In our further “Adventures in Megalomania,” I present to you the Usurper in Chief’s jaw-dropping comments at the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington on Feb. 2.
I know, I know, our jaws are dropping so often, we’re all going to end up with TMJ. But this one’s truly outrageous.
There he was, at an event intended to extend compassion and concern to some worthy person or situation, Leader of the Free World, and he squandered that moment to take a cheap shot at Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Because Trump had to relinquish his role on “The Apprentice” due to financial conflicts while running for president (however, he’s still an executive producer of the show and still raking in cash, so in other words… WTF), a new star replaced him: Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Hmmm. Although I never watched “The Apprentice” because I hated Donald Trump before hating Donald Trump was cool, I might actually have tuned in for Ahhhnold. I’ve loved Schwarzenegger ever since high school. I had a nude Cosmopolitan centerfold of him on my bedroom wall, right under the poster of Robert Plant with his shirt flying open, his golden mane rippling in the breeze, and strutting in some hugely revealing skintight pants.
I was so enamored of Schwarzenegger that I went to see “Pumping Iron” when it was first released, followed his bodybuilding career, and became a fan when he turned Hollywood. “Terminator 2” is one of my all-time favorite movies. (I know, I know… I’m a weird girl. I hate romances and much prefer action and sci-fi. Romances make me roll my eyes back so far that I can see the inside of my skull. Give me car chases and space monsters.)
When Schwarzenegger went into politics, I was amused and interested in his candidacy but didn’t actually vote for him, because… come on. That said, when he won the California governor’s seat, I just shrugged and thought, “Well, at least it won’t be boring.” But, it kind of was. He just dug in and did his job. No, he wasn’t the greatest governor, but he wasn’t the worst either. And, he did well enough to get reelected. He’s no genius, but he took the job seriously and seemed like he was genuinely trying to serve California well. OK, I can roll with that, Republican or not. Besides, it was weirdly cool having the Terminator watching over us. It felt safe.
When Schwarzenegger (I love how spell-check recognizes that word!) took over “The New Celebrity Apprentice,” I was tempted to watch. Why didn’t I? Because Donald Trump is still the executive producer, he’s still making boatloads of money from it, it’s one of his many businesses, and with or without him in front of the camera, the Trump stank is all over it. So, I ain’t watchin’. Period. It appears that many viewers feel the same, because when “The New Celebrity Apprentice” debuted with Arnie in charge, the ratings tanked.
This did not escape the ferret-topped tangerine, and because his gargantuan ego obstructs his view of everything else, he used his first appearance as President of the United States at the National Prayer Breakfast to skewer Schwarzenegger, labeling his performance a “total disaster.”
“They hired a big, big movie star, Arnold Schwarzenegger, to take my place, and we know how that turned out,” Trump noted, because “Apprentice” creator Mark Burnett was there in attendance.
“The ratings went right down the tubes,” Trump continued. “Mark will never, ever bet against Trump again. And I want to just pray for Arnold, if we can, for those ratings.”
National Prayer Breakfast… let us pray for… better TV ratings.
As I mentioned, WTF.
Arnold, however, immediately returned fire with a calm yet blistering Twitter video, and if you haven’t seen it yet, you simply must. It’s sublime: “Hey Donald, I have a great idea — why don’t we switch jobs? You take over TV, because you’re such an expert in ratings, and I take over your job. And then people can finally sleep comfortably again.”
I do believe I’ve fallen in love with Arnie all over again. I need to dig out that old centerfold.
Trump, however, because he is psychologically incapable of hearing any criticism whatsoever without responding like a cranky, overtired toddler (remember his infantile outburst over Meryl Streep’s comments), lashed right back on Twitter: “Yes, Arnold Schwarzenegger did a really bad job as Governor of California and even worse on the Apprentice… but at least he tried hard!” and “Wow, the ratings are in and Arnold Schwarzenegger got ‘swamped’ (or destroyed) by comparison to the ratings machine, DJT. So much for…” and then went on… “being a movie star — and that was season 1 compared to season 14. Now compare him to my season 1. But who cares, he supported Kasich & Hillary.”
Aha! There’s the true heart of the matter! Trump is so pathetically transparent. He’s carrying a big, fat grudge because Schwarzenegger publicly didn’t support him in the 2016 election (see, Arnie’s not so dumb after all), and he’s incapable of getting over it, just like he can’t accept that he lost the popular vote by three million votes. He keeps a tally of every person who’s ever slighted him so he can take any opportunity to strike back.
While serving as our President.
(A little hard stop is in order: Our president does the bulk of his communication on Twitter. Am I the only one who finds this not merely outrageous but downright perilous?)
In summary, I feel it necessary to offer a little reality check for the man who’s wearing out his thumbs on Twitter when he’s supposed to be leading the country: Mr. Trump, “The New Celebrity Apprentice” didn’t flop because of Schwarzenegger. It flopped because the majority of the country loathes you, and will not support anything with your brand on it, including your stupid TV show. It’s not Arnold we don’t like, you buffoon. It’s you.
— Email Debra DeAngelo at firstname.lastname@example.org; read more of her work at www.wintersexpress.com and www.ipinionsyndicate.com