Stop me if you heard this one before

Trump is arguing with historians. He’s claiming that some golf course he owns is also the site of a historic Civil War battle (if so, good job of historical preservation, guy); real historians are saying he’s wrong, the battle he’s talking about took place miles away. But Trump has a rebuttal!

Trump waved off the historians’ criticisms in his own interview with The New York Times Tuesday.

How would they know that? he asked of regional experts. Were they there?

Maybe this particular battle is written up in the Bible. I don’t know how we could know anything about it, otherwise.


  1. treefrogdundee says

    Say what we will about the man, he does know his supporters: illiterate, mouth-breathing troglodytes who consider vapid cliches endlessly parroted to be the height of intellectual rebuttal.

  2. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    “Were they there?”
    Was Trump? [asking Mr. Trump, since he always refers to himself in 3rd person]

  3. vaiyt says

    Satan (or whatever stands for Satan in Trump-ism) obviously planted all the evidence of where the battle actually happened to deceive the unfaithful.

  4. robro says

    I don’t think of Trump as reading or spouting Bible claptrap too much, but he’s as good at making up fictional origin narratives as any Bible writer.

  5. JP says

    I don’t think of Trump as reading or spouting Bible claptrap too much, but he’s as good at making up fictional origin narratives as any Bible writer.

    Oh, I dunno. Real prophets have generally been much more artful with their words.

  6. robro says

    JP — Some of the words attributed to some of the prophets may be more artful than Trump , but “real” prophets (whatever that is) never write their own material so we have no way of knowing. They’re just part of the origin myth.

  7. PDX_Greg says

    I think we should give Trump the benefit of the doubt. Perhaps he is just being honest and really doesn’t know how they know. This seems totally reasonable to me since his speeches strongly imply that the concept of actually researching anything is not something he understands.

  8. JP says

    Some of the words attributed to some of the prophets may be more artful than Trump , but “real” prophets (whatever that is) never write their own material so we have no way of knowing. They’re just part of the origin myth.


  9. peterh says

    Hey! He can have Muslims gloating over the WTC collapse before anyone in the public had any idea who was responsible; what’s so difficult about having historians who don’t know history? We can’t be letting reality disturb his little jaunt through Fantasyland.

  10. Georgia Sam says

    I don’t suppose it would occur to Donald that his argument cuts both ways: How would he know? Was he there?

  11. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    @Georgia Sam, #17:

    He saw the television coverage of people in Jersey City celebrating the battle.

  12. chuckonpiggott says

    To cut Donald a little slack there was a fair amount of skirmishing around that area but no real battle. No “River of blood” that he cites on his personal historic marker.
    The man’s river of bullshit is amazing.
    Nearest battle was at Balls Bluff about ten miles up the Potomac. Closest marked action was about 5 miles away at Dranesville.

  13. Rob says

    grumpyoldfart @10

    If he wins he will change the world.

    Scary thing is, whoever wins will change the world.

  14. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    just trying to attract customers, for Trumprofits. He won’t accept vague generalities, such as, “somewhere near here Civil Warriors shot at each other”. Has to be very specific and grandiose, to arouse curiosity and attract the gullible. This is the exact location of the continual slaughter that gave this river the name ‘River of Blood’. I the Trump, put this marker here to commemorate the sacrifice of the slaughtered.
    Doesn’t matter if history record the exact location, better if they can’t, so he can just assign it a location on one of his golf courses, so he play the history scam both ways. As in. the historians did not know where it was, so Trump just put the golf course at some arbitrary location. Only after the course was there did he learn of the massacre site, so commemorated it by planting a monument in situ.Then when the historians say there is no evidence of any slaughter there that the phrase was just a general term for the area and the time period, he can fire back that loaded question, “how do you know, were you there.”
    Trump is himself amazed at at his polling success. He is deliberately trying to be as obnoxious as possible, for amusement. In My Opinion (For What It’s Worth).
    Appalling is that people are buying it as authentic and welcoming it.

  15. yoav says

    Maybe Kenny the pork can finance his magic boat park by suing Trump for copyright infringement.

  16. dianne says

    Two thoughts: First, the “were you there” thing is a reference to creationists and Ken Ham. Is Trump pandering to fundies? Tsk. Isn’t his claim that he always speaks his mind and never panders to anyone?

