Clay Bennett editorial cartoon

POPE FRANCIS REVEALED AS DRUG KINGPIN

First, let me offer a somewhat profound apology for the crude, sensationalistic, absolutely false headline above. Why am I picking on Pope Frank, anyway? Though he and I have never shared one of those big, priest-sized communion wafers or anything, he seems like a good guy.

The headline is just an expression of my frustration at the ease with which our president tosses exaggerated, lunatic language around and not only garners the attention of just about everyone, but gets away with doing it.

I just want in on some of the action. Hey, you probably did a little double-take when you read the headline, right? I’m getting the hang of this thing, finally learning something from the president.

And was he amazing in tweeting about the infamous Nunes memo, or what?

Though the whole thing is a million miles from the “worse than Watergate” hype that Trump’s minions churned out, I’m still left admiring the hype itself. “Totally vindicated,” says Trump. Totally vindicated in the same way he’s a total genius: in his own mind.

To be exact, he tweeted, “This memo totally vindicates ‘Trump’ in probe. But the Russian Witch Hunt goes on and on. Their [sic] was no Collusion and there was no Obstruction (the word now used because, after one year of looking endlessly and finding NOTHING, collusion is dead.) This is an American disgrace!”

This is his usual stock-in-trade. Distract, dissemble, lie. And toss in a weird homonym while he’s at it. (Their! Love it!) Am I going to leap into the weeds of the memo? Absolutely not. If you care about the details, you already know them; and if you don’t, you presumably have better things to do. And why would I risk boring you to death when I can hold your attention for a moment with this:

HARVEY WEINSTEIN TAPPED AS NEW PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHIEF

It focuses the mind wonderfully, this stuff. Trump is right!

Though I won’t give oxygen to the overblown memo, I do want to offer the president a few ideas concerning his tweet — other than grammatical hints, I mean.

First, if you don’t want a witch hunt, stop sending out your congressional winged monkeys to spread junk that only makes you look worse. And why are you playing this so hard, anyway? What have you got to hide that has your capacious tennis shorts in such a twist? Somebody needs a little rum in his Diet Coke.

Second, try not to beat up your own guys. Rod Rosenstein, Jeff Sessions, Christopher Wray — these are stalwart members of the Republican tribe. You nominated/appointed these guys. Try to be nice, even if you’re afraid of what the investigation might turn up. These are the closest thing to friends that you’ll have in this life. Even at their most disgruntled, they’re going to be friendlier than Melania — but then after the Stormy Daniels revelations, who can blame her?

Then there’s your comment about “American disgrace.” American disgrace? I would go light on that, if I were you. One could easily argue that an American disgrace is your saying you didn’t really consider John McCain a hero because you prefer heroes who are not captured. So while John McCain was being tortured by the North Vietnamese, you enjoyed your bogus draft deferments, and a few years later were bedding D-list starlets in New York, which, to be fair, might qualify as torture I suppose, but only for the women. It was all done patriotically, no doubt.

An American disgrace also might easily be your criticisms about Robert Mueller’s objectivity in his investigation. Mueller, another Republican, a decorated Vietnam veteran who served with distinction as FBI chief under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He has been married to his wife since 1966, when you were at Wharton Business School, not quite ready for the first of your three marriages, none of which did much to slow down your sexual predation.

Maybe the greatest American disgrace, however, is the fact that so many adult, legally sane, presumably educated Americans chose to vote for you, a politically inept poseur, a schoolyard insult bully, a shameless sexual predator, a black hole of self-love, a bluster champion in search of an attention span.

It’s kind of important, actually, to remember that the Russia investigation was launched originally to protect America’s security by determining whether there were illegal connections between Trump campaign members and Russian agents. It was not about Donald Trump personally until, through his words and actions, he made it about himself. He was bound to do this, unfortunately, because his over-the-top self-absorption demanded it. Everything must be about him. So be it. He has his wish.

Once again: Sorry about the headline, Pope Frank. Ya gotta do what ya gotta do.

Moser lives in Napa and is the author of the satire “The New Revised Catechlysm.” He blogs at thisunholymess.com.

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