I have to admit I’m stumped. Fredster cannot think of a thing to do musically, or with movies or another format for this weekend post – zip…nada. Really, all he wants to do is to roll into a fetal position with a blankie and whimper. Too late for a Thanksgiving post and way too early for anything on Christmas just yet. Each day as more and more news comes out regarding the new administration and the new Congress going into 2017, I fear nothing but bad news and bad times are ahead.
I’ve gathered up a few political cartoons below and feel free to take the post and conversation in any direction you wish.
Sigh. That’s all I’ve got. Take the conversation, if any, in whatever direction you choose. Have a good weekend.
Sawubona. It’s an African Zulu greeting that means “I see you.” It means much more than “hello.” It says, “I see your personality. I see your humanity. I see your dignity and respect.” In the African village context, where everyone knows one another, it’s an exceedingly powerful representation of understanding.
As this election recedes in our rearview mirror, the image is one of a distorted mishmash of demoralization. Try as I might, I’m still dwelling on the “why” of the election.
The absolute best analysis I’ve read is this one from Vox by David Roberts entitled: Everything mattered: Lessons from 2016’s bizarre presidential election. WTF just happened? It is a long read, but I urge you to read it if you can make the time.
Mr. Roberts, in a very thorough colonoscopy of the election, parses and susses out what went wrong. As Mr. Roberts explains, everyone has a theory. The conjecture is varied and in no certain order includes: Misogyny, James Comey, rogue FBI agents, Putin, hackers, WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, third-party candidates, under educated males, white working class, rural whites feeling left behind, Republican elites, fake scandals, right-wing press, the press in general, voter suppression efforts, Hillary’s campaign style, and campaign overconfidence.
In coming to the conclusion, “F**k everything and blame everyone,” he says:
Like everyone, I buy some of these more than others. But there are bits and pieces of evidence for all of them. Some of them don’t hold up on their own – voter suppression probably didn’t swing the election, nor did third-party candidates – but all of them plausibly played a role or have some grain of truth.
The most agonizing implication of the narrow loss is that everything mattered.
Every decision to hype Clinton’s emails. Comey’s extraordinary violation of precedent. WikiLeaks, Clinton’s Goldman Sachs speeches. Her refusal to dissociate from the Clinton Foundation. Her poor retail politics. Trump not releasing his tax returns. Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan hiding out, Sanders tarnishing Clinton’s image among young people. Institutions standing by and doing nothing as Trump shredded democratic norms. The gamble that Trump’s misogyny and racism would render him unacceptable.
Fake news on Facebook. Epistemological bubbles. Elite self-absorption. Hot take after hot take delivered to the choir. Americans making the contest into a crass reality TV show fueled by Facebook memes. The press refusing to cover policy.
And whatever else you can name. The Electoral College turned on a 107,000-vote margin (now less than 80,000). All of it mattered. If you’re prone to haunting, crippling regret, that’s where you should focus your energy.
There is one more issue Mr. Roberts delves into at length – racism. He says:
Why be coy or euphemistic about this? Study after study after study came to the same conclusion: What most distinguished Trump voters was not their economic status, but their attitudes on race, gender, and immigration. Trump ran on white male resentment and won because white male resentment appeals to a lot of white people.
Identity. Simple as that. Let me say this point-blank: Politics is identity. All politics is identity politics. You can’t divorce someone’s identity from their voting patterns. Trump’s unvarnished call for white identity resentment drove more non-voting white males to the polls on Election Day than Hillary’s imploring us to find our better angels of inclusion.
There are those who call that type of thinking wrong-headed. For instance, Bernie Sanders, who continues to litigate the primary in his quest to take over the Democratic Party said:
It is not good enough for somebody to say, ‘I’m a woman, vote for me.’ No, that’s not good enough. What we need is a woman who has the guts to stand up to Wall Street, to the insurance companies, to the drug companies, to the fossil fuel industry.
So just a few clicks away from the white male resentment, you’ll find Bernie’s white bro manifesto. It’s a creed of believing in a mystical socialistic dream world where systematic prejudice magically disappears and divine class equality replaces them.
