nojo

The Bystander

However you game it — impeachment, resignation, 25th Amendment, cholesterol poisoning, capture by flying monkeys — the one person who stands to immediately benefit from Donald Trump’s involuntary rapture is Mike Pence.

And honestly, that would be fine with us. Mike Pence may be evil, but he’s conventionally evil, predictably evil, the kind of evil that doesn’t make you seriously question whether humanity itself will survive him. We can work with that.

Pence is also smart as a weasel, ably distancing himself from the chaos surrounding his boss. He has no role, public or rumored, in the mess that’s unfolding, aside from being pissed that a notorious liar would, heaven forfend, lie to him. Mike Pence is stalwartly Above the Fray.

But when the moment comes for Mike Pence to step up and lead America out of its latest national nightmare, there’s just one problem:

He’s complicit.

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Cold as Ice

In the first three weeks of the Trump administration, we have learned not to trust anything its representatives say.

This comes as no surprise.

To add an additional degree of civic epistemology, we have also learned not to trust anything they say about anything they said. For anyone speaking with Trump’s authority, truth is an undiscovered country.

Which is why, when we are told that this week’s raids on undocumented immigrants are merely a continuation of Obama’s policy, we have no reason not to conclude that such explanations are total bullshit.

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The Resignation of Donald Trump

You were off by one.

Donald Trump was not prepared to be president.

This comes as no surprise. Trump, like everyone else, expected himself to lose Election Night. He had made no study of the office or its responsibilities. He had no previous government or governing experience, not even vaguely relevant experience running a large bureaucracy like a corporation. He was a complete political novice.

He had no idea what shit he was stepping into.

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Meet Me in St. Louis

Never again for the first time.

Traveling to the United States on a tourist or business visa is a straightforward process: You apply at the local embassy or consulate, sit through an interview if someone wants to know you better, pay your fees, and done. Depending on season and demand, takes three to six weeks.

This is how nineteen of the twenty 9/11 hijackers entered our country. The twentieth arrived on a student visa.

None were refugees.

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The Gatherings

Baby, it’s cold outside.

We’re not sure what we expected. We’re not sure we expected anything. Coming of age in the Seventies, in liberal college-town Eugene, “protests” were such a tired tool that we mercilessly mocked each week’s low-attendance chantfest. “Moral preening” was not an expression in currency at the time, but it would have fit.

So we woke up Saturday morning, saw the initial reports of the crowd in DC: Good for them. No, really: It already looked more packed — and clearly more joyous — than the Inauguration the day before, and symbols matter a lot these days. Just ask the Hamilton cast.

And then we saw a video of the Denver crowd.

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Even Nixon Smiled

Say Jeez.

We know that Donald Trump takes his persona very seriously — he’ll watch tapes of his television appearances on mute to make sure his scowl is Just Right. It’s all about the presentation, since the substance is all sand.

And, fresh from his hostile takeover of the Twitter @POTUS account, here’s the Official Look for America’s new Fascist Era, all sunshine and optimism and—

Well, no. If this starts showing up at post offices, you’ll be forgiven for mistaking it for a Most Wanted poster.

Now I Am Become Death, The Destroyer of Worlds

Which Horseman are you?