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OPINION

The Great Trumpkin masks his true feelings

Sometimes a face covering helps hide a presidential pout.

Photo illustration by Lesley Becker/Globe Staff; Globe file photo; Adobe

It was impossible to tell what sort of look had congealed on the countenance of the Great Trumpkin. As he sat there at the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, a mask covered his face from nose to chin.

After the coronavirus had infected Republican anti-masker Representative Louie Gohmert of Texas, Melania had insisted her husband practice mask-wearing for an hour each day to improve his desultory rate of compliance. When the Great Trumpkin protested that Gohmert thought he had contracted COVID-19 by wearing a mask, Melania said that only proved stupidity was contagious too.

How sad to sit in masked ignominy at this desk, which had seen some of the defining moments of his presidency. Why, in early July, after Goya Foods CEO Robert Unanue said the nation was blessed to have his leadership, the Trumpkin had posed there with a can of white beans and other right-thinking Goya legumes.

These days, he had to turn on Hannity or Laura to hear that kind of praise. Other Foxies were no longer trustworthy. He’d consented to an interview with Chris Wallace, only to have the little sneak ambush him with non-Fox News tactics, like facts. And when the Great Trumpkin boasted about his cognitive test results, Wallace contested the notion that the test was challenging.

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“They have a picture and it says ‘what’s that’ and it’s an elephant,” Wallace noted — as if that wasn’t difficult to do without first running through a set of Animal Kingdom flash cards.

So praise-famished was the Trumpkin that when Joe Biden said he was the first racist to get elected president, he’d initially considered it a compliment. He should treat it that way, argued top aide and soul mate Stephen Miller, who had wandered in to show him the latest in his series of “Just Imagine” dioramas, this one featuring Jefferson Davis bestowing a medal on Robert E. Lee in the Rose Garden.

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“You’re not the first ever, but you’re certainly the first proud racist elected in the modern era,” said Miller, who kept close track of such things. “George Wallace couldn’t do it. Strom Thurmond couldn’t do it. But you did, sir. We should use Biden’s words in an ad!”

Sadly, as the Great Trumpkin had learned from experience, Miller’s political instincts weren’t always keen. His aide considered the Confederate flag a cherished historical emblem, but when the Trumpkin said NASCAR was wrong to ban the banner at races, it turned out most Americans saw it as a symbol of racism. And they, alas, didn’t see racism in the positive light Miller did.

How his mask itched! He’d finally put one on in public, the way everyone wanted, and now comedians were mocking him for being four months late. They weren’t the only ones laughing at his expense. When he’d eavesdropped on the White House interns, they were playing “Thirty-two Percent,” a game named for those who supported his approach on the coronavirus.

Thirty-two percent of Americans think George Custer provided effective leadership at Little Big Horn.”

“Thirty-two percent were favorably impressed by the Hindenburg’s landing at Lakehurst. "

“Thirty-two percent say the Soviet Union was smart to save on construction costs by omitting a containment vessel over their Chernobyl reactor.”

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He disliked the mask almost as much as he hated Dr. Anthony Fauci, who had the nerve to keep speaking the scientific truth, thereby revealing the Trumpkin as a pied piper leading the purblind down the primrose path of prevaricatory pandemic predictions.

But because most Americans loved Fauci, he’d left to his alter ego, the Great Twitter Trumpkin, the task of disseminating the divergent ideas he himself endorsed. And now the press were hounding him because he had retweeted some pro-hydroxychloroquine cure comments from a wackadoodle doctor who thought certain maladies were caused by sex with demons. Which, metaphorically speaking, was kind of what had happened to Stormy Daniels. . .

Mask practice seemed like an eternity. He texted Melania.

“Come give your favorite president a hug.” When five minutes passed without a reply, he tried again: “Please, please visit. Nobody else likes me.”

Ping.

“Maybe later, if you stop pouting. Right now, I’m watching Dr. Fauci on TV.”


Scot Lehigh is a Globe columnist. He can be reached at scot.lehigh@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeScotLehigh