The numbers show Trump lost the shutdown and Pelosi won
“…perhaps the ultimate diss to Trump is what Fox News polling discovered. Voters think that Pelosi is better than Trump at “Washington gamesmanship” by 6 points, according to the latest Fox News poll. That has to hurt for Trump who is said to “relish” the gamesmanship with congressional Democrats.” — CNN
I don’t like this. People are exuberant/pissed for all the wrong reasons here.
Oneupmanship shouldn’t be the political rule du jour. Thanks to almost three decades of amoral, agenda-driven pundits (mostly right wing), weak-minded, weak-spined politicos (mostly both, but mostly the Right) and a voting mass devoid of character, purpose and ethics (pretty much everybody, but, again, mostly the Right) this is now how we do what we do in America. It’s not supposed to be (solely) a gladiatorial spectacle, at least not without a firm goal in mind to serve the welfare of the people. But it is. I don’t see an out here. Then again, I’m also a professional cynic. Then again, again, I’m also usually right.
Maybe the Dems see this can’t-beat-’em-join-’em ritual celebration en masse as the only option left, but I think that it’s more likely for the same reason the GOP makes things a contest in the first place, rather than a push for reasoned governing: appealing to the appetites of the masses for self-serving glory over overall societal benefit. Sport. Victor and defeated. Simply clubbing each other the hardest to see who falls first, who can draw first blood, who can get the thrust sign from the masses. This isn’t government. This isn’t healthy. That we on either side cheer and chide, bully or pout is making things worse. But the immediate though sickening pleasure from seeing blood in the water seems to override our higher functions, as it has for some time.
This isn’t college football. Again, at least it shouldn’t be. I feel that this is a sign that there is no going back to government in this country being what it is supposed to be: a tool for the people to live and function in reasoned prosperity, health and happiness mutually furthering each other’s cause for betterment and benefit. No. It’s devolved now into simply a wagering bloodsport for bragging rights and indulgence on the pineal level, stoking the furnaces of schadenfreude and avarice with absolutely no thought as to what benefit or harm said contest would bring. Vengeance for vengeance’s sake.
I am particularly disappointed in the imagery put forth from the Liberal stance, slow-trotting the bases and staring down the pitcher while you round the bases. Yeah, it feels good right now but all you’re doing is guaranteeing that your next big gun gets plunked on the elbow and then all you got is a benches-clearing brawl that leaves the stands cheering in manic bloodthirst while both sides end up with players out for the season and a guarantee that now nobody gets to go to the big show.
I’ve long championed a key defining difference between Conservative and Liberal, Democrat and Republican, as to their character and action when victorious. Much in the way Patton Oswalt just recently interrupted his usual very acute and precise vivisectional takedown of an opponent in the political arena to step out of character and back into his role as decent fucking human. When finding out that a right-wing troll that was, for some crazy reason, willing to do battle with the always dominant Patton had a real-life medical issue, Patton took off his gloves and extended a hand in favor: He assisted in paying the man’s medical bills and inspired others to donate and do the same. This sort of basic humanity is what we were taught and preached. At least we used to.
I feel completely certain that ANY counterpart to Patton would have instead tasted blood and gone in for the kill. And I mean this in general, not this (necessarily) particular example. A Liberal and Conservative may do battle as viciously as the other. A Liberal, however, will see his counterpart defeated and downed and help him up. A Conservative will not just stop but will put his heel on the throat with full weight. No doubt. What I’m seeing now is maybe a shift in the Left to the Right. Maybe not choking the life out of a fallen foe, maybe not hoisting their head on a spear, but a little too much vainglorious gloating and face-thumbing.
It is the Republican mantra now: serve self and self only. Period. Their entire platform is structured towards explicitly self aggrandizing, profit and pleasure. The REAL kicker here is that at the same time, this is the party with which the disciples of Christ, aka Christians, have fully aligned themselves. This isn’t conjecture or hyperbole. It IS Christianity in America now. Well, the Evangelical hijacking of it, anyway. There are holdouts of course. But not enough to define the current religious regime in this country.
Trump is a child. A simpleton. He only understands the gratification from immediate recognition and approval. Like a growing infant that watches his parent’s face while he stumbles around into his toddling years, looking for that grin or laugh so he can repeat his efforts for the same effect. Seems cute enough, but it only appeals to the lowest common denominator when that is ALL you get from what should be a learning process. When you prefer the low hanging fruit of bemusement rather than admonishment or critique for betterment and progress you are doomed to perpetual adolescent immaturity. Which apparently is just fine by an alarmingly huge number of grown-assed adults that enjoy chiding the newest generation on how spoiled they truly are.
Are they/we not recognizing that blaming said generation for trying to stand up, alone, for themselves to figure out how to make it in a world that will leave them heavily indebted, unemployable and mentally scarred before they’ve hit 21, after we’ve fucked their shit up and didn’t give them the tools in the first fucking place might just be the reason they aren’t as equipped as we’d prefer? Not to mention having the fucking gall to blame them when they have to cowboy the fuck up, again alone, in a world where classroom mass murder is as common as fucking Taco Tuesday. That the self-proclaimed party of Christ and the traditional family seem fully at ease with siding with murderers over the murdered is a little too goddam Lewis Carroll bat-shit dystopic for me.
