potzer

Years ago, when I lived in Manhattan, I was noodling around Washington Square Park and saw a couple of chess hustlers nearly come to blows. Not over a game of chess exactly, but because–wait. Yes, there are actual chess hustlers in NYC. Anything that can be hustled is being hustled in NYC. A good chess hustler can make a couple hundred dollars a day, playing tourists and chess enthusiasts for, say, three to five bucks a match. Mostly you’ll find them hustling in the parks–Washington Square Park, Central Park, Union Park.

Okay, back to the almost-fight. It wasn’t over a chess match. It was almost a fight because one chess hustler had called another a potzer. A small crowd had gathered; I turned to the guy next to me–another chess hustler–and asked him, “What’s a potzer?” He gave me a look that basically said, “If you have to ask….” Another told me a potzer was “a wood-pusher,” which I interpreted as an incompetent chess player. A third guy said, in a growly Eastern European accent, “Is Yiddish. Or German. An insult.”

I love a good insult. Potzer, it turns out, is a great insult. It doesn’t mean somebody who’s merely incompetent. It doesn’t mean somebody who is simply an amateur. It means a bungler, somebody who’s not as good as they think they are, a wanna-be who’s really a never-can-be but doesn’t recognize it. A potzer may have a rudimentary understanding of a particular skill set, but is ill-informed, clumsy at the actual skills necessary, and confused about the point.

It’s an insult usually restricted to chess players, but I think it can be applied to almost anything. Like politics. Matt Gaetz is a potzer. Comrade Trump, a potzer. Gym Jordan, Josh Hawley, Lauren Boebert, Louie Gohmert, Marjorie Taylor Greene–hell, the entire Republican Party in Congress, all potzers.

These people are NOT in Congress to legislate. They’re there to perform. They’re not there to work for the common good; they’re there to draw an audience and keep their attention. While they may have the rudimentary understanding of governance, they lack both the skills necessary to accomplish it and the desire to follow through. Mainly, they’re in Congress to seize the public’s attention by creating wedge issues and conspiracies and crusades. Gaetz actually described his political ‘agenda’ as elevating his profile. He said:

“The way that you’re able to elevate your profile in Washington is to drive conflict, because conflict is interesting. And I think that the really powerful people in this town are the ones that can go on television and make an argument, and that’s power that leadership can never take away from you.”

Matt Gaetz, potzer.

Go on television, get power. That’s why he’s in Congress. Gaetz and his ilk (ooh, a tangent…ilk is derived from the Proto-Germanic ilīkaz, meaning ‘a body’. And ilīkaz is also the root term for lich, which refers to a re-animated corpse, which somehow seems appropriate when speaking about the modern GOP) operate on the belief that somehow power and authority are a product of the number of people who are paying attention to you. That’s why they rarely address actual legislative issues (which tend to be rather dull and unexciting) and focus instead on flashy distractions. Like ‘radical libs attacking Dr. Suess’ or ‘male perverts dressing and identifying as women in order to watch young girls pee in the women’s toilet at Walmart’.

These people are poseurs. They think they’re playing chess because they can identify the pieces and recognize the board. They know the basic moves, but they’re not serious players. They don’t ‘get it’ at a fundamental level.

In one sense, it matters what happens to Matt Gaetz. It matters because he’s corrupt and a colossal asshole–and corrupt assholes should never be allowed to get away with it. But in another sense, it doesn’t matter at all, because Gaetz is, and always will be, a wood-pusher. A potzer. And like all potzers, he doesn’t even know it.

still trash

Back in October of 2019 I wrote that the GOP is a trash party. I wrote that what made the Republican Party trash wasn’t because they “…abandoned an internally consistent conservative ideology (or anything resembling an internally consistent ideology), or that they’ve completely abdicated any interest in governance, or even that they have no respect at all for truth, decency, law, compassion, science, or the U.S. Constitution.” They had done all that, of course. But what made them trash was “the joy they seem to take in pissing all over the traditions and norms they claim to represent” and their perverse reasoning that ‘owning the libs’ is a legit substitute for ethics and morality.

Since then, the Republican Party has solidified their reputation as a trash party. They seem to revel in it, and apparently believe that by openly acting like trash, they’re immune to consequences. Sadly, there’s some basis in reality for that belief. Why would Florida’s weasel-in-a-suit Matt Gaetz be concerned about consequences of sleeping with teen-aged girls, getting them fake IDs, transporting them across state lines, and showing naked photos of them to fellow GOP members of Congress when the head of their party–former President Comrade Trump–could brag about grabbing women by the pussy, ogling naked Miss Teen USA contestants, paying off porn stars to hide his sexual affairs (not to mention protecting murderous foreign tyrants and fomenting a violent insurrection in his own nation) without losing any support from his voters?

What Gaetz is accused of is small beans compared to Trump. Gaetz is essentially Trump in the larval stage. Gaetz is Trump evolved. It took Trump a long time to realize that politics could be a lucrative grift; Gaetz learned that lesson at a much earlier stage. Despite all the recent ugly revelations about Gaetz, not a single Republican has suggested he should resign–or even chastised him. After the January 6th insurrection, Gaetz gave a speech on the floor of Congress claiming the violence was caused by ‘antifa’ and was applauded. Compare that to the GOP response to Biden nominee for OMB Neera Tanden, who was forced to withdraw her nomination because she’d tweeted some ‘mean’ comments about Republicans.

The modern Republican Party has traded in its conservative ideology for a simple hyper-partisan political strategy:

  • Abandon shame
  • Lie and distract
  • Treat accusations of immoral/unethical/illegal conduct as partisan political attacks
  • Lie and distract
  • Treat accusations of immoral/unethical/illegal conduct as proof Democrats are targeting you for being a Christian/conservative
  • Lie and distract
  • Treat accusations of immoral/unethical/illegal conduct as a badge of honor
  • Lie and distract

And hey, it seems to work for them. So far. But surely, eventually it’ll catch up to them. Won’t it? I mean, the Republican Party used to have statesmen. They used to have principled conservatives, thoughtful patriots acting for what they believed to be the common good of the people. I disagreed with them, but for the most part I felt they were acting in what they believed was the best interests of the nation.

Not anymore. Now the GOP is a party of grifters, knuckleheads, yahoos, vindictive fuckwits, self-serving seditionists, vacuous privileged frat boys, judgmental bone-brained pseudo-Christians, hateful sadists, and proud anti-intellectual obstructionists.

Trash, in other words.

Gaetz may eventually be invited to leave Congress, sacrificed by his own party because he’s too inconvenient. He may eventually find himself in legal trouble. If that happens, he’ll be treated as a martyr by Republicans. But the real risk is that Democrats will consider it a victory. In fact, IF that happens, it’ll be like swatting an annoying gnat while ignoring a Congress filled with cabbage maggots, venomous spiders, voracious locusts, and fire ants. The larger problem of the GOP will still exist.

Until the Republican Party is either obliterated or somehow reformed back into a legit political party, it’ll remain trash.

the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet

Here is today’s lesson: if you elect stupid Christians, you get stupid Christianity.

Okay, let’s get this out of the way first. This is NOT an attack on Christianity or Christians or religion of any sort. It’s not an attack on Jesus or Jeebus. It’s an attack on stupidity. It’s an attack on insulting the intelligence of the American people. It’s an attack on religious gaslighting. It’s an attack on religious arrogance. But mostly stupidity.

I’m talking about Cindy Hyde-Smith, one of the US Senators (oh my fucking god she’s a Senator) from Mississippi. Yesterday, in an actual real Senate hearing on voter rights, she sorta kinda semi-quoted the Bible to defend legislation in Georgia–a state that is NOT Mississippi–that restricts early voting on Sundays. She held up a dollar bill and said (and I swear, I am NOT making this up) the following:

You know, this is our currency, this is a dollar bill. This says, ‘The United States of America, in God we trust.’ Etched in stone in the U.S. Senate chamber is ‘in God we trust.’ When you swore in all of these witnesses, the last thing you said to them in your instructions was ‘so help you God.’ In God’s word in Exodus 20:18, it says ‘remember the Sabbath and keep it holy.’

Okay, where to start? Let’s start with this: What the fuck? She’s not saying people shouldn’t be allowed to vote on Sundays because of US currency–which would be galactically stupid. Nope, she’s saying people shouldn’t be allowed to vote on Sundays because of her Christian religion–which is only massively stupid. Is she aware that not all voters are Christian? Maybe? Maybe not? Either way, this is stupid.

Next, let’s look at what Exodus 20:18 actually says, which is this:

And all the people saw the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off.

