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The Trump Files

Gene L. Ford By

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Rumor has it that plans are afoot for president vengeful to fire attorney general Bill Barr and appoint a special counsel to investigate—wait for it!—Hunter Biden's taxes, and—drum roll, please!—claims of widespread fraud that surely cost him the 2020 election. Barr, it seems, committed the unforgivable sin of following DOJ protocol and keeping an FBI investigation of Hunter Biden under wraps until after the election. President merciless is now asking about the possibility of firing senator Lindsey Graham, once a staunch ally, who tweeted, "When it comes to the Hunter Biden investigation—attorney general Barr did the right thing from a legal point of view." That was no doubt exactly what president law and order wanted to hear from one of his most ardent and faithful brown-nosers. With that kind of perfidy afoot, it shouldn't be long before Ivanka and Jared are circulating petitions to end capital punishment and defund the police.

December 19, 2020

Facts first.

Donald J Trump, DWL (Dim-Witted Leader) lost the 2020 presidential election—BY A LOT!

Donald J Trump, SCT (Shameless Conspiracy Theorist) will never, ever accept that.

The question is, why? And the answer has a lot to do with involuntary reflexes. When, for example, an arachnophobe is confronted by a spider, the reflex action is to jump quickly away from "danger" and toward safety. Similarly, when a delusional sociopath / narcissist is confronted by the fact of losing, the reflex action is to deny it ever happened. If moving quickly away from a spider doesn't work, the arachnophobe may have to summon the courage to kill its nemesis. And if denial doesn't work, the sociopath / narcissist must look for someone or something to blame, some way to account for the unthinkable, to prove that the "loss" wasn't really as it seemed and therefore that "winning" is not only possible but inevitable.

In addition to the well-known traits listed here (pathological liar, unrepentant sociopath, single-minded narcissist), our country's toddler-in-chief lives in an illusory world of his own making, one in which losing is never an option. The mere suspicion of losing means something must be amiss; there has to be a sinister cause, a scheme by iniquitous thieves to skew the playing field and "steal" his rightful victory. In other words, the contest has to be unfair and weighted against him, otherwise he wins—BY A LOT! Trump declared this year even before any votes had been cast, "The only way I lose this election is if it was rigged." How's that for presenting an alibi even before a crime has been committed.

But why on earth, the casual observer may wonder, would someone wish to hold onto a job he has so little interest in doing and at which he so clearly sucks? Again, the answer is rather plain and simple:

In spite of his disingenuous pledge to uphold the Constitution and follow the law, president Pious the 1st swears allegiance to only one god: primacy, the god of power. Once one has tasted that elixir, the thirst becomes unquenchable. Having experienced the perquisites of power (underlings bowing to his every wish; no-fare trips on Air Force One; watching television [read: Fox news] day and night; golfing on weekends at taxpayer expense whenever it suits him; basking in the warmth of applause from thousands upon thousands of misguided schlemiels at his seemingly never-ending rallies; answering to no one for any action or decision, no matter how aberrant or shameless; viciously insulting or berating those who disagree; and, best of all, squandering other people's money instead of his own), there's no way someone as venal and self-absorbed as Donald Trump would ever let that slip from his hands voluntarily.

And so he slogs on, believing (yes, he really does believe) he has a chance to overturn the election, filing lawsuit after frivolous lawsuit, strong-arming party members and raising tons of money from his gullible base, meanwhile searching everywhere for someone, anyone to blame for the "treachery" that led to his unforeseen and unthinkable loss. Even long-time allies, no matter how loyal and craven, aren't safe from president spiteful's anger and accusations. Cybersecurity expert Chris Krebs who said the election was "the most secure in American history"? You're fired! Attorney general Bill Barr, a loyal and complaisant lapdog who didn't move fast enough in the Hunter Biden "scandal"? Out! John Durham, a federal prosecutor who declined to file charges against the FBI and others who Trump says committed crimes while investigating his 2016 campaign's dealings with Russians? Pathetic! State and local election officials from governors on down who certified the election results as being fair and honest? Traitors who should be clapped in irons and sent straight to prison! Judges who threw out case after ridiculous case? Thieves and conspiracists who never let the president and his magnificent team of lawyers "have their day in court." Even the Supreme Court, which refused to hear a case filed on Trump's behalf by 18 attorneys general and more than 100 members of congress? "A great and disgraceful miscarriage of justice."