In this romanticized world “identity” is always secondary to class struggle. Who you are doesn’t count. What matters are the dragons Socialists always want to slay – corporations, banks, and the Establishment. There is a failure to understand this is the same old song of “wait your turn, go to the back of the line,” that has stymied women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community for generations.
It is the age-old game of societal Dungeons and Dragons where white males are out chasing dragons while everyone else is held captive in the dungeon. An excellent essay by Spandan Chakrabarti on the subject is, In Defense of Identity Politics: The Soul of the Democratic Party will not Sit Down and Shut Up. When I read this essay the only comment I could leave was, “This! More of THIS! Please!”
As we look at the future of the Democratic Party, hearing that we must chase the wants and needs of fewer than 80,000 white guys in the upper Midwest is the epitome of idiocy. It doesn’t even qualify as a fool’s errand because you don’t have to send out for something that foolish, it will always deliver itself.
Simply put, the Democratic table will never be large enough to allay the sociological angst of these white males. Given the societal changes and the perceived threats, these white males will never share the table. By their very existence, the various Democratic constituencies are intimidation personified to the aggrieved white males.
What this election has taught me, among other things, is that identity matters. Hillary was a champion of all those who have been left behind. She stood for those who were neither heard nor seen. She tried to weave a tapestry across cultures, colors, and orientations. She saw the beauty of our differences and the sanctity of our uniqueness. She taught us that dignity and respect means seeing one another, first as who we are and then as we hope to be.
Hillary said to America, “Sawubona. I see you.” Someday I hope we evolve to the point where we can reply, “Ngikhona,” – meaning, “We are here. We have been seen. Our personal dignity has been recognized and respected.” If we progress that far, Hillary will be owed thanks for beginning us on this path. But until that time, we will just have to admire the superior cultural enlightenment of our Zulu brethren.
What’s on your mind today?
Let’s face it, it’s not as if The Media has ever really been entirely a responsible being. Yellow Journalism has always existed and often some of it has been controlled by the rotten likes of William Randolph Hearst. But today’s public trust of The Media (“Lamestream!” and otherwise) is down to 32%. This is down from its highest rating of 72% in 1976. Frankly, I’m surprised the current number is as high as 32%. We have watched The Media descend into a bloody feeding frenzy of click-bait headlines (BREAKING: AP analysis: More than half those who met Clinton as Cabinet secretary gave money to Clinton Foundation) and ratings-grabbing reality TV style programming. Everything on CNN is BREAKING NEWS! All the time!!!!!! Even when all they’re showing is a bear that broke into some lady’s fridge and ate all her fish or a Trump rally without any editing or commentary. BREAKING NEWS! I suppose it’s possible that at any moment the bear will start singing “Hallelujah!” and Trump will say something reasonable, which would indeed be Breaking News! Alas, the headlines often turn out to be false (no, half of those Clinton met did not give money to Clinton Foundation) and the coverage lacking in integrity (Trump never did say anything reasonable), and all we have is a broken news media to show for it.
While HRC’s relationship with the media is known to be controversial, it’s Trump’s relationship with the media that they should have been worried about. They allowed themselves get locked up in pens at Trump’s rallies, listened to Trump taunt them from the stage, especially female reporters (NBC’s Katy Tur received multiple public shellackings and at one point needed Secret Service to escort her to her car from a rally because she no longer felt safe from Trump’s supporters,) got physically assaulted at Trump rallies and heard Trump’s constant threats that he will sue one media outlet or another for coverage he doesn’t like by expanding libel laws. But all they worried about were Hillary Clinton’s press conferences. This was big big news for weeks, yuuuge news. Even though Clinton always travelled with the full press pool and spoke to them daily and gave individual interviews, they were really worried about press conferences. It was Breaking News for weeks! Well, fast forward and Trump hasn’t held a press conference since July. And he dodges the press pool altogether as President-Elect (vomit) when he wants to because, well, why wouldn’t he! The Media is annoyed now. Maybe Trump doesn’t like them as much as they thought? SAD!
