I do try to refrain from too much political commentary. Definitely less is found here than in the past. But this year, especially after last night’s 3rd Super Tuesday fairly begs for some.
The GOP convention will be in Cleveland this July, about four months from now. Will Trump be the nominee? There are many Republicans who hope not. Will they be able to stop him? Will there be a contested or open convention?
The Cleveland Browns NFL team has somewhat loyal, but dispirited fans, due to its poor record spanning many years. So what do the fans do? Some come to games with paper bags over their heads–a form of protest or perhaps to hide their identity. After all, would they want friends, neighbors or coworkers to see them actually sitting in the stands at a Browns game? Perhaps an entrepreneurial sort among them, maybe an alumnus of Trump University, will offer delegates their choice of designer bags to wear at the GOP Convention. I’m not saying anyone will actually do this, but if I were a Republican attending the convention, I very well might.
It’s been the longest running trailer for a movie or TV show, Donald Trump’s White House Campaign. Finally the truth comes out–he never really sought the presidency. Rather, Trump is launching his own cable channel with the first show being Trump’s Run for the White House. The show will premiere January 31, 2016, the eve of the Iowa Caucus. Trump will announce his “campaign” was all about boosting the ratings of the show and never about being elected. His withdrawal from the race came live at the start of the show.
Political pundits predicted at the outset of Trump’s campaign that he wouldn’t go all the way–wouldn’t file necessary papers, etc. He confounded everyone, including GOP officials as his support increased while he steadily offended people. As the punditocracy eventually accepted that he was really running, one after another confidently asserted his latest rants would doom his campaign. Instead, he gathered more and more support.
He was a Hillary Clinton/DNC plant to elevate her candidacy by making the GOP look ridiculous
He was a megalomaniac
He was simply a lunatic
As his statements grew more offensive some called him a fascist
Finally, many thought he might be “The al-Baghdadi Candidate.” That seemed the most plausible, that he had been brainwashed like the fictional Manchurian Candidate. Rather than an assassin, his virulently anti-Muslim rhetoric would enhance recruitment to ISIS/ISIL and damage America’s national security.
Of course his statements DID have that effect, despite the campaign being a promo for the TV show. He is also, of course, a megalomaniac–which is why he doesn’t care what effect his words have. And, he is, after all a bit loony.
It’s early for the political silly season but then the GOP political candidates have been pretty far out there for a while. Now their governors have joined the party. They should serve crackers and cheese with all the whining they’re doing. They whine about debate moderators. Now they’re whining about the Syrian refugees possibly bringing terror to America. They whine incessantly about everything that President Obama says. Ted Cruz says if Obama wants to insult him, do it to his face and debate him. Did Cruz buy his degree from Harvard Law or did he skip class when Constitutional Law was taught? Maybe he doesn’t know about American law because he was born in Canada. [No offense to my Canadian friends.] I’ll put my Georgetown JD up against his Harvard (?!) degree and let him know that allowing Christian refugees into America but denying Muslims entry runs afoul of that picky little detail about religion in America’s First Amendment.
I suppose we could excuse non-lawyers Trump (shut down the mosques) and Ben Carson (no Muslim president) for being unaware of American constitutional provisions. But as President of the US, there really is no excuse. Many, if not most of those Republican governors that want to keep out suffering Syrians are probably lawyers as well. They should know better. For all those supposedly evangelical and otherwise devout types among GOP presidential candidates and their supporters there is another little problem–what the actual religious leaders say about the matter.
“I am disturbed . . . by calls from both federal and state officials for an end to the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States. These refugees are fleeing terror themselves—violence like we have witnessed in Paris.
. . .
Instead of using this tragedy to scapegoat all refugees, I call upon our public officials to work together to end the Syrian conflict peacefully so the close to 4 million Syrian refugees can return to their country and rebuild their homes. Until that goal is achieved, we must work with the world community to provide safe haven to vulnerable and deserving refugees who are simply attempting to survive.” Bishop Eusebio Elizondo, Chairman of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Committee on Migration
Ah, but those politicians know what voters want, forget what the religious leaders think–what do they know anyway!
