Loud Noises From A Bonkers Year

 

During lo these long 300 years of his reign, Trump has committed crimes against many things: Empathy, decency, integrity, the rule of law, the environment and economy, the concept of orderly reasoned governance and - cue incoherence and racist, shameless, ceaseless lies - language itself. Trump's twisting and degrading of words, mostly on Twitter/ Fox News, has fostered plenty of commentary - here, here, here. It inspired last year's "alternative facts" - the government is a well-oiled machine, Mexico's paying for the wall, Michael Cohen who? - and the succinct summary of his rhetoric: "Blather, rinse repeat." With eight whoppers a day, it has kept the Washington Post's tireless fact-checkers busy, moved even mainstream media to finally start calling him out, and, as the net tightens and the self-incriminating spewing on Twitter grows ever more frantic - "WITCH HUNT!" - led many to wonder if he knows he has the right to remain silent, and why he doesn't.

It's thus apt that Rudy Giuliani's claim "truth isn't truth," in an August interview on “Meet the Press,” tops 2018's Yale Book of Quotations. The list, compiled by Fred Shapiro, a director at Yale's law library, is "intended to reflect the culture of our time." Quotes are often "not admirable," he notes, which may be why this year they're all by Americans. Some are weighty: Meghan McCain from her father's eulogy, David Hogg on gun control. But most are fittingly scandalous. Brett Kavanaugh: "I liked beer. I still like beer." Kanye West: "The mob can’t make me not love him. We are both dragon energy." And of course Dragon Donnie: "(I am) not smart, but genius...and a very stable genius at that!” Alas, one stellar contender was too recent to make the cut. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, asked last week what she'd like her legacy to be: "To do the best job that I could do to answer questions, to be transparent and honest." Online, many were skeptical. "And I hope my legacy will be winning Olympic gold in gymnastics," "And I hope my legacy is that I was a patient and giving unicorn," and, most succinctly, "Bitch, please."

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