Trump’s two years worth of attacks on the press and their integrity should have given them a clue that perhaps Trump was not their friend. But they only seem to have gotten a clue when the President-Elect (barf) invited them to an off-the-record meeting at
Isengard Trump Tower. The brightest stars of TV news came out. George Stephanopoulos and Wolf Blitzer were there, and there’s David Muir and Charlie Rose! And look, it’s Chuck Todd and Lester Holt! And head of CNN Jeff Zucker, the man who was head of NBC when Trump started firing people for ratings. They ran to this thing like it was an orgy. And then it turned into an execution. “It was like a fucking firing squad!” was how one person inside characterized it. (There’s shooting at both orgies and executions, so I can see how everybody got their signals mixed.)
Trump apparently said: “’We’re in a room of liars, the deceitful dishonest media who got it all wrong,’” This is all allegedly because the meeting was off-the-record. So The Media isn’t commenting. But you can bet your pattootie Trump’s people were the ones who leaked this to the NY Post within minutes. The headlines from Breitbart and Drudge were appropriately gleeful. “Baghdad Kellyanne” Conway, everybody’s favorite contrarian, argued things weren’t as intense as all that. “… no he did not explode in anger. He’s the president-elect. He won … winning solves a lot of problems. Winning makes a lot of statements.” (Yes, yes it does Baghdad Kellyanne. Lots of statements have been made, though I wonder what Baghdad Kellyanne thinks the statements are when HRC is winning the popular vote by 2,000,000 and counting. What statement does that make Baghdad Kellyanne? Kellyanne? Bueller?)
I wonder what the hallowed names of TV news like Rose, Blitzer and Holt think when the President-Elect (vomit) of the United States calls them liars to their face when they’ve tried to use every word except “liar” when covering Drumpf’s lies.When Trump tells Zucker in person “I hate your network. Everyone at CNN is a liar, and you should be ashamed.” What does Zucker, who employed journalist-assaulting Corey Lewandowski as a commentator while Lewandowski remained on Trump’s payroll, what does Zucker think? (He doesn’t think anything of it, actually). Did Zucker know Lewandowski and Kellyanne Conway were still working together throughout the campaign? Conway tweeted a photo of herself, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks and Lewandowski, 4 days before the election with the tag: “Team Work.” Hmm…. Jeffrey, Jeffrey, Jeffrey. What does Jeffrey think? I think we have two options. Either Zucker is an idiot or he knows exactly what is happening and is ok with it because CNN is making big boatloads of money off their Trump coverage. About a billion dollars worth. CBS head honcho Les Moonves said: “”It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS…The money’s rolling in and this is fun.” I hope everybody is having as much fun as Zucker and Moonves!
So with our illustrious TV news anchors and executives executed neutered by the President-Elect (vomit) – what do we have left? I’d say we can expect nothing from the boob tube, it has truly been boobified beyond repair, Lamestream to infinity. I’m afraid print journalism is our only hope. The NY Times, so flawed in so many ways (it’s hard to like a newspaper that continued to employ Rita Skeeter Maureen Dowd… though they also still employ Paul Krugman.) Anyway, the Times also met with Drumpf, but they insisted that the meeting be on-the-record. Drumpf, still fresh off the TV Media massacre of 2016, attacked the “failing NY Times” on Twitter, cancelled the meeting, then re-scheduled it again. All in a matter of hours. Classic Trump! (Does anyone else think he’ll order the launch of a nuke, then change his mind? Will he change it quickly enough to cancel the nuke? Can a nuke be cancelled after it’s been launched? Stay tuned, it will be covered on Breaking News!) Then when Drumpf finally met with the failing NY Times, he said: “I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special.” He then called them “a jewel.” (Charles Blow was having none of it. He refused to attend the meeting with Drumpf and then wrote in an op-ed: “You are a fraud and a charlatan. Yes, you will be president, but you will not get any breaks just because one branch of your forked tongue is silver.” Anybody care to guess what
Rita Skeeter Maureen Dowd thinks?) I wonder if the Times meeting being recorded had anything to do with Drumpf’s fawning tone vs. the off-the-record TV luminaries meeting where he told them all to just go ahead and die? All I know is Drumpf is already up to #7 of this handy “Despots and the Media” Guide. He’s already making his own videos, bypassing the media altogether. Kind of like those videos Osama bin Laden used to make. In the meantime I can’t wait for Trump’s next Tweet about the failing NY Times. It will be tremendous.
