Ordeal and Disgrace
It has been assailed as the end of democracy. Vilified as a form of slavery. Denigrated, denounced and disparaged. But like a blind, three- legged dog named “Lucky,” against all odds, the Affordable Care Act has survived and remains the law of the land.
For 7 years the GOP has beaten President Obama’s signature legislation until they and everyone around them were covered in a fine red mist. In the face of a guaranteed veto by the man they nicknamed the bill after, the Republican House of Representatives voted to repeal it over 60 times, but the first chance they got as a majority, with a sure- fire presidential signature, they choked like a skinny- necked goose being force- fed gravel.
Their oft- repeated mantra was “Repeal and replace” but when push came to shove, they resorted to “Ordeal and disgrace.” “Raw deal and lose face.” “Surreal and deface.”
For the new President, it was a lesson in Government 101. The head of Trump University got himself schooled. The learning curve for Apprentice Chief Executives looks to be a mite steeper than the reverse trajectory of a bundled tax return wrapped around a vodka bottle thrown off the roof of Trump Tower.
Trump’s legitimate shock at the turn of events seems to indicate he hadn’t been paying attention the last couple of years. And this could very well be why, traditionally, the presidency has not been an entry- level position.
This, the very same consummate Deal Maker that earlier asked, “Who knew health care could be so complicated?” Um. Everybody. Except you. Again.
In defeat, the author of “The Art of the Deal,” blasted everyone; the Democrats, the media, Nancy Pelosi, Paul Ryan, Charles Barkley, until finally placing the blame for the scuttling of Trump Care on his own right wing’s Freedom Caucus. The group that demanded concessions, received them, then still wouldn’t vote for the bill. With friends like those, who needs lizard- like, alien invaders?
The problem was, after eliminating standards for minimum benefits including ambulances, hospitalization, prescriptions, maternity care, drug and mental heath treatment, pediatric services, emergency services and labs, the American Health Care Act was less health insurance and more malady assurance.
24 million citizens were estimated to lose health care coverage under the AHCA and that was before the total vivisection of the bill. Making passage even stickier since moderates ran away like avocados leaving Mexico the week before the Super Bowl.
The group switched its name from Tea Party to Freedom Caucus, because they’re fighting for the freedom of all Americans to die without government intervention. To them, compromise isn’t just a dirty word, it’s a hanging offense. Even with the rope strung around their own necks, they are resolute as glue- footed moths on a porch light.
Now Trump says he’s moving on, because “The best thing we can do, politically speaking, is let Obama Care explode.” That’s what you want from a leader. Someone willing to sacrifice. His constituents.
But moving on isn’t a total lock either. He hasn’t yet said, “Who knew that a border wall or tax reform or rebuilding our infrastructure could be so complicated,” but now that the Tea Partiers have the taste of blood in their mouths, he might. The best news for all concerned is that Obama Care still covers depression.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former theater director in Milwaukee. For a calendar of appearances, including his upcoming week at the San Francisco Punch Line April 12- 15, visit willdurst.com.
•••March Issue •••
Donald Trump is the political reincarnation of Tina Turner; like her, he doesn’t do anything nice and easy. Also, they’re both Type A personalities who expend a lot of energy but hardly move at all. And famous for high-maintenance hair.
Since his January coronation, the New York City real estate developer turned Leader of the Free World has partied like it’s 1939, issuing polarizing edict after polarizing edict. The surprising thing is Fox News hasn’t started to refer to him as Chancellor Trump. Or Gropenfuhrer. Yet.
Traditionally, a newly elected, first- time president hits the ground running with hand outstretched in a gesture of sociability, solidarity and camaraderie. Not Donny John. He hit the ground whining, with a fistful of disdain for everyone he slapped upside the head: Democrats, Republicans, the media, Iran, Mexico, Great Britain, the media, his own Cabinet appointments, refugees, the media, the NSC, TSA, and National Park Service. And don’t forget the media.
Experts theorized the weight of the White House would settle him down but alas, no such luck. He’s still up till all hours tweeting out a barrage of alternative facts, choosy truths, questionable veracities and marginal actualities that reflect a reality only he can see. As fluid and murky as the Potomac River.
What little presidential honeymoon he enjoyed ended long before the cake was cut. The groom ditched the bride and boogied across the floor alone performing a solo victory dance in front of a mirror. As graceful as an angry anvil.
You could describe his movements since as jerky, spasmodic and frenzied, like when he obsessed over the election being stolen. Ignoring the fact that he won. Even 46’s own staff is having problems negotiating his tricky hairpins turns. Not only does the emperor have no clothes, his skin is really thin and kind of blotchy.
According to the most aerodynamically coiffed president in history, 3 to 5 million undocumented aliens illegally cast ballots for Hillary Clinton causing him to lose the popular vote. It’s the only possible answer. Because how could Donald Trump not be associated with whatever was most popular? It’s unthinkable and unpresidented.
President Trump loves his invisible people. And there’s tons of them. The invisible people who cast fraudulent ballots- totally different than the invisible people who came to Washington to be part of the largest crowd ever to witness an Inauguration but conveniently vanished when aerial photographs were taken. Maybe they’re shy.
And neither of those two groups of invisible people should be confused with the thousands of invisible people who celebrated in New Jersey after the World Trade Center came down. Which only he saw. Maybe it’s a Sixth Sense sort of thing; “I see non- existent people.” No wonder Bruce Willis supported him.
During the rest of his first term, we can expect an expansion of Trump’s hallucination theme. Much time will be spent discussing ghosts and leprechauns and sprites and phantoms and pixies and the vast legions of his invisible enemies.
Turns out Donald Trump doesn’t just have a vision for this country, he has an X- ray vision for this country. He’s like Clark Kent only less buff and way blonder. It was bound to happen: America finally has its first super hero President: Erratic-Man.
Copyright © 2017, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and former bus boy at Dante’s Sea Catch on Pier 39 in San Francisco, California. For a calendar of personal appearances, please visit willdurst.com.
•••February Issue •••
The First 100 Days:
As extraordinary as it sounds, Donald J. Trump is now the 45th President of the United States. Which is mind-boggling. Like making John Goodman the cover model for this year’s Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Kim Kardashian- appointed chief scientist at the Atomic Energy Lab. Colin Kaepernick in charge of WikiLeaks.
The liberals’ last best hopes were dashed on Inauguration Day when the Mango Mussolini put his hand on the Bible and didn’t burst into flames. The preacher said the rain that started to fall as DJT took the oath was a good omen in the Bible. Yeah, tell that to Noah.
The speech was darker than the Cleveland Browns’ offseason. Kind of a cross between Nixon and Voldermort. “It’s Mourning in America.” Trump will be a president for all Americans except the Muslims, Mexicans, losers, whiners, idiots and nasty women, especially the fat disgusting ones.
But now our attention turns not to the real estate developer’s vitriolic tweets but his diabolic feats. What is the agenda of the Tweeter of the Free World? Here’s what might go down over the rest of the first 100 days of the Donald Trump Experience:
January 31. Day 11. Trump trademarks “White House” and banks a royalty every time the press shows or mentions it.
February 12. Day 23. Congress repeals Obama Care and replaces it with Trump Care, which covers nobody but is advertised as “much more incredibly tremendous.”
February 21. Day 32. An Executive Order makes it illegal to use the words “climate” and “change” in the same sentence.
March 7. Day 46. The President tweets a major nuclear reduction pact with Russia.
March 8. Day 47. The President tweets a major boost in our nuclear arsenal to intimidate Russia.
March 9. Day 48. The President tweets a major merger with Russia. The two countries will now be known as the USSSR East & West.
March 12. Day 51. The White House™ press is moved to the basement of a bar in Bethesda, Maryland.
March 18. Day 57. Eric and Donald Jr. are apprehended shooting pandas at the National Zoo with RPGs.
March 24. Day 63. California Governor Jerry Brown authorizes barricades at all state entrances and begins to charge a $15 cover and a two-drink minimum to enter “Golden Land.”
March 29. Day 68. After Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor are arrested, Trump fills three vacancies and the Supreme Court rules abortions illegal and determines voting to be restricted to white male landowners.
April 1. Day 71. The President authorizes a nuclear strike against Ottawa, but Secretary of Defense Mad Dog Mattis pulls the plug after figuring out it’s an April Fool’s joke.
