Once again, Donald Trump proves to us that he has no idea where the line between reality and television is drawn, or that there even is a line. As he goes progressively fruit loops day by day, it probably all seems to be television to him, only he can’t manage to fire the screenwriters or yell “cut,” much as he’d like to. Today Trump was asked, while entertaining Turkish president Erdogan, what he thought of the impeachment hearings and this was his insightful take. The Hill:
“I’m too busy to watch it. It’s a witch hunt, it’s a hoax, I’m too busy to watch it. So, I’m sure I’ll get a report,” Trump told reporters when asked whether he had been watching the hearing.
“There’s nothing — I have not been briefed. There’s nothing there. I see they’re using lawyers that are television lawyers, they took some guys off television. You know. I’m not surprised to see it, because [House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam] Schiff can’t do his own questions,” Trump continued.
He’s too busy to watch it, but he knows about the “television lawyers.” It will undoubtedly come as a shock to Daniel Goldman, attorney and director of investigations for the House Intelligence Committee, that he’s now been dubbed a television lawyer, but he probably should take it as a compliment. After all, many months ago, when Trump was getting rid of Jeff Sessions and before he found Bill Barr, he was crying out to the heavens about needing both a “killer” and “more television lawyers.” So the sobriquet, television lawyer, is apparently some kind of a compliment in Trumpworld, even though in this instance it’s a left handed one.
As to Steve Castor, he’s worked for Republicans on the Intelligence Committee since 2005 and he’s supposedly on Trump’s side. Hard to imagine that Trump is castigating him, but again, to know what goes on in the twisted morass of Donald Trump’s thought process is a task that few dare to speculate on.
With respect to Castor, he may not be saving the Trumpian bacon, however, and maybe that makes him a bad television lawyer. Some initial reactions on the first day.
Huge difference in skill framing questions between former prosecutor @danielsgoldman for the majority — polished, prepared & focused — while @HouseGOP lawyer Steve Castor questions poorly framed, factually problematic.
Americans would benefit if @GOP hired a better lawyer
— David Cay Johnston (@DavidCayJ) November 13, 2019
Or, is this what makes one a “television lawyer?”
Steve Castor is hunched over and frowny and looks terrible on TV. This is all Trump cares about!
— Molly Knight (@molly_knight) November 13, 2019
Steve Castor is an inept questioner but in fairness there’s nothing he could say that would shake the ironclad proof of Trump’s corrupt actions with regard to Ukraine.
— Max Boot (@MaxBoot) November 13, 2019
So far Castor is not the golden boy that the GOP might have hoped for. But again, in all fairness, he drew the short straw and is on the wrong side of this case, so that’s to be expected. All he can do is attempt to cast doubt wherever he can, and so far in doing so, he merely looks like an ass.
I’m going to go out on a limb and say what I think Trump means by “television lawyers” in this context. Goldman’s polish and professionalism was a threat to Trump, as well it should be, and so that is seen as a “performance” rather than what it is, a professional doing his job. As to Castor, Trump will find a way to scapegoat him and ultimately, everything will be blamed on Adam Schiff. I venture to say that Trump sees Schiff as his own personal Cecil B. DeMille, putting on a TV show just for the purpose of harassing him, rather than seeing it for what it is, that Schiff is likewise a professional and doing his job. I’ve said it before and will say it again, Trump is so far the phuque over his head in all this, that it boggles description, let alone the mind. He has no remote clue how government works, because all he knows is television, and that’s all he’s ever been good at — and miraculously, that has been enough to land him the highest office in our land.
Karl Marx nailed this one. Marx said “History repeats itself, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” The impeachment of Bill Clinton was quite the histrionic event. This impeachment inquiry, and the subject of it, Trump, is indeed a farce. But farce or no, the truth of Trump’s corruption needs to come out and so far it is.