Trump cultists are crowing today about the president’s State of the Union address, in which King Donald:
A. Proved he can read from a Teleprompter.
B, Called for national unity — as long as you can hold your nose and stop questioning Trump’s divine right to rule. .
C. Made Democrats backward-thinking enough to put up a Kennedy for the rebuttal.
D. Seemed presidential for the first time in his accidental presidency.
No one crowed louder about Trump’s SOTU performance than Bob Bolus, local businessman, political provocateur and owner of the “Trump trailers” deployed during the 2016 election. I can’t stand Bob, but we’ve been friends for years. We are the oddest of couples.
A few weeks back, Bob and I were on a panel at my alma mater, Keystone College, to discuss the first year of the Trump presidency, and what might come in the year ahead. Bob was a last-minute substitute for Keith Eckel, a reliably Republican businessman who came down with the flu.
The rest of the panel: Keystone political science professor Jeff Brauer, Wilkes University political science professor Dr. Thomas Baldino, Lackawanna County Recorder of Deeds Evie Rafalko McNulty. Conservative CNN contributor and Washington Examiner writer Salena Zito also bowed out.
The forum was moderated by Francine Schertzer of Pennsylvania Cable Network, which broadcast the event. Bob is a tried and true Trumper who easily “shredded” us “clueless Democrats” and won the night for his beloved king. That’s the way Bob remembers it, anyway. He was on Twitter and local talk radio Wednesday pushing the Trump brand of patriotism: Just lay still until it’s over.
Bob also doubled down on comments he made at the forum about Clarks Summit native and Olympic figure skater Adam Rippon. Adam is openly gay and doesn’t appreciate Vice President Mike Pence‘s twisted, unscientific belief that homosexuality is a “mental disorder” that can be “cured” through counseling and prayer.
At the Keystone forum, Bob cited Rippon’s sexual orientation as a specific reason he was “disrespectful” to Pence. I tugged on Bob’s sleeve and quietly asked him to stop before he stumbled any further down that dark, dirty road. He did, but there was no such filter on the radio Wednesday.
Bob raised Rippon’s gayness again, and got no pushback from the host, who was giddy celebrating her president’s ability to read from a Teleprompter and ridiculing the Democrats‘ selection of a Kennedy for the rebuttal.
Laugh it up, Trump cultists. Donald won’t have a Teleprompter when he sits down with Bob Mueller.