Back when Obama was our president, Donald Trump would greet positive job growth reports from the Bureau of Labor Statistics with skepticism…. Actually, it was more than just skepticism. He said that they were fake numbers. “Don’t believe those phony numbers when you hear 4.9 and 5 percent unemployment,” Trump said in February 2016, when asked about a report detailing job growth under the Obama administration. He went on to say, “The number’s probably 28, 29, as high as 35. In fact, I even heard recently 42 percent.”
Now that he’s President, though, he’s a little less anxious to call such positive economic reports “phony.”
Yesterday, when the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that 235,000 new jobs had been added to the U.S. economy over the past month, Trump, through While House press secretary Sean Spicer, said that it was now safe to trust these numbers.
“I talked to the president prior to this, and he said to quote him very clearly, ‘They may have been phony in the past, but it’s very real now,'” Spicer said with a chuckle.
And the White House press corp, for what it’s worth, laughed right along with him.
This might seem like a trivial thing. I mean, most of us already know that Trump is a liar. But, Jesus Christ, this gets under my skin, this kind of winking acknowledgement of the fact that, ‘Yeah, everything he says is bullshit intended to manipulate the suckers in the Make America Great Again hats, but we know that it’s just a game, right?’ So, yeah, let’s share a big, hearty laugh about it now. We’re all in on the joke, right? The whole thing just infuriates me, and the fact that the press corp laughed along just makes it that much worse.
I mean, I knew that Trump was never going to “drain the swamp,” and that he didn’t really give a damn about Hillary Clinton using a private email server. I knew that his whole administration was built on a foundation of deceit. I wouldn’t say that I was alright with it, but it made sense to me. This, though, seems different to me. I didn’t think it was possible, but this is even more insidious. They aren’t just lying, but they’re simultaneously lying and laughing about it. They’re acknowledging that it’s all bullshit. And they know there’s not a damned thing that we can do about it. We’re so far down the alternative fact rabbit hole, we don’t even know which way is up anymore. All we can do, I guess, is laugh right along with them.