April 3. Day 73. President Trump tries to throw out the first ball at a windy Washington Senators season home opener but the ball and his hand get stuck in his hair due to an excess of product.
April 26. Day 96. The pharmaceutical industry reports record Q1 profits.
April 29. Day 99. Trump holds a contest among his Cabinet members to see who can sell the most Subway sandwiches in three hours on the National Mall.
April 30. Day 100. Trump tweets that he is bored and wants to quit. The nation is stunned.
May 1. Day 1. Mike Pence succeeds Donald Trump as the 46th President of the United States. The nation recoils.
Get Over It:
And now a few choice words for all Republicans advising Democrats to “stop whining about the election and get over it.” Oh, really. Get over losing a presidential election to a high- strung petulant flake soon to be in possession of the nuclear codes? Get over a man destined to be leader of the Free World tweeting frivolous 3 am insults at Alec Baldwin?
Exactly how does one get over that, pray tell? A fistful of barbiturates? Four- year nap? An eternal tray of mango Margaritas? Love it or leave it? Like it or lump it? The shuffling off of mortal coils? Climb a tower? Couple rounds of Russian roulette?
Perhaps an example of how Republicans get over something would help grease the skids here. Pull something out of your vast experience of “getting over it” for us. Like how you got over Barack Hussein Obama’s two election wins crying about his citizenship for 8 years like little babies with colic whose diapers needed to be changed? That kind of getting over it?
Because, correct me if I’m wrong, but I seem to remember Mitch McConnell boasting that his first order of business as Senate Minority Leader was to deny Obama a second term. Epic fail on that getting over.
I also seem to remember the GOP Congress refusing to pass anything that would smack of giving Obama a single legislative victory including obstructing bills they previously proposed. Classic case of cutting- off- your- nose- to- spite- your- face getting over it there.
I seem to remember Republicans trying to repeal Obama Care over 60 times. You mean that kind of getting over it? Does the term “getting over Benghazi” have any meaning here? Because if that’s the kind of bipartisan hand- holding you’re looking for, you’re about to get your wish.
Republicans aren’t just sore losers, they’re lousy winners too. If Hypocritical were an Olympic sport, the GOP would be deemed ineligible, having lost their amateur status right around the middle of Ulysses S. Grant’s first term. Republicans are to “getting over it,” what Martha Stewart is to vertical zinc mines and Wayne Newton is to rock & roll.
Hillary Clinton won the popular vote by 3 million votes after being gang tackled by Wikileaks, an orange clown, the FBI and Russia. You mean Democrats aren’t supposed to report getting mugged by a foreign power? Isn’t failing to report a felony illegal? Are you advocating aiding and abetting here? But then again, nobody really cares, since the Russians are white. Or is it the oil?
Now Donald Trump is griping that nobody ever mentioned the possible hacking of the election until after he won. Wrong! There’s footage of him during the second debate saying maybe the hacking of the DNC’s emails wasn’t done by the Rooskies, but some 400- pound guy on a bed. Did he forget or is he just plain oblivious?
The Trumpeteers have perfected whining to such an art form that Kellyanne Conway’s gelatinous platitudes should be part of the permanent collection of New York’s Metropolitan Museum. We all know that if the tables were turned, Trump would be accusing Hillary of not only personally conspiring with Putin, but so deep in bed with him she could suck her comrade’s toes. Which, co- incidentally, are tiny.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed comedian and columnist.
Plump Grumps Humping To Dump Trump
A single Stop Donald Trump movement first developed into a trickle but now the number of GOP groups intent on preventing the New York real estate developer from becoming their presidential nominee is about to exceed broken March Madness brackets. Thanks, Michigan State.
There’s the Never Trump Movement, the Anybody But Trump Group, Death Before Trump, Plump Grumps Humping to Dump Trump, the I’d Rather Chew Leeches Crew, People for Responsible Hair and a group opposed to anybody with UMP in their name.
Rumor has it a group of Hollywood conservatives tried to recruit Tom Hanks to team with Sally Field and create a Super Pac called Forrest Trump, whose motto would be “Don’t run, Donald, don’t run.”
As excited as Trump’s supporters are over his unorthodox candidacy, his detractors are equally if not more passionate about its necessary demise. And with incumbent senators, other down-ticket candidates and people who just enjoy a party, the Anti-Trump Express has gotten as crowded as the last free beer bus to the game.
