Thursday, February 7, 2019

"Nice country you've got here, shame to have anything BAD happen to it..."


     I wrote this before I realized I had gotten an old pre-Valentine's column ready to go, months ago. Well, no rules against filing MORE than once every goddamn day. Just don't get used to it. 

    Yeah, I listened to Tuesday's State of the Union address, the whole 80 minutes, though they seemed like 800. I couldn't understand fellow Dems who "boycotted" it or stayed away with a flourish of self-importance, as if Trump would miss them. That's why we lose. We don't stare the thing we're fighting in the face. I sent out a few aghast tweets, lost in the vast ocean of Twitter snark, for all the good that did.
    A few aspects stood out. The way Trump, representing his entire generation of American exceptionalists, returned again and again to the theme of World War II—he brought in three D-Day vets to sit in the chamber. Highly ironic for an isolationist president who adopted "America First," the slogan of Lindbergh and all the crypto-Nazis who didn't want to enter the war at all. You'd think the man wasn't withdrawing American power and influence from the world stage with both hands. 
    Then there was his prattling on about anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, which I'm sure his adviser, the Jewish fascist Stephen Miller, thought a delicious piece of gaslighting, and no doubt drew chortles from the gang at Stormfront and 4Chan. Make no mistake: Jews fall for this shit as readily as anybody else. I'll never forget running into them, yamulke proudly in place, at the 2016 Republican National Convention in Cleveland. Of course they had their reasons.
    To me, the only part of the State of the Union that seems significant the next morning was his thinly disguised pleading to be let off the hook for whatever crimes the Mueller investigation has been laboriously cataloguing.
    "The decision is ours to make," Trump said, early on. "We must choose between greatness or gridlock, results or resistance, vision or vengeance, incredible progress or pointless destruction. Tonight, I ask you to choose greatness. "
     That would be resistance to him, remember, and his bigoted, ignorant, vindictive policies. Vengeance against him, for selling out his country to the Russians. 
     As bad as that was—the rhetorical equivalent of "Don't struggle, honey, and it won't hurt," the worst was coming. This:
     "Our country is vibrant and our economy is thriving like never before. Friday it was announced we added another 304,000 jobs last month alone, almost double the number expected. An economic miracle is taking place in the United States, and the only thing that can stop it are foolish wars, politics, or ridiculous, partisan investigations. If there is going to be peace and legislation, there cannot be war and investigation. It just does not work that way."
     As naked a threat as any thug ever delivered to a corner grocery store: "Nice place you've got here, Pops, I'd hate to see anything happen to it." Drop the investigation or I'll shoot the economy. 
     The poll numbers were astounding. Yes, not scientific. Yes, those who watched were a self-selective group, perhaps skewed toward Trump supporters, who can watch him speak without tasting a little vomit in their mouths. But still. I've said it before, I'll say it again. Trump is going to win in 2020. He is going to roll the disorganized, bickering Democrats, rushing first to Bernie, then to Beto, some drawn by Howard Schultz, others to Joe Biden, the whole anthill going in a hundred directions, unifying only to utter a quavering Charlie Brown shriek of "How can we lose when we're so sincere?" after it's all over.


  1. I only saw clips of that atrocity.
    But once again, in every applause break, he managed to do a pitch perfect imitation of Benito Mussolini. If you missed "The Dictator's Playbook" episode on Mussolini on PBS, check out when it will be rerun, as it's exactly what Cadet Bonespurs has been doing for the last 30 months!

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  3. Trump and the Republicans sure didn't mind "investigation" when it was Hillary Clinton endlessly being raked over the coals for Benghazi. Sorry, fella, sauce for the goose...

  4. Even two more years of "this shit" is bad enough, but six more years? Then we are headed for deeper shit down the road. That road is mined. If Americans are stupid enough to turn two more years into six, then we are finished. Version 2.0 of the Civil War or the Great Depression? World War 3.0 and Endgame? Maybe, if we're lucky, just Northern Ireland's "Troubles" times a hundred.

    The Orange One would no longer have any need for his perpetual campaign" after 2020, and could do whatever he liked. All bets would be off. Perhaps His Orangeness might just declare a "National Crisis of 2020" and rule by executive order, as President For Life. Or should I just put down the pipe now?

    Yet, somehow, even though nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American electorate, I still want to believe that we won't make the same mistake twice. Like any lifelong Cub fan, I expect the worst, while hoping for the best. Recent surveys show sixty percent of those polled DO NOT want to see a second term for the Current Occupant, and forty percent say that the present government, under Resident Rump, is the worst in their lifetime.

    But will these same respondents bother to get off their collective asses and throw the bum out? If the Democrats do not get their shit together by next fall, and are still dithering between some unknown nobody (or several nobodies) and a Hillary Lite, then many voters will sit out the next dance and stay home. If that happens, then America as we know it is not only toast, but burnt toast.

    Oops, my pipe just went out again. Got a light?

  5. I like the part of the address where Trump backs away from his demand for a continuous wall/barrier. Speaking of the wall, he says: "It will be deployed in the areas identified by border agents as having the greatest need..."
    In other words, Trump has finally realized that his sea-to-shining-sea boondoggle ain't gonna happen. We'll go back to putting up barriers where they're needed. Trump will take credit for that. Whatever.


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