Monday, January 13, 2020

And The Reality Is ...

It has to stop.

It is becoming absurd.

All of this uproar over the Democratic candidates ... which one beats trump in a head-to-head poll. Which one is the true Democrat, while all the others are mere pretenders. Threatening to withhold your vote if your guy (in a non-gender-specific sense) doesn't get the nomination. Demanding that your candidate hew precisely to your view of the world, and if they don't then they are garbage. I have not seen purity tests this intense at an evangelical wedding.

So here's the reality.

The president's approval ratings have been in the low 40% range since day one. They may have wavered back and forth slightly, but have never gone outside the margin of error.

Republicans at the state level across the country are gearing up their voter suppression techniques ... the most popular being the on-the-surface-legitimate-but-it's-just-a-smokescreen tactics recently employed in Georgia. What they did was to send postcards to voters asking them to verify their voter registration. This effort is insidious for three reasons:

  1. These postcards are not sent to every district in the state, only to those districts with majority Democratic registrations.
  2. The postcards are designed in such a way as to make them look like your average, run-on-the-mill junk mail ... with the result that, conservatively, 2/3 of them will be thrown out. Which means ...
  3. If no response is received by a certain date, then that voter's name is removed from the voter rolls. Interestingly, this date is on or after the last date for voter registration. This not only means that, a) should someone be booted off, they would not be able to re-register in time for the election, and 2) even if someone is vigilantly keeping an eye on their registration they will be shown as being eligible to vote ... until it's too late to do anything about it.

This is our new reality, people. The Republican Party has ceased to be a political party and has become a protection racket, all geared toward keeping trump in office and making it progressively more and more difficult for his opponents to have any say in ... well, anything.

So, by all means ... root for your chosen candidate. Vote for him or her in the primary election. Just be willing to accept that they might lose the primary, and the task at that point is -- not to put too fine a point on it -- to send donald trump back to the egg sac from which he was spawned.

The thing is, even after he leaves office in January, 2021 (hoping I don't jinx it), trump will not get any kinder treatment. G. W. Bush, who was widely regarded as the worst President in our history until the Orange Staph Infection came along, was able to rehabilitate his image on his personal charm. Bill Clinton went from being a complete horndog to being an old, retired horndog. Bush Sr. was viewed as a serious public servant who, even if you didn't agree with his policies, you could see they came from a genuine belief that it was the right thing for the country. Jimmy Carter is widely regarded as being a marginally effective President, but probably the greatest ex-President we have ever had based on his work with Habitat for Humanity.

Unfortunately for donald trump, he does not possess any of the qualities required to be viewed as an elder statesman. Personal charm, a la George W. Bush? Nope. Smartest guy in the room, a la Barack Obama? Not even close. Public speaking ability that can reach even his most ardent opponents, a la Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan? No way.

As a President, he has been a disaster. As a person, a case could be made that he is even worse: good people on both sides; grab 'em by the pussy, "beat the shit out of 'em and I'll pay your legal bills." There is absolutely nothing about the guy that endears him to anyone. As a person and an ex-President, he is arguably worse ... but at least it becomes much easier to ignore him.

I gotta lie down.

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