The Darkest Timeline

Fans of Dan Harmon’s pre-Rick and Morty joint Community have spent a lot of the past year referring to the events unfolding as “the darkest timeline”; that is, the timeline where the confluence of random events has led to the most disasterous outcome.

Though an entertaining proposition to explain these benighted times, I didn’t take it seriously until today, when

In an extraordinary — albeit veiled — attack, former President George W. Bush delivered a scathing assessment Thursday of President Trump and his policies, suggesting he has promoted bigotry and falsehoods to the detriment of the country and its values.

Speaking at a policy seminar in New York, the nation’s 43rd president never mentioned Trump by name. But his target was unmistakable.

“We have seen our discourse degraded by casual cruelty,” Bush said. “We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism.”

“Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children,” he said at another point. “The only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them.”

George W. Bush is a voice of reason against Trump? Dubya, the war criminal who destabilized not only Iraq but much of the Middle East? Dubya, the buffoon whose criminal negligence was response for the severity of the Hurricane Katrina humanitarian crisis (remember how nearly two thousand New Orleans residents [often poor, often black] died?). Yeah, that guy. If this is the darkest timeline, surely Bush the Sequel is the grinning troll.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Seventy-Three)