The Republic May Yet Survive
Election night, we were less than, shall we say, hopeful.
“This is really bad,” we explained to a younger friend. “This is really, really bad.” When asked why, we explained that with Republicans controlling everything, there was no brake, no bottom. The trouble they could cause with unrestrained power was endless.
We imagine Republicans thought the same thing. But without the dread.
And make no mistake: There’s some heinous shit going down, particularly with deportations. We have yet to stumble into an active war — nuclear or otherwise — but that’s not without trying. And we hope someone is keeping a list of all the regulations being changed, because they’ll need to be changed back, as soon as the opportunity arises.
But our worst-case fears in the seventy-five days leading up to the Inauguration have not been borne out in the hundred days following. And the reason is the same one that was evident in the week following the Republican convention, the reason we thought we would never reach this moment to begin with:
Donald Trump is a terrible manager.
His incompetence is staggering. Here he has the levers that control the most powerful institution in the world, and he can’t even find them, much less understand what they do. At every turn, he expresses surprise and amazement that things are more complicated than he thought. And rather than hire effective (if evil) subordinates to run the joint — Hi, Dick! — he passes off responsibilities to a blowhard racist and a clueless son-in-law.
A fascist makes the trains run on time. Donald Trump makes his tee times.
Trump isn’t even a good bully. He caves at the first sign of resistance. He whines when he gets punched in the nose. His threats, which once resonated when delivered to adoring crowds, quickly dissolve into their own hot air. Trump has revealed the weakness most undermining to a president: He is not feared.
Given the circumstances, this is all as encouraging as could be imagined, now and going forward. It would take a Clintonian pivot for Trump’s presidency to recover from its disastrous start, and Trump is incapable of that kind of maneuver. (Besides, any pivot would need to be toward the center, not farther right, and Trump has lost any trust that would allow him to build that kind of coalition.) His life is only going to get worse.
And let’s not forget that he’s facing an electorate that didn’t vote for him, which from Day Two has been making its displeasure known, especially to its congresscritters. Or the courts, which are still upholding the Constitution and the laws to keep Trump in bounds. Or even our beloved Freedom Caucus, for whom anything short of perfection is treachery. A president can cause great harm, but he needs help. Trump ain’t getting it.
And Trump’s window of opportunity is closing quickly, if it’s not already shut. The reason we make a fuss about the Hundred Days — besides FDR — is that a president wields the greatest power at the start of the first term, when a mandate is most easily claimed, when authority is least questioned. Six months in, and Congress is already running for protection — those 2018 primaries are already visible, and nobody wants to do anything fucking stupid when the folks at home are starting to pay attention. Trump has wasted half his honeymoon, in a manner that doesn’t bode well for the other half.
Nor does it bode well for Trump himself. Ever since we predicted that he would resign from sheer misery, we’ve been testing that against ongoing reports of his mood. Trump is not a happy camper. He’s working harder than he ever has in his seventy years, and getting no love for it. He keeps resorting to his electoral victory, which was the last success he’s known — or will. A hundred days in, and it’s starting to dawn on him that there is no escape. Another hundred days, and that misery will be unbearable.
Unless he bails. We’re still predicting that President Pence pardons turkeys this Thanksgiving.
Didn’t some “old guys” write a story about a merchant who wanted the power of the king? And then the king got tired of the merchant’s shit and put him in a throne with a sword hanging over it to prove a literal point about how the power and life of a king is always perilous.
At this point:
1) we will have to rename the merchant from Damocles to Trump and throw in a lot of extra stupid. Trump whiny crybaby fail admin is making the bumbling neglectful semi-incompetent evil that was the W admin look awesome.
2) people who vote for the current batch of teabagging republicans have really shitty judgement
3) Dunning Kreuger has found a new bunch of poster boys.
4) hopefully Trump will find the inner strength to stay on to complete his term and fully drown the GOP in his tidal wave of incompetence. I, for one, will not be shocked if we see a lot of GOPers suddenly put out flyers with a D after their name instead of an R.
5) this should end the idea that even a celebrity can run this country… HAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I wish. I expect to see Preznit Kim Kardashian.
6) or that CEOs are brilliant geniuz manager/leaders. Some are, but most seem closer to Trump.
I can’t follow all of the regs that have been changed, and I’ve had to choose the issues I can follow and what I can do without suffering burnout.
Here’s one thing I’ve been wondering about: We’re starting to donate to places that might be defunded, like PP and PBS, unlike before, and that seems to bolster the Rs’ argument that the gov’t does not need to subsidize them.
I’ve wondered if maybe we’re just doing something we’ve always needed to do, because I’m certain that subsidies do not come even close to what these non-profits need, or we wouldn’t be inundated with pledge drives. I dunno. I guess we needed this wake-up call when it comes to supporting the things we love if we think they are important enough to be protected and supported by the gov’t.
The only thing that can save us is their incompetence. Their only way to a win is a Reichstag fire. If I were a senator, and were told we’re getting on a bus to be taken to the White House, I would hide until the buses were gone.
@Mistress Cynica: Right? That was bizarre.
