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Bill Straub: The Donny Show is a four-star laugh riot, and the funny thing is Republicans can’t count

Abbott and Costello – a grand remedy for the COVID-19 blues, by the way – used to perform a routine developed during their burlesque days in which Lou seeks to convince Bud that 13 x 7 = 28.

What resulted over the proceeding five minutes was unstemmed zaniness, wherein Costello violated every conceivable law of mathematics, offering a presentation that certainly would have driven the likes of Euclid and Sir Isaac Newton up a tree.

In the end, Costello somehow emerges triumphant, establishing that 13 x 7 does indeed equal 28. It’s full of laughs, folks, and anyone interested can find it on YouTube.

Which inevitably brings us to our boy, President Donald J. Trump, aka Loser, who continues to trot out his own version of the A&C act, only aiming much higher.

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

Trump maintains that regardless of the 6 million vote margin attained by President-elect Joe Biden in the Nov. 3 presidential contest, he, the Orange Eminence, actually earned more, managing a “landslide victory’’ which might not be obvious from a simple viewing of the results, assuring him of another four-year term in the White House and, God willing, yet another way to avoid prison and paying off his debts.

“We will win!!,” he keeps repeating ad nauseum.

In laying out this claim, Trump, like Lou Costello, breaks every mathematical rule extent, starting with, but not limited to, 2 + 2 = 4. Yet he persists and, to this moment, he has refused to acknowledge that Biden not only beat him in the popular vote but did so substantially in the Electoral College as well.

So, what we’re confronting here is a real-life sitcom with the sitting president of the United States ranting and yowling like wounded bull elephant, insisting that all the bean counters are wrong and that he actually won “all the legally cast votes,” offering said claim sans evidence or a multiplication table.

We have his lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, appearing at a press conference with some strange, dark fluid oozing down the side of his face, conjuring up a tale about a vast international conspiracy to steal the election. And then there’s Rudy’s cohort, now former cohort in delivering the president’s message, a loony-tune named Sidney Powell, who insinuated that former Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez was somehow in the middle of working to overturn Trump’s legitimate victory.
Chavez died more than seven years ago – three years before Trump assumed office.

But who’s counting.

Folks, it’s a fact that all this gobbledygook is occurring during a dark period in the nation’s history. COVID-19 has had a devastating impact and the spread of the virus only seems to be worsening. The economy is in the tank, members of opposing political factions are at each other’s throats. Trump’s blustering and insanity seems to have placed the entire concept of democracy in peril, attacking the voting system and the nation’s governmental institutions.

And yet the Donny show is a four-star laugh riot.

This whole whacky, outrageous scenario is what the folks in Hollywood would call comedy gold, an absurd, ridiculous act that makes the Marx Brothers look like the Royal Shakespeare Company in comparison.

How is it possible to look at the president of the United States, his hair a color not found in nature, his smeared make up missing certain vulnerable spots, screaming like a tantrum-turning two-year-old that the election was rigged and not laugh out loud?

This entire act is hilarious, great entertainment as we head into the Christmas season. Yes, times are tough all over, but it’s expressly these sorts of moments when a sense of humor kicks in amidst the utter absurdity and the president of the United States is up there providing all the laughs.

It all seemed to culminate on Wednesday when Trump offered remarks to a group of Pennsylvania state Senate Republicans meeting to explore the election results.
He testified, if that’s the proper term, over a cell phone, held up in front of a microphone, like Big Brother bloviating.

“The whole world is watching us,” Trump declared. “The whole world is watching the United States of America, and we can’t let them get away with it.”

He added, “This was an election that we won easily — we won by a lot.”

The giggling you hear is not us laughing with him. We’re laughing at him.

At least some of us are. Shockingly, it appears that millions of people are reading out of the Trump arithmetic text book that shows a 6 million vote lead is a loser, telling youall you need to know about the American system of education. A Reuters/Ipsos opinion poll conducted last week found that 53 percent of registered Republicans believe Trump “rightfully won” the election despite all evidence to the contrary. Only 29 percent acknowledge that Biden, the Democrat and former vice president, won despite rolling up more than 80 million votes.

It’s not surprising that Donny and his gang of idiots are providing the guffaws. Anyone catching this act over the past almost four years could expect nothing less. But there are a lot of people, mostly Republicans, who are buying into this lunacy as if they’re not in on the joke.

You know, not being Albert Einstein myself, I generally avoid raising doubts about an individual’s intelligence. But it can safely be said that anyone grabbing Donny’s line of baloney is a putz. There’s no other way to put it.

It’s not just Donny’s Army that is buying into this, it’s certain GOP elected officials. According to research from Snopes, a fact-checking web site, just 17 out of 253 GOP members of the outgoing U.S. Senate and U.S. House of Representatives have made a public statement accepting Biden’s victory, referring to him as the president-elect, or congratulating him and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.

None of them, of course, are from Kentucky, save for Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Louisville, who is quoted as saying, “And while it is truly disgraceful for Republican leaders to allow a defeated President to shred our constitution and democracy with their blessing, that they would do so as the pandemic rages—with so many Americans’ livelihoods and lives on the line—is psychopathic.”

One of the recalcitrant lawmakers who thus far has opted out is Senate Republican Leader Mitch “Root-‘n-Branch” McConnell, of Louisville, establishing early on that he’ll be up to his old tricks during the Biden administration to undermine the republic. Grifters, after all, gotta grift.

But one delegation member in particular is showing that he’s just as much of a nincompoop as the president to whom he is showing allegiance over country.

Rep. James Comer, R-Tompkinsville, ranking member of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, has sent a letter, co-written by Rep. Jim Jordan, R-OH, demanding a congressional investigation into the integrity of the 2020 election.

Comer said the panel should “immediately convene hearings to examine the integrity of the 2020 election amid troubling reports of irregularities and improprieties. Given your role as leaders of a political party that spent four years baselessly calling into question the legitimacy of the 2016 election with debunked allegations of Russian collusion, you owe it to all Americans to fully examine allegations of actual election errors and misconduct.”

Obviously Trump isn’t the only giggle-inducing clown in Washington. It’s Comer’s turn in the center ring.

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