Hey, if it were up to Trump and some of the others, if they were in the White House they would probably round up all the Muslims and put them in an internment camp annex to Guantanamo. Too dangerous to lock them up in America! None have proposed that publicly (yet) but you know some of them are thinking it. It worked for the Japanese Americans in WWII; why not the Muslims now, eh? I suppose I shouldn’t be giving Trump, Carson or Cruz ideas–but if you happen to be Muslim, you should just hope none of them are living at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue next year. Maybe the DSM will add Islamophobia to its list of psychiatric disorders soon.
This week should be the next instalment on the series about shootings in America. But we will take a break from that and return with part 4 next week. Instead, it’s time to mock the news media—especially cable news. Why? Well it all starts with the typical obsessive coverage of “breaking news.” Why do I call it obsessive? Early coverage reports that a plane is missing, possibly down but they cannot say where, when or why. So instead, they call upon their stock of former aviation experts to speculate on what might have happened. Or it’s a shooting incident and little is known so they call upon former FBI, ATF and other law enforcement types to offer generic comments on how the matter will be investigated—surveillance videos, interviews with eyewitnesses, etc. All of which observations are already well known to watchers of police procedurals and the same newscasts which have paraded the same “experts” before viewers on multiple prior occasions. They might also add a shrink to explain such behavior. What could be done instead? A simple synopsis of what happened as known at the moment, with a promise of updates to come as more information becomes available.Eventually, of course, the additional information does come in but only after hour upon hour of speculation and background commentary that gets more and more repetitive as time wears on.
So now, for your reading pleasure, let’s get on to the mockery using less tragic events—fictional but equally obsessive coverage of the ever popular Donald Trump. NOTE: this is all FICTION; both regarding Trump, the names of the news personnel, etc.
Anchor Ted Barnes opens with, “In breaking news, we just learned that Donald Trump was heard to pass wind at a campaign appearance in Dubuque. Our reporter Jackie Sims is on the scene. Jackie, what can you tell us?“ [Jackie is doing a standup at the campaign stop location]
“Well Ted, we are all used to Donald Trump’s bombastic and often offensive comments, but this is something really out of the ordinary. Trump supporters in the front row let out an audible gasp and soon a few wrinkled noses appeared on the faces of the listeners.”
“Were you able to talk with any of them to get their reaction? “
“Most of them denied hearing—or smelling, anything, Ted. One man did, however, respond with this, ‘the news media keeps saying bad stuff about Donald; hey, he tells it like it is and if he wants to have a burrito now and then, more power to him, he’s man enough to accept the consequences!’ “
“So, Jackie, the man who has insulted Mexicans had a burrito today?”
“Well, that may have been speculation on the man’s part. But we know his breakfast stop this morning was at a Mexican restaurant.”
“All right, then. Thanks Jackie.”
“Let’s bring back our panel of political commentators to assess what effect this gassy gaffe, if you will, might have on the Trump campaign. Fred, do you think this will finally be the issue that causes a drop in the polls for Trump?”
“It’s too early to tell, Ted, but I doubt it. I think it’s fair to say that conservatives and liberals alike cut loose now and then.”
Shirley jumped in, “Ted, I agree with Fred but I think there’s a time and place for farts. Behind the podium at a campaign appearance is not one of them. It’s rude and crude.”
“But isn’t that acceptable, if not relished by Trump supporters,” Ted asked, “all part of his persona; right, Max?”
“Sure it is, Ted. If anything, I think his numbers may go up from this incident.”
“Thanks everyone, please stick around for more campaign discussion but first more on this breaking story. After the break we will hear from gastroenterologist Nathan Butz on what causes gas episodes like this. Also, an update from our Jeff Adams at the restaurant for a report on what Mr. Trump had to eat this morning—burrito or not. Stay tuned for more coverage of this incident. “