Bob Franken




Have you ever wondered how it is, in polite company, you are able to say that it’s a “crap shoot” — as in Las Vegas planning to gradually reopen casinos even though there’s no way they can maintain social distancing at a casino — but you cannot say that President Trump is full of cr-p? He has announced he is declaring that churches and other houses of worship are “essential” and that if governors don’t cooperate he will “override” their inaction.
Would it help to explain I mean he is full of dice? And he is rolling them, using the American people as his pot in a potentially deadly wager with the lethal coronavirus. He’s trying to appear as though he’s rescuing the country from economic disaster and thereby win the big jackpot: reelection. By the way, he has no legal authority to “override” state governors in cases like these.
It’s really not a gamble for him at all, since he only needs to be seen staunchly defending the right of churches — and, oh yeah, synagogues and even mosques — to basically do whatever they want when it comes to holding services. He’s targeting his evangelical base, which internal polls show is beginning to fall apart. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (you remember them) even put out guidelines:
— Modify the methods used to receive financial contributions. Consider a stationary collection box or electronic methods of collecting regular financial contributions instead of shared collection trays or baskets.
— Consider whether physical contact (e.g., shaking hands, hugging or kissing) can be limited among members of the faith community.
The Trumpster makes it clear that churches can feel free to ignore those guidelines, and many have. To be clear, many have not, but others have ignored local laws and crammed congregants in, “shaking hands, hugging or kissing” at will. And so this Sunday passed with emboldened evangelicals doing whatever they please, their choirs singing away (also dangerous).
Of course, religious freedom is a cornerstone of the United States, but, unlike Las Vegas, what happens in the tabernacle does not stay in the tabernacle. In other words, whatever contagions they pass back and forth in their pews, they take into their communities.

Over the weekend, President Trump was worshiping in his own way, playing golf at one of his nearby branded courses and making sure the cameras saw him driving not only the ball, but his own cart. Joe Biden, his presumptive Democratic opponent, emerged briefly from his basement bunker for Memorial Day. He also put out an ad: “The death toll is still rising. The president is playing golf.”
Biden is doing his best to forfeit the election. A gaffe could be defined as “what happens every time Joe Biden opens his mouth.” He was busy once again with his peculiar talent, getting in trouble with African American voters, a demographic he needs to generate enthusiasm and turnout in their communities, by going on a popular black listened-to radio program in New York City and declaring, “If you have a problem figuring out whether you’re for me or Trump, then you ain’t black.” Need I remind you that Joe Biden is as white as the driven snow, who described Barack Obama in 2007 as “… the first mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice-looking guy”?
And now here he is in 2020, accused of being condescending to blacks. Once again, Donald Trump’s main opponent was having to apologize for being “too cavalier.” I think that’s what he said, because he’s hard to understand when he’s speaking with his foot in his mouth.
The two have many differences, but usually Donald Trump says his outrageous stuff intentionally. He’s a genius at getting attention, and when he needs to, deflecting attention. Biden presumably does not. Which is worse? Obviously Trump. He’s in charge at the moment. And rolling the craps with the country he’s shattered.

© 2020 Bob Franken
Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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