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Roughly Speaking podcast: Trump l'oeil, unartful deceits of a surreal presidency (episode 274)

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Trompe l’oeil is a French phrase meaning "a trick of the eye," or to "deceive the eye." It’s a style of painting in which objects are depicted with realistic detail and look deceivingly three dimensional — as if you could walk or drive right through them. Pardon our French, but the new term in American politics might very well be Trump L’oeil — that is, the unartful deceits of the president, his sons, his staff and his apologists. In Trump L’oeil, up is down and down is up, a man looks presidential only because he’s standing next to men and women who actually do. In Trump L’oeil, a meeting between the President’s son and a Russian lawyer was about international adoptions, not about getting political dirt on your political opponent from a foreign adversary. Trump L’oeil employs false equivalents, as if getting debate questions in advance compares with actually going to a meeting with a Russian tied to the Kremlin, knowing the Kremlin was trying to skew the U.S. election. In Trump L’oeil, a 36 percent approval rating is “not bad at this time," and the Senate health insurance bill will "strengthen and secure Medicaid for the neediest in our society.” Dan's guests today are Kimberly Moffitt, associate professor in American studies at the University of Maryland Baltimore County; and Melissa Deckman, chair in political science at Washington College.

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