You know you suck when the Boy Scouts apologize for you.
When it comes to Presidential speeches, one to the Boy Scouts has to be regarded as an easy gig, one almost impossible to screw up. Talk about citizenship and patriotism, talk about the importance of values and character and how the Scouts helps build those things. Easy stuff, impossible to screw up . . . unless you are a self absorbed psychopath.
Trump screwed it up. What not to talk about? Well, don’t talk about politics, don’t take the chance to smear your opponents, or the media. Don’t take a huge captive audience of 13 year olds and talk partisan politics. Don’t talk about how wonderful you are, and how bigly your very, very wonderful win was. Don’t give a campaign speech. Oh, and make don’t get long winded about it. Don’t do any of that.
Of course, that and more, is what Trump did talk about at the Boy Scout Jamboree. You can read the transcript, and it is appalling. If you start reading it and think it’s okay, keep reading. He starts off well enough, talking about the sort of stuff I suggested a President should. He goes off the rails soon enough, becoming fixated on the crowd size and his fantasies about what the “fake news” will say about it. He starts to get back on track saying “who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?” He then proceeds to do nothing else for the next half hour plus. Before he was done it looked more like a Hitler Youth rally than an American President talking to the Boy Scouts.
Outrage from parents and individual scout leaders quickly followed with many parents threatening to withdraw their sons from scouting. The Boy Scouts of America fairly quickly released a tepid response emphasizing the non-partisan nature of the Scouts. That was not good enough.
Today, the Boy Scout leadership released a direct statement apologizing for the speech made by the President of the United States at their jamboree. Chief Scout Executive Michael Surbaugh was rather profuse in expressing the embarrassment of the Scouts at what the President said:
“I want to extend my sincere apologies to those in our Scouting family who were offended by the political rhetoric that was inserted into the jamboree. That was never our intent. The invitation for the sitting U.S. President to visit the National Jamboree is a long-standing tradition that has been extended to the leader of our nation that has had a Jamboree during his term since 1937. It is in no way an endorsement of any person, party or policies. For years, people have called upon us to take a position on political issues, and we have steadfastly remained non-partisan and refused to comment on political matters. We sincerely regret that politics were inserted into the Scouting program.”
One wonders how much longer even the most koolaid guzzling members of the Trump personality cult can continue before they realize this President is a clown show and national embarrassment who screws up even the most simple Presidential duties.
At least we can be confident the Scouts won’t invite him back to their next jamboree.