Friday, July 14, 2017

The Trump Gift To Us All

I am going to make a statement that may cause liberal heads to explode. You have been warned.

To begin with, the day got off to kind of a bad start in that I woke up with a slight headache. It got worse when I logged into Facebook and the first thing I saw was a video clip of Donny and Marie absolutely disemboweling Steely Dan's "Reelin' In The Years," complete with Ice Angels. The capstone of this first ten minutes of my day was a conservative friend of mine sharing an article from the Daily Caller that stated that the Russia controversy was actually the fault of Hillary and the DNC, as was (it was implied) the assassination of President Lincoln, the meteor that killed the dinosaurs, the AMC Pacer, and Donny and Marie singing "Reelin' In The Years."1

After I gathered up my brain cells, which the Donny and Marie video had caused to clatter to the floor with much the same sound as a bucket of gravel being poured down a metal playground slide, I started thinking about how the traffic-cone colored nightmare in the White House causes a very similar reaction on a regular basis, which led me down the path of thinking about the multitude of instances of dumbassery we have all enjoyed at his teensy widdle hands.

In the days prior to trump (known as PS, or "pre-stupid"), Republicans couched their proposals in the language of spin (for example, if they were pushing something called the "Gun Safe Schools Act," you could bet your last nickel that this was a bill to require all elementary school faculty and staff to carry, at a minimum, a Glock 9mm at all times, because Murrika, dammit). They publicly presented themselves as the party of small gummint, fiscal responsibility and social conservatism, and maintained that they were merely representing their constituents that were being persecuted by all them nasty ol' Democrats. Nothing really that unexpected, actually, and it sorta followed the accepted rules of Washington: always mean what you say but never say what you mean; always refer to your opposition as "my friend" even if you know damned well that you would toss them under a riding mower at the first opportunity; publicly adopt a bipartisan stance while privately wishing for the opposing party to crash into the surface of the sun. You know, the usual.

Well, about six months ago all that was thrown out the window, and the GOP adopted a platform we here at The Blowhard Pundit like to call "The poor never donate to our campaigns, so the hell with them" and proceeded to go about the business of implementing their new agenda:
  • Giving tax cuts to the rich.
  • Making sure the rich get more tax cuts.
  • Preventing tax cuts from getting to the poor, the reasoning being that it puts an undue burden on the rich.
  • Poking Ben Carson with an elbow every few minutes to make sure he's still awake.
  • Throwing the occasional homeless person found in Lafayette Park into KellyAnne Conway's lair and watching her unhinge her jaw to swallow him whole.
  • Keeping Steve Bannon off-camera as much as possible because ... well, ick.
  • Ensuring that the rich pay less in taxes.
They also regularly appear in front of cameras to decry the disaster that is Obamacare, apparently based on the belief that if they say it often enough it will actually come true.

It was while pondering all this that I was struck with a sudden thought: maybe trump is actually good for the country in a way2.

Hear me out on this.

In the PS era, we could only assume that the GOP was populated entirely with callous, lying, greedy, opportunistic hacks. Now, thanks to trump and his army of diseased brainstems and bleating sycophants, we know this. It is on display on a daily -- hourly -- basis. After all, why bother debating a health care bill when you can simply put a dozen Republicans in a room to put something together and push it to a vote before anyone really knows what the hell is going on, then have Sarah Huckabee frown disapprovingly at reporters?

The GOP has gone from the party of hidden hackery and opportunism to the party of blatant hackery and opportunism. They have lost sight of the idea of governing and are focused exclusively on winning. They are no longer concerned with the American people, or even Republican voters ... their only concerns are winning elections and getting more campaign money from big donors. The fact that they are unable to do so based on their agenda, and that they have to resort to dirty tricks such as voter suppression and gerrymandering (you can read about this here, here, and here), is irrelevant. As long as they keep getting re-elected and the campaign moolah keeps rolling in.

Which is why, in an odd way, trump has been good for us. By emboldening the Republicans to expose their true nature as greedy, opportunistic, wannabe oligarchs, he has actually made it easier for progressives to counter the Right Wing Shriek Factory. Gone are the days when Fox News could credibly claim to be an outlet for actual journalism instead of an unending stream of nontroversies and agitprop. Reasoned political discourse has been chucked into the recycling bin and replaced with endless, easily refuted accusations of liberal skullduggery. The words "Republican lawmaker" have become synonymous with "ridiculous buffoon," thanks to things like Rep. Steve King (R-IA 4) saying we could pay for the border wall by taking money from Planned Parenthood and food stamps.

The GOP spent much of the first decade of the 21st century building up majorities in state legislatures across the country, all with an eye toward the 2010 redistricting. They used this power to draw districts in such a way that, in many cases, GOP lawmakers don't even have to run campaigns; they can simply collect the campaign cash and keep the seat warm. Thanks to this new openness, we liberals have an excellent chance in 2018 in making these measures irrelevant and installing a Congress that will actually be responsive -- and responsible -- to the majority of Americans. To do this we have to be unflinching in our desire to call out the GOP for being the selfish liars they are, diligent in keeping up the pressure on lawmakers that aren't up for re-election in 2018, and adamant in our quest to replace the ones who are.

I gotta lie down.

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1Of course, this came from the Daily Caller, which is about as useful and reliable as a news source as a leaf blower is for making chicken cordon bleu. Just sayin'.

2That deafening crash you just heard was the sound of liberal jaws dropping to the floor.

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