Let me say this about the new Republican president:
He deserves every bit the respect accorded President Obama by the American right. He deserves the same congressional cooperation from Democratic legislators as Obama received from Republican legislators in the last eight years. He deserves exactly the same amount of unity in the wake of his elevation to the presidency as was demonstrated by the Republican opposition and rank and file following the elevation to the presidency of Barack Obama.
Zip. Bupkis. Not one goddamn bit.
Democratic members of congress who do anything less than obstruct, resist, gaslight and sabotage this Puff Adder and his administration of feudalists, Know-Nothings, fundamentalist toe jam, crackpot dogmatists and mendacious, verminous liars ought to be thrown into a sack and drowned in a river.
History lesson. On the very night of President Barack Obama’s first inauguration, in January 2009, a long list of Republican senate leaders and members of the House of Representatives gathered in the high-rolling Washington D.C. restaurant, the Caucus Room, in order to lay out their plan for thwarting every single initiative, appointment, proposal, executive action or governing decision of the new president, before he had as much as set foot in the Oval Office. A detailed accounting of this gathering can be found in the Robert Draper book, “Do Not Ask What Good We Do: Inside the U.S. House of Representatives.”
And sure enough, the Republican political class and its representatives have been spitting into the face of America’s majority (the one that made Hillary Clinton victorious in the popular vote by the way) for eight years.
Whether it was sane gun control, honoring America’s debt obligations, raising the minimum wage, or simply refraining from childishly threatening to shut the government down, Republicans behaved as though the president’s two impressive electoral victories (far exceeding Herr Trump’s) mattered not at all.
How ludicrous is Donald Trump? To put it in perspective, even George W. Bush, no brainiac he, was a reader of history books, and actually had experience in public service. Underneath all the blundering, bluster, ideological wrongheadedness, and malpractice, he probably had a beating human heart (Cheney, being a ghoul from the graveyard, not so much).
Trump, on the other hand, is innately callous, selfish, sociopathic, lacking in empathy or charity, dignity or grace, uniquely unlearned, inept, unbalanced, narcissistic and bigoted. If you thought George W. Bush, who only produced arguably the worst foreign policy fiasco in America’s history, and the worst economic recession since the Great Depression did a hell of a job, get out your calculators and multiply him by 100. Let’s just say The Donald has some real potential.
What did everyone get wrong? It was an easy enough mistake to make, a very basic one. And I was guilty of making it too. One believed that socially and culturally the body politic had advanced at least enough to reject such blatant racist tropes, indecent words, unseemly behavior, manifest vulgarity and plain ignorance. Live and learn.
The best antecedent I can find is Senator Jesse Helms. For thirty years, the state of North Carolina elected this proud, full-service ogre, red baiting, race hating know-knowing and authentic slumlord to the U. S. senate.
North Carolina had long been, and remains, almost equally divided between reactionary and progressive impulses. Each time Ole Jesse was up for reelection, despite that it appeared North Carolinians were about to finally eject this saliva-dribbling baboon from office, and even when polls showed it about to happen, massive streams of rural white voters and poisonous spiders poured out from underneath every rock in the state to vote.
Susceptible voters’ enthusiasm isn’t dampened by vulgarity, indecent talk, bold ignorance and ugliness coming from a flamboyant demagogue as we anticipate, but rather acts as a siren call, stirring them to euphoric heights. They stream forth to the voting booths as though the Messiah had returned for Judgment Day, to lift them through the clouds to 1950’s heaven.
For those on the left with oh so tender “consciences” unable to find it in their precious little hearts to vote for Hillary Clinton, because the candidates and parties are so alike, you’re about to discover what the meaning of alike is.
Let’s put it this way: arguably the most impactful of all of America’s governing institutions is the Supreme Court. Justices are appointed for life. I’ll assist you with the math here: Donald J. Trump and the Republican Party will now be appointing to the court justices who will serve most of your natural born life. During that time they will impose a legal and constitutional regime covering environmental issues, women’s reproductive rights, economic and political inequality, civil rights, marriage rights and voting rights so draconian you literally never believed it possible. Maybe you just had to grow up at a time of pervasive, explicit public racism, sexism, puritanism, homophobia, police brutality and political violence to fully understand this. Never going back? I offer as evidence the election of Donald J. Trump.
I think this is worth remembering: It is always in good conscience to vote against a fascist.
Here’s a prediction: Long before Hillary Clinton, smeared as a crook, is ever locked up, Herr Donald, the real thing, will have his own rendezvous with the pokey. There are currently in the range of fifty or sixty lawsuits pending against the great man, some of them for fraud, to which he enjoys no presidential immunity, nor will he. The odds he will commit an impeachable offense within seconds of being sworn in are the closest thing there is to a sure bet.
Of course, Republican officials, forever hard line ideologues, will cravenly rally around their new Furher. But they will have a miserable life doing so, strong gales of public revulsion blowing vomit into their faces every day.
In the meantime, here’s a protip going forward: When pundits on television begin talking about the legitimate grievances of Trump voters, turn the sound down on your television, turn it off, or better yet, saw off your ears with a kitchen knife just to be foolproof.
For the record, Weimar Germans had legitimate grievances too: hyperinflation, joblessness, the overly harsh restrictions imposed by the Treaty of Versailles. Seldom is electing a dictator your best Plan A when addressing legitimate grievances.