It was all a big understanding, a failure to communicate. Mr. Cool Hand Obama, in his press conference finale, told the assembled kowtowers, “You are not supposed to be sycophants.” Huh? What next, global cooling is the real threat to our good earth? Make up your mind, Mr. Ex-Prez. Then he issued new marching orders. “You are supposed to be skeptics.” As in denialists? He’s a hard one to read. In the end, he left everyone scratching his, or her, little head, declaring — fulsomely? cynically? contemptuously? — “My hope is that you will continue with the same tenacity that you showed us.”
The same tenacity? Does that mean they are to slobber all over Mr. Trump the way they did over him? Or that their assignment is to turn into lock-jawed pit bulls against the new president in contrast to the shaky Chihuahuas they were in his arms? We’d say stay tuned, but hasn’t everyone already tuned them out?
I think they know what lies ahead — even before the White House briefing room has assumed room temperature, key figures in the Washington press corpse are calling for the cancellation of the hot hot White House Correspondents Dinner. No prom for them this year — inasmuch as they already sense the new president won’t bother to attend anyway, another of the wonderful Washington traditions he is bulldozing. Even before the new presidency is 100 seconds old, we’ve been given a preview of how agency after agency will fold its tent and get out of Dodge. Who outside the land of Trump Towers knew that draining the swamp would essentially become an act of self-drainage?
As we now see, those in these diminishing ranks are simply following the lead of the party they so doggedly serve. So what are the Dems going to do next? The answer, as provided by one of their leading organs of reportage, is sobering. “There hasn’t been an American political party in worse shape in living memory,” Politico reports. “And there may never have been a party less ready to confront it.” Those two sentences right there just might win Politico a Pulitzer — assuming those prizes don’t go the way of all those other Democratic strongholds.
And the Democrats’ House mice certainly aren’t offering any help. By last count, 65 and rising of its puny congressional contingent had announced it is boycotting the Trump festivities. Who knew so many could stay away yet create no vacuum? But they do talk big.
As we know, many of the boycotters are doing so out of solidarity with John Lewis whose first name really should have been Jerry. If it were, then maybe we’d see a smile on John’s face, or at least something less contorted and unfriendly than his permanent scowl. And we’d like him for having once been partnered with Dean Martin. Iowa Rep. Steve King got into trouble for calling the Congressional Black Caucus boycotters “the self-segregating caucus.” But what else has Rep. Lewis settled for?
We can’t single out all the boycotters, who in more distinguished times would have directed their boycottry at iceberg lettuce. But frankly, some of their explanations just don’t make sense. California Rep. Tony Cardenas, along with his missus, will spend the noon hour today in a ritual of meditation. “While Donald Trump is being sworn in,” he said, “I think a good use of my time is to promote positivity.” Is he a Fourier nut? Or simply radioactive, in which case let’s prepare a memorial for him on Yucca Mountain.
In between bites Rep. Jerry Nadler said everything about Trump is “beyond the pale” — an odd Russian locution we’ll let pass — and Rep. Maxine Waters said “I wouldn’t waste my time” attending. Be that way, Mad Maxi — continue to find new ways to waste away.
Then there’s Rep. Wolf Blitzer — oops, our bad. What good’s a boycott when the one guy who should be out of circulation insists on hogging all the action instead? His idea of a Trump Inauguration is having an Obama official sworn in as president instead. We won’t go into detail as to how that would come about. Wolf is lucky he’s not under arrest. As it is, he’s our runaway EOW. And now run away, Blitzer. Else we’ll sic one of Obama’s Chihuahuas on you. You’ll think it’s a pit bull.
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