Thursday, November 12, 2020

Trump's Final Attack On America


Some consider my “tinyurls” annoying, and hardly anyone checks them. Just this once, though, before discussing Trump’s and Republicans’ claims about a fraudulent election, it’d be helpful if readers were to see this.  

Also helpful is Lindsey Graham on the subject: “If Republicans don’t challenge and change the U.S. election system, there will never be another Republican president elected again.” 

Okay, thanks. Now we understand. Because it always has been, this is about minority Republicans maintaining power. And because it never has been, it’s not about what’s best for the country. Not even in this extraordinary time, when there’s so much more at stake; namely, our physical, economic, and social health; and the livability of this overheating planet. Foxians accuse Democrats of hypocrisy in urging Republicans to give Biden a chance when they didn’t for Trump. Well, there’s a difference.

From the moment he entered politics, Trump trafficked in division and untruth. He encouraged violence at his rallies, called his opponents – Democrat and Republican alike – stupid and mean-spirited names. After election, his first act was to lie about crowd size and to claim he’d lost the popular vote because of three million illegal ones. Later, he refused Constitutionally-required congressional oversight and fired inspectors general and US attorneys who were pursuing his political and personal malfeasance. His reelection campaign sank even lower, as his rallies, lacking anything positive, manifested only anger, grievance, and mendacity.

Denying climate change and mocking science, weakening alliances and strengthening enemies, making America a source of ridicule, lying about, mishandling, and finally ignoring the greatest health threat of our lifetimes, Trump blew his chance to be given a chance, even before he chanced upon the presidency. 
From the outset, by contrast, President-elect Joe Biden urged an end to acrimony and a return to cooperation and valuing expertise. He pledged to care as much for those who voted against him as those who voted for him. Given the problems he’ll be facing, it’d be nice if Congressional Rs would help. And it’d be welcome if America took him at his word, unless the time comes when he’s unworthy of it.

There’s nothing new about demanding recounts or, as we’ve seen, accusations of election fraud. What’s new is the catastrophically dangerous level of disinformation being spread, without a shred of evidence. In all fifty states, every single one, Democratic and Republican election officials are unequivocally stating there’s no fraud. None. Not, at least, to any significant degree. Yet nearly every elected Republican continues to push the destructive lie. Even here.

It’s common, too, that ballots are counted for days after elections. What’s unprecedented is those doing so being harassed, even receiving death threats from conspiracy-addled Trumpists. Likewise, Texas’ Lieutenant Governor offering a million dollars for proof of fraud; unclaimed, so far. [Update: the prize has been claimed.]

Retracted falsehoods are new, too. 

Caring nothing about the perilous implications for democracy, Republican leaders are attempting not just to discredit this election; it’s the very idea of voting. Lindsey G. made it clear. Pushing lies, they assume ignorance and gullibility of their supporters, while rightwing media overflow with accusations and distortions aimed at the credulous. And Rudy peddles pernicious propagandistic pronouncements from a place of perplexing praenomen, plunked between porno and cremation. Predictably, Trumpists buy it unquestioningly. 

As Republicans reject the results of a remarkably smooth, pandemic-challenged election, sowing the seeds of dictatorship as they have for years, we see how thoroughly Trump has corrupted our government. Barr, Pompeo, Ratcliffe, McConnell, O’Brien, the GSA: all in. At a time when efficient transition couldn’t be more critical, no cooperation. When the number and magnitude of problems we face demand everyone’s help, when bipartisanship is needed as never before, the party of Lincoln stands by as Trump attempts the destruction of democracy, beginning with the Pentagon. In Trump’s thrall, so-called patriots look away. How happy Trump’s dictator pals must be. 

Five million more Americans voted for honesty, lowered rhetoric, and competent, urgent attention to our needs than did those choosing more lies and vilification. Perhaps the latter can mute their media screamers long enough to see how President-elect Biden does; maybe even join efforts toward the common good.

To that end, with irenic dreams and comity in mind, I’ll be taking an indeterminate break (I’ll keep blogging). This is the predicted crisis after a Trump loss. It’s really happening. Let’s hope Trump is thwarted in his unspeakably dangerous attempts to burn it all down on his way out. If so, it surely won’t come from his democracy-averse Republican enablers.

