That the names Newt Gingrich, Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani are back in the news shouldn’t come as any surprise. You knew they would be there, backing the dark horse, because no one else would let these toxic losers anywhere near their administration. And if nothing else, Trump prizes loyalty, because he wouldn’t know integrity if it bit him in the ass.
There will be plenty to do going forward, because these are the people who will be in charge of something. Crying about the pain of it all is what got us here. Dealing with it will be hard. If you can’t stop feeling bad about it, crying over how it will impact you and your feelz, then you will be useless in dealing with it. In fairness, there would be plenty to do going forward had Clinton won. Remember what a great president Barack Obama was for the Constitution? Yeah, he sucked, unless you were one of the lucky ones who happened to get your tummy rubbed by his rhetoric or occasional forays into actually doing something.
Brian Tannebaum took an empathetic view of the tears, telling those who would call on the crying masses to “move on” to “go fuck yourself.” This will surely help. Maybe if we cry hard enough, long enough, Rudy Giuliani will disappear? Maybe if we hug each other, Trump will gain a sense of the constitutional limitations of the office? Then again, maybe not. Maybe instead, we put on our big boy and girl* pants, wipe the snot from our nose, and get ready to fight.
Just as we would have to do had Hillary been elected, because she’s as awful when it comes to crim law as her beloved Bill, who brought us the AEDPA. Or Obama, who locked up more undocumented aliens than anyone in history, and handed out fewer pardons than any president ever. A little perspective goes a long way to turn that frown upside down.
But in the aftermath of an election that has not merely befuddled the whimpering masses, but brought us President 45.0, there is work to do not only to prepare to confront what this president, like every president before him, will do to flex his might at the expense of the Constitution, but to maintain a viable political system in America.
And lest this fly over your head, it’s critical that there be opposition in politics. No side should go untested, unchallenged. Not yours. Not theirs. Power corrupts, etc. Keeping power honest, or at least in check, is what preserves a Republic. Sorry, but even if you think your demagogue is better than their demagogue, she’s still a demagogue, just one who whispers the words you prefer.
For reasons that reflect America’s adoration of the same cluelessness that put a real estate guy in charge of government, Ethan Coen has been given real estate at the New York Times to point the fickle finger of blame.
Such a surprise! So many people to thank!
A cute start, for sure. Here’s his list of “thank yous” for the election of Donald Trump.
- Jill Stein voters
- Gary Johnson voters
- James Comey
- Jimmy Fallon
- All our media friends
- The Electoral College
Coen “explains,” after each name, what they did to destroy America. Damn those twelve Jill Stein voters! But what about the candidate?
I cannot thank: Hillary Clinton. She is not a morally perfect person — her fault! She was not the perfect candidate — her fault! Misogyny may have magnified her failings so as to show them balancing the outsized failings of her opponent — and that might not be her fault. But she fought to the very limits of her ability to deny us Tuesday night’s surprise, so I do not thank her. Pooh on you, Hillary Clinton!
Is Coen not the cutest ever? See what he did there? In the minds of the righteously partisan, there are no flaws, no failings, that can explain the wrong outcome. So Coen finally gets right down to the bottom line:
I do thank, lastly:
8. The American electorate. Because in the end, we all did it together. We did it! We really did it!
How dare a nation vote the wrong way? Of course, that’s the nature of voting, that Americans made a choice, whether to vote for Trump or to not vote for Clinton. And despite what you think of Rush (no, the other Rush, not Limbaugh), staying home and not voting is still an exercise of freewill.
Who wasn’t “thanked”? The Democratic Party. Not for nominating a candidate that wasn’t adored. Not for cheating Bernie Sanders out of his fair chance to become the candidate. Not for giving Hillary the debate questions in advance. Politics makes people do weird things.
Rather, the Democratic tent was once occupied by working people. Since the recession of 2007, they’ve been sucking wind. When Bill Clinton won the presidency from Shrub’s dad, it was on the slogan, “It’s the economy, stupid.” And it was. It still is. Telling people that the economy under Obama’s care is doing great wasn’t going to fool people who had no place to go in the morning. Telling them that a vote for Clinton meant more of the same only resonated with people whose first class started at 10:30 am.
Then there were the people who fought for decades, for generations, for equality, for fairness, for reason, for civil rights, for the Constitution. They found themselves attacked as racists and misogynists, chased out of the tent by the screaming Lena Dunham fans. These weren’t conservatives, but they didn’t pray at the altar of progressivism either.
The tyranny of identity politics didn’t play, no matter how much it guided your world.** Everything wasn’t racist or sexist, and they were not about to forsake all other issues to pander to your delicate feelz. For that, they were accused of heresy. Only the orthodox had a place in the Democratic tent.
Coen’s thank-you list should warm the cockles of the deeply saddened, the criers, the perpetually horrified and fearful. What it will not do is return the Democrats to relevance. America has heard the progressive plea, and responded. Sorry. Not interested. These are not the alt-right animals at whom you point and shout, “see, see!!!”
These are your mothers and fathers. Your grandparents. Your neighbors and that nice fourth-grade teacher who cheered you up when you blew the spelling test. These aren’t bad people, evil people. These are people whom you know, and love. But they don’t agree with your world. And it’s not that they want Rudy Giuliani anywhere near their government, but that you called mommy a racist without even realizing it. Dad didn’t tell you how he’s struggling to pay for your new iPhone so you could bitch about the horror of misogyny on twitter because he doesn’t want you to worry that he won’t have a job next year. That’s how parents roll.
We need a viable Democratic Party. Frankly, we would do better with more than two major political parties, but let’s not get overly ambitious. At the moment, we’re down to one, as the Democrats have reduced themselves to Lena Dunham fans, and she’s, well, not that loved. Unless you want Trump (or some Cheeto facsimile) to be president for life, surrounded by Gingrich, Giuliani and Christie, stop crying, get real about what went very wrong, and choose to be effective in checking government excess.
Defending the Constitution doesn’t mean getting your way. There are rights in there that don’t mean what you want them to mean, and won’t make you feel happy, but either we fight for them or we lose them. You can’t fight when you’re crying. You can’t fight when you’re blaming everyone but the guilty. No, Ethan Coen, Jimmy Fallon didn’t lose the election for Hillary. He won’t lose the next one either. America spoke. It had that “real discussion” you pretended you wanted. You can hear it if you stop all that wailing. Only then will you know whom to blame.
**Why not, redux.
But are there not more feelings involved? Yes. Yes there are.
How did this possibly not work?