I expect this self-congratulatory gladiator mentality from the Right. It’s ALL they know anymore. They’ve long sold there souls to whatever demons they embrace and are so far gone they are flat out incapable of grasping any reality anymore. They have devolved fully into a faction that in no way represents what they used to, and what many of their own party still, for some fucking reason, think they believe in: reasoned government with a firm fiscal grip and a fair shake in business growth with ethics rooted in traditional family values. No. Now they are completely, fully and exclusively anti-“whatever the other guys are for whatever reason no matter what forever and always”, regardless of the issue or event. Even if it is something they traditionally would have been okay with or even promoted themselves. If you couldn’t see that during the Obama years, if you still can’t see that very thing in Trump’s current regime, then you have to be one of them. Or you may as well be.
I’ve grown very, very tired of the whole “both sides” thing. Truly I have. Yes, both parties are flawed. Yes, both are self-promoting and self-serving. Yes, both are hypocritical and greedy. But to say that with unqualified equivocation is to believe that all criminals are equal as well. There is a whole goddam world of difference between a cat burglar and fucking John Wayne Gacy. To qualify either with some same-size-fits-all moniker that evil is evil is not to understand, really, anything at all.
Yes. Both parties are shitty because people are shitty. You think the Green Party or Libertarians or whoever-the-fuck has a better shot at avoiding the inherent flaws of men in power (and women…just roll with me here, kids)? To say that Dems are shitty on the same level as the GOP is to equate having your child raped and murdered and buried under a crawlspace under a demon-clown’s torture dome with the also tragic, but not quite as much, event of MeeMaw not being able to find her good necklace on the chifforobe (ask your MeeMaw). And, yes…it is that disparate.
How fiscally responsible is it to douse a non-existent flame with an ocean of taxpayer money for a symbolic and pyrrhic trophy that is this “Emergency Wall”? At best, it would service to marginally dam an inconsequential stream of tortured and scared refugees with, yes, some of those nasty druggies mixed in. At worst, it is what it actually is: a concrete monument to Republican puffery and self-righteous deism, a necessary trinket to distract their base from any real issue that requires truly nuanced effort and reasoned compromise: healthcare, energy, infrastructure, livable wages, international leadership and unity, resource conservation, ecological management, penal reform, electoral reform, etc. These things are harder and take longer to manage and explain. But flashing shiny trinkets for a quick fix while yelling at everybody to run away from the Mexican Monster is way easier to get someone’s attention. Still after all, isn’t that now the whole reason to be in the politics game anymore? For attention? How else are you gonna make a buck if you don’t get traffic flow to your doors?
Maybe the Dems are gun shy after the Obama years. I can’t blame them/us. Obama did try, very, VERY hard, for a rational, reasoned, mutually responsible and bipartisan approach to true government reform and progress. The GOP and their frothing masses, spurred irresponsibly by the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Coulter, were having none of it. As a result, the country suffered a crippled legislature needlessly for eight years, though the economy, foreign diplomacy and day-to-day functioning business and activities continued fairly unimpeded and with economic growth. The country could at least safely progress without having to worry so much about the next superclusterfuck by a simpleton puppeted by more nefarious and greedy forces.
All this priggish seething on the Right did was lay the groundwork for the too-horrifying-to-be-hilarious realization that a diseased carnie barker sociopath of hellish proportions would be buoyed by a nihilistic mob of zealots and fascists to the throne of rule, usurping power from the masses and feeding it into the dark and starving maw of a vainglorious and hypocritically pious totalitarian plutocracy. But the Left struck a blow. Now, for some fucking reason, the more “sane and reasoned” of us seem to think that poking the wounded bear while high-fiving each other is the best thing to do rather than circle the wagons, re-load, steady our resolve and ready ourselves for the impetuous shit-fest most assuredly headed our way.
We can’t change the Right. They have embraced the distilled shittiness they have created and they are just fine, thank you very much, not just living a lie but celebrating that ignorance vociferously and proudly. They are looooong past the point of rescue and without hope of reason or catharsis of repentance to be expected from them, probably ever.
We can’t factor them into our world. Not anymore. We can only hope to wall them off like a nidus of inflammation or a foreign object from the rest of the body as a whole to minimize the damage. But joining them in their own masturbatory self-immolation for pageant and zealotry is counterproductive to what it is we are and what we should embrace, the same spirit with which Obama was elected: hope and change. It’s not corny and it’s not a joke.
We put a truly graceful, intelligent, mannered, disciplined Renaissance man in the office before we shoved an ass-maggot into the same slot. We can squash the fucking maggot and try again. Just because President Obama fought the dragon and didn’t win didn’t mean he lost either. He made his mark and left a promising legacy, not the least of which is the reality that America still has it in her to work and exist for the right reason: We…the People.