Thunderings, lightnings, noise. All of which is oddly appropriate. The thing is, Senator (I still can’t believe somebody this stupid is an actual Senator) Hyde-Smith made an simple, understandable mistake. She actually quoted Exodus 20:8, which does, in fact, say: Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Of course, she left a bit out. It goes on to say more than that. It also says this:

Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work:

But the seventh day is the sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.

Any work. Thou shalt not do any work. Thou and everybody else. No work. No stores or shops open, no restaurants, no taverns, no Walmart, no spa or gym, no movie theaters, no Waffle House, nothing is open. Nobody doing chores. Nobody working the fields. Nobody tidying up at home, nobody doing laundry, nobody cooking or doing dishes. Six days shalt thou labor, and do ALL thy work, but on the seventh day you do fuck all. Just sit around praying and generally being holy.

Senator (it hurts me to call her that) Hyde-Smith may not be aware of this, but her own state of Mississippi is open for business on Sundays. It’s hard to justify forbidding people from voting on Sunday, but allowing them to buy mufflers and eat waffles and watch movies. There’s a flaw in that reasoning.

But also, there’s this: the book of Exodus, which is the second book of the Torah, was almost certainly written around the 5th century BCE. What does BCE stand for? That’s right. Before the Common Era. Before Jesus. The Sabbath mentioned in Exodus? The Sabbath Senator (Jesus suffering fuck, how can she be a Senator?) Hyde-Smith is referring to? That’s not the Christian Sabbath; it’s the Jewish Sabbath. We’re talking Friday evening to Saturday evening, not Sunday.

Finally, there’s this: Senator (really, how is that possible?) Hyde-Smith and her comrades in the GOP are blatantly gaslighting. They’re not interested in protecting the Sabbath. They’re only interested in protecting the GOP from people who want to vote. Mostly, that means they want to protect the GOP from Black people. And Democrats.

Instead of advocating popular policies that will make people want to vote for Republicans, they’ve chosen to find ways to discourage people from voting for Democrats. And what have the people done in response? Having seen the thunderings, and the lightnings, and the noise of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking: when the people saw it, they removed, and stood afar off from the GOP. And told them to go fuck themselves. Amen.

the gingerbread man defense

The House of Representatives has filed its trial memorandum, outlining the case it will present to the Senate in the looming repeachment trial of Comrade former-president Donald J. Trump. You can read the memorandum here.

You can also read the answering brief presented by Trump’s attorneys. His most recent attorneys, not the attorneys who quit over the weekend, or the attorneys who represented him in his last impeachment and declined to represent him in the repeachment. (Also, yes, I know, ‘repeachment’ isn’t an actual word, but I’d argue that we’ve never needed it to be a word because until now there’s never been anybody in US history who ever needed to be repeached.)

I’ve read both the House’s memorandum and Trump’s response. In order to save you the effort, I’ll summarize them here (I’m a goddamn saint, is what I am). But here’s the TL;DR version of Trump’s defense:

Run away, run away, fast as you can!
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!

First, the House managers set the stage, noting the US Constitution says the House of Representatives “shall have the sole Power of Impeachment” and that the President “shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.”

Trump’s response: admitted in part, denied in part, not relevant. Yes, the Constitution says Congress can impeach and try POTUS. But hey, guess what, Trump isn’t POTUS, and therefore it doesn’t apply to him.

Second, the managers say the Constitution prohibits any person who has “engaged in insurrection or rebellion against” the United States from holding any federal office.

Trump’s response: admitted in part, denied in part, not relevant. Yes, the Constitution says that, but Trump didn’t do any insurrectioning or rebelling. Also, he doesn’t hold any federal office, so there.

Third, the managers say Trump violated his constitutional oath to “faithfully execute the office of President of the United States and, to the best of his ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States, and in violation of his constitutional duty to take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

Trump’s response: denied, and irrelevant. They claim Trump totally faithfully executed his duties as POTUS, and he never ever not even once did any high Crimes or Misdemeanors. Also, he’s still not POTUS.

Fourth, the managers say Trump DID SO engage in high Crimes and Misdemeanors, on account of inciting violence against the government by repeatedly lying about the Presidential election results and telling folks the results shouldn’t be “accepted by the American people or certified by State or Federal officials.”

