Trump’s Perfect Phone Call, Georgia Edition: A Mick-cratic Trialogue
In which me, myself, and I discuss the latest (non)story about the President’s corruption.
INT. MICKEY’S APARTMENT — NIGHT*
Through an umpteenth story window, we see MICKEY DESRUISSEAUX, a twenty-something law student feverishly typing away at his laptop by desk-lamplight. He is dressed in basketball shorts and a comically oversized hoodie, which does nothing to disguise the fact that his quarantine beard is, quite frankly, out of control.
As MICKEY works on something that has, in all likelihood, nothing to do with the law or the practice thereof, we hear the cacophonous sounds of soon-to-be-former PRESIDENT DONALD J. TRUMP’s recorded voice coming through the laptop’s speakers. TRUMP is midway through a run-on sentence that would cause an English teacher’s soul to try and escape from their body before the damage to both is irreversible, as he continues to whine about the outcome of an election that ended two months prior as he nakedly pressures the officials of Georgia to help reverse the results.
MICKEY has been listening to the full hour-long recorded call instead of reading the transcript, a signal that, for whatever other positive qualities he may or may not possess, he does not exactly manage his time well. Mercifully, the call is coming to an end, to the palpable relief of the other people on the call. As always, TRUMP has the last word.
TRUMP: And the truth, the real truth is I won by 400,000 votes, at least. That’s the real truth. But we don’t need 400,000 votes, we need less than 2,000 votes. And, are you guys able to meet tomorrow, Ryan?
RYAN GERMANY, chief lawyer, Georgia secretary of state’s office: I’ll get with Chris, the lawyer who’s representing us in the case, and see when he can get together with Kurt.
BRAD RAFFENSPERGER, Georgia secretary of state: Ryan will be in touch with the other attorney on this call, Mr. Meadows. Thank you, President Trump, for your time.
TRUMP: OK, thank you, Brad. Thank you, Ryan. Thank you, thank you, everybody. Thank you very much. Bye.
The call ends, and all we hear is the faint hum of MICKEY’s heater in the background and the unnecessarily aggressive thump of his thumbs hitting the spacebar. Then, suddenly, we hear the voice of MICKEY 1 fade in, even as the physical MICKEY PRIME continues to type without saying a word.
MICKEY 1: Well, that was certainly a trip.
And predictably, where there is one MICKEY, there is another.
MICKEY 2: I’m not sure what it says about us that we just listened to that whole thing.
MICKEY 1: I mean, now that it’s over? I think of Trump like a bouncy house. He’s noisy, costly, and more of an existential threat to kids than you’d expect a staple of American life to be. But now that it’s ending, it’s kind of fun to watch him slowly collapse and listen to the increasingly high-pitched whine before he goes away.
MICKEY 2: Yes, it’s a lot easier to laugh at ol’ dude now that he’s been voted out. But still, an hour? If we needed to listen to some rich guy spout conspiracy theories for an hour, couldn’t we just boot up InfoWars? Or maybe Glenn Beck; what’s that guy been up to since the whole “I’m prepared to die for the economy” shtick?
MICKEY 1: Point taken. But Jones and Beck, they’re just cranks.
MICKEY 2: And Trump… isn’t?
MICKEY 1: He’s a crank who happens to be the President of the United States.
MICKEY 2: Sure, for like two more weeks. What’s an overused political metaphor that rhymes with “shame, schmuck?”
MICKEY 1: Shameful schmuck or not, he’s still the President of the United States; he can do a lot of damage in two weeks. Lord knows what the fallout’s going to be from him pardoning war criminals last month. Until Biden and Harris are sworn in, it pays to know what’s going on with him, and it pays to hear it directly from the horse’s ass.
MICKEY 2: But why? What did we learn from this call about Trump that the last five years, or hell, the last decade hasn’t already taught us?
MICKEY 1: We learned that he’s all-but openly threatening state officials in Georgia, and Republican supporters of his no less, to either “find” enough Trump votes to undo Biden’s margin of victory, or throw out enough Biden votes to achieve the same end.
MICKEY 2: Which is something that he basically said he’d be doing from the moment Joe Biden was halfway down the runway to give his victory speech.
