Playing Trump

Sunday, January 13, 2019

I had always intended to make this blog a Trump-free zone. Haven’t you had enough? So many brilliant essays and op-ed pieces slicing and dicing Trump for his arrogance, ignorance, boorishness, narcissism, lying, corruption, ineptitude, gaucheness, authoritarianism, and bad hair?  There have been so many memorable, and, ultimately, tiring, screeds. Do we really need another snarky take-down of such an easy target?

So: I’ll refrain from rehashing true facts (as opposed to false facts) cited by the Failing New York Times (henceforth “FNYT”). Who cares about facts anymore? Isn’t that so 2016?  Regardless of demonstrable evidence or statistics, Trump needs a face-saving strategy to shore up his ego and his wall and, oh yes, the government shutdown. All he needs to do is to declare victory. It’s that simple.

This marvelous solution came to me as I was mindlessly pedaling an Exercycle at the gym and watching a wall of silent TVs. As usual, they were tuned to Fox, CNBC, Fox, and Fox. Suddenly, Trump’s face appeared on TVs 1, 2, and 4. I was blissfully listening to the umpteenth recording of Beethoven’s 4th Piano Concerto before digging into my novel. Hmm, it looks like Don’s back to his yellow-and-orange motif: a break from the old gray hair-and-white face theme. No matter, the message is the same. I like the spray tam and the orange hair, though. It gives me confidence that Big Brother is healthy. Big Brother is inescapable.

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Over the years may politicians have taken credit for imaginary achievements, acts of God, the market, or acts of the prior administration. Trump has often referred to his idiotic real-time decisions as the fulfillment of the auguries revealed during his campaign. Of course, he’ll re-present these prophesies as realized or stymied by the enemy for 2020. (These forces prevent the effective draining of the swamp. Won’t you help me, please?)

I’ve also read that illegal border crossings have declined in recent times. Whether that has anything to do with migrants being afraid to approach the border due to fear of Trump’s policies or not, he can easily claim that his administration has put forth such a ferocious disincentive, painful as it may be, that the poor migrants and asylum-seekers have been chastened. A win! Then he can shake his (short) finger at them: [I’m writing your Tweet here, Don, please pay attention!] ”Next time I won’t be such a Nice Guy!! For now, I’ll let my Government bees start working again.  And I’m putting you guys on Notice! The NEXT TIME I see those drug and terror-bombing rates go up, boys, you’re GONNA GET IT!!!!”

Your correspondent hasn’t worked out the “Mexico will pay for it“ bit yet. Trump’s explanation that the cost was baked into the successor to NAFTA rules went over like a lead taco. It didn’t convince anyone except those who had already drunk the Kool-Aid. He needs to find a way to humiliate Mexico as compensation to his base for not otherwise tightening the noose.  The combination of a declaration of victory by the administration and the important statistic that during Trump’s reign, and the fact that not a single Mexican or Central American terrorist has threatened the United States doesn’t have as much visceral power among Fox-watchers as watching the Mexican government grovel and snivel at Trump’s ugly feet. “But it’ll have to do as long as I can continue to pay my mortgage,” said Mort Lifer, Director of the Federal Bureau of Scapegoats, Pawns, and Collateral Damage. “We’ve been through this before, and it’s nothing we’re not accustomed to.”


I reduced illegal immigration. Problem solved. Nothing a little Sarah Sanders, some PR, and a rally with the Base can’t cure. At least until their implications and effects become more obvious in the longer term. But who thinks about that nowadays?

Maybe a big parade through Galveston or Laredo? Federal workers get paid, border security, er, I mean “the wall” is discussed later.

Meanwhile, Mueller works a plea deal with Manafort and Cohen that allows reduced jail time if they reveal the names of the Russian escorts that serviced Messrs. Trump, Kushner, and Trump, Jr. Cohen, wearing a wire, says, “Look, uh, Dad, uh, you’ve been in a ‘schwitz,’ right?… Well, are you ready?  What we’ve got planned tonight is gonna be something special!  And you can take home a video to help you remember this special night!”

No more Trump. I swear!

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