Trump’s response: admitted in part, denied in part, and irrelevant. Trump, they say, only exercised his First Amendment right “to express his belief that the election results were suspect.” Plus, there isn’t sufficient evidence to show that Trump knew his lies were lies, and besides, he believes them. Also? That First Amendment thing again.

Fifth, the managers point to Trump’s speech to the crowd at the Capitol ellipse, in which he repeated his lies, claiming “We won this election, and we won it by a landslide.”

Trump’s response: admitted in part, denied in part. Yes, Trump spoke to the crowd. Yes, he told them he’d won the election. But that was just Trump being Trump and expressing his opinion. First Amendment, and all that.

Sixth, the managers say Trump willfully made statements that “encouraged – and
foreseeably resulted in – lawless action” at the Capitol building. That action resulted in an attempt to “interfere with the Joint Session’s solemn constitutional duty to certify the results of the 2020 Presidential election.” You know, on account of all the rioting and violence and murder.

Trump’s response: admitted in part, denied in part. Yes, some people “unlawfully breached and vandalized the Capitol” and yes, “people were injured and killed.” But POTUS denies they did it on account of what he said. Also, Trump never “intended to interfere with the counting of Electoral votes.”

Seventh, the managers assert that Trump’s behavior on January 6, 2021 were part of “his prior efforts to subvert the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential Election.” Those efforts included calling Brad Raffensperger, the Georgia Secretary of State, and urging him to ‘find’ enough votes to overturn the Georgia Presidential election results. Also, Trump sorta kinda threatened Raffensperger if he failed to ‘find’ those votes.

Trump’s response: admitted in part, denied in part, denied as irrelevant. Yes, Trump spoke to Raffensperger, but not to “subvert the certification of the results of the 2020 Presidential election.” He only wanted Raffensperger to do a really really really thorough count. Also, the term ‘find’ is taken out of context. Also too, Trump never really threatened Raffensperger. And besides, none of that matters because Trump still isn’t POTUS.

Eighth, the House managers assert that Trump, by doing all the shit he did, “gravely endangered the security of the United States and its institutions of Government.” Also, he “threatened the integrity of the democratic system.” Also too, he “interfered with the peaceful transition of power.” Also too plus, he “imperiled a coequal branch Government” by sending murderous rioters to the Capitol building, none of which he should have done because it was a betrayal of his trust as President.

Trump’s response: Denied, and denied as irrelevant. Nope, Trump never endangered the security of the United States, never endangered its institutions of Government, never threatened the integrity of the democratic system, never interfered with the peaceful transition of power, never imperiled a coequal branch Government, and never betrayed his trust as President. In fact, Trump “performed admirably in his role as president, at all times doing what he thought was in the best interests of the American people.” Also, he’s still not POTUS, so this is irrelevant.

Trump’s current crop of lawyers sum up his defense, claiming 1) the Senate doesn’t have jurisdiction to try him because they can’t remove him from an office he doesn’t hold, that 2) the House denied him due process by impeaching him without giving him an opportunity to defend himself, that 3) even attempting to try him under those circumstances is equivalent to a bill of attainder (okay, quick note: a bill of attainder is a legislative act that declares a person guilty of a crime, and punishing them, without the benefit of a trial), and 4) the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court isn’t acting as the trial judge (which is true, because the Chief is only required to act as judge in an impeachment of a sitting president), and 5) the impeachment is constitutionally flawed because it includes multiple allegedly impeachable offenses in a single article (they seem to be suggesting there should be MORE articles of impeachment), and 6) there’s that whole First Amendment business, which is being ignored.

In other words, Trump is saying, “I didn’t do it. But even if I did do it, it was legal. And even if it wasn’t legal, you shouldn’t do anything about it. And even if you should do something about it, you can’t. It’s basically the Gingerbread Man defense.

Run away, run away, fast as you can!
You can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!

the gutter of rancor and vitriol

Yesterday all one hundred members of the United States Senate were sworn in as jurors in the historic Repeachment trial of Comrade Donald Trump. A short time later, 45 of those senators–all Republicans, of course–voted against holding that trial.

That vote came about because Rand Paul, the weasel-ass Republican from Kentucky, had raised a point of order on the constitutionality of the repeachment trial. Although the Senate doesn’t have any legal authority to decide on the constitutionality of any issue, Paul suggested the trial would be unconstitutional because Trump is no longer president. He said,

“Private citizens don’t get impeached. Impeachment is for removal from office, and the accused here has already left office. Hyperpartisan Democrats are about to drag our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen in our nation’s history.”

