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Down 0-63 After One Quarter
For Trump, only losing six yards on a play is doing good.
By Bryan Zepp Jamieson

January 20, 2019

Back in 1916, there was a football game between a powerhouse team coached by John Heisman, and a college that had actually already disbanded its football program, but was contractually obliged to play this particular game. So, lacking an actual team, they sent a pack of frat boys, lambs to the slaughter.

There wasn’t much doubt about who would win: it was the score that made history. Cumberland 0, Georgia Tech 222. It was the most lopsided game in history, and observers suspected Tech wanted revenge for a 22-0 baseball drubbing by Cumberland earlier that year. Tech took a 63-0 lead in the first quarter, and built on it for a 126-0 lead at the half. Heisman solemnly warned his squad during the break to be wary of a possible comeback, but the fact was Cumberland was deader than Queen Victoria. Grantland Rice, the sportswriter, noted that Cumberland’s moment of glory came in the second half, when they had a running play in which they only lost six yards.

The stats were cringeworthy: Tech outran Cumberland by a net 564 yards, capitalizing on 15 turnovers. Oddly enough, Cumberland had the better passing game. They went 2-18 for 14 yards, while Tech never even attempted one pass. The score actually fails to show just how lopsided the game was.

So why am I talking about a football game from over a century ago? I mean, I’m not even a football fan!

Well, I was watching Pelosi and Trump this week, and that ancient rogering came to mind.

Trump has been reeling from one self-inflicted catastrophe to the next, and on his best days, he only suffers an embarrassment, and every so often, he has a great day that is merely disappointing.

I watched the televised meeting between Trump and Pence (who knew what as coming and simply went tharn) and Pelosi and Schumer, and my first thought was “It’s Boris and Natasha versus Moose and Squirrel.” Those Russian agents never had a chance.

When Trump crowed that “I am proud to shut down the government for border security, Chuck.” I knew he had lost this one, no matter what he did.

At the time, I figured he would back down. His silly burst of braggadocio had seemingly ensured that he couldn’t shut the government down and evade blame for it.

But I actually underestimated Trump’s craven and easily-manipulated personality. He managed to publicly fold in the face of disapproval from the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter. A fringe pair. A has-been and a sociopath. Even most Republicans dismiss them as a pair of dips. Outside of the GOP—which is to say among the other 72% of Americans—they are regarded as two of the more loathsome examples of what crawls around under damp American rocks.

Depending on the approval of Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to stiffen public support is a bit like plotting to win the Indy 500 by entering a Yugo. Or getting a pickup squad of 19 guys—three of whom subsequently get lost en route to the game—to play Georgia Tech.

Pelosi must have looked at the political dynamics at play and resolved to not show the pity Trump seemed to demand, since Trump would nevershow her any pity. Pelosi, after all, is human.

On the other hand, Trump was hurting a lot of people and actually endangering the country in order to suck up to a pair of fringe loons who represent the worst America has to offer. Knowing that probably helped Pelosi to decide that she really didn’t have to play nice with the vicious fool in the Oval Office.

Everyone knows about the subsequent interplay: Pelosi told Donald he wasn’t going to give the State of the Union in front of a Joint Session of Congress until he reopened the government, citing security concerns. I’ll bet any amount of money Trump immediately turned to Miller and screeched, “She can’t DO that! Can she?” No constitutional scholar, She can. She did.

Trump responded by canceling her planned trip to NATO allies and Afghanistan via military plane, citing security concerns. It was a pretty feeble riposte, petty tit-for-tat, but it might have actually held water had Melania used a military plane to travel—alone—to Mir-a-Lago that afternoon. OK, granted, Trump probably wouldn’t care much if she died in a plane crash. But then two days later, he exposed and scuppered plans by Pelosi to go ahead with her planned trip via private plane.

Then he announced a big, important announcement for noon yesterday. Now, Trump has taken us all to that particular rodeo many times before, to the point where when he gave a “big announcement” a few weeks ago, the Chuck-and-Nancy rebuttal actually got higher ratings. I wasn’t going to bother watching, simply because the Trump sideshow has gotten so tiresome.

Pelosi felt the same way, I guess. She rejected his offer before he even made it. Oddly enough, I didn’t hear any Republicans accusing her of jumping the gun.

Trump did offer to provide a temporary respite to Dreamers—there’s already court orders telling him he must do so by law—and that was it. The offer didn’t fool any sane Americans, and pissed off the haters on the fascist/Nazi right. So aside from getting a very public slap-down, all he did was harden resolve against him, while chipping away at his loathsome base.

Now there’s open talk among Democrats of impeachment, and outside Washington, talk of a national general strike.

Last night I mentioned on one blog that once Nancy Pelosi gets her fur up, she can be quite formidable.

The same, of course, could be said of the American people.

Donald came into this quarter trailing 63-0. Things don’t look to improve. It’s unlikely that even Heisman is going to be warning anyone of a Trump comeback on this one.

Ice Fall, my science fiction novel, is now available in PDF format (FREE!)
Also available for free: PDF of Rocketships and Stuff Preview of my upcoming novel, Earth Fall: Paperback

Posted: January 31, 2019

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