Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Continued Stray Thoughts on the Current Political Climate

With the cascade of stupid, immoral, illegal, subversive, un-American, and possibly treasonous things emitted by der Sturmtrumper, his pet Congress, his supporters, and his administration reaching levels that make it nearly impossible for any sane person to keep up with, I’ve started just keeping a running list of observations on the matter.  Every time the list reaches critical mass, I suppose I’ll post it and start a new one.  Can’t hurt; might help.  Here’s the most recent list:


1. Our Confederate Attorney General came out and admitted that he has neither the resources nor the plans to round up all the illegal immigrants that are in the US, the way der Sturmtrumper has been thumping on about since before the election, so instead they’re going to focus on deporting the criminals.  In other words, they are going to pursue EXACTLY THE SAME POLICY THAT OBAMA HAD – precisely the policy that caused the right-wing to go into full-blown nativist meltdown last year.  You know, that one?  I suppose it’s different when it’s the white guys in charge.

2. Continuing the theme of GOP snowflakes melting under the glare of student questioning, der Sturmtrumper’s senior counterterrorism and cybersecurity advisor (and Brietbart fanboy) Sebastian Gorka stormed angrily out of a meeting with Georgetown University students after they had the temerity to continue questioning him after his line of bullshit was delivered.  Honestly, where do they find these people and why am I expected to take them seriously?  Dude, take it from a teacher: if you can’t survive students, you’re not going to survive terrorists.

3. Not only has der Sturmtrumper not actually managed to nominate – let alone get confirmed – candidates for the vast majority of the executive branch positions he is responsible for, apparently he can’t even remember the few he has.  Or maybe he just hires idiots because he’s comfortable with them.  A week or two ago the White House emailed out a transcript of that day’s briefings and listed Steven Mnuchin as the Secretary of Commerce.  Mnuchin is the Secretary of the Treasury.  Those at the top set the tone for those underneath, and the tone for this group is incompetent.

4. The circular firing squad that is Republicare continues to fire away.  One would think that the embarrassment of watching something you’ve spent over half a decade promising to do collapse into an ignominious pile of failure despite controlling every relevant branch of government would be enough to convince the GOP to avoid pissing on that particular electric fence again, but then you don’t know the rigid ideological fanaticism of the modern GOP.  Of course they’re back.  And of course this version is even more punitive, cruel, and dysfunctional than the last one.  The current plan is to get rid of every popular feature of the ACA, especially the coverage for pre-existing conditions, and then exempt themselves from the plan so that Congress can continue to have the taxpayer-funded healthcare that they insist is immoral for people like you to have.  I have often wondered what the Romans felt when they saw the Visigoths at the gates of the city, and now I know.

6. And it looks like a party in control of both houses of Congress and the Executive Branch still cannot pass a bill it has been promising to pass since 2010.  On the one hand, I suppose I should be grateful.  The more we find out about Republicare 2.0, the more cruel and immoral it gets.  Only the modern GOP would think allowing insurance companies to price the sick out of the market while denying coverage for maternity care or cancer treatment would be acceptable.  On the other hand, do these people even know how to govern?  The Gang That Can’t Think Straight continues to demonstrate why only the most ideologically blinded support them.

6. So der Sturmtrumper called the entire Senate to the White House to talk about North Korea.  First of all, senators of either party do not like being treated as page boys to be summoned at the master’s pleasure so I doubt this did him any favors even with the GOP.  Second, by all accounts nobody really had any idea what to make of this, since nothing of any real substance was discussed.  If you’re going to call the entire Senate to make a special trip to see you, it sort of behooves you to have something big to tell them.  I’d say der Sturmtrumper is his own worst enemy except that there are so many Americans vying for that job that it’s hard to tell.

7. Mauricio Macri, the president of Argentina and one of the first world leaders to call der Sturmtrumper and congratulate him on his victory in November, was going to give former President Jimmy Carter the Order of the Liberator General San Martin, the highest award Argentina has for foreigners, in recognition of Carter’s work to strengthen human rights during the period of military dictatorship in Argentina in the late 1970s and early 80s.  The presentation ceremony would have happened during Macri’s visit to the US in the first week of May.  According to CNN, however, the ceremony was canceled on the explicit demand of der Sturmtrumper, who apparently cannot stand to have anyone else be recognized for achievements, especially for something as paltry and anti-business as human rights.  If there is an Argentinean prize for sheer spiteful pettiness in the service of a wounded ego, perhaps Macri can award it to the current US president while he’s here.

