Despite the mountains and cornfields and interchange developments, a two-thousand mile round trip drive to Wisconsin can devolve into tedium without something to listen to. Luckily, there was plenty of news on the radio.
One report, out of Milwaukee, said Harley-Davidson was shifting production overseas because of increased tariffs on motorcycles sold in Europe and some workers at the company could end up losing their jobs as a result. But they didn't seem to blame President Trump's tariff policy for that.
One worker explained, "I mean, he wouldn't do it for no reason. I look at him as a very smart businessman. And, I mean, if he feels that's what he needed to do, that's what he needed to do."
Yet I couldn't help but think that if Obama had initiated the exact same trade policy, these workers would be screaming.
Other stories followed, including one on how Republicans have bonded with Trump. The worse the news coverage and headlines get about the president, the more his supporters feel moved to defend him. The bad press is simply tiresome they say, and they feel the president is not getting enough credit for the many good things he's accomplished. While they are bothered by Trump's tendency to lie, they don't trust that the media are telling the truth either. The story said despite the constant criticism, Trump's approval rating among Republicans was 90 percent; the only modern Republican president more popular with his party in his first term was George W. Bush when the country united after Sept. 11.
Even a hardened news junkie can only listen to this stuff for so long. It was time to call up some tunes to wash these inexplicable reports out of my mind and lift my spirits. I put on some Billy Joel, seemingly the perfect antidote.
But as the long miles droned on, the news and the music tended to merge in my mind:
"He can kill with a tweet, he can wound our allies. He can ruin the country with his casual lies. He can rant with abandon, blame others with glee. He behaves like a child, but he'll always be POTUS to me.
"He has led us to love him, the more they denounce him. And come the midterms, the red wave will trounce 'em. He appeals to our hurt and our bigotry. Yeah, read fake news all you want, but he'll always be POTUS to me.
"Oooh, he takes care of his base. The wall will be built! America's first! I.C.E. rocks! Oooh, he never gives in. The swamp has been drained! I heard it on Fox.
"And he'll promise you more than the Garden of Eden. And while you're failing, make you believe you're succeeding. Trade war closed my plant, no tax cut for me. But I blame the Dems, for he'll always be POTUS to me.
"Oooh, he can pardon himself. He takes care of his friends, no matter the crime. Oooh, he never shows doubt. They can flip all they want. They'll never do time.
"The Supreme Court and Congress are your personal tool. You can do as you please, you're nobody's fool. And you can't be convicted, you'll get off scot-free. And the most Mueller can do is throw shadows at you, but you'll always be POTUS to me."
Siers is the Observer's editorial cartoonist. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org