President Donald Trump was bitterly disappointed that he was forced to cancel his ego trip down Washington, D.C., streets. The parade of U.S. military units was to be his biggest display yet of people marching in lockstep, bigger even than any gathering of Republicans.
He really wanted to stand on a reviewing stand as the troops and hardware did their thing below — just like they do for Kim Jong Un, Vladimir Putin and the others he wants to emulate — but the disclosed cost of $92 million for this Defense Department dog and pony show is indefensible. So, of course, he did what all spoiled children do when they don’t get their way: He threw a tantrum — a Twitter tantrum.
“The local politicians who run Washington, D.C. (poorly) know a windfall when they see it,” he pecked on his dumbphone. “When asked to give us a price for holding a great celebratory military parade, they wanted a number so ridiculously high that I cancelled it. Never let someone hold you up!”
The D.C. mayor jumped all over this with a tweet of her own: “Yup, I’m Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington D.C., the local politician who finally got thru to the reality star in the White House with the realities ($21.6M) of parades/events/demonstrations in Trump America (sad).”
Did I mention that Mayor Bowser is running for re-election? Or that Donald Trump is wildly unpopular in the District of Columbia? According to her people, $21.6 million would be the local share of the $92 million total cost. Inflated or not, the expenditure would be a chunk of money that could go to more useful purposes.
President Trump wants a parade? Let’s give him a parade. How about a marching band of all those veterans of the spy game who are raising such a ruckus over the president spitefully taking away national security clearances of those who dared cross him.
Notably absent would be Robert Mueller, the special counsel investigating the Russia connection. He’s too busy raining on Trump’s parade. Don’t look for some of our other luminaries. Omarosa will be a no-show, for sure. She’ll be there, but secretly taping conversations. She obviously took pointers from Michael Cohen, who is currently sharing his recordings as he spills his guts to all those involved in probing Donald Trump.
I wouldn’t look for Stormy Daniels either, not even on a float. It’s a shame that she didn’t record her alleged encounter with Trump. We’ll just have to take her word that he was quite boring in bed. We can only guess how much that bothers him, probably as much as the ridicule for his small hands.
The problem really is that we have a small person who has got huge toys, like an armed force that numbers more than 2 million. He’s the commander in chief, so they have to humor him.
This time, the cost for his folly was so prohibitive that he did something he almost never does: He listened to his advisers, who gently suggested to him that paying $92 million would be bad for his image. Nothing is more important to him than his image, not even a parade.
(Bob Franken is an Emmy Award-winning reporter who covered Washington for more than 20 years with CNN.)
© 2018 Bob Franken
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