The latest edition of TIME magazine depicts on its cover a battle between President Trump and Democrats, as represented by Nancy Pelosi, where Trump is greatly outmatched. Trump, sitting astride a wall much like Humpty Dumpty, has a child’s slingshot loaded only with tweets, while Pelosi has a catapult loaded with weighty-looking subpoenas. Indeed, one of the new powers Democrats have since regaining the majority in the House and therefore all the committee chairmanships, is subpoena power over both documents and people, which can and clearly will be used by Democrats for oversight and investigation of the Trump administration.
The use of imagery containing a slingshot and a catapult may also be in reference to Trump claiming that medieval technology, such as using a wall as a barrier, is still sound practice today. Neither catapults nor slingshots are exactly modern technology, but it is pretty clear that in a battle between the two, the catapult would come out ahead. The cover art is for an article called “The Art of the Duel”, which appears to be a reference both to the ongoing duel between Trump and Democrats over the shutdown caused by Trump’s wall funding demand as wall as a tongue-in-cheek reference to Trump’s “The Art of the Deal” (which was actually ghostwritten by someone else, Tony Schwartz). There certainly doesn’t seem to be much art in President Trump’s attempts at deal making.
The cover is for the January 21 edition of TIME magazine and was apparently first tweeted by CNN’s Brian Stelter, who added, “Here’s a first look at this week’s cover of
@TIME — Trump slinging tweets, Pelosi shooting subpoenas.”
— Brian Stelter (@brianstelter) January 10, 2019
Stelter’s post about the cover got a lot of positive responses, including from this person, who wrote, “I LOVE everything about this! I almost want to frame it! Bonus art points for perching him on a wall like…” and included a picture of Humpty Dumpty.
I LOVE everything about this! I almost want to frame it! Bonus art points for perching him on a wall like… pic.twitter.com/TP0Wmq6ouV
— Lisa Westerfield (@Midwestocean) January 10, 2019
Another agreed that Trump would be facing an onslaught of subpoenas, tweeting this cartoon in which the subpoenas are so plentiful, they fall from the sky like snow.
— Pat Porta (@PatrizAnnPorta) January 10, 2019
Of course amid this battle there are very real and very serious consequences to Trump’s intransigence about his getting funding for his border wall. 800,000 federal workers remain without a paycheck, with 420,000 of those deemed so essentially that they have to continue to work without being paid, leading to multiple lawsuits against the Trump administration by unions representing federal workers. According to TIME Magazine:
A new year has dawned in Washington, and this is what it looks like: a partial government shutdown in its third week; a new Congress sworn in only to sit on its hands; an emboldened House Speaker Nancy Pelosi refusing to cede an inch; and an angry President Donald Trump abandoning negotiations to take to television and make the case for crisis measures…Trump has, after two years of distraction and delay, finally called the question of his signature policy promise, a wall on the southern border, which he insists must be a literal barrier made of concrete or steel. The wall is unpopular with the public and disdained by experts on both sides of the immigration debate. But the President is obsessed with playing to his hard-core base of supporters–and with his own self-image as a dominant alpha male–and caving would be an epic humiliation that could render him a premature lame duck and weaken his position ahead of a tough re-election campaign. Trump has been, if you will, pushed to the wall.
Garbage, human waste, and security concerns are piling up at national parks where most of the workers are on furlough. Stopgap measures of as yet undetermined efficacy have been put in place to keep people from being without their food stamps and income tax refunds. Immigration courts, already burdened by backlogs, have slowed to a crawl as a result of the funding impasse. Routine FDA food inspections aren’t being conducted because of furloughed workers. There has been an increase in TSA agents calling in sick or quitting in response to being made to work without pay, which represents a potential security threat at the nation’s airports. It’s a mess. It’s Trump’s mess. And we are all left in its midst.