How shocking is "And they went in and it was like a knife cutting butter"?

Trump used that phrase yesterday at the Roundtable on Justice Disparities in America (transcript). Context:
In Minneapolis, they went through three nights of hell. And then I was insistent on having the National Guard go in and do their work. It was like a miracle. It’s just everything stopped. And I’ll never forget the scene. It’s not supposed to be a beautiful scene. But to me, it was after you watched policemen running out of a police precinct. And it wasn’t their fault. They wanted to do what they had to do, but they weren’t allowed to do anything.... I said, “I’m sorry. We have to have [the National Guard] go in.” And they went in and it was like a knife cutting butter, right through, boom. I’ll never forget. You saw the scene on that road wherever it may be in the city, Minneapolis. They were lined up. Boom. They just walked straight. And yes, there was some tear gas and probably some other things and the crowd dispersed. And they went through it by the end of that evening. And it was a short evening. Everything was fine.... So I just want to tell you that we’re working on a lot of different elements having to do with law, order, safety, comfort, control, but we want safety. We want compassion. We want everything.
As I drove home from my sunrise run this morning...

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... I had "Morning Joe" on the satellite radio, and he was riffing emotively on that phrase "it was like a knife cutting butter." Joe acted as though the phrase connoted murderously cutting into human flesh, and Who talks like that?!! In Joe's vivid nightmare, Trump is unfathomably evil. Joe said it's as if Trump were "running for President of the Confederacy" and Trump has decided to speak only to "angry white men — angry old white men."

Joe is 57, by the way, so that's a bit old, and he is also white and angry, so maybe he knows whereof he speaks, and yet he does not mean that he hears the siren call of Donald Trump.

But let's look at this phrase "like a knife cutting butter." It's an idiomatic expression! It means it was easy. You see the context. It doesn't mean the National Guard was sadistically injuring people. It means all they had to do was show up and walk straight in and everything worked out just fine.

It wasn't even a hot knife....



The inability to understand metaphor is, of course, highly selective. A commentator like Joe has to use what Trump gives him. He must scan the transcripts every day, looking for something to pretend to be anguished about.

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