Swamp things alive and well
By Will Durst
During the 2016 presidential election, Donald Trump famously proclaimed he would drain the swamp in Washington. But looking at the cast of characters he’s surrounded himself with, it seems more like Trump invited all his carnivorous reptilian buddies to come drain their bladders in the swamp, and now it’s not only bigger but warmer as well.
Mr. Art of the Deal’s career is littered with pyramid schemes, reneging on contracts, unpaid loans, phony foundations, phantom donations, broken promises, deceit, mendacity, moral turpitude and bad hair. He is a parody of avarice spreading a culture of corruption so large it can probably be seen from the Hubble Telescope.
Trump is the King of Corruption. The Maharajah of Malfeasance. Good God of Graft. Captain Crooked. The Pharaoh of Fraud. The Overlord of Venality. The creator and originator of Orange Collar Crime. Wouldn’t be surprised if he hadn’t trademarked that. His insatiable greed and con-man ways give rich people a bad name. Okay, a badder name. Boss Tweed had nothing on this Boss Tweet.
You almost can’t blame his cronies. Once they ooze into the president’s orbit and see everyone else making money hand over fist, they figure they’d better get while the getting’s good. There’s only so much ripe low-hanging fruit. Not to mention lettuce.
Forbes Magazine suggests Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross might have stolen upwards of $120 million and wrote that he could be “one of the biggest grifters in American history.” They also said he was a skinflint who’d pocket packets of Sweet’n Low in restaurants so he didn’t have to buy them. The kind of guy you see and discreetly lock up the silverware.
One of his “best people,” former EPA Director Scott Pruitt was forced to resign after a series of scandals that pegged him as more crooked than a dumpster full of bent wire hangers.
Like Health & Human Services Secretary Tom Price who also resigned under a cloud, Ryan Zinke, Secretary of Interior, loves to travel first class on the taxpayers’ dime and has left a trail of dodgy banking schemes in his wake. These guys are fast turning the swamp into a Jurassic Cesspool.
The first congressman to endorse Trump, Christopher Collins, R-N.Y., was indicted for insider trading. Michael Cohen, the president’s fixer, is presently fixing to fix his fixee. Another early supporter, Duncan Hunter, is under FBI criminal investigation for using campaign funds for personal purposes.
New York’s Attorney General is suing Trump and his three kids alleging the president used his foundation to benefit himself financially and politically. They also want him banned from running any charity in the state for 10 years for being reckless, unethical and just plain despicable.
During court testimony, former administration official Rick Gates admitted not only to committing crimes at the behest of Trump’s campaign manager, Paul Manafort, but also stealing from him. Manafort allegedly stashed his stolen money in hidden offshore accounts. And both are reported to have stolen from Trump who steals from everyone. This administration is the Russian nesting dolls of crime. And there you go, another connection to Russia. Coincidence? You be the judge.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed columnist, comic and former sod farmer in New Berlin, Wis. For a calendar of personal appearances, including his new one-man show, “Durst Case Scenario.”