“Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it,”

Michael Ian Black and Marc Rosenthal, A Child’s First Book of Trump.

Once again, the Tiny Tyrant displays his ignorant and narrow focus on … himself, ever so surprised that yet another thing he claims to have never, ever heard before, in all his 70something years, is something he coined, oh my yes.

President Donald Trump claimed Thursday that he coined the expression “prime the pump,” a commonly used expression in economics with origins in the 19th century.

“Have you heard that expression used before? Because I haven’t heard it,” Trump told The Economist. “I mean, I just — I came up with it a couple of days ago and I thought it was good. It’s what you have to do.”

The Twitter account for the Merriam-Webster dictionary quickly corrected the president.

Merriam Webster weighed in right away:

The phrase ‘priming the pump’ dates to the early 19th century.

Definition of PUMP PRIMING

government investment expenditures designed to induce a self-sustaining expansion of economic activity.

As usual, the Twitterati have been merciless. You can see some of the tweets here.

This is, of course, yet another example of Trump’s narcissism, and for all those who thought it was just fucking terrible of me to point out, several times, that Trump is indeed a pathological narcissist, and dangerous, along with all those qualified to so diagnose (and did), there’s an interesting piece at the Washington Post, where Trump himself brags about being a narcissist, saying it’s vital to success.

Trump’s persistent focus on himself, which he has characterized as “narcissism,” a trait he believes is vital for success in the business world, was an enduring source of humor and eye-rolling through his decades as a celebrity entrepreneur. But during his campaign, Trump said that as president he would turn the focus from himself to the American people.

Conceding that many of his vendors, employees and bankers suffered considerable losses when his businesses went through six corporate bankruptcies, Trump said that “for myself, these were all good deals. I wasn’t representing the country. I wasn’t representing the banks. I was representing Donald Trump. So for myself, they were all good deals. . . . When I was representing myself, even deals that didn’t work out were great deals because I got tremendous tax advantages. . . . I would walk away.”

As president, Trump promised, he would flip his priorities and represent the people. How would he make that pivot? “I’ll just do it,” he said.

Being a pathological narcissist, however, Trump has not made that “flip”. It’s classically narcissistic to think you’d be able to do such a thing. Full story here.


  1. says

    Priming the pump is when you pour water down the top of a pump, to make an air-seal so it’ll draw. It’s similar to sucking on a suction hose.

    Trump is such an ignoramus. It’d be funny if he was a jackass on TV…. no, wait, he wasn’t funny then, either.

  2. coragyps says

    There was a popular song around 1960 that went,
    “you’ve got to prime the water pump,
    have faith and believe….”
    It played ALL THE TIME on the radio in Arkansas. Maybe not in New York City, I guess.

  3. says

    Trump’s persistent focus on himself, which he has characterized as “narcissism,” a trait he believes is vital for success in the business world

    Narcissism is a useful trait for those whose only desire is to be famous. (Those appearing on most TV “reality” shows, for instance. cough-cough.) For those who want to actually achieve something (whether or not they want to be famous for doing so), however; not so much.

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    The phrase ‘priming the pump’ dates to the early 19th century.

    Baby Obama used his time machine to plant it back there, either before or after putting his fake birth certificate in the Hawaii records.

  5. says

    “… because I haven’t heard it” is the classic ‘argument from ignorance.’
    If we’re going to let Trump get away with the argument from ignorance, he’s going to win every argument he gets in, because that guy is one deep-gusher fountain of ignorance.

  6. says

    Well, yes. When an expression enters popular culture, it’s generally well ancient. That’s just a marker of when it became a regular, well-used expression.

  7. says

    … and of course that got me into looking at early pump designs. That was a fun trip down memory lane. (Just a month ago a refurbished a mortician friend’s embalming fluid pump, which was from the 1890s, a lovely thing, but it rocked when I replaced the leather gaskets and valves with silicone o-rings and a silicone flapper valve)

    I hadn’t thought about it but it turns out that the reason Archimedes’ screw pump was such a great innovation is because it has a built-in mechanical advantage (oh! yeah!) and didn’t need priming to work -- you just start turning it.

  8. busterggi says

    I wrote all of Shakespeares plays & poems just this morning and now I have to sue all those people who stole them from me for the past few centuries.

  9. says

    Uh-huh. Even I have heard the phrase (although admittedly I did not immediately understand what it means at that time).
    But, you know, I read books quite a lot, and not only those with bigly pictures.

  10. rq says

    I guess ‘under a rock’ would be a nice definition of where Trump has been living, except I don’t want to insult all those arthropoda I recently photographed.

  11. says

    I don’t think it’s ignorance at all. I think it’s just being narcissistic -- “I invented/coined/came up with EVERYTHING.”

  12. rq says

    True, but I think a lot of that narcissism does come with a healthy share of ignorance -- which just means the ‘I invented it’ route becomes that much more overused, because he’d never admit to not knowing in the first place.

  13. says

    rq, yes, you’re right. It’s a different type of ignorance though, which generally speaking, is innocent and easily corrected.

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