BY MAX BURBANK | Hello, old friends. It’s been a while. This is my first column since November of last year, when Scott Stiffler was still editing Chelsea Now newspaper, and I was its political satirist and editorial cartoonist.
I wrote about Thanksgiving, and also about the threat to our way of life posed by a “caravan” of human beings so desperate they’d walked 3,000 miles looking for help and safety—who we somehow felt threatened by.
I drew an illustration of Trump pardoning a turkey that had Trump’s head, which was hilarious, since there was a quite a bit of talk at the time about whether Trump could pardon himself if he was found guilty of crimes.
It ran on the front page, an honor I’ve never had before. And then the next week, the paper, which had been bought about a month before, fired my editor and drastically reduced the amount they paid freelancers. Even me! Super-amusing front page guy! I know, right? I was silenced, stripped of my first amendment right to be published regularly in a newspaper and get paid for it!
Well, you can’t keep a good man down. I’m not talking about me. I can be kept down fairly easily, in that when disappointed, I tend to sleep a lot, pout, and play “Forge of Empires” on my Chromebook instead of writing. No, I’m speaking of my editor, who spent his time creating the spiffy new website on which you are now once more basking in my literary gifts. Lucky, lucky me, and, by extension, lucky, lucky you.
It seems like so long ago I was last writing! We were all so innocent!
Remember how we used to dream of the release of The Mueller Report, and how it would change everything? Remember how we used to grin at each other and say “Tick Tock” and “It’s Mueller Time?”
This was back before Attorney General Barr summarized a 400-page report in a four-page letter, that said there was no evidence of collusion, and Mueller had pretty much left it up to Barr to determine if Trump had committed obstruction of justice. Spoiler alert, he didn’t! It really had been a witch hunt all along, but our long national nightmare is over, lets move on.
Amazingly, most major media JUST ACCEPTS the idea that this four-page “Cliff Notes For Credulous Boobs” version is pretty much the same thing as the actual report, and start churning out articles telling us what we “now know” about The Mueller Report, even though we know NOTHING because we HAVEN’T SEEN IT! And no one stops to say, “Hey, maybe we shouldn’t just accept at face value a summary by a man who before becoming attorney general wrote an op-ed about how there SHOULDN’T BE AN INVESTIGATION AT ALL!”
Maybe there’s cause to entertain doubts about a document produced by an administration that lies like the citizens of the Bible belt consume free on-line porn, which studies show they do PRETTY MUCH CONSTANTLY!”
No, the “fake news media” just swallows “no collusion, no obstruction” like it’s Saddam’s WMDs, until about two days later, some folks on the Mueller team who have never leaked before EVEN ONCE feel compelled to leak NOW, saying “Uh, that’s really not what we said, and also, what would lead you to believe it was?” I don’t know about you guys, but my goddamn head? Pretty much spewed brains all over the ceiling!
So Barr and his pals have a Sharpie party and “lightly redact” about a third of the report, let Trump’s lawyers peruse it for a week or so—and then, before going public, hold a press conference wherein Barr repeats the same set of lies about something the whole world is about to read! He says, “No collusion” like eight times during this bit of theater I’d call a dog and pony show, if the ponies hadn’t all been redacted. It’s a curious word for our nation’s highest law enforcement officer to use with such abandon, since it has NO LEGAL DEFINITION.
The crime in question isn’t “collusion.” It’s conspiracy—and if it didn’t take place, here’s why: IT DIDN’T NEED TO. Trump is already aligned with Russia’s political goals, because he’s a dictator groupie. His greatest life disappointment is that winning the presidency didn’t grant him the authority to have his opponents strapped to the front of an anti-aircraft gun, or bone sawed to pieces, or given a piping hot cup of polonium tea as they accidentally fell out a window.
Since the Central Park Five, Trump has publicly paraded his heart’s desire to see someone put to death at his command. Why would Putin risk Trump getting thrown out of office for actually, probably conspiring with him, when Trump is already living in his pocket?
And isn’t the president just Lil Donny-on-the-Spot, pinning one of his stupid-ass “Game of Thrones” memes on Twitter about an hour later! Like Trump thinks people believe he read 400 pages in an hour! When no one, LITERALLY NO ONE believes he ever even read Barr’s four-page summary! Come on! That’s FOUR TOO MANY for Trump, and everybody knows it! It wasn’t in bullet points, and there were no pictures, NOT… ONE… PICTURE!!
What IS it with Trump and the frikkin’ “Game of Thrones” memes? You know he’s never watched it! All that dude watches is sports, Fox News and old episodes of “The Apprentice” on VHS tape, because DVDs are too sciency and streaming. Well, that’s just SORCERY! No, someone on his staff told him it’s a very popular show that features A WALL and he’ll look real cool if he uses their font!
They’re all so stupid, not one of them thinks about the fact that Jon Snow lets thousands of refugees through the wall—even though people are scared of them—because they’re human beings, and it’s not okay to just let them die!
And when the real evil the refugees are fleeing gets there? The wall FAILS! They smash right through it! It’s like Trump’s inner circle said, “Hey, Mr. President, why don’t you repeatedly use a meme that’s based on a show where the message is the EXACT OPPOSITE of all the idiotic crap you say EVERY DAY?,” and Trump went, “Thanks, I’ll do exactly that because I’m just about as dumb as a human-shaped leather sack of monkey shit!”
That’s all remarkably depressing, so let me leave you with this hopeful thought: If you accept the argument that Trump did not commit the crime of obstruction of justice, it was not for lack of trying. It is because he is unfocused, incompetent, and above all, weak.
When the president of the United States of America cannot count on any of his dog-like underlings to follow his direct orders to break the law, that’s weakness. The president is not the Alpha, not the big dog his self-made myth portrays him to be. There are no big dogs in the White House pack—just a confused, angry, neurotic, undisciplined mongrels, running around in circles, alternately sniffing and biting each other’s hind quarters.
The White House is and endless Puppy Bowl for very, very naughty dogs. If Trump were one-fiftieth of the man he believes himself to be, imagine how much more trouble we’d be in.
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