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?

biden takes questions from republicans

Uncle Joe Biden — I ran as a proud Democrat, but I will be the president for ALL Americans.

Republicans — Liar! You’re a socialist!

UJB — No, I’m not. I’m a moderate Democrat who…

Rs — You’ll be the Soros president!

UJB — [grins] Yeah, no.

Rs — You’ll be the president of Antifa!

UJB — Look, here’s the deal. I’m opposed to fascists and fascism, but…

Rs — You’re the president of a global conspiracy of satanic, pedophile, cannibal, sex-traffickers!

UJB — [blinks]

Rs — You don’t even deny it!

UJB— A global conspiracy of what?

Rs — A global conspiracy of satanic, pedophile, sex-traffickers!

UJB — [blinks again] Are you insane?

Rs — Wait, we forgot to include the cannibal part. A global conspiracy of satanic, pedophile, sex-trafficking cannibals!

UJB — I don’t know what to say to that.

Rs — Deny it!

UJB — I do deny it. Of course, I deny it. It’s the craziest goddamn conspiracy theory I’ve ever heard.

Rs — See? That’s exactly what you’d expect from a satanic, pedophile, cannibal, sex-trafficker! Nobody expects satanic, pedophile, cannibal, sex-traffickers to tell the truth.

UJB — I don’t know what I can say to convince you I’m not part of a global conspiracy of any sort, let alone satanic, pedophile, sex-traffickers.

Rs — So you admit you’re a cannibal!

UJB — I forgot to include the cannibal part. I’m not a cannibal, and I can’t believe I actually have to say that out loud.

Rs — Liar! You haven’t even released your taxes!

UJB — Yes, I did. I released several years of…

Rs — Where’s your birth certificate? The long form. Maybe you didn’t show us your birth certificate because they don’t issue birth certificates to satanic, pedophile, cannibal, sex-traffickers who refuse to release their taxes. Or did George ‘Antifa’ Soros pay to have one forged for you? Is that why you wear a mask?

UJB –[checks his watch] You know, I’m running late for a meeting. Thanks for listening. Bye now.

FOXNews — President-elect Joe Biden denies being part of a global conspiracy of satanic, pedophile, cannibal, tax-dodging, sex-traffickers.

NewsMax — Biden suspected of being part of a global conspiracy of satanic, pedophile, cannibal, sex-traffickers, dodges questions about his birth certificate and taxes.

One America News Network — Biden claims he didn’t eat the corpse of a white Protestant baby boy after having satanic sex with it.

technically, it wasn’t an axe

The American People: You knew he was an axe murderer during the primary.

Senate GOP: Nobody expected him to win.

TAP: But he did, and you said nothing.

SGOP: We respect the will of the voters. Mostly. Some of the time.

TAP: You helped elect an axe murderer

SGOP: Technically, it wasn’t an axe. More of a hatchet.

TAP: Axe murderer, hatchet murderer, what’s the difference?

SGOP: An axe requires two hands, whereas a hatchet can be wielded with only…

TAP: IT WAS A RHETORICAL QUESTION.

SGOP: Oh. We’re just simple Republican Senators. We don’t use big fancy East Coast elite words like…

TAP: You elected a chopping tool murderer.

SGOP: Well, the American people did. Elections have consequences.

TAP: For the last four years you’ve supported an axe…a chopping tool murderer.

SGOP: Not all of us. Some of us remained silent. Nobly silent.

TAP: You are all complicit. You didn’t try to stop him from murdering people with his…you know, chopping tool.

SGOP: Many of us felt he sometimes went a bit too far.

TAP: TOO FAR?

SGOP: We often said he should tone it down, be more presidential.

TAP: He tried to axe murde…use a chopping tool to murder the president of Ukraine.

SGOP: Nobody murdered the president of Ukraine. That’s fake news.

TAP: He TRIED to. He had his chopping tool in his hand when he asked the president of Ukraine for ‘a favor’.

SGOP: But that favor wasn’t granted and yet no axe murder took place. Nor was there any other chopping, hewing, lopping, hacking, severing, or cleaving-related death. No harm, no foul, that’s the law.

