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Comic Strip of the Day: … and when will he know it?

L’il Donnie starts us off with a laugh, but the problem, O Best Beloved, is that, no, he really doesn’t get it.

Which isn’t funny.

The Watergate comparisons are flying, mostly from people who were not around or at least who were not old enough 40-some years ago to follow that scandal in real time.

The biggest difference is that Nixon was hoist in his own petard, smart enough to know what he was doing but psychologically vulnerable enough to be drawn into a situation that got completely out of hand.

Nixon was, for all his many faults, a politician, and, if Watergate was just the extreme extension of the Tricky Dick personality first shown in his red-baiting campaign against Helen Gahagan Douglas, he was always fundamentally determined to do what he sincerely felt was best for the country, even if it required conniving his way into power.

By contrast, Trump is a salesman at heart, so that, when he ventures into less-than-ideal ethical territory, it is in order to close the deal. Period.

In sales, it’s the money but it’s also the personal victory. Unlike Robert Redford in “The Candidate,” it’s not a matter of losing your direction in the heat of the competition because the competition was the entire point.

There is no “What do we do now?” because the answer is to go sell another vacuum cleaner, not stick around and help clean the house. Go close another sale, whatever you’re selling, whatever it takes.

Am I kidding? Exaggerating?

The man continues to travel around the country holding election rallies for himself, and there is no election.

He needs the applause, the triumph, the rush.

He’s not serving. He’s jonesing.

 

Jim Morin expresses it well: It is an urge for power with no particular urge to serve and, certainly, no differentiation between loyalty to the nation and loyalty to the sovereign.

He believes “LEtatc’est moi” not in a metaphorical sense but quite literally.

 

Morin may have drawn his cartoon with specific reference to the media, but we’re seeing a war rage against all of Trump’s critics, and Nick Anderson broadens the focus to capture the way this melding of “loyalty to the nation” with “loyalty to me” is becoming actual government policy.

It has been difficult, and often seemed irrelevant, to distinguish those who quit the White House from those who were fired, but it’s clear now that subtlety and PR is over and that there will be purges.

Trump himself has admitted that he is withdrawing clearances from those who are disloyal to him, particularly those who support the Mueller probe. He admitted firing Comey over the Russia probe, but that was a slip.

Now he says the same thing about withdrawing Brennan’s clearance, only he’s completely out-front about it, however Sarah, Mistress of the Spin, may re-phrase things.

It’s a combination of his narcissism and of his ignorance of why former intelligence officers and other public servants traditionally retain their access.

It’s not the only thing he doesn’t know about being president, but, while a lot of former governors have faced a learning curve, they’ve approached the job prepared to listen and to learn.

This is beyond parody: Only a certifiable narcissist would argue with Vietnam veterans over whether Agent Orange and napalm were the same thing, basing his opinion on a movie that was never really about the war in which they — but notably not he — served.

 

Clay Bennett unleashes the “quizzical look” that is one of his trademark techniques in this speculation over how the White House staff — at least the permanent staff, if not the groupies and hangers-on who have joined since the election — must surely be operating.

It’s impossible to look into the mind of General Kelley or of any of the GOP legislators who were expected to act as stabilizers on an inexperienced, mercurial president. Nor do we know if there have been screwball things he wanted to do that they have persuaded him not to.

But the unprecedented letter from former intelligence officers, scolding Trump for his attack on Brennan, and the op-ed by Admiral McRaven are evidence that this cartoon character isn’t the only one gazing at the butterfly net.

Doesn’t matter: The Deplorables won’t be swayed by this, and the talk radio provocateurs will provide them with answers as to why the military, the FBI and the CIA are all involved with the Deep State Conspiracy against Dear Leader.

 

And, in fact, as Clay Jones suggests, Trump does have loyalists who will serve him, including the FBI deputy director who overrode the FBI’s Office of Professional Responsibility’s recommendations and fired Strzok instead of suspending him for two months and demoting him.

Well, Caesar had his Brutus, Charles the First his Cromwell and Donald Trump may profit from their example, and we should remember that Nixon had to reach deep down into the barrel, past Eliot Richardson and William Ruckelshaus to find somebody whose loyalty to him was greater than his loyalty to our system of justice.

And that his quisling was later offered a seat on the Supreme Court, though a reformed Congress refused to confirm him.

My goodness but November 6 will tell us a lot about our future.

 

And it’s too bad that the full impact of the grotesque incompetence Drew Sheneman illustrates may not be felt until after the midterms.

And maybe never, at least among his base: The motorcycle jingos who support Trump’s boycott of Harley-Davidson for shipping jobs overseas are sourcing their T-shirts from Haiti because American companies charge too much.

I feel sorry for American workers, but I particularly pity Andy Borowitz and the staff of the Onion, because the genuine idiocy is outpacing their ability to invent stupid things.

But I’ve said too much. Behold our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Dwane Powell)

(Ann Telnaes)

Well, never mind then. No more disloyal comments.

Anyway, we’ve heard it all before. We just need to listen again, quietly, behind closed doors, wearing earphones.

 

Community Comments

#1 Sean Martin
August/18/2018
@ 8:43 am

Even as a salesman, Little Lord Trumperoy isnt that good, which is probably the bigger reason why he wont release his tax returns: because if he did, we’d all see his is a financial house of cards, one so frail that he has to claim his name (aka his “brand”) is half his total worth. Given how many places are tearing that name off, it aint worth much.

He declared bankruptcy six times, ran a freaking casino into the ground, lives in housing that was given to him in exchange for his *father*’s name on the outside… I mean, these are the hallmarks of successful businessman? Perhaps, if one wishes to be a modern-era PT Barnum.

#2 David Spitko
August/18/2018
@ 11:45 am

Sean – I am convinced The Great Leader will not release his tax returns because they will show he engaged in similar tax fraud in which Manafort engaged – lots of off-shore bank accounts to hide income.

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