Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Welcome to the Shit Show

(By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
Years ago, I once took my family to King Richard's Faire, a standing Ren Faire in Carver, Massachusetts about 45 minutes east of Providence, Rhode Island. Among the fake jousting by fake knights and buxom women displaying their mammary wares in medieval costumes were the performers. Among them was an act called The Mud Show.
     And as with all the entertainment (who are not paid by the Ren Faire itself and have to subsist on donations from the crowd. Because, you know, historical precedent has to be maintained, naturally), the one man mud show occasionally stopped his geophagy to beg for money. Another man did a fire act in which he would occasionally scream, "I am setting my nipples on fire for you!"
     Essentially, that's what the State of the Union Address was last night. Beneath all the pomp and circumstance that the SOTU demands, the endless presidential traditions, introductions, glad-handing and anchors, analysts and assorted assholes quivering for the slightest comment-worthy thing, this is what we had- A man forced to eat mud for a dollar apiece.
     What you see in the lead image above was Nancy Pelosi "applauding" Donald Trump.
     Aside from Joshua Trump falling asleep, this is likely to be the iconic image from last night's shit show. When I think of all the adversarial relationships between past Speakers and Presidents like Tip O'Neill and Reagan, Newt Gingrich and Clinton, I always saw at the base of all that antagonism respect for the president.
     There's none of that in Nancy Pelosi's eyes. There is pure, undisguised contempt for Trump in that gesture. This is the political version of firing a semi-auto sideways, gangsta-style. It's technically wrong but oddly satisfying to see it done and to do.
     And, while I have my own grievances with the House Speaker, Trump deserved every quivering eye and stifled laugh that he got from Pelosi, who was an interesting counterpoint to the man on her right, Vice President Lickspittle Zero. And what grievances did I and others have with Trump's semi-somnolent speech last night?

Let Us Count the Ways
For those of us who weren't lulled to sleep or placed into an alcohol-induced coma from the inevitable drinking game (take one shot for every time the words "wall", "border" and/or "security" is mentioned), we had heard more than plenty enough to alarm us.
     To begin with, every woman in Congress, Republican and Democrat alike, wore white in honor of the suffrage movement that resulted 99 years ago in women finally winning the right to vote. Among those who had was Tiffany Trump, the Marilyn Munster of the family. At first, Trump got excited when he saw the sea of white because he probably thought they were Klan costumes.
     Then after Pelosi gave him her "Fuck you" clap, Trump began slinging mud and winding up eating it at Socialists, Democrats, opponents to his vanity wall and even the duly-elected President of Venezuela. The usual hoary calls for bipartisanship fell on deaf ears on both sides of the aisle because no one on either side wants to work with the guys on the other. In fact, there were at least 11 perceived instances in which Trump denied a possibility for bipartisanship even as he called for it (Translation: "Get with the Republican program or else.").
     Less reported was what Trump said yesterday afternoon before TV anchors before giving the State of the Union in which this dumb, nasty son of a bitch whose show eventually bombed called Chuck Schumer, "a nasty son of a bitch", Joe Biden "dumb" and that the late Sen. John McCain wrote a book that "bombed."
     As for the SOTU itself, well, Trump did what Trump always does and spewed lies with the industry of Ron Jeremy after a year-long dry spell. In fact, the New York Times had to do a fact check on all the lies Trump told on immigration, abortion, the economy and everything else he touched. Apparently, even Stacey Abram's rebuttal wasn't enough to dam the tsunami of shit that vomited out of the Capitol Building. (Typically, Fox hit Abrams for calling out racism.)
     It was such a bad speech, Rick Santorum (R-Google) was forced to agree with Jennifer Granholm and said it was the worst speech he'd ever seen Trump give. It's useless to go over the particulars because it was a bunch of right wing boilerplate that sounded as if Trump chugged a pint of codeine cough syrup beforehand.
     But he made a tired plea for the wall, essentially promised we'd overthrow Maduro in Venezuela. called for bipartisanship and the end to bullying just hours after bullying three senior statesmen. And he delivered it as a tired old man who literally put children to sleep and, in the process, alienated even parts of his own base.

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