Just in time for Christmas — trading cards!

The last time Donald Trump teased a “major announcement,” he declared his intention to become the first person to lose the presidential popular vote three straight times. Establishment Republicans winced, Democrats cheered, and MAGA nation fired their AR-15s into the air before falling asleep 45 minutes into the announcement.

So, when Trump teased last week that he had another “major announcement,” I was pretty darn excited. With most presidential preference polls showing both Trump and Biden well behind everyone from Ron DeSantis to Pete Buttigieg to “bucket of hamster vomit,” I figured it would be something major indeed to stir up excitement about his campaign. Perhaps he had picked Marjorie Taylor-Greene as his running mate or would tout an endorsement from Kid Rock.

Nope. Trading cards. Not even real trading cards that you can hold in your hand while you chew the bubble gum that came in the pack, but digital NFT trading cards — which means you can buy them with the imaginary dogecoin you got from Uncle Bigfoot after his UFO ride. And, yes, this is a real story … at least until folks make fun of him so much that Trump claims it was all a joke. Don’t believe me? Go to collecttrumpcards.com, where you can buy the cards and see a message from the former president that begins:

“Hello everybody. This is Donald Trump, hopefully your favorite president of all-time, better than Lincoln, better than Washington, with an important announcement to make.”

I swear I am not making that up. While Trump may not be my favorite president, he is solidly in my Top 46. And he’s got a point. I mean, Lincoln and Washington never got their own trading cards. Losers. Besides, Lincoln merely quelled a rebellion. Trump started one, which takes way more skill. And Washington couldn’t even tell a lie,  while Trump mastered the art form.

I probably won’t be purchasing any Trump cards — mainly because they’re “only $99 each.” Granted, if you’ve got the money, you might want to buy one because you’ll be entered into a drawing in which one of the prizes is dinner with the former president, an honor normally reserved for neo-Nazis and porn star mistresses. For me, though, $99 seems a bit much for a digital trading card, even if they do show captivating images of Trump shooting lasers out of his eyes (I assume at the “fake news” and “enemies of the state”) and display Trump’s ripped physique — courtesy of Col. Sanders and Ronald McDonald — so accurately captured by the artists.

I have purchased plenty of trading cards that you could actually hold in your hand. I wasn’t one of those folks who put valuable cards into protective cases and sold them 30 years later for a million bucks. No, I was too young and stupid for that. Although, I did have one semi-valuable baseball card — a Mike Schmidt rookie card. On the back, it had the special added feature of my little sister’s name on it in red crayon, which I assume makes it super duper valuable.

I would take my baseball cards out and assemble them on the floor in the positions they would play. It was pretty depressing because I rarely got decent players in my packs and had to try to win with folks like Jay Johnstone, Doug Flynn and Rick Camp. I understood how the Atlanta Braves’ general managers of the mid-1980s must have felt.

I didn’t just have sports cards, though. I owned card sets from Star Wars, Jaws, The Dukes of Hazzard, Charlie’s Angels and Superman. Why? I have no idea — although I did occasionally have to put Chewbacca at first base to fill out my baseball card team, while Kelly was a pretty decent pinch runner from the Angels.

I do wish Trump’s cards were not just digital. I’d like to have a collector’s pack and possibly some related series like the Fake Electors starter pack and the Once-Respected Lawyers edition. A Rudy card could be worth a good 35 or 40 cents someday.

Everybody’s joking about Trump’s new trading cards, but I’m sure he’ll be laughing all the way to the bank. Besides, if Crazy Cooter from The Dukes of Hazzard can have his own trading card, why not Captain Con Man?

When Trump announced these cards, I wrote my weekly commentary in about 15 minutes. I knew SNL would pounce, as well. It was just too easy.

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