Monday, March 25, 2013

Ironic Warnings from Pat Robertson and Donald Trump

by Nomad

To have a sense of irony it requires the ability to reflect, to understand that not everything is as it seems or as we expected them to be. It also requires us to see things from another's person's eyes. In that respect, I suppose irony is one of the more intellectual forms of humor. (As opposed to, say, a cream pie in the face or seltzer water sprayed down your pants.)

One of the most remarkable things about the conservatives of the Republican party is their stunning lack of ironic sense. It's like they can't actually hear what they are saying. It doesn't register. 
For instance, when Speaker of the House, John Boehner said days after the president's reelection that Obama needed to stop this "nonsense" of acting like he won the election, the irony was completely lost on him. 

When Sarah Palin said:
“Leaders are expected to give good speeches, but leadership is so much more than oratory. Real leadership requires deeds even more than words.”
It was clear that the ironic humor of her remark went right over her head. (But then what doesn't?)

Perhaps the problem of this lack of ironic sense lies in the fact that so many of these people are only half as smart as they think they are. They think that whatever they say will never be critically considered or questioned. It is also clear that they do not think that most people cannot remember what was said before last week, (That's why they hate the Internet, I assume. It keeps records.) Knowing the reality is, of course, what makes things ironic.

Sadly too often, these politicians have been proven correct in thinking people will accept whatever they say without muttering to themselves. "Say what?" It often seems as though, if something is said with enough conviction, in a serious setting, with a lot of familiar faces nodding and applauding, these conservative voters will believe just about anything, no matter how ironic, or hypocritical or stupid it may be.  
(However, Romney, very early on in one of his less scripted moments came face to face with a snorting guffawing crowd in Iowa when he tried to tell them that corporation were people.)

Whatever the reason for it, irony abounds when it comes to the conservatives. Here are some two examples of what I am referring to, one comes from Pat Robertson and the other from none other than Donald Trump.  

By the way, thanks to the good people at Americans Against the Tea Party (AATP) for calling attention to this short but amusing clip. 

Last week, Pat Robertson told his 700 Club audience to beware of false prophets who are using religion to persuade the the gullible to fork over their money.  
On a Tuesday broadcast of his 700 Club, Robertson ran a report about the “Profitable Sunrise” pyramid investment scheme which lured people in using religious scriptures.

“Beware of these scamsters, especially scamsters in religious garb quoting the Bible,” Robertson said. “I mean, run from them. They’re all over the place.”
Earlier on his show, he had congratulated a couple for donating to his organization despite the fact they were facing bankruptcy. 
“We encourage you to join the 700 Club. It’s just $20 a month. And if all of us do it together, it gets to be millions and millions and millions of dollars.”
There's never been any question that the Christian Broadcasting Network has always been about collecting bushel baskets full of dollars. The question was where did it all go?
Back in the late 1990s, serious allegations were made about the legitimacy of some of Robertson's charitable activities. 
Far from the media's gaze, Robertson has used the tax-exempt, nonprofit Operation Blessing as a front for his shadowy financial schemes, while exerting his influence within the GOP to cover his tracks. In 1994 he made an emotional plea on The 700 Club for cash donations to Operation Blessing to support airlifts of refugees from the Rwandan civil war to Zaire (now Congo).
However, Reporter Bill Sizemore of The Virginian Pilot reported that
Operation Blessing's planes were transporting diamond-mining equipment for the African Development Corporation, a Robertson-owned venture initiated with the cooperation of Zaire's then-dictator Mobutu Sese Seko. After a lengthy investigation, Virginia's Office of Consumer Affairs determined that Robertson 'willfully induced contributions from the public through the use of misleading statements and other implications.' Yet when the office called for legal action against Robertson in 1999, Virginia Attorney General Mark Earley, a Republican, intervened with his own report, agreeing that Robertson had made deceptive appeals but overruling the recommendation for his prosecution. Two years earlier, while Virginia's investigation was gathering steam, Robertson donated $35,000 to Earley's campaign--Earley's largest contribution."
Questions also emerged about Robertson's charity work during the relief operations following Hurricane Katrina. 
*    *    *   *
While business mogul and reality TV star Donald "Bad Hair" Trump has never held an elected position, he certainly speaks like some kind of senior statesman, gifted with a surplus of political wisdom. In fact, the closest he has ever come to any sort of political office has been hinting that he might run for president in 2000, 2004 and 2008. 

In the 2012 election, Fox News' Greta Van Susteren actually suggested that Trump might be a possible vice presidential selection by Michele Bachmann, if she were to win the Republican nomination. 

Can you imagine that? 

Neither can I .
During the recent Republican CPAC 2013 fundraiser, business mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump gave his two cents about what's wrong with the Republican Party.

Let's listen to what he had to say:

Nastiness is something Trump does know a thing or two about. His personal attacks launched from his Twitter account have ranked as vile, especially from somebody who expects to be taken seriously? (Or does he.. really?)  
He once said that Arianna Huffington:
"[She] is unattractive both inside and out. I fully understand why her former husband left her for a man- he made a good decision.”
Like this example, many of his statements seem to be misogynistic or at least, depressingly backward.
When it comes to mean-spirited of the political kind, Trump is something of an expert.  In an interview with Associated Press, Trump suggested that the president had been a poor student- a claim unsupported by any proof- and that, according to Trump, Obama hadn't even deserved to be admitted to the Ivy League universities he attended.  
Higher education, he seems to imply, must be reserved for sons of rich kids like himself. (Trump works hard at the image of being a common man, or rather, appealing to the working-class male's image of what it means to be rich. In fact, Fred Trump, his father, "a bona fide self-made man and real estate tycoon who brought his son into the business." )

In the run-up to the election last year, Trump announced that he would reveal an “October Surprise” -  a bombshell involving the president. He suggested it could turn the election around. In spite of having a long history of such publicity stunts, Trump was able to grab headlines from publications, like Forbes, who really should have known better. 
 In the end, it was nothing but Trump tripe. Some silly challenge to the president to release his university transcripts in exchange of $5 million to the charity of Obama's choice.

Following the landslide election results, he famously tweeted:
This election is a total sham and a travesty. We are not a democracy!
He also wrote:
Our country is now in serious and unprecedented trouble.. like never before.
Let's fight like hell and stop this great and disgusting injustice! The world is laughing at us.
So much for losing with grace and dignity. (Where was he went George W. Bush won the 2000 election through the decision of a conservative Supreme Court?) 
One NBC news anchor said that Trump had become a person “who has driven long past the exit to relevance and has veered into something closer to irresponsible.”

Trump's Speech: Empty Chairs
And yet, for some reason, somebody in charge of the fundraiser gave him an opportunity to lecture the Republican party. 
If the Republican party really wants to give the American voters a viable alternative, a reasonable opposition, then the first step would be to remove the influence of people like Trump and Robertson from the party.

But here's the punch-line.

As Trump was telling his audience that conservatives "don't like to hear what we have to say," he was in fact speaking to rows upon rows of empty chairs.

But then, talking to empty chairs is fast becoming a Republican tradition.

Ask Clint Eastwood.