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This is Exactly What I Meant by “Make America Great Again”

Satire from The Washington Post, by Alexandra Petri:

This, specifically, is exactly what I thought of when I wanted to Make America Great Again. To the letter. Donald Trump has delivered on his promise, to me and to other voters.

I wanted a president who would stand up to our greatest threats (journalists, White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner comedians, the institution of First Dog, the French, generals, John McCain) and embrace America’s truest allies (Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, Saudi Arabia in general, Vladimir Putin, Kim Jong Un, anyone with a cool new trick for voter suppression).

I was sick of President Barack Obama apologizing for America. I want a president who apologizes for Saudi Arabia. That is what greatness is. I’m not alarmed by this. It is always what I had in mind, from that first day when I saw him ride down the escalator. I have exactly as much love and support for the Saudi regime as I don’t have for refugees seeking to immigrate to this country, or the independent judiciary, as a concept. I’m honored that Donald Trump is representing this deeply held ideal of mine: that democracy is kind of meh and America’s greatness has always lain in its deference to autocrats. “Whatever is happening in the rest of the world is fine, and we should just leave it,” as whoever FDR beat in the election used to say. “America First!”

I’ve always felt a deep love for the Saudi royal family, and everyone in my place of worship agrees. I was always writing in to Fox News saying, “Why aren’t you praising Saudi Arabia more strongly? Where is your loyalty to MBS? I see the op-ed writers, but not you!” Now I feel complete. I loved that sword dance, and the thing with the orb. This, specifically, was always my dream.

I have always ranked unforgivable crimes as follows:

  • Personally insult or show disloyalty to Donald Trump, even a single time — THE MOST UNFORGIVABLE
  • Insult Donald Trump during a comedy routine: MAYBE LITERALLY THE WORST CRIME
  • Leak from the White House: AWFUL
  • Be a lady who is not so attractive for the president to look at: SHAME!
  • Be a journalist who asks a normal question: BAD
  • Send witches to hunt our wonderful president: BOO!
  • Adultery (by a Democrat): STILL A BIG NOPE

Then way, way down deep at the bottom of the list, scarcely even visible: Order the murder of a journalist.

Finally we have a president who can stand up to people who have too long gone unchallenged: Gold Star Mothers, Gold Star Fathers, POW senators, our intelligence agencies and the admiral responsible for the raid on Osama bin Laden. One thing that motivated me when I went to the polls was the thought of seeing someone really lay into the guy who got bin Laden. My eagle soars a little higher just at the thought of it. America First!

Reading the presidential statement on the slaying of Post journalist and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi, I felt my heart swell with patriotic pride. This is what America has always been about: not even trying to reach for higher moral ground. The world is a creepy place. Bad things happen. America First! I have always thought of America as less of a city on a hill and more of a city under a hill.

When I see Lady Liberty, I see a lady who is burning a lamp. Lamps need oil! We must keep oil cheap. That’s the lesson I take from her. Never disrupt your ties to Saudi Arabia for any reason.

I am reminded of the immortal words of the Declaration. “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that a close relationship with Saudi Arabia is worth sacrificing almost any principle, that we only paid lip service to principles, that the world is an ugly place.”

Whom can we trust? The CIA, or a foreign regime noted for its human rights abuses? Who can say? We can never know. We cannot know. We must embrace the uncertainty. The mark of greatness is having enough power to do whatever you what, countenance whatever you want. When you’re a star, they let you.

America’s Greatness has always lain in its subservience to the exigencies of personal greed. That was the thing I wanted us to bring back. I wanted us to countenance more murders and stand for less. Hatred, fear and accepting the ugliest aspects of the status quo: That’s what I believe in! That’s what I voted for.

The only thing I love as much as standing for the national anthem is standing for nothing. This is what greatness is. I feel great already.

Political cartoon

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Lone guy at Fox News still worried about caravan, embarrassing colleagues

From the Washington Post, satire by Alexandra Petri:

FOX NEWS HQ, PROBABLY — Days after the midterm elections, one “Fox & Friends” producer was still “terrified” the network had scarcely spared a thought for the migrant caravan that only a few days ago, according to the network, was about to sweep into the nation and ruin it, thus demanding the immediate presence of U.S. troops at the border.

His whole Fox family was mortified to discover Gary still believed in the horrifying vision of the caravan, even after Election Day.

In the green room, colleagues rolled their eyes as he kept asking, “Where is it? Why can’t we still see it?” and “What happened to Operation Faithful Patriot?”

“I can’t believe he doesn’t know,” one female colleague mused. “It’s kind of, what’s the word? Sad.”

“I think he actually thinks this was all real,” a male colleague ventured, peering through an open door at the producer, who was frantically scrolling on his phone to see whether he could find any footage or coverage of the caravan. “He’s really worried about it. He took me aside at lunch and retold the plot of an entire ‘Doctor Who’ episode where if you looked away from something scary it would suddenly be much closer, and he couldn’t believe we were taking our eyes off this very real threat.”

The man paused to smother laughter. “I’m sorry. He actually — he keeps telling me he can’t believe the president stopped tweeting about it. He can’t believe.

The “Fox & Friends” producer, accustomed to checking the screen every minute to watch the familiar ominous footage as hosts asked creepy, leading rhetorical questions about it, was shocked to see it was no longer there. “What about the diseases and terrorism?” he kept asking as his colleagues tried to avoid making eye contact with one another so they would not burst into laughter. “My whole family is in a bunker! We went to the polls explicitly because of this issue and the president’s effective messaging on it.”

