Because my previous columns were “trash”…

Letters to the editor correctly label my columns “boorishly inartful,” full of “vapid generalities,” “esteemed ramblings,” and “abhorrent.” Direct messages to me declare them “trash.” Readers rightfully urge me to be kinder and gentler to our president, whom we all agree (apart from his pride, greed and lust) is a good Christian man. The most recent such letter went so far as to unfavorably compare my writing to deceased American satirist H.L. Mencken’s.

Well, today all cries of “I’m melting! I’m melting!” shall grow quiet even from the most delicate of snowflakes these prior columns have offended. Today we return to the genteel days of yore, when satirists were less satirical and partisans less political. Today we search earnestly for a role model for my future columns from among our erudite ancestors. A no-obloquy zone.

First, let us consider the restraint I could learn from the aforementioned Mr. Mencken. In a 1920 piece for the Baltimore Evening Sun, he warned that on “some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” What a relief this will never happen.

Or I could further study William Cowper Brann, whose Waco-based paper in the 1800s had a worldwide readership of nearly 100,000. He was fond of writing things like, “I have nothing against the Baptists. I just believe they were not held under long enough.” He explained he could not be gentler because you don’t “choke a bad dog to death with good butter.” On the other hand, people love their dogs, so this may be one offense too far. (Brann would no doubt be pleased to learn that three blocks from where he fell to a bullet in the back has arisen in downtown Waco Chip and Joanna Gaines’ glorious Magnolia Market.)

Then there is our most famous historical humorist, Mark Twain, who once wrote that he would be deeply grieved to learn that “any large number of sane and thinking and intelligent Republicans” did not despise Theodore Roosevelt. It was Roosevelt who regarded it as “morally treasonable to the American public” to announce there must be no criticism of the president, so I trust he enjoyed Twain’s remarks as much as some understandably loathe my columns.

Or perhaps I can follow the lead of our Founding Fathers, whose political discourse had not been poisoned by the evils of social media. Take John Adams who — like all his peers — was full of nothing but piety and propriety. He described Hamilton as suffering from a “superabundance of secretions, which he couldn’t find enough whores to absorb.” Of our beloved first president George Washington, Adams declared it “beyond dispute” that he was “illiterate, unlearned, unread…” Jefferson shared the love, labeling Adams “a hideous hermaphroditical character, which has neither the force and firmness of a man, nor the gentleness and sensibility of a woman.”

I pledge a return to the big league, classy writing of days gone by. Ponder the description of Harper’s Weekly magazine of President Lincoln as a “Filthy story-teller, Despot, Liar, Thief, Braggart, Buffoon, Usurper, Monster, Ignoramus Abe, Old Scoundrel, Perjurer, Robber, Swindler, Tyrant.” Before the Deep State, government officials deferred to presidential power, like General George McClellan calling Lincoln “a well-meaning baboon.”

The ill will in past columns I pledge today to replace with the sort of compassionate conservatism Ann Coulter displayed for our prior president (and those with intellectual disabilities), referring to Obama as “retarded” and “The Retard.” I take a lesson from her big-hearted insights, like tweeting after the election that “Without fat girls, there would be no protests.”

I shan’t here mention the name of our current president, but I also might follow his lead. He reverently referred to his predecessor as “the most ignorant president in our history,” “a disaster” and “one of the worst presidents in the history of our country.” (I refrain from mentioning the Muslim, Kenyan, founder of ISIS stuff.) Future columns also shall heed high-brow commentary of other elder statesmen such as Lyndon Johnson. He said Gerald Ford was so “dumb he can’t fart and chew gum at the same time.”

I shall foreswear future ridicule of presidential hair, such insults being a tacky modern invention dating back solely to the 8th century B.C. That was when the prophet Elisha (per the Old Testament) directed bears to maul the young hooligans who taunted him with cries of “Get out of here, baldy.”

If you can’t join me in being at least that kind to modern leaders, I lovingly question whether you are among the “haters and losers” the world’s most famous tweeter so often constructively criticizes. Let us join hands and in unison affirm these wise words of support from a former leader of Haiti: “The president is here, strong and firm as a monkey’s tail.”

David Schleicher is a member of the Board of Contributors at the Waco Tribune-Herald, where this column originally appeared on May 2, 2017.

