David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Okay, so Trump and his fossil Congress are having their day, strutting like the last of the dinosaurs.
Dead men and women walking. Having resurrected the ’50s like a 2017 come-as-you-were reactionary party, they don’t seem to realize that they’re living a fluke.
It’s like, Martin Luther King who? If someone brings up separation of church and state, the Trumpsters throw down 10 presidential executive actions of dubious constitutionality.
And don’t give them any Civics 101 crap about separation of powers. They run all three: executive branch, Congress, and the Supreme Court. And by the way, don’t look for any help from the Supremes. The Right has that buttoned up until your grandbabies are on Social Security — if it’s still there, which is looking doubtful.
Minorities lined up to vote? Well, the GOP has a battery of states firing off voter-suppression laws, dusting off the old Deep South Jim Crow ordinances to handle them.
Trump is running wild, held back from God knows what only by the courts, which he seems to think are some postscript in the Constitution, kind of an afterthought to which a president is immune.
Even the 1950s mostly respected the courts, for Pete’s sake. Trump has filled his cabinet full of wild-eyed nutsos who couldn’t even have gotten invitations to tea back then.
Today, science is a dirty word in a White House crammed with know-nothing ignoramuses. Trump’s people are kicking scientists out on a daily basis so they don’t get in the way and embarrass Trump’s climate deniers.
Trump and the Republican right wing running Congress have no use for logic that challenges their dangerous agenda, so about the only defense the public has besides lawsuits is ridicule: Saturday Night Live and the Capitol Steps, a band that roams the land, putting what they call “the mock in democracy.”
Their tuneful skits nail both sides, and when they sold out the Lobero last week, there you saw a foolish Trump (“I’m Not a Taxpayer”) onstage in a blue suit and red tie, and a Hillary Clinton wearing a bright scarf and uttering inanities.
The whole global cast of unhinged characters was there, in costume and wigged, including a bare-chested Vladimir Putin singing The Police’s “Every Breath You Take … I’ll Be Following You,” and a song-and-dance number, “Putin on the Blitz.”
While Saturday Night Live can be as silly as a sophomore class play, the Capitol Steps can bite to the tune of popular songs:
“Faking News Is Hard to Do,” “If There Were No Rich Men,” and “How Do You Solve a Problem Like Korea?” In politics, “It’s All About the Base.”
Trump was rating women, as usual: “The Statue of Liberty Is Only a 5.” A scrub-suited Ben Carson, the brain surgeon, sang “If I Only Had a Brain.”
A Western-costumed guy sang an ode to California: “It’s Good to Smoke the Green, Green Grass of Home.”
Making the biggest smash of the night was wild-haired Trump advisor Steve Bannon, wearing a cape and half-mask, singing “The Phantom of the Opera.”
The Bannon look-alike was a big hit, but the real one seems to have faded from prominence on the White House scene, along with the much-satirized Trump mouthpiece Kellyanne Conway.
Other ditties from the Steps collection: “We Arm the World,” “Ebony and Ovaries,” “Fools on the Hill” (Capitol, that is), and “Embattled Hymn of the Republic.”
The Capitol Steps were born, not surprisingly, in 1981 while planning for a Christmas party. “Our first idea was to stage a nativity play, but in the whole Congress, we couldn’t find three wise men and a virgin,” so they decided on song parodies based on headlines. Now that Trump has fired FBI Director James Comey, look for him to be an upcoming Steps character.
Going to the Dogs
Carpinteria native Carlyn Montes de Oca returns to town on Thursday, May 25, at 7 p.m. to sign her book Dog as My Doctor, Cat as My Nurse at Chaucer’s Books. The former Bishop High student and professional film editor says it’s “an animal lover’s guide to a healthy, happy, and extraordinary life … animals enhance human health, happiness, and longevity.” Maybe everyone in Congress should adopt a dog.