A friend mentioned that in my blog posts about Trump, I often use the words “toady” and “toadies” to refer to the people around him.
And why not? It’s the perfect word:
And here are some excellent synonyms:
I use “toady” and “toadies” for people like Pence, Mnuchin, Pompeo, McConnell, Kudlow, McCarthy, Mulvaney, Kushner…
…Barr, Graham, Miller, McEnany, Wheeler, Conway, Trump’s offspring, other Cabinet members…the people you see on TV who, when asked a question about Trump, get that acolyte glow on their face like they’ve just had a religious experience.
And for them – they have.
I mention this now because of a recent example of just how obsequious (“obedient or attentive to an excessive or servile degree”) Trump’s toadies are, and how truly afraid of him as well.
On at least three recent occasions, when Trump was talking about the pandemic crisis, he referenced the flu pandemic of the early 20th century.
And while I’m no expert, I do know that that pandemic began in 1918.
It’s commonly referred to as the “1918 Flu Pandemic” – for example, on the Centers for Disease Control website…
In reference materials…
In the media…
It’s tempting to say that everyone with a basic knowledge of 20th century American history knows it was the “1918 Flu Pandemic.”
Tempting, but inaccurate.
Because – no surprise – the Ignoramus-in-Chief does not.
Trump referred to it as occurring in “1917.”
Over and over and over again.
Here’s one example:
The article recounts,
“Trump was responding to a question about what he would say to children, many of whom have been stuck at home while the coronavirus pandemic has forced schools across the country to close temporarily.
“‘I would say you are a citizen of the greatest country anywhere in the world. We were attacked like nothing that’s happened possibly since 1917. Many, many years ago. We were attacked.’”
Same error, different quote, from a March 27 New York Post article:
“Swine flu is pretty bad, but it wasn’t to the extent of this. I think you probably have to go back a long ways to go to this one. Who would think – I read about the Spanish Flu – that was 1917 – which killed anywhere from 75 to 100 million people.”
And yet another one, from an April 4 Newsweek article:
“Trump said thousands of military soldiers, doctors and nurses will be directed to hot spots around the country to help supplement local physicians and nurses treating the virus.
“‘We’ll be telling them where they’re going. They’re going into war, they’re going into a battle that they’ve never trained for. Nobody’s trained for, nobody’s seen this, I would say since 1917, which was the greatest of them all.’
“The 1917 reference was for the 1918 flu pandemic, which was the most severe pandemic in world history, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.”
And while I was noticing this repeated error, so were others:
I’m certain at least one or two of Trump’s toadies noticed as well, and that’s my point:
Not one of the toadies corrected him because they’re all too busy sucking up to him.
And they’re all too afraid of him.
Because such a conversation would have sounded like this:
Toady #1: Fine pandemic briefing today, Mr. President, so well done, your best yet.
Trump: I nailed it, didn’t I?
Toady #2: You did, indeed, sir, you did indeed.
Trump: I gotta call Hannity and see what he says. Did you want something else?
Toady #3: Yes, sir. I mean…well, not exactly, but…it’s…um…
Trump: And tomorrow morning I’ll call Fox & Friends – they love me on that show. You’ve seen how much they love me, right?
Toady #2: Yes, sir. It’s just that…that…over the past few days, when you’ve been talking about the coronavirus pandemic…
Trump: Yeah, that Chinese flu thing.
Toady #1: …and you’ve been referring to the Spanish Flu pandemic and saying “1917.”
Trump: Yeah, and something else happened that year, too. 1917, war or something, right?
Toady #3: Yes, sir. Yes, but not the flu. That didn’t happen until 1918.
Trump: Are you…saying…I…MADE…A…MISTAKE?
Toady #1: Oh, no, sir, never! Ever! We just thought you’d want to know…
Trump: I don’t pay you to #@%!#!ing think! You’re #@%!#!ing fired! You’re ALL #@%!#!ing fired!
None – not one – of Trump’s offspring, his Cabinet, his chosen advisors had the huevos to offer this tiny correction to help Trump look just a tiny bit less ignorant.
Because if they do…
Update April 28, 2020:
Here’s perhaps the worst toady of all:
Dr. Deborah Birx, the Coronavirus Response Coordinator for the Trump Administration’s White House Coronavirus Task Force.
On April 23, there she sat on the stage at Trump’s briefing as he talked about disinfectant and suggesting getting it into the lungs was a coronavirus treatment option:
He turned to her several times as he spewed out more of his ridiculous, unproven, dangerous and in this case, deadly theories.
Let’s take a closer look at Dr. B:
There she sits, eyes lowered, head bowed, hands clasped in her lap, looking like a first grader who’s getting a shellacking from the teacher.
Now let’s imagine…
Imagine that instead of sitting like a spineless lump, Birx stands up and says, “No, sir, absolutely not. What you’re talking about – getting disinfectant into the body – is dangerous and could be deadly and it’s totally wrong.”
Then she turns to the camera and speaks to the TV audience: “I ask – I beg – the American people to disregard what the president just said. Never, ever, under any circumstances should you inject or ingest any kind disinfectant into your body. It will not kill the coronavirus but it could kill you.”
Because she’s another Trump toady.
And because of that – we have this: