Donald Trump likes to start beefs with people. Often.
I’m not sure why. Maybe he’s easily enraged. Maybe he thinks his more populist fans need a Two Minutes Hate every day. Maybe he just gets bored easily and needs something to fill the time in between his more substantial outrages.
Most of his targets aren’t seriously harmed — there isn’t much weight or substance behind Trump’s bluster, and a good many people regard being hated by Donald Trump as a badge of honor.
And then there’s Chuck Todd, who may never recover from this one.
NBC’s Chuck Todd is responding to President Trump calling him a “sleeping son of a bitch,” saying that he doesn’t allow his children to “to say anything negative, ever, about the president.”
“I bring my kids up to respect the office of the presidency and the president,” Todd, the moderator of “Meet the Press,” told News4 in Washington, D.C., on Sunday. “I don’t allow them to say anything negative, ever, about the president.”
“Sleepy Chuck Todd” is a pretty feeble insult. It doesn’t have the rhetorical heft and staying power of “Crooked Hillary” or “the Failing New York Times.” So I’m at a loss as to why Chuck Todd felt the need to throw away his credibility this way.
The context makes it a little better:
“It creates a challenge to all parents when he uses vulgarities like that,” he added.
What he was probably trying to say is “you’re behaving worse than I let my kids behave, you feckless orange manchild,” but what actually came out of his mouth was “I don’t let my kids question powerful people.” If he really parents his kids that way, that’s a problem:
Todd has two children, ages 14 and 11.
…because they’re at the age when they’re starting to form their own political opinions, and fatherly advice like “don’t say anything negative, ever, about the president” will not turn out well. Also, only a power-worshiping lickspittle would say something like that.
And if he doesn’t parent that way, then he’s lying to us.
So, lickspittle or liar? Either, in a journalist, is bad. It would have been a lot easier for Chuck Todd to either shrug off the “Sleepy” thing or to embrace it (“I’m afflicting the comfortable”). But no, he just had to self-own.