Trump's final word, even after the Electoral College had ratified president-elect Joe Biden's overwhelming victory, 306-232? "I WON THE ELECTION IN A LANDSLIDE!" He'll no doubt be repeating that mantra even as he is being evicted from his residence at 1600 Black Lives Matter Avenue in DC, and for years afterward as he searches for ways to regain the ascendancy and power he has lost. If it were anyone else but Trump, one might even pause to have some pity on his hapless soul. A fruitless gesture by any means, as he does not understand pity and has no soul.

In other news...

Speaking of throwing people under the bus...

In his relentless quest to find someone or something that could conceivably have cost him the election, president unmerciful has zeroed in on a new villain: Fox News. Yes, the same Fox News that has had his back and leaped to his defense in almost every situation, no matter how nonsensical or bizarre, since he and Melania glided down that infamous escalator almost five years ago. But lately, it seems, this isn't the same Fox News he has always relied upon to regurgitate his lies and help spread his disinformation and propaganda. They've been asking tougher questions, even follow-ups, and have even had (gasp!) Democrats appearing on some of their programs. Now Fox is learning that for someone who demands complete and unquestioning obedience and loyalty, Trump is a bit short when it comes to reciprocity. "Can't believe how badly Fox News is doing in the ratings," he tweeted this week (overlooking the fact that his former buddies lead all cable networks in viewership almost every hour of the day and night). "Fox News is dead," he ranted. "Really sad!" But don't be dismayed, MAGA drones; even though Fox has, in the president's words, "played right into the hands of the Radical Left Democrats," you can still find news that is "fair and balanced" on One America Network or Newsmax, whichever one plants its lips furthest up his ass.

December 24, 2020

We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
We wish you a merry Christmas
And a Trump-free New Year!!!


It's a shame we couldn't have Tweeted that, in keeping with the Trumpian obsession. But I don't use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media time-wasters. Not that I haven't been asked; I simply have better things to do with the few moments I have left. I can't imagine arising at 3 or 4 in the morning to compose and send a Tweet. To do that, you'd either have to be stark raving mad or the leader of the world's most powerful country—or perhaps both.

But love him or hate him (a brief pause while I raise my hand), no one need ever feel sorry for Donald Trump. No matter what happens—or does not happen—on January 6 or beyond, president "won by a landslide" is in a win-win situation, at least in his own—shall we say, for lack of a better word—mind. Two things are possible when congress convenes early next month to ratify the electoral votes, the first of which is highly unlikely. That is that Trump and his rag-tag band of slobbering sycophants somehow manage to successfully challenge and overturn the votes in enough swing states to hand him a victory in spite of his having been soundly beaten in every one of them. The second is that their challenge is rightfully turned aside by a congress that at long last realizes it has to draw the line somewhere to uphold the Constitution and preserve our democratic republic.

Either way, Trump wins. In the first instance, he is able to park his fat ass in the White House for four more years (shudder!), gorging on KFC and fries, watching Fox news (and OAN) day and night and golfing every weekend while the country continues its precipitous slide into no-man's land under his inept and vacuous "leadership." In the second, Trump hasn't "lost" an election, it was "stolen" from him by conspirators too numerous to name who came together in a vast yet somehow unseen conspiracy whose sole aim was to remove "the greatest president in our nation's history" (we are of course quoting Trump here) from office. The evidence for that is either "overwhelming" or "non-existent," depending on who you ask. No need to question where Trump and his sharp-witted lawyers (you may replace the word "sharp" with "dim") stand.

Meanwhile, president Clement the 1st is spending what should be his last days in office pardoning everyone who has stood by him in his time of travail and a few others whose crimes he deems worthy of compassion. Genghis Khan, we've been told, is high on the list, as are Pol Pot, Lucrecia Borgia, Lee Harvey Oswald, Harry Thaw (look it up), Evita Peron (he loved the movie), Charles Manson, Sirhan Sirhan and the hunter who shot Bambi's mother.

Happy holidays, everyone! If you are up to it, I'm sure we'll be meeting here again in January, if not sooner...

December 31, 2020



At last... at long, long last!... the year 2020, surely one of the more bizarre and hellacious years in our nation's colorful history, will soon fade into our collective rear-view mirror. For many of us, the end couldn't arrive soon enough. If 2020 was the Year of the Pandemic, 2021 should be the Year of the Vaccines and, we hope, a return to what should be a more "normal" way of life in which restaurants are open, hospitals have beds to spare, sports (including the Summer Olympics) resume on schedule, and friends and relatives may safely hug, kiss and share meals without fear of infirmity or worse.

Donald Trump, of course, continues to work feverishly to realize his illusory dream of overturning the 2020 presidential election. Much of that work, it seems, is being done on the golf course at his Mar-a-Lago enclave in Florida, and consists for the most part of phone calls to those who remain clueless enough to buy the con. Which leads us to the topic of today's edition of The Trump Files: the lighter side, as exemplified by president robin hood ($2,000 checks for the poor!) and his band of merry highwaymen (and women). Yes, Virginia, there is a lighter side, starting here:

Dan Patrick, the lieutenant governor of Texas, offered a reward of up to $1 million to anyone able to furnish proof of fraud in the 2020 presidential election. And now someone has stepped forward to claim the money. John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor of Pennsylvania, says he has clear and documented evidence of voter misbehavior in his state, wherein three supporters of President Trump have been charged with fraud owing to schemes in which they attempted to cast votes on behalf of their dead mothers. "While it's undoubtedly hilarious that these cases involved Trump voters and their dead mothers, it's really irrelevant," Fetterman said. "It documents how truly rare voter fraud is, and how nearly impossible it is to pull it off." Now that he has produced the evidence, Fetterman says he would like to see the cash. Good luck with that, John.

Moving on...

What is the reasonable response when one is labeled "a fool," "hapless," "a clown" and a "RINO" (Republican in Name Only) by none other than the president? Well, if you are governor Brian Kemp of Georgia, you fetch your young daughter and take her to one of the president's many joyous—and maskless—Christmas parties! Sure, president picayune said Kemp was "finished as governor" for refusing to entertain Trump's empty-headed fantasies and overturn Georgia's election result in his favor, but hey, it's the Christmas season! Let's let bygones be bygones. And have some more of that delicious cake and ice cream!..."Governor Kemp, Mr president; have you met my daughter? No, no, Mr president!...I didn't mean you should GRAB her!..."

And finally...

Returning to Texas, or as it is more widely known, the Last Gasp State, US Rep Louie Gohmert (as far as we can tell, only distantly related to Gohmert Pyle) has concocted the latest in a series of can't-miss schemes to save the Trump presidency: sue vice president Mike Pence! According to a lawsuit filed last week in federal court by the state's kookiest legislator, the vice president should use his power, whatever that is, come January 6 to "accept only electors legitimately and legally elected"—in other words, only electors who would vote for Donald Trump regardless of what voters in their states decided. To say that this would set a precedent would be an insult to the word "precedent." According to Gohmert's "logic," the vice president, who presides over the electoral formalities, should be able to decide on his own which electoral votes should be counted and, as a result, who should be installed as president on January 20. Gee, I wonder which electors he might choose? That preordained decision would effectively disenfranchise the more than eighty million Americans who voted for Joe Biden, but to Gohmert's way of "thinking" that's no big deal, as most of them voted illegally anyway.

That would mean, of course, that in all future elections the sitting vice president, and not the voters, could and should determine who the next president would be. And, that being the case, the party in power would remain the party in power—forever. Any court worth its salt should certainly give that astute concept its due consideration. Nothing unconstitutional there, simply a helping hand for a president who could really use one. So far, president plaintiff's hired guns have filed sixty-one lawsuits and won all but sixty. So Gohmert may be betting the odds are in his favor. As we said to Pennsylvania's John Fetterman, good luck with that, Louie.

