Follow the tapes
The Trump/Nixon comparisons just keep coming.
And now, one even has come from President Donald Trump himself.
At 8:26 a.m., five tweets into Friday's highly anticipated irate "tweetstorm," our so-called president wrote: "James Comey better hope that there are no 'tapes' of our conversations before he starts leaking to the press!"
Now, some pundits who've studied Trump's past have posited that when he is cornered he has a habit of making up recordings that later prove to be fiction.
One example was a response in the final weeks of the campaign to opponent Hillary Clinton's disclosure in a live debate of his misogynistic treatment of former Miss Universe Alicia Machado. A few days later, while most people were sleeping, Trump tweeted that people should look for Machado's "sex tape."
Despite a news media that has found at least one incriminating tape on the president — thank you hot mics of Access Hollywood — no such Machado tape has surfaced.
In March, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of wiretapping his phones. Again, not the case.
But this time, Trump seems to be implying that he's the one making and holding tapes.
Good heavens, let's hope so. Since Trump is already casting shades of Richard Nixon and obstructionism, has he also borrowed from that wayward president's egotism and its strange cousin, self-doubt, to install tape recorders around the White House?
Heads up, investigators. This reality show just gets better and better.
Sifting the versions
On Friday, when it had only been three days but seemed like three years since President Trump fired FBI Director James Comey, the reason for that firing changed so many times one needed a scorecard.
We began trying to fashion a new witticism for it — something akin to the one borrowed from Mark Twain and adapted to Chattanooga's weather swings from icy roads one day to balmy spring sunshine the next to thunderclaps and another overnight dusting of snow. You know the one: "If you don't like the weather, just wait an hour."
We could call it Trump's search for a favorite very, very great big alternative fact. And no, serial liar won't do. It's already overused.
But then we gave up. He's as mercurial as the weather, but just too strange for witty words.
Besides, fact is better than fiction — and even more humorous.
Trump's approval rating on Wednesday in a Quinnipiac poll, taken before the Comey news had time to settle in, was 36 percent. Even in more Trump favorable Gallup and NBC News/Wall Street Journal polls released over the weekend, he only had 39 percent approval rating.
Laughter best medicine, for now
In the absence of the GOP doing what's right for the country, laughter is the best relief from feelings of foreboding that come from the real news Trump makes for himself.
Enter: Saturday Night Live.
Alec Baldwin plays Trump, as always. Michael Che plays NBC News anchor Lester Holt. The skit is titled "Part Two of Lester Holt's Interview with Donald J. Trump."
Fake Holt presses Fake Trump on the reason for firing FBI Director Comey. When Trump responds "because of Russia," Holt says, "But that's obstruction of justice." Trump responds, "Sure, OK."
Fake Holt excitedly speaks into his earpiece "Did I get him? Is this all over?" Then looking amazed, he repeats the producer's answer: "No I didn't? Nothing matters? Absolutely nothing matters anymore "
Right, says Fake Trump. "Nothing's going to stop me, because I've got the Republicans in the palm of my hand. Look at this. He rings a bell and Fake Paul Ryan (entertainer Mikey Day) appears in a waiter uniform to bring Fake Trump two scoops of ice cream.
"He feeds me dog food," a smiling Fake Ryan says to Fake Holt.