SYNDICATED COLUMN: The First 100 Days: What Would Donald/Hillary/Bernie Do?

If Donald wins the general election, who the heck knows what he’d do as president?” —Ted Cruz

March 15, 2017 — In the most devastating attack on American soil, a North Korean intercontinental ballistic missile carrying at least two nuclear warheads struck downtown Seattle just after 8 am, killing tens of thousands of residents at the height of the morning commute. “There’s nothing left…the city is just gone,” a spokesperson for the Federal Emergency Management Agency announced after hours of silence from the nation’s capital, which went on lockdown after the explosion. There has been no word from President Trump, who has presumably been taken to a safe location.

“The imperialist forces should now understand that Seattle is but the beginning, and the whole of the United States might turn into a sea of fire due to the foolhardy insults of the American tyrant,” Pyongyang announced in a statement released through its official Korean Central News Agency.

Tensions between the DPRK and the U.S. increased after Trump took office and began taunting North Korean leader Kim Jung-in as “Little Kim,” and threatened to “punch the little twerp in the face.”

January 20, 2017 — Derided as a carnival barker who can read a crowd but never reads a book, President Donald Trump defied the pundits at an inauguration ceremony observers from across the American political spectrum called artful, unifying and universally inspiring.

Taking the microphone on a chilly but beautiful Washington morning before a crowd of several hundred thousand spectators — all of whom were treated to a People’s Breakfast on the Washington Mall beforehand — Trump focused on bringing the nation together after last year’s brutal four-way race between him, Democrat Hillary Clinton and independents Bernie Sanders and Paul Ryan.

“We may disagree about how to make America great again,” he said, an open smile across his face, “but we all want to make her great — and we love her. Toward that end,” he said, citing presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin, “Mine will be a team of rivals — a team of smart, talented, diverse people. And I will listen to them!” he said, drawing applause as he pointed to Vice President Clinton and new economic czars Sanders and Paul Krugman.

Referencing one of his key campaign promises, he pledged to “begin building the wall” along the border with Mexico, but allowed that “there’s no way we can or should ask Mexico to pay for it.” At the same time, Trump said, “I’ve been listening to my excellent brain and my conscience, both of which say the same thing: if you haven’t committed a serious crime, you’re welcome to stay here — in your new home — and citizenship is yours if you want it.”

December 24, 2016 — During her primary battle against Bernie Sanders, President-Elect Hillary Clinton co-opted many of Sanders’ campaign promises to alleviate poverty and income inequality, and to go after Wall Street. Analysts say tacking left helped her seal the deal with the progressive base of the Democratic party.

Today, however, the Clinton transition office released a list of her cabinet picks — which read like business as usual. “It’s as though the Bernie surge never happened,” approvingly editorialized The New York Times, which endorsed Clinton.

Clinton’s choices are drawn from familiar center-right figures who served in the Obama and Bill Clinton administrations. Private equity executive Timothy Geithner is returning to his former post as secretary of the treasury. Clinton plans to nominate controversial Harvard economist Lawrence Summers to replace Janet Yellen as the head of the Federal Reserve Bank. In a move sure to dispirit liberals, she plans to nominate Republicans like Senator Orrin Hatch — “best friend I ever had in the senate” — as secretary of state and, most controversially, nonagenarian Henry Kissinger as national security adviser and to a new position, Director of Unmanned Aerial Defense — running the nation’s drone program, which Clinton announced last week she plans to expand.

With all the major posts filled, liberal supporters are pushing for ex-Obamaite Van Jones to get a spot like deputy undersecretary of agriculture.

January 21, 2017 — As expected, newly inaugurated President Bernie Sanders threw down the gauntlet, telling a joint session of the Republican-dominated Congress, “Enough is enough. The American people elected me to carry out a political revolution and now, goddammit, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.”

Decrying Republican intransigence — “the politics of saying no for its own sake, and for the sake of the top 1%” — Sanders warned congressmen and senators that they would pay a heavy price if they refuse to pass three pieces of legislation within the next 10 days: a $15 minimum wage, free public college tuition and Medicare for all.

