One Last Shot

World War II — the American part of it — lasted less than four years.

It must have seemed like forever.

Time does that. We can measure time — by day, by year, by atomic second — but the experience of time is not the duration of time. If we’re having a good time, time flies, we don’t know where the time went. If we’re miserable, well…

It’s been a long time since November 2016. Less than four years.

2018, the first ten months of it, must have been the longest. We didn’t know what November would bring. At best, it wouldn’t bring relief, not a total halt, but at least a brake, some sand in the gears of tyranny. If not Normandy, at least—

What? Hell if we know. It’s not like we binge the History Channel. It’s not like we’re our dad.

Catch-22, that’s more our speed. The cluelessness of power. The pointlessness of bureaucracy. Guts spilling all over the place.

The Greatest Degeneration.

But here we are, 75 years on, and the world still isn’t safe for democracy. God knows America isn’t. If America was safe for democracy, we wouldn’t be worrying about this November, worrying that a tyrant would retain power without the consent of the governed — nobody’s pretending Trump has a chance of winning the popular vote — worrying that a Senate determined by arbitrary land mass would continue packing a judiciary with no sense of justice, worrying that citizens themselves would be jumping through arbitrary hoops and surmounting arbitrary obstacles just to exercise their right to vote.

We wouldn’t be worrying about any of that.

That would still leave the 40 percent of Americans who are raging, racist, traitorous assholes, but we can’t choose whom we’re born among. Democracy means we have to suffer them, try to contain them. It doesn’t mean we have to let them drive us off a cliff.

But, heck, America doesn’t have a democracy, so we do what we can. And we have one last shot at keeping it all from going to hell.

The impeachment circus will probably last another week, before it reaches its preordained conclusion. The point will have been made, the traitors declared. And then it’s a straight shot to what passes for an election in these parts. Plenty of noise and clutter along the way, plenty of grief this spring, but let’s be clear about the stakes:

If the tyrant retains power, with the Senate, we are totally fucked.

And let’s be clear that while there’s a frightfully solid chance of that happening — again — it’s not certain.

Let’s be clear about that. Let’s be clear that despite the structural and deliberate obstacles, despite the damage that will take years to repair, despite the planet boiling as we dawdle, it’s not hopeless.

Yet.

Yet.

Yet.

But it’s pretty fucking close. Let’s be clear about that, too.

13 comments:

7:32 pm • Sunday • January 26, 2020

My mom, born 1932, remembered it always being wartime (or nearly so) and FDR had always been president.

8:26 pm • Sunday • January 26, 2020

@blogenfreude: Never thought to ask my parents, born ’32 and ’34. Their childhoods in Alaska and the Oregon coast had different priorities.

1:26 am • Monday • January 27, 2020

Bank-shot exception: Trump wins the Electoral College, but Dems take Congress. There will be plenty of high-level fretting whether to go through that again — and plenty of pressure to do it right this time.

9:51 am • Tuesday • January 28, 2020

How low does your self esteem have to be for you to think that you can vote for someone who is good enough to rule over you?

11:04 am • Tuesday • January 28, 2020

@Ed: Having a problem parsing the logic of that. So, in my confusion, I’ll say that someone’s ruling over me whether or not I vote, and often it’s not a question of who’s good enough, but who will do the lesser harm in the position.

And, well, I’m okay with that, given that I’m not a hereditary monarch. Being effectively ruled by a minority of my fellow peasants is another matter.

3:37 pm • Tuesday • January 28, 2020

It’s gonna be a race to see whether government prosecutors, end-stage dementia, McDonalds & Coke, or terminal syphilis solve our white trash fascist dicktator problem.

3:51 pm • Tuesday • January 28, 2020

/seen online/

Sharing a nation with Tr666p MAGAts is like being trapped on an airplane in a tailspin, with 40% of the passengers thrilled that the lunatic pilot is about to crash us full-speed into the ground.

4:14 pm • Tuesday • January 28, 2020

I caught a CBS story over the weekend about Doris Miller, a young black man who joined the navy just in time to be bombed at Pearl Harbor.

Apparently, black men weren’t allowed to use weapons, so he was basically a butler that served the white officers. However, during the bombing and with no prior training, at age 22, in an act of incredible courage, he manned the ship’s anti-aircraft guns to fight off the Japanese and give the other sailors time to escape. He survived that day, but was killed in action on another ship two years later.

Can you even imagine having that kind of courageousness? Or defending the racist people that treated you like a second class citizen? Just think of all the people who died that day not knowing why, nor that the day would change the course of US and world history. Miller was a true hero.

The last four decades of ongoing Republican lies and racist kleptocracy have humiliated and disgraced this country, and I just hope there’s something of it left to honor once they’ve been tossed onto history’s trash heap.

7:01 pm • Tuesday • January 28, 2020

I’ve been reading about Tr666p’s impeachment “defense,” and I’m just stuck. Do his lawyers not have any friends, family, or legal colleagues? How are they not totally humiliated by this deranged shitshow, at least “professionally,” and I use that term loosely. Even a Liberty U grad could recognize that they’re full of shit and not even making legal arguments as far as I can tell.

Former Republican Rick Wilson said recently that Tr666p is like political meth for the GOP; they’ve lost their friends, their families, their jobs, and their dignity, and now they’re crawling through the sleaze in the gutter for just one more hit.

9:03 pm • Wednesday • January 29, 2020

@¡Andrew!: How about Dershowitz arguing that anything a sitting president does to get reelected is not impeachable? So would that include, oh I don’t know, having burglars break into the opposing party’s headquarters? Ordering the Army to incarcerate Liz Warren, Amy Klobuchar, & the B-Boys through 2021? Ordering the Army to murder the candidates?

10:00 am • Thursday • January 30, 2020

@SanFranLefty: He beats us because he loves America too much. Why can’t we see that???

10:54 am • Saturday • February 1, 2020

This will not stand.

A year from now, after the RepubliKKKans’ sleazy, cruel, racist, abusive, Dicktatorapist AntiChrist is removed from office and put on trial for his crimes, good, sane, decent, moral, honorable Americans are going to embark on a campaign of deTr666pification modeled after Germany’s post-WWII deNazification program.

A day of reckoning is coming much sooner than they think.

3:18 pm • Saturday • February 1, 2020

@¡Andrew!: What we learned from the Iraq war and financial meltdown is that they — the ruling class — get away with it. They get away with it because who else is there to prosecute them? If they start going after each other, who is left to defend them? We must look forward, not back. We must look away.

Don’t look for Mitch in Chains, or any metaphorical equivalent. Won’t happen. The national media is part of the ruling class too, and it’s impolite to hold each other responsible. It’s all just Both Sides in those parts.

What you envision — and I wish it were so — requires a revolution, social if not political. And that, in the end, is generational. We’re still living in a Boomer world. Maybe another ten years.

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