George Costanza Explains The Trump Administration

I already mentioned this in a comment to Michael Bailey’s post, but I figured it’s worth noting that one line from George Costanza in a different Seinfeld episode explains everything we need to know about the Trump Administration:

I can picture Reince Priebus saying this to Sean Spicer ever day before he goes out to address the White House Press Corps.

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Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. I knew that was the clip as soon as I saw the headline.

  2. (Although I have my doubts as to how much they believe themselves)

  3. Mr. Bluster says:

    It’s funny when George Costanza says it on Seinfeld.
    You can tell by the laugh track.

    This is not funny.
    “If you tell a big enough lie and tell it frequently enough, it will be believed.”
    Adolph Hitler

    Neither is Trump.

  4. alanstorm says:

    You misspelled “Obama”.

    He lied from day one, by swearing to uphold the Constitution.

    How about the classic “If you like your doctor…” Wasn’t that a hoot?

    That ship has sailed. Obama supporters have zero standing to criticize anyone else on that score.

  5. Mr. Bluster says:

    @alansturmmann:..”Obama supporters have zero standing to criticize anyone else on that score.”

    You do not get to control anyone’s speech. As much as you would like to.

  6. @alanstorm: Because “you can keep your doctor…” (which was a foolish thing to say for a variety of reasons) is identical to making up claims about wire taps and cooking up wild accusations about the Brits, not to mention “alternative facts” about crowd sizes or microwave cameras.

  7. CSK says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    They have to believe whatever Trump believes at any given moment. Tough job keeping track of that, though I have no sympathy for them.

    Remember when Trump changed his position on abortion three times in one day between lunch and the cocktail hour? First he said woman should be punished. Then he said abortion providers should be punished. Then he said that the laws should be left the way they are.

  8. gVOR08 says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: All the best liars I’ve ever met were effective because they sincerely believed what they said. They might believe the exact opposite five minutes later, but at the time they spoke, they believed. The ability to believe what is convenient at any given time is a gift. A curse for the rest of us, but a gift for the liar.

    @Steven L. Taylor: This is another example of the real problem we face. @alanstorm: presumably actually believes Obama lied constantly. All objective evidence says Obama, while not a saint, was an exceptionally honest politician. But Alan had his head completely up the Conservative Echo Chamber where he was fed a constant stream of nonsense and after ten thousand repetitions, Alan believed Obama was a Kenyan Muslim socialist who controlled every aspect of our lives while being totally inept and lied all the time. Even though the ‘keep your doctor’ thing seems to be about the only example they can come up with.

    The real moral of the ‘Obama tapped Trump tower’ thing is that a) Trump believes the nonsense he sees in the CEC, and b) the CEC makes this stuff up. You’d think people like Alan would begin to sense they’re being lied to, but I see no evidence that’s actually happening. Lying to Alan is a hugely profitable industry. I don’t know how we maintain democracy with a third of the electorate believing utter nonsense and I don’t see how to fix it.

  9. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: People like Alanstorm love the BS that is getting thrown their way.

    After all, it’s so much nicer to believe that the mess that you’ve made of your life is due to (pick one) a) immigrants b) blacks c) women d) little blue aliens from Alpha Centauri rather than your own incompetence, no?

    And people like Alanstorm just love, love, love getting told “you deserve to be at the top of the heap without any work simply because of who you are.”

  10. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:

    Even more similarities between George Costanza and the Cheeto-Jebus?
    Costanza once said:

    “You know I always wanted to pretend I was an architect”

    Trump always wanted to pretend to be President.
    He also said:

    “I lie every second of the day. My whole life is a sham.”

    We can probably do this all day long.
    The Costanza Presidency is now a thing.

  11. dmhlt says:

    How about the classic “If you like your doctor…” Wasn’t that a hoot?
    Well, Ryan et al have just updated that pledge:

    “If you like your diseases, you can keep them.
    Hell – even if you DON’T like them, you’re going to keep them.”

  12. Daryl's other brother Darryl says:


    How about the classic “If you like your doctor…” Wasn’t that a hoot?

    Actually…I kept my Dr.
    It cracks me up that the best you can do to try and paint Obama as a liar is that line.
    That line referred to something specific…the grandfather clause…and as such it was not a lie. In addition, Obama apologized for the mis-understanding.

    “I am sorry that they are finding themselves in this situation based on assurances they got from me,” Obama said. “We’ve got to work hard to make sure that they know we hear them and that we’re going to do everything we can to deal with folks who find themselves in a tough position as a consequence of this.”

    If President Costanza starts apologizing for his lies…he won’t have time to do anything else.