“You can do this the easy way, and respect the mandate represented by my victory,” he said, “or you can make tens of millions of Americans come here to Washington, surround your offices and your homes, and refuse to leave until you do the right thing.”

Senate Majority Mitch McConnell struck a defiant tone following Sanders’ speech, calling it “blackmail” and “using democracy as a cudgel.” But GOP insiders say Sanders is likely to get much of what he wants.

“He ran on this income inequality stuff,” said a top-ranking party official who requested anonymity. “He’s been talking about it for decades. No one can claim there’s a bait and switch, or that they didn’t know exactly what he’d do if elected. How can we justify blocking the people’s will when it’s this clear?”

(Ted Rall is the author of “Bernie,” a biography written with the cooperation of Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. “Bernie” is now on sale online and at all good bookstores.)



  • FlemingBalzac
    March 19, 2016 5:43 AM

    March 16th, 2017 President Trump sends North Korea even further back into the Stone Age. No one notices.

    • We kill more innocents then they do, thereby proving once and for all that our economic system is better than theirs.

      • FlemingBalzac
        March 20, 2016 12:36 AM

        Obviously launching an unprovoked nuclear first strike over hurt fee-fees indicates superior economic ideology, right?

      • According to your ideology, yes. “Might makes right” works both ways.

      • FlemingBalzac,

        Don’t take it personally. CH doesn’t mean to put words in your mouth. Rather he quite honestly sees different words than you type.

  • Ted, Ted, Ted-

    I had no idea you were trying to transition out of being a political columnist and into being a humorist/fantasist.

    This was the most unrealistic, lunatic, amusing thing Ive read in a long while.
    Thanks for the laugh, but to be fair the extreme lack of realism (except for the Trump bits) does diminsh the humor somewhat- the best humor is always at least marginally in touch with reality, after all…

    • FlemingBalzac
      March 19, 2016 2:11 PM

      You’re right. “How can we justify blocking the people’s will when it’s this clear?” is pure comedy gold.

      • The possibility that any Republican, anywhere, would ever say something like that is, absolutely.

      • Ah, the tyranny of the majority. All those who will vote *not* to pay for everyone else’s healthcare, education, etc. are just not part of the “people’s will” amirite?

      • You’d be right if we lived in a world where polls meant, well, anything. Given that 62% of Americans claim to support free tuition and 58% claim to support single payer, I’d happily tell the minorities that don’t to go f themselves. Let them suffer the same sick feeling I get when my tax dollars are used in unprovoked, unnecessary and unproductive wars.

        But as I’ve been trying to explain to the left for years, what Americans tell pollsters they want is completely and utterly meaningless. If they ACTUALLY supported those things, Republicans who oppose them would be losing elections in a landslide over multiple election cycles. Republican victories show politicians what Americans actually want, which is the only stat they pay attention to.

        Bring about mass Republican landslide losses over a couple of election cycles , and you’ll see the DNC go so left, so quickly, it’ll make your head spin because you’ll have demonstrated that America actually wants progressives policies in the ONLY poll that matters- the only one they pay attention to.

      • @Whimsy, it’s an unfortunate fact of human nature – we react more strongly to fear than we do to hope.

        The GOP has this nailed – they get people to polls by making them scared.

      • Right, CH. and Dems *never* try to scare people into voting for them.

        ‘OMG. We could have President Trump!!! He’s a fascist Nazi Hitler. He’s HITLER!!! He wants to talk with Putin. PUTIN!!! And Trump’s gonna nuke the world. NUKE!!!’

  • FlemingBalzac
    March 20, 2016 12:45 AM

    “But GOP insiders say Sanders is likely to get much of what he wants.”

    I must have blanked this out on the first read-through, but seriously? How do you see Bernie getting anything past Congress? The Big O barely got anything past *Democrats* much less Republicans, and he’s as spineless an appeaser as you can get.

  • FYI, Team of Rivals is a crock of shit.