Konopacki cartoon 10/16/19

I was wondering how Donald Trump's campaign ad creators were going to deal with the unhinged president who specializes in calling people names, consistently uses profanities and tells lies several times a day while appearing to be on the verge of a nervous breakdown.

If you've been watching NFL football the past couple of Sundays, you now know.

His first major ad buys — except the ones that some TV networks have refused to air because of their blatant falsehoods — claim that Trump is "changing things." They credit Trump with draining the swamp, which, they say, is why the "swamp" hates him.

And as to his ludicrous demeanor:

"Nice guys won't cut it," they proclaim. "It takes a tough guy like Donald Trump."

So, that's it. Mr. Tough Guy. You know, the one who had a bone spur on his foot so someone else could go to Vietnam to dodge ambushes and booby traps and hopefully not join the 58,148 who gave their lives for America or even the 304,000 who suffered battlefield wounds.

Name-calling and character assassination don't cut it where the really tough are needed.

And really? The Republican presidential campaign is going to claim that tough guy Trump has drained the swamp and that, in turn, the swamp hates him.

He's drained the swamp? Not even close. Instead, as Bloomberg News reports, he has surrounded himself with family members, appointees and advisers who've been accused of conflicts of interest, misuse of public funds, influence peddling, self-enrichment, violating ethics rules and working for foreign governments.

His secretary of labor, Alex Acosta, resigned because of his involvement with accused pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. His former secretary of the interior, Ryan Zinke, quit because of questions about a Montana land deal and 17 other possible illegal activities while in office. Patrick Shanahan, who was to become secretary of defense, withdrew over a domestic abuse investigation by the FBI. His administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, quit because he accepted sweet condo deals from a company he was supposed to regulate and exercised extravagant tastes in air travel.

And then there was the early resignation of National Security adviser Michael Flynn, who lied to the FBI about his undercover dealings with the Turkish government.

According to the Brookings Institute, Donald Trump has now had more turnover in his Cabinet in the first two-and-a-half years of his presidency than any of his five immediate predecessors had in their entire first terms. Some 80% of the so-called "A" staff has turned over in those 30 months.

But, as we'll discover in the months ahead, campaign ads are stunningly creative. Trump's tax cuts, which have done little to stimulate the economy while escalating the already scary national debt, will turn into a crowning achievement. So will his mostly unbuilt wall at the Mexican border.

Left unsaid, of course, will be the devastation of the environment and the complete dismissal of the biggest problem facing the entire world — climate change.

There will be no mention of how immigration polices have harmed innocent people, including denying entry to the brave men and women from other countries who bravely helped us fight in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and in our involvements in Syria and other Middle East countries.

Instead, we'll be told how a supposed world leader who acts like a stubborn 12-year-old is really just a "tough guy."

Dave Zweifel is editor emeritus of The Capital Times. dzweifel@madison.com608-252-6410 and on Twitter @DaveZweifel.  

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