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Jacob Heilbrunn Politics US Politics

Beware the Trumpy Bear

This advert will truly give you paws for thought

November 12, 2018

12:14 PM

12 November 2018

12:14 PM

There is a new reason to feel bearish about the Trump presidency. Brian Klaas, who writes a column for the Washington Post about the serial threats that Donald Trump poses to American democracy, was one of the first to identify a new ad on Fox for a plush 22” Trumpy Bear that comes with a 28” by 30” American flag tucked inside it that is supposed to serve as a blanket. Two payments of $19.95 plus shipping, the purveyors of the teddy bear assure us, will permit anyone to own an authentic piece of American history. The bear has a blonde combover, a red tie, cufflinks, and he loves golf.

I’m not sure that the Trumpy Bear qualifies as a danger to democracy — it seems to be eliciting guffaws more than anything else and Paddington is probably capable of a lot more mischief — but it does offer a measure of the fervor that Trump continues to command among his followers. They can snuggle and cuddle with Trumpy to their heart’s delight. Isn’t it delicious, delightful and delovely? For Trump’s pursuivants truly Anything Goes.

Unlike Trump’s enterprises, the Trumpy Bear does not appear to be a scam. It has its own website and Snopes has attested to its veracity. The Trumpy Bear, in other words, has received a kind of Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval. Whether you can safely take it out into the rain remains an open question. But the TV ad suggests a variety of options for deploying the Trumpy Bear, including a former Marine shown riding with the bear safely tucked on the handlebars of his motorcycle.

The bear, though, may not send the message that Trump is seeking to send around the world. This past weekend he devoted to snubbing world leaders, apart from Vladimir Putin, as he remained holed up at the American embassy in Paris, where he also issued a series of maledictions about the state of the recounts in Florida and Arizona. My guess is that a lupine stuffed animal of Trump would be more appropriate than the ursine one that the promoters of the Trumpy Bear are hawking on Fox but maybe that’s a product that’s too grisly for anyone but MSNBC viewers.

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