“Trust starts with truth and ends with truth.” – Santosh Kalwar
This week is a reminder of an old television show that debuted in 1962 and ran through 1963 in the UK called That Was The Week That Was (TWTWTW). Hosted by David Frost and based on the premise all things political were fair game for satire and lampooning, the show was meant to “prick the pomposity of public figures” who had the misfortune to come under the radar of the show’s writers, cast and director, Ned Sherrin. In 1964 the wildly funny late night comedy program jumped the pond and came to the United States with Frost and others in tow to lambaste American politicians and others. It was by all accounts not only a success but an oddity that may have contributed to its ultimate demise.
If there was ever a week for a revival of TWTWTW, this is it. Shortly after Trump returned to the United States from his disastrous Japanese trip last week , think “hide USS John S McCain, he came up with a real boneheaded idea to place a 5 percent tariff on goods coming from Mexico that will increase monthly up to 25 percent by year’s end. Suffice it to say, the Mexico tariff debacle was at the forefront of news coverage all of this week which has done something that the Democrats have failed to do over the last 2 years: Get the Republicans in the Senate to stand up to Trump and his wack-a-mole approach to governance.
Add to the mix, Trump and entourage left for England midweek to basically wallow in the limelight of the British royal family in hopes that some of their rank and class would rub off on Trump and his boorish family and advisers. The trip is not over yet, but judging by how the first three days went, all bets are off that Trump will not make some awful faux pas that will embarrass himself and the rest of the country before weeks end. On tap is a visit to Ireland and to the beaches of Normandy as the world remembers D-Day and all the memories it has to offer.
While it is easy targeting the Trump family with jest and satire, it is almost too easy a target to really get that worked up over. Much has been written and said about the Trump family tailor who came up with a white tie, jacket and vest that made both Papa and Donnie, Jr. look like seedy carnival barkers coming down from a ten day meth binge with heavy alcohol abuse as a chaser. Of course, there was what one Twitter post called Ivanka’s maxi pad hat which came off as a little mean, but totally accurate. Melania stepped off Air Force One with a white boater precariously balance on the side of her head that was, not just unflattering, but simply odd and out of place. Hint: Trump ladies if you are going to wear hats in Britain do your homework and use the Queen mom and Camilla as guides.
By day two, it was painfully obvious that Trump was on his best behavior, hoping against hope, that he could pull off acting like a man of class and distinction, rather than a genetic mutation spawned by the Yeti monster and some hopped up space queen straight out of Studio 54 that most of America has come to see him as on a day to day basis. He and his stable of yokels left Britain headed for the West Coast of Ireland where he will stay at one of his decaying golf courses then meet with the Irish Prime Minister at the VIP lounge of Shannon Airport. The president wanted the meeting to be held at his golf club, but the Irish government decided they would have no part in staging what would essentially be a commercial for Trump’s property. After turning down meeting at one of the several local castles in the area, typically, Team Trump opted for the VIP lounge, possibly hoping for free burgers and brews for his intrepid band of travelers.
Even more curious was who attended the royal festivities for no apparent good reason. All four of the grown Trump children appeared on the scene at various times during the first day of the British invasion. Even granting Ivanka and Jared the right to accompany Trump in their dubious roles of “special advisers” to the president, it doesn’t explain Eric, Donnie, Jr. or Tiffany’s presence at the meetings. Still, under the category of delusions of grandeur, it does have a bit of twisted logic. Trump explained it this way,
For the President, bringing his adult children, in his view, is akin to showcasing his version of royalty. In an interview ahead of the trip with the British tabloid newspaper The Sun, Trump said he wanted Ivanka, Donald Jr., Eric and Tiffany to hold a “next generation” meeting with the Prince William and his wife, Kate, and Prince Harry.
“I think my children will be meeting them,” said Trump. “It would be nice.” CNN
The entire scenario is problematic on a variety of levels. First, “his version of royalty” is more on par with a Staten Island Mafioso. The Queen mother’s pedigree is much more steeped in history and service than he or his children will ever be. She is the 32nd great-granddaughter of King Alfred the Great who was the first effective King of England 871-899 and has been queen for 67 years and has seen. She has seen 13 United States presidents come and go during her long and distinguished career.
Second, the odds that any of the Trump children will be the “next generation” meeting with British royalty is comical on its face. Indeed, Ivanka, Jared, Donnie, Jr, and Eric will be lucky if they don’t spend some extended quality time behind bars due to their involvement with Trump, the cover up, and the underhanded machinations of Trump, Inc. Time will tell, but it’s pretty obvious they won’t be curtsying over tea and crumpets anytime in the near future with British or any other royals around the world.
Speaking of Jared, how clueless does one have to be to work in the Trump White House? Obviously, fairly clueless judging by his answers in a freewheeling interview conducted by Johnathan Swan for HBO’s and Axios. While there were several times when Jared either hem hawed or outright tried to spin his answers to put Trump in the best light, on one topic, he was full-metal jacket dumb in his response. Asked by Swan if he could understand why the Palestinian leaders might not trust him, Jared deadpanned, “I am not here to be trusted . . .” which led Swan to interrupt and read off a laundry list of acts that Israel and the United States have committed to suppress any hope of Palestinian independence, much less a two state solution.
Jared doubled down by saying there is a difference between the Palestinian leadership and the Palestinian people as if to imply the people of Palestine are going to ignore the killing of their friends and relatives by U.S. funded bombs that Israel drops on the disputed land and go behind their leaders’ backs to make peace with the snobbish leaders like himself. Leaders who neither care nor understand the deep mistrust that the Palestinians feel for the West. Granted, part of his answer was pure spin, at times, obviously ill-thought out to keep from revealing too much about his much vaunted Palestinian peace plan, and the Trump’s administration’s kowtowing to the Israeli government. Yet, his interview turned out to be primer for those who want to whitewash, dissimulate, and mislead the people they are ostensibly in power to help get through troubled times. How dumb? Very dumb.
And it’s only Wednesday.