I’ve been rich, and I’ve been poor, and believe me, rich is better   Sophie Tucker

You all know that I’ve been following politics with more avidity than the Cubs box scores for some 50 years now. And politics ebbs and slows with an almost predictable normalcy. But only occasionally is there a cataclysmic upheaval that changes everything, like the Civil Rights movement of the 50’s and 60’s.

And to my mind, the last truly cataclysmic upheaval we have had in this country before the current decade was the Vietnam war protests. It pitted young against old, rural against urban, conservative against liberal, and war hawks against pacifists. Worst of all, it forced politicians on both sides to have to take stands, something no politician wants to do, and cost plenty of them their jobs.

Once Nixon was gone, the nation wanted more than a national political time out. and the politicians wanted it as much, if not more than the rest of us did. An engaged populace took stands, asked questions, and expected results, which were sunlight to these political vampires.

So the politicians of both parties did everything in their power to make American politics about as exciting as a librarian updating the card catalogue. They mostly kept us out of wars to keep people from becoming activated and engaged, and their speeches were mostly about the driest and most boring political topics available. They even concocted C-SPAN, the Congressional-Senate Public Access Network, and made it as boring as a dentist waiting room magazine. If thery had their way, C=SPAN would be the only television channel in the country, permanently set to House Agriculture sub-committee meetings. Nothing like endless meetings about cow sh*t to put you into a coma.

And it worked, beyond their wildest dreams. Publicly they made their job as as boring as Ben Stein endlessly repeating, Buehler? Buehler? Buehler? And no matter what they promised, and no matter who the voters cast their ballots for, when they got into office, they did whatever they wanted. And people stopped showing up to voter at all. What difference did it make anyway? And as long as the only people who were showing up to vote were the incumbents voters, they were as safe as houses.

And it stayed that way until the impossible happened, and suddenly the Brigadoon portion of the American voting population blinked their eyes and woke up for the first time in 30 years. A pig on two cloven hooves with a dead muskrat glued to his head became the 45th President of the United States. And tens of millions of these lazy f*ckers slept right through it.

But when the finally woke up, they chugged two Red Bulls each. The day after inauguration, The Pink Pussy Hat Protest became the largest single day protest in global history. And being a total political imbecile, everything he did, from banning Muslim entry to the US to separating immigrant families at the border, from giving national security secrets to Russians to praising neo Nazi’s and Klansmen, all he did was to piss everybody off! And the GOP had no idea of how to turn this debacle around.

In 2018 the Democrats massacred the GOP to flip 40 seats. Worse yet for Traitor Tot and the GOP, His Lowness coldly and callously blundered his way through the Parkland school shooting, dumping the youngest, fastest growing, and easily rechargeable voting bloc out there, the 18-24 vote, right into the Democrats lap. Where they still reside.

In 2020, following Trump’s brutally mishandled efforts to control the Covid-19 virus, that killed more than a million Americans, Joe Biden blew him out of the water by some seven million votes. And in 2022, fueled by the Supreme Court overturning Roe v Wade, the Democrats staved off what should have been massive House losses, only allowing the GOP an ungovernable five seat majority, and actually added a seat in the Senate, giving VP Kamala Harris a respite from casting tie breaking votes.

This is why the Democrats will win in 2024. The current iteration of the GOP is literally a political dinosaur. For more than 50 years, they have had a simple, functional approach. For 50 years they sold out to big business in return for massive campaign donations, used Roe v Wade scarify their wingnut Evangelical base, and stay dumb enough to keep from drawing any kind of negative attention that could cost you votes. And it was flawless for them.

But that only works for as long as all of those Brigadoon denizens are safely tucked away in their beds, snoozing happily and letting the GOP go about their work the only way they know how. But nobody is sleeping, and the savvy Democrats have a whole political Starbuck’s operation going to keep them caffeinated out the ears.

And it’s working. Because the Democrats are at heart a big tent party, they have spent the last half a century trying to build the party, welcoming anybody who wants to come in, then go through the always messy process of trying to reach a consensus allowing them to govern. And that’s why, as Trump and the GOP turned more moderate and independent voters away, the Democrats were right there with a cup of coffee and a donut.

Remember that old line, Democrats fall in love, Republicans fall in line. That was true for a half a century. And as a result the GOP is piss poor qualified for the world they now find themselves in. Because falling in line means no thought process, no independent opinion, and no dissent. Stand there and shut up.

Which is why the GOP is getting hammered on the abortion issue. 50 years ago, abortion was narrowly unpopular in national polling. 50 years later abortion os now so popular that only gay marriage rights and newborn puppies come anywhere close. But the GOP is dead in the water without the wingnut the refried Jesus wheezers, so all they can do is to keep getting louder, and even further right. Which is why pro choice constitutional amendments are now 8-0.

