American Cheese

Say Cheese, America. Today Donald Trump will surrender to Georgia authorities and get his first mugshot. But it really should be the rest of us getting fingerprinted, mugshotted, and otherwise processed. After all, we’re the ones who have been in a Trump news prison for seven years. Yes, it’s good that the slow turning wheels of justice are finally gaining some momentum, but they’re driving us straight into the orange haze of the Trump information superhighway. OJ’s White Ford Bronco chase lasted 90 minutes. Trump’s has lasted 90 months and there’s still no sign of an offramp. “Trump had his legal team negotiate his booking to take place during the primetime viewing hours for the cable news networks,” as if the cable networks would cover anything else other than Trump during prime time or any other time. Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon coined the term attention economy. That turns out to be the one business or economy Trump hasn’t managed to bankrupt. And today, in primetime, he’ll drop another IOU into a coin slot on his mirror, mirror on the great big beautiful wall. Some will celebrate the mugshot. But it’s just another sad chapter in a never-ending story that’s attacked our national psyche and turned the future of American democracy into a cliffhanger. It’s not a pretty picture.

+ Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis is asking for the trial of all 19 people to begin on October 23. That’s speedy. But at this point, things can’t be speedy enough. Here’s the latest from Georgia, as if you could miss it.

+ Meanwhile, some who could be described as un-indicted co-conspirators seem determined to keep criming. House Judiciary Committee launches inquiry into Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis.

+ Even when Trump’s not there, he’s there, as evidenced by the GOP debate, a consolation match to see who can come in 30 points behind an indicted, insurrectionist, traitor—featuring candidates who cynically follow their leader into a bottomless cesspool of lies and corruption. “Only two of the eight Republican candidates debating in Milwaukee — former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson — indicated that they would not support former president Donald Trump if he is convicted of crimes.” Is there really anything else that matters when it comes to the debate? OK, maybe this. When Fox News moderators asked for a show of hands of how many candidates believe in human-caused climate change, no hands went up. It’s too scary to stand up to Trump. It’s too scary to upset the base by telling the truth about climate change. Seriously, what are these subs gonna do if their dom goes to jail?

+ “The eight GOP candidates onstage last night often seemed like Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, with their words largely stripped of meaning by the absence of the central protagonist in their drama.” Rosencrantz and Guildenstern at the Republican Debate. (At least Rosencrantz and Guildenstern had a protagonist who communicated in iambic pentameter, not all-caps.)

+ Frank Bruni in the NYT: “Their debate performances mingled moral cowardice with political malpractice to produce a baffling, exasperating, infuriating spectacle.” In other words, he saw a re-run. And sadly for the participants, it’s a spectacle that is about to be dwarfed by a mugshot. Imagine selling your soul to be an extra in someone else’s reality show.

Copied to Clipboard