I know a lot of you were saying in December that this administration wouldn’t last a month. But I’ll bet you didn’t actually have “worry about collapse of the government” written down on your schedule for February.
Americans who went into a state of shock after the election are now floating in new, hitherto-uncharted realms of worry. We’ve learned that Donald Trump’s national security adviser, Michael Flynn, talked with the Russians before the inauguration. And, sources told The New York Times, other Trump associates also talked with Russian intelligence officers during the campaign.
What about Trump himself? Any chance that he encouraged Flynn to chat with the Russian ambassador about policy before he was president? Wouldn’t that be, um, super-illegal?
Wow. If you thought a successful President Trump was the worst possible scenario, imagine an egomaniac who feels threatened with being a “loser,” back to the wall. In the interest of public tranquillity we will not dwell on the nuclear codes in his office.
From the start, the Trump administration was a dark combination of mean and inept. But it was, on occasion, at least sort of mesmerizing. For instance, on Wednesday the nominee for secretary of labor went down the drain. Because somebody thought it was a good plan to go for a Cabinet member with a history that includes employing an unauthorized immigrant housekeeper and an ex-wife who once went on “Oprah” to talk about spousal abuse.
Things are so dire, people are feeling sympathy for Kellyanne Conway. Did you see that poor woman trying to answer questions about Flynn on the “Today” show? She looked as though she’d been hit over the head with a skillet.
Back in the good old days last week, Kellyanne was in trouble for violating the rule against federal officials giving endorsements. (“I’m going to give a free commercial here: Go buy it today, everybody. You can find it online.”) It was a pretty good crisis, actually. The kind of thing we could have complained about at dinner parties for a month without losing our appetites.
The majority of American voters who didn’t support Donald Trump used to watch him on TV with a kind of cynical amusement as he bragged about fake election results and crowd sizes. Now every time it happens you can’t help thinking – wow, is this guy really unhinged? On Wednesday, in the middle of a news conference with the prime minister of Israel, Trump responded to a question about anti-Semitism in America by immediately pointing out he had won 306 Electoral College votes. (“We were not supposed to crack 220.”)
And the president was so out to sea he couldn’t come up with a consistent cover story for why Flynn left. His press secretary said Trump had requested Flynn’s resignation due to a “trust issue.” But when Trump showed up in person, he seemed to believe the whole thing was orchestrated by “the fake media” and a different chief executive from another planet.
“It’s really a sad thing that he was treated so badly,” the president told the press conference. “People are trying to cover up for a terrible loss that the Democrats had under Hillary Clinton.”
Being stuck with a loony, unqualified president seemed less threatening when we were under the assumption that he’d be surrounded by at least some people who knew what they were doing. Now, the more of them we meet, the less secure we feel. Trump has a senior policy adviser, Stephen Miller, who sounds like a really unpopular college sophomore complaining about his grades. He had a national security adviser who said he couldn’t remember for sure whether he talked with the Russian ambassador about American sanctions before the inauguration.
Well, at least the National Security Council still has Steve Bannon.
So how do we keep our cool when our world is overheating? Try reminding yourself that there are things in this world that are not Donald Trump’s fault:
A) Beyoncé losing the Grammys.
B) Collapse of Chipotle stock.
C) Playboy half brother of North Korean dictator murdered in possible assassination by poison-needle-wielding women.
Life could always be worse. You could be related to supreme leader Kim Jong Un. And you can’t pin North Koreans on the Trump administration yet. Except for the part where our president dealt with the crisis over their new ballistic missile while dining at Mar-a-Lago in front of throngs of resort guests and their Facebook friends.
It is true that Trump and Kim Jong Un both share an affinity for peculiar haircuts and public shows of adoration. And if the North Korean press were allowed to actually report stuff, the people there would undoubtedly also be holding their heads in their hands and moaning, “Oh God, what next????”
But let’s dwell on the positive. At least Trump doesn’t have any half brothers. And did you hear the German shepherd won the Westminster dog show? How about that “La La Land”?
No fair mentioning there are only three years and 44 weeks to go.