Imagine Obama

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Interesting how the Republican Party’s attitude towards the office of the presidency has changed in three short years. During the tenure of the previous POTUS, any imagined breach of protocol provoked outpourings of outrage with spokespeople twitching and yelling and waving their arms like one of those wind puppets parked outside used car lots.

First Lady Michelle Obama once was chastised for baring her shoulders at a state dinner. Then the GOP went ballistic for a week because her husband wore a tan suit. During the days of the 44th president, opponents were so desperate for any hint of controversy, Sean Hannity called Obama an elitist because he used Dijon mustard on a burger.

Obama was constantly besmirching the dignity of the office, and by doing so, America. But today, not a single thing Donald Trump does irks the same people. He can lie and steal, make stuff up and call the press “the enemy of the people” and the base doesn’t care. He could say Ronald Reagan betrayed the Republican Party by dying, and supporters would mumble, “Mmm-hmm. Yep. Boy, that’s the truth.”

Imagine if Obama had been accused of a tenth of the stuff that 45 has. One-hundredth. Ceaseless incessant persistent seething doesn’t even come close. Foaming. Fuming. Furiosity. Livid. Rabid. Pogo-stick hopping mad. Cheesed off to the point of sweating curds.

Can you picture how the GOP would have reacted if Barack Hussein Obama had saluted a North Korean general or neglected to lay a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier on Memorial Day because it was raining? They would become so apoplectic they’d need plastic spit bibs to keep from ruining their suits.

How about if Obama claimed he had fallen in love with Kim Jong Un after the two had exchanged beautiful letters and then agreed with the North Korean when he attacked a potential presidential rival? Impeachment proceedings would have commenced before Air Force One was wheels down.

If Obama had sucked up to Vladimir Putin so hard he left hickeys the size of tuna cans, or accepted his claim of not interfering with our election over the opinion of 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, or held private meetings with the Russian President out of range of any staffers or media, there would have been so many congressional committees convened the paperwork would have denuded the entire redwood forest north of San Francisco.

If Obama had used his self-named dodgy charity for political purposes or hinted that he would date his daughter if they weren’t related, tactical teams from evangelical churches would have rushed the Oval Office and forced him to his knees to pray for forgiveness on live TV.

Or what if Obama paid $130,000 in hush money to cover up an affair with a porn star while his 3rd wife was pregnant with his fifth child? Or Michele had posed for nude photos? They would both have been burned at the stake with the ashes scattered over the South Side of Chicago.

And if Obama had attacked a war hero like John McCain, the same result. And if the first black president stalked a white woman around the debate stage like Donald did Hillary, forget the stake, the Republicans would be digging out a rope, looking for a tall tree.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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Some Final Thoughts About Mueller

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Breaking his two-year vow of silence, special counsel, professional Boy Scout and part time monk Robert S. Mueller III took time from his busy schedule of transitioning to the public sector and spoke to the country for almost ten whole minutes. And we were honored.

Part of the thrill was hear what the man sounds like, as this was the first time he’s spoken to the press since his appointment. Too bad we can’t say the same thing about the major subject of his investigation.

It’s pretty obvious the hastily arranged press conference was designed to keep Democrats from calling Mueller to testify on Capital Hill about his investigation. And the fact that Attorney General William Barr was out of town probably didn’t hurt.

Mueller knows most of America would rather dive into a piranha tank wearing a raw meat bathing suit than slog through the 448 pages of his investigative gobbledy-gook, so he grasped this opportunity to give the world the Reader’s Digest Condensed Version, highlighting the sticky bits.

He maintains the report is his testimony and there is nothing else to add, at all, ever. In other words, he asks the questions pard’ner, he don’t answer them. Which is fine, because Bob Mueller is not the most colorful speaker in the world. The man is so dry, when he talks, little puffs of dust fly out of his mouth.

It was never a fair fight. Robert Mueller is the ultimate ‘by the book’ guy who believes in playing by the rules. Whereas Donald Trump believes the rules are meant to be broken and has never read a book.

A particular phrase from the report was emphasized: “If we had confidence the president didn’t commit a crime we would have said so.” Boom. The essence of the whole thing condensed to a single line. Too complicated for you? He said if they thought the president was innocent, they would have said so. But they didn’t say so. Ergo…

He also said Donald Trump’s conduct warrants an investigation, which he wasn’t able to do, because of a justice department policy that prohibits charging a sitting president with a crime. If he could have, he would have, but he couldn’t, so he didn’t. There you go Congress. No pressure.

They’re still deciding whether to subpoena Mueller to testify in front of Congress, but the former FBI Director’s desire to sit in front of a doubly hostile crowd of half angry Democrats and half angry Trumpsters appears to be between zero and you-got-to-be-freaking-kidding.

Mueller doesn’t want to testify. The attorney general refuses to co-operate. Nobody from the administration is turning over requested documents. The White House is expanding executive privilege to pizza delivery orders. Congressional Democrats must be developing a complex.

Responding to the sideshow, the president tweeted “I had nothing to do with the Russians helping me win the election.” Oops. Then he said that wasn’t what he meant and people are picking on his every word. Well, yeah. You’re the guy in charge. Every word matters.

Perhaps this is just one more reason why, traditionally, the presidency has not been an entry-level position.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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For Trump, There’s Always a New Story

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One thing you’ve got to give Trump is the Oval Office occupant knows his way around a misdirection.

Every day the magnificent media magician manages to conjure up some wacky stunt, verbal flub or piece of shocking news designed to distract the spotlight from his staggering pile of emerging scandals in the manner of sawing a lady lobbyist in half in the front glass lobby of a children’s library.

A partial chronicle of his repertoire consists of name-calling, fact-mangling, verbal burps, Russian hugs and making stuff up while denying stuff that everyone agrees on. Accompanied by loud crashes, bright flashes and “Breaking News” slashes, syncopated to the drumbeat of that sound that hypnotizes him, his own name “Trump… Trump… Trump.”

Standing next to the Japanese prime minister, the president of the United States praised North Korea’s beloved leader Kim Jong Un for sharing his opinion that a possible rival to his second term, Joe Biden, was a low I.Q. individual. He tweeted the same thing and misspelled the Democrat’s name as “Bidan.” It would be funny if only it weren’t.

Earlier, Trump walked out of a Congressional meeting on infrastructure with Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer because the Speaker had the temerity to suggest he was engaged in a cover-up. This precipitated a reaction that many referred to as “over the top.” And over the top for him involves a lunar landing.

“Cover-up” hardy sounds antagonistic considering he’s been accused of obstructing justice, being an agent of a foreign power and a man who puts kids in cages. Maybe he thought it was a swipe at his hair.

In response, Trump again called himself “an extremely stable genius”, this time forcing staffers to line-up and describe how stable he was, out loud, in front of cameras, or else. Which, on the creepy scale, registered in the high teens and made walking the last mile look like a skipping stroll to an ice cream truck.

The man is an absolute expert at throwing bright shiny objects, which the press and public chase after like golden retrievers lunging for steak-flavored frisbees. So, what else can we expect to divert us from the various investigations, subpoenas and jailed advisors that will soon be targeting him? Glad you asked.

Next…

– He’ll get the Secret Service to round up all the dismantled Confederate statues and reassemble them on the South Lawn.

– Melania will contemplate another nude photo shoot.

– Kellyanne Conway and her husband will get into a fight and throw a lamp that sails over the South Portico while Donald is holding a press conference in the Rose Garden.

– Puerto Rico will be sold to a Russian oligarch giving residents 4 months to get out. But not here.

– McDonalds builds a personal private franchise in the basement of the West Wing.

– For a third time he will announce he wants to form a cyber- security task force with Russia.

– Eric Trump will quit whatever he does in the White House and go back to college.

– Donald Trump will announce his A1C diabetes results are off the charts. The highest of any human in the history of being alive.

