WE’RE in a bit of a mess, aren’t we? There’s a president-elect, and the people he’s named as his cabinet, who are surrounded by controversy and illegality and just plain stupidity in the same way that a pile of dog poo has flies around it.
What amazes me is that despite all the obvious stink the whole situation has, Trump’s supporters are, in many cases, still in denial about the smell. You’d have to have been living under a rock for the last few weeks to have not got a feeling that something was very wrong, no matter which side of the fence you’re on.
How did we get here?
Well, first of course there was the election. We know Russia was behind the hacking of the DNC servers and the release of anything damaging they could find. And of course there’s going to be something damaging; these are POLITICIANS we’re talking about here.
One thing that was known about weeks ago was that the RNC servers were also hacked. But anything incriminating that was found, the hackers kept to themselves. And I suppose you could conclude that they didn’t find anything dirty or incriminating or illegal there because there was nothing to find. But, come on, does any sensible person really, honestly believe that? I repeat: these are POLITICIANS we’re talking about here. So one thing that’s been buzzing about is speculation that Putin is holding it in hand as a threat to Trump and others. I.e.: do and say what you’re told, or that shit goes public.
And then there was the whole Fake News Thang. Seriously, that had – and still has – a lot of the more extreme Trump supporters believing in pedophile rings and murder and all kinds of other crap. These extreme supporters plainly have no critical thinking skills whatsoever. Print an outrageous claim and most sensible people will want to make sure they have the facts before they subscribe to it. Not the extreme supporters, though: they take it in, no matter how crazy it sounds, because GODDAMMIT IT JUST CONFIRMS WHAT I WANT TO BELIEVE COS, Y’KNOW, LIBRALS. And they accept every word that spews from The Trumphole: he won the popular vote (he didn’t), Russia didn’t hack the election (they did), ok maybe they did but it didn’t affect the outcome (it did). Who needs facts when you can just let
Putin Trump do your thinking for you? Trump could say that Bernie Sanders is actually a reptiloid from another planet, and these people would probably believe it.
Read it, accept it, no filtering or actual logical thought about whether what you just read makes any sense at all. Then we end up with idiots waving guns around in pizza joints. I think many of these people are the same ones that read – and believe – crapsheets like the Inquirer and the Globe. (And I know people – well, one person, anyway – who reads those things and believes every single word.)
Moving along from the election, then, and the next thing was December 19 and the Electoral College vote. And the question we should all be asking is WHAT THE FUCK HAPPENED HERE?
See, the Electoral College was set up (by Alexander Hamilton, at least primarily) as a guard against the wrong kind of person becoming president: agents or favourites of foreign powers, those without the qualifications for the job, the “merely famous”.
But the EC has had its teeth pulled. In many states, the electors must, by law, vote for the same person that their state voted for. In other words, the electors in those states are there to rubber-stamp the result, no more. A state could vote for Pat the Postman or Rasputin or Adolf fucking Hitler and the electors would have to go along with it. If they don’t, they can be fined and go to prison. So there’s hardly an incentive for the electors to actually, you know, do the job as intended by Hamilton.
So, even though there were electors who truly understood their duty, and who tried to make sure the other electors were also aware of that duty, and who voted against their states’ vote for Trump, it wasn’t enough.
That wasn’t the last gasp for that, though. That came this Friday past, January 6, when Congress met to ratify that vote. And just before that, we found that at least fifty of the electoral college votes were illegal. Yes, FIFTY, at least, and it could have been as many as a hundred. In some cases the electors voted on behalf of regions (counties or wards or however it’s broken down) that they don’t reside in. In others, the electors hold other government positions at the same time, and that’s against the law; for example, from memory one of the electors for Florida is also the state’s Attorney General.
So, if the votes were illegal, how could they possibly still count? I mean, they were ILLEGAL, right? But it turns out that in another case of teeth-pulling, members of Congress can point out that the votes are illegal – but if their objection isn’t accompanied by a signature from a senator, it’s ignored. Did one, even just ONE senator step up and do the right thing? Nope. Not. Even. One. Joe Biden had no option but to go by the rules, and dismiss the objections. And so Congress ratified the EC vote despite the fact that Trump is everything the EC was set up to prevent, and that many of its votes weren’t even valid.
What a clusterfuck.
So, where are we now? As I see it, we’re in a kind of limbo until the inauguration. We’ve already got the banana Republicans set to tear down the ACA, which will rip healthcare away from twenty to thirty million people (including, I suspect, a fair number of Trump voters who didn’t think it would happen); and they’re trying to defund Planned Parenthood (again) which will, if they succeed, will endanger the lives of millions of Americans who rely on them for cancer screenings. We’ll have a climate-change denier in charge of the EPA, and a twat who doesn’t like public schools in charge of education, and a religious shit-for-brains VP who believes evolution isn’t real and (like too many people) seems to think that science is all a matter of opinion. On top of that, they’ll be sitting in those chairs without any ethics oversight, opening up opportunities for corruption on an unprecedented scale. And world-class traitor to America, Donald J Trump, Putin’s pet finger puppet, will have the nuclear codes. Well done, Trump voters! Thanks to you, we’ll all be Putin’s bitches. Bend over and take it like a man.
What’s the best we can hope for? I originally gave Trump eighteen months, tops, before he does something so incredibly stupid and illegal that even his supporters can’t go along with it. I’ve adjusted that estimate down a couple of times, and at this point I’d give him at most four months. When the hammer falls, he’ll be out. (I still have this delicious vision of him being dragged from the White House in an orange jumpsuit and shackles and thrown in the back of a police van, and taken to an “undisclosed location” never to be seen again.) Or maybe, as some have said, he’ll get bored with the whole president thing and fuck off to play golf somewhere while Pence takes the wheel. (Not that I’m saying Pence in charge would be a good thing – he’s a weapons-grade shit-for-brains, too, but certainly less of a liability than Trump. Lesser of two evils, I guess.)
Last comment: Trump was going to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it. Then it was going to be more like a fence. Now he’s saying Congress is going to pay for it, then Mexico will pay it back. (Mexico has already told Trump where to shove that idea, so good luck with that.) Now, I read yesterday that the wall, if it ever materialises, will cost $1 billion. Trump’s a billionaire. So, Trump, why don’t YOU pay for it and send the bill to Mexico, so the rest of us don’t get stiffed. Let us know how that works out.
Until next time . . .