And now Trump is going to help bury the GOP, which after all is Trump, with the help of the richest, most arrogant walking diaper stain on planet earth, Elon Musk. Trump has always carried the seeds of GOP destruction in his big, fat New York mouth for one simple reason. Trump was the first to say the quiet part out loud. And he was able to get away with it for quite a while for the simple reason that nobody took him seriously. He was a national f*cking joke, in bad taste.

But when he actually started trying to do it, suddenly it wasn’t funny anymore, like the 6 yo who farts at the table when the boss is over for dinner. Bus since this is the GOP, and Trump is just so special of a snowflake, everybody else at the table farts too, just to cover up for him. No more carne asada once the unemployment checks start rolling in.

And that’s where the GOP is. Transphobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, Islamophobia, and anti-Semitism. It’s all right out there in the open. This is Liberty Hall baby, let it all hang out. And they don’t even realize that they’re just throwing another shovel full of dirt on top of their casket. And now here’s Elon Musk, the world symbol for religious and racial intolerance, letting known bigots, racists, and anti Semites back on his site, praising them with his own tweets while Trump praises Musk.

But here’s the McGuffin. It’s backfiring. Musk bought Twitter just over a year ago for an insanely inflated price of some $44 billion. And a recent filing showed that as of last month, some $24 billion in stock value had been pissed down the drain of that sink Musk carried in with him.

But it’s even better. Facebooks new Twitter knock off is hoovering Twitter followers away at an alarming pace. Earlier today Tesla stock closed at a low that has Wall Street worrying that the company might finally be heading for a cash crisis.

And worst of all, Musk’s Twitter revenue is drying up like a summer desert shower. Look, we’re not running Twitter here, or Instagram either, but we couldn’t survive without advertising revenue, which is why you have to suffer through those annoying pop-up ads, and we thank you for it. But Twitter’s ad revenue is gone, and without it Musk has no way to recoup his losses.

And all of this is what the salvation of democracy, capitalism looks like. Large multinational corporations won’t touch Twitter with fire tongs, because they don’t want any activist consumer boycotts over their association with Musk’s rockheaded views. Twitter i, s rapidly becoming a niche site catering to bucketheads and bedsheet banditos, which means that almost nobody else is coming in to play anymore.

But Twitter is still the official social media handmaiden of the GOP. even faithful GOP toadies don’t waste their time on Bullsh*t Social. And there’s Glorious Bleater, daily spouting off the kind of far right racist claptrap that couldn’t get them elected to the legislature in Hungary. But today’s GOP is like high school gym class, participation is mandatory. 

Look, this is scary sh*t. And it could have worked 20 years ago, if half of the citizenry were still snoozing away, and the GOP was still using dog whistles instead of bullhorns. But just as the Vietnam war of the late 60’s shattered forever the Camelot images of the Kennedy presidency, the coronation of Emperor Numbus Nuttus brought to a shattering end the mass national coma of the previous 35 years. The Democrats are the cavemen who successfully adapted, and the GOP are the dinosaurs will be the petroleum products of 3066, which nobody will be using by then.

Have a little faith, and a little patience. Right now no Democrats or independents are really engaged yet, it’s too early, and most of them don’t want an 80 year old in the White House, no matter how grandfatherly and cuddly he is. I get that. But the GOP presidential primary race is quickly shaking out into Trump’s worst nightmare, a single moderate opponent by the time the primaries start. With his legal problems, this could actually constitute a threat to him.

But when it all shakes out, and everybody tunes in, the Democrats and independents will grudgingly settle for four more years of predictable normalcy, especially when the only alternative is a nightmare version of 1939 Berlin. And the Trump Nazi Party isn’t even trying to disguise it. I don’t think anybody much is going back to sleep over the next 13 months.

I thank you for the privilege of yoyr time.

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  1. Another excellent article, Mr Murphy. I pray that your optimism is realised come 2024. Each election cycle, I think of Australia, where voting is mandatory. All citizens over 18 are required by law to register to vote and then do so. The fines for disobedience are tiny, no one goes to jail, but they get over 90% turnout every time with minimal grumbling from either Left or Right. Seems to me that such acceptance of the basic duty of democracy is a fine concept.