Rand Paul, if you haven’t figured it out yet, is a lying sack of rancid horseshit. Private citizens DO get impeached IF they’re former federal officials. There are several examples of this, though not at the presidential level. And if Rand Paul thinks a repeachment trial is dragging the US “into the gutter of rancor and vitriol, the likes of which has never been seen” I’d suggest he visit YouTube and watch some of the videos of the January 6th Insurrection. There’s some solid rancorous, vitriolic gutter-work there.

Senator Rand Paul (Weasel-ass, Ky) addresses the United States Senate.

The fact is, it’s not just Trump who’ll be on trial during the repeachment. The entire Republican Party will be on trial. Trump may have lit the fuse that caused the explosion at the Capitol, but the GOP either applauded him or stood quietly by while he did it. A hundred and forty Republican members of the House attempted to block the electoral college from certifying Biden’s election on the day of the insurrection. Yesterday, forty-five Republican senators supported Rand Paul’s objection to the repeachment trial. Republicans are actively working to prevent Trump from being held accountable for any criminal act, mainly because it would implicate them in the crimes as well. In doing so, the GOP is undermining representative democracy.

I’m of the opinion that any senator who believes the election was rigged or who refuses to acknowledge that Uncle Joe is the legit president, should be disqualified to act as a juror. In fact, here are some questions I think all one hundred senators should be asked–and required to answer under oath–during the repeachment trial:

  • Do you believe the 2020 election was rigged against Donald Trump?
  • Do you believe there is evidence of massive voter fraud in the 2020 election?
  • Do you believe Joe Biden is the legitimate president of the United States?
  • Do you believe Donald Trump disseminated a lie when he repeatedly told his followers the election had been stolen from him?
  • Do you believe Trump bears any responsibility for lying about the election?
  • Do you believe the invasion of the Capitol Building would have taken place if Trump hadn’t lied to his supporters about losing the election?
  • Do you believe the invasion of the Capitol was justified?
  • Do you believe the safety of VP Pence and Speaker Pelosi was at risk during the invasion?
  • Do you believe your personal safety–or the safety of your staff–was at risk during the rioting?
  • Do you believe the rioters should be held accountable for their actions?

Let’s face it; the entire GOP is guilty of dragging our great country down into the gutter of rancor and vitriol. Many of them were complicit in Trump’s attempt to overturn the election. The repeachment trial is as much a trial for the Republican Party itself. Will the GOP acknowledge its guilt and try to atone for it, or will they compound their guilt by denying it?

The truly sad thing–and I genuinely mean this makes me sad–is that they’ll almost certainly try to pretend they’re innocent.

anything you can get away with

I seriously doubt Comrade President Trump has anything like an actual philosophy of life. That would require thoughtful consideration and self-reflection, neither of which are in his toolbox. I do, though, think he has a guiding principle. Well, let’s make that two related guiding principles, which are as follows:

  1. take anything you can get away with
  2. if you can get away with it, it’s okay.

As guiding principles go (and c’mon, guiding principles should go pretty far), these have the advantage of being simple and flexible, largely because they’re not constrained by anything like morality, decency, and honor. They apply to almost any situation or circumstance, and they’re completely self-justifying. It can be summed up in two tiny sentences: Can I get away with this? Okay then. That’s it, right there.

“I can get away with it. I DID get away with it. You can’t stop me.”

Trump’s guiding principles are grounded in very basic zero-sum motivations: greed and power. One person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss. Only one of us can have it. If you have it, then I can’t have it; if I have it, you can’t.

Doesn’t even matter what ‘it’ is. An apartment. The presidency. A magazine cover. The last piece of pie. The last two pieces of pie. What matters is only one of us can have it. It all comes down to greed and power. Greed means I want it (or just as likely, I may not actually want it, but I want you NOT to have it). Power means I can take it (or I can prevent you from taking it). It’s self-justifying because if I want it and I have the power to take it without much consequence, then I deserve it — and you don’t.

Trump is such a hollow, empty, soulless motherfucker that having ‘it’ isn’t quite enough. As far as that goes, you NOT having ‘it’ isn’t quite enough. Taking ‘it’ without any real consequence, that isn’t quite enough either. You being unable to prevent Trump from taking ‘it’ isn’t quite enough. It’s also necessary to make sure others SEE that Trump has ‘it’ and you don’t, that he took ‘it’ and you couldn’t stop him. Everybody has to see that Trump won.