MICKEY 1: Okay, but quick side note, how cool was Biden’s runup?
MICKEY 2: Christ, you kidding me? It was cool as hell!
MICKEY 1: Man came in like a closer ready to get three outs in the top of the ninth.
MICKEY 2: More like a surprise 30th wrestler whose theme just hit at the Royal Rumble.
MICKEY 1: I can hear JR on the call now: “By GAWD, that’s Joe Biden’s music!”
MICKEY 2: Technically, it was President Obama’s music first.
MICKEY 1: Yeah, see, I feel like if we start picking apart everything about Joe Biden’s presidency that Barack Obama did first, it is going to be a looooong four years.
MICKEY 2: …fair point. Back at it?
MICKEY 1: Back at it. So anyway, the fact that the Washington Post actually managed to get the audio of this call? This isn’t gossip or rumors or palace intrigue anymore. This is a smoking gun of yet another potentially impeachable offense, and that still matters.
MICKEY 2: Oh, be still my cholesterol-ridden heart! A smoking gun? Dear me! I’m sorry; isn’t this the same guy who said that he could stand in the middle of the street, shoot someone, and not lose a single vote? And then after he basically did just that by FUBARing a global pandemic to the point that over 300,000 Americans and counting have died, he got rewarded with ten million more? Isn’t this the same guy who already got impeached by the House for basically the same thing with the president of Ukraine, and got acquitted by the Senate? That’s the guy we’re still trying to nail with smoking guns?
MICKEY 1: So… what? We just ignore the fact that the sitting President of the United States just tried to bully a state’s chief election official into overturning the election results in a desperate attempt to stay in office?
MICKEY 2: I’m not saying we ignore it. I’m just saying it’s not worth getting outraged over.
MICKEY 1: …come again? It’s “not worth getting outraged over?” Maybe you didn’t quite hear me, I’ll try again through cupped hands: THE SITTING PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES JUST TRIED TO BULLY A STATE’S CHIEF ELECTION OFFICIAL INTO OVERTUR —
MICKEY 2: I heard you; part of the fun of being a hacky representation of an otherwise instantaneous internal monologue is that the audio levels never need to be corrected.
MICKEY 1: Point taken. But seriously, if you’re not going to get mad at this, what are you going to get mad at?
MICKEY 2: Dude… pick a number. The good folks over at McSweeney’s have got an itemized list of Trump bullshit that hits the quadruple digits; this doesn’t even crack the top fifty. There’s the aforementioned pardoning of war criminals, cranking up federal executions on the way out the door —
MICKEY 1: Yes, breaking news: Donald John Trump is an awful human being and a terrible president. More at eleven. But still: the sitting president of —
MICKEY 2: Really don’t need to say it again, homie.
MICKEY 1: Apparently I do! If we just twiddle our thumbs about the proverbial leader of the free world openly plotting to dropkick the country into the abyss of authoritarianism, we’re just supposed to shrug it off because, what, we already knew he was an incompetent goon and we already know that it’s not going to work? What happens when the next guy tries to pull that shit, maybe in an election that’s even closer than this one? After everything we’ve seen in the past four years, do you really think our vaunted democratic institutions are that strong? Have you not seen Ted Cruz’ final deevolution from a “principled conservative” into Trump’s Wormtongue? Have we already forgotten that Senator Tom “I’m an Army Veteran Who Wants to Have the Military Shoot Protestors of Police Brutality” Cotton is just waiting in the wings? Where do we draw the line?
MICKEY 2: I’m sorry, “draw the line?” What line? I mean, every president of every party, good or bad, has something to answer for, and Joe Biden probably won’t be any different when all is said and done. But if there was ever a line that Numbers 1–44 wouldn’t cross, there isn’t anymore. Trump crossed the line, crossed back over, crossed it again, picked it up, flossed his teeth with it, jumped rope with it, and then wiped it across his ass before throwing it on the ground, because you know that Mr. “Global Warming is a Chinese Hoax” doesn’t care about littering. If there was ever a line, or a norm, or a principle, then it’s the 2000 NBA Dunk Contest when Vince got through with ‘em: it’s over.