Leaked Trump Resignation Speech

Using little but an ordinary time machine, I obtained this transcript of Donald Trump’s Aug. 8 resignation speech. Disclaimer: he (or Melania?) might have cribbed some of it from President Nixon.

“Good evening. I’m speaking to you from the Oval Office. It’s amazing. Not as nice as Trump Tower, but classy. Really classy. Every decision I’ve made here is the most important decision made in American history.

“All the decisions I’ve made have been made to help the economy, whether properties I own, or ones owned by ordinary Americans like Ivanka and Jared. To protect those interests, I wanted to stay your president for as long as possible, until one of my kids could take over when I retire.

“In the past few days, it has become evident the haters and losers in Congress are tired of winning. When I had support there, I was willing to see the impeachment process to the end, to prove they’re all morons. But keeping me from getting embarrassed is more important than anything the voters or the USA need. A lot of experts agree with me on that. From talking with members of Congress, I conclude I won’t have the votes to get anything passed. Not even sneaky, middle-of-the-night kind of stuff.

“If that wasn’t bad enough, I heard that Putin has sold a video to Netflix. Or maybe Amazon. Taken in a Moscow hotel room. Sad! Before any of you see that, let me remind you that Putin is a Muslim who was born in Kenya. Total loser. The video is fake news. Never happened. And my hands are a lot bigger than the camera shows. And that’s vodka they’re pouring on me. I mean not pouring on me. Pouring on someone else.

“I have never been a quitter. To leave office before my term is completed is abhorrent to every instinct in my body. My tremendous, very, very strong body. But I have to put my interests first. If I lose money, the economy goes down. And I pay fewer in taxes. Fewer than zero even.

“I can do better than be president. Bigger league things. So I get rid of the presidency at noon tomorrow. Mike Pardon will become president. I mean Pence. Mike Pence. I know I — I mean you — will be in his good hands. Not huge hands like mine, but somewhat big ones.

“He’s a good Christian man. The kind who will forgive and forget. Forgive even people who commit treason. A random example . . . say, having an enemy interfere in a presidential election in exchange for easing up a bit on sanctions. Mike’s a forgiving church person. He understands that’s not so much treason. It’s just alternate loyalties.

“If you have been offended by anything I have said or done, like having the hugest inauguration crowd in history, or keeping people who pray or look different from me getting in or staying in the USA, I deeply regret you are so easy to offend. If some of my judgments were wrong, well . . . they weren’t. I thank my family, friends in the FSB and Alex Jones for standing with me. Until yesterday.

“And to the haters and losers, I leave with no bitterness. I know you are just being selfish and calling it patriotism. I mean watch your back and stuff, but no big deal. Really. Try a good night of sleep.

“A lot of people are calling for some sort of monument to me to be built. It doesn’t matter to me. Whether the White House lawn. Or on top of the Capitol, or blocking the view of the Washington Monument. Any of those is good. Or all of them. I got no ego on this. Or Mount Rushmore too.

“I’ve never failed at anything and this is one of them. Like President Truman said, ‘The buck stops in my pocket.’ I pledge to keep doing what I have always done. Lining those pockets. Grabbing women by the poodle. The difference is you won’t get a news alert on your phone every time I do it. May God be good to you like he does for me every day.

“USA! USA!”

This column originally appeared in the April 21, 2017 Waco Tribune-Herald, where David Schleicher is on the Board of Contributors.

Letter to Waco Police Chief re: protesters

     Update: This morning (2/15/2017) at 7:50 a.m., I received a call from Waco Police Chief Ryan Holt, who relayed that he had read the letter, they were working on related matters internally, and that he fully expected what happened to have been a one-time occurrence. He identified Assistant Chief Mark Norcross as someone those planning protests might choose to contact in advance to address logistics and avoid the potential for misunderstandings going forward. –David

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Facebook Remix: Puppies v. President

My longtime Facebook friends can be divided into two groups, neither of which appreciate my recent online negativity about your president. The “give-him-a-chance” crowd loves the man and is irritated that I keep complaining. The remainder — the “you’re-depressing-me-dude” crowd — sees my posts as a steady reminder that Uncle Sam appears to have terminal cancer.

I likewise am torn between two fears. One, of becoming like the loons who for eight years repeatedly yelled about Obama being a Muslim Kenyan plotting to steal our guns and internets. Second, of being the equivalent of a German citizen from 1932 who, for many seemingly good reasons, quit speaking out and, with his entire nation, later came to deeply regret his silence.

