One Surprise Reminds Us How Few Surprises We Actually See

March 17, 2019

By Michael Goldman

I have to admit I was more than a little surprised when the top messaging guru for President Donald J. Trump tweeted something really snarky concerning the rich denizens from Hollywood who are facing fraud charges for allegedly bribing educational officials to guarantee their children are accepted into top colleges or universities.

Kellyanne Conway waded into that particular briar patch, which is unexpected because perhaps the worst kept secret in Washington was Trump’s own father many years ago allegedly sweetened the fiscal pot successfully at Penn with enough cash that his not-so-bright son was allowed to transfer into that Ivy League institution despite accruing mediocre-to-poor grades while attending non-Ivy league Fordham University.

Add to that rumor of the father of Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner had himself allegedly donated up to $2.5 million to Harvard to grease the skids for his son’s ultimate acceptance into that elite educational institution.

So, it seems pretty stupid for Conway to have turned the social-media spotlight onto that practice.

The fact is if a slew of investigative reporters weren’t already digging around for confirmation of either or both of those legendary stories before Conway made her ill-advised comment, my guess is at least 50 more joined the fray after she posted.

This got me to thinking about how rare it is that any of us see and read anything in the media that seems to surprise us anymore.

For example, were you at all surprised that President Trump’s 2020 budget included massive cuts in spending on Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and education, even though when he ran for office in 2016 Trump pledged over and over to never, ever, make cuts in Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and education?

Were you at all surprised that Michael Jackson appears to be even guiltier than most of us thought?

Were you really all that surprised when former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort got hammered last week by a second federal judge given that he was let off so easily the previous week by his first sentencing judge?

Were you at all surprised Trump ordered his former Chief of Staff General John F. Kelly to “get rid of (my kids) Jared and Ivanka,” and yet when confronted by the two of them about his decision, Trump lied, denied and obfuscated rather than admit the truth?

Were you at all surprised that scientists can’t wait to try and reawaken the frozen cells of a long extinct woolly mammoth?

Were you at all surprised the 2020 budget proposed by Trump included not a single penny in tax increases for the wealthiest 1 percent, who were, of course, the biggest beneficiaries of the Trump tax cuts in 2017?

Were you at all surprised that in a new PRRI poll found that fully one-fifth of the respondents admitted they never interact with anyone of either a different race or different ethnicity than their own?

Were you at all surprised that shallow, narcissistic con woman Ann Coulter, who until recently was one of the loudest and most vocal cheerleaders for Trump, now refers to him as “a shallow, narcissistic con man”?

Were you at all surprised the 2020 budget proposed by Trump included a request for $8.6 billion for his unwanted, unneeded and unpopular border wall thus setting up the likelihood of another government shutdown similar to the lengthy one that occurred this past Christmas?

Were you at all surprised Facebook tried to block ads purchased on its site by the presidential campaign of U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who was critical of Facebook?

Were you at all surprised that Trump was named the winner of a Mar-a-Lago Club golf tournament in which he never played a single hole of golf?

Were you at all surprised that so many appear obsessed with the final season of “Game of Thrones?”

Finally, were you at all surprised Nancy Pelosi believes that no matter how guilty Trump is, attempting to impeach the president is a fool’s errand?

My guess is your answer to all is a loud, resounding no.

Michael Goldman is a paid political consultant for Democratic candidates and president of Goldman Associates. He is a frequent contributor to this newspaper.

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