8.  Add Oklahoma to the list of GOP-mutilated economies, sucked in by the false promises of supply-side economics in a demand side world.  They slashed taxes, expecting to see the economic growth that right-wingers always promise when they cut taxes for the wealthy, and lo and behold their infrastructure is failing, their schools are cutting back to 4-day weeks, their state troopers can’t even fill up their gas tanks, and the GOP refuses to recognize the obvious: supply-side economics does not work in a demand-side economy.  Never has.  Never will.  The Kansas Miracle didn’t work in Kansas and it isn’t going to work anywhere else either, no matter how hard they try to sell it or how thin they slice it.  I’m not sure whether I should be more offended by the sheer destructive bull-headedness of the GOP or by the fact that they think I’m stupid enough to fall for it.

9. If you ever truly want to lose your faith in humanity, just try reading a defense of der Sturmtrumper in your local newspaper’s letters to the editor column.  A more toxic combination of magical thinking, blame shifting, willful ignorance, and sheer mendacity you will never find.

10. Every time I think der Sturmtrumper has outdone himself with weaponized ignorance, that there is no further depth he can sink to when it comes to demonstrating how utterly unqualified he is to be an American citizen let alone occupy a position of political power, that he has reached the bedrock beneath rock bottom, the man starts to dig.  “People don’t ask that question, but why was there a Civil War?”  Seriously?  The Civil War is the single most written-about event in all of American history by an order of magnitude.  There are literally tens of thousands of books that address this very issue, and the volume of ink spilled discussing it probably exceeds the volume of blood spilled in the conquest of the treasonous South by whole number multiples.  Don’t even get me started on der Sturmtrumper’s bizarre fixation on Andrew Jackson who, for the record, died fifteen years before the Civil War started.  Of course this is the guy who thinks Frederick Douglass is still alive, so when it comes to historical ignorance there are no surprises here.

11. Is it my imagination or is a Republican President with a Republican House of Representatives and a Republican Senate openly calling for a government shut down because he can’t get what he wants?  Is this really a thing?  At some point, can we just admit the farce here and turn over the actual governing of the country to somebody capable of doing so?

12. In an interview on April 30, White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus (no, really, that’s his name) publicly stated that der Sturmtrumper is looking to repeal the First Amendment.  You know, the one that guarantees free speech?  Freedom of religion?  That one?  Because it gets in the way of the things der Sturmtrumper wants to do to the nation, that’s why.  Of course, that’s why the First Amendment was put there, but apparently Reince Priebus (really, I’m not making that up – I couldn’t if I tried) seems to have missed that point.  The Founders had a word for people like that.  That word was “tyrant.”  They also had a solution for that problem.

13. There is nothing that puts the sheer moral bankruptcy of the modern GOP more starkly into relief than getting them to talk about healthcare in this country.  Did you know that pre-existing conditions are the mark of a failed life?  That the poor and the sick should die before any God-fearin’ MURCAN has to part with one thin dime of his precious, precious lucre?  Yeah, this is also the party that claims Christianity as its very own.  Jesus would be so proud of them.  Bless their shriveled, crusty hearts.

14. It’s not all that surprising that the loudest GOP voice leading the “fuck you Jack, I got mine” chorus on healthcare at the moment is Joe Walsh, a deadbeat dad more than $100,000 behind on child support payments for his own kids.  The man doesn’t give a damn about his own flesh and blood.  He’s not going to care about yours.  The modern GOP in a nutshell.

15. The fact that this bill will be voted on without a CBO score – without the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office evaluating it for its financial impact – tells you all you need to know.  This isn’t about saving money.  It isn’t about serving the American people.  It’s not about improving healthcare in the United States.  It’s about scoring points for the wealthy donors who pull the GOP’s strings, providing a massive tax break for the already wealthy at the expense of sick children, and gleeful cruelty toward those incapable of fighting back.  It’s a cowardly and despicable act without any redeeming moral quality, and it should be treated as such.

