Donald Trump always presents himself as a tough guy, so Danziger isn’t surprised by reports of presidential threats against House Republicans who have declined — for varying reasons — to line up behind his Obamacare repeal push. Nearly three dozen of them seem poised to call Trump’s bluff.
The crashing chaos and nonstop prevarications of the Trump administration require fresh literary interpretation every day by journalists and cartoonists. Resorting to the waterfall metaphor, Danziger is no exception.
A nation that has given the world some of its greatest art, literature, philosophy, culture, cuisine, and couture now seems poised to endorse fascist politics — but only, warns Danziger, if the French are too foolish to follow the saner example set by the Dutch.
Everyone knows that Trump evaded the Vietnam draft due to alleged “bone spurs” in his heels — and no doubt Danziger, a Vietnam vet, scorns the president’s militaristic overcompensation. His absurd budget would fatten “War,” drawn in the style of the late great Herblock, and flatten “Diplomacy,” which helps keep our kids in uniform from getting killed.
Now that British Prime Minister Theresa May has begun the process that will conclude in her country’s exit from the European Union, Danziger notes that the Scots are again contemplating their own exit from the United Kingdom — a turn of the caber that London won’t applaud.
In her zeal to defend Donald Trump, Kellyanne Conway argued that the government could spy on people through their microwave ovens — a scenario Danizger imagines she might even take the trouble to demonstrate.
While Donald Trump often whines (or tweets) about the “mess” he “inherited,” Danziger scrutinizes the new administration — and notices that not much blame can be laid on Barack Obama for its unappetizing disarray.
Russia experts tell us that leading figures in Moscow get most of their ideas about America from the news. So Danziger surmises that Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, might well mimic Kellyanne Conway, the presidential adviser who put her feet up on an Oval Office couch. Then again, he’s probably too smart to imitate her.
Did Trump appoint Ben Carson to his cabinet so he would look smarter? Or to benefit cartoonists like Danziger? The housing secretary’s recent description of African slaves as “immigrants” will be hard to top, but that will never stop Carson from trying.
Every day, in every way, Donald Trump is getting…crazier and crazier, as Danziger cannot help noticing. Just like the rest of us, he wishes it were not so. Unlike the rest of us, the artist can express the sense of growing trepidation about the commander-in-chief, and perhaps that eases the tension. Probably not.
Nobody creates fake news as effortlessly as Donald Trump, whose “wiretap” canard against Barack Obama swept the news with a few tweets. But sustaining fakery without evidence is harder — so Danziger offers a new method: the cartoon as documentary proof.
If you follow baseball (or beisbol), you know that the American pastime is and always was enriched by immigration. So the Trump hostility to immigrants, as Danziger observes, is also bad for baseball — yet one more aspect of the president’s policies that is (*cough*) alien to our way of life.
How can the elephant — a sublime creature, legendary for its memory and probity — remain the mascot of a political party that now relies on amnesia and duplicity? Don’t worry, because Danziger has an appropriate fix.
In America, Donald Trump’s popularity may be plumbing historic lows for a new president, but across the Atlantic he is still more widely disliked — especially, as Danziger notes, among our British cousins. So negative is the public reaction to Prime Minister Theresa May’s invitation for a Trump state visit that he has postponed it until next October.
The White House no longer operates as in Lincoln’s time, when literally anyone could walk in to speak with the president. But as Danziger observes, if you have 200 large to join one of Trump’s exclusive clubs, you may be able to walk in and chat up the grifter-in-chief.
What would happen if Steve Bannon – or anyone in the Trump White House – told the truth about undocumented immigrants and the jobs they perform? What would they say? Danziger wonders, too.
In the drama of Watergate, the Nixon White House was brought down by the coverup — notably its attempt to stymie the FBI. Similar maneuvers by the Trump White House in its current distress are sufficiently blatant and ridiculous to inspire a Danziger tableau.
In Danziger’s vision, Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III is the kind of small-minded Southern politician who brandishes “state’s rights” as an excuse to bully unpopular minorities — in the latest instance, defenseless trans kids needing to use a bathroom.
A draft memo leaked from the Department of Homeland Security, indicating that the government may soon call up National Guard units to detain and deport undocumented immigrants – not exactly what most Guard personnel enlisted to do, as Danziger notes. But if ordered to tear immigrant families apart, at least they can offer the usual excuse.
In Danziger’s view, poor Vice President Mike Pence has all the dignity of a servant or sidekick — or an abused chauffeur — who enables his loud-mouthed boss to embarrass him everywhere they go. Sad!
It is all too easy to picture Steve Bannon — the extremist advisor to Trump — grasping White House authority in the memorable style of Alexander “I’m in control here” Haig. Which is why Danziger drew him that way.
In Trump’s America, Danziger foresees that moment when the phrasing of Pastor Niemoller will again burn with relevance: First, they came for the immigrants…
There was once a president who attacked the news media, surrounded himself with fascist-minded thugs, and left office facing impeachment. Now dead, he way well reside in hell, as Danziger suggests. But contemplating the current occupant of the Oval Office, Republicans may still recall Richard Nixon with nostalgia.
If you’re a senior staffer in need of presidential approval amid the cut-throat intrigues of the Trump White House, Danziger recommends buying and wearing some of “Ivanka’s stuff.” (It worked for Kellyanne Conway.)
As a cineaste, Danziger can’t help noticing the echoes of John Frankenheimer’s paranoid classic in the Cold War thriller now emanating from the Trump White House. Brainwashing would explain a lot.