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Bill Straub: On the way to discovering who we really are and want our country to be, stumble onto Nov. 3

The time has come to give the devil his due.

President Donald J. Trump, aka President Extremely Stable Genius, aka President Great and Unmatched Wisdom, has attracted a ton of criticism since assuming office almost four years ago and it’s fair to say he earned every syllable. But there’s no denying that our boy has one great and resounding achievement that no one can deny.

Trump has pulled off the greatest con job of all time.

The former reality television host somehow managed to convince enough voters back in 2016 that his business acumen, soon to be proved illusory, established that he was somehow capable of being the leader of the free world. Turns out he’s about $400 million in the red, according to a report in the New York Times, which grabbed ahold of some of his federal income tax records, living on the federal dole and lying and cheating to such an extent that he has earned the title of King of the Grifters.

Trump tricked his way to the presidency by following the advice first voiced by W.C. Fields in 1939 – “You can’t cheat an honest man. Never give a sucker an even break or smarten up a chump.”

So about 60 million Americans, enough to reap sufficient votes in the Electoral College, ensconced Trump at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue where he has, unsurprisingly, proved to be an unmitigated disaster.

The NKyTribune’s Washington columnist Bill Straub served 11 years as the Frankfort Bureau chief for The Kentucky Post. He also is the former White House/political correspondent for Scripps Howard News Service. A member of the Kentucky Journalism Hall of Fame, he currently resides in Silver Spring, Maryland, and writes frequently about the federal government and politics. Email him at williamgstraub@gmail.com

Now he is endeavoring to spend another four years in the highest office in the land – perhaps more if you heed some of his public and Twitter remarks – in what appears to be a rabid attempt to evade the clutches of John Law.

Should he stumble, and the current poll numbers are not particularly promising, favoring his Democratic for, former Vice President Joe Biden on Nov. 3, prosecutors from the Southern District of New York appear poised to slip the handcuffs on him at their first opportunity.

The opportunity can’t come quick enough.

Trump’s inadequacy for holding down the highest elected position on God’s green earth was never more evident than on Tuesday night during the first of what is scheduled to be three debates with Biden. His crude demeanor was a national disgrace, and his non-stop blustering attempts to bully and intimidate embarrassed the nation that elected him and placed America in a horrible light before the rest of the free world. Only Russia and China could have smiled at that performance.

But his surly, uncouth manner isn’t really what should disqualify him with the electorate. It’s his answers – or non-answers — to two simple questions.

Asked by moderator Chris Wallace if he would condemn White supremacists, Trump refrained from directly doing so. When Biden pushed further, challenging him to disparage a racist group known as the Proud Boys – a neo-fascist organization that glorifies violence against political opponents and is identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as an “alt-right fight club’’ – Trump instead responded “Proud Boys – stand back and stand by.”

Proud Boys immediately embraced that phrase as a rallying cry.

“Trump basically said to go f— them up! this makes me so happy,” Joe Biggs, a Proud Boys organizer, wrote on Parler.

On Wednesday Trump sought to partially clarify his remarks by telling reporters, “I don’t know who the Proud Boys are. I can only say they have to stand down. Let law enforcement do their work.”

Then of course, he equivocated once again on the issue, insisting that the problem of national unrest doesn’t involve neo-fascist groups but those on the left, like antifa, which isn’t even recognized as an organization.

Trump dug himself an even deeper hole during the debate by, once again, refusing to commit to accepting the election results. Wallace, noting that final tallies will likely take days to count, asked the two candidates if they would urge their supporters to “stay calm during this extended period” and pledge to not claim an early victory.

Biden said he would. Then Trump:

“I’m urging my supporters to go into the polls and watch very carefully because that’s what has to happen,” Trump said, declining to commit. “I hope it’s a fair election. If it’s a fair election, I’m 100 percent on board. But if I see tens of thousands of ballots being manipulated, I can’t go along with that.”

Those two answers alone – in support of a neo-fascist group and refusing to urge his supporters to stay calm and accept the results – should be sufficient to lead any reasonable person to conclude that Donald J. Trump isn’t capable of leading the nation in any way, shape or form.

But this historic con game continues and you can bet he’ll wind up somewhere north of 50 million votes when it’s all over, perhaps getting another four years rent-free in the White House. And you can bet his GOP pals – folks like Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch’’ McConnell, of Louisville, and Rep. Thomas Massie, R-SomewhereorotherLewisCounty — will be there to, when given the opportunity, prop him up.

Earlier this week the Democrat-controlled House voted on a resolution urging a peaceful transition in power in wake of the election results as laid out in the U.S. Constitution. The proposal, which passed 397-5, held that the chamber “intends that there should be no disruptions by the President of any person in power to overturn the will of the people of the United States.”

One of those opposed? Our Wonder Boy, Thomas Massie.

Frankly, the resolution seems pretty cut and dried, brought on by an earlier Trump statement disparaging mail-in ballots – popular as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic – leading him to raise questions about the ultimate validity of the results despite the lack of any supportive evidence, not unusual for him. Massie stood with the president’s reluctance for a peaceful transition.

“This resolution was a disingenuous political statement meant to poke the President in the eye,” Massie said in a statement. “Isn’t it interesting that speaker (Nancy) Pelosi and leader (Kevin) McCarthy didn’t have the time or political willpower to take a recorded vote on the $2 trillion bailout package that passed in March, but they’re now happy to vote on this tripe?”

What horse manure. You’re either for a peaceful transition in power or you’re not, Tommy Boy. Voting against the resolution places the Whiz Kid firmly on the anti-side. If you’re a strict constitutionalist, which Massie claims to be, this can’t stand. Massie is as much a constitutionalist as Aaron Burr.

Then of course, there’s McConnell, who chose to prop up his fellow Republican Trump rather than work to the benefit of the citizens of the United States.

Party before country. Always.

In this instance, McConnell, better than Trump, knows how to read the room, telling reporters he condemns White supremacists “in the strongest possible way,” although he does so, as usual, without contradicting the Frankenstein monster he helped create.

After more than three years in office, we know what Trump is.

In less than five weeks, we’ll know what the country is.

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  1. Marv Dunn says:

    Northern Kentucky should be ashamed to keep sending Massie back to Congress. I can only speculate that our voters are mostly single issue voters, i.e. abortion. Just about every republican sign I see also has an anti-abortion sign attached.

    • Richard says:

      Nothing else matters, if you don’t have a right to be born.

      In Congress, July 4, 1776…

      We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

  2. Willie says:

    Bill Straub = Extremely Unstable Genius

  3. Richard says:

    Northern Kentucky Tribune, would you puplish editorials from conservative columnists that spewed the vitriol this man does on a weekly basis?

Reply to Marv Dunn Cancel Reply