TAP: He was impeached for attempting to chopping tool murder the Ukrainian president, and you acquitted him.

SGOP: There wasn’t enough evidence. Besides, we believed he’d learned a valuable lesson and would stop threatening people with an axe. Or other chopping implement.

TAP: HE TRIED TO AXE MURDER DEMOCRACY.

SGOP: Well. But the thing is, he didn’t.

TAP: HE’S STILL TRYING. HE HAS A MOTHERFUCKING AXE AND HE’S SWINGING IT.

SGOP: We need to give him time to come to terms with possibly maybe having been defeated in the recent election. You can’t expect him to be happy about this. In time he’ll graciously accept the possibility of defeat.

TAP: We need to take away his axe NOW. And all his chopping implements. We need to remove him from the White House.

SGOP: That will happen. If it’s determined that he actually lost the election, then we…

TAP: HE LOST THE ELECTION A MONTH AGO.

SGOP: But the Electoral College hasn’t voted yet, so…

TAP: HE’S KILLING PEOPLE RIGHT NOW.

SGOP: Not with an axe. Or other chopping implement.

TAP: He’s doing NOTHING about the Axe Virus Pandemic.

SGOP: Fake news. He stopped the importation of Chinese hatchets. And he’s radically cut the time it takes to produce a vaccine. See what we did there? Cut? Axe? Get it? Hah, we are a hoot.

TAP: This isn’t funny. People are dying.

SGOP: You people have no sense of humor. Bad enough you try to keep people from saying, “Merry Christmas” but now you…

TAP: You need to DO something. This madman has to be stopped.

SGOP: We will. We will act swiftly and deliberately, just as soon as we get back from the holiday recess. Merry Christmas!

here’s an idea

On Wednesday, Comrade President Donald Trump released his 45 minute WhingeFest video on Facebook. In it he repeated his delusional claims that he actually won the 2020 election. He contended he was denied the win because of some nebulous and nefarious national (and possibly international) conspiracy to cheat him. He stated he and his supporters had put together a mass of evidence to support his claims, despite the fact they’ve presented absolutely NO evidence to the courts.

The following day, the Washington Post asked every Republican member of Congress, all 249 Senators and Representatives, the following three questions. Who won the election? Do you support or oppose Trump’s efforts to claim victory? If Joe Biden wins the vote in the Electoral College, will you accept him as the legitimate POTUS?

Only 25 Republicans said Uncle Joe Biden won the election. Only 9 opposed Trump’s attempts to overturn the official results. And only 30 agreed to accept Biden as POTUS after the Electoral College vote. Most of the 249 Republicans simply refused to answer any of the questions.

At best, Congressional Republicans are gigantic fucking cowards.

The WaPo reporters said these results:

“demonstrate the fear that most Republicans have of the outgoing president and his grip on the party.”

Here’s an idea. Let’s stop giving those assholes the benefit of the doubt. Suggesting the Republicans in Congress won’t acknowledge Uncle Joe’s victory in the 2020 election because they’re afraid of Comrade Trump is the BEST possible explanation of their behavior. It assumes they really WANT to do the right thing. It presupposes they would LIKE to do the right thing. It accepts as given that they share a secret desire to honor the US Constitution. But, poor things, they’re just too afraid to actually say or do anything. Because if they do speak out, they believe Trump will…well, he’ll give them the very same treatment he gives to Democrats on an hourly basis.

In other words, the most benevolent explanation for the refusal of Congressional Republicans to openly acknowledge that Trump lost is that they’re gigantic fucking cowards. That’s the most generous explanation. The most charitable explanation. The most public-spirited, noble, kind, and magnanimous explanation.

More likely, they’re self-serving traitors.

Well, fuck that. I’d suggest a much more likely explanation for their refusal to honor the results of the election is this: they’re okay with the destruction of democracy. Sure, they may be gigantic fucking cowards too, but basically I think they’re gigantic fucking cowards who have no qualms about doing away with representative democracy if it means they get to stay in power.

They’re not just faint-hearted, spineless, wee timorous poltroons. They’re self-serving, amoral, unfeeling, covetous, power-hungry, dishonorable turncoats who are indifferent to the law and their constitutional duties. The best — and only the very best — of them are gigantic fucking cowards. The rest of them are trash.

So let’s stop giving them the courtesy of suggesting they’re merely afraid. Let’s be honest. They’re traitors.

stop playing the sap

There’s a pivotal scene in Dashiell Hammett’s The Maltese Falcon where Sam Spade stands up to the beautiful but murderous blond Brigid O’Shaughnessy. “I won’t play the sap for you,” he says.

I’m waiting — hoping — for Democrats to say that to Republicans. The situations are similar. There’s a prize; an election in one instance, a jewel-encrusted statue of a bird in the other. Somebody is attempting to steal the prize; Trump in our case, Brigid O’Shaughnessy with the falcon. The attempted theft is abetted by others; Republicans in Congress, Kaspar Gutman and his international band of crooks. And there’s somebody trying to stop the theft; Uncle Joe Biden, Sam Spade.

Even though it clear the theft is almost certainly not going to work, the crooks continue to try to finagle it. Despite the fact that he lost the election, Comrade Trump is still trying to break democracy, even while grudgingly agreeing to a transition. Despite the fact that Brigid O’Shaughnessy killed Spade’s partner, she continued to try to get Spade to trust her and help her steal the Falcon. She wants him to help her get away with the crime.

“You’re a liar. Don’t brag about it. Was there any truth at all in that yarn?”

There are already political pundits suggesting Democrats need to let Trump get away with trying to steal the election. They say Democrats should find a way to ‘work with’ the complicit Republicans. They say Democrats need to be the adults in the room, that Democrats need to meet Republicans halfway, that Democrats should try to understand how angry and disappointed Republicans are.

Basically, they’re saying Democrats should play the sap. Well, fuck those guys. Fuck them in the neck.

Democrats should NOT be vindictive. I’ll agree with that. But neither should they be sensitive to the feelings of a political party that spent the last four years telling Democrats, “Fuck your feelings.” We shouldn’t be looking for retribution, but we should enforce norms and laws. The argument that holding Trump or his family accountable for any crimes they may have committed would only further inflame partisanship is bullshit. The notion that we can only heal and unite the nation by overlooking the transgressions they’ve committed is bullshit. The idea that Sam Spade can trust Brigid O’Shaughnessy is bullshit.

We played the sap with Nixon. We did it with Reagan and we did it with George W. Bush. What did we get by playing the sap? Trump.

“I won’t play the sap for you.”

I want Democrats to play that pivotal scene with Republicans.

Dems: Well, if you get a good break, you’ll be out of the White House for 20 years and you can come back to me then. I hope they don’t hang you, precious, by that sweet neck. Yes, angel, I’m gonna send you over. The chances are you’ll get off with life. That means if you’re a good girl, you’ll be out in 20 years. I’ll be waiting for you. If they hang you, I’ll always remember you.
Republicans: Don’t, don’t say it even in fun. Ha, ha, ha. Oh, I was frightened for a minute. I really thought…You do such wild and unpredictable things.
Dems: Don’t be silly. You’re taking the fall.
Republicans: You’ve been playing with me. Just pretending you care, to trap me like this. You didn’t care at all. You don’t love me!
Dems: I won’t play the sap for you!
Republicans: Oh you know it’s not like that. You can’t say that.
Dems: Did you ever fight square with me for half an hour at a stretch since I’ve known you?
Republicans: You know down deep in your heart and in spite of anything I’ve done I love democracy.
Dems: I don’t care who loves who! I won’t play the sap for you. I won’t walk in Hillary’s – and I don’t know how many other’s – footsteps. You killed democracy and you’re going over for it.
Republicans: How can you do this to me? Surely, democracy wasn’t so much to you as… [crying]
Dems: When a man’s democracy is killed, he’s supposed to do something about it. It doesn’t make any difference what you thought of it, it was your democracy, and you’re supposed to do something about it. And it happens we’re in the politics business. Well, when one of your organization gets killed, it’s – it’s bad business to let the killer get away with it. Bad all around. Bad for every democracy everywhere.
Republicans: You don’t expect me to think that these things you’re saying are sufficient reasons for sending me to the…
Dems: [interrupting] Wait’ll I’m through. Then you can talk. I’ve no earthly reason to think I can trust you. If I do this and get away with it, you’ll have something on me that you can use whenever you want to. Since I’ve got something on you, I couldn’t be sure that you wouldn’t put a hole in me some day. All those are on one side. Maybe some of them are unimportant, I won’t argue about that. But look at the number of them. And what have we got on the other side? All we’ve got is that maybe you love democracy and maybe I love you.
Republicans: You know whether you love me or not.
Dems: Maybe I do. Well, I’ll have some rotten nights after I’ve sent you over, but that will pass. If all I’ve said doesn’t mean anything to you, then forget it and we’ll make it just this: I won’t because all of me wants to, regardless of consequences, and because you counted on that with me the same as you counted on that with all the others. I won’t play the sap for you.

Democracy. It’s the stuff dreams are made of.

something to look forward to

Okay, let’s just acknowledge this right up front — things are awful right now, and they’re going to get awfuller before they get better. I’m not any happier about this than you are, but facts is facts and facts don’t change just because we want them to. BUT there IS something to look forward to (wait…something for which we can look forward? No, that sounds wrong as well, so maybe it’s something to…never mind, you get my point). We can look forward to another White House Christmas!

2017 — the House Stark/Winter is Coming Christmas

Thanksgiving is going to be decidedly awful this year because of the pandemic. The butcher’s bill in the US will top a quarter of a million at some point today, and we’ve still a week and a half to go before the holiday. Earlier today, on the devil Facebook, I wrote that traveling a long distance to eat traditional foods prepared by somebody else, then infecting them with a virus that could very well kill them was actually the origin story of Thanksgiving. We’ve avoided talking about it mostly, but it’s long past time we recognize the fact that the first ‘Thanksgiving’ was a massive error in judgment on the part of the indigenous population of this land. They gave us food, kept us alive, and we repaid them by stealing their land, killing them in truly astonishing numbers, then turning their culture into a cartoon.

So maybe there’d be some poetic justice if we were forced to sit out Thanksgiving in 2020. Of course, a lot of us won’t do that because of ‘freedom’ and all that, so we’ll almost certainly end up killing a lot of our own family members. Which is also a sort of poetic justice.

2018 — the Red Wedding Christmas

But Thanksgiving isn’t the only holiday horror we’re facing. Melania Trump will get one more shot at a White House Christmas. She takes a huge amount of shit over this, but I really don’t blame her. In fact, I actually respect that she has a very distinctive and thoughtful aesthetic vision. I respect that she’s been consistent in applying it. I admit I don’t share her aesthetic; it’s sort of like Tim-Burton-meets-Eraserhead-without-the-humor. But it’s rare for a First Lady to dip so deeply into the avant garde. So I sort of applaud her for that.

In 2017, she gave us a monochromatic House Stark Winter is Coming Christmas, which she followed up with the classic monochromatic Red Wedding Christmas in 2018. Last year Melania offered up a more toned down traditional monochromatic Christmas (you’ve probably never faced the difficulty of toning down something monochromatic — but then you’re not Melania Trump). This was almost certainly in response to the waves of criticism of her previous adventures in decoration. I think of it as her I-really-don’t-care-do-u? Christmas.

2019 — the I-really-don’t-care-do-u? Christmas

So this year, while you’re sitting alone in your home or apartment, shopping online while wearing the pyjama pants you haven’t washed in a week, you can amuse yourself by wondering just what fresh hell Melania Trump is going to inflict on the unsuspecting public for her farewell White House Christmas.

Maybe a traditional Slovenian Christmas with Grandfather Frost and trees decorated with delicate loaves of potica and a freshly slaughtered pig? Or maybe a Salute to the Wall Christmas, with unclimbable trees constructed from steel bollards and topped with tinsel and razor wire (if Mexico will pay for it)? Possibly a Climate Change Christmas of crispy burnt California pines in a bed of unraked leaves? So many possibilities.

It’s something to look forward to.