Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Is The Tide Turning?

Few who know me would call me a political optimist. But it may be, might be, could possibly be within the realm of imagination, that something I’ve hoped for, written about, hallucinated, has become, to some extent, in moments unburdened by the signs and sounds of democracy’s death-knell, thinkable.

As Republicans have no positive agenda other than tax cuts, voter suppression, and vengeance, nothing to offer average Americans beyond a tsunami of lies and anger, I’ve thought it possible they’d eventually overplay their hand. They’d mistake the undying devotion of the Foxified thirty percent for a free pass. They’d loose upon us such outrageously undemocratic and repugnant behavior that reasonable people, formerly inclined in their direction, would awaken to the danger they represent to our teetering democracy. If there’s a glimmer of hope, we have the Tennessee legislature, Jim Jordan, Texas’ Federal Judge Kacsmaryk and Governor Abbott to thank. Among others.

In Tennessee, after what was then (no longer) the latest mass murder, school children and their parents marched on the capitol to demand action. From the floor of the legislature (how dare they?) three of the greatly outnumbered Democrats showed their approval, raising their fists Josh Hawley-J6-style and, worse, shouting. Given several less punitive options for reprimanding the besmirching of hallowed ground, Republicans unanimously expelled the two male Democrats whose skin color differed, darkly, from the female other and from their own.

Intra- and outrĂ©- state outrage was immediate. And, to all but those legislators, so sure of their God-given power to do whatever they wanted, predictable. Because even among today’s Republicans, there are some who favor democracy and at least minimal gun regulations. Then, improbably, their pro-gun governor announced support for background checks and red flag laws. It took the murder of a friend of his wife, but still...

No such epiphany has found Texas Governor Abbott. Almost before the courtroom was empty, he promised to pardon an off-duty cop convicted of murdering a BLM protestor. The officer’s “stand your ground” defense was considered and rejected, unanimously, by a jury. Among other things, the murderer had previously announced his intent to kill protestors and, accordingly, deliberately drove his car into a peaceful group of them.

The victim, though legally armed, had not reached for his gun. Which was unchambered. That the protestor shared melanin with the Tennessee Two goes without saying. So does the falsity of Abbott’s party’s claim to favor “law and order.” As in Tennessee, it’s blatant playing to the racism he assumes Texans share with him. Even there, it can’t stand forever.

Then there’s Trump-appointed, unqualified, rabid anti-abortion, anti-LGBT, specifically-chosen Judge Kascmaryk, who, based on unsupported and unscientific claims by a group of hand-picked “doctors” filing in just the right courtroom, ruled the FDA erred, twenty-three years ago, when it declared a medical abortion drug safe. In fact, time has shown it safer than Tylenol. Pending appeal, his ruling would make it unavailable nationwide, even in states where abortion is legal. The party which once railed against activist judges cheered their judge declaring decades of proven science invalid. His inclusion of religious language in his ruling, where it had no place, only made them happier.

In another example of religious-based rejection of science and appealing to the ignorance and fears of their base, Republican-led legislatures are criminalizing gender-affirming care for trans people; in most, but not all cases, for minors. Taking difficult family decisions away from parents and doctors, it’s the biggest of big-government interference, about which that party hypocricizes continually. Parents, they say, should be in charge of what their children learn about America and gender, but not, evidently, of what is among the most difficult parenting issues, ever.

As repellent as are the preceding examples, there’s no comparison, in terms of displaying contempt for norms, for his presumed supporters and for the Constitution, to Jim Jordan’s weaponization of government disguised as an investigation into weaponization of government. Or his making of Congress into a dedicated law firm for twice-impeached, twice-popular-vote-losing, indicted defendant Donald Trump. Demanding, from Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, information to which he’s not entitled, blatantly interfering with a state’s lawful pursuit of presumed criminal activity, he’ll marsupialize hearings in NYC on “rampant crime” which he blames on Mr. Bragg. Surely he knows that NYC is safer than many red state cities, and that crime there has been steadily decreasing. Facts, though, are never his point.  

Limited space requires ignoring Governor DeSantis and his “surgeon general” faking statistics to malign covid vaccines. And the cancel-culture hilarity of transphobic Trumpists blowing up cans of Bud Light (which is to beer as pea-shooters are to bazookas.)

There is space, however, to note that apples can, indeed, fall far from trees: cf. Robert Kennedy, Jr.


  1. FYI, many people other than Trumpists are upset that BudLight, Tampax, Nike, and other companies are using a gay man LARPing as a ditzy 1950s girl as a spokesman for their products. That’s what normal people are upset about.
    Along with the incarceration of rapists in women’s prisons, the inclusion of men in women’s sports and shelters, and the general appropriation of women’s words and spaces by men.

    1. Thanks for sharing. Are you as upset about the other stuff, too, or just that?

    2. I was Kid Rock's biggest fan "Devil W/O a Cause and the 2 records after that. The show with Aerosmith at the Aroma Dome was the best show I've ever seen. He was spectacular and Aerosmith was whip crackin' hot. Being front row also helps.

      Today? Still love Aerosmith. But I dumped Kid Rock a long time ago when he went country. I am not a country fan at all. 99.9% of it sucks. But it's the way of life that disgusts me.

      People don't understand fully. They can't possibly. They'll never live amongst each others culture. Protestors, majority black, in the street in a gated community going to picket mayor's house. White people armed with A-15's on their porch pointing it at the unarmed marchers. People are using the N-werd like it's life water now. The Confederacy understands this is it for their way of thinking. They can try to storm their capitals. But we got all those from the last one and they won't try it again. The rest are "smartened up" on Drumpf and the limits of "fighting like Hell". And "wild" demonstrations.

      The racism is there for everyone to see. They can't deny it now. They own it.

    3. Say you're in a room with 400 ppl. 36 don't have health insurance. 48 live in poverty. 85 are illiterate. 90 have untreated mental illnesses. And everyday, at least 1 person is shot. But 2 are trans so you decide ruining their lives is a priority. That is what's happening

  2. Color me surprised...*yawn*
    Cops and politicians again. Wanting to kill news employees.
    Racists talking about murdering blacks.
    So? It's not "everyone". Well actually...It is in fact everyone.
    Pisses me off. When is everyone going to get it? I'm tired of the willful ignorance. Get educated or be prepared to be labeled a racist bigoted insider who supports it.


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