It seems as if the Alabamization of our federal government is now complete.
The final block fell into place on Monday, when the law office of the president’s personal attorney was raided by FBI agents looking for evidence of, among other things, the lawyer’s payoff of a porn star.
That does it.
Now America knows what it feels like to live in Alabama. To live under the most absurdly corrupt and defiantly stupid government imaginable.
For decades, the rest of America made huge to-dos over politicians wearing tan suits, talking funny, lying about affairs and being modestly corrupt. And all the while, the fine people of Alabama couldn’t figure out what all the fuss was about.
We don’t even count that stuff as scandalous anymore.
But what we never knew — because, let’s be honest, knowing stuff ain’t exactly our forte ‘round here — is that other places were cultivating dumb people too. Because that’s what it takes to get a government as continuously corrupt as Alabama’s — a whole bunch of ignorant voters.
Now, before someone gets all fired up and starts scratching out a letter of complaint to me, I’m not pretending that all people who vote or believe differently than I do are dumb or ignorant.
But there’s a difference between having, say, a difference of opinion on the theory of “trickle-down economics” and believing that the reality TV star-turned-president will force Mexico to pay for a big, beautiful, YUGE border wall.
To believe the former requires only a basic misunderstanding of economic principles and the investing habits in today’s market. To believe the latter requires outright stupidity.
As it turns, we now know, there are enough of those stupid people, along with a frothy mix of Never Clintons, the politically disenchanted and Russian bots, to sway an American presidential election.
Believe me, I was as surprised as anyone.
Hunter S. Thompson once wrote of Richard Nixon — on the occasion of Nixon’s death, no less — that Nixon was scum, and that the country had never encountered a crook like him.
If only Thompson had lived to see the era of Trump.
From his phony college to his taped confession of sexual assault to his porn star payoff to his Russian sellout to his moronic and corrupt children holding down jobs that real statesmen have been honored to hold to his complete and utter bumbling stupidity at every turn, this will be the worst president any of us will ever know.
He is George Wallace without the cunning.
But unlike Wallace, Trump had the good fortune to launch a campaign at the low point of American intelligence — at a time when a game called “Farmville” could be the undoing of the Republic.
And so, America has been treated as if it were one big Alabama, with incompetent buffoons running wild. Like Scott Pruitt, the corporate polluters’ choice for EPA director, who is, right now, probably taking a security escorted ride through Times Square to buy Hamilton tickets on the EPA credit card.
Or Jeff Sessions, the Alabamiest of the Alabama-like Trump appointments, who has managed to blame every problem on too many civil rights, and the rest of it he can’t recall.
Or Ben Carson, the head of HUD who has single-handedly made everyone question the long-accepted belief that brain surgeons are smart people, and who thought it was cool to buy a $31,000 dinette set for his HUD office.
And these are the people who have managed to hold onto their jobs. At least 35 other senior officials — more than left the Obama or Bush White Houses in eight years — have already fled the Trump administration in the first year.
And there’s also this distinctly Alabama trait: We’re worse off.
The economy is worse. Jobs numbers are worse than at any point in Obama’s final two years. The stock market has faltered, reacting to the whims of a crazy person running the country. And the federal government is set to borrow 84 percent more than it did under Obama in 2016.
But here’s the real sign that the Alabamization is complete: the people who voted for this clown show don’t care.
As long as Trump and his cronies keep hating the same non-white people that they do, keep talking like them by using cuss words and making fun of the way people look, and keep waving Bibles around, they’ll be just fine.
Even as the tariffs rip family farms out from under the farmers who lined up to vote for this conman. Even as the coal miners continue to be — surprising no one — unemployed. Even as the promised health care that was going to cover everyone better and for cheaper still doesn’t exist. And even as the noose of Robert Mueller’s investigation tightens around the grifter’s neck.
They still believe.
Welcome to Alabama.