Clay Bennett posted this one a few days ago, which didn't seem much of a shocking prediction but mostly made me wonder when young dorm-dwellers switched from a tie to a sock as a sign that there was a romantic event going on that should not be interrupted.
Probably when most dorm-dwellers stopped owning ties, I suppose.
In any case, there were plenty of cartoonists expecting canoodling at the very least. Peter Schrank was out front with an early version of a number of balloon references (we'll get back to that) and also was firm in his analysis of the relationship, not so much a bromance but, as I note in the headline, subservience.
Historic Note: "So-and-so's Poodle" has come into common parlance for a toady, but, as far as I know, began as "Nasser's Poodle," a reference to Anwar Sadat, a slam not only at his subservience to Nasser but a reference to his hair and thus his black African origins.
However, it remains a good term even without the racist insult, given that poodles are generally seen as prancing little dandies of no particular value as hunters or protection. (Yes, I know they were originally bred as retrievers. A long time ago. Maybe that's part of it, too.)
In any case, Schrank not only references the Trump Baby balloon but immediately picked up on the absurdity of Trump's confident statement going into the summit. I'm more inclined to salute his creativity than his insight, however, as the statement stood out to nearly everyone.
Except for Trump's poodles.
Gary Varvel also anticipated the summit, and, given his recent writing about the president, likely more specifically than he expected, though, even in that column, he expresses reservations over the Russian probe.
This cartoon appeared in advance of the press conference, but, if it was originally a whatabout, it turned out to mirror the bizarre, unresponsive answer Trump gave to a question about Russian meddling, in which he never addressed that issue, but, instead, rambled on about missing servers and, yes, her emails.
It seemed to raise more questions about his psychological stability than his patriotism.
One more pre-summit cartoon, this one by Dwane Powell, suggested that Trump envies Putin's tyrannical power, which would be a liberal slam if Trump himself had not so often expressed his desire, and even his intention, to sue or jail journalists who insulted him, who praised white supremacists and who openly endorsed a policy of caging children as hostages to frighten aliens out of seeking to enter the United States, even if they did so legally.
As Steve Brodner says in this post-summit cartoon, it suggests that Trump has never read, and certainly has no understanding of, the document he swore to "preserve, protect and uphold."
Trump is not the first president to resent and dislike the press, certainly. Even Jefferson, who wrote so eloquently about the importance of a free press in keeping the public engaged and updated, hated not just the Sally Hemmings coverage but a lot of other oppositional writings about him.
But one of the first things he did as president was to sign repeal of the Alien and Sedition Acts, which, as the Library of Congress summary says, "increased the residency requirement for American citizenship from five to fourteen years, authorized the president to imprison or deport aliens considered 'dangerous to the peace and safety of the United States' and restricted speech critical of the government."
John Adams had, at least, the excuse of having come out of a bitter, divisive and bloody revolution, only the second head of a nation still finding its feet.
Even at the time, that LOC page notes, it was not universally hailed, with Madison writing to Jefferson that "The Alien bill proposed in the Senate is a monster that must forever disgrace its parents. I should not have supposed it possible that such an one could have been engendered in either House, & still persuade myself, that it cannot possibly be fathered by both."
Well, I'm sure Trump never heard of it anyway, given his, to use the word used by former CIA Director John Brennan, "imbecilic" statements yesterday.
"Our relationship has never been worse"?
He's certainly old enough to remember the Cuban missile crisis or any of the Berlin crises; apparently he's not bright enough.
No surprise: His grasp of American history and government is appallingly non-existent.
Then again, as Mike Luckovich notes, Putin was only doing what Putin does, and what all great deal-makers do: Take whatever they are willing to give you.
And, as Pat Bagley observes, Trump was willing to give plenty.
Wouldn't you like to see one of these legislators, when somebody disrespects our Constitution, say, "Get that son of a bitch out of the White House right now, out, he's fired. He's fired!"
Well, don't hold your breath, because Darrin Bell goes back to the very beginning of a moment I've cited several times.
I remember the slow-motion chase, and feeling sad that OJ Simpson was soon to be pulled over and arrested, at which point he would confess his crime and be put in prison for life, which I think was the response of a lot of people who had admired him, as a football player, as a comic foil or simply as a Hertz Rent-A-Car spokesman.
Instead, of course, he simply brazened it out, denied the obvious and persuaded a jury to let him walk free.
Not something I want to see again, certainly not in our government.
But here we are.
Except, perhaps, that, as Bill Bramhall suggests, there was at least one time when Dear Leader told us the absolute truth.
And, Nick Anderson warns, be afraid.