Were You Waiting With Bated Breath for Trump’s Big Announcement on Abortion? Plop: It’s Here.

by | Apr 9, 2024 | The Truscott Commentaries

Trump abortion announcement. Image: video screenshot

Were You Waiting With Bated Breath for Trump’s Big Announcement on Abortion? Plop: It’s Here.

by | Apr 9, 2024 | The Truscott Commentaries

Trump abortion announcement. Image: video screenshot

Trump's abortion statement is like a hostage video made by a desperate man: "Save me, just get out there and vote for me, vote for Donald Trump, me me me me, just please vote for me and keep me out of jail."

Republished with permission from Lucian K. Truscott IV

Please give me a moment while I reach around and pat myself on the back, because I just finished watching the video of Trump’s abortion announcement on Truth Social, so you don’t have to. In a word, it was excruciating.

Four minutes and twenty-six seconds, every nanosecond a whiny, lying, excuse-filled pander to…well, it was unclear just who he was pandering to, really. He bragged about ending Roe v. Wade, even going so far as to thank the six justices by name who voted the way he wanted them to in the Dobbs case. He lied about the Democrats, “the radical ones because they support abortion up to and even beyond the ninth month, and even execution after birth, and that’s exactly what it is. The baby is born, and the baby is executed after birth.”

He finally got around to what I guess we’ll have to call his “position” on abortion, which is that returning the matter of abortion to the states is just fine with Donald Trump, thank you very much. “The states will determine by vote or legislation or perhaps both, and whatever they decide must be the law of the land, in this case the law of the state,” Trump intoned gravely with a flurry of little waggles of his chin as he read the lines on the teleprompter. 

The pandering then took a further turn toward his fundamentalist Christian base, as he explained that “many states will be different, many will have a different number of weeks, or some will have more conservative than others, and that’s what they will be. At the end of the day, this is all about the will of the people. You must follow your heart, or in many cases, your religion, or your faith.”

The video, in which Trump stood in his blue suit and red tie and spackled face and frozen hairdo flanked by American flags against a wood-paneled wall somewhere in the depths of Mar a Lago, was a strange assemblage of jump cuts and edits, clipping Trump’s sentences mid-head-nod, cutting to a tighter shot, then a wider one.

He went off teleprompter at the end of his peroration on executed babies, explaining “that is unacceptable, and almost everyone agrees with that…” but before he could finish his thought, they cut to a wider shot so he could go into his endorsement of the end of Roe v. Wade, telling his audience, “My view is, now that we have abortion where everybody wanted it from a legal standpoint…” and they cut away again, to the “law of the land” or “law of the state,” and they clipped him off again.

Trump’s statement on abortion today sounded like the tape he recorded in the garden of the White House on January 6 after Meadows finally dislodged him from watching the attack on the Capitol in his dining room. They had to drag the January 6 statement out of him kicking and screaming and had to include his paeon to the mob, “we love you,” to get it done and tweeted. The abortion tape has the same feel—you can see him struggling to get the words right, and you can almost feel the roomful of aides stopping and starting the taping, because they know his big statement on abortion is going to make exactly no one happy. 

“Like Ronald Reagan,” he explains, he is for exceptions for rape and incest and the health of the mother, a wildly unpopular position among so-called “pro-life” groups who want babies born no matter if the mother is 10 years old, like the girl from Ohio who had to travel out of state for an abortion, because Ohio law doesn’t have an exception, even for minor children who have been raped and made pregnant.

Earlier in his campaign, Trump fooled around with a national ban on abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, which didn’t fly because it’s even more unpopular among anti-abortion groups than the lame position he took today. The only part of the tape where he kinda-sorta perks up and seems even marginally comfortable is near the end.

He looks into the camera and leans forward with awkward sincerity and pleads with the viewer in his trademark garbled syntax, “We must follow your heart on this issue,” and you wonder for a moment what’s next, and then there he is, the Donald Trump we have always known, the one who comes first, whose only interest is himself: “But remember, we must win elections to restore our culture,” he says. It takes them three more cuts—to another “always go by your heart,” then one to insert, “but we must win,” and then another cut to plead, “We have to win.”

He jabbers on for a moment with his current mantra of “a failing nation…a nation in decline,” but the closing they duct-taped onto the end of this thing is all Trump, all the time, all about me, you’ve got to vote for me so I win this election. He chokes out everything but that word his mommy told him never to say because it makes you look weak: please.

Throughout the video, you can almost hear the arguments he’s having with his aides every time they stop him for another take, another cut. It’s so clear that he has never had a real position on abortion, the whole Roe v. Wade thing was just a bone he threw to the yapping fundamentalists, he has to squint to get the names of the Supreme Court justices right even to thank them. 

In the end, the whole thing is a hostage video made by a desperate man: save me, just get out there and vote for me, vote for Donald Trump, me me me me, just please vote for me and keep me out of jail, and we’ll talk about some new horrible demand like banning rubbers and sex toys that you Christians blackmail me to support later.

I’m going to start keeping up with his rallies so I can recreate his word-salads. We need a record of his madness, because it’s getting worse, veering off into grandiose mega-lies like baby executions and flights of undocumented immigrants landing in the U.S. so they can register to vote for Democrats, and on he goes, reaching even deeper into the far-right fantasyland where he finds this stuff…

I’m going to continue to listen to his blatherings even if it takes having my wife Tracy buy some webbed straps and lash me to this chair, so that I don’t run into the street screaming for relief and pity.

I promise.

Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV

Lucian K. Truscott IV, a graduate of West Point, has had a 50-year career as a journalist, novelist and screenwriter. He has covered stories such as Watergate, the Stonewall riots and wars in Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan. He is also the author of five bestselling novels and several unsuccessful motion pictures. He has three children, lives in rural Pennsylvania and spends his time Worrying About the State of Our Nation and madly scribbling in a so-far fruitless attempt to Make Things Better.

You can read Lucian Truscott's daily articles at luciantruscott.substack.com. We encourage our readers to get a subscription.

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