Via the NYT, a quote from Donald Trump’s town-hall interview with NBC News’ Savannah Guthrie:

“Why would you send a lie like that to your followers?” Ms. Guthrie asked him of the theory he had retweeted.

“That was a retweet,” Mr. Trump said. “I’ll put it out there.”

“I don’t get that,” she said. “You’re the president. You’re not like someone’s crazy uncle who can retweet whatever.”

Mr. Trump said he relied on social media to circumvent the news media that he believes is unfair to him. “I wouldn’t be able to get the word out,” he said.

Ms. Guthrie interrupted him. “The word is false,” she said.

Cool your kitten-heels, Savannah! President Trump is a liar, knows it, and doesn’t care. Stop acting surprised and/or outraged, liberal America! Instead of a political class populated by elites with high-falutin’ ideas derived from all that book-learnin’, your political leaders now are mostly unqualified for the job: former actors, athletes or business people. While your public sector remains a preserve for people with relevant qualifications and experience, your elected officials are populist scumbags. Now the US suffers under a President who runs the country like a reality tv show, where only ratings matter. Hard questions don’t trouble his integrity (he sold that under the table years ago) they attack his ego and popularity. He doesn’t like that.

By comparison, here in Oz we have a former advertising executive running the country. His father was a police officer who went on to become the local mayor, so politics was family dinner table conversation in the Morrison household. But Scotty went into tourism first, although he did positioned himself under the wing of conservative political heavyweights of the time, who mentored and sponsored his rise. At the age of 39, Scotty contested Liberal preselection for an electorate in southern Sydney but lost to a bloke called Michael Towke. Then a curious thing happened. Fake allegations surfaced against Towke that saw him stripped by the NSW Liberal Party. Scotty grabs the seat. When an inquiry proves Towke innocent, did the seat revert to the man who actually won the election? Fast forward thirteen years, and the sole beneficiary of this fraud is now the 30th Prime Minister of Australia. WTF.

Is it a truism that politicians by default grotesque, revolting people? I bet if we dug deep into squeaky-clean Jacinda Arden’s past we’d find something to dim the New Zealand PM’s halo. That said, she went to a state school, so I’m struggling to dislike her. As the world’s youngest (37) female head of government, she has not set a foot wrong. Why? Maybe because she’s actually qualified to lead her country. A career politician, she has done nothing other than learn to survive in ‘the swamp’, yet she’s managed to do so in a way that’s avoided making her either grotesque or revolting to the public. She is the antithesis of Donald Trump in every way, and of Scott Morrison in many ways, but her chief appeal (for me) is that she is is a progressive social democrat. Even if it turns out she’s a closet sado-masochist who enjoys a stiff whipping now and then, I still couldn’t dislike her.

I think Donald Trump enjoys a stiff whipping. You can tell by that head. Those expressions weren’t learned in the board room, let alone in front of a camera. They’re straight out of the dungeon. And he’s definitely a catcher and not a pitcher; with his baby hands, even the tiniest riding crop would be too big for his little fingers. So Donald is used to wearing a saddle, playing My Little Pony for a select cadre of elites from the big end of town. I bet there’s a grimy list of names in a locked box somewhere in Jeffrey Epstein’s basement that Trump hopes will never surface. It’s people like him and Jeffrey that inhabit the swamp, their reptilian skin surprisingly thin and sensitive. Savannah Guthrie exposed Donald Trump for what we know he is: not the big brother this world needs right now, but as someone’s crazy uncle.

That’s right, Donald. Time to wave goodbye.

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