Trump And The Sittaford Mystery

What’s his plan?

The headline on Drudge is: Trump Budget Proposes Killing All Funding for PBS, NPR and National Endowment for the Arts. The budget proposes many other cuts in discretionary spending as well – see Ed Straker here -- but defunding these three along with Planned Parenthood have been a Conservative fever dream since I dunno – LBJ’s administration? And we don’t see anybody falling over in a swoon thinking it’s actually going to happen now.

And it does seem a (Malcolm) Muggeridge too far. Because under all foreseeable conditions you’re not going to get enough dishwater Liberal Republicans in Congress to vote to defund. Not when you might have beloved establishment types like Laura Bush defending the National Endowment for the Arts, as she has done before, or has one of her daughters, as is happening now, out raising money for Planned Parenthood.

So is Trump just entertaining us with the notion?

 It does seem he’s up to something. We know that from the new round of campaign rallies because Trump primes himself with moxie from those adoring crowds in the exact same way a camel sucks his hump full of water before his next trek across the Sahara.

In Agatha Christie’s The Sittaford Mystery a wealthy retired army officer rents his mountaintop mansion to a woman for the winter and moves seven or eight miles downhill to a more modest house in the village. Meanwhile a big snowstorm hits and the woman invites her new neighbors on the lonely mountain in for the evening. A group then decides to entertain themselves with a séance. Joining them is a life-long friend of the wealthy ex-army officer who is shocked when the table knocks out the message that the other man is being murdered down in the village. Everyone else laughs it off but the man is so disturbed that he overcomes their strident objections and insists upon trudging downhill all those miles through the storm in order to make certain his friend is okay.

Several hours later he arrives in the village, discovers his friend has in fact been murdered, summons the police who examine the body and conclude that yes, he was killed very close to or at the time the spirit summoned by the séance knocked out the warning.

Long story short the murderer gets away with the killing until a pair of boots is discovered hidden in the village house which reveal that the friend who insisted upon trudging down through the snow all those many miles, never did. Instead he skied down the mountain in a few minutes, immediately murdered his friend, disposed of his skis in a closet filled with many others and then waited several hours before calling the police who believed him when he said he had just arrived.

Moral? That Trump in his quest to defund may not have a long hard, maybe impossible, slog ahead of him like we think he does. Like any normal Republican politician would. Instead just as he won the election with the endorsement of only one out of a hundred U.S. senators or pulled Ohio out of the knotted angry grasp of a popular Republican governor who hated his guts or just like he made a fool out of Megyn Kelly when she hit him with the ultimate, cannot weasel away from, knockout gotcha question possible at the primary debate - he may have a set of skis hidden somewhere.

Stay tuned.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most, Random House, BDD See it Here. He lives and writes in the colonial era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York, blogs here and can also be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com

 

What’s his plan?

The headline on Drudge is: Trump Budget Proposes Killing All Funding for PBS, NPR and National Endowment for the Arts. The budget proposes many other cuts in discretionary spending as well – see Ed Straker here -- but defunding these three along with Planned Parenthood have been a Conservative fever dream since I dunno – LBJ’s administration? And we don’t see anybody falling over in a swoon thinking it’s actually going to happen now.

And it does seem a (Malcolm) Muggeridge too far. Because under all foreseeable conditions you’re not going to get enough dishwater Liberal Republicans in Congress to vote to defund. Not when you might have beloved establishment types like Laura Bush defending the National Endowment for the Arts, as she has done before, or has one of her daughters, as is happening now, out raising money for Planned Parenthood.

So is Trump just entertaining us with the notion?

 It does seem he’s up to something. We know that from the new round of campaign rallies because Trump primes himself with moxie from those adoring crowds in the exact same way a camel sucks his hump full of water before his next trek across the Sahara.

In Agatha Christie’s The Sittaford Mystery a wealthy retired army officer rents his mountaintop mansion to a woman for the winter and moves seven or eight miles downhill to a more modest house in the village. Meanwhile a big snowstorm hits and the woman invites her new neighbors on the lonely mountain in for the evening. A group then decides to entertain themselves with a séance. Joining them is a life-long friend of the wealthy ex-army officer who is shocked when the table knocks out the message that the other man is being murdered down in the village. Everyone else laughs it off but the man is so disturbed that he overcomes their strident objections and insists upon trudging downhill all those miles through the storm in order to make certain his friend is okay.

Several hours later he arrives in the village, discovers his friend has in fact been murdered, summons the police who examine the body and conclude that yes, he was killed very close to or at the time the spirit summoned by the séance knocked out the warning.

Long story short the murderer gets away with the killing until a pair of boots is discovered hidden in the village house which reveal that the friend who insisted upon trudging down through the snow all those many miles, never did. Instead he skied down the mountain in a few minutes, immediately murdered his friend, disposed of his skis in a closet filled with many others and then waited several hours before calling the police who believed him when he said he had just arrived.

Moral? That Trump in his quest to defund may not have a long hard, maybe impossible, slog ahead of him like we think he does. Like any normal Republican politician would. Instead just as he won the election with the endorsement of only one out of a hundred U.S. senators or pulled Ohio out of the knotted angry grasp of a popular Republican governor who hated his guts or just like he made a fool out of Megyn Kelly when she hit him with the ultimate, cannot weasel away from, knockout gotcha question possible at the primary debate - he may have a set of skis hidden somewhere.

Stay tuned.

Richard F. Miniter is the author of The Things I Want Most, Random House, BDD See it Here. He lives and writes in the colonial era hamlet of Stone Ridge, New York, blogs here and can also be reached at miniterhome@gmail.com

 

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