Bob Franken

Bob Franken

Edward M. Pio Roda

LONDON — I'm watching the U.S. from across the pond (the Atlantic, for those not being pretentious) at the end of a London holiday (that's "vacation" in America talk). The big Roy Moore debacle for President Donald Trump, Steve Bannon and the Republicans in general looks as ugly from this vantage point as it does o'er in the colonies (it doesn't take long for me to get totally pompous). Rarely do I say anything of the sort, but actually Trump's original tweet after this was spot on (another obvious affectation): "The people of Alabama are great, and the Republicans will have another shot at this seat in a very short period of time. It never ends!"

He's right about that. The political game truly never does end. Right now those of us on our pundit hamster treadmill are chasing our tales of analysis, telling everyone what this all meant. Let's save some time: It didn't mean all that much, other than at this moment in history, even the voters of an ultraconservative state (at least the black voters) rejected a fanatic who advocates his version of Christian Sharia to the extent that he's been twice removed from office, who longs for the days of slavery, who preaches hatred against anybody who doesn't share his sexual preferences, and who stands accused of acting on his individual sexual preferences for teenage girls. The vote was close, however. Still, it's probably just a bump in the road for the Trumpsters and the man who has taken the highest office in the land to new depths.

Of course, that's not the only Trump tweet to make news; it never is. There was this choice twitbit about Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democratic U.S. senator who has glommed on the sexual-assault and harassment issues and made them her own. Her quarry included Senate colleague Al Franken, forced to resign after she rallied fellow Dems to abandon him. Now she was attacking Trump, who stands accused by more than a dozen women of his own offenses. Gillibrand told CNN that Trump should simply resign. Actually, several other Democrats have joined in. But TWEETUS focused on her. It wasn't that long ago, he pecked, that Gillibrand was in his business office "begging" for campaign funds, "and would do anything for them." Surprise, surprise: Some found that a wee bit tasteless, suggesting that a female United States senator might be a hooker willing to "do anything" for cash.

Trump's designated apologist, Sarah Huckabee Sanders, told reporters that if they interpret his tweet that way, "Your mind is in the gutter." Just like it probably was during the campaign when he criticized Megyn Kelly's persistent questioning as "blood coming out of her wherever." The wheel keeps turning, and Donald Trump's misogynistic nastiness keeps disgusting all but his base. Even the usually placid management at USA Today has had it. After Trump's Gillibrand trip through his own gutter, the paper brutalized him in an editorial: "A president who would all but call Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand a whore is not fit to clean the toilets in the Barack Obama Presidential Library or to shine the shoes of George W. Bush."

Meanwhile, the president's fellow Republicans are finally locking in on their reason for being, which is to take care of their superrich patrons. They can pretend all they want that the tax cuts for the wealthy will grow the economy to such an extent that it won't blow up the national debt, but they're wrong, and they know full well they're wrong. They count on the impatience of the American people, who don't want to be bothered with studying data that would show they will be taking a bath. We prefer mucking around the sewer. Let's face it, the focus of late is all about smutty stuff as opposed to the detailed substance of the GOP tax thievery. So, soon after I get back, to put it in a British sorta way, Americans can plan on being diddled again.

(c) 2017 Bob Franken

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

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