One of our favorite SNL sketches is thirty years old. In it, Phil Hartman plays Ronald Reagan in the Oval Office, doing his Charming Old Codger bit for visitors. But as soon as they leave, he takes charge, commanding his hapless minions with supreme intelligence and authority.
It was hilarious — then and now — because it was so obviously not the case, despite efforts to portray Reagan as fully engaged in his own administration. And when it aired in December 1986, the Iran-Contra scandal had been revealed only weeks earlier.
Similar sketches were written for George W. Bush, who might have been slightly more engaged than Reagan, but not nearly as engaged as Dick Cheney. Just imagine Will Ferrell saying “I’m the Decider”, and a whole era springs to mind.
And then there’s Donald Trump, who couldn’t be less engaged.
Back when Russian monkeywrenching of the American election first became a serious issue, it was clear what needed to be done — and that the Republicans who controlled the House and Senate wouldn’t do it. Our nation’s sovereignty would take a back seat to the power they enjoyed, and that Trump’s victory made seemingly invincible.
Abandoning the strict decorum for which we’re justly famous, we called them traitors and cocksuckers.
Far be it from us to stand in the way of the vitriol being heaped on Trumpcare. The vote was finally held, the measure passed, and now everyone who was in a rush to have beers with the President will have to live with the consequences of their action.
You might call that a pre-existing condition for the 2018 election.
Election night, we were less than, shall we say, hopeful.
“This is really bad,” we explained to a younger friend. “This is really, really bad.” When asked why, we explained that with Republicans controlling everything, there was no brake, no bottom. The trouble they could cause with unrestrained power was endless.
We imagine Republicans thought the same thing. But without the dread.
And make no mistake: There’s some heinous shit going down, particularly with deportations. We have yet to stumble into an active war — nuclear or otherwise — but that’s not without trying. And we hope someone is keeping a list of all the regulations being changed, because they’ll need to be changed back, as soon as the opportunity arises.
But our worst-case fears in the seventy-five days leading up to the Inauguration have not been borne out in the hundred days following. And the reason is the same one that was evident in the week following the Republican convention, the reason we thought we would never reach this moment to begin with:
Donald Trump is a terrible manager.
There’s an interview out this week with Rachel Dolezal, which you don’t need to read, at least the Rachel Dolezal part. The interviewer herself, however, has some very acute observations and insights about her subject and broader context, which are definitely worth your time, if you’re so inclined.
Dolezal herself isn’t quite letting go of her past as an ersatz Black woman, but she’s recasting herself as transracial — emphasis on “trans”, because Caitlyn Jenner. Not biracial, not someone who grew up immersed in two cultures, but transracial — a White person who identifies as Black.
Blame National Geographic. No, really. Dolezal does.
Father of All Bombs
The guidance system was left disabled during manufacture, resulting in an unpredictable weapon that careens wildly, as likely to destroy allies as enemies.
Daughter of All Bombs
Initially advertised as a defensive weapon, in its first deployment promoters were surprised to discover that it possesses the destructive force of fifty-nine Tomahawks.
Son of All Bombs
Notable for the distinctive noise it makes on impact, its rated power has been shown to be vastly overestimated, and its use limited to defenseless opponents and brush-clearing.