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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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Cut Them Some Slack. They’re Just a Couple of Kids.

From the Washington Post:

White House officials said there has been a deliberate effort during the Khashoggi controversy to sideline Jared Kushner, the president’s son-in-law and adviser, who has developed a strong relationship with MBS. Trump has grown frustrated with Kushner, White House officials said, though he offered his son-in-law some support in the Post interview.

“Jared doesn’t do business with Saudi Arabia. They’re two young guys. Jared doesn’t know him well or anything,” he said. “They are just two young people. They are the same age. They like each other I believe. Jared has done a very good job. I think he’ll make peace with Israel. But there are a lot of setbacks. This is a setback for that.”

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(From The Onion)

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“Hey, He Slipped and Fell into My Bone Saw. Swear to God, Man.”

From CNN:

In a flurry of coordinated statements, issued in the dead of night in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia claimed Khashoggi’s death was accidental. According to the Saudi Press Agency, preliminary investigations revealed that “discussions” between Khashoggi and suspects currently detained by Saudi Arabia developed into a physical altercation that resulted in Khashoggi’s death. Those responsible then tried to cover up the death, state TV said.

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Wilbur Ross, Captain Clueless

Ross opining about the fact there were no protesters visible in Saudi Arabia:

“There’s no question that they’re liberalizing their society,” said Ross, who joined Trump on the Saudi Arabian leg of his first international trip as president. “The other thing that was fascinating to me, there was not a single hint of a protester anywhere there during the whole time we were there. Not one guy with a bad placard.”

“But Secretary Ross, that may be not necessarily because they don’t have those feelings there, but because they control people and don’t allow them to come and express their feelings quite the same as we do here,” CNBC anchor Becky Quick interjected.

“In theory that could be true,” Ross conceded. “But boy there was certainly no sign of it. There was not a single effort at any incursion. There wasn’t anything. The mood was a genuinely good mood.”

As evidence that Saudi Arabia, where the law prohibits women from driving, is becoming more liberal, Ross offered that panel discussions as part of the Trump visit had included the female head of the Saudi stock exchange as well as a “very bright, very attractive young woman” on a panel on venture capitalism.

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