Friday, May 13, 2016

And today in international Trumpery

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, reacting to news reports last week in the Panama Papers leak on how New Zealand has become a haven for international tax cheats and money launderers (the Mossack Fonseca law firm from which the Panama Papers come has a prominent and profitable office in Auckland), responded with bizarre accusations that notable charities—Amnesty International, Greenpeace, and the International Red Cross—are somehow culpably involved in the same corruption, and that a Green MP, Mojo Mathers, is the holder of a foreign trust.

Then on Wednesday afternoon, addressing a question from Mr. Shaw, co-leader of the Green Party, as to why he refused to apologize for these allegations, he shouted until the speaker ejected him from the house. Today's international conservative movement, people, showing the way of Burkean civility and restraint.

I started thinking of it as a kind of modest preview of President Trump. Trump's not going to be a prime minister, of course, so he won't be hanging around in Congress, except there's that annual State of the Union address, nominally presided over by the Speaker of the House:
RYAN. Members of Congress, I have the *gulp* high privilege and distinct honor to present to you—the president of the United States.


TRUMP. Hey, thanks for the intro, Paul. Nice applause! Congress loves me! At least more than they love that Lyin' Ted—Hey, by the way, is Ted Cruz here today? Nice man, but totally unable to tell the truth. And Little Marco? Still stuck in the old job, huh? Losers!

RYAN. Order!

TRUMP. I am so for order. As president, I will not tolerate disorderly conduct in this country. Not like that Nancy Pelosi. Hey Nancy, aren't you due for another face lift? You look just terrible.

RYAN. Order! 
TRUMP. Excuse me, Paul, this is my State of the Union speech, it's not very good manners to interrupt. Where do you come from, anyway, Midwest somewhere? I don't know what it is about you, you seem very poorly educated. Of course I love the poorly educated, they all voted for me, but we don't need dummies in the House of Representatives. One thing we don't need. Dummy Paul.

RYAN. There will be order in the House!

TRUMP. Well, there will if you stop interrupting me. What was I saying? I love this crowd, it's very energizing! I see Bernie Sanders showed up—how's that political revolution thing working out for you, Bern? I guess you got beheaded! You look like it, too! You still using that Tom's of Maine baking soda hairspray or what?

RYAN. Sergeant-at-Arms?
This great visualization of Donald Trump as president comes from a web post headlined "8 Reasons Why Donald Trump Will Make a Great President… We’re Serious", featuring such talking points as, "Despite the weak smears, the man’s squeaky clean. Unless you let your view on people be directed entirely on their choice of hairstyle, there isn’t actually anything about his life or past that’s controversial or offensive other than he is divorced (and who isn’t nowadays)." But sadly, for some reason, they've taken the picture down.

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