Simanaitis Says

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FRANK BRUNI composes the best lines in today’s journalism. In The New York Times, October 26, 2019, he titles his analysis “ ‘Human Scum,’ ‘Lynching,’ and Trump’s Tortured English.” Bruni’s subtitle is, “The president needs a thesaurus and a therapist, though not necessarily in that order.”

Image by Nicolas Ortega for The New York Times, October 26, 2019.

Here are several other Bruni bon mots.

An Oxymoronic Trump. “Trump is as inept at English as he is at governing,” writes Bruni. “He’s oxymoronic: a nativist who can’t really speak his native language.”

Trump on “Perfect.” “ ‘Perfect,’ ” Bruni says, “is Nadia Comaneci on the uneven bars at the 1976 Olympics. ‘Perfect’ is Frank Sinatra singing ‘Summer Wind.’ ”

“ ‘Perfect,’ ” Bruni continues, “is not an insistence that a foreign government smear a political rival when you’re just emerging from a two-year investigation into whether you had another foreign government do precisely that.

Trump and Raccoons. “The screeching of raccoons in Central Park,” Bruni says, “is more coherent and less feral. They’re merely nervous when my dog approaches. Trump is petrified as Nancy Pelosi and Adam Schiff close in.”

Frank Anthony Bruni, White Plains, New York-born 1964, American journalist and long-time writer for The New York Times. His dog Regan is 5 1/2. She’s mostly Australian Shepherd and Siberian Husky.

Trump at a Dallas Rally. Quoting Trump: “The do-nothing Democrats have betrayed our country, and that great betrayal is over. We are finally again, and we’ve been doing it now for almost three years.”

Bruni asks, “Doing what? Again how? This wasn’t a speech; it was a puzzle.”

Trump and the Presidency. Quoting Trump again: “Can you believe we’ve been doing this for three years? Can you believe it? I’ve been a politician for three years. I can’t believe that.”

“Trust me, President Trump,” Bruni responds. “Your incredulity is no match for mine.”

Trump on U.S. Geography. Bruni writes, “In a speech in Pittsburgh on Wednesday, he crowed that ‘we’re building a wall on the border of New Mexico. And we’re building a wall in Colorado.’ He added that ‘we’re building a wall in Texas, and we’re not building a wall in Kansas, but they get the benefit of the walls I’ve just mentioned.’ ”

Image from

Bruni says, “Jared Polis, Colorado’s governor, responded with a tweet that noted that ‘Colorado doesn’t border Mexico. Good thing Colorado now offers free full day kindergarten so our kids can learn basic geography.’ Trump should join them, not just for stuff about maps but also for the lessons on reading comprehension and the vocabulary-building exercises.”

Trump and Twitter. “On Twitter in particular,” Bruni says, “Trump doesn’t exclaim, he expectorates. You can feel the spittle several time zones away.”

Bruni concludes, “His torture of English is rooted in the torture of being Trump—with all those wants, all that need, all that vanity, all that spite. He’s never eloquent and barely articulate but always expressive, because you say a lot when you say it wrong.”

Well said, Bruni; and said correctly. ds

© Dennis Simanaitis,, 2019


  1. Mark W
    November 1, 2019

    The fact that 38% of Americans listen and drool is the saddest part.

  2. Brian Wiegand
    November 3, 2019

    The failure of our educational system has a lot to do with the Trump phenomenon. We are number 1 in spending on education worldwide, but something like number 37 in actual education achievement.

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