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CSotD: Accepting it at farce value

There are all sorts of cartoons about Barr and the Mueller Report, but Tom Toles both made the point and got a laff, so he wins.

Looks like we’re gonna need some laffs, because it’s becoming clear that truth is losing whatever toe hold it had, at least in the opposition camp.

In Trump’s latest rally, he became so unglued that I think Leni Reifenstein would have lowered her camera and suggested he dial it back a bit.

People have compared his name-calling to a playground bully and laughed at his claim to have a better education than Harvard/Yale/Oxford alums (but he won’t release his transcripts) and his notion that Democrats are lying when, even if they are, he, Sanders and Conway outdo them at every turn.

But criticizing Trump is preaching to the choir, and while it’s good to keep our team’s spirits up, nobody on the other side is being converted.

 

And why should he dial it back? Phil Hands may decry the redirection of funds for a local military project, which not only takes away some benefits for service members but jobs for local construction firms.

But although the Deplorables gush over heart-warming videos of service members coming home to their children and even their dogs, they don’t blink when those same soldiers, sailors, Marines and flyers get screwed by Dear Leader’s fixation with mythical caravans.

And why would they, if they can’t seem to remember that the Wall wasn’t supposed to cost us anything in the first place?

Note, too, that this is a case where, if people raised enough hell, the lickspittle GOP would only have to override Dear Leader’s veto and overturn the fraudulent emergency declaration that allowed this theft of funding.

 

Meanwhile, we continue to move forward into Idiocracy. Trump is not the problem. He’s simply its main symptom.

He’s a grifter and a compulsive liar, but he didn’t invent the con. He’s just really good at it.

For instance, as Stuart Carlson notes, he let Betsy DeVos float that ridiculous threat to cut off the Special Olympics so that he could step in and play the hero, promising to fund them himself out of that massive fortune he won’t let anybody see and which Deutsche Bank appears to accepted to their regret.

The fact is, Betsy DeVos doesn’t control her department’s budget anyway. It would require Congress to defund Special Olympics and that’s not going to happen, particularly with the House in Democratic hands.

So Trump gets to play the hero and it doesn’t cost him a dime.

And nobody liked DeVos in the first place, so there’s literally no love lost there, either.

 

And I love Steve Sack‘s cartoon as much as I hate the GOP for putting party above country, and I wish they’d step on the rake for him one more time.

But remember he’s got a hole card in that he doesn’t need his legislative lackeys to make the move, because he’s counting on the courts to uphold what, in sane times, would be seen as a farcical challenge.

With luck, and in the absence of Merrick Garland, he may be able to destroy our health care system without legislative help.

 

Which brings us to our

Juxtaposition of the Day

(Pat Bagley)

 

(Darrin Bell)

Darrin Bell plays on the Fifth Avenue quote, though I think people would eventually realize that they had lost something that mattered.

The question is whether they would shift allegiances, because, as Bagley says, the GOP is playing this purely within the Cult of Personality, and, if the windmill falls down, it will be Snowball’s fault, not Napoleon’s.

Snowball is a traitor and we all know that, and, if we doubted it, we only have to listen to Napoleon’s speeches, or Squealer‘s explanations of them.

And, by the way, if Animal Farm were real, Squealer would make the rounds of the Sunday Morning talk shows each week.

If those shows were about weather instead of politics, they’d feel compelled on sunny summer days to bring on at least one expert to provide balance and say that it was snowing.

Again, Dear Leader is not the cause. But there’s a reason he is tapping the head of the WWE to work on his re-election.

He’s hoping she’ll direct one of her pre-determined victories.

We’ve spent several decades feeding TV viewers not just pro-wrestling, but pseudoscientists and crackpot historians explaining space aliens and cryptocritters and lunatic conspiracy theories.

In A Nation at Risk, the 1983 report of American President Ronald Reagan’s National Commission on Excellence in Education, the authors famously wrote

If an unfriendly foreign power had attempted to impose on America the mediocre educational performance that exists today, we might well have viewed it as an act of war. As it stands, we have allowed this to happen to ourselves.

The kids who were in kindergarten then are turning 40 now, and, whatever the value of our schools, they have grown up steeped in a sea of television aimed at overturning anything they might have learned about science and making them distrust everything they learned about history.

Nor is such toxic gullibility grouped at one end of the societal scale. There are plenty of well-heeled suburban parents with college degrees who think vaccines cause autism and that JFK was shot by multiple assassins.

They didn’t learn that nonsense in schools, but neither were they taught to identify fraud and to protect themselves from con men, whether the phonies were peddling Bigfoot documentaries for ratings or dietary supplements for money or political idiocy for power.

Now “an unfriendly foreign power” really has taken advantage of that naivete, but they don’t recognize what happened.

Such that when Dear Leader advises TV news producers to stop letting opposition voices be heard, and when he calls them “treasonous” and threatens action against them, he speaks to an audience that waves the flag of a nation which traditionally opposed such corrupt notions, and they cheer.

And they vote.

Having heard nothing strange or frightening or ridiculous in this.

Community Comments

#1 Kathleen Elizabeth Donnelly
March/30/2019
@ 10:01 am

Leni Riefenstahl, bitte.

#2 Mike Peterson
March/30/2019
@ 1:55 pm

Damn Google — I wrote it that way at first, then went to check spelling and they gave me “stein” for reasons I cannot fathom.

Not sure any of it changes my point, but it’s annoying.

#3 Mary McNeil
March/30/2019
@ 2:10 pm

Hillary was wrong to call them”deplorables.””Despicables” is more apt,

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