Ship of Fools

Published: May 3, 2021

By Jim Lichtman
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This remake of the classic 1965 Stanley Kramer film is filled with everything you’ve come to expect from a memorable masterpiece of scandal and treachery. Based on the incredible playbook by Donald Trump with a cast ripped from the halls of Washington.

Starring Senator Josh Hawley, the ignoble mate who put out a fund-raising message telling supporters of his planned objection to the Pennsylvania election tally while the Capitol building was under siege by Trump insurrectionists.

Representative Matt Gaetz is the loudmouthed crew member who goes around the ship showing photos of all the young women he’s bedded allegedly including an underage teen to whom he paid for sex and who crossed state lines for their illicit liaison. While interstate trafficking of underage children for sex is a federal offense, the flamboyant Florida Republican calls the allegations “unjustified political persecution” like those against the former president.

Debra Ell, Michigan’s Republican organizer, in the satiric role of a Trump loyalist that’s sure to get Academy attention. “I think I speak for many people in that Trump has never actually been wrong, and so we’ve learned to trust when he says something, that he’s not just going to spew something out there that’s wrong and not verified,” Ell said, referencing the falsehood that widespread voter fraud was the “real” reason the president lost the election.

Michigan Republican Party leader Jason Roe plays the factual nonbeliever who hasn’t a chance in hell of remaining in Michigan’s party elite. “The unfortunate reality within the party today is that Trump retains a hold that is forcing party leaders to continue down the path of executing his fantasy of overturning the outcome—at their own expense. The election wasn’t stolen, he blew it. Up until the final two weeks, he seemingly did everything possible to lose. Given how close it was, there is no one to blame but Trump.”

Tucker Carlson is the ship’s chef who serves up his delectable deceit to those who can never have enough. And in a brilliant cameo, Senator Lindsey Graham is the outspoken sous-chef. “…this was politically protected speech. “[Trump’s] speech on January 6th was not an incitement of violence.”

Wistful and bitter Mitch McConnell plays the captain of this ship of fools who has for years decried the state of the Brent Spence Bridge.

“We all know that Northern Kentucky is one of the vital economic hubs of our state,” McConnell said in 2014. “Unfortunately, it is also home to obsolete infrastructure. The size of traffic creates an unacceptable strain on the local economy. One reason for these conditions is the outdated and inadequate Brent Spence Bridge.” In fact, the “noble” Senator proposed his own plan that would call for the federal government to spend $2.6 million to repair the bridge. (Note: When McConnell says “federal government” he means you and me pay for it.)

Now, because Joe Biden has announced his infrastructure plan that would grow the economy – much like such programs introduced by Franklin Roosevelt – paid for by increasing the tax on the top wealthy earners and corporations who plant their revenue overseas to avoid taxes, McConnell’s against it. Why? Because he knows what’s best for his party and the former president’s base of supporters he plainly caters to.

This action-packed film boasts a cast of 8 Republican Senators and 139 Republican House members who voted to object to the results of the 2020 election even as the building they occupied was under assault.

There are many members of Congress, but… there’s only one Ship of Fools following their North Star to Mar-a-Lago.

Soon to be available for streaming on HBO-Max.

I’ll return Friday.


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