Early in this endless week, Sen. Mike Rounds (R-S.D.), as the kids would say, tried it.
During an appearance with CNN, the South Dakota Republican defended President Donald Trump’s hush money payments to adult film actress Stormy Daniels and Playboy model Karen McDougal by characterizing the extramarital affairs and ensuing payoffs as “personal issues.” Furthermore, Rounds argued, the fact that Trump was paying the women at all was simply proof of just how much the president truly loved his family.
“I think he really does care about his family,” the Senator explained. “I think he loves his family and I don’t think he wanted his family to go through this.”
If mental gymnastics were an Olympic event, Rounds just became the Simone Biles of bullshit.
The claim that a man makes hush money payments to his mistresses because he loves his family so much is ridiculous on its face. One might argue that the better way to show you love your family would be to not commit adultery with anybody, much less professional nude models and pornographic actresses, whose fame would ostensibly invite more public fascination than had the adulterer slept with, say, his secretary. But Rounds’ comments are perhaps the most dramatic example of a growing phenomenon: the rebranding of Donald Trump’s myriad embarrassments as somehow embodying not just his actually wonderful personal character but also the conservative ideological ideal. Wave that magic wand and paying off mistresses becomes an expression of family values.
Coming up with this type of bullshit spin can be tough, though. So in the spirit of making it easier for Trump’s pundit lapdogs, I’ve decided to produce a handy guide for the layperson who wishes to turn our president’s more indefensible vices into virtues. You’re welcome, Kellyanne.
Trump University wasn’t a criminal grift that stole from the destitute yet hopeful; it was a celebration of the freedoms of wealthy business owners. Free speech means the university can promise whatever, free enterprise means people are free to give them money in exchange for lies. What could be more American? Ronald Reagan wishes he was this free market-oriented.
THE BILLY BUSH TAPE
The president’s “Grab ‘em by the pussy” comment wasn’t an expression of a deep disrespect for women as human beings. It was an expression of how cherished and important women are to him. Would the president want to grab something that he didn’t want? How could a man who wants pussy so badly that he would grab it possibly disrespect women?
The firing of James Comey wasn’t an obvious attempt to obstruct an investigation into the president’s criminal acts. It was the president seeing in the FBI director great potential as a writer and speaker. Comey was languishing in law enforcement obscurity before Trump turned him into a star. If anything, James Comey should be thanking Trump for his inflated speaking fees and place in bar trivia nights in the future. Seriously, James, show some gratitude.
IVANKA AND JARED
President Trump personally intervening in granting security clearances to his spent can of Reddi-wip of a daughter and her slimy mediocrity ferret of a husband wasn’t treasonous nepotism. In fact, it was empowering to women, as his daughter is a woman and she is now empowered. It was also empowering to men named Jared, a long-oppressed class in the world of international diplomacy. That Trump! Always giving a hand up!
THOSE OTHER PEOPLE AROUND TRUMP
And speaking of phrases that start with the word “hand,” there’s that matter of the president seeming to surround himself with sex creeps and their enablers. His pal, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft, was just busted for receiving a happy ending at an illegal massage parlor in Florida. The founder of said spa was at Mar-a-Lago watching the Patriots win the Super Bowl this year, a table over from Trump. Bill Shine, the just departed White House’s communications director, proved himself most adept at turning Fox News into a veritable Disneyland of sexual harassment. Brett Kavanaugh, Trump’s most recent Supreme Court nominee, might have been a sex monster nightmare at high school and collegiate parties. Rob Porter, Trump’s former top aide, was a Lego-faced aide whom the president went to great lengths to keep in his White House job despite the fact that he abused both of his previous wives. And then there is Roy Moore, the Alabama Senate loser who earned Trump’s support despite being banned from a shopping mall for harassing teen girls while he was in his thirties.
You may be asking: Isn’t it odd that the president was and is on Team All Of Them? That’s the wrong question! Maybe his propensity to befriend men whom most people wouldn’t trust around their daughters isn’t a reflection of pathological misogyny but actually evidence that the guy just believes in second chances. Forgiveness. You know, like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Speaking of forgiveness and second chances: Let’s talk about Dinesh D’Souza, a turtle who became so enraged about losing his shell that he violated campaign finance law and ended up with a felony to his name. President Trump pardoned him. Naysayers and non-patriots might say this is because the president likes right wing nutjob conspiracy theorists, along with jokes that don’t make any sense, and incredibly bad films that hipster shitheads watch ironically under the influence of edibles. Or that Trump believes that violating campaign finance law is fine, since he seems to have done it as well. But the naysayers are wrong. Trump just believes in forgiveness, in the ability of the soul to cleanse itself with just a touch of presidential intervention. Trump is basically Malala.
This one’s tricky: the policy that separates migrant families at the border and locks children in cages (hate banshee Kirstjen Nielsen might disagree with that assessment, but what can you do? They’re cages). Now, a simple-minded person might say that separating children from their families and locking them in cages is a sadistic policy championed by Stephen Miller, an oily 33-year-old fetus. But smart people who love the president and their country know that one of the most important stages in child development is the very separation of children from their parents. Kids need to develop their own identity in order to grow and thrive in today’s world. In a way, family separation is giving these kids a leg up. They should be thanking the president, honestly, ideally in English.
See? Trumpian mental gymnastics isn’t hard. All you need is a head full of garbage and to be devoid of principles. Can’t wait to see which of these gets used on cable news first.