– He’ll start a war with Iran.

– He’ll scrap the plan to put Harriet Tubman on the $20 bill and replace her with Ivanka.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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Internet Privacy

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Internet privacy. Forget about it. It’s another of those oxymorons you hear so much about; like gluten-free dim sum or fully satisfied “Game of Thrones” fan or Donald Trump’s Modern Guide to Etiquette and Manners. You have a better chance of finding a pod of humpback whales in your office cubicle than online security.

And the greatest threat in this confidentiality crisis is Facebook, the information octopus that disguises its sticky tentacles with cute kitten videos and pictures of grandmas blowing out birthday cake candles while it records your every keystroke. Every “like” of every post. Your favorite porn gif.

The situation has become so alarming, co-founder Chris Hughes called for the company to be broken up. Mark Zuckerberg says no need for that: he’s learned his lesson and promises to be good from now on. And we can trust him, right? Because he’s only lied about every privacy issue that’s ever emerged so far. Ever.

The Mueller Report detailed how Russian trolls used Facebook’s analytical tools to flood America with fraudulent groups and ads for the single purpose of opposing Hillary Clinton. By the time the accounts were deactivated in 2017, 126 million Americans had been exposed to, well, no other way to describe it than…fake news.

Remember when Facebook admitted to manipulating posts to gauge our emotional response then sold the research data? They’re still doing it. We’re just lab rats to them. But even lab rats get some cheese. Hey Facebook, keep your cookies: how about some cheese?

The standard defense is we signed on when we signed up, but you’ve seen those user agreements. Nobody reads them. It’s doubtful the people who write them, read them. Lawyers speaking in a language solely understood by other lawyers. And even then, only occasionally.

The agreements are longer than the migratory path of a monarch butterfly and in a font so tiny it would make a flea squint. So we scroll to the bottom and click “accept.” And if we wake up two weeks later in a bathtub full of ice with a scar where our kidney used to be, well, them’s the breaks.

And the internet never forgets. Check out a piece of hardware, then decide you don’t need it. Doesn’t matter, because… boom, there it is. On every website you visit for the next six months. It follows you around like a haunted fungus. Suddenly everybody is having a sale on a festive array of red white and blue plastic bull semen inseminators. Don’t ask.

We’ve got no one to blame but ourselves. It’s too late to put this genie back in the bottle, but there are going to be plenty of other bottles to worry about. Universal facial recognition is right around the corner. Although some of us are lucky enough to have faces no one wants to recognize.

You think its creepy when Facebook tags us in photos we didn’t post? Wait until they develop an algorithm in which we’re the villains in videos where the hero ruling over the Seven Kingdoms bears a striking resemblance to Mark Zuckerberg.

Most importantly, we got to learn not to post anything on social media we don’t want prospective employers, mothers-in-law or IRS agents to know about. Back everything up. With hard copies. Cloud storage if fine, until it rains. And there’s a storm coming.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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Impeachment Short Form

For all those who keep saying it can’t get any weirder, this is on you. Haven’t we learned not to taunt the gods? Like those good people whose only motivation for voting for Donald Trump was to shake things up. Are we shook up enough yet?

But who would have thunk the new man in charge of the Justice Department could establish a world record for shameless obsequiousness this fast? He’s put the “ole” in grovel and makes Rudy Giuliani look like a blundering, bumbling bungler. Well, he is, but in contrast, the distinction is even more acute.

In less than 10 weeks, Attorney General William Barr has defied subpoenas, Congress, the Constitution, common sense, good practices, good grammar and good grooming all to protect the president of the United States from being held responsible for his actions.

Appearing in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Donald Trump’s handpicked replacement for Jeff Sessions proved to be such a presidential lapdog, he should be recognized by the American Kennel Club as the 194th breed.

Listen close and you can hear the wailing from Hollywood publicists who realize Barr has lowered the bar and they’re going to have service their clients with even more excessive sycophantic subservience. The phrase “bow and scrape” will take on asphalt-scuffing connotations.

A problem with this new breed of cur is they’re not very housebroken, as he’s refused to appear in front of the junior chamber’s version of a Judiciary Committee, objecting to having committee staff lawyers interrogate him. Answering questions from Congress members is one thing, but actual lawyers? That’s another. Some of those people are smart.

He said when the president told former White House counsel Don McGahn to tell Sessions to fire the special counsel that didn’t mean Trump wanted to fire the special counsel. He also believes a president can terminate any proceeding he wants. Because he is The Law. Sylvester Stallone would be so proud.

Barr has effectively created a Catch-22: implying that the president cannot commit a crime, hence he can’t be subject to a criminal investigation. Funny, he doesn’t look like a Norman Mailer fan.

Under questioning by California Senator Kamala Harris, Barr then claimed he couldn’t remember if the White House ever asked or suggested that the Justice Department investigate anybody, you know, like an enemies list. Dodging Richard Nixon’s playbook he stole a page from Bill Clinton’s, saying he was confused by the word “suggest.” He seems perplexed by quite a few words like “truth,” “justice” and “the American Way.”

The House plans to initiate contempt proceedings unless Barr hands over the full unredacted version of Mueller’s report, but enforcement of a contempt charge is the purview of the Justice Department. Headed by the aforementioned William Barr. So chances of him throwing himself in the hoosegaw are somewhere between less than none and dream on big river.

Now, calls for the attorney general to resign or threats to impeach him are competing directly with the president’s sticky situation. Maybe the Democrats can set up an abbreviated process. Impeachment: The Short Form.

What the hell, throw Mike Pence on the fast- track as well. Get some Silicon Valley venture capitalist to fund a start-up. Launch an Impeachment IPO. As Hunter S. Thompson once said, “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.”

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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Impeachment and the Hamlet Conundrum

Everybody is talking about it. Well, around it: vacillating, cogitating, salivating, fluctuating, aspirating, constipating, meditating, figure-eighting, and to prove they’re serious, polling. We’re referring, of course, to the “I” word; Impeachment. Methinks they doth protest too much.

And when we say everybody, we mean EVERYBODY. Talk-show pundits. Gesticulating anchors. Brooding Danes. The only people not talking about it are the vast majority of the 21 Democratic nomination wannabees who are ignoring the question to concentrate on more important issues, like fund-raising. Should the chief of state be held responsible for possible high crimes and misdemeanors? After all, everyone agrees: something is rotten in Denmark.

To impeach or not to impeach. That is the question. Whether tis nobler in voters’ minds to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous leadership or to take arms against a sea of treason and by opposing, end him.

Elizabeth Warren was first to walk out on Elsinore’s foggy balustrade and sound the alarm proclaiming it our constitutional duty to catch the conscience of a king. Kamala Harris seconded the motion but the rest of the players are following Hamlet and Nancy Pelosi’s lead of exercising caution. Any more cautious and they’d be walking backwards. There are more things in heaven and earth, N. Pelosi, than in your philosophy.

Must give her pause to think back to the trap that ensnared Republicans after impeaching Bill Clinton; who then suffering disastrously in the 1998 midterms. Visiting the undiscover’d country from whose bourn no Party returns. For a couple of election cycles at least. No one can say she doesn’t know a hawk from a handsaw.

When not changing the subject, the candidates are thrusting lick’d fingers into the air to see which way the wind blows. But you don’t need a weatherman to tell you Donald Trump is not going down without his trademark bluster. Though this be madness, yet there is method in it. He can’t help it. To thine own self be true.

Says he plans to fight impeachment in the courts. But see, that’s part of the problem because the process doesn’t work that way. The House of Representatives impeaches, which is like an indictment resulting in a trial over which the Senate presides. The play’s the thing.

Ay, there’s the rub. Not just every Democrat but 20 Republican Senators would have to vote to convict and the chances of that happening are about the same as the Islamic Brotherhood scheduling a barbecue rib cook-off in a strip joint on the outskirts of Kronborg.

There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Thus the complicated calculus begins. Do the seekers of the nomination risk backlash from centrists if they do come out in favor of impeachment or annoy the base if they don’t. Do they bear these ills they have or fly to others they not know of? To sleep, perchance to dream.

Especially when the slightest of slipups will act as the whips and scorns of time causing them to shuffle off this mortal coil and dropping from the grown up debate table to the kids table?

So expect calls for patience and further investigations, and the native hue of resolution to be sicklie’d over with the pale cast of thought, which in the end, will, like conscience, make cowards of us all. Exeunt.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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America Stuck on a Rollercoaster of Spin

The problem is more obvious than half a leech on the sneeze guard of a salad bar: we’re paying much too much attention. Our national obsession with new news concerning the man blundering about the Oval Office has obscured any overview at all. He has the unique ability to blot out the big picture. Especially when standing sideways.

Every time we think we’ve hit rock bottom, another subbasement gets dug, hidden in a cloud of smoke and mirrors. Donald Trump hasn’t just lowered the bar – he’s buried it so deep you couldn’t come close with a hydraulic excavator equipped with space-age sonar.

We still pour over his tweets like anthropologists dusting the bones of a calcified civilization, but the outrage is wearing off. After decades of press pimping and 17 months of campaigning and two years into his reign of error, the world is becoming numb to the president’s dumpy trumpy trampy shenanigans.

It becomes routine. Every day, the White House is discovered to be involved in some dastardly situation. Either there’s proof they did something they swore up and down they didn’t do, or they get caught in an astonishing lie. Or somebody says something out loud that would have sunk a previous Administration so deep in a swamp of disgust they’d be found floating upside down like tropical fish after a week of not being fed.

It’s a dance, and all the players know their part. The Smoky Hokey Pokey. We got ourselves a bad case of the deja voodoos.

First comes the shocking revelation. The hasty denials soon follow.

The New York Times trots out evidence that not only did this happen, but even more egregious stuff went down as well.

The official White House response – courtesy of Sarah Huckabee Sanders – is that it never happened, and even if it did, Barack Obama did way worse.

Democrats argue amongst themselves over whether the latest disclosure is an impeachable offense- coming to no conclusion.

Mitch McConnell makes turtle noises.

Donald Trump says he doesn’t know the guy, can’t remember what happened, everyone besides him is lying and that the revelation bolsters his claim there was “no collusion.”

Some Republicans are outraged, then they aren’t, then support the president.

The Washington Post needs three pages to print a graph that documents this sort of thing happened 18 gazillion times before.

Fox News hosts call for more hearings on Benghazi.

Some pundit on MSNBC becomes so overwrought a blood vessel in his head bursts on air.

Donald Trump’s base laughs and laughs.

Rudy Giuliani says he doesn’t believe it happened, and if it did, Hillary Clinton would have done way worse. And she’s a woman.

Bernie Sanders supporters say this is further proof that Bernie would have won.

The National Enquirer prints a cover photo with Michelle Obama holding a bloody knife in front of what looks to be a pizza parlor.

Mike Pence says he doesn’t know anything.

Snow falls. Or it doesn’t.

And then, the very next day, it starts up all over again. This nation is stuck on a rollercoaster of spin with a minimum of two years before we can get off.

Strap on your seat belts extra tight, everybody. It’s going to be a bumpy rest of a first term. Pass the Dramamine please.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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A Plague of Dems

Democrats applying to be their party’s next presidential nominee constitute the second largest growth industry in America surpassed only by those providing legal advice to Trump Administration staffers. It’s a number climbing to where it might be easier to list those currently not planning a run. And no, we can’t rule out Jimmy Carter, Anthony Weiner or Lyndon Johnson.

Holy moley catfish, there’s a ton of them. Scads. Gobs. Reams. Oodles. A raft. A mob. A plethora. A profusion. An abundance. Veritable boatloads. Some might say a rash of candidates. A plague or even an epidemic.

