Lê Công Bằng / Flickr trump donald...
Lê Công Bằng / Flickr

It seems that every journalist, politician, and professional Offended Person in America was professionally offended by a speech delivered on Saturday evening. Unfortunately, that speech was not this speech.

This speech with its vile innuendo.

Trump also tossed out an unspecified allegation about Montana Democratic Sen. Jon Tester, whom Trump blamed for the recent sinking of his nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“I know things about Tester that I could say, too,” Trump said. “And if I said them, he’d never be elected again.”

And its accusations of lies.

Trump also turned to Comey, the man he fired as FBI director last year who has since written a book and launched into public criticism of Trump’s leadership and morals, as well as the investigation into potential coordination between his associates and Russia.

“Watch the way he lies,” Trump said, adding shortly after, “I did you a great favor when I fired this guy.”

Because this speech, this rant that included invective, false accusations, and threats, came from the man in the nation’s most powerful position. A man who has demonstrated that he will follow up on his threats, will govern through petty spitefulness, and act with justification or reason against those who he feels have slighted him in some way. A man who isn’t a hairsbreadth from the line of running the nation like a dictatorships, but several steps beyond that line.

But that speech—has become accepted. Has become normalized. Has been treated by the press from the beginning, as something that it need not dissect in detail, need not hold up as dangerous, need not hold up in outrage. Because … honestly, the answer to that ‘because’ is a genuine puzzle.

Donald Trump appeared at a rally in Michigan on Saturday night, where he vilified political opponents as liars

But listen to how the press reported that event.

CNN:

President Donald Trump, in a characteristically free-wheeling speech Saturday night …

New York Times:

… freewheeling return to fiery campaign speeches …

Time

President Donald Trump took aim at familiar political targets and added a few fresh ones during a campaign-style rally in Michigan …

NBC wrote an out-and-out paean of praise to Trump’s Michigan speech, positively gushing over everything from the size of his crowd, the size of his stadium, and the hominess of the menu.

Instead of a red carpet, they stood on synthetic grass under a ceiling of metal beams and a tarpaulin-like material. And instead of tuxedos and ball gowns, the informal dress code here is jeans, fall jackets and MAGA gear.

Trump wasn’t in Michagan to press for any particular legislation, support any local candidate, or lend a hand in local elections. Trump was in Michigan for Trump.

Unlike some of Mr. Trump’s previous rallies, which were part lobbying for Republican candidates, part freewheeling return to fiery campaign speeches, this rally was solely for him: indulging in a greatest hits of triumphs and grievances in front of a crowd of autoworkers, farmers and others.

On Saturday evening, a speech was delivered full of boastful self-indulgence, hateful rhetoric, vilification, false accusations, threats, and an abundance of simple lies. It’s a speech that not only included promises to do more, and do worse, but was laced with threats to shut down the government if it failed to bow to Trump. And a speech that took One Giant Leap toward the criminalization of the opposition.

“A vote for a Democrat in November is a vote for open borders and crime,” Trump said.

He continued, “The open border policies of the Democratic Party are not just wrong, they’re dangerous, and they’re in fact deadly. They’re deadly.”

That speech isn’t just offensive, it’s not just a looming peril for the nation, it’s a demonstration of active and ongoing demagoguery; another step in the unraveling of societal norms and democratic processes. That speech was outrageous.

So why isn’t the press outraged?

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