Examples? Sure, I’ve got examples. Here’s a small example. Back in 2017, TIME magazine reported that at state dinners, Trump gets two scoops of ice cream with his dessert while everyone else at the table gets just one. If you wanted two scoops of ice cream, you’d have to ask. Subordinates ask. (I’m going to come back to this in a minute.)

Protecting a murderous thug, getting two scoops of ice cream — same thing.

A more meaningful example: In his most recent book about Trump, Bob Woodward quotes him as saying this:

“The people at the Post are upset about the Khashoggi killing. That is one of the most gruesome things. You yourself have said. I saved his ass. I was able to get Congress to leave him alone. I was able to get them to stop.”

Woodward is a former Washington Post reporter. WaPo has not been kind to Trump. He wants Woodward — and everybody at WaPo — to know he protected the Saudi ruler who had a WaPo reporter tortured, murdered, and dismembered. Trump wins, you lose, nothing you can do about it. He was able to help a despicable ruler get away with an international crime, and he gets a second scoop of ice cream.

A moment ago I said subordinates ask, which implies superiors don’t. Superiors don’t have to ask. If they ask, they expect it to be taken as a command. When Trump said to the President of Ukraine, “I would like you to do us a favor,” he wasn’t really asking for a favor. He was expecting obedience. On Saturday, in his telephone call with the Georgia Secretary of State, Trump said, “So what are we going to do here, folks? I only need 11,000 votes. Fellas, I need 11,000 votes. Give me a break.” You can hear in his voice how galling it was that he was forced to ask for a break, when he should have been given one as a matter of course. You can be sure, if Georgia SoS Raffensperger had agreed to ‘give him a break’ Trump would make certain everybody knew he was the one in charge and Raffensperger merely complied.

“So look. All I want to do is this. I just want to find 11,780 votes.”

John Adams, in reply to a letter from Thomas Jefferson (Tangent Alert: the letter was about the partition of Poland, of all things, and increasing turmoil in Europe — and really, if you’ve got a moment, Adams’ letter is worth reading, if only to see what real statesmen used to be like), wrote this:

Power always sincerely, conscientiously, de tres bon foi, believes itself Right. Power always thinks it has a great soul, and vast views, beyond the comprehension of the weak; and that it is doing God service, when it is violating all his laws.

Greed and power. Take everything you can get away with; if you can get away with it, it’s okay. I suspect Comrade Trump truly believes he has vast views beyond the comprehension of the weak; but I’m also convinced he has panicky moments in which he knows himself to be a hollow, frightened, shell of a human being who is only valued by others because of his purported power and genuine greed.

I feel compassion for the panicked hollow Trump. I truly do. But that doesn’t prevent me from also wanting to see that wretched motherfucker taken away in handcuffs and tried for crimes against the American people. At a time when the nation whose care he’s been charged with is experiencing the worst public health crisis in modern history, this piddling, grasping, spiteful bastard is only interested in protecting himself.

a bipartisan discussion on infrastructure policy

Democrats: President-elect Uncle Joe Biden says we should work with Republicans even though we may disagree on some policy issues. So let’s discuss the infrastructure bill.
Republicans: In Comrade President Trump’s second term, we should consider sending Democrats and other Satan-worshiping perverts to re-education camps. It’s only fair.

Dem: Excuse me, we don’t mean to be rude, but Uncle Joe won the 2020 election and will be inaugurated on…
Rep: STOP THE STEAL! We have incontrovertible proof that BLM operatives planted tens of thousands of pre-filled-out ballots for Biden!

Dem: The courts have repeatedly rejected your claims because of a lack of evidence, so…
Rep: The radical left courts are full of communist Trump-haters who hate Trump and MAGA and also Christians!

Dem: Many of the judges who’ve heard your cases were Republicans, some even nominated by Trump himself, so we don’t think you can…
Rep: Fake news!

Dem: It’s not fake news. It’s neither fake nor news. It’s just the facts, so let’s turn our attention back to infrastructure.
Rep: China is behind it! Where’s Hunter Biden?!

Dem: We don’t think that has anything to do with…
Rep: Joe Biden is a child molester and his son Hunter has sex with dwarfs!

