In the movie Step Brothers, Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly are two 39-year-old men with the maturity of eight-year-olds who still live at home. They ask the father for permission to convert their beds into bunk beds so they can have more space in their shared room for “activities.” The father thinks it’s a bad idea but says they’re grown men who don’t need his permission. Naturally, the bunk beds fall apart trapping one of the brothers underneath the top bunk with the other blaming the father for letting them do it.
That’s what a man-child does. He blames others for his transgressions and stupidity as he’s incapable of accepting responsibility. Donald Trump is a 70-year-old man-child who should still be living at home, not in the White House.
A political cartoonist does his or her best work when they’re angry. It’s really hard to get angry every single day. At the most, politicians just really annoy me. This time, I’m pretty pissed off.
Donald Trump has now decided his best defense against accusations that he colluded with Russia to win the presidential election is to blame his predecessor, Barack Obama. Do what now? How does this work exactly when you blame someone for something you previously said didn’t exist? This is the sort of nonsense you’d think only Kellyanne Conway could attempt to explain. But, no. There are plenty of Trump defenders who will believe anything Trumpelstiltskin says.
Every president blames his predecessor for something, especially if they’re from opposing parties. Obama often blamed Bush for the crappy economy he inherited. Usually, when a president blames a previous president, there’s at least a basis of truth to it. George W. Bush did leave Obama a shitty economy and Republicans spent eight years complaining how Obama conducted the worst recovery ever. Basically, Republicans messed everything up and bitched how the Democrat was taking too long to clean it.
Trump not only blames Obama for bad stuff, he takes credit for the good Obama did. He’s taken credit for jobs Obama has saved. He’s taken credit for the stock market which has continued its upswing that started way before Trump took office. He’s taking credit for job numbers that he once claimed were fake while he was a candidate. He’s taking credit for the current economy, even though at this very moment we’re still in Obama’s fiscal year. But when it comes to blaming, Trump doesn’t even use a grain of truth. He flat out makes shit up.
Trump accused Obama of wiretapping the phones in Trump Tower. If you’re a Trump supporter you believe that despite it being a total lie. Now Trump is blaming Obama for Russia’s hacking into our presidential election.
Obama and our intelligence networks were aware of Putin ordering his agents to corrupt our election, the attempts to destabilize our democracy, and the effort to throw the election to Donald Trump. A lot of the information remained classified until after the election, but it was public knowledge way before November what the Russians were up to. I remember this. I drew a lot of cartoons about it. I remember Donald Trump denying it was happening. 2016 was not a figment of my imagination though it was kind of a nightmare.
Obama was in a catch-22 with how to handle the situation. He could sit back and let the election play out or make big bold statements and enact sanctions. That would have had Donald Trump, who was screaming at the time that the election was “rigged,” accuse Obama of using government resources to sway the election toward Hillary Clinton.
Obama publicly told Russian President Vladimir Putin to “knock it off.” He waited until after the election to enact sanctions, shut down two Russian compounds (one in Maryland, the other in New York). He’s been fairly criticized for his handling of the situation, but I don’t think he had any winning options.
If President Obama had done more and Clinton had won the election, Trump and Republicans (some who knew of the hacking, but remained silent) would still be screaming that the Democrats stole the election. If Trump had won despite Obama’s involvement (which I think would have happened anyway because Trump voters don’t work with facts or substance), we’d still be where we are now. Now is a situation where Obama didn’t want to give the impression of messing with the election and he’s being accused by Trump of colluding with Russia. Yes, seriously.
Now keep in mind that after Trump secured the nomination, he was provided the same intelligence briefings the president was receiving. Despite this fact, Trump continued to deny there was an attempt by Russia to hack our election. He said it could be China or some fat guy sitting on his bed. A closer guess would have been a fat guy in a penthouse on 5th Avenue.
Not only was Trump aware what the Russians were doing (as we all were), he asked Russia to release Hillary Clinton’s emails. On July 26 of last year, five days AFTER the Republican convention where Trump was awarded his party’s nomination, he said “I will tell you this, Russia: If you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.” A few months later he went even further. In October 2016 (in case you’re a Trump voter, that’s AFTER July), Donald Trump was at a campaign event and reading leaks of emails from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton Campaign when he said: “I love Wikileaks.”
Obama didn’t ask Russia to hack and release emails. Obama didn’t shout that he loved Wikileaks.
If not doing enough to stop the hacking is colluding, then egging them on, using the information, and enabling the hostile foreign power tampering with our election is definitely colluding. Denying the actions is even further collusion, which is what Trump did throughout the election and continued after he was inaugurated.
Now Trump is finally admitting that Russia hacked our election, though he’s blaming Obama. What’s really hard to understand is how can the hacking story be a “hoax” and “fake news” yet still be Obama’s fault? Trump and his supporters will try to have it both ways as it takes an actual brain to understand that strategy doesn’t work. So expect Conway to be on CNN around 9:00 a.m. to explain it for us. I have aspirin.
Here’s another piece of logic that Trump supporters won’t understand: If Obama’s inaction is proof of collusion, then Trump is guilty too. Since he has become president, Trump has denied the hacking was done by Russians and hasn’t done anything to punish Russia or to prevent future hacking attempts. According to former FBI director James Comey, Trump never asked about or discussed how to protect us in the future. He was only concerned about having the investigation into Michael Flynn dropped, the pee tapes, and for Comey and several others to make public statements that he was personally not under investigation. In addition to this, he continued to deny the hacking attempts while personally relaying classified information provided by an ally to the Russians. And yet Obama is the one who colluded with the Russians.
What’s next? Will Trump blame Obama for his two divorces and the reason why his two sons are idiots who look like Beavis and Butt-Head?
The president takes an oath where he swears he will protect us from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge we’ve been attacked, or even who our enemies are, despite being the recipient of the best intelligence network in the world.
That doesn’t just annoy me. That seriously pisses me off.
Clay Jones can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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