The five of you who regularly read my columns surely feel likewise. Particularly in a week like this one, when an import tax might well deplete my supply of satire/tequila. With acknowledgement to the creative contributions of those who post things to me like, “Dammit, David, post more pet pictures” and “Catch yourself before you wreck yourself,” how’s this for a remix?:

• Yes, I’m vacuuming my cat in this video. She enjoys it. 900 hits and counting. Meows on command at the end. Small vacs and patient cats only. No dogs.

• Trump strategist Stephen Bannon attacks the media as the “opposition” and warns that it should “keep its mouth shut.”

• Check out how my cat and dog sleep curled up in a ball. They only do this in the winter!

• The very first presidential press conference is consumed by a Trump-ordered angry rant about the lie that he had larger attendance than did Obama’s 2008 inauguration. Size matters?

• Check out this beautiful sunrise view from my office window. Note the pinks on the edges.

• A Trump executive order excludes from entry (as if they were coming illegally) those already screened from the approval process of getting green cards or visas. Even caught up with someone who risked his life to translate for our soldiers in Iraq. The promised Muslim ban? ISIS is celebrating increased level of religious hatred. Nice!

• Watch this baby laughing video. So great. I’ve watched it 10 times. Isn’t that the best sound in the world? Right up there with a baby breathing while sleeping.

• More of the same ol’ BS about some great plan to be revealed for replacing Obamacare. In the meantime, goodbye to pre-existing-condition coverage, no catastrophic limits and staying on parents’ insurance till you’re 26.

• See how this kitten jumps off the ground when something startles it? Is it true dogs go to heaven but cats, at best, go to purgatory? Have you ever seen a cat feel guilty? Dogs do it all the time, so they must have a conscience. Not cats!

• A leaked draft White House order calls for studying the return of torture (AKA “enhanced interrogation”) of our enemies. Our “Christian nation” turning the other cheek? As the bumper sticker asks: “Who Would Jesus Torture?”

• Is your house shaking too? One heck of a rocket SpaceX is testing tonight! The sweet rumble of high-tech, good-paying jobs! But glad we don’t live any closer.

• Funding cuts coming for Violence Against Women prevention programs, NEA, PBS, birth control, EPA toxic waste cleanup and climate-change research.

• So gravity waves are apparently what are lighting up Venus’ atmosphere. Not those gravitational waves that were discovered. This is something else, but both are cool!

• Speaking in front of the CIA memorial wall to fallen staff, President Trump brings along a team with him to give the false impression CIA staff are wildly cheering his comments. He then falsely blames the media for his spats with the agency and brags on himself extensively. Narcissist-in-chief?

• Apparently iPhone 8 is not going to be able to charge from across the room after all. But might have a screen that entirely covers the front.

• There are no facts to back the claim, yet Trump says 3 million to 5 million people illegally voted against him . . . an expected excuse to make it harder to vote.

• Did you drive by that house that Chip and Joanna just renovated? So glad the gap in the foundation did not turn out to be from a sinkhole after all. When are they re-opening the Elite?

• Trump replaces a general and the director of National Intelligence on the National Security Council with his son-in-law and with a white supremacist. We’re doomed.

• Got to love those Lady Bears! #2 in NCAA women’s basketball! Aren’t the Men Bears #2 also? That new football coach is really recruiting well.

• A foreign enemy hijacks our presidential election for its BFF. From Russia with love. Hope NATO doesn’t intercept the naughty text messages.

OK, feel 50 percent better? Oh. No more than 25 percent worse? Oops. Well, then, in closing I’ll say #notnormal. Sad!

This originally appeared in the Waco-Tribune Herald on February 5, 2016, where David is a member of the Board of Contributors

An Inauguration Poem

My inauguration invitation has yet to arrive.

It surely will announce I’m the new poet laureate guy.

Big league thinkers are busily focusing on larger stagecraft.

With the words they could spare I sketched out this rough draft:

For Trump’s inauguration it may prove wise.

To consider a comparison to 13 of the other guys.

Washington could not tell a lie.

Trump says, “I knew George Washington–he was a great guy.”

Thomas Jefferson got the country a great deal on the Louisiana purchase.

Trump can get you a steal on Invanka’s new line of Beijing-made purses.

Millard Fillmore gave the White House indoor plumbing.

