Roughly one month into power, President Donald Trump's administration has caused more gaffes than a gaffelypse in Gaffetown. Has any administration ever caused this many partisan shitstorms in so little time?
Nope! But that's not entirely the fault of Trump or his sinister cabal of advisors. Their legitimate scandals (like the fraudulent Trump foundation, hosting foreign diplomats in his hotel, or that fake college he ran) get buried in an ocean of stories like this:
Social media makes the barrage of nitpicky criticisms feel new, and some of it is (we've never had a member of the President's staff advertise for his daughter's clothing line before). But a lot of it has nothing to do with Trump, because for some reason all of us, left and right, want to hate opposing presidents for the exact same bullshit reasons. And that's why with every change of power, we get regurgitated stories like ...
Let's be honest here: The Oval Office is just a round room where, statistically, most of our presidents have done the majority of their farting. But thanks to internet news cycles, every eight-ish years, it becomes a holy shrine to one half of the country -- usually the side that opposes the president. A month ago, there was a minor controversy over how Steve Bannon dressed in the Oval Office:
And while Democrats are the ones shrilly proclaiming the sanctity of the Oval Office today, Republicans got just as butthurt eight years ago, when President Obama dared to put his feet on a desk.
Does it look familiar?
LBJ whipping out his dick (nicknamed "Jumbo") at everyone who passed by the Oval Office didn't dishonor it, and neither did Warren Harding's bootleg whiskey habit, but sit the wrong way or put your shoes on the wrong thing, and you can rest assured at least half the country will call for your f*****g head.
The truth is that the Oval Office is a working goddamn office. And when people work really hard out of one room for years while constantly surrounded by cameras, they're going to get caught looking less-than-airbrushed:
And by the way, Steve "The Human Jowl" Bannon's failure to wear a full suit in the Oval isn't exactly novel either. Back in 2009, George W. Bush's former chief of staff attacked President Obama for allowing his staff to go without jackets in the oval office, because Lord knows nothing productive was ever accomplished without a blazer.
On the upside, at least that's one piece of common ground between the left and the right. Both sides suddenly become convinced the Oval Office is sacred as soon as their guy leaves it.
George H.W. Bush was the last president to date who saw combat. Most of our recent presidents spent their lives as civilians, working as professors or business owners or deans of fraudulent universities. They don't take office with a comprehensive knowledge of when and how it's appropriate to salute. Which is why you get stuff like this:
In case you're wondering, the president is allowed to salute whoever the f**k he pleases, and he doesn't have to salute anyone. Also, do you have any idea how often the president gets saluted at? With enough cameras, you'll eventually snap a picture of the president not saluting a soldier or the flag. And if you're lazy, it also turns out that Photoshop exists:
When Snopes looked into this one, they found out it was a fake. Whoever made it knew that the fastest way to get a president on thousands of shitlists is to make him seem vaguely disrespectful of the flag, a veteran or, ideally, some sort of sentient flag that was wounded in Fallujah. Double points if you can find a picture of the first lady not saluting something salutable.
And hey, while we've got the first lady here ...
OK, so Republicans got a pass for this one back in the '90s. People had to testify about President Clinton's dick before Congress. International Comedy Law guarantees you at least a few years of jokes off of that. But George W. and Laura Bush also generated divorce rumors:
The Bushes were lucky enough that most of his presidency went by before social media took off. The Obama marriage confronted a fully grown internet, and the result was ... well, the same, actually. Right down to the expression on the first lady's face:
In fairness to the Obamas, they've had to endure a hell of a lot more public speculation about their marriage than the Bushes, and holy s**t is this not going to stop being a thing under President Trump. We've already seen news sites consult body language experts to diagnose the First Marriage as "lacking affection." And Twitter took this eight-second clip of Melania Trump ...
... and turned it into a diagnosis of f*****g spousal abuse:
If you hate our orange fuckwind of a president, it's easy to look at how clearly unhappy Melania seems there and go "SHE MUST HATE THAT MAN." But y'know what's an even more likely explanation? She doesn't like standing outside for hours in the middle of January in Washington, D.C. In front of millions of people. How weird!
Remember when President Bush told a bunch of reporters to "watch this drive" after issuing a statement about a terrorist attack in Israel?
Michael Moore used that clip to open a documentary about how badly Bush sucked. And it really is a perfect depiction of him as an entitled frat boy someone handed the nuclear suitcase to. But also, like, what the f**k was he supposed to do? The president is always on call, and if something terrible happens while he's golfing, he might have to comment on it while he's golfing. Do we really want our presidents to avoid all silly-looking recreational activities, never relax, and eventually fire a nuke into Belgium out of sheer frustration?
Via Miami Herald
Yes, President Obama drew an unprecedented amount of s**t for his hobby, even though he spent far less total vacation time than President Bush. In fact, one of the Americans most vocal about his distaste for Obama's hobby time was none other than Donald Trump ...
Via Daily Mail
And that brings us to today, as America's puritanical attitude toward the personal lives of its Presidents has culminated in the election of a leader who reflects our own hypocrisy back at us:
God, it's like poetry. Poetry that we have seen and will continue to see with every new president until the Sun goes nova.
It's Spring Break! You know what that means! Hot coeds getting loose on the beaches of Cancun and becoming imperiled in all classic beach slasher ways: Man-eating shark, school of piranhas, James Franco with dreadlocks. There are so many films about vacations gone wrong, it's a chore to wonder if there's even such a thing as a movie vacation gone right. Amity Island and Camp Crystal Lake are out. So what does that leave? The ship from Wall-E? Hawaii with the Brady Bunch? A road trip with famous curmudgeon Chevy Chase? On this month's live podcast Jack O'Brien and the Cracked staff are joined by some special guest comedians to figure out what would be the best vacation to take in a fictional universe.
Get your tickets here:
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Sometimes it's just a matter of making the US Department of Defense look, like, REALLY cool.
Actual impending doom like global climate change or mass extinction just makes people bored.
In some cases, the Marvel source material just did better.