MSNBC Panel Obsesses Over Trump Sitting Quietly at Bush Funeral

December 5th, 2018 8:12 PM

Well, folks, our friend David Rutz over at the Washington Free Beacon flagged down quite the case of Trump Derangment Syndrome on MSNBC's Deadline: White House.

It was a funeral for former President George H.W. Bush but all the show's panel could focus on Wednesday aftenroon was Trump, Trump, Trump. Any mention of the recently deceased was only in relation to President Donald Trump. So what did Trump do at the funeral that caused such obsession over him?

Actually, as they admit, nothing. He just quietly sat there but that was enough for host Nicole Wallace and her panelists Peter Baker, Michael Beschloss, and Eugene Robinson to analyze what they supposed was going on in Trump's mind:



BAKER: Well, it was a moving ceremony. You described it correctly, it was a celebration of an extraordinary life. It was a celebration of a time that seems past, right? A time of — as you point out, bipartisan legislation on the environment, on civil rights, on disabilities, protections. And it was a celebration of a style of leadership, one that was very human in its orientation. A style of friends rather than enemies. A style of conciliation, rather than anger. And it was, I think, a moment for Washington to pause and reflect on the way things have gone lately. You saw the President of the United States, President Trump, sitting there watching all of this. Not given a role to speak. Pretty unusual for an incumbent President. At times seemed to be a little defiant. He held his hands up, arms up like this, as if he wasn’t quite happy with what he was hearing but otherwise kept quiet. Decided not to make any outward remarks to spoil the occasion. So it was a coming together for Washington, I think.

So President Trump didn't say anything but from the way he moved his hands and arms we could assume he was "defiant" and not "quite happy." Thus did Baker of the New York Times conclude in his role as body language expert. Here's Wallace:

You covered this. The news of this, and the news of this was its contrast in some ways to great Senator McCain’s funeral. You report, there was less of an overt sense of rebuke to Mr. Trump than at the funeral for Senator John McCain in September where he was not invited, but the implicit contrast between the former and current presidents were hard to miss. And you make this point that everyone felt and hadn’t heard anyone say it out loud or write it until I read your piece, without directly saying so, the speakers pushed back against Mr. Trump’s mockery of the former President’s volunteerism slogan, ‘a thousand points of light’ during campaign rallies this year. ‘To us,’ the younger Bush said ‘his was the brightest of a thousand points of light.

Yikes. Somehow, Baker thought it was worth still going downt his rabbit hole:

That’s exactly right. And Jon Meacham connected the thousand points of light to Abraham Lincoln and said they were the touch stones of the American national hymn in effect. I think that was intentional. Whether it was directly related to Trump’s speech or not. They were a way of defining President Bush for this era and defining what politics could be, the way they felt it should be. And I think it was no accident. There were other moments, too. Brian Mulroney, the former Prime Minister of Canada talked about the importance of NATO and NAFTA. Both things that President Trump, sitting just ten feet away at that point, has questioned or criticized. And I think there was this discussion of finding the best in people and reaching out to people. Again, it was a testament to President Bush but also it’s hard not to hear that and watch the current president and wonder about the very different style of politics.

Oh, the horror. Trump wanted NATO members to pay their fair share. As to NAFTA it has been renegotiated in a way that even many Democrats consider to be an improvement. Here was Beschloss:

If someone says George H.W. Bush was modest, it’s a statement about Donald Trump. If someone — or taken to be. If someone says that George W. Bush tried to reach across the aisle, that’s what most people have done during most of American history, but hard to say it without it seeming like, I guarantee you that Donald Trump, who is not exactly known for not saying everything in his own terms, I’m sure he took those things as insults rather than realizing that people were just saying what they were going to say.

Just a reminder again to everyone that Trump was sitting there not saying anything yet his mere presence at the funeral inspired this laughable outbreak of TDS among the panelists.

And now a final dig from Eugene Robinson: "It really wasn’t about him. All he could do was sit there and the rest of the program went I thought it was very powerful and I thought he was irrelevant and it was — you know, it was a busy day."

All this invective because Trump sat quietly at the funeral. Wow!