Friday, April 13, 2018
This is where we are now:
The only reason to vote for the Democrat is because you can't vote for the Republican. This has often been the case in American politics, but at the moment it's worth chiseling into the side of Mount Rushmore or Grant's Tomb.
The Democrats are making it tough, however. In the age of the Great Humiliation, with a uniquely unqualified and odious entity occupying the Oval Office, the Democrats have offered no standard bearer, or bearers, to hold up the flag of reason or even solidarity with the American people. No one really knows what the party stands for. Instead we are left to trust that everything will be pulled together by a bunch of geriatric pols who, even in the face of Trumpism, can't quite commit to their principles or even the party; Nancy Pelosi, Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders (not even a Democrat). How about Dianne Feinstein arm-chucking and yucking it up with Trump in the cabinet room, mere days after seventeen kids lost their lives at the hands of the NRA? Sorry, school shooter.
There's no Bobby Kennedy here and no Gene McCarthy. It may be a mark of how low we have sunk that I sit and grieve, long winter evenings, over the absence of Adlai Stevenson.
The Democratic scheme appears to be this: win the mid-terms --"just because, really, how can't we?" -- and then and only then will the new leader or leaders reveal themselves and swan into victory in 2020, unseating Trump.
This, on the face of it, is a good idea. Certainly taking back both houses of Congress seems necessary, although politically it may be lethal. Consider that when you control both houses of Congress in 2018, you may very well wind up having to defend your control of both houses of Congress in the 2020 presidential race and thereby, lose. Voters can really stick it to you. On the other hand, if you only win one house of Congress (to wit, the House), you can always blame the Senate, just as the other guys will blame the House. This seems a good old-fashioned American stalemate deal, and I'm all for it. It won't get Trump impeached, but impeachment would only give us President Pence, who would be unbeatable in 2020. Mark my words.
That leaves us with the problem of the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidate, who appears to be a player to be named later. The only thing we know is that the candidate probably can't be black, can't be a woman, and probably really shouldn't stand for much other than just being a decent person who doesn't blow the place up. Gerald Ford! I would certainly vote for Gerald Ford at this moment. Who would not?
So that saddles us with Trump until 2020. The unimaginable moron. But, in fact, it's only his behavior and not his core that is unfamiliar to the Oval office. A semi-literate who gets his insights watching cable news is not that far, really, from St. Ronald Reagan, who only cottoned to the dangers of nuclear war (something he'd been promoting on the stump for years and years) after watching the TV movie "The Day After", who pulled the Strategic Defense Initiative (Star Wars) out of a 1950's pulp magazine, and realized that AIDS was a problem when he saw on Entertainment Tonight that fellow movie star Rock Hudson had it. His briefings on geo-political structures were done as little film-ettes, if you want to further the comparison.
Trump, in fact, isn't the problem. He may have thrown a little fuel on the fire of the Great Humiliation, and at the moment he's its standard bearer, but the match was lit and the fire fanned by the Republican Party.
I wrote in October 2016 that the Republican Party was destroyed. The fact that it won the White House and both houses of Congress hasn't changed my mind one bit. In fact, each day proves that I am Cassandra.
There is no question what the Republican Party is, and we must stop pretending that there are Good Republicans and Bad Republicans. In terms of people in power, there are only Bad Republicans now. Let's call it for what it is:
The Republican Party is the party of white nationalists. It is against brown skinned immigrants. It supports cops killing young black men. It is the party of the NRA and therefore, supports school murder. It is against women having any say in their bodies or receiving equal pay. It wants to get rid of welfare and Social Security. It is in favor of ballooning the federal debt and deficit, trade wars, and pointless nuclear saber rattling with equally unstable regimes (the United States now must count as an unstable regime).
But most of all, the Republican Party is against the very people it requires in order to stay in power. It is against people who work for a living, folks who focus their entire life around Friday. Cashiers and mechanics and medical technicians and farmers and fast food workers. Elected Republicans are in the business of screwing these people while holding them up as the very essence of American exceptionalism. These suckers, these rabble. The genius of the chicanery works this way:
In order to stay in power, Republican con artists like Paul Ryan have convinced working Americans that they don't need any form of social assistance, improved medical care, decent education, or even clean drinking water. Wanting such things means you're not self-reliant or a rugged individual or, obviously, American.. And in exchange for not getting these things you don't need anyway, the Republicans promise the only two things that really matter: curbing immigration of brown people and stopping a woman from having an abortion. This is one of the greatest cons of all time, and I have yet to answer the question that plagues me: do the Republican legislators know that they're con artists or do they believe that the patent medicine they're selling has magical properties?
So the real culprits in the Great Humiliation are the non-presidential members of the Republican party. Every single one of them. Slam the door in their face if they deign to visit you. Tear up their leaflets. Send a message: no more of this crap.
That way, we might get an alternative that even though it swindles, at least tosses a bone to working people every now and then. Bring back the Federalist Party or the Whigs perhaps. Bull Moose might work. Anything other than this band of socially incorrigible swindlers selling cheap suits from the trunk of their car. That alternative much include the Democrats.
In 1964 Martin Luther King Jr., a socialist, said that he didn't see how any grown man of color, in good conscience, could vote for Barry Goldwater. We are not all men, we are not all of color, but I can't imagine how anyone of any conscience could vote for the folks who are worse than Goldwater. And yet here we are.
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