Lifetimes ago, Art Linkletter hosted a daytime radio, later TV, show called, “House Party.” Top billing in this variety show was Linkletter’s segment, “Kids Say the Darndest Things.” Linkletter would sit down with kids, gently interview them, and usually out would pop some outrageously funny, often insightfully humorous blurbs. So popular was “Kids Say the Darndest Things” that Linkletter ended up interviewing over 17,000 kids.
Books are still available, and I hear they are good soup for the hungry soul. Take a look: “Kids Say the Darndest Things,” by Prentice Hall. To top it off, they’re illustrated by Peanuts author, the late Charles Schultz! Per the publisher, “Gems include tips for conjuring up a sibling: ‘Give Mommy a lot of real sweet food so she’ll get fat —that’s how you get a baby.’ And, ‘Our pussycat has got some kittens and I didn’t even know she was married.”
Signs of those more innocent times …
That show is long gone and today we today have a much less innocent, far more cynical version: “Politicians Say the Darndest Things.” Sometimes, what they say simply makes them look foolish or manipulative.
Other times, what they say lands them into vast criminal indictments.
It seems politicians with kids’ brains are especially susceptible to the indictments. All this seems like scorching radiator fluid for the shell-shocked soul …
We’ll start today’s episode of “Politicians Say the Darndest Things” with a quick, revealing blurb from Gov. Ron DeSantis:
Aug. 8, 2023: (Can you believe this was even news?) Regional and national press report, “Ron DeSantis said definitively that Donald Trump lost the 2020 election, an acknowledgement after years of equivocating and murky answers: ‘Of course, he lost.’ DeSantis said in an interview with NBC News. ‘Joe Biden is the president.’”
And it took him three years to build up the courage? Drowning presidential aspirants say the darnedest things. Deep behind in the polls, with little to lose and no Trump- Racket protection to fall back on, DeSantis finally blurts out what everyone in the know already knew: Trump lost. Biden won. The truth hidden inside this little burst of honesty is all the self-deprecation and humiliating groveling DeSantis had to muster as political realities compelled him to lick Donald Trump’s Republican Party kicking boots … Have some pity on poor, darn DeSantis!
More humiliating for DeSantis is he’s no dummy. A decorated vet, an Ivy Leaguer, he knew the facts on the election. Importantly, he’d read the text of Trump’s now infamous “perfect phone call” with Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. DeSantis understood the racketeering Trump committed, subsequently recorded, and published to the whole world …
And in that conversation with Raffensperger, Trump also said the darndest things. And the most damning things. The entire one-hour conversation reads like a riveting segment of “Sopranos” with Trump working every which angle to push, pull, manipulate and threaten Raffensperger to somehow “find the 11,000 votes” he needed to flip the Georgia election. But Boy Scout Scott Raffensperger and staff weren’t having it. Brad and team had their oaths to fulfill and were determined not to get caught up in any conspiracies against the Constitution of the United States of America.
A few choice Trump chuckles:
Trump says to Raffensberger: “So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have because we won the state.”
“So, that’s the story. Look, we need only 11,000 votes.”
“So, what are we going to do here folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes.”
“… I watched you this morning and you said, uh, well, there was no criminality … When you talk about no criminality, I think it’s very dangerous for you to say that.”
“… you can’t let that happen. That’s a big risk to you and to Ryan, your lawyer. And that’s a big risk.”
Yes, desperate, narcissistic, losing presidents say the very most darndest things. Criminal things. Like implied threat things. Like advising illegal vote counting. Like making the call in the first place and interfering in an election in the first place, at all.
Things that land you with your FOURTH criminal indictment, this time with RICO racketeering charges and 12 other charges, including violation of oath by a public officer and conspiracy to commit forgery. Crimes on which you conspired with 18 other defendants. In other words, Trump’s “perfect” one-hour “nice life you got here” conversation is about the darndest thing Trump ever spoke.
Trump isn’t likely to be able to dodge the Georgia indictments or consequences. If you’ve read or listened to the entire conversation, you know this isn’t about free speech. It’s about direct election interference and attempted overthrow of the democratic process. This is a strong case, and there’s a good chance of conviction with a good chance at least the 18 co-conspirators are going to the Big House.
If listening or reading Trump’s “perfect” conversation doesn’t change your mind on Trump, likely nothing will. No matter: All informed Americans should invest an hour to understand what happened and what was at stake.
Yet, if this doesn’t change your MAGA views, ask yourself, “Is there ANYTHING that would make you change your mind on Trump?” If your answer is, “No,” then you belong to a cult, not a political party. And, you just said the darndest thing.
Gary Horton’s “Full Speed to Port!” has appeared in The Signal since 2006. The opinions expressed in his column do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Signal or its editorial board.