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.