Elliot: Life in the hot-dog lane


FILE – In this file photo, Donald Trump speaks to a crowd at the University of Iowa Field house on Tuesday Jan 26, 2016. (The Daily Iowan/Jordan Gale, file)

Last week (July 19, if you’re going to be all persnickety about it) included at its apex National Hot Dog Day, and I just know that your excitement was as unbridled as mine. (Ever notice that excitement is always unbridled?) (Does that mean unwed?)

Americans tend to go hog-wild on National Hot Dog Day, what with perfectly sensible restaurants featuring free hot dogs, or reduced price (which doesn’t quite seem so hog-wild), and hot-dog festivals featuring bands, and hot-dog art, and hot-dog artifacts. (Don’t ask.) And, of course, national icon Joey What’s-his-face from New York chomping down 40 dozen dogs or so in 12 seconds, thus proving something or other about quantum entanglement. Quite a to-do.

Actually, Joey What’s-his-face does his stunt on the Fourth, but that’s just an appetizer for The Day.

Just think: millions and millions of years of evolution, 200,000 years of Homo sapien existence, capped off by National Hot Dog Day. Ah, the wonder and mystery of it. Though not quite so mysterious as what’s in a hot dog.

Well, the Big Day may be past, but the events of the past week have reminded us that every day is National Hot Dog Day in the West Wing.

There was our Great Leader lambasting Attorney General Jeff Sessions in an interview with the New York Times on July 19. Then, for good measure, the Trumpster went off on the assistant attorney general (Rod Rosenstein), the acting FBI director (Andrew McCabe), the former FBI director (famously, James Comey), and the special counsel probing the Russian morass (Robert Mueller). Had more on his mind than golf, for a change.

Sessions drew the Trumpster’s ire because the former recused himself in the Russian-affair probe. “Sessions should have never recused himself, and if he was going to recuse himself, he should have told me before he took the job, and I would have picked somebody else,” our Great Leader said.

Right. Except, Sessions recused himself after he was in office, so he couldn’t have known he was going to recuse himself before he was in office. But details, details. Being logical has never been one of the Trumpster’s faults.

Rosenstein, in the Trumpster’s universe, is at fault because the former appointed Mueller special counsel, which is akin to some sort of liberal plot to overthrow the republic. “A special counsel should never have been appointed in this case,” the Trumpster opined, his mind reaching back to his legal-education days. (Oh, wait.)

Then the Trumpster took the gloves off, pronouncing that the president can order the FBI director to halt any investigation anytime the president pleases, because the FBI director reports to the president. “I could have ended that whole thing just by saying — they say it can’t be obstruction because you can say: ‘It’s ended. It’s over. Period.’ ”

Um, no. Period. That’s not the way it works in this country. And the FBI director reports to the attorney general and the director of National Intelligence. Not the president.

In Russia, a country the Trumpster much admires (especially Russian money) and perhaps wishes to emulate, the president can halt any investigation he finds uncomfortable; Putin seems to do it by throwing the investigators into prison. Where they sometimes die. Just a coincidence, I’m sure.

And now, the Trumpster’s minions are scurrying around trying to find conflicts of interest or some other dirt on Mueller and his team probing the Russian connection. Presumably, the Trumpster is looking for a reason to have the special counsel fired in order to halt the Russia investigation. Oh, sure, that will go over smoothly. I mean, it worked out so well for Richard Nixon.

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