Final Straw

I don’t usually talk politics here. Generally, I prefer to keep the blog a respite from all the crap we face in our daily lives*. I may gripe a lot–especially about poorly thought-out technology–but it’s rarely a matter of life and death; you can read a post, hopefully snicker at the snark, and move on, safe in the knowledge that the world won’t be appreciably worse if you disagree with me.

* Note to any agents reading this: I think my novels fall into the same category. If you think there’s a place in publishing for stories that let readers escape their cares and woes, let’s talk.

But sometimes the piles of poop get too big and I need to vent.

I don’t expect to say anything you haven’t heard before. If you don’t want to read my political rant, feel free to skip today’s post. There will be toe beans tomorrow.

If there aren’t toe beans, it’s because I’ve been hauled off by the Gestapo. Check with ICE. Think that’s unlikely? Think again. We’re seeing more and more reports of Immigration actions hundreds of miles away from any border. Actions featuring demands for proof of citizenship from anyone who isn’t clearly “our sort,” i.e. a white male.

And yes, I am a white male. But I’ve often been asked if I’m Puerto Rican. That’s “other” enough that I might well be stopped and questioned. I don’t know about you, but I don’t routinely carry proof of citizenship. I’m not even sure what is considered proof today. A driver’s license isn’t. Is a passport? Or would I be better off carrying a picture of Trump’s ass so I could kiss it if questioned?

But I’m digressing slightly.

It’s not the Supreme Court’s triple-whammy on unions, abortion, and travel earlier this week. It’s not even Justice Kennedy’s announced retirement. It’s the current administration’s determination to lie, cheat, steal, and shit all over anything that might stand in their way.

If you think there’s any chance of Justice Kennedy’s seat remaining open until after the November elections–much less until the new Congress is seating in January–you really haven’t been paying attention. He retires July 31. I expect the first confirmation hearing before the Senate recesses on August 6.

Hell, it might even happen before his retirement. I fully expect the nomination of his replacement to be fast-tracked. After all, the Republican machine has a perfect excuse. Remember how bad for the country it was in 2016 when those awful Democrats and that horrible fake president refused to appoint a successor to Justice Scalia?

Don’t laugh. Everything else gets blamed on the Democrats. I’m amazed this hasn’t yet.

And that’s my point.

Part of that lying, cheating, stealing, and crapping is to immediately blame everything on the previous administration. Why? Because the tactic works. Over and over again, the opposition gets caught up in debunking the lies, and the actual issue gets lost.

Hey, here’s a charming little scenario for you. The current Supreme Court just demonstrated their willingness to accept “National Security” as an excuse for unconstitutional actions. The next court isn’t going to be less willing.

So, Justice Kennedy retires July 31. A new justice is rammed through the Senate at the beginning of August. Along about October 15, the White House issues an executive order citing potential foreign interference with the November elections. “As such, in order to safeguard America’s precious liberty, elections will be suspended until their security can be guaranteed.”

Let’s be blunt here. It could happen. And if it does, all the evidence we have–everything that’s happened over the past year and a half–shows that Congress and the Supreme Court will go along with it. Oh, sure, there would be plenty of Republicans expressing grave doubts about the consequences, even condemning the president. But there wouldn’t be any Republican action to override the order, and nothing offered by the Democrats would be allowed onto the floor.

At this point, I consider anyone who continues to self-identify as a Republican part of the problem. I don’t care whether they voted for Trump. Every Republican in Congress is part of the problem. Ditto Republican officials at the state level. They’re supported by Republican fund-raisers. They get votes from party members who–even if they held their noses and voted against Trump–continue to vote Republican tickets.

And anyone who thinks they can “take back” the Republican Party is living in a dream world. It’s gone.

There’s only one solution. If there’s an election in November, vote them out. And in the meantime, don’t get distracted by today’s crisis, tomorrow’s uproar, or next week’s revelation. Half of them are going to be manufactured as distractions from the previous fusses, and the rest are repetitions of one single idea: “We–us, the people in power–own the rest of you. You’re working for our benefit, and if you don’t like it, you can drop dead. We’ll even sell you the gun.”

Don’t argue. It just gives them another opportunity to lie.

Don’t rebut the lies. It only makes them stronger, in the same way a song you hear over and over turns into an earworm.

Between now and November, pick an issue. One issue. Clean water to Flint (or Puerto Rico). Asylum-seekers illegally detained. Police violence against minorities. Whatever is most important to you. Do what you can on that one issue. Don’t let yourself get distracted by any other crisis. There are enough of us to deal with everything–you don’t have to do it all yourself.

And on November 6, get your ass to the polls and vote. Vote your conscience. No politeness. No “Give him a chance.” No “He’s not really as bad as all that.” Just no.

8 thoughts on “Final Straw

  1. “Just no.” Exactly.

    And, yes, I’m all-in on pick one issue. I said to friends in 2016 that if we are to march and fight and take on every issue we will all get tired. Protest fatigue is a real thing. We must take on these very real, dangerous threats to our democracy like we would a dinner party — you there! you bring the appetizers, and you! you bring the pie. If we each put all our energy in on one or two issues, we become a stronger whole.

    And, we’ve got a long way to go … a long way to go … and we must stay strong. And, it’s not easy now, but how much harder will it be in 2019, if we change nothing in November.

    Vote, dammit. VOTE them out. That’s something you, me, and George Will all agree on. (Would you look at that … you, me, and George Will. That’s a trio I never would have imagined, but that’s what it’s come to.)

    Thanks, Casey …

    Liked by 1 person

    • Amazingly, the post has been live for almost an hour, and I have yet to receive a single complaint about tarring all Republicans with a single brush.


      Jackie: George Will is proof one can be sensible and still get something wrong. Unfortunately, the current administration is wrong without being sensible. Protest fatigue, hmm. I like that. Wish I’d used it.

      Kate: Indeed we will, even for a narrow definition of “we”. Sounds like your friend needs a “First they came for…” reminder.

      Which reminds me: I just read Laurie R. King’s latest Russell/Holmes book, “Island of the Mad”. I was struck by how much more apt comparisons of the present situation are to Mussolini’s rise than to Hitler’s.

      John: No disagreement from me. I’m hoping that, since there’s no presidential election this year, more Democrats will recognize that this year is a case of “Better any Democrat than any Republican” and vote for whichever Democrat makes it through the local primaries than might otherwise be the case. It’ll be a problem come 2020, yes, but again, let’s focus on this year first. We can worry about 2020 in December.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sharing on Twitter. Casey, you knocked it out of the park again–I’m sure you appreciate the baseballian metaphor.

    A good friend (and Democrat and hater of all that’s going on) inexplicably said to me, “Well, we won’t be affected.” I told my friend that I have a broader definition of “we,” and yes, “we” will.


  3. What really worries me- I know: long, long list, but- what really worries me is the endlessly bickering, divided Democratic Party, which has never come back together after the ’16 election.
    The split, and anger and the absolutism is still there. The Bernie purists still enraged about their man getting stone-walled by the DNC, and still unwilling to support anyone who doesn’t agree with them. This creates a perfect opportunity for the malign forces to deepen and widen the split, and without a unified Democratic Party in November, we are well and truly fracked, longways, sideways and all the way to the bottom.
    Unhappily, if I were a betting man, I would bet the family farm that the Republicans will waltz into even more consolidated power in the coming election- unless the opposition finds some way to overcome its internal divisions and come together around a charismatic leader. I don’t see any signs of that happening, and it’s getting pretty late. I forecast more circular firing squads, and floggings until the morale improves, until about September, when a half dozen possible candidates will engage in a mud wrestling contest for what will be, by that time, a hopeless cause.
    Please, Democrats, prove me wrong. Please.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Thanks for the shot in the arm about there being enough people to cover the bases. I hope you’re right. It’s the only way to keep from screaming.

    Me, I’m writing Postcards To Voters when I can, and feeding steady donations to the ACLU, who are absolute pitbulls in this mess. But the whole shitshow rivets me and not in a good way. I keep thinking of Bablyon 5, and the Night Watch, and the fascistic tyrant finally turning the earth’s own “space force” guns against it.


    • I blush to admit that I’m not a B5 fan, so that point didn’t occur to me. (I hasten to add that I don’t dislike the show, I just never got into it.)

      Agreed on the joy that is the ACLU (and I’d add the EFF in their limited area of focus).

      And yes, I again reassure us both that there are enough of us. Worst case scenario is that the problems that don’t get enough love now will be dealt with when other problems are beaten into submission and the beaters can turn to new challenges.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thanks, Casey, for saying what many of us totally agree with. We must act. We can’t just sit back and assume things will get better. Obviously, they won’t.

    Liked by 1 person

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