Another week of chaos, and Trump shows no signs of letting our heads stop spinning — from hiring “Guido the Mooch” Scaramucci, who vows to “fucking kill” all White House leakers because he loves the president SO MUCH — to blindsiding the military Trump adored five minutes ago by tweeting he’s going to rid it of transgender members.
It’s unfortunate that brain cancer finally brought John McCain to his senses, but whatever works, I say. He hurried back to Washington with stitches still on his face to tell his colleagues, “We are not the president’s subordinates. We are his equal.”
Good reminder, since they all hop on buses like kindergartners on a field trip every time Trump summons them to the White House to scold and bully them into submission.
But then McCain took it to a new level by actually voting with Democrats to sink the Republicans’ “skinny” attempt to subvert health care. Unlike Lindsey Graham, who loves talking trash about bills before flouncing back to his seat to vote to pass them.
And then I suddenly realized we’re watching that 1954 Humphrey Bogart film, The Caine Mutiny.
Bogart played Captain Queeg, the commander of a minesweeper called the USS Caine during World War II. (Picture Trump as Queeg and the U.S. as the Caine.)
Queeg’s crew (we citizens) quickly realize he’s an incompetent, paranoid bully. He refuses to admit his mistakes and lies to cover them up (pick one, the list is long).
He imagines other people committing heinous misdeeds against him — like stealing strawberries from the mess (voter fraud) — and conducts phony investigations to expose them.
When faced with making life-or-death decisions, he turns tail and runs, earning himself the nickname “Old Yellowstain” (“Old Orangestain” in our version).
Finally, when the Caine gets caught in a typhoon and is in danger of foundering, Queeg freezes in terror on the bridge. To save the vessel and crew, Van Johnson (John McCain) mutinies and relieves Queeg of command. The other officers (Congress) go along.
Finally, under questioning at the officers’ court martial trial (Russia or tax fraud investigations), Queeg loses it and everybody sees that he’s nuts. However, unlike Trump, Queeg realizes it and stops himself.
It’s just a shame that we’ll never see the slightest glimmer of such self-awareness in Trump’s eyes.