My question is not so much why Gohmert and Co. keep hatching these harebrained schemes to preserve a presidency that has failed in every respect but why we keep electing these dimwitted screwballs in the first place. Surely the voters in Texas can't be that misguided and stupid.

Give me a moment while I try to rephrase that...

Before welcoming the new year, here's one last grin...

As it turns out, president prankster, whose sense of humor has been celebrated far and wide for its complete absence, has managed to deliver the last laugh, to those who voted for him and the country as a whole. He has spent more than 300 days golfing (about one-fifth of his time in office) and is adding to the total as this is being written. He has spent much of the rest of his time tweeting, issuing imprecise and largely ineffective executive orders, watching television, lining his (and his family's) pockets, promoting ludicrous and unproven "cures" for Covid-19 and crying about how he was "robbed" of a second term by a "rigged" election. With another large helping of taxpayer-funded indolence so near his grasp, it's no wonder he wants "fore" more years...

January 4, 2021

Somewhere in Georgia: The sound of a phone ringing.

"Hello?"

"Hello. Is this secretary Raffensperger?"

"Yes, it is..."

"Mr secretary, this is the Don..."

"Yes, I recognized your voice, sir."

"Look, Mr secretary, I'll get right to the point. The reason I'm calling is I want you to 'find' 11,780 votes for me, which is only one more than we already have, so we can overturn the November election in Georgia and declare me the winner."

"With all due respect, president corleone, we don't 'find' votes; people cast their votes and we simply count them. The candidate with the most votes wins..."

"I'm afraid you're not quite getting my message. As I said, we already have the votes; we won your state—by a landslide. I just want you to 'find' enough votes to make that official. You and I know the votes are there; you just have to count them, shall we say, more creatively. You can do that for me, right?"

"I would if I could, president godfather. But the votes have been counted three times, and audited, and certified..."

"You don't have to toss those big words at me. All I want you to do is 'find' the votes we both know are 'missing.' I don't care how you do it. Look, tell 'em some of the votes were 'accidentally' shredded, or the voting machines 'malfunctioned' (see, I can use big words too when I have to). You're a Republican; you should want an 'accurate' election."

"Yes, I do, Mr president. And I believe we've done all we could to assure that..."

"Not ALL you could, Mr secretary, as there's still a little matter of those 11,780 votes in Sleepy Joe's favor. That would mean Georgia voted blue; we both know that could never happen. The people in Georgia are angry; the people in this country are angry. So you see, there's really no harm in saying you've 'recalculated' the votes (see, there's another big word) and the earlier count was off by, say, 11,780 or so..."

"But we couldn't possibly do that now, president bilko. The votes have been certified, the electors chosen..."

"Okay, listen carefully, Mr secretary; I'll lay it on the line for you—I'm through being Mr nice guy. Do you know that what you're doing is a criminal offense, and you could go to prison for it...?"

"And you couldn't?"

"No way! I'm the president. No one can touch me. You might say I'm bullet-proof. Couldn't say the same about you, if you get my drift..."

"Are you threatening me, president mafioso?"

"Threatening? Nah, not threatening...Let's just say, a word to the wise...nudge nudge, wink wink..."

"Well, I won't say I'm not scared, president liquidator, but we still can't simply 'find' almost 12,000 ballots with your name on them..."

"Look, pal, all I'm asking is that you 'do me a favor.' I've done that before, and everyone said the phone call was perfect. Can't you just do me this one little favor? I'm not asking that much; only that you confirm something we already know is true, that the people of Georgia really cast the most votes for me and so I won the state..."

"I wish I could do that, Mr president, but the challenge facing you is that the data you have is wrong."

"Wrong? My data wrong? It's been personally examined by Rudy Giuliani, Sidney Powell and Louie Gohmert! They all agree there are serious rumors of widespread voter fraud there! And you say it's wrong? If we could ever have our day in court..."

"But Mr president, you've had almost sixty days in court, and every court including the Supreme Court has quickly tossed out your claims of election fraud..."

"That's because they're traitors! They can't handle the truth! I'm sorry I appointed most of those cowardly judges..."

