Do Not Ask For Whom The Buck Stops, It Sure As Hell Doesn't Stop With Trump
Donald Trump's stupid shutdown over the WALL Nancy Pelosi told him he's never gonna get drags on for the third week. Furloughed federal workers are trapped in a Steinbeck novel with no clear ending. Isn't Trump in some way responsible for the misery he causes? The president rejected any accountability during his regularly scheduled "Looney Tunes" remarks to the press.
REPORTER: "Does the buck stop with you over this shutdown?"
TRUMP: "The buck stops with everybody."
This is an interesting spin on the phrase former president Harry S. Truman popularized. How can one singular dollar stop with everyone? It would be so gross and sticky by the end. That's why people use Venmo. Maybe Trump was speaking metaphorically. If so, what a bold collectivist statement! The buck stops with us all. Everyone gets a buck! That sounds awesome, but unfortunately, Trump isn't some common Marxist. He's only talking about redistributing blame.
Hey, Ms. Kennedy, please don't tell us how to do our jobs. We'll find a way to drag Trump, even if there is no point. Trump has tweeted bromides about leadership that sounded like John Lennon lyrics if the former Beatle were a Wall Street sociopath. But that was when Barack Obama was president and everything was his fault. Now, Trump is president and everything is everyone else's fault. Trump's Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a speech in Cairo yesterday where he attacked Obama as if the guy was still president. Believe us, sir, wishing won't make it so.
"Passing the buck" is a common theme in the Trump administration. You know, the "buck" in that famous phrase doesn't refer to money. It's actually a knife. The handle was made from a buck's horn (poor Bambi's dad). When playing poker, you'd pass the buck-handled knife to the person whose turn it was to deal the cards. I was all set to link to you some more fun facts about "bucks," Truman, and real presidents, but this is what I discovered at the Truman library site.
Because you know, the government is shut down. (Yes, yes, you can continue past the warning and Truman probably didn't update any of his entries, please do not get bogged down in details like this parenthetical already has.)
Trump probably never considered or even imagined that federal workers led lives of such quiet financial desperation that going a few weeks without work could cost them everything. He needs to drag Democrats into the moral quicksand with him. This is both shameless and stupid. The shutdown isn't some left cheek sneak he passed in the Oval Office with no one the wiser. He crapped himself in front of the nation, as Pelosi will never let him forget.
The president is a gangster who doesn't respect your intelligence enough to be subtle. Instead of "Nice government you have here. Be a shame if something happened to it," Trump just drops, "I will shut down the government if you don't give me what I want. I am threatening you. This is the threat."
The speaker's clip is relatively brief. Trump actually kept incriminating himself. And just look at Chuck Schumer's posture. Doesn't Trump know the dude's obviously wearing a wire?
TRUMP: "So I will take the mantle. I will be the one to shut it down. I'm not going to blame you for it…. I will take the mantle of shutting down."
He said "mantle" a lot. No one knows why. Does he have a buck on the mantle? No, because the buck stops with everybody.
I'm not going to flatter Trump by claiming he has some grandiose psychological disorder. I'm also not going to insult those who suffer from mental illness by comparing Trump negatively to them. No, Trump is just a spoiled brat whose parents didn't raise him right. He probably seriously believes whoever doesn't give in to his latest nonsensical demands is equally, if not more so, responsible for his unreasonable reaction. This is why you don't hand the presidency over to egomaniacs who slap their names on tasteless buildings and tasteless steaks.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He's on the board of the Portland Playhouse theater and writes for the immersive theater Cafe Nordo in Seattle. Tickets are on sale now for his latest Nordo collaboration, "Curiouser and Curiouser," an adaptation of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass." It promises to feel like an actual evening with SER (for good or for ill).