Dem: No, he’s…wait, what?
Rep: China has infiltrated specially trained sex dwarfs to seduce Democrats and blackmail them to support the Chinese Communist Party!

Dem: …
Rep: Democrats don’t deny their participation in Chinese dwarf sex ring!

Dem: Look, can we just focus on why we’re meeting today and talk about infrastructure legislation?
Rep: We don’t make deals with Antifa! Why do you hate America?! STOP HAVING SEX WITH CHINESE DWARFS!

Dem: We’re not having…look, we’re standing here right in front of you.
Rep: You’re having Chinese sex with dwarfs in your mind! Right here in Congress! Have you no shame?!

Dem: Back to infrastructure…
Rep (grabbing their crotch): Infra this structure, bitches!

Dem: That’s completely inappropriate.
Rep: Fuck your feelings! Stop the steal! Lock her up!

Dem: We see no point in continuing with this.
Rep: Where are you going?! To see your Chinese sex dwarfs?! Do you keep them imprisoned in a secret chamber in an underground bunker hidden below DNC headquarters?!?!

Dem: We’re outa here.
Rep: Radical left Democrats refuse to cooperate with Republicans on infrastructure!

it’s unclear

I used to wade in the icky waters of FreeRepublic on a fairly regular basis. I did that because I thought it was important to have some notion of what radical right-wing gun owners were thinking. That last bit — the gun owning bit — was the motivating force for me. I may disagree with right-wing extremists, but so long as all they do is shout hateful stuff, I’m okay with it. People shouting hateful stuff who are also armed, well that’s an entirely different kettle of fish. [Tangent Alert — if you’re wondering about the expression ‘kettle of fish’ see below.]

A couple of years into the Trump administration, I lost my willingness to visit FreeRepublic. I did it on occasion, but it was just too fucking ugly and stupid and discouraging to visit regularly. However, after Uncle Joe became POTUS-elect, I’ve started peeking in through the FreeRepublic window again, to see how they’re reacting.

Not well, is how they’re reacting. Poorly. Angrily. Fearfully, is how they’re reacting. Delusional, is how they’re reacting. A large chunk of them continue to believe Covid is a hoax. One of dozens of overlapping, continuous hoaxes — including the hoax that Uncle Joe beat Comrade Trump in the election. They act like they’re completely convinced Trump won, that there was a massive conspiracy to deny him the election, and that Trump will still somehow overturn the result of the election and emerge victorious (to the sound of trumpets, hymns of great praise, an orchestra of angels, a flight of bluebirds, and the continental United States will smell like cinnamon rolls in the morning). Maybe they honestly believe that. It’s not clear.

“Call out the military and hold a new election free of FRAUD and the CCP! CCP interfering was an act of WAR!” — by doc maverick

CCP — that’s the Chinese Communist Party. Yeah, that’s right, they’re involved. NOT the Russians, the Chinese. They’re working with other Globalists (always capitalized) and the Deep State in the US to undermine Trump and destroy the government. The Deep State wants the government to collapse in order for them to…to do something that will give them the power to become…the Deeper State? It’s unclear. But obviously, Trump won the election.

“Stolen. As have been many elections in AmeriKa. O’Bunghole was installed as potus similarly. He has no right living in this country, much less, holding public office. He was potus because of voter fraud, just like creepy joe and crazy ho. We’re so hosed.” — by LouAvul

The FBI tentacle of the Deep State is conspiring with the Fake News Media to impose socialism on the US. This will allow them to…to…I think it’s to take away the guns of honest Americans? Probably. Take their existing guns and make it harder to buy still more guns, which is why there’s been an increase in gun sales these last few months before the Deep State can act. The problem, see, is that there are Republicans IN NAME ONLY who cooperate with…wait, maybe it’s the ATF? I mean, since they’re the ones who deal with firearms. I don’t know, it’s unclear. Anyway, there are Republicans who are part of the fraud they’re helping to steal the election from Trump.

