Sadly, as many a comedian noted on Friday, Donald Trump did not come out and announce that his whole campaign has been a giant April Fools’ joke gone badly and dangerously astray. Trump did attempt to declare his call for a ban on abortion, and his statement that women should be punished for having illegal abortions, a kind of April Fools’ prank. Just kidding, he seemed to say. I was misquoted. I mispoke. The media has it in for me. It’s very unfair.
It may be April, and Donald Trump may be a fool, but this campaign is no joke, as it is becoming frighteningly more clear with each passing day. Still, here are some knee-slapping moments offered up by Trump proxies and other assorted right-wingers this week.
1. Sarah Palin gives a basically incoherent speech, which lands with a thud.
Sarah Palin was out there making her boy Donald Trump look just great this week, as only she can! In a speech to the Milwaukee County Republican Party ahead of the next week’s Wisconsin primary, Palin offered up this tossed salad of gibberish, among others:
What the heck are you thinking, candidates? What the heck are you thinking when you’re actually asking for more immigrants—even illegal immigrants, welcoming them in. Even inducing and seducing them with gift baskets: “Come on over the border and here’s a gift basket of teddy bears and soccer balls.”
Apparently, no one understood what she was talking about and reportedly gave her no applause for eight straight excruciating minutes.
She proceeded to ramble about trade, an issue she says only Trump understands. “Trump is the only one who understands the art of the dill [sic],” she said, a coupla times.
You’d be hard-pressed to see a more bored-looking audience, and they showed the Palinator precious little love. Or maybe they were miffed that Trump sent her, rather than showing up himself as Cruz and Kasich did.
At one point Palin tried to draw a direct connection between Trump and conservative patron saint Ronald Reagan. Then she speculated that maybe “the establishment will start a #NeverReagan campaign.”
Oh, good one. If only ’twere possible.
2. Trump’s spokesperson Katrina Pierson thinks if she shouts something, that’ll make it true.
When she got the unenviable job of cleaning up her boss’s mess after he said maybe women should be punished if they have illegal abortions, Pierson took to the airwaves. She started off by asserting that Trump “never called for a ban on abortion.”
The fact that that statement was at odds with recorded facts seemed not to perturb her.
“He said, ‘I would ban it,’” CNN host Alisyn Camerota pointed out. “You are mincing words here.”
“This is a misspeak!” Pierson yelled back, pointing out that Trump has backtracked, taking three different positions on the issue in under 24 hours. “There was a misspeak here, and you have a presidential candidate that clarified the record. Not once, but twice.”
“But his clarifications were also confusing,” Camerota pointed out.
“No, they weren’t confusing!” Pierson shouted.
If you found them confusing, you’re just wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong. Case closed.
Pierson later suggested that we shouldn’t even be talking about what Trump thinks about abortion because terrorism exists.
And just in case you thought things on Team Trump could not get any more surreal, Pierson is now on a reality show.
3. Things just got weirder and even more awful on Team Trump.
Roger Stone, the delightful political operative who made headlines this week bypromising “days of rage” at the Republican convention if Trump is not the nominee, recently had a conversation about how much he would enjoy it if Hillary Clinton committed suicide.
In an appearance on the lunatic fringe radio show and podcast, Caravan to Midnight, that surfaced this week, Stone had the following exchange with host John B. Wells:
ROGER STONE: Hillary gives a $675,000 speech, she talks for 20 minutes to Goldman Sachs, that’s outrageous, what did she say and she says she’s going to bust Wall Street. Not a chance—
JOHN B. WELLS: You know, I’d pay that kind of money just to see her jump off the Hollywood sign.
STONE: I’m with you on that.
WELLS: I’d pay for that, I’d sell all my stuff and go, “Hey, come on, I’m a little short here. Somebody help me out, I gotta see this.”
STONE: Yes, I’d kick in on that.
More fun facts about Stone: He recently marketed himself as Trump’s “inside man” to a gathering of conspiracy theorists, where he marketed his books Jeb! and the Bush Crime Family and The Clintons’ War on Women.
He dedicated that last one to a known Holocaust denier.
So, when Trump talks about appointing the “best people” and the “smartest people” when he is president, we’re beginning to see how that all might shape up.
OK, we’re trembling now.
4. Religious right leaders are glad that the whole idea of punishing women for having abortions is now out in the open.
Although Donald Trump has completed his 180 on the topic of making abortion illegal and making women who have one criminals, he sure got the religious right all hopped up about that possibility.
Pat Robertson seemed to struggle a bit with the issue. While he acknowledged that it seems “a bit draconian” to punish women, the fact is, “if somebody says abortion is murder, then what do you do to somebody who commits murder?”
Uncle Pat’s just asking. Just wondering. Just a little idle chitchatting.
Another right-wing charmer seemed much less perplexed about it. Jay Sekulow of the misleadingly named American Center for Law and Justice, a legal group Robertson founded, said if Roe v. Wade is overturned, states can just start making laws on how women can be punished! Yeehah!
RightWingWatch reported extensively on Sekulow’s comments if you’re game to get even more terrified.
5. Conservative media have a new conspiracy theory about Obama.
When a technical glitch resulted in an audio dropout as French president Francois Hollande discussed fighting terrorism at a bilateral meeting with President Obama this week, the conspiracy theorists were all over it.
Conservative media outlets like Breitbart, Media Research Center and the Federalist wasted no time spreading word that Muslim dictator Obama had scrubbed the words “Islamic terrorism” from Hollande’s speech.
Why would he do that? Because he hates America. Try to keep up.
Later, when the White House released the full transcripts and tapes and apologized for the technical error, conservative media was having none of it.