A few more thoughts from Paul Waldman of The Washington Post (I’ve removed several of the most painfully ridiculous quotes from last night’s horror show):
No one doubted that the Republican convention would be filled with insane fearmongering, bizarrely dishonest attacks on Joe Biden, and tributes to the party leader’s magnificence so over-the-top that they would not be out of place on North Korean state television. But watching the first night’s proceedings, something else came into focus: an entirely different President Txxxx from the one we all know, one whose actions and character are completely at odds with what we’ve watched over the past four years.
To put it simply: This is Txxxx fan fiction.
For the unfamiliar, fan fiction allows fans to take well-known entertainment properties and write their own scenarios into them, creating everything from brief stories to entire novels. What if Kirk and Spock were lovers? What if you threw Harry and Hermione into the “Star Wars” universe? What if the singers from “Pitch Perfect” had to fight zombies?
Or what if Txxxx were a caring, compassionate, totally non-racist person who saved America from the coronavirus pandemic? Wouldn’t that be an interesting twist?
So Republicans decided that the way to handle the crisis affecting all our lives was to present an alternate timeline, a bizarro-universe story in which rather than spending months denying the coronavirus would affect the United States and claiming it was about to disappear, Txxxx was in fact the only one who realized how serious it was.
“One leader took decisive action to save lives: President Dxxxx Txxxx,” said the narrator of a video laying out a fantasy in which Txxxx personally wrestled the pandemic into submission.
Speakers were brought in to testify to how fantastically Txxxx performed and how much America benefited. . . .
You’d never know that over 174,000 Americans have died of covid-19, or that while many of our peer countries, such as Germany, Canada, and South Korea, have the pandemic largely under control to the point where their daily death tolls are in the single digits, America is still ravaged by the virus.
But not in the GOP fanfic. “Just imagine what 2020 would have looked like,” said cancer survivor Natalie Harp, had Txxxx not done such a magnificent job. “Millions would have died. Millions more would have been infected.”’
Just like in all those countries unfortunate enough to lack the benefit of Txxxx’s leadership, like … um … well, anyway, the pandemic is pretty much over, right?
Then there was the rewriting of Txxxx’s character. That Txxxx we all know, the petty, vindictive, crude, selfish narcissist who only seems comfortable around other humans when they’re telling him how great he is? Forget that guy. The convention gave us a fan-fiction version of Txxxx, one brimming with kindness and compassion.
“I’ve seen up close a man who has a deep love for family,” said RNC chair Ronna McDaniel, who literally was forced to change her name because Txxxx found the “Romney” in it displeasing. (She’s Mitt’s niece.) . . .
Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan told us “how much he truly cares about people” . . .
Former football star Herschel Walker testified too to Txxxx’s boundless love for ordinary people. . . .
Walker also insisted that Txxxx — he of the racist birther lie, “s—hole countries,” and too many bigoted remarks to mention — is actually a great friend to Black people. . . .
Four years ago, the Republican Party said to America: Why not the worst? What if we searched far and wide to find the most corrupt, immoral, ignorant, narcissistic, impulsive, childish, bigoted demagogue in all the land, a guy who cheats on his taxes and has been accused of sexually assaulting women and is a literal con artist, and made him president? Which we did, and we all know how it worked out.
So now they ask: What if we imagined that none of that actually happened? If we imagined a Txxxx who is kind, gentle, and compassionate, and the worst disaster of his presidency, the one that has destroyed so many families and left the economy devastated, never occurred? What if that spectacular failure was actually a tremendous success? Wouldn’t that be great? . . .