The Theme of the Week is the oxymoronic “Alternate Reality,” and the Word of the Week is Stonewall. As in Roger Stone got arrested and Trump didn’t get his wall (but thinks he can command it into being).
But before we get to Week #107 and its (almost predictable by now) incomprehensible mayhem, who wants to hear a frightening tale of beautiful young Latinas getting abducted, bound with duct taped and tossed into the back seats of Mexican Supercars that leave every police vehicle in the dust, then driven across the border by terrorists in such a hurry to kill everybody in American that they left their prayer rugs by the side of the road?
Oh, you heard that one already? Okay… from who? Yeah, me too…
Turns out that was the plot of the 2015 Benicio Del Toro movie named “Sicario,” and none of that ever happened in real life, but that’s a minor distinction to Donald Trump, who has a lower opinion of reality than he does of James Comey. As president, he’s an insomniac TV addict who Tweets his drowsy delusions at 4 in the morning and expects his government to turn his brain spasms into reality.
So repeating the plot of a movie as if it was a series of real events was not a huge stretch for President Pinocchio. Living in a fantasy world is what got him in trouble with the heads of all the Intelligence Agencies later in the week when, in an unprecedented move, they released a joint statement declaring that the President of the United States believes the opposite of reality when it comes to Iran and North Korea, when Trump claimed that Iran was seeking nuclear weapons, but North Korea was willing to give theirs up.
It’s not like the Intelligence agencies didn’t tell Trump the facts of life over and over, but this is a man who refuses to read important briefing papers, thinks he knows more than any expert on any topic and is incapable of listening to more than two sentences spoken by people who are not on a TV screen.
Of course this enraged Trump, who immediately attacked the collective intelligence community (any president’s only source of sensitive information about other countries) as “naive,” and advised them to “go back to school.” The odds against Trump having sources of information unavailable fo the CIA are longer than his neckties.
Week #107 opened hopefully enough, with the government reopening after a traumatic 35-day shutdown. Our optimism was soon tempered when it turns out the agreement was only for 3 weeks worth of governing, when Trump threatened to shut down the government again, all because he was dumped by Ann Coulter, who washed her hands of him and called Trump a wimp when she found out he caved and opened the government again with no funding for the wall. He pulled out his tired State of Emergency threat again, but like Chicken Little before him found out, no one believes the sky is falling on the Mexican border.
Then came the news that one of Trump’s oldest friends, the shady political operative Roger Stone, had been arrested Friday morning in a pre-dawn raid by FBI agents executing a search warrant on behalf of the Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s office. Stone, the poor man’s Roy Cohn with a tattoo of Richard Nixon on his back and a mouthful of “I’m not a crook,” showed off his legendary political chops by pleading Not Guilty from one side of his mouth and offering to cooperate with Mueller from the other.
On Sunday, Stone repeated his offer to sing for Mueller, while Trump expressed his doubts that Congress will give him his wall, (duh!) and once again threatened “Executive Action” to build his wall (zzz…).
National Security Advisor John Bolton had a curious moment in the sun when he carried around an open notepad saying in bold letters “5,000 troops to Colombia,” after he and Trump issued veiled threats to the troubled Venezuela, leaving the world scratching their heads about which Alternate Reality would call for an invasion of Colombia.
While his Intelligence Agency Chiefs were contradicting his delusional world view, the Senate began formulating foreign policy via legislation in the absence of an engaged and informed president, and passing reality-based laws against Trump’s most damaging foreign policy brainstorms.
Thump’s stream of consciousness carried him far afield this week, when he mouthed off about topics as diverse as endorsing bills in 6 State Legislatures that would allow Bible study in public schools (illegal), blaming Paul Ryan for his lack of a wall (even though he was the president who had control of all 3 branches of government for 2 full years) and getting everything all wrong about climate change yet again.
Once again the inability to hear or read more than 2 sentences has betrayed Trump when he implied that the record low temperatures gripping much of the USA this week was proof that Global Warming is not real, when the fact is that severe Winter weather is one result of a fluctuating Polar Vortex that is caused by the warming of the planet. Unfortunately for everyone alive, scientists did not put that fact in the very first sentence of their report to this attention-challenged president, or have TV hosts repeat it endlessly day and night.
After enduring a Nancy Pelosi proclamation that there will be no wall funding in any budget proposals, and official Censure by the Senate for his ill-advised troop withdraws from Syria and Afghanistan, Trump ended Week #7 with a surprise interview with the (!) New York Times on Thursday, one of his favorite targets of slander (the Failing NY Times!), where he encapsulated a surreal week with a lengthy confirmation that he is indeed living in an Alternate Reality.
Trump dismissed the various investigations into him and his entire administration that have seen almost everyone he knows indicted, convicted or awaiting sentencing as “nothing,” defended his constant attacks on the free press as (!) ”being a big defender of our free press,” and waxed eloquent on all the the unicorns and dragons of his fevered imagination, wondering why his generals, his experts, his intelligence agency heads and Congress can’t seem them as plain as he does.
Maybe we can hope Trump watches some of Benicio Del Toro’s better films soon, he has been in some fine movies that do not involve anyone being kidnapped and duct-taped in the back seat of Mexican Supercars (Perhaps his recent Cable TV miniseries about a prison escape just might come in handy one day, Mr. President?).
After all our protestations to the contrary, we are finally there, in a place where no expects the President of the United States to be engaged with reality or to say anything truthful. Absurd is the new normal, even if it still feels weird as hell and pisses us off no end.