Number 7 in a series


I have previously pointed to a definition. President Donald Trump got to be the Schlemiel-in-Chief by:

  • Getting elected President.
  • Being an accomplished schlemiel.

There’s no long and torturous route to becoming a schlemiel, but Donald Trump managed to take the low road. He will be forever branded. A significant way-point was his partnering with political pollster and apologizer Kellyanne Conway. My opinion? It got him to the White House, but it has been, and it continues to be a rocky road.

From Wikipedia: Conway previously ran a polling company called The Polling Company Inc./Woman Trend. Last year Conway endorsed Texas Senator Ted Cruz in his bid for the Republican Party nomination and chaired a political action committee supporting Cruz. Her PAC ran ads that struck out at candidate Trump. When Cruz dropped out of the race, Conway became an advisor to the Trump campaign and then later campaign manager after Paul Manafort resigned. Now that Trump is President, Conway is working for the United States government as Counselor to the President. In her current role, as in her role as manager and spokeswoman for the campaign, Conway spends her time explaining. She has a lot of explaining to do, due to some of the President’s outrageous statements and actions.

What most marks Conway is glibness. She could be the very definition of glib. Her ability to deflect an inconvenient fact with a quick and pointed remark is phenomenal.

An example: In an interview with Rachael Maddow, the conversation turned to Judge Gonzalo Curiel, who refused to dismiss a case filed against Trump University:

[MADDOW:] But I guess I want to know whether or not any of those things are going to be put to bed because he’ll apologize for them.  Like when he said that Judge Curiel — Judge Gonzalo Curiel essentially couldn’t do his job as a judge, he would be inherently biased, and couldn’t do that job because of his Mexican heritage, that is something that I imagine caused great personal pain.

Did Donald Trump ever apologize to the judge for that?

CONWAY:  I don’t know that he has.

MADDOW:  Do you think he will?

CONWAY:  But I — well, here’s what I do know.  I think that his now running mate, Governor Pence, when he wasn’t his running mate, put it best about the Judge Curiel situation.  He said, I know what Donald Trump meant.  And here’s what it is.

Every American deserves a fair trial with an impartial judge, but we do not question one’s impartiality based on their ethnicity, race, and a whole host of other …

MADDOW:  Which Mr. Trump did, explicitly, for this judge.

CONWAY:  And I thought — it’s funny, I don’t even know if Mr. Trump noticed that response at the time, but I thought, well, that’s really somebody who has worked with other countries, that really captures it.  And that’s the way I feel.

But I do hope, Rachel, that people who feel that they have been caused personal pain by Donald Trump, looked at his regrets last week in a very public form.  And it’s very unusual for anybody who is running for political office to — frankly, to ever say that they regret causing personal pain.

Glib is quick. Glib is agile. Glib is point on. Except when it isn’t. When it misfires, glib can be disastrous, especially when there are is no room left for forgiveness. An early example was the case of “alternative facts.”

During a Meet the Press interview two days after Trump’s inauguration, Conway used the phrase “alternative facts” to describe falsehoods asserted by White House Press SecretarySean Spicer regarding the attendance at Donald Trump‘s inauguration as President of the United States. Conway’s phrase reminded many commentators of “Newspeak,” a dystopian language style that was a key element of the society portrayed in George Orwell novel 1984. This led to the novel suddenly appearing at the top of the best-seller list, according to Penguin Press, the publisher of the book.

In the above I have modified the 1984 link to point to a review of the book. The blowup over Conway’s remarks was my inspiration to obtain the Kindle edition and to post on it.

More recently Conway felt it necessary to explain away the President’s bizarre mechanizations with respect to immigration from predominately Muslim countries. She famously explained:

On February 2, 2017, Conway appeared in a television news show interview on Hardball with Chris Matthews. In order to justify President Trump’s immigration ban, she referenced an event allegedly perpetrated by Iraqi terrorists she termed the “Bowling Green massacre“.

Her comments immediately blew up all over the Internet and the news wires. Specifically she said:

I bet, there was very little coverage‍—‌I bet it’s brand new information to people that President Obama had a six-month ban on the Iraqi refugee program after two Iraqis came here to this country, were radicalized‍—‌and they were the masterminds behind the Bowling Green massacre. I mean, most people don’t know that because it didn’t get covered.

A major problem with the statement, “it didn’t get covered,” is that it is false to the core. It did get covered:

An Iraqi refugee and former Bowling Green resident serving a life sentence for terror-related offenses failed to prove his attorney was ineffective in representing him and his motion to vacate his life sentence should be dismissed, a federal judge has recommended.

Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, 29, has been incarcerated since 2011 on allegations that he attempted to provide weapons and money to terrorists in Iraq while he lived in Bowling Green.

Hammadi pleaded guilty the following year in U.S. District Court to all charges in a 12-count indictment, including a count of conspiring to export surface-to-air missile launcher systems, which netted him the life sentence.

Conway’s assertion that the incident did not get news coverage is an outright lie, one of many she has perpetrated in the pursuit of glib. She later retracted her reference to a massacre, but it was too late. When you spend months papering news feeds with misrepresentations and fully blown lies, your supply of slack is completely exhausted. Nothing is left but mockery.

Carry on, Kellyanne:

Hey, Kellyanne-Anne, what’s your game now?
Can anybody play?

My apologies to the Hollies. I found it not possible to avoid a slight alteration to the lyrics.

There’s more to come. Keep reading.

And may Jesus have mercy on our souls.


5 thoughts on “Schlemiel-in-Chief

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