“It’s sickening that most of these states that are in question with a plethora of fraud that is killing the country had majorities of REPUBLICANS at various levels within the states.” — by shanover

These same RINOs are also part of the Great Covid Hoax being perpetrated by the Deep State and the Democrats and China (obviously China). They want America weak and scared (which, by the way, is another reason to buy more guns) and distracted so they can steal the election while Decent Law-abiding Americans are too busy wearing masks and buying toilet paper (and guns) to notice that Hunter Biden’s pals in China inserted code into the voting machines which turned votes for Trump into votes for Biden. The illegal code was illegally inserted through illegal means, specifically by…by means of…well, it’s unclear. But the so-called pandemic was part of the plan, because of…of the economy, I think. Again, it’s unclear. But c’mon, seriously Trump won, it’s obvious and he should stay in office by any means necessary.

“The lockdowns must end ! By force if necessary ! TYrranical out of control demoncraps need controls ! Fire them !” by Truthoverpower

Seriously, how could Biden possibly have won the election (which, of course, was stolen from Trump) given that, at the order of the Deep State and Hunter’s friends in the CCP, he stayed in his basement? For months! Who ever heard of a candidate winning an election from his own basement? Or anybody’s basement? Or any subterranean facility? It’s impossible. UNLESS there’s fraud involved, perpetrated by the FBI and George Soros and other cannibalistic communist sex perverts! There are rooms full of affidavits and videos of Democrats cheating at the polls and bringing in fake Biden ballots disguised as pepperoni pizzas and takeout Chinese (China AGAIN!), and did you know Mitch McConnell’s wife was Chinese? Do you need any more proof that…that something unwholesome and fraudulent is taking place? I don’t think so. McConnell is in on…that thing everybody is in on. It’s not entirely clear what they hope to…well, you know, the cheating and all. Because it was a rigged election.

Trump was holding 3 to 4 rallies PER DAY for weeks on end with hardly a day off. Spontaneous “Trump Train” car rallies and boat rallies were all over the place with thousands and tens of thousands of people turning out, even without a star being there to draw people in. Biden, his execrable “doctor” wife, and Harris couldn’t draw flies. The number of times Biden spoke gibberish and slurred his speech was immense. He never once talked about his policies and vision for America. The press lobbed him softball questions about his favorite ice cream.

A liberty-loving, true-blue American patriot who gave up his retirement to save the USA versus a communist life-long political hack who is one of the meanest people in American politics. And the people voted for the communist? This whole thing is just preposterous beyond belief. — by ProtectOurFreedom

Anyway, there it is. Trump had ALL the boats and trucks, because he’s a friend of the working man. Once Sidney Powell gets a chance (as a special prosecutor) to finally present her unbiased evidence in a REAL court of REAL law, it’s all over for Biden and then Nancy Pelosi will get what she deserves in GITMO. And Michelle Obama too. And all the loud-mouthed girls, they’ll all get what they deserve, which is…well, it’s unclear. Well, it’s clear, but it doesn’t do to say so out loud. But when Trump is inaugurated for his second term, they’ll be able to take care of troublemakers and burn the Deep State and disband the FBI unless the FBI comes around and Democrats will have to eat bugs in prison. That much is clear.

“Once Powell has the information, Biden is screwed.” — by rdcbn1

Anyway, that’s life in FreeRepublic. Trump won. Biden cheated. Covid’s a hoax. China is bad. Russia is our friend. Democrats should be imprisoned, if not shot. (Disclaimer: I made up that bit about the bugs. I never actually saw anybody who wrote that Democrats should be forced to eat bugs. Sorry.)

Tangent: Okay, you’re probably thinking ‘Greg, old sock, what is this whole kettle of fish business? Doesn’t seem to make any sense, don’t you know.’ This is why I get paid the big bucks (or would, if I got paid at all). There’s an explanation. Two explanations, actually. The most common explanation is that years ago in the UK a poaching pan was called a ‘kettle’, and it was apparently a common practice to feed large gatherings by bringing a kettle to boil and then — and I’m not making this up — they’d toss live salmon into the kettle and I don’t like to think about it after that.

A different kiddle of fish.

The explanation I prefer, though, is that the kettle in question is actually a kiddle, which is another term for a fishing weir. And now you’re thinking, ‘Greg, old sock, what is this weir of which you speak?’ A weir (which is also known in some places as a ‘fishgarth’ if that helps, but I suspect it won’t) is a sort of trap placed in rivers or streams which fish can easily swim into but can’t easily swim out of. At the end of the day, a weir/kiddle may have a lot of different sorts of fish swimming around in a muddle. So the expression ‘a different kiddle/kettle of fish’ refers to a separate and distinct muddled mess.

Aren’t you glad you asked?