Things Fall Apart

Time was when we thought it would be enough to keep a list.

Keep track of every policy he enacted, every policy he reversed, and come 12:01 pm January 20, 2021, switch them all back.

We actually thought that. We knew it wouldn’t undo all the damage he’s done, but at least it would help contain it.

It’s not gonna work that way.

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The New Normal

Which one was it? Oh, right, this one:

“Trump Busts Another Norm; GOP Responds with Silence, Support”

That was the AP headline the day Trump called on China to investigate Joe Biden. The Financial Times weighed in with a full accounting: Of the 53 Republican senators, “not one of the members responded via their staff to express any concern”.

And this was news.

It was December 2016 when news broke that, as the Washington Post put it, “Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House”. It was December 2016 when Republicans responded with silence and support. It was December 2016 when we got a tad pissed and called them traitors for their silence.

December 2016. Almost three years ago. And not a damn thing has changed.

Only now it’s news.

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Turning the Car Around

We’re arguing again.

We’re arguing about what to do. We’re arguing about how to do it. If we don’t do it this way, or that, we’re doing it wrong. We’re fucked. If we don’t do it this way (or that), it’s just gonna happen again. Like it always does.

We’re arguing again. We’re arguing with ourselves.

America is arguing.

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A Failure to Excommunicate

We’re not really sure what to do at this point.

Evidence of another impeachable offense has been uncovered. And by “uncovered”, we mean admitted to, live, on national television. That’s about as close as it gets to shooting someone in the middle of Fifth Avenue.

Although we have to wonder whether that would make any difference either.

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The Further Adventures of Brett Kavanaugh’s Penis

“A classmate, Max Stier, saw Mr. Kavanaugh with his pants down at a different drunken dorm party, where friends pushed his penis into the hand of a female student.”

— Robin Pogrebin and Kate Kelly, New York Times

Brett Kavanaugh’s penis would be the first to admit that it couldn’t get anywhere without a little help from its friends.

Whether it was straining its britches while a friend helped trap a woman in a bedroom, or dangling loose while friends pushed it into a woman’s hands, or even just laying low during a Supreme Court confirmation hearing while new friends diverted attention, Brett Kavanaugh’s penis wouldn’t be where it is today without others making sure it gets where it needs to go.

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The Trump Show

“Everyone is entitled to his own opinion,” said Daniel Patrick Moynihan, “but not his own facts.”

No, wait. It was James Schlesinger. In 1973.

We looked it up.

That’s a thing we do, looking it up. You think you know something, but not really, you just heard it somewhere, and maybe you heard it wrong. And maybe sources today aren’t dependably authoritative the way they used to be, but you can use your judgment whether to accept the Wikiquote discussion as sufficient, or follow the links to see whether Schlesinger really was quoted saying that in a Senate Intelligence Committee document.

Ain’t that hard, really. Not if facts matter to you. Not if reality matters to you.

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Bedbugs & Broomsticks

You’re forgiven — hell, blessed — if you don’t know of Bret Stephens, or all the chatter about him this week. God knows there’s plenty of real shit going down, and Bret Stephens is the least of our troubles, no more consequential than, well, an insect.

But he is, for that reason, a welcome distraction, a moment of comic relief as the world unravels. We’d rather have a standup than a string quartet on the Titanic.

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