MICKEY 1: I’m not willing to accept that. If it’s over, then the country as we knew it is over, and we’re all just living in a shambling husk masquerading as a democracy worth being proud of. And too many good people have worked too hard for too long to make this country mean something for Donald fucking Trump to be the one who ended it.
MICKEY 2: …whatever you say, dawg. Turning idealism into patriotic drive in the short-term is great, but when you cross over into naivete, I think you’re doing more harm than good.
MICKEY 1: And turning cynicism into realpolitik strategizing in the long-term is great, but when you cross the line into apathy, I don’t think you’re doing anything at all. You can play ball with a Haitian flag bandanna on your head all you want, but until you can speak more than ten words of conversational Kreyol, then you’re an American, playboy. Even if half the country wouldn’t bat an eye if they saw you hanging from a tree, you’re an American. You have skin in the game, and someone who’s been given as many opportunities as you have doesn’t get to cry burnout when there’s work to be done on behalf of the people who never did.
MICKEY 2: Cute. Picked that one up from A Promised Land, did you? How many pages are you into that, anyway?
MICKEY 1: Don’t remember, but keep talking smack and I’ll give you a real good look at the back cover.
MICKEY 2: Bring it, big fella! It’s been a while since we’ve had a battle in the center of the mind, let’s go.
MICKEY 1: *ignites lightsaber*
MICKEY 2: *activates Blue Triceratops morpher*
UNKNOWN VOICE: Hold! Gentlemen, hold!
MICKEY 1: …who?
MICKEY 2: Is that — ?
But hark! What’s this? Could it possibly be that a THIRD MICKEY has arrived?!
MICKEY 3: Guys, you both raise some valid points, and there’s a reason why Mickey Prime listens to both of you. But I think you both missed something really important about the call.
MICKEYS 1 and 2, in unison: Which is…
MICKEY 3: Look at what Trump says about Stacey Abrams.
TRUMP, 33 minutes in: Stacey, in my opinion, Stacey is as dishonest as they come. She has outplayed you at everything. She got you to sign a totally unconstitutional agreement, which is a disastrous agreement... But she got you somehow to sign that thing, and she has outsmarted you at every step. And I hate to imagine what’s going to happen on Monday or Tuesday, but it’s very scary to people.
also TRUMP, 60 minutes in: Stacey Abrams is laughing about, you know, she’s going around saying, ‘These guys are dumber than a rock.’ What she’s done to this party is unbelievable, I tell you.
MICKEY 3: Doesn’t that remind you of anything?
A pause, then —
MICKEY 1: He sounds like Red Skull.
MICKEY 2: Holy shit, he totally sounds like Red Skull!
MICKEY 3: More like Orange Skull, amir —
MICKEY 1: Dude.
MICKEY 2: Dude. That’s not low hanging fruit, that’s fruit that’s already on the ground. We’re Mickeys, we have a higher standard.
MICKEY 3: Sorry.
MICKEY 1: So does this mean Stacey Abrams is Captain America now?
MICKEY 2: Chris Evans did give up the shield two years ago… maybe Anthony Mackie loaned it to her before the new show drops?
MICKEY 1: And I mean, she did help save America once, what with Georgia turning blue and all.
MICKEY 2: Yup, I can see it.
MICKEY 1: And the best part is, Stacey Abrams might be a lawyer and a politician and an activist and a writer… but she’s also a nerd too. You know that somewhere in Georgia right now, she’s got a mischievous grin on her face knowing that a supervillain is caught on tape yelling about how she’s thwarting all his plans.
MICKEY 2: Does that mean she’s about to do it again? Are the Dems going to pull a two-for-two in the Georgia runoffs?
MICKEY 1: One way to find out.
MICKEY 2: God, I can’t wait.
MICKEY 3: Looks like my work here is done, boys. Should we signal Prime for dinner time?
MICKEY 1: Sounds good to me.
MICKEY 2: Let’s hit it.
As the three MICKEYS fall silent, MICKEY PRIME stops typing and rises from his computer, and EXITS, metaphorically pursued by A PACKER, presumably to make a SANDWICH.
*I don’t know how to format screenplays.