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Attaboy, Mick! Boffo press briefing! You really laid ’em flat in the aisles!

For reasons so inscrutable that Mulvaney’s confession of his boss’s obsession with absurd conspiracy theories will probably give rise to further absurd conspiracy theories, somebody thought it was a good idea to send the “acting” Chief of Staff out in front of the cameras yesterday to offer up Trump’s best defence to the accusations swirling around the sordid mess in Ukraine: “Yeah, we did that. Get over it”. I was immediately reminded of an immortal performance given by Daffy Duck:

A goodly amount of gunpowder…some Uranium 238…then strike an ordinary match…

Yes, said Mick, we did withhold military aid to the beleaguered Ukranians to coerce them into looking into QAnon’s latest theory on how the Deep State and Hillary actually framed the Russians for the 2016 election interference. Damn right we did that. We did it and we’re proud. I saw to it myself, personally – I also run the Office of Management and Budget, don’t you know. I sign the cheques, get it? Look, am I being clear, or do you morons need me to bring out the hand puppets?

Oh, also, Trump is awarding himself the contract to host the G-7 next June at Doral. How do you like them apples? It’s not illegal self-dealing when it’s done in the open, see, and don’t give me that stuff about express Constitutional prohibitions – emoluments my ass. My ass, I say. (Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have an appointment with the taxidermist. Remember, next time you’re in the Big Apple, to visit Donald’s Roadkill Museum, which is open seven days a week, 8:30 – 6:30, at Trump Tower in beautiful downtown Manhattan!).

Within a couple of hours there was the usual frantic scramble to assert that Mulvaney never said anything he said, and nobody on Trump’s own legal team knew anything about it, and the Department of Justice sure didn’t know what Mick was on about – “news to us” – while everybody scrambled around like cockroaches when the kitchen light comes on, and the duncemobile tore down the road towards the next intersection at Clusterfuck and Trainwreck.

OK, so, WTF? One possibility is that Donald figured that what with all the testimony now being presented to Congress, the stonewalling wasn’t working anymore, and he may as well cop to it with one of his patented “yeah, so what?” maneuvers. Or maybe he thought Mick could sell the idea that strong-arming foreign governments is just standard operating procedure, figuring the rubes can’t tell the difference between foreign policy and using the power and institutions of the United States to keep his own sorry ass in the White House with foreign help. Maybe he thought he was setting Mick up as the winner in this week’s episode of Fall Guy. Maybe. But what’s with the G-7 announcement? Is that meant to be a distraction, as if the more you can get the dummies to focus on the corruption angle, the less they’ll have left over for Ukraine, the Kurds, and all the rest? Run out the clock while everybody scurries toward the shiny object at Doral, until you give in, crow about how reasonable and transparent you are, and look, darned if it isn’t November 2020 already?

Maybe it’s simply that, as Deep Throat said to Woodward in the movie version of All The President’s Men, the truth is these guys aren’t very bright, and things got out of hand. Stop looking for Machiavelli. They’re flailing, that’s all. It doesn’t matter, and let’s not waste our time divining motivation and lose sight of the main point: when the doggie starts to froth at the mouth this way, it’s time to have it euthanized.

Anyway, so long, Mick. Time to spend more time with family.

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