The race is on. In one lane we have Donald Trump using false evidence from Benjamin Netanyahu as an excuse to scuttle the Iran nuclear deal, a first step in drumming up support for another Mideast war.
In the other, a diverse crew of investigators sifting through a trove of Trump lies, sorting them out, preparing a case that might topple our home-grown Mussolini.
Trump is still in the race but losing steam, and each new day brings more evidence that we’re right to worry — he really might start a major war if that’s what it takes to distract America when Robert Mueller catches up with him.
This morning I visited my friend Swamp Rabbit, who is totally opposed to worrying. He thinks taking deep breaths and letting time pass is the best way to deal with situations you can’t control.
“But this is like the Iraq War in 2003, Rabbit. The chief and his minions let loose a stream of lies about a nonexistent threat, the media plays along with the lies, or do a halfhearted job of debunking them. Propaganda tamps down potential public outrage. The bombs start falling.”
“It’s just your imagination,” the Rabbit said. “Ain’t no way we gonna get fooled into fighting another of them disaster wars.”
“That’s what they said after Vietnam, you dumb rodent.”
My insult pissed him off. “You’re projecting, Odd Man. You got a shitty part-time job and can’t keep up with your bills or support your writing habit. Just because you in a downward spiral don’t mean the world is, too.”
I saw his point but resented his insistence that my bleak personal situation belied evidence that the world was in big trouble.
“Trump is an existential threat,” I said. “He’s a monster con man with no redeeming qualities.”
“No shit,” the Rabbit replied. “But it took an army of morons to create the monster. It’s a little late to talk them into changing their minds, doncha think?”
“Maybe not. If public opinion can’t stop him, what will?”
The Rabbit broke the seal on a bottle of Wild Turkey and took a quick drink. “There’s Congress,” he said. “And then there’s the courts.”
I groaned and almost said something nasty, but in the end I just asked him to pass the bottle.
Footnote: As George W. Bush once stammered, “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again.”