In its three years and nearly four months, the current administration has produced more than its share of questionable statements. But some of the stuff emanating from 45 and his supporters lately has made me think that MAGA now stands for MAKE AMERICANS GAG AGAIN.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic swept through the country and brought the economy to a standstill, the president and his crew have induced more gagging than a Lysol-laced Pabst Blue Ribbon.
Such achievement should be rewarded. So, in the spirit of the times, I present the first, and hopefully only, Gaggy Awards for those who went above and beyond the call of duty in making us wish they would all just shut up.
Winners get a genuine faux leather bondage mask and ball gag, as well as a lovely commemorative Coronavirus Coin from the unofficial White House Gift Shop. They will be encouraged to wear the mask and gag in public to keep them from making future pronouncements. What they do with the mask in private is their own business.
Without further ado, let us salute the winners.
THE HEARTBEAT AWAY FROM THE PRESIDENCY AWARD to Vice President Mike Pence, who visited doctors and patients at the famed Mayo Clinic in Minnesota without wearing a face mask, as required by clinic policy. When photographs of the bald-faced liar caused a backlash, he claimed that he (a) wanted to look people in the eye (did he think it was a blindfold?), (b) didn’t know that was the policy and (c) gets tested every week so he deemed it unnecessary. When a Voice of America reporter who had traveled with Pence tweeted that the Veep’s office had informed journalists in advance of the clinic’s mask requirement, Pence threatened to retaliate by barring him from further trips on Air Force Two.
MOTHER OF THE YEAR AWARD to Mike’s wife, Karen (Mother) Pence, for telling Fox News that her husband didn’t know a mask was required until after the visit was over, even though everyone with him in the photos was wearing a mask.
THE BOY BLUNDER AWARD to presidential son-in-law Jared Kushner. After tipping his hand in early April by claiming that the Strategic National Stockpile of medical equipment and supplies was ”our stockpile” and was not for the states to use, he disappeared for nearly a month. He resurfaced at the end of April to congratulate himself and the administration for their “great success story” in handling the COVID-19 outbreak, which has claimed more American lives than the Vietnam War.
PROMISING NEWCOMER AWARD to newly minted press secretary Kayleigh McEnany, who proved her bona fides for the job by promising during her first press briefing that she would never lie — and then lying 15 minutes later.
THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER AWARD, a special citation for those outside the administration, to New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan for fawning over Trump during a conference call, making a point of mentioning 45 during a live-streamed Mass from St. Patrick’s Cathedral and praising him to Fox News. Because, you know, a president who ignored a pandemic until it was too late, who imprisons immigrant children in cages and who regularly gives in to the gun lobby is pro-life.
And the top prize, GAGGY OF THE YEAR, goes to (drum roll) . . . none other than President Donald J. Trump!!! Who else would have the audacity to blame a shortage of tests on his predecessor when the virus hadn’t even surfaced during the Obama administration? Who else would consistently lie about the availability of tests, urge armed rebellion against Democratic governors, and muse out loud during a televised press conference that injecting disinfectants into people and putting a UV light somewhere inside their bodies might be a good way to treat COVID-19? Who but Trump would then claim he was being “sarcastic,” as though the occasion called for sarcasm?
Take your award, sir, and put it where you wanted to put that UV light. And no, I am not being sarcastic.