  2. I hope you’re right Joseph. I was at Carolina during the Vietnam protest and stood next to Jane Fonda when she came to speak at Carolina. She was known as Hanoi Jane at that time. Dick Gregory came after Nixon fell, who was pardoned by his buddy, Gerald Ford, who then appointed the oligarch, Nelson Rockefeller as VP. Dick made the serious joke, that having a president and vice president, NEITHER of whom the people elected, would be called a coup in any other country. Some thug in the crowd stood up to hassle him. He said, “glad to see the CIA here!”
    Nixon walked, but put cannabis in schedule one FOR POLITICAL control of the protesters, where it REMAINS today, with 700,000 citizens criminalized EVERY year! So he was successful at eliminating a lot of potential voters by giving them unjustifiable criminal records, with a disapportionate number being black, brown, and poor whites. FACT.
    Now the young are prejudiced against Joe, although he has tried to eliminate THEIR student loan debt, raise THEIR minimum wage, and so forth. I listened to one say he’d never vote for Joe because he has some dumbass idea Joe can end the conflict in Gaza by calling for a ceasefire, as if the dictator in Israel will listen to anyone, including his own citizens, or like he knows what Joe is trying to do behind the scenes. The part that irritates me is he said he wouldn’t vote for Trump either. YOU PHUCKING IDIOT WITH A COLLEGE DEGREE! Here we go again with half educated idiots thinking a ‘protest’ vote somehow isn’t a VOTE FOR FASCISM. Somehow we need to challenge these fools to understand IT’S A BINARY CHOICE…DEMOCRAT OR FASCIST!!!! I hope your optimism about the voters is going to come to pass. I’m not so sure.

    • “Dick Gregory came after Nixon fell, who was pardoned by his buddy, Gerald Ford, who then appointed the oligarch, Nelson Rockefeller as VP. Dick made the serious joke, that having a president and vice president, NEITHER of whom the people elected, would be called a coup in any other country.”

      Well, “in any other country,” that “coup” might be correct but OUR CONSTITUTION had been amended just 7 years before Ford became President (and Rockefeller became VP) to formalize something that the Founders had NOT even considered. Hell, until the 25th Amendment’s ratification, the job of VP did NOT exist if the VP had to take over for the President. William Henry Harrison was elected to the Presidency in 1840, took the oath of office in early March of 1841 and was dead by early April of 1841. His VP, John Tyler, took over the Presidency per Article 2, Sec 1. (There were issues though on exactly what Clause 6 intended. Did the VP’s assumption mean he was “THE” President or just “ACTING” President. Tyler believed the clause meant he was “THE” President with all the powers of the office and it ended up requiring a Congressional resolution affirming the idea of “THE” President.) But there was no mention of a replacement for the Vice-President. (Several “Presidential Succession Acts” had been instituted in 1792, 1886 and 1947 but they only dealt with the President, not the VP; the 1792 act did suggest that if the President were replaced and that replacement needed to be replaced, then a new election would be held but it never happened and that the President pro tem of the Senate would be first in line as Acting President and the Speaker of the House would be next–but only until the election was held. The Act of 1886 removed those offices from succession and went with Cabinet officers in order of the Cabinet post’s creation. But, again, it only dealt with the event of BOTH the President and VP offices being vacant and the only office that would be filled was that of the President. The 1947 Act restored the Speaker and President pro tem offices, putting them ahead of the Cabinet but, once again, had NO provision to replace only the VP.)
      Then, of course, came 1865 and Lincoln’s assassination and replacement by Andrew Johnson. It was effectively a rehash of 1841; Lincoln was dead, Johnson assumed the Presidency. From the time Teddy Roosevelt took over from William McKinley until he ran for the Presidency in his own right in 1904, there was no Vice-President (Roosevelt was stuck with Charles Fairbanks–to appease more conservative Republicans–as his Vice-President in the 1904 election and his 1905-1909 presidential term). And so it went until 1967 when the 25th Amendment was added to provide for how to handle not only the removal of a President–most presumptions, of course, involved a President’s death*–but also the removal of a Vice-President (prior to the 25th, there were 16 instances of a vacancy in the Vice-Presidency, resulting in the office’s vacancy for a total of 36 years and 100 or so days or roughly 1/5 of all of US history under the Constitution: 7 VPs had died in office, 1 resigned the office and 8 had ascended to the Presidency).
      So, when Spiro Agnew resigned the Vice-Presidency on tax evasion charges and Ford was selected to replace him as VP, it was the first time that the office of VP had been replaced during a President’s term in office (when LBJ took over for JFK, there was no VP again until after the 1964 election). But, here’s the fun bit that Mr Gregory’s “joke” overlooked: If the 25th had not existed at the time, the office of Vice-President would’ve been vacant until Jan of 1977 (following the next Presidential election) and then, presuming Richard Nixon had been forced to resign, the person who would’ve taken over would be WHO? The Speaker of the House, Carl Albert, would become Acting President (not “President”) and there would be NO Vice-President until after the next regular election.
      And, for what it’s worth, Ford WAS an elected official. He’d only been elected by the people of his Congressional district (MI-5), mind you, but he had been duly elected “by the people.” (And, also, Mr Gregory seems to have forgotten the existence of the Electoral College when telling his little joke but the House and Senate operated in that function when they approved Ford’s ascendancy to the office of Vice-President and then Rockefeller’s nomination to be the new VP.)

