Liar, Liar | Opinion | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly
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News » Opinion

Liar, Liar

Taking a gander: naked from the waist down

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Physical modesty doesn't appear to be a concern of the Trump administration. After a term filled with serial prevarications, exaggerations and endlessly misleading statements, I find it amazing that POTUS, Attorney General William Barr and press secretary Kayleigh McEnany aren't in a constant state of in flagrante delicto, caught with their pants down.

As Trump passes his 18,000th lie in office, he and his mini-me's—true to form—are pointing fingers at every legitimate source of information, crying out, "fake news."As the economic disaster powers on and health remains the focus of the entire world, there's no sign of Trump's dishonesty abating. Instead, Trump's average of 15 lies per day—which persisted through most of his first three years in office, has ramped up to an incredible 23 per day. Many are old and familiar, but the coronavirus and tanking economy have provided fertile ground for new untruths, most of them aimed at sidestepping Trump's own inexcusable failures.

And, like all criminals, there's that certain "honor among thieves," with his entourage of sycophants providing a chorus of reinforcement in an attempt to provide support. At this point, there's little hope for first responders to quell the infernos engulfing their pants. While even the core of Trump's supporters seems to be questioning the competence and infinite wisdom of their stable genius, the lies of the Trump White House still dominate the day. If I were a bookmaker, the odds on the veracity of Trump's next statement would be a sure bet. It's 100%; the "stable" genius is a horse that easily can be second-guessed. Sadly, we knew about Trump's alternative truths long before he was elected, and the reality is that we got what we were expecting. He hasn't let us down.

McEnany, the ex-CNN whiz kid who's in charge of White House propaganda, commits herself daily to the task of fact fabrication. Her first days on the job cemented the perfect understanding of who and what she is. A reporter asked for her commitment to tell the truth, and, without hesitation, she said she would never lie to the press. A devout Christian and law school graduate, that one was a whopper; only moments later, she declared that Trump had "always told the truth." (From a strictly biblical standpoint, lying is not, technically, against the Ten Commandments, unless it's a damaging false witness.)

Since that press conference, it's been more of the same, including her recent assertion—in response to POTUS's latest attacks on Romney—that Mitt is losing support in his home state. Pinocchio, yes, but she still has a pretty cute nose. She's doing what she was hired to do, making sure that anyone who crosses or criticizes the president will end up paying for it. Her legal education has honed her skills of denial, deflection and deceit.

Meanwhile, Barr is everything the lawyer jokes regularly lampoon—especially his belief that semantics can change the substance of truth. "What's wrong with a Mercedes carrying four attorneys plunging into a lake?" We've all heard the punchline: "It could have held five." Barr is the inspiration for such humor. The truth was in the pudding when Congress couldn't get a straight answer from him during the confirmation hearings. Now, actively working on things attorneys general were never meant to do, he has become not the even dispenser of justice, which his position demands, but part of the truth-twisting P.R. core of Trump appointees. The idea that Barr is the top law enforcement officer of our nation is the ultimate bad joke; he officially has taken responsibility for Trump's photo-op at Lafayette Park and ordering, in the name of expanding a safe perimeter, the tear-gassing of mostly peaceful demonstrators.

He was merely doing the President's dirty work—and with absolutely legal intent—in launching a chemical irritant strike hurting those who support Black Lives Matter. Of course, Barr defended his action and did his Mr. Froggy explanation—that it wasn't, as the press called it, tear gas, but a non-chemical pepper spray. Experts and doctors have made it clear that, by either description, the effects of the two are the same. Barr's insistence that it was not a chemical is just another semantic dodge.

And, while there seems to be a religious-fervor mini-rally going on about Trump “being clothed in the armor of God,” it is strange that the Christian Right couldn’t at least provide him with some certified fire-retardant trousers. I can’t help but think that God, as the provider of the best protective equipment in the world, would have given Trump tougher armor than what he’s wearing.

Furthermore, the “pants on fire” could have a disastrous impact on his sex life—abruptly ending his motel dalliances with hookers and his opportunities to steal another Gideons Bible.