We’re still a year out from the Iowa Caucuses, with the first debate not scheduled to start serious internecine squabbling until June. According to Ballotpedia, 192 Democrats have officially entered the 2020 contest for the White House including a guy named Cohen Eden Solutionator. 11 are considered authentic, but many more big names are poised to leap into this liberal scrum like lemmings off a cliff with a 60 mph wind at their backs.

The presidency of Donald Trump has resuscitated a term popular back in the early 20th century – “Yellow Dog Democrats.” Those are voters who would rather elect a saffron colored canine than a Republican. You know, like California.

Many Dems would vote for the Solutionator, his pet ferret or a child’s beach pail full of wet sand, if they thought any would have a chance to deny the New York City real estate developer a second term. A banana faced monkey dribbler. A reeking heap of steaming feces. Because it would be their reeking heap of steaming feces. As opposed to the reeking heap of steaming feces currently soiling Oval Office furniture.

With no front-runner, the field is more wide open than a condo complex at Chernobyl. Hillary Clinton is such old news, her S’s look like F’s. New Jersey Senator Cory Booker is running as a feistier sequel to Obama. Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren may be the candidate the president fears the most since she’s the only one with a nickname. So far.

Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard, South Bend, Indiana mayor Pete Buttigieg and Minnesota Senator Amy Klobuchar just want people to pronounce their names correctly. Julian Castro needs separation from his twin brother. Sherrod Brown, Michael Bloomberg, Beto O’Rourke and some guy named Joe are biding their time and former Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper gets points for being fun to say.

Kamala Harris is a woman, half Jamaican and half Indian. If only she were lesbian suffering from bipolar issues who owned an anxiety peacock, she’d be perfect. The California senator survived the curse of being referred to as the front-runner for about a minute until Bernie Sanders threw his hat into the ring. Well, near the ring. His aim isn’t what it used to be.

In this race, the Vermont senator will have to share his far left lane. He might not even be the most socialist candidate, which is the seam Mister Trump looks ready to attack. And attack he will.

After all Bernie blazed the trail and energized that part of the party that thinks Karl Marx was too middle of the road. But we can say with the upmost certainty the Bernmeister will retain the mantle of crankiest candidate. I’m pretty sure his campaign website is heyyoupunksgetoffmylawn.com.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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Peaches, the Wall

President Donald Trump loves him some wall. Not the wall of corruption he’s surrounded himself with. Not that karmic wall of wasting all his political capital sucking up to superstitious xenophobes. Nor the huge self-erected wall that keeps him from learning or uttering or even caring about the truth. No, not those thick as a brick wall.

We’re talking about his obsession with a physical structure on our southern border, which he’s variously described as being big and beautiful, see through, transparent, steel slats, concrete, fences, barriers, whatever you want to call it. He even said opponents can name it “peaches.”

So Peaches, it is.

Resolving a 35-day government shutdown, he agreed to a congressional compromise that gives him less money for Peaches than they agreed to back in December, before he got chastised by Fox News. They don’t call him Mister Art of the Deal for nothing.

In response he declared a national emergency and wants to take money from other programs to build Peaches. Or does he? He knows this maneuver will put reluctant GOP senators on record and be challenged in the courts. And he’s already set himself up to lose by announcing he didn’t have to do this now, he could have waited. Which seriously questions the “emergency” part of national emergency.

The dirty little secret is he doesn’t actually want Peaches. He just gets a kick out of talking about her. To goose his base into roaring and cheering while demonizing people who don’t look like them. To get liberals so red in the face they make ripe tomatoes look pale pink covered in talcum.

Recently, the president switched from having rallies chant “Build the Wall,” to “Finish the Wall,” as if he already started construction. Which is like a naked guy asking for alterations to the cuffs of the suit he isn’t wearing and doesn’t own. Adding another chapter to that whole Emperor’s New Clothes analogy. Only true supporters can see his kingly robes.

