Bob Franken




Donald Trump and the Republicans (pardon the redundancy) have figured it all out. They win their elections, even if they lose. Trump is fresh off his polling “steal” in 2020 and looking forward to the California recall balloting this week. He predicted, in a Newsmax interview, that Gov. Gavin Newsom and his Democrat thieves have “probably rigged” the voting.
The state GOP Trumpettes are already screaming fraud, even though all the ballots aren’t in yet. It’s getting so we don’t even need to have elections. Beforehand, the losers can charge hanky-panky of some sort, and then those losers can hold a violent invasion of the state or national capital, in this case, Sacramento. Then the election is tainted forever, at least in the minds of some gullible voters.
In fact, let’s not stop with elections. How about wars? The Taliban didn’t just take over Afghanistan, particularly after they were run out 20 years ago. After the United States spent more than $2.25 trillion — $300 million a day — and thousands upon thousands of lives were lost, it was all for naught, rigged. We shouldn’t have bothered.
For an explanation, it’s Donald Trump to the rescue once again. We just had the wrong people leading the charge all along. He was equating the lost cause in Afghanistan to another “Lost Cause” war 160 years ago, the Civil War, the War Between the States, where Gen. Robert E. Lee led the troops of the Confederate army against the Union soldiers. They were fighting for the Southern way of life, including slavery.
They were also guilty of treason and should have been hanged, each and every one of them. Instead, after Abraham Lincoln’s “With malice toward none, with charity for all” second inaugural address, Robert E. Lee statues ended up everywhere. None more prominent than the 40-foot-high behemoth that was erected along Monument Avenue in Richmond, Virginia, about 130 years ago when reminiscences of the old gracious South, with its gracious slavery, were in full flower — for the white flowers, of course.

But Trump, who watched the dismantling on TV and put out a statement, was more forward-looking:
“If only we had Robert E. Lee to command our troops in Afghanistan, that disaster would have ended in a complete and total victory many years ago. What an embarrassment we are suffering because we don’t have the genius of a Robert E. Lee!”
At least Trump is consistent. It’s just another example of his dealing in fiction — the fiction that Lee was some great military strategist. There is only one word to disprove that alternative fact: “Gettysburg.”
You want two words? How about “Pickett’s Charge”? Or, more accurately, “Gen. Robert E. Lee’s Charge”? Because in the battle for Gettysburg, it was Lee who ordered Pickett on the ground to undertake the futile assault against Union troops that ended in embarrassing defeat for rebel forces who suffered massive casualties.
That’s who a President Trump would have chosen to lead the battle against the Taliban. Who knows? If he was correct, right now there could be a statue of Lee in Kabul.
But we are stuck with President Joe Biden, who, after he pulled off the “big steal” — somehow organizing a conspiracy to pull off the greatest larceny in history and become president — kept his promise to get the nation out of Afghanistan. It was messy, and Biden is being blamed for deadly mistakes in extricating America from four administrations’ worth of mistakes.
Too bad, while he was president, Donald Trump was busy warning that Biden would abscond with the election, a Democratic pilfering that is still underway.
And too bad he didn’t have Robert E. Lee available to deal with Afghanistan once and for all.

© 2021 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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