The Faux Innocence of Donald J. Trump

Another day, another scandal. This time the anti-immigrant President turns out to be hiring undocumented immigrants and having their paperwork forged.

He had no idea. Again.

It was all done behind his back. Again.

When he wasn’t looking. Again.

I rarely met folks who overused those words, at least before 2012. Those I did encounter made me, and – maybe it’s projection here – but I think most everyone else would go to bemused annoyance.

“If you will” was one of those pretentious phrases used by would-be sophisticates.

So I found Mitt Romney a little removed, if you will, from any preferred hypothetical beer drinking partners. He glommed onto those words whenever he found himself over-explaining something. It always seemed condescending. “If you will” meant “I hope you’ll go along with my extremely cultivated phraseology, even though you’ll struggle to understand it.”

Sometimes it would be a request for more humble permission. Please forgive my own unfamiliarity with the jargon you lower class people like to use, but I will try to get down with it, if you will.

He stumbled into it most often when he wandered into an uncomfortable situation. And he got uncomfortable fairly often.

Some politicians flip about like weather vanes as political winds shift. They pull it off, though, as if it was second nature. Romney was worse at it than anyone I can think of. When he switched from a strong supporter of gun safety laws to an opponent of any regulation, he cast himself as a lifelong hunter. It turned out he had hunted squirrels, or rodents, or something, twice. It was never clear whether he used a slingshot or a BB gun.

After a couple of days as a life long hunter, he had to backtrack. He went from telling hunters that he was one of them, to explaining that he was actually a hunter-lite, but that he at least spoke what he imagined was the same language as real hunters, the language he imagined the rubes would use. He was clearly uncomfortable, so he if-you-willed the hell out of it.

I’m not a big game hunter. I’ve made it very clear. I’ve always been, uh, if you will, a rodent and rabbit hunter. All right? Small, small, uh, varmints [??], if you will. And I began when I was, uh, oh, 15 or so and uh have hunted, uh, those kinds of varmints[!!], uh, since then, more, more than two times. I also hunted quail in, uh, in Georgia so I’ve, uh… It’s not really big game hunting, if you will, however. It’s, it’s not deer and large animals, but I’ve hunted, uh, a number of times, uh, uh, various types of small rodents.

Mitt Romney, April 5, 2007

Yeah. Varmints, if you will.

He may not have been a big game hunter, but real hunters could take comfort in knowing that they could elect President Yosemite Sam.

Ya lily-livered, bowlegged varmints!

How Bugs Bunny Won the West, 1978

Conservative Carl Cameron reacted:

Any sportsman will tell you: That ain’t hunting. That’s pest control.

Romney briefly got in trouble with immigration. It turned out undocumented workers had worked for him, landscaping the spacious lawn areas on one of his expansive estate homes. He had to counter that in a hurry, so he did. He was ready for the challenge he knew would come in a Republican debate. Rick Perry tore into him. What about those illegal workers you hired? They were still working for you a year later!

He was ready. They had been hired by a subcontractor. And, when he found out about it he had them fired.

So we went to the company and we said: Look you can’t have any illegals working on our property…

Mitt Romney, October 18, 2011

But the company had done it again a year after that so, as Mitt explained, he had to get really tough.

It turns out that once again they hired someone who had falsified their documents, and therefore we fired them.

But he tripped over his tongue again. He explained to conservative viewers just why he had insisted those “illegals” had to be fired, and right away.

I’m running for office, for Pete’s sake, I can’t have illegals.

Oh boy. So he let the audience know it wasn’t any anti-immigrant principle or law-and-order-follow-the-rules ethic at play. It was just because he was running for office and he did not want an image problem.

Running for President puts a strain on any mortal who tries it. Misstatements and gaffes are part of it and Mitt Romney made more than his share. Corporations became people. 47% of the people became leaches who wanted everything for free, as if they deserved family medical care they could not afford and therefore had not earned.

But he did make the President of the United States look sleepy and unprepared in one debate. Losing the other debates was, well, understandable.

Mitt Romney has now become Senator Romney from Utah. He greeted 2019 with an assessment of my President published by the Washington Post. Here’s the title:

The president shapes the public character of the nation. Trump’s character falls short.

Pretty much sums up what now seems prevailing public opinion.

The piece itself was a little harsh in places.

With the nation so divided, resentful and angry, presidential leadership in qualities of character is indispensable. And it is in this province where the incumbent’s shortfall has been most glaring.

But Romney said that, for the most part, he likes the policies and at least the judicial appointments. It’s just the character in the Oval Office that puts him off.

It reminded me of John F. Kennedy poking fun at some Midwestern city during a rally after his election. He said he couldn’t think of another place where he had gotten a warmer welcome and fewer votes. It seems Mr. Trump may not get warm words, if you will, from Senator Romney. But he can count on the Senator’s vote.

I thought back to the 2012 campaign and the immigration controversy as I read about our President’s newest scandal. This one doesn’t involve Russia or payoffs to Not-Safe-For-Work movie or photography models. It involves an ordinary worker in New Jersey.

