His Lips Are Moving — Trust, Power, and the Presidency

An alcoholic friend of mine used to tell this joke: “How can you tell when an alcoholic is lying? Their lips are moving”.   In therapy, I have changed that to “active” alcoholic because I know plenty of recovering addicts who are trustworthy.  I don’t know if Donald Trump is an alcoholic or an addict, but he now finds himself in the position of many an active addict. No one believes him because his lips — and his surrogates’ lips — are moving.

My mother used to say, “If you tell the truth the first time, you don’t have to remember what you said”.  The entire administration right now is in trouble simply because they broke my mother’s rule. When Sarah Huckabee Sanders says anything, she doesn’t know what the last thing President Trump said was. The President says, “blah, blah, blah” and she says, “No, the President didn’t say that”. Reporters play her a tape of the President and he says, “blah, blah, blah” and now she stammers or yells, as though volume changes the truth. Twenty minutes later, the President tweets or gives an interview where he says something altogether different, and now the Secretary of Defense has to say “that’s not what he said” or “that’s not what he meant” or “yes” and “no” are the same thing”. 

The fact of the matter is that no one believes what Donald Trump says anymore, because of this. If this were a family of a drunk, when tweets come at 3 in the morning, people would be saying, “Daddy’s been drinking again”, and everyone would try to ignore him. But, like that family, they’d never be able to sleep with less than one eye open, in case Daddy follows through with his threat, because Daddy’s a mean drunk. 

How else to describe a man who vowed to replace Obamacare his first day in office, then celebrated with the House when they voted his way, and later called that same vote “mean”? I don’t hear Paul Ryan suggesting anything since then.  Now that he is doing the same to Mitch McConnell, and Jeff Sessions, at some point they will give up on him, too.

So, Charlottesville happened and he sort of says it’s wrong, but nobody believes he meant it. David Duke says, “I’m taking him at his word”. The press says, “we’re taking him at his word”. Now “the White House” says he’s against neo-Nazis, and no one believes him. He threatens North Korea and no one knows what to think.  They ask generals and they say one thing. Trump says another. The press sees them both and no one on earth sleeps with less than one eye open, while the Secretary of State says everyone should sleep well, and we don’t take him seriously.

Anyone who attaches themselves to Trump gets to tell lies, or yells to be believed. Ask Sean Spicer. The Democrats never liked him, and the Republicans are starting to no longer attach themselves to him. Pretty soon, Trump will realize that he’s all alone. In the meantime, I wouldn’t expect anything to happen in Washington. I, personally, am ok with that. Even if Trump wakes up “sober” from whatever his problem, it will take years for us to believe him. By then, it’s 2018. If anyone is looking for Federal help that requires a Presidential action, they have a long wait. Just sayin’.

Resisting with Peace, 
John

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