16. Meanwhile in North Carolina, the GOP drive toward absolutism continues apace.  If you want to see what the modern right wing has in store for the nation, the czarist state of North Carolina is your model.  A thoroughly gerrymandered GOP legislature has systematically changed whatever rules were necessary in order to deny the express will of the North Carolinian electorate and impose their autocratic will on a formerly democratic society. 

17.  Do you think it’s a coincidence that der Sturmtrumper reaches out to dictators and tyrants while insulting democracies and republics?

18. Remember when executive orders were a sign of dictatorship?  That was when the black guy was issuing them, of course.  Now that der Sturmtrumper is in power, they’re just fine.  The current occupant of the White House issued 29 executive orders in his first 100 days.  Obama had 19.  Still no objections from the GOP.


Bucky said...

You are so eloquent in your writing, I wish I had the patience but I don't, plus I was a factory worker so I use a smaller vocabulary. All republicans are ASSHOLES!

David said...

Well, thanks!

I don't think that all Republicans are assholes. I know many who are in fact decent people with whom I disagree over political issues. Many of them are as troubled as I am by the current regime. Some aren't, but that doesn't necessarily make them assholes. There are extra steps involved for me to call them that.

I try to reserve my outrage for the party leadership, ideological commissars, and donor class who make the depredations of the GOP possible and who insist on leading a once-proud conservative party into subversion, cruelty, and ideological fanaticism. And for the voters who are completely on board with that, who think it hasn't gone far enough? Well, you are judged by the company you keep, I suppose.

LucyInDisguise said...

217 yeas. WTF? Speechless. For now, anyway. Perhaps when the Senate gets an ogle at the country's response over the next few days, they will ---- oh, who am I trying to kid ....

Oh, and #12? On August 21, 1972, I took and oath to "... support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; ..." There was no time limit or expiration date on that oath - I uphold it yet today.

Trump took an oath some mere weeks ago to also "... support and defend the Constitution to the United States ...". He has, on multiple occasions, blatantly violated that oath. I think, therefore, the word you were looking for is "traitor". Maybe not in the pure Constitutional sense (yet), but traitor none the less.

So much for speechless, Huh?!?!?!?


David said...

It's amazing how quickly speechless transforms into cold, hard truthtelling, isn't it?

Given that the Senate still has the filibuster rule, I haven't lost all hope yet. I will say that the fact that the GOP is banking on cruelty and what essentially boils down to murder by bureaucracy to win over their base is telling, though, isn't it?

And no, there is no time limit for that oath.

I'm still going with "subversive" for now, pending the outcome of the Russia investigations. I reserve the right to change my mind, however.

LucyInDisguise said...

Okay, I'll line up with your word. For now.


Appropriate thought: 'Scuze me, please, Mr. Preacher, this is the choir box. Congregation in other direction.


David said...

You know, I've been thinking about that whole choir/congregation thing a lot recently. It occurs to me that I don't know who I am reaching who might not already agree with me. On the one hand, it's nice to have a place to holler just because it's nice to have such a place. On the other hand, I'm not sure what good it does sometimes.

More fodder for the posting mill, I guess.

LucyInDisguise said...

I actually find it somewhat useful, while driving down the road with an 80,000 pound truck under my butt, to participate in a resounding spot of primal scream therapy.

Scream 'til there are more horseys in the cab than under the hood.

While I sometimes find it to be somewhat stress relieving - I have serious doubts regarding the efficacy of that gig.

So, even if, at times, may sound like an echo chamber, what I am really trying to say here is:

"Preach It Bro!!!!" Long as I'm still suckin' air and able to do the splits and high kick and somersault 'n' stuff - I'll stay on your cheerleader squad ...


LucyInDisguise said...

Another thought:

I do not hold any illusions that anyone is going to change a trumpian's mind, so reaching those who already agree with you is actually an admirable goal.

If nothing else comes of it, at least we can all commiserate with one another, alleviating that fear that we might be raging against the darkness in solitude.


David said...

Thanks, Lucy - I appreciate it. :)

I will light my candle and curse the darkness. I see no reason why I can't do both.