The moment comes about halfway through Mel Brooks’ brilliant 1968 movie “The Producers”. Max Bialystock is deep into his plot to stage the worst musical ever for the purpose of having it close after one performance. All he has to do is raise far more money than the flop could possibly take to stage and no one will ask for their share of the 25,000% of the profits which has been sold to investors. The worst musical ever, “Springtime for Hitler,” has been chosen. It’s now time to cast it.
Hippie Lorenzo Saint DuBois wanders into the casting call and gives his performance. As soon as he says, “If everyone in the world had a flower instead of a gun the world would be one big smell-in!” Bialystock rises triumphantly and declares, “That’s our Hitler!”
It’s the moment when simple comedy runs boldly over the line into farce and never looks back.
So it is with the Trump “budget”. For all we have said about the aspiring dictatorship we can now proclaim that we have our Hitler – but not in the sense anyone expected.
Forget for a moment that his budget is based on a $2 trillion math error. Forget that it’s based on the idea that cutting taxes will increase growth dramatically, despite no evidence that this happens. Leave aside that it contains deep cuts into programs at the State Department and other places which the Senate would never let happen.
This isn’t a budget which is designed to be passed by anyone.
Like Springtime for Hitler, this is a show that is not supposed to go on. The budget is so ridiculous, perhaps purposely so, that it can never pass. That is probably the point. This details are a clear appeal to the base which is being ginned up for a prolonged fight. The real enemy is “Deep State,” the mythical masters of a government which keeps on keepin’ on in open defiance of the will of the people.
Defeat of the budget is much better than the passage of one.
Trump, like his master Putin, is not a strategist. He is a tactician, which is to say that he lives entirely by his wits. He probably has been forced into this position by his very thin grasp of reality, but that’s beside the point at this moment. The most important thing he can do is remain loose and mobile. He can’t possibly be pinned down by a need to vigorously defend anything over any prolonged period of time – which is what actual governing looks like when your entire outlook on everything is a farce.
It’s become far too easy to compare Trump to Hitler as he seeks dictatorial powers. At the same time, it’s fairly obvious that we are dealing with a cartoon of the strategic and plodding Hitler, who took more than a decade to rise to power through careful planning. This is ultimately much more like “The Producers” in that it is based on a quick scam shoved together without a lot of planning.
A comparison to Trump University is more apt all around.
The more time which is spent on this budget the more we will bury this obvious farce in a lot of noise which gives it a totally undeserved veneer of legitimacy. It was, after all, based on an op-ed about how to run the government delivered by someone on teevee back in February which I cannot find anymore – it’s already lost in the noise. The more the “mainstream media” opines against this the more it appears to be an actual budget and, more to the point, something which they fear. It’s entirely part of the plan.
Think of all of this as yet another very elaborate diversion, thinly disguised as governing.
This is nothing more nor less than an attempt to defraud little old ladies and men of their life savings by putting on a very big show. The one hope we have of exposing this plot is to understand it for its truly cynical heart and show precisely when it crossed over into farce. The whole purpose of the farce is to hide the con and absolutely nothing more.
We have our Hitler, but not in anything like the way we have been thinking.