Bender: Six more months of Mueller
Well, the groundhog saw his shadow, so six more months of Mueller.
The president might have basked for a while in the glow of his triumphant State of the Union address, of which a whopping 43 percent of Democrats and 109 percent of Republicans approved. Instead, he released The Memo, which instantly changed the tune from Kumbaya at a campfire to something from The Sex Pistols in a mosh pit.
Some had speculated the president would speak in Russian or maybe just plead The Fifth. But, if you looked past the Mussolini jaw-jut and his clapping into the microphone, it was a strong "performance" that included numerous complete sentences.
He touted job growth — the most anemic in six years — but growth, nonetheless. He'd followed up on vows to cut regulations, harass immigrants, move the embassy to Jerusalem and restore Americans' inalienable right to die uninsured.
He'd put someone to the right of Scalia on the Supreme Court, with the appointment Mitch McConnell hijacked; the military has ISIS on the run, and the tax break fired up Wall Street. Pretty good stable geniusing.
Conversely, he was too busy golfing to enact sanctions on Russia. Other unfinished business includes firing everyone on the Russian probe.
Let's go to the scorecard. So far, the FBI has recorded two guilty pleas, two indictments and a field goal. The president has sacked acting Attorney General Sally Yates, FBI Director James Comey, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, and threw incomplete trying to fire Robert Mueller.
The next time you get pulled over, tell the cop he's fired. See how that works for you.
Meanwhile, the Democrats flunked Body Language 101. They sat and sulked through all the applause lines, thereby proving they hate God, America, cops, soldiers, capitalism, bootstraps, babies, puppies, kittens, sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, country music, assault rifles and Shirley Temple.
The sit-in was the most organized the Democrats have been all year, with the exception of the 15 minute hold-out Chuck Schumer staged over the spending bill, which showed more fiscal discipline than we've seen in Washington since Andrew Jackson balanced the budget by selling land stolen from the Indians.
Even Melania threw shade, wearing a liberal white pantsuit and refusing to stand when the thrice-married kitty grabber talked about family values. Almost as if she believes the fake news about her husband's tryst with porn star Stormy Daniels, who has been googled more in recent weeks than Butterball at Thanksgiving.
It couldn't have gone better for Republicans. Trump looked sane, Democrats like party-poopers. Sean Hannity was feeling so groovy, he loosened his tie at bedtime. Rush Limbaugh attempted a somersault that turned into a bizarre yoga move and a pulled hamstring.
The Democratic response came from either Conan O'Brien or Rep. Joseph Kennedy III. Apparently, Franklin Roosevelt IX, was busy. Too much Chapstick made it appear Kennedy was drooling. "Ask not what your country can drool for you, but what you can drool for your country," someone tweeted.
Then, the president snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and released the Super Top Secret Memo intended to torpedo the FBI. The theory is the FBI tried to get Hillary elected, a strategy that included announcing her newest email issues a week before the election.
Democrats claimed The Memo omitted contextual material. Republicans argued, "Hey, that's how Fox News does it."
The Memo revealed the FBI was tracking Trump campaign associate and Russianista Carter Page for years. That didn't exactly restore confidence in All The President's Men.
The Memo was released on Thursday. On Friday, the stock market fell 666 points. Rattled conservative investors checked their 401Ks to see how many rubles they'd lost. Liberals checked their 420Ks. Evangelicals studied Revelations.
Bender is publisher of North Dakota weekly newspapers in Wishek and Ashley.