Christiane Amanpour, accepting the Burton Benjamin Memorial Award at the Committee To Protect Journalists ceremony, delivered a blistering speech directed at fellow journalists. She had a lot of great things to say about The Media, its failures in the 2016 election, and what it must do to redeem itself.
So I feel that right now we face an existential crisis. A real threat to the very relevance and usefulness of our profession. Now, more than ever, I genuinely believe that we need to recommit to real reporting across a real nation and a real world in which journalism and democracy are in mortal peril….
Never equate victim and aggressor. Never create a false moral or factual equivalence. Because then, if you do, particularly in situations like that, you are party and accomplice to the most unspeakable crimes and consequences.
So I believe in being truthful, not neutral. And I believe we must stop banalizing the truth. We have to be prepared to fight, especially hard, right now, for the truth, because this is a world where the Oxford English dictionary just last week announced its word for 2016, and that is, ‘post-truth’.
What’s on your mind Widdershins? Do you love The Media as much as it loves you? This is an open thread.
Good Saturday and weekend Widdershins
We have a treat today in that our newest front-pager, DYB, has written this post. DYB is no stranger as a guest poster here at TW, having done several in the past. We decided to do this one as a guest post to allow D some time to get familiar with all of the mechanics of writing, editing and in general becoming familiar with the process of creating posts on WordPress. You can tell from his post that he has gonne through all of the anger and hurt that we’ve all felt, and he lets it out!! Enjoy his post!
I’ve stopped counting the days since, well, you know what. While we are told that human mind and body will get used to anything given enough time, I’m not sure “President Trump” is ever really going to sink in enough. Everything in the mind and body rejects the idea, like a diseased organ. As with diseased organs, the only way I think we can get through it is via medication. I haven’t decided how much Xanax is too much before it’s considered a suicide attempt. So I’ve been eating cake, pie, cookies and ice cream.
My mind has been lunging from one thought to another, stream of consciousness resembling a Mahler symphony. I keep trying to find the words that might summarize the feelings, but like the Countess says at the end of Richard Strauss’ opera “Capriccio”: “What is an answer that is not trivial?” (The answer to her question comes from her butler who walks in and says: “Madam, dinner is ready.” Even Strauss thought food was the only answer.) Though perhaps this dog sums things up more succinctly:
But we must face some facts: we are living in a new world. I live just 2 blocks away from the Javits Center where Hillary Clinton was holding her election night rally. That night I was a friends’ party, ready to celebrate. By 8pm we were praying and trying to make deals with all the gods. Alas, the gods were taking a nap. As I finally gave up and walked home at 1:30am along 9th Ave, now surrounded by others fleeing the area, with the Javits Center – lit up blue – in view down every street, I saw a white man walk past Clyde Frazier’s restaurant and scream: “White power!” And I thought: fasten your seatbelts folks, this is our new normal.
What stings now – and I think what will never stop stinging – is what we lost. We don’t know what is ahead of us. Trump is …well, you know. There are no words that are not trivial. We are at a crossroads as a country and as a people. We can go in one or several of millions of directions. It’s impossible to know. But we know what we have lost. One of the most extraordinary public servants our country has ever seen has been kicked to the curb. Who, how, why – we will discuss for many years to come. “She just wasn’t a very good candidate” is the answer Bernie-bro types have been gleefully offering. “You should have voted for Bernie.”
After I collect what is left of my exploding head I respond: “Well, she ran against 30 years of right-wing propaganda, misogyny, every Republican, half of Democrats who couldn’t mute their Clinton Derangement Syndrome for a couple of months, the FBI, Putin and the KGB, Congressional committees, WikiHacks, Bernie and his Bros…and somehow she still managed to win the popular vote resoundingly. So *(*%&^$&*()!”
I really don’t know how Hillary herself deals with this crap. I’m going to digress again, Mahler style. In Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” in the final scene, as the mean Count appears to have caught his adversaries lying to him and they beg for forgiveness he coldly responds to each one: “No, no, no!” When he is shocked to discover that the joke, is in fact, on him and he now faces his wife who will judge him, he says: “Forgive me.” And she responds: “I am kinder than you. I will say ‘Yes.’” Rejoicing all around. Well, I’m not that kind. Where HRC can find the humility and optimism to keep going, I just want to burn the whole world down. So the only solace I take at the moment is in the hope that the human centipedes known as Trump voters will eat every ounce of shit that comes out of Trump ass. Forgive me my French. Sometimes these words are necessary to keep my sanity.
I lunge between despair and hopelessness. Richard Wagner was once asked why he only wrote one opera with a happy ending. He is said to have replied: “Because happiness is not interesting.” He was right, and here we are, living in very interesting times. The first vote I ever cast as a citizen of the USA was in 2000 for Al Gore for President and Hillary Clinton for NY Senate. In 2016 I really was so thrilled to vote for her for President. I wasn’t choosing a lesser of two evils. I was genuinely happy to vote for Hillary Clinton and see one of the most accomplished human beings on the planet become President. But angry, heterosexual white men in a handful of states decided to attach their mouths to Trump’s rectum. (Sorry, more French.) The only real glimmer of hope I currently have is that one day a woman will finally become President. We don’t know who that will be. She might be a grown woman now or she might be a child. But some day she will be President. And she will owe so much to Hillary Rodham Clinton. As we all do and will. Today, maybe we just didn’t actually deserve her.
For now, as I walk my dog every day, we walk past the Javits Center. It is a painful sight. Even more painful are the stamps of HRC on the concrete throughout the area. They are now starting to fade from rain and traffic. And as I look at each one I think: There really are no answers that are not trivial
Given that it’s Black Friday, I imagine Breitbart is shuddered today because the intertubz seems a tad bit smarter. Just a guess, but I’d say there are lots of blue-eyed, SPF 30 users who have their Zeitgeist blankies pulled up snuggly around their German Picklehaube Helmets today.
And well they should be. Things are about to get a little dicey going forward for them and their Tang hued nesting troll-elect. To paraphrase, “Yeah, it’s all fun and games until someone gets the nuclear codes.”
The person tapped to last stir the Tang before military decisions is Mike Flynn. A strange human he is. Understanding Flynn would be a lot easier if “going defensive” had the same ring as “going postal”. I supposed “going offensive” would be an oxymoron for Flynn since he was the military, eagle-nosed guy who led chants of “lock her up” at the Republican National Coven this past summer.
The tidbit finding traction about effin’ Flynn is from a New Yorker article, where he talks about his violation of security policy:
Flynn broke rules he thought were stupid. He had technicians secretly install an Internet connection in his Pentagon office, even though it was forbidden. There was also the time he gave classified information to NATO allies without approval, an incident which prompted an investigation, and a warning from superiors.
Please correct me if I’m misremembering, but wasn’t there an $8.0 million investigative kerfuffle during the election eventually focusing upon one email out of 30,000 bearing a discreet marking resembling (C)? Seems as if that little go-to-pieces lasted a month of Sundays and was a repeated theme to stir up Tang’s rallies.
While lots of folks on Twitter have gone into apoplectic seizures over that issue, this is what gave me pause and I’m abbreviating the narrative for space:
McChrystal, who was appointed to run JSOC in 2003, brought Flynn in as his intelligence chief to help him shake up the organization. Flynn was one of the few high-ranking officers who disdained the Army’s culture of conformity. But McChrystal also knew he had to protect Flynn from that same culture. He “boxed him in,” someone who had worked with both men told me last week, by encouraging Flynn to keep his outbursts in check and surrounding him with subordinates who would challenge the unsubstantiated theories he tended to indulge.
Last week, Trump announced that Flynn would be his national-security adviser, a job that requires strategic vision and consensus-seeking among competing big-dog agencies. Mullen, this week, suggested to me that Flynn would need to change in order to succeed in his new role.
Whether Flynn now learns to bottle his rage, whether he reëmbraces fact over fiction, whether he’s capable of playing the role of a contemplative counselor, will determine the outcome of his most difficult and important mission yet.
If someone said, “Think about these traits – rage, lover of fiction over fact, lack of strategic vision, needing a shock collar of moderating influence, and someone prone to outbursts, would you want that person to be advising the most powerful person on the planet in military situations?”
But he will be.
