Trump’s reality is made for television
The ongoing saga of the “Celebrity President” continues, and the current episode of this reality series is packed with intrigue and suspense.
Previously on the Celebrity President, we found Donny stubbornly holding the U.S. government hostage in his misguided aim to get his wall. Even though he failed to get Mexico to go along with his ruse, a resulting spinoff pilot was created by former Mexican president Vincente Fox in which he clearly demonstrated the opinion of Mexico for the wall.
Adults in Congress had agreed on a budget to fund the government and were looking forward to the holidays, until members of the Fox gang goaded Donny wth jabs at his ego. Donny had to protect his pride at all costs so he decided to close the government because he could, and proudly owned the move in a public meeting with Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Charles Schumer. Mrs. Pelosi, as any responsible parent or teacher would do, told Donny no.
No, he could not have his State of the Union party while the government was shut down. The impasse was a cliffhanger. Senate majority leader Mitch chose to enable Donny by refusing to allow a vote unless it would please Donny. He made himself scarce. But for young Alexandria hunting for him, he might still be lost. Eventually he appeared to do his job, which is good because he is the only one who can control what gets voted on. That makes him an entirely too powerful person.
Today’s installment of Celebrity President finds the government shutdown finally ended after 35 days of federal agencies and services being closed or slowed, hurting 800,000 government employees who received $0.00 paychecks. The economic impact to the country turned out to be much worse than the $5.7 billion wall price that Donny was fighting over. Speculation abounded regarding what it would take to finally get Donny to release the government from the grips of his border wall shutdown. It appeared that the greatest impact came from the influence of public outcry on their representatives, and especially the looming crippling of the air transportation system beginning with problems at LaGuardia airport. And, Super Bowl ticket holders would have revolted if they couldn’t get to Atlanta.
During this episode, we discover in a flashback that Donny’s wall was actually “a memory trick for an undisciplined candidate” according to Sam, a former campaign adviser. His advisors, knowing how he loves to brag about his building skills, realized that a slogan allowing Donny to visualize a wall would be a good mnemonic device to get him to talk about getting tough on immigration. Donny’s followers took it literally,and now Donny is afraid of losing their support and stubbornly sticks to his literal wall demand.
There actually is no problem with delegating funds to border security as a part of an overall sensible plan. A bipartisan committee that was formed as a result of Donny’s ultimatum will be working diligently to come up with a plan that will be satisfactory to both Republicans and Democrats, the easy part. According to Senator Tester, a member of the committee, they are optimistic about party cooperation. The hard part will be placating Donny. Senator Schumer laid it out by stating that the president needs to let Congress deal with border security on it’s own. He said, “When the president mixes in, it’s a formula for failure.” This is an ominous warning of what is to come.
In his rose garden announcement on the 35th day, he magnanamously gave us back our government on the condition that a plan that he likes can be presented to him by Feb. 15. If by this deadline Trumpty Dumpty doesn’t get the wall that he continues to sit on, another shutdown is threatened. A national emergency declaration, a power reserved for actual emergencies like 9-11, could be invoked. He tried his best to defend his wall with a harrowing narration of atrocities occurring at the southern border. It’s possible that in an outtake that didn’t air, he rolled over on the remote and, thinking that he was still watching Fox, caught the movie “Sicario-Day of the Soldado” (credit for this idea is not mine). The producer of this film may have a copyright infringement case against the president for plagerizing their script.
Nevertheless, he is determined to be the boss of his reality show. His sidekick Mitch says he doesn’t want to get kicked by a mule again. He’s such a big help. For such an important role, he doesn’t appear much in this episode.
The scene shifts now from the wall to the Russian interference investigation. Various characters have appeared in this plot line. There has been an underlying theme here of deceit, deception, and lying. An important protagonist remains off screen, affecting the fates of some of these characters as he investigates their conniving and coverups, some being served with a dose of justice. Story lines criscrossed in a unique plot twist when unpaid FBI agents, furloughed because of Donny’s shutdown, volunteered to participate in the raid and arrest of Roger Stone, a long-time friend of Donny and a player in the Russian intrique involving Wiki-leaks. A recent letter to this editor asked when a lie is legally wrong. Robert Mueller continues to answer that question, with 7 felony charges against Roger. He and others have been indicted for lying to a grand jury and to Congress, attempting to influence a witness, and obstructing justice. That letter brought up the ways that children are taught to be truthful. Unfortunately, many characters in this reality production are cut from the same cloth as the central figure, and apparently missed out on those milestone lessons.
Meanwhile, Donny continues to come up with many of his own whoppers. Whether it be staff spins or concoctions from his own mind, he never ceases to deflect, conflate, and confuse the issues. In recent tweet storms he aimed to discredit the entire intelligence community whose chiefs just testified before Congress and whose statements, based on real findings, he didn’t find agreeable to his reality. Because he knows more than they do. He says. Iran is not really complying (because his interests lie in siding with other Middle Eastern rulers), North Korea isn’t building nukes (because he loves Kim), Russia didn’t interfere in our elections (because of whatever Putin has told him in their secret talks that no one on our side has any knowledge of), and there’s no global warming (because it got really cold out).
As we wrap up this episode, a new plot line develops with a crisis to democracy in Venezuela. This may provide a momentary distraction for Donny. Will it give Congress a chance to get a budget passed and avert another shutdown? Will Johnny B. want him to send troups to Columbia to involve us in Venezuela? Will he send the military to the Mexican border again? Will there be a national emergency? Will we ever be able to pay attention to real, unmanufactured problems like climate change, drug dependence, health care coverage, economic inequality, etc, and the 3 mass shootings that occurred last week virtually unnoticed? Stay tuned. You don’t want to miss the next episode, coming soon to a news broadcast near you.
Susan Bigler is a Sheridan resident. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org