Democracy in America

The Senescence of the Senate

During Tuesday night’s vote on the motion to open the Senate healthcare bill for debate, senators representing 143 million citizens voted in favor, while senators representing 179 million citizens voted against.

This was considered a tie.

To break the tie, a man who was elected with almost three million votes less than his opponent stepped in to bring the bill to the floor.

And with that, the Will of the People had been expressed.

The Senate is the only institution in American governance that does not even pretend to represent Americans. Instead, it represents territorial units of America, land instead of people. That land is not evenly divided, but the result of historical circumstance. And that land does not include the District of Columbia, which boasts more souls than Vermont or Wyoming.

There is no reason for any of this.

There are only excuses.

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The Coup

You might say, with justification, that it has already happened: That the moment Donald Trump fired James Comey was the moment our government was overthrown by a hostile power.

Trump’s action was within his authority as president. But it went well beyond conventional abuse of power. He fired Comey to save his own hide. And the Republican traitors in Congress let him get away with it.

But if you’re looking for a line, a clear line that indicates Before & After, a red line that separates Democracy from Tyranny, that line hasn’t been drawn yet. It’s about to be. That line is about to be drawn so clearly that there can be no evading its consequences.

When Robert Mueller is fired, the coup against America will be complete.

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The Hiring Committee

We’re sorry, you do not meet our needs at this time.

When we first read the Federalist Papers, in our early twenties, we were most impressed by the Founders’ understanding of human nature, and the nature of power. This was not an idealistic government built for the Shining City on the Hill — it was designed for the dirty, grubby people in the valley.

The part we all know is the Separation of Powers, with Checks and Balances. But the design was much more thorough than that: overlapping variations in terms, protection for smaller states, a notorious method to offset the power of the Free North against — let’s not kid ourselves here — the Slave South.

Where Congress represented the interests of States and Citizens, the Presidency was designed to represent the nation as a whole. And, as the most powerful position in their structure, the Founders were very particular about how someone might achieve that prize.

To that end, they created a hiring committee.

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The Usurpers

And now for something completely wrong.

Come January 20, two of the last three Presidents will have taken power without the consent of the governed.

This is a problem.

As we write Friday evening, three nights after the election, Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by about 400,000 votes of 120 million cast. Because of an artifact of history, these numbers are legally meaningless. And, until 2000, for six generations — 112 years — they might as well have been. For six generations, for more than a century, the Electoral College was a ceremonial formality that, for practical purposes, merely codified the popular vote.

Until it wasn’t.

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Exit Left to Funway

What has been seen cannot be unseen.

Unless something goes horribly, horribly wrong — What? Here? — Hillary’s gonna win tonight by a hundred electoral votes. If that’s news to you, well, blame the news, which as usual is fixated on reporting every score except the one that matters.

And after tonight, we’ll never hear about Donald Trump or this election ag— hahaha haha HAHAHAHAHAHA…

Er, sorry. What we meant to say was, We’ll never hear the end of it.

So while we’re searching for a hemorrhoid cushion in preparation for the endless Congressional investigations to come, you’re invited to squat on our election Open Thread/PTSD Support Group. Tonight’s drinking game is whoever wins, drink until you forget.

Life on Mars

Hello, Marvin? This is Wall-E.

As it happens, we were called away to the Ancestral Home last week to Settle All Family Business, so we missed pretty much the entire Decline & Fall — The Tape, The Debate, Ken Bone, The Whatever-The-Opposite-Of-Bimbo-Eruptions Is. And, arriving back at Mile-High Stinque Domination Headquarters, all that was left was predictions/fears of post-election mayhem.

Oh, and this thing tonight.

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A Wild and An Untamed Thing

Your mission is a failure, your lifestyle’s too extreme.

You know the best time we ever had in an audience? Rocky Horror Picture Show, 1979. It was still fresh — first time in college-town Eugene — and while we were a total novice, we had some knowledgeable friends to instruct us in the Mysteries of hot dogs and playing cards.

So we’re thinking about the Town Hall debate tonight, how the format calls for questions from the audience, and really, wouldn’t you rather be dancing the Time Warp in the aisles and throwing household goods at the stage?

But short of that, we suspect you’ll be yelling DAMMIT repeatedly as you watch and join us for our Presidential Debate Open Thread/Sex Comedy. Don’t dream it. Be done with it.