[Image source]

Friday, November 6, 2020

"Cry More, Lib"

Because of what is, I sent this in before final election results. Perhaps they’ll be known, sometime. 

No matter what, and as nice as the prospect of returning to honest, competent governance is, Trumpism is far from vanquished. Sixty-some-million voters considered Trump’s ceaseless torrent of lies, inciting hatred for fellow citizens, taking credit for things he didn’t do, refusing to admit failures, his and his family’s cashing in on his office, his racism and encouragement of white supremacists, kidnapping and putting children in cages, no plans for the next four years other than more lying and grift, and said, “More, please.” 

The question of how that’s possible was answered, succinctly, by Madison Cawthorn, twenty-five-year-old, newly-elected US Representative from North Carolina. Having previously boasted that he’d crossed off a bucket-list item by visiting Hitler’s home in Berchtesgarden, and claimed that Cory Booker “wants to ruin white males,” his first action after his election was to tweet, “Cry more, lib.” And there you have, as they say, it.

When a “president” has no agenda, when his party didn’t even bother with a platform before the election, there’s nothing to vote for. Clearly, then, it’s about voting against. “Libs.” Who believe every citizen has a right to vote without standing in line for ten hours; who think people of all colors, religions, sexual orientation, place of birth, political preference, and economic status deserve to be treated fairly and to have an opportunity to thrive. On a livable planet. With access to quality, affordable healthcare. Worse: they believe in science and prefer facts over Fox. Yep: if anyone should be made to cry or have “it” stuck to them, it’s those who choose community over Trumpic hate.

Having failed to build a Mexico-paid wall (and only a few miles, by taxpayers); failing to produce a healthcare plan; making a pandemic worse by mocking and ignoring everything that would have helped; maintaining – until he didn’t – the Obama recovery only by producing massive budget deficits, and creating fewer jobs in his first three years than President Barack Obama did in his final three, before the pandemic; having been duped by “lover” Kim and BFF Putin; with coronavirus cases at all-time highs; lacking anything substantive to offer, Trump could only conduct campaign rallies that were nothing but super-spreader hate-fests. Over chants of “Lock them up,” and “Fire Fauci,” no positive ideas were heard. Not one. Which was still damn near good enough to get him reelected.

Prematurely ejaculating self-canceling cries of victory and fraud, Trump stumbled upon a new word: “Disenfranchise.” In his troubled mind, counting all legitimate votes disenfranchises those already counted, if thorough counting takes time. Inigo Montoya has something to say about word-choice.

Trump’s lawsuits and accusations of fraud have been accompanied by no actual examples. He doesn’t care. Nor does he consider preserving faith in democratic institutions part of his job. If polls were wrong, predictions of his post-election perfidy weren’t. Thursday, his crudely dishonest speech characterized counting votes as “finding” them, “whittling” his down after he’d “won.” While complicit liars amplify the mendacity, armed believers mass threateningly outside vote-counting locations, brainwashed into sedition. 

Leading up to the election, Fox polled one-hundred-thousand voters. By margins of around seventy-percent in each category, they favored upholding Roe v. Wade, universal access to healthcare, DACA citizenship, more spending on renewable energy, and agree that racism is significant, in the country at large and in policing. 

Which, you’d think, means the anticipated “blue wave” would have happened. That it didn’t means Trumpists have no idea what liberalism actually stands for. Because Democrats are less good at lying than today’s Republicans, and because they have nothing as effective as rightwing media at inseminating misinformation, millions of people voted against their own priorities. Whatever it is they think liberals are, “own” them and “make them cry” trumps everything. That’s Trumpism. That, and the dangerous, lie-based, post-election anger Trump has fomented.

If Joe Biden assumes what was considered, until Trump, leadership of the free world, and if Republicans keep the Senate (we won’t know till Georgia’s January runoffs), Mitch McConnell will be the most powerful and least honorable man in America. Singly, he’ll keep Democratic legislation from consideration and progressive nominees from approval; disenfranchising (!) seventy-four-million winning voters.

That’s what happens when millions of Trumpists think like Madison Cawthorn. Electing an ignorant football coach, for example, rather than a man who beat the KKK in court. Spineless Lindsey Graham and Susan Collins. And, a metaphor for our times, a guy who died from Covid-19 a month ago.

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