By David R. Wheeler, Editor
FBI Director James Comey said yesterday that he experienced “mild” nausea at the thought that he might have affected the outcome of the 2016 election. Really, James? Was it just “mild”? Because the rest of the country has been experiencing the symptoms of collective food poisoning.
In honor of Comey, let’s rate the top five most nauseating political moments of the year, each named according to the foodborne pathogen most closely associated with the nausea level induced by the political act.
After obstructing the confirmation of Obama Supreme Court appointee Merrick Garland for 10 months, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell got all huffy when Democrats fought back against Trump’s appointee, Neil Gorsuch. “Apparently there’s yet a new standard now to not confirm a Supreme Court nominee at all,” McConnell said. “I think that’s something the American people simply will not tolerate…” This prompted a radio commentator to remark that McConnell “gives cynicism a bad name.” It also prompted a collective, bipartisan sprint toward the bathroom, heaving all the way.
Americans generally supported Trump’s decision to bomb a Syrian air base after the Assad regime’s chemical attack. But this didn’t stop White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer from making a bizarre and flatly false historical comparison, saying Adolf Hitler “didn’t even sink to using chemical weapons” during World War II. Uh-oh. Grab the bucket next to your sick-bed, because you’re not going to make it to the bathroom in time.
“The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!” said Trump in a Feb. 17 tweet. This statement, combined with Trump’s earlier stated goal to “open up libel laws,” reminds the country that our would-be autocrat-in-chief brooks no dissent, and would prefer to gut the First Amendment rather than endure criticism from the media. Somebody hold my hair back while I kneel in front of this porcelain fixture.
“The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!” So said Trump on Feb. 4 when a federal judge blocked his travel ban. Not content with attacking the entire institution of the free press, Trump also decided to take on the judicial branch of the federal government. Spoken like a true wannabe dictator. In addition to the nausea, does anybody else have dry-mouth? And blurred vision? It’s going to be a long night.
“Terrible!” Trump tweeted on March 4. “Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” Although Trump’s outrageous, unfounded claim has receded from view (and a consensus emerged against the claim), the damage to the country has been done. If sitting presidents can make wild accusations against a predecessor, based on partisan rumors, destroying any sense of unity for the country, it’s time … to check into the nearest hospital. This sickness isn’t going away on its own. It’s time to get our collective stomach pumped.