Schwab: Can’t have good government? Have a good laugh

White House and other D.C. comedy writers are keeping us chortling, dark and ironic as it is.

By Sid Schwab / Herald columnist

As defending his Ukraine extortion gets increasingly desperate for Trump and his excusers, who’d be calling for imprisonment were it anyone else, it’s time for some levity. Everyone needs a good laugh, especially those trying to defend the indefensible. It’s gotta be dispiriting.

Remember that big, beautiful, Mexico-funded wall, the money for which Trump diverted from veterans’ benefits, military-base schools and more than a hundred other Pentagon projects? Remember how he ballyhooed the design, declaring it’d be impenetrable? Well, how ‘bout that professional climber who free-climbed it in 27 seconds; or the 8-year-old girl who did it in a minute? Even a Trump supporter topped it, using suction cups. One hopes Trumpists got a cleansing laugh out of that.

Heard the one about smugglers using battery-powered, readily-available saws to butter through those beautiful slats, and, because the slats are so tall, bending them easily after a single cut, allowing passage? (It’s physics!) Did Trump think they’d need miles-long extension cords? What a kidder!

For more grins, observe the flailing contortions of Trump’s defenders as they pirouette around damning testimony. First it was a “perfect” phone call. Then there was a friendly request but no quid pro quo, because if there had been, well, that’d be bad. Then, OK, there might have been something quid-like and quo-ish, but not very much. And now it’s, yeah, well, obviously, there was a quid pro quo, but let’s not, you know, call it anything like a shakedown. For one thing, he didn’t have evil in his heart.

Yep, one of Trump’s most comedic senatorial excusers, John Kennedy (ironic, huh?), actually said, “Did the president have a culpable state of mind? … Based on the evidence that I see, … the president does not have a culpable state of mind.” Get it? He said “does not have,” not “didn’t.” To have any state of mind, a functioning one is required. Slipped that little joke right on by. Who says Trumpists are humorless?

“Culpable state of mind.” The creativity is impressive, if gelastic. While extorting a foreign leader into smearing political opponents, no one would have that, right, whatever it is. If a Republican senator says someone’s state of mind isn’t “culpable,” game over. Because those guys are curators of the mind. Heck, Lick-boot Lindsey says he doesn’t even need to read the evidence, because he knows “it’s b.s.” That’s powerful mind-grok.

So, sure, the “president” attempted extortion, perverting foreign policy and using taxpayer money, but lacked the requisite thoughts when doing so. Besides, according to a just-passing-through attorney general, abuse of power isn’t a crime. True enough: Everyone kept their wallets. Classic comedy, that. Then Gordon Sondland, ambassador to the European Union, recanted his lies, choosing truth over Trump. First in a sitcom series?

If tears of laughter aren’t yet streaming, check out Trump’s spawn appearing on Fox “news,” criticizing Hunter Biden for making money off the Biden family name, declaring their disgust at political nepotism, deadpan as Buster Keaton, self-aware as stone. Ivanka, Jared, Lara, Ben Carson Jr., Candy Carson, John Pence, Kyle Yunaska; good one, guys.

Another: Trump finalized reneging on the Paris climate accords just as scientists warned of impending “untold human suffering.” And handing the world’s economy to China? Priceless. Talk about comic timing! In China, they’re still laughing. (Washington Post: tinyurl.com/joke2asia)

For another knee-slapper, get a load of Trump’s mobsters ignoring Congressional requests to testify. Ponder that preposterous piece of parchment providing protection from presidential perfidy. Who claims, with a straight face, it applies to Republicans? And who doesn’t get the joke as they demand legally-protected whistleblowers appear in person, while going all Marceau over those Trumpic refuseniks? Plans to sabotage the public hearings they’ve been demanding? A million laughs. Magnificent mummery, Republicans saying they’re the law-and-order party. Comedy pyrite. Like Trump bribing impeachment-jury senators with campaign money and pressuring William Barr to prostitute himself again. Hilarious. Did coffee just come out your nose?

Stop me if you’ve heard this: Trump is considering reading an incomplete “transcript” that isn’t one. Selling “Read the Transcript” T-shirts to his gullibles. We’ll have even more gut-busting giggles when his accountants, under court order, release his tax returns.

Finally, if your sides aren’t already splitting, there’s that photo of a gag of millionaire evangelical preachers blessing Trump. Now THAT is high-level humor. Not a godly person in the room. Stop! Yer killing us!

They say laughter is the best medicine. With Trump in office, it’s amazing anyone gets sick.

Email Sid Schwab at columnsid@gmail.com.

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