Trump vs. Underwood/Spacey: Who’s the Creepiest President?

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Kevin Spacey

With the actual POTUS venting all alone tweeting in the White House, and a reanimated Francis Underwood back from the dead to obliquely address new charges of sexual assault, America has to ask: Is life imitating art, or has string theory somehow catapulted us into some scary new corner of the Spider-verse web?

Apparently, what both the fake president and the temporary real one have in common are cojones of brass and the arrogance to double down on the most indefensible decisions of their lives.

Is This The Real Life?

Over the holiday weekend, the current Oval Office occupant shut down the government and fired the Defense Secretary who’d already quit just so he wouldn’t look quite so impotent. Then he suggested to a seven-year-old that she needs to wake up and smell the eggnog when it comes to believing in Santa Claus, and then spent Christmas Day bellyaching that no one, but no one, is as great as he is — and how very lonely and disappointing that can be. While that might be more than enough for some, he turned up in Iraq the next day to brag to our men and women in uniform about a pay raise he’d given them — which he hadn’t.

Meanwhile, in another part of CrazyTown, actor Kevin Spacey responded to new charges of sexual aggression by issuing the most disturbing I’m More Guilty Than You Could Possibly Imagine video while tidying up in the kitchen with a smart little Christmas apron on. What?

Apparently Doubling Down is the new “sorry/not sorry,” and Kevin Spacey (who had a sideline occupation teaching theater online) has provided an instructional video that could set the gold standard for years to come.

Have a look:

This from the man who’s facing his first criminal charge for alleged sexual assault. Spacey was publicly accused by former Boston news anchor Heather Unruh that Spacey had assaulted her teenage son in July 2016, at a restaurant on Nantucket island. According to Unruh, “Spacey stuck his hand inside my son’s pants and grabbed his genitals.” And bad news for Kevin/Frank: His groping was caught on camera — and it’s likely the angle didn’t get his good side.

The actor is scheduled to be arraigned on a charge of indecent assault and battery on Jan. 7 for plying an 18-year-old male with alcohol before groping him. If convicted, Spacey faces up to five years in prison and could be required to register as a sex offender.

Is This Just Fantasy?

In the three-minute video, the actor leans into Frank Underwood’s southern drawl to recreate one of his House of Cards breaking-the-fourth wall moments when he addresses the camera directly as though he’s talking to his audience directly.

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“You want me back,” he says, ominously. “Of course, some believed everything and have just been waiting with bated breath to hear me confess it all. They’re just dying to have me declare that everything said is true and that I got what I deserved. Wouldn’t that be easy if it was all so simple? Only you and I both know it’s never that simple. Not in politics and not in life. But you wouldn’t believe the worst without evidence, would you? You wouldn’t rush to judgments without facts, would you? Did you?”

His defense, if that’s what it is, runs disturbingly parallel to that offered by 45’s attorney, the onetime law-and-order mayor Rudy Giuliani, whose claims about what his client knew and did are in constant backpedal. Like Spacey, the claim seems to be: It wasn’t a crime. No laws were broken. And if having no moral compass was a crime, a lot of people would be headed to jail.

It’s through the looking glass time in America, and neither Marvel nor D.C. has come up with anything quite so bizarre.

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Last modified: December 30, 2018