Ruth: Trump plays Captain Queeg

Humphrey Bogart, center, as the erratic Capt. Queeg in the 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny.
Humphrey Bogart, center, as the erratic Capt. Queeg in the 1954 movie The Caine Mutiny.
Published Mar. 6, 2017

Do you face the morning with a sense of dread?

When you awaken with each new sunrise, c'mon admit it, is one of the first things to pop into your head "What did he do now?"

You're not alone, dearest reader. You are simply afflicted with a nagging case of Trumpsomnia.

There is no cure. The witching hour has become the twitching hour.

It was only last week that President Donald Trump announced the time for petty feuds of his own making was over, done, finished. Henceforth, or so the Churchill of the Potomac suggested, he would comport himself so hugely presidentially that he would make Ronald Reagan look like Boss Hogg of Hazzard County.

And then he went to sleep. No good would come from this. Things happen in the dead of night inside the president's cranium. Gremlins whisper into the commander in chief's subconscious of plots and conspiracies. Gnomes plant ingenious tales of connivance. The Fabulist Fairy sprinkles duplicity dust.

Or perhaps Trump merely communes with his imaginary friend, Mr. Pickle Pants.

And then he wakes up. Oh dear.

Before he has slipped out of his Dr. Denton jammies, the president of the United States begins to tweet and fulminate over perceived injustices and slights to his ego.

That crazy nut in North Korea is lobbing missiles like so many marbles in the general direction of the Japanese, who are not amused. The Russkies are buzzing U.S. warships for the fun of it. ISIS is doing whatever it does, and none of it is very pretty. A million people are starving to death amid civil strife in South Sudan.

Swastikas seem to be making a fashionable comeback. Across the land, Muslim mosques and Jewish synagogues are being terrorized. If you remotely look Middle Eastern, even if you are Indian, you are becoming fair game for all manner of slack-jawed bigots with easy access to guns.

But what consumes the attention of the Captain Queeg of Pennsylvania Avenue? A completely contrived fake news story that former President Barack Obama bugged his Trump Tower offices during the 2016 presidential campaign and the transition period before the inauguration.

The president of the United States has unfettered access to the CIA, the FBI, the National Security Agency and all the other intelligence organizations of the federal government. And yet Donald Trump apparently trusted Breitbart News as well as the mouth-foaming ramblings of right-wing radio hucksters like Mark Levin and Rush Limbaugh to perpetuate a Ponzi scheme of piffle.

He could simply use the inherent power of his office to demand all relevant information regarding the faux tapping of his offices to be delivered to his desk immediately, thereby putting to rest the poison fruits of his delusions.

Instead Trump governs by Twitter, demanding Congress launch investigations into his make-believe victimization.

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As he rolls his ball bearings in his little hands pondering his next sleight du jour, it's entirely possible Trump has stumbled upon a way to at least make Congress appear to be doing stuff.

The phony Obama tapping claims ought to take at least a year or two of official huffing and puffing to determine nothing happened.

Then Congress can get down to the real work of looking into who killed Cock Robin, whatever happened to Baby Jane and does your chewing gum lose its flavor on the bedpost overnight?

By then the Russians probably will have invaded the Baltic nations, just to stay in practice for stealing countries. The North Koreans will be firing off missiles toward Hawaii, and everyone will have starved to death in South Sudan. But Trump will be taunting Arnold Schwarzengger for his poor New Celebrity Apprentice ratings, bragging about the ovation he generated for the sobbing widow of a Navy SEAL killed in action and berating Meryl Streep for being a lousy thespian. Priorities.

Who knows what other dastardly plots are afoot to undermine the 45th president of the United States? We must be ever vigilant. Perhaps operatives in the employ of Obama's secret state are conspiring right now to steal towels from Mar-a-Lago.

We can take solace that the president stands astride the ramparts of government, ready at a moment's notice to tweet in defense of the homeland. And there by his side stands Congress, committed to investigating the president's paranoia.

By the way, just who did purloin the president's strawberries?