A poster of Donald Trump in the backyard of a supporter. (photo: AFP)
11 June 16
*When politically advantageous.
o, the annual Family and Freedom Summit is going on in Washington, as various Bible-banging grifters and god-bothering Pharisees scour the gospels to find the passage where Jesus gives a pass to vulgar talking yams as long as they can put, say, Pennsylvania in play.
(Those inconvenient speeches about camels and a needle's eye are readily skipped.)
Anyway, He, Trump stopped by today to assure them that his faith is indeed huge, and that it is the greatest faith anyone ever has had, and that his house has many mansions and they all have gold-plated plumbing fixtures. The presumptive Republican nominee read some words that somebody else wrote for him, once again appearing to have been shot with a tranquilizer dart prior to taking the podium. He was preceded on stage by Ralph Reed, the famous casino bagman and future timeshare owner in Hell, who impressed upon the faithful the need to vote for a guy who thinks they're even bigger suckers than Reed does.
He, Trump then came out and his speech was approximately as coherent theologically as a pile of leaves is coherent as a tree. There were the usual protesters—Code Pink, this time—and that gave him a chance to drive nails into his own palms while the audience chanted and cheered. But, later, he explained in detail the fundamental eschatological basis for his personal faith, and you are just being politically correct if you think it sounds like he's trying to sell you a Buick with a new paint job and no engine.
"And, by the way, I know many, many very successful people. The happiest people are the people that have that great religious feel…"
OK, let's just stop right there and discuss the drop in the quality of religious ecstasy from John of the Cross to That Great Religious Feel. And, not for nothing, but as a member of the Archdiocese of Boston, I get a little antsy when people start talking about great religious feels, but do continue anyway.
"…and that incredible marriage—children, it's more important than money, folks. Believe me, I know plenty with lots of money and they're not happy people."
Onward, Christian Salesmen, marching as to close.
Meanwhile, out in the Caucasian Caucuses of Utah, Willard Romney is hosting his now-customary election year hootenanny for Republicans who know how to use their inside voices when discussing immigrant criminals, greedy poor people, and how they themselves are planning to heist even more of the country's wealth when nobody's looking because everybody's yelling about immigrant criminals and greedy poor people.
According to The Washington Post, this year's baccalaureate weekend at Loser U. seems to be dedicated to the notion of finding some way to mitigate the damage that He, Trump can do to the brand. As has been apparent throughout the primary season, these people couldn't organize a two-car funeral, but it's nice to know where they are at all times.
The Experts and Enthusiasts summit, or E2, is not a "Stop Trump" confab by design. Still, the gathering of mostly Republican business and political leaders is sure to showcase their desperation for a viable candidate other than Trump and serve as a reminder of the futility of their efforts so far to defeat him. "I'm not interested in going and being part of a crowd and following," said John Rakolta Jr. of Michigan, a national finance co-chairman of Romney's campaigns who is not supporting Trump. "This is a time to really dig deep and have those debates about what direction we should be going in. I'm not looking for everybody agreeing."
The "Experts and Enthusiasts" summit? Really? Is it possible that Willard has become even more of a dork than he was before the president beat him like a tin drum in 2012? That's hard to believe.
Past and potentially future presidential candidates will be in attendance, among them Ryan; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who lost to Trump in this campaign; and two rising stars, Sens. Tom Cotton (Ark.) and Ben Sasse (Neb.). Sasse has been outspoken in his opposition to Trump, although he rebuffed entreaties from Romney, among others, to run this year as an independent. Other GOP politicians scheduled to be here are Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin and Reps. Trey Gowdy (S.C.) and Carlos Curbelo (Fla.). Also in attendance will be veterans of Romney's campaigns, including strategist Stuart Stevens and fundraiser Meg Whitman, the Hewlett Packard Enterprise chief executive. Both are vocal Trump critics.
Experts! Enthusiasts! Balls of fire like Scott Walker. Human fireworks displays like Trey Gowdy. Deep-thinking intellectuals like "rising star" Senator Tom Cotton, last seen delaying a dying woman's chance to be an ambassador to no other purpose than simply being a dickhead.
However will people be able to contain themselves?
Anyway, the problem, of course, was that the "experts" are not really expert at very much of anything and all the "enthusiasts" were in Washington, praising Jesus for sending them their yam-like Deliverer. There is an old city-desk definition of "enthusiast" that applies to most of Willard's guests—someone who believes without proof and whose proof nobody believes. And He, Trump locked up all of those people before the first snows of January fell in Manchester. Small wonder that these jamokes headed for the hills.