Trump says the First Amendment is what needs flushing.

Teddy Roosevelt liked to walk softly, but carry a big stick.

Trump prefers to tweet loudly from a tiny little fingertip.

Warren G. Harding is remembered for the scandal of Tea Pot Dome.

Trump’s overseas ventures leave open the back door to his throne.

FDR brought the Nazi fascists to defeat.

Trump made Steve Bannon his strategy chief.

John Kennedy and Jackie made the White House seem like Camelot.

Trump appointed JFK’s nephew to give us all chickenpox.

LBJ lifting his dog up by the ears seemed a tad cruel.

Trump meanwhile brags he grabs women by the poodle.

Nixon requested a Democratic headquarters break in.

Trump outsourced it to a Russian plumber named Putin.

Ford was portrayed as tripping over his own feet.

Trump’s big war well may start over a 3 a.m. tweet.

Carter was criticized for a time of national malaise.

Trump has really huge plans for our Republic’s final days.

Reagan helped dissolve the Soviet Union.

Trump prefers to enjoy their hotel rooms.

Obama served without scandal for eight years of hope.

Trump hopes to make “Scandal” his new reality tv show.

Trump used to be known for his so-called university.

Now he’s caused a surge in those seeking Russian degrees.

Trump claimed Obama’s a Kenyan Muslim, one of many lies.

But dare to criticize Trump and his fans demand know why.

If Trump’s words and deeds seem to you abnormal, you are one of plenty.

Who will not shut up, give up, nor look away, from today all the way to 2020.

 

2017 by David Schleicher (www.TheContranym.com)

Santa v. Trump: eerily similar

This holiday season, we set aside feeble attempts to compare PEOTUS Donald Trump to political leaders of the past. Whether Andrew Jackson, Hugo Chavez, Ronald Reagan or Huey Long, these analogies fizzle like a snowflake on a hot Texas sidewalk.

The comparison meriting more serious yuletide attention is that with Santa Claus, AKA Kris Kringle (or, some places south of the border wall, Papa Noel). The overlap is unavoidable:

  • Donald is gonna find out who’s naughty and nice (assisted by Chief Elf Vladimir and Deputy Elf Julian).
  • Like Santa, Donald got his position through old world charm and outlasting the competition, not some rigged popularity contest.
  • Like Santa, Donald loves to give things away. Whether cabinet posts to wealthy contributors or Crimea to Russia, his spirit of sharing knows no bounds.
  • Like Santa with Rudolph, Donald doesn’t fear turning to non-traditional picks to lead his team and is willing to overlook a red glow others considered disqualifying.
  • As with Santa and Mrs. Claus, we hear about his wife, but she rarely makes appearances.
  • Like Santa, he understands that it’s cheaper to make his products abroad.
  • Donald too has a little round belly that shakes like jelly (whether he’s ribbing the disabled or giving a wink of his eye to Kluxers).
  • Like Santa, he causes some children to lose sleep over what he may have planned for their families.
  • Like Santa, he will run his White House workshop as a family business.
  • Like Santa, he has his own high-speed, gold-finished, customized aircraft to better enable him to rapidly visit members of the working class.
  • Like Santa, he can give rise to a childlike belief, even in senior citizens.
  • Like Santa, his apparent generosity always turns out to be funded out of someone else’s pockets.
  • Like Santa, his mercantile concerns reach all parts of the globe.
  • Like Santa, he causes enormous crowds to gather, much to the consternation of others.
  • As with Santa, if you want to tick someone off, disclose to them he’s pretend.
  • Like Santa, some say he promotes a much-needed spirit; others suspect it’s all about the Benjamins.
  • As with a mall Santa, sometimes merely seeing him in all his grandeur is enough to cause some to want to run away in tears.
  • As with a bell-ringing Santa, he won’t tell you how much money is in his kettle.
  • Finally, when it comes to Donald and Santa, as hard as I may try, I am unable to suspend my disbelief.

Whether you and your comrades await presents from Ded Moroz/Grandfather Frost, Los Reyes Magos, Old St. Nick or someone else, I wish for you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, joyous Kwanza and festive Festivus, plus a family dinner at which views about the PEOTUS go unspoken (i.e., kept snuggled all tight in their beds), and a happy New Year.

 

This column originally appeared in the Waco Tribune-Herald on December 20, 2016.