The Four-Flusher

Cartoon by Steve Bell, 2020.

The term four-flusher is rooted in poker, but it has another meaning:



intr.v. four-flushedfour-flush·ingfour-flush·es

1. Games To bluff in poker with a four flush.
2. Slang To make empty claims; bluff.

The Impeached Insult Comedian is clearly a four-flusher. He’s cheated his way through life and shows no signs of stopping. And braggadocio is his jam.

Four-Flusher has another meaning when applied to the Kaiser of Chaos. His weird fixation on toilet flushing has The Hive buzzing:

 Of the many obsessions that Donald Trump inflicted on the public during his four years in office—his hatred of windmillsthe heights of politicianshydroxychloroquine—one of the most bizarre was his fixation with toilets. Specifically, his insistence that it took an inordinate number of flushes to clear the bowl. “People are flushing toilets 10 times, 15 times as opposed to once,” he told reporters from the Roosevelt Room in 2019, claiming the EPA was looking into the alleged problem. “Ten times, right, 10 times,” he told rallygoers the following year. “Not me, of course not me. But you,” he said, pointing to a random member of the crowd, who we assume was mortified by the accusation.

In Trump’s telling, toilets were suddenly requiring nearly a dozen flushes due to onerous environmental regulations, which he insisted were not only killing businesses, but also creating scenarios in which people were spending half their day in the bathroom. Except, not one person—even among those who were similarly anti-regulation—ever came forward to claim that they, too, were flushing 10 to 15 times. This was clearly a Trump-specific issue. That made the whole thing not just ridiculous but deeply uncomfortable, in that it forced the American people to 1) picture the president sitting on the toilet, and 2) ponder the seemingly horrifying things coming out of him that necessitated an absurd number of jiggles of the handle.

This disgusting fixation has become relevant because of the Maggie Haberman story broken, not by her employer the Failing New York Times, but by Axios:

While President Trump was in office, staff in the White House residence periodically discovered wads of printed paper clogging a toilet — and believed the president had flushed pieces of paper, Maggie Haberman scoops in her forthcoming book, “Confidence Man.”

I’m not usually an Axios fan but I’m glad they scooped Haberman. She should have published this story in the NYT instead of following the Woodward example of saving the juiciest scoops for a book.

The document flushing story is classic Trump as it combines arrogance and stupidity in a toxic cocktail of malakatude. Never trust a teetotaler to mix a cocktail even a metaphorical one.

The MSM is minimizing the importance of the document story by deploying the venerable “everyone does it” scam, which is the older sister of “both-siderism.” Additionally, the focus on classified documents is misguided, presidents have the power to declassify. Poppy Bush’s idiot son did it with some frequency. It’s how the dread Judith Miller scored many scoops via leaks from Scooter Libbey and Dick Cheney. That concludes this stroll down bad memory lane.

The destruction of documents by tearing or flushing is a promising avenue of inquiry. A conviction for violating federal document laws can disqualify one from seeking or holding public office. For example, former Clinton National Security Adviser Sandy Berger copped a plea for such a violation and is barred from federal employment. The same goes for former CIA director/General David Petraeus.

The real question is whether the DOJ will open an investigation. I am less cynical than most about that prospect, but the law is slow. Stay tuned.

The Republican reaction to Documentgate is as predictable as a rooster crowing at dawn. They’ll call it picayune and petty, words that describe their feckless leader and his acolytes. This is some serious shit. Even Tricky Dick was loathe to destroy documents. Of course, unlike former President* Pennywise, he was a reader.

Since it punches my Watergate buttons, I originally planned to focus on the plumbing angle of this story. I decided that tales of the White House plumbers unit were too esoteric even for me. Here’s a relic of this approach:

FYI. I just learned there will be a five-part HBO series called The White House Plumbers with Woody Harrelson as  E Howard Hunt and Justin Theroux as G Gordon Liddy. Why did these bozos hate their first names? I’m not sure when it will air, but I’ll be there. Stay tuned.

What’s to be learned from the latest display of Trumpian malakatude? Nothing new but it confirms that Trump is a toilet obsessed four-flusher who is both arrogant and stupid. But will it finally trip him up? Beats the hell outta me. I’m not Karnak.

One more Four-Flusher note: it was the title of a 1919 movie. I cannot resist posting this poster:

Note the torn bit in the upper-left hand corner. Was it torn by Trump? Probably not, it was a Fox Sunshine picture, after all.

The last word goes to a fine band with a dumb name, The Doobie Brothers:

2 thoughts on “The Four-Flusher

  1. I did not know that about the origin of “four flusher.” I used to play a monthly poker game, and one of the guys was famous for betting a four-card straight or a four-card flush (you need five) as if he had it in a hand of seven card stud. We took to calling it a “Henderson straight” in his honor, as we laughed and collected his chips.

  2. Inside joke. The Ultimate Troll, he was trolling us; he was telling us what he was doing and laughing in our faces. Good one too, pure distraction: everyone chalked it up to his diet. Was probably laughing at that as well …

Comments are closed.