And if that wasn’t enough to give a caravan of elephants the heart dropsy, how about this? Not only did Hillary battle thirty-years of right-wing knuckle-draggers, the Kochtopus, the BernieBros, and the Trumpanzees, she had to deal with an Ivan SuperPac. This last bunch created “fake disinformation” viewed over 213 million times on the intertubz.
This narrative was conveniently in stasis during the election and only last night reemerged. The Washington Post details the “fake news” assisting the Tang-bot and in turn, perhaps helping “Vlad the Jailer” in swaying our elections. It is described as:
Russia’s increasingly sophisticated propaganda machinery — including thousands of botnets, teams of paid human “trolls,” and networks of websites and social-media accounts — echoed and amplified right-wing sites across the Internet as they portrayed Clinton as a criminal hiding potentially fatal health problems and preparing to hand control of the nation to a shadowy cabal of global financiers. The effort also sought to heighten the appearance of international tensions and promote fear of looming hostilities with nuclear-armed Russia.
Two teams of independent researchers found that the Russians exploited American-made technology platforms to attack U.S. democracy at a particularly vulnerable moment, as an insurgent candidate harnessed a wide range of grievances to claim the White House.
The long and short of it is this:
“They want to essentially erode faith in the U.S. government or U.S. government interests,” said Clint Watts, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute who along with two other researchers has tracked Russian propaganda since 2014. “This was their standard mode during the Cold War. The problem is that this was hard to do before social media.”
There are a few questions circling like a Great White Shark sniffing a tragic Bloodmobile accident. If our proliferation of social media has allowed us to feast upon rancid fake news, is censorship a preferred antibody to the infection? If Putin is emboldened by his adventures, does fact become overrated and optional?
The last question is existential: By sowing distrust, is Russia winning the new Internet Cold War if we can’t trust our elections?
Your thoughts on this or any subject will be welcome.
Coming up with a theme wasn’t easy this year. I thought about doing a takeoff on Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children and entitling it Miss Melania’s Tower for Beastly Boys, but there weren’t enough arrows in that quiver.
So here are some things for which I’m backhandedly thankful.
Thanks to Mike Pence for proving Hoosier hypocrisy is second to none when it comes to the disclosure of emails.
Also, thanks to Mr. Pence for ensuring Donald Trump will be safe for four years as he works on the destruction of the Republican Party.
Thanks to Jefferson Beauregard Sessions for proving racism isn’t just a job requirement for Alabama Senator, but it can also be an asset for the highest law enforcement officer in the country.
Thanks to Steve Bannon for proving to middle-aged Coke addicts there’s always a second act.
Thanks to Donald Trump for not saying “just kidding” after telling white supremacists to “stop it” on 60 Minutes and then naming Bannon and Jefferson Beauregard Sessions to Administration positions.
Thanks to Rudy Giuliani for proving that the extortion of millions of dollars and poor dental hygiene are not mutually exclusive.
Thanks to bankers for proving an entire industry can be into submissiveness in S & M relationships.
As for white supremacists, thanks to the Alt-right for proving you can’t be too crazy to have a platform. Also, thanks to the Alt-right for single-handedly making great strides in turning the country bilingual by translating their speeches from the original German.
Thanks to the Judge in Texas who saved accountants the trouble of calculating paycheck increases for millions of working class Americans by enjoining the raises proposed by President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. Make America great again by working overtime at the same hourly rate.
Thanks to the pundits for using “angry white working class” when “angry white” was enough.
Thanks to Sherwin-Williams for the new spring color, “Angry White”, it is a retro-color that can only be used in areas where time stopped in the 1950s and lady parts are only discussed at the beauty parlor.
Thanks to Donald Trump for creating a market for old pictures of German World War II soldiers by tweeting them out superimposed over the American flag.
Thanks to the Trump Transition Team for draining the swamp by replacing old lobbyist swamp creatures with new lobbyist swamp creatures.
Thanks to the press for not bothering us with the intricacies of the tax-dodging, law-breaking Trump Foundation since it was so much easier to understand than the contrivance around the non-existent conflicts of the Clinton Foundation in keeping eleven million people alive.
And also, thanks to the press for the temporary amnesia around the ten thousand or so articles during the election about the “forgotten white working class man” since all it would have taken was one more article to prove the anger had nothing to do with racism.