"And I'm afraid Georgia can't help you either, president sniveler."

"If that's your final word, Mr secretary, I want you to know that you're through as secretary, and your double-crossing governor Kemp is also through..."

"You overlooked one other important departure, Mr Trump. You're through as president too. Have a nice day. 'Bye."

January 5, 2021

"Phone call for you on Line 3, Mr president."

"Do you know who's calling?"

"No sir. He said he's an old friend and that the call is extremely urgent. He may have given the name Ray or Roy..."

"Is it a collect call?"

"No sir."

"Okay, I'll take it. Hello..."

"Hey, Don, it's me; Roy!—Roy Cohn—remember me...?"

"Roy Cohn? My trusted friend and mentor? And the great senator Joe McCarthy's faithful lap dog? How could I ever forget you! But Roy, how can this be happening? After all, you're...you're..."

"Yes, old buddy, technically I'm dead, and will be for the foreseeable future; but they do let us make one long-distance phone call every hundred years..."

"And you're calling me? Wow! It must really be important! But tell me, where are you calling from?"

"Sorry, afraid I can't tell you that; I can only say I'm in an undisclosed location. There's one thing I can tell you, though: it's hot as hell here!"

"So you can't tell me where you're calling from, but you can tell me why you're calling?"

"Yes, that I can, and it's the reason I'm calling. Donald, do you remember when I told you you'd always come out a winner as long as you lied as loudly, as often and as confidently as possible, and repeated the lies until most people believed them as much as you did?"

"Of course I remember. Best advice I ever got! In case the news hasn't reached you, that guidance made me president of the United States."

"Yes, I was aware of that. News travels fast here in the underworld—sorry; slip of the tongue. Forget I said that. Anyway, the reason I'm calling is to let you know that while I did a pretty good job selling the many benefits of pathological lying, I was a touch short when it came to letting you know the longer-term consequences."

"Consequences? You're saying there are longer-term consequences?"

"Yes, a few trifling ones. Certainly nothing to get overheated about. For example, you'll have to stay here for a while. Well, not really a while. More like an eternity. And as permanent residences go, this place does leave a lot to be desired. Not only is it always as hot as you-know-where, but the beds we sleep on are made of solid steel with long spikes embedded at six-inch intervals. Believe me, it doesn't make turning over very easy. And then there are the twice-daily beatings with whips and chains..."

"Beatings? With whips and chains?"

"Yeah, but you'll soon get used to that. A mere annoyance. The insufferable heat and never-ending thirst are much worse, really..."

"Suppose I don't want to stay there? I have my suite at Mar-a-Lago..."

"Well, there's the rub, Don. They don't really give you a choice. I know I didn't have one...One minute I'm the toast of New York, big-shot lawyer, and the next minute, here I am in this arid and scorching hospice I can't name..."

"Suppose I just lie like I always do and say that on earth my name was Mother Theresa?"

"I don't think that'll fly, old friend. Lying isn't really big in this neighborhood, not at all like it is on earth. No, I think the guys in charge here have already heard about every lie that's ever been told..."

"I could make up some new ones. There are plenty I haven't used yet..."

"Honestly, Don (honestly? there's a word I don't use often), I think you should chuck that idea and go with the flow. And speaking of flow, there are no toilets here either; you should be ready for that. When all is said and done, I can think of a number of places I'd rather be spending my eternity but I wouldn't want to judge the place too hastily. After all, I haven't been here nearly as long as my roommates, Adolph and Genghis..."

"It does sound rather awful, but nothing you say could ruin my day today. I just had a great conversation with Georgia's lieutenant governor. I'm sure I'm gonna win that election...!"

"I wouldn't bet the house on that, Don. We can see the future as well as the past here, and your future doesn't look too bright at this moment..."

"But we're challenging the electoral vote tomorrow! If we lose that, does that make me a loser?"

"No, not at all. Trust me, Donald; you'll never be a loser. On the other hand, you won't be a winner tomorrow either. But whichever way it goes, always remember: you didn't lose an election; the election was stolen from you. Just keep repeating that. Nevertheless, on January 20, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president and is going to replace you..."