    Second, is he implying that he was there? If he’s claiming to know where the battle was and that the historians must be wrong because they weren’t there then surely the only way he can know is if he were there…

  17. jrkrideau says

    “How would they know that?”,he asked of regional experts. “Were they there?”

    I’ve always thought the best response to an idiotic question like that would be, “Yes, I’m a lot older than I look”.

  18. vaiyt says

    Isn’t his claim that he always speaks his mind and never panders to anyone?

    Considering his track record when it comes to claims, why would you believe that one?

  19. says

    Salon link
    That’s a link to text and video of an excellent takedown of Trump.

    Wow, Seth Meyers just stripped down Donald Trump’s lies and Islamophobia so clearly even your racist uncle will get it now

    Meyers makes the point that Trump doesn’t know how TV works.

  20. slithey tove (twas brillig (stevem)) says

    I’m sure Trump is a strong believer in, No such thing as bad publicity. The importnt thing is to get yer name out there, and in the news is free publicity. *so say anything to get you in the news).”
    And we are giving him the viewership, by laughing at his farts.
    possible, but unlikely, that this could be the debacle that gets us to establish new methods to use to implement the government we want, eliminating just choosing between “bad” and “worse”.

    “Revolution” (thank you, Beatles):

    You say you want a revolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world
    You tell me that it’s evolution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change the world

    But when you talk about destruction
    Don’t you know that you can count me out

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright

    You say you got a real solution
    Well, you know
    We’d all love to see the plan
    You ask me for a contribution
    Well, you know
    We’re all doing what we can

    But if you want money for people with minds that hate
    All I can tell you is brother you have to wait

    Don’t you know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright, al…

    You say you’ll change the constitution
    Well, you know
    We all want to change your head
    You tell me it’s the institution
    Well, you know
    You’d better free your mind instead

    But if you go carrying pictures of Chairman Mao
    You ain’t going to make it with anyone anyhow

    Don’t you know know it’s gonna be alright
    Alright, alright

    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright
    Alright, alright

  21. rietpluim says

    Trump could be right you know. He’s infamous for spoiling valuable sites with golf courses.

  22. mykroft says

    Trump in and of himself doesn’t worry me, since I believe he could not win in a general election. What worries me is what he represents.

    He has made his fortune by understanding the frailties of his financial opponents. Their egos, their fears, their desires. With that understanding he builds a strategy that leverages those frailties.

    Now he is doing this on a national scale, working off of the frailties of the American public. Their prejudices, their fear of change, their sense of losing their privilege. Trump wins by reflecting back to the people what they want to hear; that he can make the things they fear go away, that they can have their privilege back, that he will help the “good” people.

    Trump provides us a somewhat distorted reflection of America today, or at least significant parts of it. We may not like the reflection, but that doesn’t make it any less valid. What needs to happen after Trump joins PT Barnum in the pantheon of past entertaining con artists is a reassessment of what factors in our culture contributed to his rise. Our educational system is a poor shadow of what it once was. Academic achievement is something to be mocked, unless it leads to wealth. Our schools are almost as segregated as they were before the civil rights movement in many areas. There are so many socioeconomic issues that need to be fixed before our culture will have the sense to reject people like Trump.

    Of course, if a Republican gets into the White House these issues will only get worse. The GOP thrives on ignorance, and has little motivation to change things.

  23. bachfiend says

    I went to Gallipoli in Turkey this year for the 100th anniversary of the invasion in the Great War, and then went on to the battlefields of the western front in France and Belgium. The tour I was on just went to military cemeteries, with their thousands and thousands of graves, many of them unidentified. And then there were walls listing the dead for which there were no known graves. Often no known date of death.

    The cemeteries were sometimes on top of the battlefields (the frontline didn’t shift more than a few hundred metres over most of the 4 years of the war despite exacting an enormous blood toll), sometimes kilometres away, near military hospitals, with their horrors, for example.

    The actual battlefields, when you could identify them, were hardly conspicuous after almost 100 years. A low ridge line, a now destroyed farm house.

    It was incredible that Europe stumbled into the madness of the Great War and the delusion that it was winnable after the lessons of the American Civil War.

    Trump is certainly wrong about his golf course being on top of a significant battlefield. After 150 years it’s irrelevant except to a military historian. The terrain will have changed so much that it will be impossible for a common person to imagine what it was about the location that it was considered important enough for the slaughter.