In another place and time, news like this would be satire.
But in the age of Trump, anything is possible and the most absurd possibility is usually the most likely.
Trump’s pick to oversee the federal family planning program for low-income Americans is Teresa Manning. This is the woman who has said she opposes federal spending on family planning and has a long history of making false claims about women’s health issues.
She has been quoted as saying “contraception doesn’t work” and has referred to abortion as “legalized crime.”
But is this any funnier, or more absurd, than Trump naming Rick Perry head of the Department of Energy? If you recall, during a Republican presidential debate in 2011, Perry tried to name three cabinet-level departments he would eliminate if he were elected. He successfully remembered the names of the first two (Commerce and Education) but forgot the third … the Department of Energy! Oops!
Trump seems to have a penchant for naming people to head departments they either have no experience with or are opposed to … or both. Just look at Tom Price, Health and Human Services; Betsy DeVos, Education; Scott Pruitt, Environmental Protection. All foxes hired to guard the henhouse.
Donald Trump is trying to make George Orwell, the author of the satirical classic Animal Farm, a prophet. Remember it was Orwell’s Ministry of Truth tasked with rewriting and distorting history. By appointing people to run the very agencies they are opposed to or are otherwise incompetent to lead, Trump is giving real meaning to the old Republican line that government does not work.
Ronald Reagan famously said the government is not the solution but the problem. Republicans since Saint Ronnie have done almost everything within their power to prove it.
Satire is “the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.”
In 1882, the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “God is dead.”
In 2017, thanks to Donald Trump, add satire to the list of obituaries.
Photo | DavidGoldman/AP