"Oh, so that's it! You're turning against me too...!"

"No no no! Hold on there, Don! And please stop crying! Nothing has changed. I'm still your friend—always have been, always will be. I just thought it was time I let you know a few facts..."

"Facts? Facts? What good are facts if they don't help me win?"

"You are absolutely right, Don. Facts can be quite inconvenient and annoying. On the other hand, they are often hard to avoid or defeat, no matter how relentlessly you attack them. Spoiler alert: from where I sit (we're allowed to sit for about an hour every day), the facts are lining up to give your ass a good old-fashioned whupping. And I say that as a friend and admirer..."

"So that's why you called? To make me feel bad?"

"Not at all, Donald, old friend. And do stop bawling. Trust me, you'll need that moisture once you've arrived here. I called simply to let you know that while lying is clearly the most ingenious subterfuge known to man—on earth, that is—it really doesn't travel well, and you may one day find yourself in a place where lying has no value whatsoever."

"I would never want to be in a place like that..."

"But as I've pointed out, Donald, you'd have no choice."

"Tell me, then, is there a way around that? Any way out? Besides lying, I mean..."

"Well, it's probably a long-shot, but there could be one last chance for you. Tonight, as the clock strikes midnight, you will be visited by three spirits..."

January 8, 2021

The bottom line:

Donald Trump's rag-tag menagerie of trained chimpanzees made their point Wednesday, attacking, briefly occupying and generally trashing the US Capitol building, and are now free to slink back to their cages and flesh out whatever fruitless plans they may have for Inauguration Day, January 20.

Even though they tried to "fight like hell," as the fuhrer commanded earlier that day before retreating to his underground bunker, the chimps were unable to achieve their glorious leader's fondest wishes—burning the Reichstadt (pardon, Capitol) to the ground and fomenting a bloody civil war in which the US military would somehow be persuaded that his cause was righteous, rush to his aid, overthrow the country's duly elected government and affirm his position as undisputed Ruler of the Universe.

Failing that, but secure in the knowledge that the loyal members of the Cult of Trump could never summon the courage or common sense to oppose him, the sorcerer-in-chief moved immediately to his usual Plan B—finding someone else to blame for the carnage he had endorsed and encouraged. Vice president Mike Pence seemed a likely target, having defied his master's orders by carrying out his constitutional role and certifying the election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris to succeed Trump in office. But Pence, the quintessential vanilla wafer, wasn't on record as having advocated mob rule or sedition (in fact, he wasn't on record as having either supported or opposed anything at all). Damn!—On the other hand, Rudy Giuliani was! Also, Don Jr and a number of Republican "leaders" in congress. Eeny-meeny-miny-mo...well, no matter who wound up in the crosshairs, someone's head had to roll—and that head would definitely not be orange-colored with faux hair to match. Hold on a minute! Here's an even better idea! We'll blame the rioters themselves!

On Thursday, to prove to America and the world that hypocrisy is not dead, president simon-pure posted a video on Twitter in which he said, among other things, "I am outraged by the violence, lawlessness and mayhem [of the assault on the Capitol]. I immediately deployed the National Guard and federal law enforcement (couldn't resist inserting one more lie) to secure the building and expel the intruders.

"My only goal was to ensure the integrity of the vote. (Okay, two lies.) In doing so, I was fighting to defend American democracy." (And for those who are keeping score, that's three—and bear in mind that par for Trump is way above that.) Turning his sternest gaze toward the camera, president law-and-order then declared: "To those who engaged in the acts of violence and destruction: you do not represent our country. And to those who broke the law: you will pay."

Trump then signaled for the video to stop, as he could no longer contain his laughter. "The best part," he snorted between chuckles, "is that everyone I egged on knows I don't mean a word of it!" Now, he said, "let's ice the cake by saying something completely implausible about a smooth transition of power, and how I wish Joe and Kamala only the best. Kayleigh, you write it out for me; you're good at that kind of mealy-mouthed shit. Have it on my desk in half an hour.

"Oh, and add something about how serving as president has been a great honor, or something like that—blah, blah, blah. No need to mention the golf trips. Or the coronavirus. Wouldn't want anyone to think I wasn't working 24/7 for them. Oh, you might say our response to the pandemic has been far better than any other country in the world. What the hell; we'll be out of here in two weeks. One more lie can't do us any harm..."

January 10, 2021

Shrewd as Donald Trump is (notice I didn't say smart; there's a big difference), he never saw this coming. By "this" I mean the widespread condemnation of his efforts to overturn a lawfully conducted election by any means possible to assuage his enormous ego and grant him four more years of indolence, incompetence and chaos as president of the country he has worked so hard to demolish and rebuild in his self-centered image. In Trump's mind, he is the hero, not the villain, in this tragic episode in American history. And those ill-served and barbarous rioters who invaded and looted the US Capitol building on January 6? They are members of his army of righteousness, poised to shed their blood and lay down their lives if necessary to protect and preserve the sacred cause of Trumpism.

And what exactly is Trumpism? That is where Trump's craftiness really comes into play. The fact is, no one really knows. Trump has no ideology whatsoever; he asks only that his abettors swear undying allegiance to him and him alone, no matter the consequences. If that seems more like a cult than a political party, you're getting warm. As in any cult, there are sought-after rewards for everyone, leader and followers alike. For Trump, the narcotic is the heady opportunity to bask in the glow of heartfelt love and unquestioning loyalty from the myriad deluded partisans who have bought the con and drunk the Kool-Aid. For his inferiors—as that is how Trump sees everyone aside from himself—it is no less than a green light to unleash and give voice to the loathsome spirits of hatred, racism, bigotry, intolerance, white supremacy and bloodthirstiness that have been festering inside them since Americans committed the unforgivable sin of electing a black man to lead the country and are preparing to install a black woman as second-in-command.

The cult leader, stunned that not everyone—including some members of his own party—sees the world as he does, and that there may actually be consequences for an unprecedented and clearly unlawful power-grab, has been busily covering his tracks lest any blame for the failed coup land anywhere near his feet. He has, however, placed himself in an uncharacteristically awkward position, having spoken to the rabble Wednesday morning and urged them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol, vowing, "I'll be there with you," a promise he had no intention of keeping. President law-and-order's attorney, the once-respected Rudy Giuliani, went even further, urging "trial by combat" in lieu of those pesky lawsuits he keeps losing. You've come a long way from 9/11, Rudy. In the wake of those inflammatory marching orders, and the tumult that ensued, Washington is abuzz with speculation about the 25th Amendment, a second impeachment, or resignation. The president, it is said, "incited" the rioters who overran the Capitol and must be held accountable. Even though president catch-me-if-you-can will no doubt insist that he never directed an angry and unruly mob to actually ATTACK the Capitol building, his incendiary words belie the argument. Given the circumstances, and the fact that president leaves-no-tracks was actually recorded while issuing those marching orders, it would seem to be an open-and-shut case.

The question is, does it go far enough? Amid all the talk about "incitement" and even "sedition," no one to my knowledge has mentioned the "t" word. That's "t" as in treason. I looked it up, and treason is defined as "the crime of betraying one's country, especially by trying to kill the sovereign or overthrow the government... of attacking a state authority to which one owes allegiance" (in this case, the Constitution). President holier-than-thou has accused others of treason for far lesser crimes than those committed (in his name) on January 6. Is he above that law too? The question could lead to an interesting debate. And as we know, the penalty for treason is rather more severe than that for "inciting" a riot...

Clean-Up on Aisle G(OP)...

As president wannabe-a-tyrant inches ever closer to Moving Day, some people continue to wonder where he may be heading once his term in office is over (besides prison, that is). We can now be sure there's one place he won't be going: Iraq. Last week, a judge in Baghdad's investigative court issued an arrest warrant for one Donald J Trump. The charge: complicity in the murder of Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, deputy chief of the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, who became, shall we say, collateral damage when Trump ordered the assassination in January 2020 of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani. Set one foot in Iraq, the country's Supreme Judicial Council declared, and, ex-president or not, under our laws you're toast. And when an Iraqi court says you're guilty, it's time to put as much distance as possible between you and their decree.

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