Bob Franken

THE GREAT PRETENDERS

FROM KING FEATURES SYNDICATE
BY BOB FRANKEN

THE GREAT PRETENDERS

“Trick or treat!” That’s either the neighborhood kiddies out seeking candy and treats on Sunday night, or Glenn Youngkin and Donald Trump busy attempting to trick Virginia voters into thinking that there is any difference between them.
Both of them wear costumes, and both of them masquerade. Trump still lies that he won the last election, and Youngkin pretends he’s not an insidiously disguised clone of the Donald. I guess he’d call himself the Glenn, trying to appeal to the suburban voters that Trump drove away. Oh, Youngkin doesn’t look like Trump — he really doesn’t look like Trump. Youngkin is svelte; Trump is certainly not svelte. And Glenn Youngkin is a success in the business world; Donald Trump is not successful at all. He just talks a good game.
Trump speaks to the reactionaries in this country who want simple answers to their simple questions. Youngkin sneaks up on the same people. Plus, he has a good jump shot.

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But Youngkin and Trump both have one thing in common: the Democrats as opponents, whose specialty is losing elections they should win. Former Gov. Terry McAuliffe should wipe the floor with Youngkin, but the Democrats are turning their name recognition advantage into a disadvantage, a stupor, a lackadaisical attitude toward getting off their butts and turning out to vote because there’s no way their candidate is going to lose. McAuliffe has been no ball of energy either, sometimes seeming to mail in his campaign because, after all, the Republicans are owned lock, stock and barrel by the hated Donald Trump. That was poison in Virginia. But Glen Youngkin is hiding his Trump realities…
a Republican who has managed to not look like one.
Suddenly, the Democrats have realized they have a fight on their hands. Well, they realized it with the help of a bunch of polls that showed McAuliffe and Youngkin in a dead heat. So President Joe Biden, the one who “stole” the election from Trump, is making Virginia his new home, and so is Vice President Kamala Harris. They are trying to counter Younkin’s jump shot with a full court press. And Barack Obama, who also has basketball chops, is seeing if he still has the touch.
As for Biden, he’s also busy with what is left of his infrastructure bills and social progress legislation. Republicans, as usual, are boycotting. Not only that, but President Biden needs to keep his government from shutting down, or partially shutting down, and, lastly, helping see to it that the US of A doesn’t welch on trillions of dollars of debt.
McAuliffe is just one of his problems, actually; Donald Trump is his big one. It’s really very simple: The more Joe Biden or his surrogates fail, the more Trump or his accomplices succeed.
The Virginia election is the forerunner to the forerunner. 2022 is midterm year, when all of the House seats and a third of the Senate are up for grabs. The Democrats hold a slim majority on both sides of the Capitol, with history showing gains for the opposition. But that’s the same Capitol building that Trump insurrectionists tried to take over last year, so history be damned.
There is no earthly evidence that Youngkin was anywhere near the Capitol, but certainly Donald Trump was. There are various probes into Trump’s role in all of that, with the squeeze being applied right now on Steve Bannon, aka Trump’s brain. Bannon is being charged with contempt of Congress for his very visible contempt for congressional investigators and for refusing to squeal to them about his conversations with the Trumpster on or around Jan. 6.
Meanwhile, Trump’s Republicans are trying to pretend that the mob was just a group of tourists and those arrested are political prisoners who just happened to bludgeon police. And kill them.
That’s just one pretense; another is that Glenn Youngkin is not just a mini-Donald Trump. Another thing we know is that most of the kids marauding on Sunday are just trick-or-treaters. And that the night before is not the single devil’s night, in a country where it seems that every night is.

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


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