      • Thanks for the details, but I believe Dick was really trying to poke at the system, that allowed a guy, who WASN’T elected to the particular office, pardon a criminal traitor who made a deal with the North Vietnamese to submarine Johnson’s plan for peace to steal the election, then committed the crimes of Watergate, and locking up protesters on a bogus law concerning cannabis, HE KNEW wasn’t supported by science. Dick was an activist, not a researcher like you. His point was still valid, i.e., THE SYSTEM IS CORRUPT. History since 1972 has PROVEN his point many times over to this very day.

  3. Well, I’m neither a buckethead or a bedsheets bandito, but I’m still on Twitter posting your articles and anything else I find relevant to help save our country from the rwnj’s. We can’t abandon Twitter to these asshats without a fight so I’m going to be like the dance band on the Titanic. I’m going to go down slinging facts into the abyss.

  4. It is a fight to the death unfortunately. We either get power into humane hands or we watch fascism take over killing anyone that disagrees with them. The planet will reach a tipping point of no return if the oligarchs get power with the greedy fascists. I would like to get through this life without blood on my hands justified or not, but I’ll be goddamned if I allow fascists destroy this planet, this country, and ALL our children’s future. I’ve worked with vets with PTSD, so I know how it affects a person,(with a goddamn conscience), to kill another human being. It’s damaging. I saw it in my relatives having fought in WW2, Korea, and Vietnam. That being said, I WILL pick up a gun if forced to stop these murderous traitors. The better alternative is use what has ALREADY been paid for in blood…the right to VOTE!!! SMARTEN THE PHUCK UP AMERICA!!!

  5. All this shock and dismay at space karen’s anti-semitism–why? He is from South Africa f.f.s. Does anyone think just because there was a truth and reconciliation show and p.o.c. were finally allowed to vote, wypipo in that country were going to become anything other than the racist pigs they always were?

    I have never used twitter or zitter or whatever the eff the damned thing is called now because A) I have always had better things to do with my time even if it was only contemplating my navel and B) after space karen took over I knew it would become a haven for all the racist/bigoted/misogynist/anti-semitic/etc. pieces of sh*t that plague our nation (and others) AND that space karen would welcome them with open arms. He’s never made it a secret he thinks white xtian males should be ruling everything and to hell with everyone else EVER. Did someone think THAT would change when he bought zitter? Sheeeit people.

    At this point all I am hoping for is people seeing what these ass-hats are saying and doing and getting righteously disgusted. Disgusted and anxious to pull the lever for any and all democrats running for any and all public offices. I still have hope despite the fact at least 74 million ass-hats are wanting the world space karen envisions. I also hope to win the PCH so that ought to tell you how far out in la-la land my hopes and dreams are.

  6. Musk invents nothing. He is goid at making himself the face of a brand. Basically he is a spokesmodel but without the good looks and charm. Honestly, as soon as I heard Amber Heard had slept with tge,Muskrat wanted to.vote for Johnny Depot as Pope.

  7. I think you’re probably right, murph. But just one thing: “… the Vietnam war of the late 60’s shattered forever the Camelot images of the Kennedy presidency …” Say what?
    The Vietnam War would be Johnson and Nixon, not Kennedy. I was in my psychology class, first year of college, when we were told JFK had been shot. (At first we didn’t believe it, because the professor had just handed out questionnaires and we thought the “news” was some kind of experiment. He had to repeat it and say, “no, this is for real.”)
    What really shattered the “Camelot images” did not happen in the 60s, it was Seymour Hersh’s 1997 book The Dark Side of Camelot. Incidentally, a trove of salacious documents supplied to Hersh by Lex Cusack (from which Cusack made 7 million bucks) were later discovered to be forgeries. At the very last minute before publication Hersh removed that material from the book. Cusack was convicted of fraud, he had to forfeit the 7 mill and he was sentenced to 9 yrs and 7 months in jail. But because Hersh was an award-winning writer and because of the shock value and bestseller potential of the book, it got tremendous pre-release publicity, including not only Hersh himself on a well-paid talk circuit, but you’ve got to believe every Kennedy hater in the country (and there were and still are plenty of them) came out of the woodwork to help with the second JFK assassination : i.e. character assassination.
    The Dark Side of Camelot remains a very controversial book, and no one can deny that Hersh has broken many shocking but hidden stories in his career, such as the My Lai massacre, but he is also known for a heedless tendency to exaggerate and even make stuff up, especially when he is talking rather than in print. Anyway, whatever the truth about the Dark Side of Camelot, it had nothing to do with the VN war. Unless you are saying that JFK got the US into that war. Which is also false. American military involvement in Vietnam ramped up massively right after JFK was killed. Just a coincidence, I suppose.


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