I finished this cartoon last Wednesday, hoping to address comments made two days earlier by a Trump Administration official who referred to the bombing of Syria as “after-dinner entertainment.” I also wanted to discuss in greater detail (than my previous post) bipartisan applause Trump received for the bombings.
But once again, a ton of crazy stuff went down immediately afterwards, burying the topic beneath an avalanche of insanity.
First, the House of Representatives passed the abominable American Healthcare Act on Thursday. The AHCA is aimed at dismantling the Affordable Care Act, and seemingly classifies life itself as a “pre-existing condition” under which insurance claims can be denied.
Then, whining by thin-skinned #MAGAToads about an unusually bad Stephen Colbert joke triggered a review by the FCC, drawing cries from Chicken Littles in #TheResistance that the F in the Commission’s name must stand for “Fascism,” even though such reviews have always been the FCC’s standard response to obscenity complaints.
Meanwhile, leaked email belonging to French Presidential candidate Emmanuel Macron and his associates prompted now all-too-predictable claims that Russia was “meddling” in yet another Western election, despite the fact that no evidence has been found to support similar claims about the last time this supposedly happened. Regardless, these damage-control excuses ultimately proved unnecessary, as Macron defeated his opponents handily, and can now oppress France’s poor with the same eagerness and impunity with which Marine Le Pen would have oppressed immigrants and minorities.
Finally, just as I was sitting down to write this on Tuesday, Trump fired the director of the FBI!
All of these events occurred over the course of less than a week. I imagine even cartoonists with typically much higher productivity rates than my own are straining to keep up—at least, those who care to maintain a decent standard of quality for their drawing, writing, and overall ideas.
I already had an old, as-yet-unused gag in my sketchbook which would be an appropriate response to the AHCA. Give me a day or two, and I could probably come up with something good on James Comey’s sacking, acknowledging both how it probably should’ve happened before Trump even took the oath of office, and the suspicious appearance of it happening now, not to mention how weird it’s been watching Republicans and Democrats repeatedly trade places for the last year over whether Comey’s good or bad.
But by then, some other bonkers event or series of events, connected to any of these only by the constant themes of Donald Trump’s general awfulness, and his political opponents’ demented ranting about Russia, will have captured everyone’s attention.
A passage I deleted from my previous post noted how I felt many of Trump’s critics have mistaken his massive stupidity, volcanic temper, and extremely short-term thinking for Nixonian calculation or evidence of some grand conspiracy.
He’s not smart, folks. He’s not even wily, as I once speculated. Instead, he’s throwing tantrums. Even without the investigation, Trump was no doubt intimidated by Comey towering over him at 6’8”, and already felt the need to assert his “alpha-dog” status while also punishing a convenient scapegoat for his own numerous failings and insecurities.
I certainly hope Trump’s overreach in this matter results in the appointment of an independent special prosecutor to investigate his steaming diaper of an Administration, and that when he or she turns up some heinous criminal activity which still doesn’t prove Russia interfered in the 2016 election, we’re able to focus on that and do something about it, instead of getting lost in crackpot theories that said prosecutor must be covering something up on orders from Putin.
But I’m not optimistic. After all, if he’s capable of learning anything, Trump’s already learned that bombing some foreigners is an at least temporarily-effective red herring.