It was built up to be a major announcement. Some broadcasters were actually taken in, especially Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse). It would take out the re-election campaign of Barack Obama at a stroke. But when Donald John Trump, pantomime businessman and king of the combover, made his pitch at 1200 hours ET yesterday, it turned out to be a characteristically cheap hoax.
Donald, where's yer hairspray?
The Donald (for it was he), who had expended so much energy trying to prove his assertion that the Prez was not born in the USA, had failed when Obama had released the long form version of his birth certificate. The request by Trump and those of like mind, of course, wasn’t anything to do with Obama being an African-American, oh no. Perish the thought.
And yesterday’s announcement wasn’t, either: this was now all about transparency. Yes, despite every last scrap of information about Obama’s life having been dug up, pored over and otherwise analysed, Trump was now insisting that he was “not transparent” and moreover that he was the “least transparent” President of all time. And he wanted to see Obama’s college records and passport applications.
Er, what? Just what would that demonstrate? Perhaps Trump imagined that Obama would have his place of birth shown as Hawaii on his long form certificate, only to say on his passport application that he was really from somewhere else? No matter: the self-made convocation of bad taste and conspicuous consumption was offering $5 million to the charity of Obama’s choice if he complied.
That’s rather like saying “Do as I say or the children suffering from cancer get it”, so rather more subtle than Dr Evil, then, if only marginally. The media was generally unimpressed, with Jason Linkins at the HuffPo conjuring up the Fox-style rhetorical question “Was Donald Trump's Announcement A Gigantic, Pointless Waste Of Time Promulgated By A Venal Con Artist?”, thereby getting it in one.
Politico tried to play the news straight, but had to mention that Trump had been “mocked” on Twitter, which is the epitome of understatement. And Trump is in no position to lecture anyone on probity: his career has been littered with financial difficulties and bankruptcies, and his idea of adhering to the sanctity of marriage is to routinely trade up to a newer and more biologically accommodating model.
Indeed, Donald Trump’s idea of accomplishment can be seen in this video tour of his latest executive aircraft, a Boeing 757 which is claimed to be just five years old, but actually first flew in 1991. Yes, the seat belts have 24 carat gold plated mechanisms. It is a temple of tackiness. But, like Trump and his ideas, it is mutton dressed as lamb, something pretending to be more important than it really is.
Because what Donald Trump really is, is a bigoted, racist con artist. And a clown.