It’s Just Another Lazy Sunday in Bizarro World

Mother Jones illustration

Looking for news you can trust?Subscribe to our free newsletters.

I was out all last night and got home around 7 am. I immediately rolled into bed and then woke up at the crack of lunchtime. I took a shower, went out for lunch, got my car washed, and then picked up some groceries for dinner. I didn’t bother checking the news. It’s Sunday. Why bother?
But of course, eventually I did. A few dozen f-bombs later, I figure I should at least do a roundup. Here we go.
First up is Donald Trump. By now we’re all used to both his Twitter rants and his insistence that the Russia investigation is a witch hunt. Lately, we’ve also gotten used to his claim that the real crime is the conspiracy between Democrats, the media, and the FBI to hide their own scandals while trying to destroy his presidency. But even by Trump’s usual standards, this morning’s lick-spittled harangue was extraordinary. My feeble skills with the English language aren’t adequate to describe it, so I’ll just show you the final entry:

I hereby demand, and will do so officially tomorrow, that the Department of Justice look into whether or not the FBI/DOJ infiltrated or surveilled the Trump Campaign for Political Purposes – and if any such demands or requests were made by people within the Obama Administration!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 20, 2018

As you all know, I’m an optimist about Trump. I think he got elected because of a weird perfect storm of shit—not because of a sea change in public opinion—and we’ll get back to normal fairly soon. He’s not a harbinger of the future of American politics. But I’m having a harder and harder time maintaining this attitude as Trump navigates ever closer to banana republic territory. I’m no fan of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, but I’ve mentioned before that he really does seem to be an honorable person by his own lights. I sure hope I’m right about that. He needs to loudly and clearly refuse Trump’s request, and the rest of the Republican Party needs to make it plain that it’s had enough. Every party wants to win, but there have to be limits if you want to keep up even the pretense of supporting democracy. Even if you don’t think Trump has breached those limits before, he sure has now. It’s time to step up.
Next up is the school shooting in Santa Fe. The lieutenant governor of Texas is in the news because he believes schools should have fewer entrances and exits. And more armed guards. Or something. He seems not to know that Santa Fe High School was already considered “hardened”—a word I can barely believe we use to describe schools these days—and had not one, but two armed guards. It didn’t do any good.
Then Oliver North, a man who should have been shamed out of polite society long ago, spoke up in his new role as president of the NRA. He agreed, naturally, that schools ought to be locked down even more, and then resurrected a musty old favorite: our real problem, he suggested, is “youngsters who are steeped in a culture of violence”—which is exactly the opposite of the truth compared to 30 years ago. But then he pulled a whole new rabbit out of his hat: The real real problem is that so many kids have been on Ritalin since early childhood. “They’ve been drugged in many cases,” he said. Yes, you heard that right: our kids have been sedated into shooting up schools.
I would just like to say that, all things considered, I think I preferred it back when the NRA maintained a cowardly silence after school shootings, figuring that the fuss would go away within a week or so. We’ve now seen the alternative, and it’s even more repugnant and stupid.
Next up is Trump again. Apparently he’s “putting the trade war on hold” after getting a few vague promises from China to consider the possibility of maybe thinking about someday buying a little more stuff from the United States. No promises, but they’ll give it the ol’ college try. Punishing China was practically the only thing in Trump’s campaign arsenal that was truly directed at helping the working class, and now the negotiator-in-chief has suddenly given up on it. Poof. There’s literally nothing left in his agenda that would help the working class even in theory.
Moving on to Donald Trump Jr., it turns out he didn’t just meet with sketchy Russians who promised him help with his father’s presidential campaign. He also met with sketchy Middle Eastern folks who offered him help because they hated the Iran nuclear deal so much. Are there any sketchy foreign autocrats Don Jr. didn’t meet with?
What else? Roger Stone said he’s prepared to be indicted. “It is not inconceivable now that Mr. Mueller and his team may seek to conjure up some extraneous crime pertaining to my business, or maybe not even pertaining to the 2016 election,” Stone told NBC News. Uh huh. The US intelligence and law enforcement community sure has it out for anyone who’s ever supported Trump, don’t they?
Rudy Giuliani is back in the news too. He says that Robert Mueller told him the Russia investigation would be wrapped up by September 1. “You don’t want another repeat of the 2016 election where you get contrary reports at the end and you don’t know how it affected the election,” he said with a straight face. I guess he never got the memo from his boss that James Comey’s letter about Hillary Clinton’s emails eight days before the 2016 election HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH TRUMP’S HISTORICALLY EPIC VICTORY. Donald would have won anyway because of his superior strategy and the fact that Crooked Hillary is a big ol’ crooked crook who ought be behind bars.
There’s probably some stuff I’m forgetting, but my ability to hold back the f-bombs is limited these days. I’d better quit now. However, because I’m a rotten bastard at heart, I’m going to leave you with this: