Sunday, June 19, 2016

I'm With Stupid

Until the votes are cast and counted, it's always too early to get confident and smug, but it seems like Mister Man has fallen off a cliff since clinching the Gooper nom. More specifically, it appears that the precise date was Drumpf's speech on May 27 (my birthday, as it happens, so you'll forgive me if I consider it a small gift from the universe) excoriating Judge Gonzalo Curiel. Since then, Drumpf has only compounded his problems, most notably with his tone-deaf insinuations after the Orlando massacre.

At this point, it's easy and tempting to consider the popular meme that Drumpf is really a plant from the Clinton campaign; after all, even Drumpf himself noted that he had a conversation with Bill Clinton shortly before making his fateful descent on the escalator and throwing his hairpiece into the ring. It makes a certain amount of perverted sense, and really nothing would surprise most of us anymore. The only reason I don't quite believe it is because Drumpf has always been a man of tremendous ego -- yuge, really -- and it's difficult to see him deliberately spend a year becoming a complete jerkoff for someone else's benefit. It's much easier to look at his history and see that he's always been a complete jerkoff.

But the fact is, he might as well be running to deliberately fail, to the extent that it really doesn't matter anymore. Either way, he's wrecking the fortunes of the entire party, and it couldn't happen to a better bunch of teabaggers. But let's assume for the sake of argument that Drumpf is running a campaign that he intends to win.

The "Mexican judge" thing was just about bizarre in its intensity and repetition. Drumpf's "where can a bazillionaire scam artist catch a fuckin' break, amirite?" schtick just didn't catch on. As Bill Maher pointed out on his HBO show the other night, Trump "University" does not have a constituency. The only reason for Drumpf to bring it up is to cast himself as a martyr, which plays entirely against his mythical narrative of being a successful bidness typhoon who does as he pleases and pleases as he does.

Likewise with the Orlando shooting -- Drumpf's initial tweet was self-congratulatory for "predicting" another domestic terrorist incident perpetrated by a disgruntled Moooslim who wanted to impress ISIS. In a country where it's easier to get an AR-15 and a brick of ammo than it is to get Sudafed, this was a prediction on par with "sun rises in the east". And again, his further insinuations that Preznit Chocolate Thunder must be in on it somehow, only made Drumpf look stupider.

All politicians and all businesspeople of any level of success have larger-than-average egos; it's basically a job qualification. If you don't believe in yourself, why on earth would anyone else invest in you? But Drumpf's ego is outsized to what has become a detrimental level:  he's too ignorant to even be aware of the many important things that he knows nothing about, and he's too arrogant to bother to educate himself about those things.

Drumpf seems to seriously think that he can beat a billion-dollar Democratic machine with a fucking Twitter account and a bunch of stupid hats. Good luck with that, champ. Hope the rubes who bought the swag and the bullshit feel like they got their money's worth.

This must be what it's like to live in a bubble of privilege, where people never say "no" to you, never disagree with you, never point out that your "facts" are false. Anything that goes wrong -- a bankruptcy, a marriage, a business venture -- is always someone else's fault, and is something to be bailed on as quickly as possible, and let someone else clean up the mess.

And now it's all come full circle, and threatens to bring the Republican party down. Good. Fuck those people. That party has needed a full enema for quite some time. Flush out the shit and start over. There's a path to becoming a respectable opposition party, and it starts by getting rid of the scumbags, opportunists, and hypocrites, of which the GOP seems to have far more than their fair share.

None of this, it should be noted, absolves the Democrats and their minions from their own fecklessness. Watching the Clintonistas and Berniebros go at each other is about as sad as it gets. Sanders won 22 states, with crowds the size of Drumpf's and a fraction of the media coverage (and most of that focusing on his hair and his sociamalism), and a party chair that all but openly conspired against him.

That Sanders won't roll over and show his belly with the alacrity that the HFC supporters would prefer appears to enrage them immeasurably. They are incensed that apparently a handful of holdouts are lobbing shots over at Kos. Someone should do a proper head count and see exactly how many of those folks there are. I doubt it's a statistically significant number.

For the record, and to prevent inevitable butt-hurt, let me assure one and all that, despite my support for Sanders, I will vote for HFC in the general election. If it keeps Drumpf out of the White House, I'd vote for just about anyone or anything. I think we will see that that is the mainstream sentiment in the end; the holdouts were never going to vote for Clinton in the first place.

Sanders does have a role here in keeping honest people honest, though, and it's appalling that that is getting brushed aside at the first moment he and his candidacy become inconvenient. Sanders' policy proposals, however "unrealistic" the smart set declares them to be, are in fact the only proposals that would benefit someone besides the tiny margin that skull-fucks everyone else with their usurious rackets, day in, day out.

Is HFC going to take on Wall Street in any meaningful way -- for example, by reinstating Glass-Steagall? Not bloody likely, since it was her own husband who dumped it, and she has since made a tidy sum giving cheerleading speeches at Goldman Sachs. Is she going to improve Obamacare, and if so, how? Giving more coverage to more people who can't pay for it, without addressing the insane costs of medical care in the first place, does nothing but transfer costs to people like me.

I work for the fucking government, and even my insurance has gone up $100/month every year for three years in a row now, with nothing in return -- if anything, the coverage is a little worse, a little less responsive. I guess I'm supposed to be comforted by the thought that someone else who could not previously get insurance now has insurance; unfortunately, when I try to pay my fucking student loans with that warm feeling, they just laugh. Can't say as I blame them. Oh well, maybe I'll be able to take my family on a weekend vacation in another lifetime. Glad I'm able to cover someone else's ass, though. Maybe someday someone else will cover mine, but I'm not holding my breath, since my fucking insurance would probably only cover 50% after a $1,000 deductible for that.

And hey, speaking of insane costs for very little value in return, what is HFC going to do about the higher education racket, which rolls up kids into a system that essentially requires them to get a degree, then dumps them out the other end with six figures of debt, forced to live with their parents until they're thirty because hey, guess what -- there's only so many high-paying jobs out there. Anyone want to lay some imaginary money on the odds between "slim" and "none" that college becomes even a little more affordable?

If I told you the number of places, public and private sector, that I've applied to with my vaunted EmmBeeAyy and years of supervisory and managerial experience, and gotten nothing more than an automated email acknowledgement, you'd be sick to your stomach. I know I am, especially as my daughter gets within a few years of graduating high school, and we have no idea how the fuck we're going to pay for her college, when we can't even pay for mine, for a degree I completed five years ago.

It's difficult to imagine what sort of person has any real confidence that HFC is going to do anything about any of those issues, things that affect how Real 'murkins are able to lead their lives. She's not going to do anything to rock the boat, because she's on that boat, with her laundry list of unforced errors and a high-rolling foundation that's more like a slush fund.

This is where Sanders' candidacy had so much potential; not that he was going to win, but that he would make enough of an impact to change the trajectory, skew the outcome, push HFC at least a little bit away from her baser instincts, and get her to do something that would actually benefit someone in the American working class. Instead, because he hasn't bowed out quickly enough, Sanders and his supporters are being lib-splained and excoriated for their supposed fecklessness.

Well, bullshit. Like I said, I'll vote for HFC when the time comes, and I suspect that most serious Sanderistas will as well, if only because Drumpf is infinitely worse in every conceivable way. But we'll do it with no confidence that we'll gain anything from it. The only way that happens is if people keep voting, vote in the midterms, get their friends and family to vote, stay informed and keep pushing. It's hard to imagine that happening, because we're all so cynical. We've given up, except for the pissy infighting.

Sanders' message actually countered that cynicism, for what it was worth. It's a difficult jump over to what may be one of the most transparently cynical politicians to run in our lifetimes.

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