He sniffles, she smiles, we suffer

This would be funny if not for the collective terrified squealing of the entire nation. AP photo by David Goldman.
This would be funny if not for the collective terrified squealing of the entire nation. AP photo by David Goldman.

BY MAX BURBANK | Gliding onto the hushed stage, Trump’s entrance was regal. In a lovely, custom-tailored suit that masked his jiggly mid-region, the errant strands of his trademark come-from-behind pompadour tamed and coiffed, his make-up professionally subdued, an almost human glowing peach. The white circles around his eye sockets less glaring than the shocking bone china look he’d favored for the primaries were skillfully blended into his foundation. If only he’d smiled more, He could be a 7, even a 7.5. Clinton wore…something red, I don’t know, are we really talking about this? Shame on you, she’s running for president, not “America’s Next Top Model.” 

The first presidential debate of 2016 was the most watched event of any kind ever in television history, except for that time the winning video on “America’s Funniest Home Videos of Traumatic Groin Injuries” was that super-old guy getting hit in the nuts with a football. If the debates were an Olympic event, they would be the uneven parallel bars, except with two competitors, one on each bar, kind of taking turns but also sometimes swinging around at the same time while a desperate Lester Holt told them to “quit it now, I’m serious.”

“Uneven” ’cause the bars are set differently, see? Clinton had to show that voters’ baseless gut-level assumption that she’s dishonest is wrong, and the fact that she makes them slightly uncomfortable isn’t a great reason to give nuclear weapons to a madman. Trump had to keep his trousers on, not defecate into his hands, and not hurl his loose orange poops into the audience. If that requirement had been literal, Trump might have stood a chance.

This was a rout. By now you’ve seen a lot of polls where uni-toothed idiots, who could no more manage registering to vote than read a whole entire book, say Trump won. You’ve watched Kellyanne Conway do that thing where she says a boatload of impossibly ludicrous crap while out-stonefacing Buster Keaton. It doesn’t matter. Trump got his flabby tangerine ass handed to him on a platter and everybody knows it. Giuliani knows it, and his head is literally an old bowling ball bag stuffed with a geriatric, incontinent, rabid badger. America’s Mayor Who’s Gone Bugshit said the event was “not Trump’s best performance” and that he should skip the rest of the debates! That’s Giuliani speak for, “Holy crap, it’s like she turned him upside down and now everybody knows he was an empty sack of rotting garbage the whole time! Who’s gonna clean up this mess?”

It was rope-a-dope, except that’s uncharitable to dopes. Clinton grabbed the Blue Collar Billionaire by his made-in-China lapels, pressed his Daddy Issues button, gave him a shove, and let him spin like a rusty top. She said Pappa Trump gave his baby boy fourteen million simoleons. Trump called it “a very small loan,” ’cause he’s what, a man of the people? Clinton said Trump rooted for the housing crisis; Trump responded, “That’s called business, by the way.” No, that’s called shooting yourself in the foot and trying to cauterize the wound by shooting the stump, by the way! Clinton said Trump thinks global warming is a Chinese hoax, Trump said he never said that. He’s right. HE TWEETED IT, ’cause the man is hooked on the Twitter the way Sketchy Steve behind the 7-Eleven is hooked on methamphetamines! You can’t take a tweet back, Donald! Tweets go away less than herpes!

Reince Priebus wanted Hillary to smile more? I’ve been watching Hillary Clinton for almost 30 years, and I never saw her smile so much. A genuine, sunny, “My Lord, I am having such a good time” smile, the kind she’s always had difficulty with, and there it was, like the sun coming out from behind a cloud, all courtesy of a mean-spirited, bitter Orange Troll. She smiled through Trump saying Barrack Obama ought to thank him for ending that whole nasty, racist birther thing she started. She beamed through Trump saying it was perfectly all right to call a woman a fat pig as long as she was Rosie O’Donnell. She lit up like the White House Christmas Tree as Trump insisted he was always against the Iraq War; how if only people would call his very lonely boyfriend Sean Hannity, they could go back to painting each other’s toenails and smooching their Putin posters!

Design by Michael Shirey
Design by Michael Shirey

Did no one tell Trump what a split screen was? That every time he lurched at the mic like a cretinous rube defendant on “Judge Judy,” we could see him? That he was visible as he drank a 90-gallon aquarium’s worth of water? And the sniffing! Donald wants us to believe his mic was defective — but somehow, we could hear every sniff; like he was the passed-out grease bag we brought home for a self-loathing-fueled one-nighter that we deeply regretted WHILE IT WAS HAPPENING?! A lot of very smart people are saying it was cocaine. I just think he’s a little sick. You tell me. Something degenerative, contagious, possibly fatal — believe me.

Trump got thumped. Or maybe I’m wrong. I’ll tell you what, though. This nation comes with a “You Break It, You Bought It” sticker.

If we elect him, we deserve him.

I have some measure of compassion for folks who get suckered by a con man. But when that con man is doing a song-and-dance routine about being a snake oil salesman next to a movie screen showing clips of him at church emptying the collection plate into his pants and using the money to have “Rip-Off Artist” tattooed across his forehead?

I don’t know. Like Ted Cruz said before he revealed himself to be every bit as unspeakably repellent as you’d been pretty sure he always was, “Vote your conscience.”