What’s Next?

Chandra asked me recently when I thought things might get back to normal. “Things” meaning the general political situation, of course. I had been scanning through Twitter’s Unending Parade of Horror, mixed with hope regarding the upcoming election, so of course it was on her mind. My initial reaction was that it would be a while, if ever.

Let’s say we wake up November 7 to a true Blue wave— Democrats have taken both the House and Senate, plus state houses and legislatures across the country. Yay! But the dickless Cheeto and his minions will still be in office. So we’ll get less ridiculous legislation, oversight, and a Senate less inclined to confirm all the exact worst people for their positions. That’s certainly something.

Odds are good that we’ll still have a GOP strong enough to get in the way, though. The oversight we so desperately need will be blocked as much as they can, and they’ll scream “witch hunt!” and “fake news!” at every opportunity. It’ll be bullshit, but thanks to their entrenched media megaphone and idiot hordes who only believe what comes from sanctioned lips, it’ll also get more traction than it should. Thank you, tribal epistemology.

A small aside— Chandra asked if I thought certain family members were lost causes, and I had to say yes. With everything that’s happened in the last few years, if they continue to support the GOP or whatever FOX tells them to, all we can do is wait for them to die off or officially succumb to dementia. Sorry, Burstyn— that includes you, too.

In fact, if I’m being pessimistic, I have to admit that I could see a solid blue wave in 2018 leading to a reactionary* backlash. If the Tangerine Turd continues doing what he’s been doing for the last three years, things could get much worse before they get better. Look up “Proud Boys” if you don’t believe me.

And if we don’t get a solid blue wave this cycle? Then we’re probably done as a properly functioning democracy. I know that sounds like hyperbole, but the GOP already controls more than they should thanks to voter suppression and gerrymandering. If they get away with that now, they’ll just continue to further entrench themselves and erect more barriers to participation, further clamp down on protest, etc. etc.

I have to say that I don’t feel pessimistic, though. Despite the shit we’ll have to deal with through 2020, I have to hope that November 6 will be a turning point. This will be the part of the movie where we get a montage of people all over the country marching into their polling places and effectively saying, “No more. You assholes aren’t America, and we’re going to kick you out on your collective pale asses.” I look forward to joining in the whoopin’.

*I refuse to use the word “conservative” anymore for a group of people who are anything but.

Virtuous middle my ass

The white women who vote for the GOP believe that white people are America’s virtuous middle. The virtuous middle is how the Republican Party has distinguished its core beliefs from those of Democrats, whom they characterize as the party of intellectual snobs and the undeserving rabble. Central to this “virtuous middle” is white identity and, specifically, white femininity. The white women who are backing Kavanaugh and who will vote for the GOP in November are the metaphorical (and sometimes literal) descendants of the white women who joined the Ku Klux Klan in the 1920s, used their Daughters of the American Revolution club membership to exclude Marian Anderson, and the women who resisted racial integration.

Has Backing Kavanaugh Really Lost The GOP The Women’s Vote? | HuffPost

This could also be filed under “The answer to any headline that’s a question is always ‘No’.”

I want to see this story

In a piece on how slower than light space travel requires its own set of magic, Frank Landis writes:

Speaking of which, the crew: all astronauts, the best of the best, right? Good breeding stock and all? And their grandkids are going to settle the new planet? Well, erm, yeah. There are problems here too. One is that humans don’t breed true, so amazingly talented people tend to have less talented kids; it’s called regression to the mean. In a multigenerational setting, you have to allow for incredibly talented initial crew getting old, becoming incompetent, and passing off their responsibilities to their less-talented offspring. That’s tricky.

That seems like an excellent story premise.

Abolish ICE

I posted a different protest sign on Twitter, but figured I would put this one here. I’m reasonably confident this is an appropriate use of the word “ese,” but just in case I wanted to leave it where frankly no one looks.

No internment camps

Suddenly I find speculation on Melania’s disappearance less amusing

theintercept.com/2018/06/02/seymour-hersh-memoir-reporter/

In the category of stories Hersh did not report at the time is a disturbing account from a few weeks after Nixon resigned in 1974 and returned to California. Hersh writes that he had received a tip that Nixon had beaten his wife Pat so badly that she had to be treated at a local emergency room. Then John Ehrlichman, who’d been one of Nixon’s top aides, told Hersh that he knew of other incidents when Nixon had abused her. But Hersh did not report it, or even mention it to his editors, because he believed it would only qualify as news if he could demonstrate that Nixon’s behavior had affected government policy. Hersh later spoke about the story in public in 1998. Women in the audience, he writes, immediately informed him of just how illegitimate and dangerous this standard was.

Schtick

Why am I sharing this? Oh, no special reason. *stares vaguely westward towards the midsection of the country*

Pyrrhic Victory

This is a note for and about Vlad and Burstyn. No, those aren’t their real names. I’ll provide that much of a fig leaf of anonymity for them, although anyone who knows me well enough will know exactly who I’m talking about.

You win. I foolishly thought after DJT was elected that if I could provide an injection of non-Fox-approved news and commentary, that you might begin to see at least some of the problems with the current administration and the Republican Party more generally. I thought, “Surely, Vlad and Burstyn are not like those other people who vote blindly for whoever is on the GOP ticket and buy into all the misinformation and vileness that comes from conservative media.” I was wrong. It is now clear to me that you are part and parcel of that same movement.

Tell them what they’ve won, Bob!

Hang on a minute, I’m not done with the background yet. Posting this in a public place could be considered a dick move, and I want to address why I’m doing that. First, I am pretty confident they are both blocking my emails. I don’t get bounce back messages, but have confirmation from multiple channels that pretty much everything I send now goes to the bit bucket. That’s true even when I send something that’s completely non-political. In fact, here’s a fun story— Chandra (that is her real name) & I send out a holiday letter every year, and for the 2017 edition I made a special edition just for Vlad and Burstyn that just read “I am Groot” over and over again. Funny, right? Neither one of them has ever said a word about it. I can only conclude that I have angered them to the point where I am persona non grata in both of their households, and neither has any interest in initiating or accepting communication from me. So…fine. I’ll post something on my blog and they can find it here when they’re ready.

So what have they won?

Well…now that I know neither Vlad nor Burstyn is a persuadable conservative, they now get to be the personification of all the worst stereotypes of Trump supporters. Yay! Closed minded? Yes. Tribal? Yes. Party before country? Yuppers. Authoritarian? One would assume. Racist? I hope not, but I frankly have no evidence to the contrary. Only willing to engage with people they agree with? Well, that’s kind of the point of this whole thing, isn’t it?

A final footnote. Recognizing that the subjects of this post might object to it being out for the world to see, I’m sending a copy of the text to them by email before it’s published. If you’re reading it on my blog, you’ll know they had a chance to respond and didn’t.