We’re now officially trudging through the new year. (And good luck on that healthier-living resolution.) This is when we adjust to the fact that nothing has changed. You weren’t allowed to toss Donald Trump out with the old. Although it would have been nice if he’d at least have stayed quiet until all of the Christmas trees were down.
Instead, he’s holding a big, presumably loud, rally Friday in Miami for evangelical supporters. It’s supposed to be a response to the editorial in Christianity Today that called him “morally lost and confused.”
Lost? How can you call the man lost? He’s there … in the place he’s at.
The site of the rally, the King Jesus International Ministry church, has a large Hispanic congregation, and Pastor Guillermo Maldonado has told his parishioners to come to hear Trump’s speech even if they “don’t have papers.”
Explaining his confidence, Maldonado just said “I’m not that dumb.” Perhaps he’s been following the record of Trump’s businesses, which have been rather low energy about checking for unauthorized workers. His Virginia winery just got around to firing some longtime employees this week. Of course that had nothing to do with the difficulty getting other people to do the low-wage backbreaking labor. It was just … slow paperwork.
But about politics in 2020: For Trump, right now it’s pretty much one rally after another. And the Democrats still have 15 presidential candidates. How many can you name? To be fair, I’ll give you a passing grade if you can get to 12.
He calls Biden “Sleepy Joe,” which is sort of dangerous given Biden’s proclivity for challenging critics to push-up competitions. And Trump will never give up on the story about Biden family corruption in Ukraine, since the only downside to his version is its total inaccuracy.
We’ve still got nearly two weeks to wait before the next Democratic debate, which happens to be the same night as a newly scheduled Trump rally in Wisconsin. Where, I would be willing to place a small bet, the subject will be the wonderfulness of Donald Trump.
“You’re about to hear the greatest speech you’ve ever heard,” he told the crowd at his most recent rally, in Battle Creek, Michigan, right after reminiscing about how he won the state in 2016 and how, a decade or so before, he was named Man of the Year in Michigan. “Can you believe it?” he asked.
Well, actually no. FactCheck.org looked into the matter and determined Trump was “referring to a 2013 dinner hosted by a county Republican Party organization, which presented him with token gifts — including a statuette of Abraham Lincoln.” But apparently Trump did not get any special commendations, let alone a “man of the year” award.
I don’t think our president should just let this kind of back talk go unchallenged. Let’s send Rudy Giuliani to Michigan to investigate.
Ah, Rudy. Can’t really plunge into 2020 without taking a bet on what he’ll do next. He seems to be running many of the government’s most critical foreign policy initiatives despite the fact that he is (A) Not a government employee; (B) Doing private business with many of the movers and shakers involved; and (C) At best, borderline nuts.
What do you think will happen with Giuliani in the new year? Cabinet appointment? FBI indictment? Relocation to a drying-out clinic? Hey, maybe all three. At the same time. Anything’s possible in this administration.
Safe prediction for 2020 is that Trump will spend most of it bragging about the economy — unless something happens to the economy, in which case he will focus on his second-biggest achievement, which would be, um, perhaps helping nail down the 2028 Summer Olympics.
In Michigan, Trump told his supporters how a man had come up and reported that his wife always thought he was a loser until his 401(k) started climbing: “I’m up 72%, sir. She thinks I’m a financial genius. She’s so in love with me.”
Two short comments, one of which is that this doesn’t sound like a very secure marriage. The other is that when Trump starts telling stories, virtually everybody he quotes calls him “Sir.” Do you think anybody gets a dispensation? Rudy? Jared? Well, probably Melania.
There are bound to be a few things that are new for the new year. For instance, he’s just started slamming environmentalism by decrying the evils of reduced water consumption. (“You want to wash your hands, you turn on the sink, no water comes out.”)
On the night he was being impeached — that would be during the Michigan rally — Trump went on a rant about low-flow toilets that he claimed required flushing “10 times.” He then pointed to a supporter in the crowd and said: “Not me, of course, not me. But you. Him.”
Do you think that guy went home and told his family that the president of the United States picked him out as a person who required a lot of water when he went to the bathroom? Would he have been astonished? Embarrassed? Horrified?
Whatever it was, sir, we all know how you feel.
Gail Collins is an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times.