, but we're supposed to pay no attention to the poor confused man when he confesses a crime on national TV.
There's really only one way to defeat this shifting tactic, and that's: pin him down.

Yet another reason we need an impeachment inquiry. Make ~*The White House*~ put things on the record, under oath, about the timeline and his reasons for doing things; e.g., regarding Comey.
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