And on Day 101 I watched the new Netflix version of Dear White People, which starts out good, and keeps getting better. Wayyyyyyy better. Like, “why the fuck isn’t everyone talking about this” better.
@Mistress Cynica: Indeed. Many of these morons who are so disdainful of government have very little idea of how the government actually runs. There’s been a lot of panicking and pearl clutching since our Electoral Pearl Harbor on 11/8/16, but as we’ve seen for the last 101 days, Trump and his gang of kleptocrats have little to no idea how to engage the apparatus of gov’t to do their bidding.
I have a new found appreciation the tactics developed by the Tea Party (challenging Executive orders in Circuit Courts that are likely to be sympathetic) over the last 8 years, because they’re now being deployed to stop the Orange Menace.
Turn about is fair play boys. BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!
Take heart, amigos. Tdumbp and the Ku Klux KONgress are on the run, and all they’ve got up their sleeves is their incoherent, fake, wildly unpopular “legislative” agenda.
It’s obvious to anyone with a functioning brainstem that Twitler is an ignorant, submoronic a$$hole that has no idea what he’s talking about. Still dangerous of course, but subject to an effective resistance movement that could limit the damage.
Meanwhile, Bill Shine out at Fox. Hannity better watch his back.
@nojo: Ailes, O’Lielly, and now Insannity–all shitcanned. It’s the end of an era. However! With an extremely stupid version of Lex Luthor (or the Penguin) currently occupying the White Trash House, they’ll all feel right at home at Breinfart Nooz as they compete to win the A$$hole Olympics.
@¡Andrew!: And it’s not like Fox is going to change its coverage or anything. But it’s fun to watch the Alpha Assholes go down one by one.
Even more good news–the budget is saved! The protests are working!!
But while congressional Republicans may have finally averted a crisis, it is Democrats, a minority in both chambers, who are celebrating as conservatives cry that their principles and priorities have been betrayed by their own representatives.
House and Senate appropriators unveiled the text of the more than $1 trillion spending package early on Monday morning. Despite threats of drastic cuts to vital and varied domestic programs outlined in President Donald Trump’s proposed “skinny budget” for fiscal 2018, the more than 1,600-page bill concerning funding through the end of September provides increased spending for the National Institute of Health, the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities, Pell Grants to assist with college tuition, and the federal judiciary — which Trump has attacked on numerous occasions. Additionally, Republicans in the House agreed to continue fully funding Planned Parenthood and saved nearly 99 percent of the Environmental Protection Agency’s current level of funding.
Republicans’ plan does not provide funding for Trump’s proposed border wall construction and only about half the amount sought by Trump for a military buildup.
As rumored, Seb Gorka’s out. Now he can wear his Nazi suit all he wants.
Some have suggested that Twitler/Bannon are using a psyops strategy called “nonlinear warfare” in order to create so much confusion and disarray that we no longer know what’s true.
That’s giving them way too much credit. It’s more like the “agressively ignorant a$$hole who has no freakin’ clue what he’s talking about” dementia-afflicted grandpa strategy.
@¡Andrew!: Some have issues accepting that our nation’s elected leaders and sycophants can be that fucking stupid.
@nojo: It goes back to their peasant mentality that somehow the rich are better than everyone else, despite the social, economic, and political forces that enabled them to become rich in the first place. I mean, how can a buffoonish moron like President Good Brain (and CaliguBush before him) have become successful if not for inherited wealth and connections?
@¡Andrew!: There was a reason for the original estate tax, and that reason remains valid.
@nojo: Well, okay, still rumored. But DeMint’s definitely out at Heritage.
Where is Obama during all of this??? It sounds childish, but I imagined him as an avenging angel ready to slay these demonic orcs (with his brain!!).
I mean, if ever there were an all-hands on deck moment in our KKKountry, this is it. Twitler already has smeared him repeatedly, so why hold back now?
Instead, he goes on a three-month vacation and seems to have dollar $igns in his eyes, and only hears Wall $treet’s ca-ching ca-ching. DIS-A-PPOINTING.
@¡Andrew!: I’m actually happy that the opposition found its voice without him — or any other “leader”.
Regarding his overall silence, I think he sees himself upholding the tradition of presidents not criticizing their successors — never mind that his successor is shitting on every civic tradition within reach. There may also be a calculation that anything he says might backfire — remember, the ACA is much more popular than Obamacare.
But also remember that he chose to “look forward” instead of prosecute the previous administration’s war criminals, because something about the country not being able to handle it. Obama may be inspirational in the streets, but he was always moderate in the sheets.
@nojo: In 2008ish, I think I uncomfortably expressed that I think that being half African and being raised by white people might have had an impact on how Obama sees himself, and that might make a difference in electability. Is he really black? (I hate these questions, but they exist.)
Now we have a biography saying, in part, that Obama ditched his first fiance for reasons including street cred with the homies.
@JNOV: I recall those questions being very prominent in Spring 2008, especially before the South Carolina primary: He wasn’t from the streets, he wasn’t from the movement. He grew up in Hawaii with his white mama, and his daddy was African, not African-American. Obama lacked cred.