Chances are folks would flock onboard faster if the welcoming committee wasn’t hosted by Ted Cruz. To many Republicans, Trump versus Cruz is way beyond rock and a hard place; closer to rampaging rhinoceros and train wreck on fire.
Each rival group has separate concerns. The establishment elites are naturally wary of any candidate not beholden to their help and influence. Especially since when discussing their raison d’etre- tax cuts, Trump has been all over the map. All over a lot of maps. Not necessarily English- speaking maps.
Some worry he could permanently damage the party. Others disparage him as a bloated, bigoted, misogynistic, narcissistic oaf, but emphasize they are not opposed to other bloated, bigoted, misogynistic, narcissistic oafs from holding public office. Mostly a one-time thing.
What we are witnessing is no less than a fight for the soul of the Republican Party, which, is like a jurisdictional dispute over the Poetry Wing of the Federal Reserve. Wrestling for the fur of an eel.
Marco Rubio, speaking of Trump’s refusal to denounce David Duke, said, “There’s no room in the Republican Party for racists.” Wow. Knew there were a lot of them; who would have thought all the slots were full? Must be an affirmative action program. Go to Mitch McConnell’s office, take a number, wait your turn.
All sorts of strategies have been floated: manipulating the rules at a contested convention. Organizing a third party. Staging a write-in campaign. Exhuming the body of Ronald Reagan. Kidnapping the Donald then substituting Paul Ryan, John Kasich or Carol Channing. And something darkly referred to as “The Kennedy Solution.”
Activity intensified after an earlier strategy of the Anti- Trumpers backfired. Mitt Romney gave some silly sanctimonious speech patiently explaining to legions of insurrectionists why they should fall in line and take their marching orders from a loser like him. Wolves have given more charitable speeches to sheep.
What these desperate party regulars fail to realize is getting Trumpeteers to toe the establishment line is beyond futile. You’d have a better shot of herding drunken cats on ice in a hurricane. Best to think of these renegades like venomous ticks. The harder you pull, the more tenaciously they dig in.
Will Durst is an award- winning columnist and comedian.
••••• DECEMBER 2015 •••••
At the beginning of a new year, cultures all over the world traditionally perform peculiar ceremonies meant to wipe the slate clean and start afresh. The Chinese hide knives to ward off danger. In Denmark, old dishes are thrown at front doors to symbolize the collection of new friends. Spanish residents eat 12 grapes, one at each stroke of the clock to promote good fortune. And in the Durst household, we percolate sardonically cynical predictions for the upcoming 12 months.
This is to symbolize the perpetuation of a career predicated on mocking and scoffing and taunting. But with taste. So here are Durstco’s predictions for the year 2016. In the spirit of recycling and promoting a zero-waste policy, please cherry pick your favorites and dump the rest into the laps of worthy acquaintances.
After dropping out of the Presidential race, Chris Christie hits the talk show circuit to publicize his celebrity diet book but is turned down by everyone except a podcast in Calabasas.
In an attempt to expand its popularity, ISIS will merge with Alcoholics Anonymous, the American Automobile Association and the American Association of Retired Persons to form ISISAAAAAAARP and then facilitate senior citizens driving soberly to suicide bombings.
Exxon will develop a way to block out the sun and then make a big move into solar energy.
Disney enters negotiations to purchase Tibetan Buddhism with the aim of starring a rambunctious Little Buddha in his own Saturday morning cartoon.
At the next GOP debate, Carly Fiorina smiles so hard, all the other participants on the dais recoil at the sound of her enamel cracking. Her face will then freeze like that.
In Dallas, Texas, a benefit held to establish the Ethan Couch Affluence Support Group raises one dollar.
After a heckler at the Masters Tournament shouts from the edge of the 12th green, “Give it up Grandpa,” Tiger Woods chases him with a putter, trips and falls into Rae’s Creek.
Taking his personal quest for wholeness to the next level, Vladimir Putin enters Jungian analysis and releases an award winning series of children’s books. He also takes up pipe- smoking.
Rents in San Francisco climb so high, members of the middle class are forced to inhabit tree houses in Golden Gate Park.
No matter who wins the Presidency, Bill Clinton actively campaigns to get appointed Ambassador to Sweden.
