On Tuesday evening, at a rally in Mississippi, Donald Trump did what Donald Trump is so often apt to do: He dispensed with the former niceties. The Trump of last week had been, in public settings, generally respectful of Christine Blasey Ford, the woman who had come forward to allege that the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh had sexually assaulted her when she was 15. The Trump of this week, however, reverted to the mode that is his most common and, it would seem, his most comfortable: mockery.
“I had one beer,” the president, imitating Ford, said, thrusting his index finger upward to emphasize the number. He kept the digit upraised. “I had one beer!”
The president then added another character to his routine: an anonymous interrogator of Ford. “Well, do you think it was—” he began to ask.
“Nope!” he said, gleefully interrupting himself and his fictional questioner. “It was one beer.” The joke built speed. “How did you get home? I don’t remember. How did you get there? I don’t remember. Where is the place? I don’t remember. How many years ago was it? I don’t know. I don’t know. I don’t know.”
At this, the crowd at the rally guffawed. They cheered. They broke out into applause. The president, thus galvanized, thus supported, thus loved, continued his one-man interrogation: “What neighborhood was it in? I don’t know. Where’s the house? I don’t know. Upstairs, downstairs, where was it? I don’t know. But I had one beer. That’s the only thing I remember.”