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Donald Trump, successful casino magnate, likes to double down where others might cautiously retreat. It's a key element of the "Trump Doctrine." When he offended the widow of a fallen soldier, Trump in turn insulted the congresswoman who revealed that he'd offended the widow of the fallen soldier. (The White House uses this boomerang evil approach a lot.)


Trump recently received some strong pushback when he referred to MS-13 gang members as "animals." But as his wife Melanie would say, "when they go low (by daring to criticize him), we go high (by doing something that feels like the people involved were high)." So yesterday, on the official White House website, the following public service announcement appeared:

White House's Racist Public Service Announcement About MS-13 Gang Members

The WhiteHouse.gov page, dripping with purple prose direct from a knockoff Dashiell Hammett novel, uses the description "animals" about nine times, so I infer from the subtle repetition that Trump is standing by his provocative verbiage.

It's hard to imagine that if Hillary Clinton had won, she'd proudly display on WhiteHouse.gov a “Deplorables Update: Straight Outta the Trailer Park” help page, and under Obama, WH.gov never had “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Bitter Gun and Bible Clingers* (And The Stupid Police).

Trump doesn't even bother trying to "animal up" the page on the "Opioid Crisis."

Drug addiction and opioid abuse are ravaging America. Hundreds of thousands of Americans have lost their lives to drug abuse.

President Trump is fighting back. In its first year, the Trump Administration has moved quickly to answer this growing threat.

See, now, the text here is otherwise measured and rational, as if composed by an almost sane person. Why can't the entire WH.gov page read like a series of unhinged racist children's books? At the very least, why doesn't Education Secretary Betsy DeVos have her own page about the perils of grizzlies?

The timing is also odd because there was yet another school shooting on Friday where 10 people were killed. Trump has only mentioned it in the most obligatory "thoughts and prayers," "glad to have you back, Melanie" manner.

Trump's deeply moving statement about the Santa Fe school shooting

More Americans are worried about their kids being murdered by gun-wielding classmates than MS-13 members, but perhaps Trump is just better at prioritizing risk than we are. That might explain why there's no corresponding What You Need To Know About The Violent Animals Who Shoot Up Schools page. Instead, there's just reasoned debate about door control.

After a deadly school shooting in Santa Fe, Democrats called for swift action on guns. Gov. Greg Abbott said he'd convene roundtable discussions. And Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said schools have "too many entrances and too many exits."

Check out Trump when he has to actually speak in front of people and cameras, and even worse, people with cameras, about school shootings:

It's all so rote and passionless, like the last few greeting cards left at the store if you wait until mid-morning on Mother's Day. He looks like a celebrity forced to do a PSA to avoid jail time after they were caught being spanked by a porn star with a magazine bearing their own image or committing light treason.

Wow, that was awful. I think I started smoking during the middle of it and there were no cigarettes in my house. When the inevitable next school shooting occurs, he should try sounding more like this:

No, that's just depressing (it's also unclear what's happening below his waist, which frightens me). I meant something more like this:

Yes, indeed, the entire WH.gov page should be replaced with videos of 1990s-era Clooney (just with fewer jump cuts -- I'm a little dizzy now and need to go lie down). It'd be a start.

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Stephen Robinson

Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Seattle. However, he's more reliable for food and drink recommendations in Portland, where he spends a lot of time for theatre work.

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