Bob Franken


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One can only assume that you used the annual Presidents Day to reflect on the current one, Number 45. No? How about if I say that like so many patriotic holidays, it has devolved into a mere commercial enterprise of contrived sales events or promotions. In that realm, President Donald Trump is No. 1, the huckster-in-chief.
Before he went off to recharge his batteries at Mar-a-Lago, aka Botoxlandia, he left behind a message for all in Washington, those whose job it is to try to figure out his latest incoherent comments. The rants in question came at another of his bizarre news conferences (a gross redundancy). These are always opportunities for him to drop his verbal nuggets of fool’s gold, allowing him to stir the pot and leave everybody who hears his free association to question his sanity, honesty or at least his impulse control.

His attorneys could be easily identified in the White House Rose Garden, which served as his venue. They were the ones with their heads buried in their hands. He was riffing about his declaration of a national emergency to finance his border wall project — legally suspect because it bypasses Congress, which the Constitution grants “the power of the purse.” His lawyers will be the ones to defend it in lawsuits that are already sprouting like weeds in courthouses everywhere. Is this an authoritarian showing contempt for the founders’ separation of powers? Is it really an “emergency,” like he says it is? Donald Trump his very own self seemed to question the latter during his long, long soliloquy. “I didn’t need to do this,” Trump stated. “But I’d rather do it much faster.” That sound you heard was his legal team giving the unified head slap. Not only is the answer to whether it is an “emergency” if he “didn’t need to do this” obvious to any judge, but way more than a million federal workers and contractors, who are still trying to recover from a 35-day shutdown, might be hopping mad to learn that he “didn’t need” to put them through their agony.
Actually, he rambled all over the map: the southern border, North Korea, China … China? Maybe his wall fetish has to do with the Great Wall of China, which was constructed millennia ago to protect that country’s borders. In modern times, sections have become real tourist attractions. Could this be Donald Trump the business speculator, creating a tourist spot with a U.S. version? Does he fantasize about constructing Trump casinos along the Rio Grande? The problem is that his other casino ventures have been disaster, but now the has his new gig, and as P.T. Barnum had said about him, “There’s a sucker born every minute.”
P.T Trump has a built-in stash of suckers, the millions who make up his base. He has thus far been successful in convincing most of them that his failures are successes. So it is when his clumsy attempts to bully the Democrats in Congress went nowhere, he created a “national emergency” declaration to appease those suckers, excuse me, those in his base who think the wall is a brilliant success. Thanks only to him, they will now be protected from the dangers of marauding brown-skinned people intent on raping and pillaging in the U.S.A. Never mind that the vast majority of rapers and pillagers in our country are natural-born citizens, and never mind that the drugs come in mostly at legal points of entry. Inconvenient facts are, in his telling, simply “lies” spread by those monsters from the fake news media.
Presidents Day was an extra day off designed to honor our leaders, even the ones who have dishonored our nation. When he chooses to even acknowledge it, the guy in power at the moment wants to emphasize the “con” in the Constitution.

(c) 2019 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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