“I do worry about him,” his female colleague added. “He seems genuinely afraid of the images that we had found and were playing on loop. Does he actually think that Santa Claus is white — or that Sean Hannity is a journalist?”

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Brett Kavanaugh’s Diary from 1982

From New York magazine, a satire by Eric Levitz

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May 5th

Woke early. Said morning prayers. Studied for the SATs for three hours, then spent the afternoon reading to the blind. In the evening, shot some baskets with my fellow adolescent males.

The competition was vigorous, but sportsmanlike. Afterwards, the boys debated which of the girls at National Cathedral was “the hottest.” I refused to engage in their sordid discussion. “Certainly, many of the young women at that school are physically attractive,” I told my schoolyard chums. “Still, I believe that the highest form of Eros is not the love of bodies, but rather the love of wisdom.”

“Ah, if you love wisdom so much, why don’t you marry the Constitution?” Mark asked.

Would that I could Mark — would that I could!

May 26th

Attended a movie outing, as scheduled. “Fast Times at Ridgemont High.” Two out of five stars: Mirthful in moments, but utterly unrealistic and unrelatable in its depiction of high-school life.

After the film, I came home and put the finishing touches on my final project for sculpture class — a photo-realistic mask of my own face. The verisimilitude is eerie in its perfection.

June 13th

Had lunch with my 65 close, female friends. We discussed the school year’s end, love, life, and volume two of Simone de Beauvoir’s The Second Sex. Told Moira that she doesn’t “owe” it to Jeff to go to second base — and if he keeps pressing the issue, she should look for a new suitor who respects her boundaries. Assured Stephanie that she was gorgeous, inside and out, and that Hollywood’s conception of feminine beauty was oppressively narrow. Encouraged Cassandra to ignore her father’s gender-normative hang-ups and try out for her public school’s wrestling team in the fall (glass ceilings are made to be broken!). Mostly though, I just listened.

On the way home back home, I stopped in at the hospital to donate some bone marrow.

June 20th

Went to church, as I do every Sunday. Reflected on my faith in Catholicism, and belief in the sanctity of all human life, from its very earliest stages (but not, necessarily, in an anti-choice sort of way).

Later, oversaw a meeting of the “Keg City Club” — a philanthropic organization which aims to deliver barrels of potable water to cities at risk of drought. As Treasurer, I reiterated my view that we had enough funds in our coffers to arrange for the provision of at least 100 kegs by the end of the fiscal year.

June 21st

My face has been stolen. For the past two weeks, my photo-realistic mask was hanging at G-Prep, as part of the year-end art show. But when I came by to pick it up this afternoon, the wall where it had been mounted lay bare. I’ve always considered myself a pro-law teen. But this wanton act of theft has redoubled my conviction that laws are very good.

July 4th

At the beach for the week with my family. Met three charming young surfers, all named Ralph. They offered to make me an honorary member of their eponymous “club.” I couldn’t refuse. Will spend all day tomorrow volunteering at a home for children orphaned by shark attacks.

July 24th

A little groggy today. Stayed up late last night reading jurisprudence. Have said it before and will say it again: Roe v. Wade is settled law.

July 27th

Attended a party at Mark’s house last night. Upon my arrival, was perturbed to find that there were no parental guardians in the home. When I went to place my modest contribution to the pot latch (a two-liter bottle of sarsaparilla) in the kitchen, was chagrined to see the center-island festooned with wine and spirits. I asked Mark if he were familiar with the drinking age in this part of the country, and/or, with the scientific literature on adolescent brain development (which demonstrates that alcoholic beverages can exacerbate the teenage mind’s predilection for rash decision-making). He said that it sounded like I could use a drink, and foisted a libation upon me. I took a sip but did not swallow, then stepped into the living room to call the police.

I saw him the moment I reentered the kitchen.

He was standing too close to a visibly inebriated sophomore. Ogling her — with my own eyes. Words cannot express the uncanny horror I felt then. “Return my visage at once, scoundrel!” I cried. The female sophomore turned to me, and then back to the thief, and then to me again. “I think I’ve had too much,” she stammered as my doppelgänger fled to the foyer. I chased him out the door and onto the benighted streets of Bethesda. He was quick — but, thanks to my years of focus on athletics, I was quicker. I took him down at the bottom of the driveway with a proper form tackle, then pinned him to the pavement by his wrists. His breath reeked of vodka. His eyes flared with malice. For a few moments I couldn’t speak, transfixed by the twisted mirror of his face.

“Who are you?” I finally said.

“Brett Kavanaugh,” he hissed.

“No, you’re not.”

“Say it all you want — when it matters most, no one will believe you,” he said, enigmatically, before dissolving into a fit of maniacal laughter.

Then came the sirens and the flash of headlights. In my moment of distraction, he bit my wrist. I fell to my side in pain as he wriggled up from under me and then disappeared into the darkness. I walked back to the house to thank the arriving officers for their timely response.

Minutes later, the authorities led Mark out the door in handcuffs. As they were putting him in the back of a squad car he turned to me and said, “I know you only did this for my own good. Thank you for always focusing on being a good friend to me.”

“You’re welcome,” I replied. “But I didn’t just do it for you, Mark – I also did it for the law.”

When I returned home, I lay awake, unable to get my doppelgänger’s face out of my head. “Was he right?” I asked myself. If he committed some vile act in my name, would anyone believe me?

But after hours of studying my ceiling fan, and reflecting on the wisdom of Christ and the founding fathers, I decided that my truth would be heard. In spite of everything, I still believe that people are really good at heart.

Shortly thereafter, I descended into a beautiful dream; the Constitution was a woman, and I was giving her the most conscientious cunnilingus.