It doesn’t make any sense. Riling up Texas ranchers by invoking eminent domain. Slashing pet projects of the military. Besides, exactly how does he plan to build a 1952 mile-long wall on the Mexican border without using Mexican labor? Is he going to draft housewives from La Jolla? “Marilyn, hand me that masonry trowel.”

And why does he need Congress to give him money? Whatever happened to Mexico paying for Peaches? Are we supposed to just forget about that? Perhaps he was kidding. He didn’t mean it. Or was it a figurative “paying for it?”He should build Peaches around his refrigerator. Or between his hands so he can’t tweet.

Doesn’t matter that undocumented immigrants commit less crimes than native- born Americans. Pay no attention to the studies that say crime in cities with larger amounts of undocumented immigrants is less than other cities. These aren’t facts, they’re fake news.

“But they’re taking all our jobs.” Dude, if you’re losing your job to someone with a 5th grade education, who doesn’t speak English, maybe immigration isn’t your biggest problem.

He certainly is right on one point. This country is experiencing a state of affairs that requires quick and decisive action. As that self- described American patriot Ann Coulter said after his announcement, “The only national emergency is the president is an idiot.”

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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The State of the Donald Speech

The president gave a pretty good facsimile of a normal speech the other day during, presenting 5,540 of his best words using his indoor voice. He didn’t rattle unhinged or erupt into paroxysms of fire breathing rage or seem blinded by paranoia. Well, not too much, anyway. He even got clapped at by Nancy Pelosi.

Indeed, he did boast of inflated accomplishments, made grandiose predictions and not less than a couple of exorbitant claims, but that’s all part of the grand tradition of the State of the Union Address. Time to preen and strut and prance and flounce. Everybody does it. Even Jimmy Carter.

What everybody normally doesn’t do is threaten the opposition party by saying that the authorization of any “partisan investigations” might cause the country to go to war. Sounds more than vaguely like an extortion threat. Obviously something he picked up from his good buddy, the publisher of the National Enquirer. Or maybe something he taught the unfortunately named David Pecker.

It was the same-old, same-old. Trump says something and all the members of his party stand, but the other party doesn’t. While behind him, the frosty tension between Vice President Mike Pence and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi could have been cut with an al dente strand of spaghetti.

At one point, the 45th President of the United States bragged about more women serving in the 116th Congress than ever before, ignoring the fact that out of 127 female representatives, 106 are Democrats. Most of them clumped together wearing white, to symbolize the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment being passed. A stark visual contrast to all the white men on the other side of the aisle.

One of his least controversial moves was coming out against childhood cancer. Wow. Really going out on a political limb there, eh? Can’t wait for your next position paper on flesh-eating-bacteria. He talked a lot about kids, but not one word about putting them in cages.

Other things he failed to mention were the Government Shutdown. Vladimir Putin. Mitch McConnell. Maria Butina. Jamal Khashoggi. Michael Cohen. Paul Manafort. Kim Kardashian. $2 trillion added to the national debt. Handing the EPA over to oil and coal industries. Fox News pulling his strings. His paternity of a resurgent white supremacy movement. School shootings. Global warming. Subpoenas. Pardons. Tax returns. And the Super Bowl Halftime Show.

Dropping a preemptive strike onto the 2020 Democratic campaign, the former real estate developer lashed out against socialism somehow linking Bernie Sanders to the economic meltdown in South America. And he’s right. Venezuela and Vermont do have a lot in common. Well, they both start with V. He may or may not make America great again, but using communist scare tactics indicates he’s certainly attempting to make America the 50s again.

Finally, he called for civil discourse. You read that right, Donald Trump called for civil discourse. The guy who refers to Representative Adam Schiff by replacing the “F”s in the man’s last name with “T”s called for civil discourse. Which is like a man working in a sewer all day complaining someone spilled coffee on his shoes. Or a rabid wolverine telling the rabbits they should dial it down.

Copyright 2019, Will Durst, distributed by the Cagle Cartoons Inc. syndicate.

Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wisconsin. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario,” please visit willdurst.com.

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