Tom Tomorrow leads off today with a retrospective look at what Trump might have said during the campaign, if he'd been a little more forthcoming.
Two takes on this, the first being what is implied in that final panel: Regardless of what Trump actually said, it should have been the job of political analysts to pull aside the curtain rather than to indulge in horserace-coverage and allow themselves to report based on what people were talking about rather than based on what they needed to know.
For my part, I'm tired of the remaining wouldacouldashoulda from the election, though I understand that some of it was bound to reappear during the recent shifting of deckchairs by the Democrats.
Still, it's over, it's done and we need to confront the here-and-now and stop second-guessing what might have been.
And I don't know whether to be more horrified by the promises he broke or by the ones he's kept, which bolsters the here-and-now thinking, because the results -- including lunatic destruction of regulations that protect people and meaningless restrictions on immigrants that only fuel bigotry -- must be dealt with whether we should have seen them coming or not.
Though we should have seen them coming, which is part of my second take on Tom Tomorrow: Donald Trump was not an unknown quantity, nor is he particularly unique.
Lots of entrepreneurs are bullshit artists. It's why they are unfraid of risk-taking.
And Trump's lack of long-range vision and tendency towards self-serving, impetuous actions have been evident throughout his career. If much of it was shrouded within the corporate secrecy of privately held businesses as they repeatedly failed, his destruction of the USFL was not only out there in the public but even captured on film.
Which puts "What did we know and when did we know it?" squarely on the backs of the political hacks, and, as long as we're dwelling in the past, I'm betting we'd have seen better turnout for that vote I'm not going to talk about anymore if the polls hadn't shown Clinton with an insurmountable lead.
So where are we?
Ann Telnaes notes that, whatever Trump may have promised about separating his business from his governmental service, his sons didn't get the memo.
It's hard to trace precisely how much profit accrues to Trump's various industries by way of his fans and of governments hoping to curry favor with the President, but a fig leaf of discretion would be nice. Aside from Beavis and Butthead's overt joy, there's also the matter of Ivanka having seen sales more than double after White House Nitwit Kellyanne Conway illegally boosted her brand.
We've established what we are and are now only dickering over the price.
One of the hazards of having blinked and allowed an unprincipled clown into the Oval Office is that his nonsensical activities threaten to become normal, while, after eight years of unsupported partisan attacks on Obama, much of the public sees criticism of any president as normal background noise that is part of democracy.
Criticizing the President's tweets seems to be quickly becoming part of this normal background noise, and there's little point in noting that, despite all the warnings about microwave ovens spying on people, a nation that defeated a woman for having a personal email server truly has no problem with a president doing government business on an unsecured phone.
I'm encouraged by the column that Horsey wrote to go with his cartoon, wherein he notes that presidential tweets are presidential documents and not only need to be archived but cannot, under law, be altered after they've been released.
I don't think anyone's going to try to hang an impeachment on that technical violation, but little drops of water and little grains of sand do add up.
Much will depend on the Congressional elections in 2018 and the continued health of Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Meanwhile, the ongoing crisis colors a lot of otherwise nonpolitical things, including today's Baby Blues.
I have many frustrations with the press, mostly caused by the fact that many of them were not born during Watergate or Vietnam and base their discussions of executive malfeasance and collegiate draft dodging on things they didn't live through and haven't bothered to research, but one that they are old enough to report on responsibly is the surge in the Dow under Trump.
Retirement accounts are just about the only place where the Dow impacts average families, unless it crashes and employers start shedding workers. (When it goes up -- thanks to tax cuts that disincentivize re-investment of profits -- only the owners benefit.)
My own retirement account is not entirely typical, since it was set up for a 2015 retirement and so shifted balance over the years from profit-taking speculation to more stable income generators, but its 10-year performance is still of interest, since the high point was May, 2015, before Dear Leader really came onto the scene, while its low ebb was February, 2009, just after Obama was inaugurated.
Which means fatcats betting on Trump hasn't boosted it to record heights, while the betting on Obama turned around once he took control.
Or maybe it means that the stock market is simply a betting parlor, that there is very little rhyme or reason for its fluctuations, and that business writers who pretend to know where it's headed next are no better than the sportswriters currently setting up their March Madness brackets and their NFL mock drafts.
And, as long as we're in that analogy, writing about why the Dow went up or down is like speculating on how a coach's decision on a particular play changed the outcome of an entire game: It only impresses the boobs.
As the saying goes, "You can bullshit the fans, you can even bullshit the refs, but you can't bullshit the players."
Now here's your moment of speculation: