Our Long National Nightmare

Memo to the Future:

We don’t know what horrors you’ll be seeing — American pandemic deaths just passed a quarter-million here, and what was frozen on our planet is rapidly thawing — but we’d like to tell you about our week.

Remember the United States? The federal republic version, not the warring fascist and socialist versions, each claiming the name? Yeah, still here, this moment, anyway. But it came close!

That was our week, seeing how close it would come to falling apart.

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“It ain’t real on the ground,” we had told a friend on Friday after the respected website Decision Desk HQ called the race, “until it hits the airwaves.”

Lordy.

The moment was operatic, out of The Godfather, the networks simultaneously settling all family business, the sheer finality of it all.

And a moment later, the videos started flooding in.

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Armed Insurrection: 20-1

The President of the United States Erupts in a Flaming Pyre of Despair in the Rose Garden: 10-1

You Picked the Wrong Week to Stop Sniffing Glue: 3-1

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One of the popular online parlor games of late has been wondering whether Donald Trump will give up power if he loses.

You know how it works: Someone says he’ll just squat in the White House. Then Defenders of the System rush in to say that can’t possibly happen, the Secret Service will escort him from the grounds, and besides, his term ends January 20 one way or another, and if there’s any question about succession, Nancy Pelosi steps in.

Fear not! It’s in the rules!

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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.

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So, what’s the point?

We know how the Senate trial’s gonna end — we’ve always known how it would end — and while there may be a few twists along the way, the conclusion is not in doubt.

So why bother? What’s the point?

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Impeachment was always going to go down in flames. We knew that going in. It would pass the House, die in the Senate. Some argued that the certain futility made the exercise pointless, perhaps even prone to backfire.

Our attitude has been: Go down fighting.

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