It turns out that Trump National Golf Club had a different policy toward undocumented workers than did Mitt Romney. They simply falsified paperwork. Up to and after the 2016 campaign, right up to now, the policy was to hire undocumented workers, then keep that practice from the government.

They even provided false information to the United States Secret Service.

Employees kept quiet. After all, they did not want to be deported. At least that was the case until one of those employees, Emma Torres, finally blew the whistle.

It is not an entirely new development in Trump World.

During the 2016 campaign numerous instances were brought up by other candidates. During one debate, Donald Trump had a sound-bite worthy response when Senator Marco Rubio brought up one finding.

You’re only person on this stage that’s ever been fined for hiring people to work on your projects illegally.

No, no! I’m the only one at this stage that’s hired PEOPLE. You haven’t hired anybody.

Donald Trump, February 25, 2016

He elaborated to the studio audience on his response to Senator Rubio:

I’ve hired tens of thousands of people.

He brings up something from thirty years ago. It worked out very well everybody was happy. And by the way, the laws were totally different. That was a whole different world.

But I’ve hired people. Nobody up here has hired anybody.

So it was a long time ago. Laws were different back then. And besides, everybody was happy in the end. A careful listener might discern a couple of logical lapses.

For instance: If things were different and it was not against the law back 30 years ago, why pay a huge fine?

Later on he added another little detail. It was all done behind his back. He had not actually known anyone was hired without documentation.

A few months later, in another debate, Hillary Clinton tried to explain why it mattered.

He used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers, and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do: You complain, I’ll get you deported.

Hillary Clinton, October 19, 2016

Reporters did some due diligence. It turned out that those unpaid or underpaid workers had sued. There was legal documentation in court records.

After that debate, Mr. Trump responded. It was all done behind his back. He had not actually known that anyone was hired without documentation.

Michael Cohen, who has alleged Mr. Trump’s involvement in other illegal schemes had this to say about the criminal activities in which he was involved:

Nothing at the Trump Organization was ever done unless it was run through Mr. Trump.

Michael Cohen, December 14, 2018

President Trump has flatly denied Mr. Cohen’s accusations. Trump supporters initially, and accurately, pointed out that Michael Cohen has a history of telling lies. However, it turned out that Mr. Cohen had recordings that included Mr. Trump’s voice, recordings that demonstrated that our President’s denials were completely untrue, at least regarding Mr. Cohen’s own accusations. My President and his supporters have moved on to other arguments defending his actions.

The contrast between the stumbling Mitt Romney of 2011…

Look you can’t have any illegals working on our property.

… and the Trump organization up to a few days ago is striking. As an apparent policy, undocumented workers have been told to lie low and be quiet while the Trump Organization falsified papers and lied to the United States Secret Service.

Still, it is possible our President is completely without fault.

Once more, it could all have been done behind his back.

Perhaps he had not actually known that anyone was hired without documentation. Or that papers were forged by his organization. Or that lies routinely were told to federal agents.

He could be completely innocent, if you will.

Many thanks to FairandUnbalanced, and our dear friend, Burr Deming.

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Posted by on January 7, 2019. Filed under COMMENTARY/OPINION. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry
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6 Responses to The Faux Innocence of Donald J. Trump

  1. Michael John Scott Reply

    January 7, 2019 at 10:20 am

    He’s never completely without fault. Not ever.

  2. jess Reply

    January 7, 2019 at 1:43 pm

    He is one of those managers everyone hates the one that is in every tiny detail a micro manager so you know he knew about all of this and said go ahead and do it, it’s okay. he was so used to getting his way when he wasn’t prez he thought it would be okay to keep doing. Stupid fucker is going to find out soon how shit really work when house dems start the hearings into his businesses. I CANNOT WAIT, I am stocking up on popcorn. Ooh and guys I tried this new whisky to me on Saturday it was an excellent choice if I say so myself. Highland Park Valkyrie, very smokey, vanilla, fruity smell. Only had a tiny little sip of it because I was driving, but I did go buy a bottle yesterday for a later date
    https://www.totalwine.com/spirits/scotch/single-malt/highland-park-valkyrie/p/183362750

    • Michael John Scott Reply

      January 8, 2019 at 8:27 am

      Valkyrie, the handmaidens of the Gods! I love the name and will try this whiskey if I can find it locally. Thanks, Jess, and you’re right about the house Dems. These investigations should be fun to watch.

      • jess Reply

        January 8, 2019 at 12:19 pm

        It’s a series they are doing of three… Valkyrie, Valknut(sp) and Valhalla. I’ll let you know how it tastes soon because I am bringing it with, when I go skiing this upcoming weekend.

  3. Glenn R. Geist Reply

    January 8, 2019 at 8:53 am

    I love the smell of tar and feathers in the morning.

    I do remember the Watergate hearings as my favorite prime-time entertainment in the day. I’m looking forward to another episode of pin the tail on the lard-ass and playing Wagner’s Ritt der Walküren in the background.

    Götterdämmerung! It’s going to be fun.

  4. Burr Deming Reply

    January 9, 2019 at 4:40 pm

    Mark Twain once offered his opinion of Richard Wagner’s music: It’s much better than it sounds.

    Doesn’t much apply to my President.

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