Tuesday, February 14, 2017

You pop out for groceries and...

...six years later, gosh, a new-ish state (back in Texas again), a presidency that's ever more transformative (for good or ill - more on this in a moment), but the same old Lipstick Republican! I am clearly a fair-weather blogger, though my politics didn't change during the Obama years; I just found it so dispiriting to write about the Obama administration and all that went along with it. Schadenfreude is so much tastier than ashes. Let me dispose immediately of the Trump election: when Donald Trump appeared on the long Republican bench a year or so ago, I was bemused but otherwise paid no attention; he was nothing to me but a flashy New York real estate developer with terrible taste in hairstyles and predictable taste in women. And then he began to run in earnest.

You know that scene in Last of the Mohicans where Daniel Day Lewis (with Uncas) starts at one end of the column of retreating British soldiers and civilians who have just been ambushed by the Huron, and runs full-tilt down the column, whaling away at every warrior he encounters as he makes his way to save Cora from a Fate Worse Than Death? If it were voiced over, the narration would be, "The obstacles were insurmountable. The danger, unthinkable. But he had to try." Just picture that for a second: tomahawk slashing, yellow combover flying, Trump overcomes sixteen variously formidable opponents to gain the Republican nomination - that's halfway down the column, his goal perhaps in sight by then - and continues his gallop down the line. Whoosh, there goes another poll; smash, there goes another pundit... and then, against all odds, he symbolically beheads the Democrat party and pulls up short, raising the shivering American people to their collective feet and embraces them with surpassing tenderness... Okay, I cannot go on. I apologize for that image there. But it was quite a run, wasn't it? I wouldn't think you have to have particular sympathy toward either Trump's policies or the Republican platform to appreciate the magnitude of the task.

I offer the previous rather uncomfortable paragraph to illustrate the fact that Trump was not, was never My Guy, but I sat there on election night and marveled at the yuuuuge turnaround. (Yes, I know it probably shouldn't have been as unexpected as it was; yes, I know Clinton was a weak candidate who ran on, "It's my turn this time"; yes, I know the press was totally in the tank for her and abdicated their - I won't call it "duty" because I don't want to anoint them, so let's just say "job.")

So, here we are: another faux Hitler to render the Left incoherent, a new burning Rome to ignore. Republicans have this nasty habit of winning electorally although the popular vote (which you should generally take as "the California vote") goes to the other candidate; the calls for abolition of the Electoral College were right on cue and just as footless as always. The tendency toward violent protest is kind of new. The press continues to astound, daily massaging or contorting the news of the day into its proper shape. This last is probably going to be my subject for a while, because while I repeat that President Trump was never My Guy, I am seeing way too much "President Trump is not my president" from American journalism. Let's begin again, shall we?

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