OK, let’s go over this again, shall we, Mr. President? You clearly didn’t take my well-intentioned advice in the past so I’ll try once more. And while it is true the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, as a manners-obsessed native Southerner it behooves me to, as we say down here, lick that calf all over again.

    So here we go. A primer on “how to do” by a red-state dweller who, let’s be frank, finds you boorish and incompetent but as a proud American would be remiss not to at least try to help you out a bit.

    First, a quiz.

    Question 1: When offering condolences to the grieving widow of a slain soldier, should you

  1. Offer soft words of comfort and invite her to tell you about her husband in her own words
  2. Thank her for sharing her heroic spouse with a grateful nation while acknowledging her personal loss and the profound grief of her entire family
  3. Call her a liar repeatedly on social media by disputing her claim that you never called her husband by name and holding her up to ridicule at every opportunity while maintaining that you, in contrast, were “very nice.”


    Question 2: When you visit a hurricane-ravaged U.S. territory where 80 percent of the people still have no electricity and are in immediate danger of illness and death because of unsanitary conditions, should you

    1. Show empathy and presidential behavior by visiting the very worst parts of the island and quickly installing a project commander to coordinate the relief and restoration effort
    2. Remind Congress that Puerto Ricans are Americans and therefore deserving of immediate financial support to rebuild and restore their crumbling infrastructure
    3. Toss paper towels at exhausted residents, mug for the cameras, head back to the airport and tweet hateful gibberish about the mayor while maintaining that you, in contrast, were “so nice.”


Question 3: When at odds with a hard-working member of the U.S. Senate, a Vietnam war hero who is bravely battling brain cancer, should you

  1. Congratulate him on a lifetime of service to this country and indicate that civilized men can and should debate issues without personal attacks while attempting to reach common ground and sensible solutions to disagreements both foreign and domestic
  2. Appear together to affirm commitment for reaching consensus on the best way to ensure affordable health care while referencing the need to extend the insurance benefits enjoyed by Congress to all American families because health care is a right, not a privilege
  3. Remind this U.S. Senator his lack of support is starting to seriously piss you off and he should know big-shot real estate moguls don’t take kindly to criticism and will take you down, brain tumor or no brain tumor


    Sadly, Mr. President, you’ve chosen Option C in each scenario, which begs the question we often ask in the South when confronted with wretched behavior: What ails you? Seriously. What?