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’.”

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

14.8%

Almost buried in today’s avalanche of today’s news (Huh, Sean Hannity? I did not see that coming.), was the following:

This seems like a random bit of information, and it’s hardly surprising that someone convicted for shooting up a mosque would be checking some of those accounts. Here’s the thing, though. There’s a non-zero amount of overlap between those twitter accounts and the list of accounts I know people in my family follow. I find that beyond disturbing. Granted, the overlap is with the milder end of the list, but I’m not sure how comforting I find that. Everyone on that list is on the spectrum (so to speak), and everyone on it is contributing to the current climate in negative ways. It frustrates me to no end that people in general can’t see that, especially when they’re my own flesh and blood.

No tolerance for intolerance

Prompted by “Sweet Jesus, Will the NYT’s Conservatives Ever Write About Anything but the “Intolerant Left” Ever Again?” There are links in that article to several articles covering basically the same topic, the idea that lefties are somehow shutting down free speech or otherwise exhibiting signs of what is broadly termed “intolerance.” So…I have thoughts.

First, this notion of a broadly “intolerant” left is bullshit, especially on college campuses. If anything, liberal colleges are tolerant to a fault. You may find heated arguments and vehement disagreement, but that’s a far cry from “intolerance.” In fact, I would argue that what we’re seeing now are the limits of tolerance. When you have a Republican president literally declaring that white supremacists and Nazis are “fine people,” you’re going to get some pushback. When that racism appears to be the animating principle behind conservatism, that pushback is going to be broad.

An aside— it’s worth checking out the Wikipedia article on “Paradox of tolerance.” The ideas there are highly relevant to this.

I’m willing to give a pass on the quantity of these articles, though. Editorial writers are paid to crank out words, and they write about what concerns or affects them. The sudden vehemence that Things Are Not Right and Conservatives Are Bad has to be a shock to the system, so I’m not surprised they’re spending ink on it. I’m sure there are similar articles ad nauseam about Trump’s incompetence, sexism, corruption, authoritarianism *deep breath*, nepotism, bigotry, and lies— don’t forget the lies as well. 

Let me make this a little more personal. Since Trump became president, I have been much more aggressive in sharing articles with family members that I have ever been before. That’s a testament to the moment we’re in, where the Republican Party has gone seriously off the rails, and along with Trump appear to be willing to take the rest of the country off a cliff. Now, of the people I typically share things with, 40% are Republican voters. They watch Fox News and consume conservative media, I suspect almost exclusively. It didn’t take them long to ask me to leave them off the discussion, and I’m sure if they were to read any of the articles linked above, they would peg me as one of the “intolerant left”, for having the temerity to suggest that the candidates they support might be bigots. Granted, the implicit question about whether they are also bigots isn’t far away, but that’s been left unstated so far. Anyway, I have not respected their request. As a result, I’m pretty sure they’re blocking any emails from me, and I was explicitly told to no longer send Christmas or birthday gifts. So, who’s the intolerant one again?

Hidden Images

At first the latest Hannity face plant seems extra ridiculous. I mean, come on– do they really think there were hidden images of sperm in Obama’s portrait? Sadly, right-wingers will buy anything, and this is probably something we’ll have to hear about the rest of our lives. However, it’s important to realize the idea isn’t completely bonkers. After all, there is a hidden dingleberry in DJT’s portrait. See if you can spot it:

Dingleberry

No? Here, I’ll crop and zoom to make it easier to see:

Dingleberry crop