A running gag on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver points up the fact that, in a world where the president lies about easily verifiable, globally vital facts at least once a day (and that just on Twitter), the old rules about accountability and acceptable fucking behavior just don’t apply. Several times now, Oliver has played a clip of Donald Trump speaking flat-out, politically partisan, childishly constructed lies and then excitedly announced “We got him!,” while slamming down on a button that releases fanfare, confetti, and even a basketball-dunking tiger mascot to celebrate the fact that this surely career-ending bullshitting of the American public has finally put an end to our 10-month national nightmare.
Sadly, the point of the recurring bit is that, when Trump says things that show he’s either a pathological liar, a manipulative liar, or a dangerously clueless buffoon-boy, the old rules (you know the ones about truth, beauty, honor, the common good, or even plain old reality) have been shredded along with protections for [checks list] the environment, civil rights, conflicts of interest, sexual harassment and assault victims, the Constitution, the First Amendment, DREAMers, people who need health insurance, and international norms. This week, Oliver’s rescinded gotcha moment centered on Trump’s unilateral (as in just him, literally nobody else) announcement that the United States would withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal. Oliver played a clip (from fawning state media concern Fox News, natch) where Trump said that Iran wasn’t in compliance with the terms of the deal (they are, according to everyone not named Trump), that we’re paying Iran billions of American dollars in exchange for a deal to not develop nuclear weapons (we’re not—it’s Iran’s frozen assets from deals we made), and that we’re not getting anything out of said deal. (We are, in the sense of living in a world where there aren’t nuclear weapons in the hands of an unstable government with a hate on for America.)
Citing the fact that the Iran deal is supported by literally every other major U.S. ally, that Trump’s own secretaries of defense and state are publicly in favor of retaining the deal, and that, should this infantile dimwit (or “fucking moron” to quote said Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson) succeed in scuttling the Iran deal, no country on Earth will view U.S. foreign policy as being worth a goddamned thing, Oliver—packing away his premature celebration supplies one more time—could only compare Trump’s approach to foreign policy to “a scared monkey in a submarine, randomly pushing buttons.” There’s still hope, in the sense that the next step is in the hands of congress (oh, super...), but, as Oliver put it, we’re on that submarine, and, if he can’t push his “We got him!” button for real sometime soon, that chattering monkey is going to get lucky and take us all down with him.
Since Last Week Tonight hasn’t made the “We Got Him!” portion of Sunday’s show available yet this morning, here’s his main story from the episode, about how you really need to freeze your credit—like, right now—thanks to the combination of incompetence and duplicity that is Equifax. It should make you suitably angry, albeit for different reasons, until the relevant clip surfaces: