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..who else but The Donald, cast variously in his own imaginings as Superman, a cowboy, a race car driver…

OMG. This is just too perfect. This is quintessential Donald. Moronic. Cultish. Tasteless. Childish. Farcical. Yet bound to succeed. It’s so awful it actually makes me happy, and it’s so over the top that we on the Needlefish editorial board felt compelled to establish a new, higher order of Gohmert Award, reserved for the dropping of only the largest bombs, and only at those times when our seething contempt is tinged, grudgingly, with something like admiration: the Thermonuclear Gomey.

It all began with an ominous message from Donald that filled me, and I expect most everybody else back here on Earth 1, with existential dread:

America needs a superhero? WTF?? Just like you, probably, my instant, visceral reaction to Trump promising us all some next-day super-heroics was to think holy shit, that can’t be good. What in pluperfect Hell was the Big Announcement going to be? Was he running for Speaker of the House? Had Kari Lake signed on as his running mate for 2024? Something even worse? Why, yes, probably, something even worse, something we can’t even imagine, because hasn’t failure of imagination been the signal characteristic of all of our expectations of Donald? Folks were going bananas. The Twitterverse was awash in terrified speculation. It was all Aroooooogah! Aroooooogha! Red Alert! Flush the bombers! Bring the missiles to Alert Status 1! Set DEFCON 2! Trembling, sweating bullets, by the million we waited, our teeth clenched, our index fingers thrust metaphorically into our ear canals, waiting for Donald to drop the other loafer, and – and – 

Huh?

That’s it?

Digital f*#king trading cards? A new line of Trumpy non-fungible tokens, sort of like virtual baseball cards, and only 99 bucks apiece?

Jesus H. Christ in a bowler hat, it was just another grift!

Whew! Everybody stand down, relax, send out the recall codes, it’s a grift, it’s just another grift.

Once again, I find myself standing motionless, staring slack-jawed, my mind churning furiously as I try to catch up. Digital trading cards. Not real cards, mind you (though, you might well ask, “what is real?”). These don’t come as little cardboard sheets wrapped in waxy paper, packed beside a rigid stick of inedible bubble gum. No, these exist only in cyber-space, like crypto, and just exactly like those “bored ape” depictions that were recently the most incomprehensibly non-sensical craze since the 17th century tulip hysteria, I mean, people have paid hundreds of thousands, nay millions of dollars for things like this:

This masterwork is “Bored Ape #8817”, which sold to somebody identified only as 22DD88 for, no fooling, $3,408,000. No, seriously. So damn, why wouldn’t Donald want a piece of that action? You think such an easy, effortless cash grab should lie beneath the dignity of a former (and perhaps future?) POTUS? You think that nobody who wants to be taken seriously as a candidate for the highest office should make himself look like such a bafoonish snake oil salesman? As if! Where have you been these last seven years anyway? The only real question is what took him so long? Really, what could be further up Fat Donny’s alley? Money for nothing! It’s brilliant. And it’s just so great that Donald bills these, er, artworks as images “pertaining to his career”. So many career highlights to portray, too! Like his years as a Texas Ranger:

Or that time he was an astronaut:

Who can forget his glory days as an Air Force fighter jock?

And so on. Collect the whole set!

I see there’s one of them in there that features him swinging a golf club, so that’s legit, I guess, except his swing doesn’t actually look exactly like Arnold Palmer’s, but anyway, who cares, because this is all so very delightful in so very many ways! First, it’s inspired a whole new digital cottage industry; this being an era in which the electronic tools of graphic art and photo-manipulation are available to billions, the masses began tweeting out Trump NFTs of their own, all of them superior to Donald’s lacklustre comic book art, have a look:

Just do a Google image search! Hours of fun!

Second, it gave Biden a chance to do a little trolling:

Kind of like that time at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, when Obama, at that very moment in the midst of launching the extremely risky Seal mission to get Bin Laden, cracked wise about Donald’s aptitude for making the big, tough decisions, like when he had to fire Gary Busey on Celebrity Apprentice.

Third was the sad-while-funny probability that those among the MAGA Faithful who’d actually be willing to shell out a C-Note to get themselves a Trump digital trading card, bless their hearts, almost certainly have no idea what a non-fungible token even is. They probably imagine they’re buying framed prints to hang over the fireplace. They’ll probably shell out and then check their mailboxes for weeks, waiting for their cartons of trading cards to arrive, not realizing that what they bought are digital files now sitting in their unvisited email spam folders. Can’t you just see some guy sitting on his porch somewhere in the Florida panhandle, swiping at his phone and mumbling what the hell is a blockchain?

Fourth, and best of all, is that you don’t actually have to pay a dime to obtain one of these things. Look, you think I sent ninety-nine simoleons to Donald, just so I could own this inspiring depiction of Trump as, um, victorious Superbowl coach I guess?

Cut and paste, baby! O.K., maybe the official versions are higher resolution, you know, with more pixels and shit, but the savvy shopper can pick up as many perfectly serviceable Trump Cards as taste and decency permit, just by digging around on Twitter.

Of course, as always with The Donald and his myriad grifts, there’s the oh yeah, who’s laughing now, asshole? factor. Sure, this latest scam makes Trump look even more the witless, desperate idiot than usual – to the Libs. MAGA, on the other hand, just eats it with a spoon. It’s being reported this morning, not 24 hours after the sales pitch hit Truth Social, that all 45,000 limited edition digital trading cards have already been sold. Donald made four and a half million bucks overnight by selling, well, the closest thing to nothing conceivable within our crude material universe. Easy peasy. Way easier than Trump Steaks, say, or Trump Vodka. Way easier than Trumpy Bear. That’s sort of perfect too, don’t you think? It’s simultaneously the most craven, the dumbest, and yet the most inspired thing he’s ever done, maybe that any politician has ever done. Like he says, better than Lincoln, better than Washington.

Here you go, Donny, and well played, sir, well played:

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