One last thanks to the press for not confusing us with any investigative analysis proving that the manufacturing jobs the “forgotten white working class men” were always complaining about were never in the rural areas where these “forgotten angry voters” were.
Thanks to the Robert Mercer family for proving in America any old multi-billionaire can buy an election if you launder your money hard enough.
Thanks to Kris Kobach for not knowing about cover sheets or folders because we wouldn’t want his plan to round-up 3 million people to be a surprise for everyone.
Thanks to Chris Christie for proving lap-band surgery does nothing to reduce one’s ego.
Thanks to Ben Carson for being a fast learner since H.U.D. is only a half a trillion dollar generator and last week he said he wasn’t qualified to run an agency, but since he grew up in a house in a city he believes he’s got the housing, urban, and development parts covered.
Thanks to Donald Trump for reminding everyone what emoluments are and that people still read the Constitution.
Thanks to James Comey for proving a paranoid, subversive, cross-dressing Director isn’t the worst thing or biggest embarrassment that can happen to the F.B.I.
And a final thanks to Hillary Clinton for being too good for America and proving the Harvard research correct that found there is always a backlash against women in leadership positions, no matter how qualified, no matter how experienced, and no matter how extraordinarily capable they are.
Friends, 2016 has sucked. Hard. But, I am thankful we made this journey together. We are more clear-eyed, resilient, and defiant. For those things we can be truly thankful.
Your thankfulness thoughts or just your thoughts will be gratefully appreciated.
Posted November 21, 2016on:
Good afternoon, all. In the midst of furious prepping for my first Thanksgiving at my new house (thank Goddess I have no Trumpsters in my family), I am hastily writing my still-jumbled thoughts on what happened, and how the election has blown “politics as usual” into smithereens. And even though we’ve heard that meme since the Circus Peanut launched himself into this race from the Tower bearing his name in giant gilt letters, what we never heard during the campaign was what that would mean for America. Far, far too late, Americans, even those who voted for him, are starting to understand just how bad it’s going to be, and just how hard we’re going to have to fight back against the dystopian nightmare he will try to impose on our unwilling country.
My first thought is that the election rigging that Drumpf endlessly whined and Tweeted about, 13-year-old boy style, was indeed accomplished – but on Republicans’ behalf. The Manhattan Meerkat benefited from years of Thuglican gerrymandering and passage of anti-Democratic voter ID laws, some “coincidentally” passed in the last few months, to very, very narrowly win a few swing states…while losing the popular vote by (at latest count) approximately 1.7 million votes. The margin of victory in Michigan is less than 12,000 in favor of the “president-elect”; the margin in Pennsylvania is less than 80,000. In the other 37 states not considered “swing,” the voting was not at all close, with vast swaths of the American population agreeing that #lovetrumpshate.
Secondly, with all the bullsh*t about the Orange Creamsicle being anti-establishment and the “outsider” in the race, it was quite clear that the media elites wanted him to win very, very badly. Why? Because now, in the new age of social media reigning over all, they have been trained to worship at the feet of a certain type of candidate they find “authentic” and accessible. Opinion-makers and pundits routinely and incessantly make the case to Americans that what matters most in a President is something they call “authenticity,” but I call “folksiness” – the ability to sound as though you’re speaking off-the-cuff and directly to each person listening. There’s an emotional appeal to candidates with folksiness (otherwise known as “have-a-beer-with”), who, lately, have been combining this quality with feel-good branding and slogans, like “Hope” and “Change” a la Obama, and “Make America Great Again” a la Drumpf. If you think about it, the past several Presidents have all been folksy, whereas their opponents have not been. Bill Clinton: folksy. Dubya: folksy. Gore, Kerry, McCain and Romney: Not folksy (although Gore did win the popular vote, just barely). Drumpf and Bernie Sanders, folksy; Hill a Reeeeee, not folksy. But wait, you might say – I don’t see how a 70-year-old white male billionaire who lives in a huge penthouse in Noo Yawk can be folksy. Ah, but in this case, an emotional slogan and TEH P*NIS were combined with The Donald’s out-of-control Tweeting and off-the-cuff word-salading to make him folksier than HRC in the media’s eyes.