I don’t recall anyone outright calling him an Oreo, but he was certainly an outsider.
And yes, let’s not mince words: A well-spoken black man had a better chance of reaching whites than, oh, a street thug with face tats. Especially one who was totally comfy with white folk, since white folk were his folk.
That said, he was still a Black Man in America, a country where his parents’ marriage was still illegal in some states at the time of his birth, where “race-mixing” wasn’t exactly welcome elsewhere, and he sported a politically untimely middle name. Oh, and we was running against a war hero.
Was he really black? This country gave birth to “octoroon”. For the ethnic majority among us, he was certainly black enough.
@nojo: Right. I guess I’m speaking as a black person who has not been accepted as such by blacks or whites.
ETA: Qualify all of the above with “some”.
To complicate matters more, I was raised by light-skinned black people who would not be considered black but for the one-drop rule, the race of the child follows the race of the mother, etc.
When I was a child in the ’70s, my parents were about Black is Beautiful all the while capable of passing for white, both incredibly attractive.
When I started dating my son’s father, my dad said, “JNOV, you can do better.” Translation, “He’s too dark.” Similar coded comments were made on my mother’s side.
I’m not sure if I told my son this, I’ll ask him later, but, in a way, I didn’t want him stuck between worlds. Nonetheless, he is.
Hating race today.
@JNOV: I’ve said before that as a Nice White Boy from Oregon, I wasn’t aware of any of this until Spike Lee’s School Daze — and even then, I don’t know that it would have caught my attention, except for the attendant controversy that he was airing dirty laundry. Oh, so this is important.
So lately I’ve watching Junior in the thick of modern identity politics — which he navigates very well — and then the Netflix version of Dear White People drops over the weekend, which in this respect is School Daze: The Next Generation. For me, Privilege amounts to Things You Can Blissfully Ignore, and man, is this a case in point.
Race sucks. It sucks because there’s no avoiding it in a country with our history, especially since that history has not come to an end, but merely morphs as we go. (Dear White People: Yes, slavery is dead. But Jim Crow is living memory, for starters. Oh, and how is Voter ID going?) And among all its other calamities, you have to deal not just with the dividing line, but all the shades on your side of it.
Whereas all I had to worry about growing up were freckles.
@JNOV: I’m incredibly sad that it’s 2017 and racism is still a massive existential crisis that threatens to destroy our country.
I just hope that the next generation is able to move beyond it and salvage whatever is left.
Here’s the update on Obama, for what it’s worth. If we were hoping for a hero, we can forget it.
After eight years in the White House, Obama feels that he’s earned his retirement, according to those closest to him. He’s completely unapologetic about making high-paid speeches around the country and the world — some of which he’ll do in conjunction with public events in Europe later in the month — and also just hitting the links and hanging out on more exotic vacations with celebrity friends. Writing his book is a higher a priority to him than spending another minute thinking about the Democratic National Committee, despite the work he did to persuade Tom Perez to run for chair and then to lobby DNC members to make it happen.
@¡Andrew!: Does Obama’s $2 million donation to Chicago summer-jobs programs change anything?
@nojo: Not when the entire country’s going down the crapper at warp speed, no.
@nojo: “Obama may be inspirational in the streets, but he was always moderate in the sheets.” Bravo.
Obama is the most respected living political leader on the planet. For him to speak out against Twitler and his incoherent, indefensible, ignorant behavior would have a massive impact, possibly a fatal body blow to the regime.
None of us asked for this living nightmare, and Obama is in a unique position to help end it.
@¡Andrew!: The day of the Women’s Marches, I said that by laying low, Obama allowed everyone else to step up. That argument can certainly be challenged, but I’ll stand by it.
@nojo: I’m inclined to agree with you, however the Dems have been very unsuccessful at grooming their next generation of leaders, which has left the party disorganized, adrift, and prone to fighting each other rather than Twitler.
@¡Andrew!: Yeah, the party’s in terrible shape, and as the leader for the past eight years, Obama can take his share of the blame.
Dems may retake one or both houses next year despite that. But the structural odds remain against them, and so far it’s been the grassroots much more than the leadership that has been putting in the effort. Hell, the leadership would have been happily dancing with Trump if folks had stayed home instead of hitting the streets.
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@mellbell: The app, of course. Who knows what data it’s sending back to the cloud?
@nojo: Control via cell phone seems to defeat some of the purpose.
@SanFranLefty Agreed. I prefer to keep my masturbation analog.
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Shit. Can I move to Monaco?
SANFRANLEFTY • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @ManchuCandidate: Bitch, March Madness is ON! xoxo
MELLBELL • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @nojo: I mooch Disney+ from my sister and HBO Max from my ex. Still need a Hulu hookup though!
MELLBELL • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @ManchuCandidate: As a veteran of last year's tournament, you were re-invited with one click, so…
MELLBELL • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @nojo: I'm just late, as ever. The play-in games started Tuesday, but we've got until tomorrow.…
NOJO • Software Update of the Year @bruce.desertrat: I have failed to get any work done since that dropped.
BRUCE.DESERTRAT • Software Update of the Year Disturbing my cow-orkers laughing at this....
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