“[T]he same standard [should] be applied to this president as the past president”

A White House spokeswoman on Monday criticized the media while defending President Trump after he claimed that former President Barack Obama wiretapped Trump Tower before the election. “The media loves to create this false narrative against the current president but is so quick to dismiss anything under the past administration,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Monday on NBC’s “Today” show. “If the president walked across the Potomac, the media would report that he couldn’t swim.” Huckabee Sanders said the current administration is asking that “the same standard be applied to this president as the past president.”

A very wise person once observed that religion is the first refuge of a scoundrel. While that’s undoubtedly true, a very close second as a port in a storm is propaganda, followed by insulting the intelligence of lucid Americans. I can’t help wonder if Ms. Sanders actually believes the words she’s vomiting forth…or if she understands that doing her job means repeating talking points regardless of their veracity (or lack of same). If she were to listen to herself- I mean, REALLY listen- I have to believe she’d be embarrassed and perhaps even ashamed at the sheer ridiculousness of her statement. The implied expectation that the media assume anything uttered by President Trump is true is as arrogant as it is absurd. The man’s sociopath who lies faster than the speed of fact-checking; how could such pathological dishonesty be gifted with anything resembling credibility?

The typical (and tiresome) Conservative persecution complex notwithstanding, the media is understandably reacting to a President who’s demonstrated himself to be pathologically dishonest. If someone lies to you constantly, it’s not at all unreasonable that at some point you’re going to default to proceeding from the assumption you’re being lied to. If President Trump had demonstrated a commitment to being honest, reasonable, and above board, the media would be favorably disposed to giving him the benefit of the doubt. If you consistently lie faster than the speed of fact-checking, you can’t claim to be surprised or offended when people no longer see any wisdom in taking you at your word…because your word is worth the oxygen used to protest your innocence.

Ms. Sanders should be ashamed to willingly peddle such cheap, transparent propaganda. Then again, Conservatives very often aren’t blessed with the ability to feel shame. It’s not like the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Her father, former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, has clearly been her role model when it comes to dissembling and prevarication. Her father may have been a Christian minister, but his relationship with the truth has always been problematic at best…and nonexistent at worse.

Then again, we learn from the role models in our life, no?

As for Ms. Sanders’ request that “the same standard be applied to this president as the past president,” my first response is maniacal laughter. Does she not realize that the same standard WOULD be applied…if this President conducted himself in a manner even faintly reminiscent of the dignity and integrity of the past President? If your default is dishonesty, people will treat you like a liar. If President Trump wants to be treated with the respect and dignity afforded a man of integrity, he should act the part. That’s not a challenge for most people, but for a despot and sociopath lacking even the barest minimum of integrity and self-awareness it’s probably a bridge too far.

Despite what the role of spokesweasel might demand of Ms. Sanders, she doesn’t get to demand this President be respected when he conducts himself in such a thoroughly disrespectful manner. Respect must be earned…and this President has done little to demonstrate his worthiness of being treated with the regard normally afforded a President.

This emperor has no clothes. It’s time Ms. Sanders woke up, smelled the cat litter, and admitted she and every other Trump apologist is trafficking in lies and cheap propaganda.

This is how democracy dies.

Nice work, America.

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