Air travel will devolve to the point that certain discount tickets require pedaling.
During a stump speech in Concord, New Hampshire, Donald Trump’s hat will fly off and his hair will be wind- whipped into the shape of a sail whisking him airborne into the parking lot of a Montpelier, Vermont public library.
Congress fixes Social Security by raising the retirement age to 83.
New York Senator Chuck Schumer becomes the go-to guy in the Democratic Caucus after it is revealed that Harry Reid died months ago.
The NFL will lobby the Catholic Church to celebrate mass on Monday mornings in order not to interfere with football ratings.
Minnesota Department of Game officials call off the hunt for whoever shot the lion-killing dentist, Walter Palmer, with a bow and arrow.
The Chicago Cubs lose game 7 of the World Series when a lightning bolt strikes Ben Zobrist ten feet from home as he attempts to score the tying run.
Copyright © 2016, Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comedian and margarine smuggler. For sample videos and a calendar of personal appearances including the upcoming one- man show “Elect to Laugh: 2016,” go to willdurst.com.
••••• APRIL 2015 •••••
Who’s Got the Message?
Don’t look now, but the Democratic Party is undergoing an identity crisis of such monumental proportions, the Dissociative Identity Disorder people have called and are requesting artifacts for their Hall of Fame. Going to put Obama’s basketball hoop right next to Sally Field’s purple crayon.
In the realm of improbabilities, it’s hard to beat… Democrats and their message. A lot like saying the Eskimos and their convertibles. The Mormons and their all- night dance marathons. ISIS and their art appreciation seminars.
In the wake of suffering what can only be described as the most gruesome drubbing in the history of midterm elections, and yes, that includes the Republican sweep following The Panic of 1893, the Democrats commissioned a report to investigate what the hell went wrong and how to get their mojo back. Although, Harry Reid using the word “mojo” is probably not something you want to be ruminating upon right before bedtime.
Ironically, this was the same self- analysis Republicans turned to after losing the presidency in 2012 to a guy named Hussein in the middle of a lousy economy. There’s a word for contemplating your navel as a form of meditation: omphaloskepsis. And who can dispute that Democrats are the most naturally omphaloskeptic of the major parties? With Tea Partiers suffering from sesquipedalophobia- fear of long words. And Libertarians most likely to be ablutophobic- which is fear of bathing.
This election post- mortem was based on interviews and studies and surveys and astrological forecasts and ratings on IMDB of the first two Hobbit movies and some random notes found on the backs of spindled lunch receipts and fortune cookie messages but only from indigenously correct restaurants in the Chinatown sections of 4 large metropolitan areas on the west coast.
Though the official report isn’t scheduled to come out until May, preliminary findings of the soul- searching have been released, and the Dems have come to the considered opinion that it isn’t their message keeping them from a humongous pile of electoral victories, but the delivery of it. This time they really do blame the messenger. And it’s them.
Yeah, and Domino’s would be renowned for terrific pizza if only they could figure out how to keep it from arriving cold and mealy with congealed cheese stuck the inside top of the box. And they used quality ingredients. Oh yeah, there’s that.
Amazingly, this is the same exact conclusion the GOP reached in their post- Romney autopsy. You have to wonder if these guys use the same consultants. And guess what, they do.
Former Democratic National Chairman and Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell, blamed his party’s inability to get their point across because “our message is reasonable and intelligent, and almost inherently nuanced.” Well, there’s your problem right there. Inherently nuanced? Yeah, that floats down the middle of Main Street like a buzzard on a zephyr.
Hey guys, the answer is pretty simple. You want to be the smart party, stop doing stupid stuff. You want to be known as a party with a winning message, quit being such losers. Want the middle class to turn to you for opportunity, provide some middle class opportunity. For crum’s sake, stand for something. Anything. Besides the national anthem, that is.
Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com for info about “BoomeRaging: From LSD to OMG,” and the documentary film “3 Still Standing” plus a calendar listing future personal appearances.
••••• January 2015 •••••
Top 10 Comedic News of 2014
Will Durst. Will Durst is an award- winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Go to willdurst.com for more about the documentary film “3 Still Standing,” and a calendar guide to personal appearances such as the Big Fat Year End Kiss Off Comedy Show XXII from December 26- January 3.
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