Guest Author John Birmingham on top of his form:
And so we are one hundred days into Donald Trump’s presidency of laughter and forgetting. The laughter is the deranged cackle of an escaped mental patient hiding in the darkened basement of a Stephen King story. The forgetting is inevitable, because who can keep this shit straight? The alternate facts, the Russian hookers, the amateur oompah band of cosplay Nazis winding their way through the White House kicking out the jams on a 76 trombone cover of old SS dancehall favourites, the early morning tweet storms, the gentle tonguing of Vladimir Putin, Kelly-Anne’s shopping network promo for Ivanka’s failing fashion line, Mike Flynn’s sacking, Steve Bannon’s demonic possession, selfies with the nuclear briefcase guy, and family favours and open bribes from the Chinese government and the transfer of the Situation Room to the outdoor dining lounge at Mar-a-Lago. And all of that is just off the top of my head. With a quick search on el Goog I could fill this whole column with a firehose of craziness, the same way that talking baboon’s anus constantly fills our world with a never-ending toxic gas leak of his brainfarts and crazy uncle conspiracy theories.
As John Oliver said. “Trump hasn’t said one crazy thing, he’s said thousands of crazy things, each of which blunts the effect of the others.”
In a week where an unremarkable Facebook post by Yassmin Abdel-Magied set off a firestorm of nontroversy—imagine a shrinking tribe of pantsless old white men circling their walking frames to light each others farts in Rupert Murdoch’s private cigar lounge—and as a human CAPS LOCK error approached the hundred day mark of his Administration, it’s worth unpacking the triumph of Donald J. Trump.
Yes. That’s right. Not his abject policy failure. Not the imminent prospect of the US government ceasing to function this weekend because a Republican majority House of Reps, and a Republican majority Senate cannot agree with a Republican circus peanut in the White House on how to pass a simple budget measure. Nope.
Because while Trump rolls from one outrage to the next like a giant fluorescent novelty condom filled with Sriracha flavoured hobo stew and nightclub urinal cakes, we are so thoroughly enthralled by the grotesque spectacle that we forget the original outrage, the one that will probably see him driven from office. As the hundred day milestone approaches, almost nobody is talking about whether Trump now wanders the halls of the West Wing at ohfuckno-thirty in the morning because the Russian intelligence services wanted him there.
How does that connect to the witch hunt and burning of Yassmin Abdel-Magied this week? Well, I think her mistake was not serving up a doubledown sandwich to the angry mob which pursued her online. Serving it up and jamming it down their fucking throats, actually. Especially the free speech hypocrites compulsively squeezing their raging hate-boners as they imagine being allowed to abuse Abdel-Magied for both her gender and her skin colour. (Not that there’s much stopping them now. Certainly not the editorial guidelines at News Corp.)
She backed down. Trump never does, at least in his own mind, and as he’ll tell you, he’s president and you’re not.
For now, anyway.
Every day of his term the world will awake to whatever exciting new dumpster fire he’s lit overnight. But the investigations of Russian involvement in his election continue quietly. This week the disgraced National Security Advisor General Flynn, who famously led the chants of ‘Lock her Up’ at the Republican convention, was back in the news because it turned out he’d earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in undeclared payments from Russian companies and individuals with close ties to Russia while he was working for Trump.
As one smartarse OpEd put it, Trump believes in extreme vetting for immigrants, “but apparently not for members of his administration. Unless, of course, he was fully aware of what Flynn was up to.”
Most likely, Trump’s not aware of what Trump is up to on any given day. After a hundred of them it’s exhausting to imagine what a whole four years might feel like when they’re done, assuming we live that long. At least if he decides to start a new Korean War from Mar-a-Lago this weekend, to distract everyone from the US government going out of business, there’s a good chance he’ll send the aircraft carriers in completely the wrong direction. Again.