As if we needed proof of the seemingly obvious …
Sean Spicer’s performance this week has confirmed what many Americans have long suspected, which is that he’ll go down in history as one of the most inept White House press flacks in the history of the office.
My goodness. How does one calculate the impact of this man’s performance as he sought to clarify, re-clarify, and then re-re-clarify a statement he made about the Syrian government’s use of chemical weapons on civilians?
However, at another level, I feel a bit badly for Spicer. He is merely representative of the most incompetent presidential administration I’ve ever witnessed. Hey, I’m now 67 years of age. I’ve been watching these transitions with some interest now for quite some time. I’ve witnessed presidents assemble governments quickly in the wake of intense national tragedy and national scandal. None of them compares with the bungling boobery we’ve witnessed with the Donald John Trump administration.
Spicer this week demonstrated precisely the muddled messaging that occurs with startling regularity.
During his daily press briefing, Spicer said — during the week of Passover, for crying out loud! — that Adolf Hitler didn’t use “chemical weapons” on millions of Holocaust victims. Huh?
He implied that Syrian dictator Bashar al Assad’s gassing of civilians somehow was worse than what Hitler did to European Jews prior to and during World War II.
OK, then he backed off of that … more or less. He said he meant to acknowledge that Hitler gassed millions of people, but was comparing it to Assad’s use of aircraft to drop chemical weapons on “innocent victims.” OK. Then, did he mean that the Holocaust victims weren’t, uh, innocent?
No, that’s not what he meant … he said.
Throughout all this stumbling and bumbling, he dropped in the term “Holocaust center” to refer to the Nazi death camps erected throughout eastern and central Europe during World War II.
Social media exploded.
Finally, Spicer spoke to NBC News and offered a fulsome apology for the mistakes he made. I give him great credit for refusing to say, “If I offended anyone … “, which I consider to be the phoniest form of apology one can offer. He took ownership of his inarticulateness.
He came to the White House after serving as press secretary for the Republican National Committee. I was willing to give him the benefit of the doubt when Trump selected him. Then, during his first press confrontation, he excoriated the media for reporting that Trump’s inaugural crowd was far smaller than the one that welcome Barack Obama in January 2009.
Actually, young man, the crowd was much smaller. There was no need to scold anyone in the media for reporting the truth. Thus, we heard the term “alternative facts” presented for the first time by another White House adviser, the inimitable Kellyanne Conway.
The president keeps telling us that things are going swimmingly at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., when in fact they are not. The president cannot fill key staff jobs; critical political appointments haven’t been made. So, Mr. President, stop insulting our intelligence by repeating such outright falsehoods about your “fine-tuned machine.”
Now we hear that the annual White House Easter Egg Roll — set for Monday — is in trouble because the administration lacks the staff to assemble an event that has become a staple of first families’ occupancy of the White House.
Speaking of first families, where is the first lady, Melania Trump? Isn’t it her responsibility to put this event together?
I’m actually beginning to pity Sean Spicer. He delivered a clunker of a performance this week. It’s tough being the face and the voice of a presidential administration that doesn’t have a clue.