It Just Doesn’t Matter

U.S. Congress in Joint Session

There was no China “travel ban,” OK?

On January 31, the Trump Administration announced travel restrictions to and from China but there was no “ban.” The restrictions didn’t save “hundreds of thousands” of lives and they certainly didn’t do what the President thought what they would do when he announced them, which was keep the coronavirus from spreading in the United States completely.

Don’t believe it? There is an actual record of the cascade of ignorance and misinformation that has spewed forth from his own fast food hole since the third week of January.

So. If you support the President, or even if you just don’t believe he is the most monumentally ill-equipped, wrong-thinking, corrupt, poorest excuse for a leader the United States has had in its history – bar none – you should stop reading now. Because you are unlikely to believe or agree with anything you’ll encounter hereafter.

Similarly, if you support Joe Biden for President in the election presumably to be held in November, or even if you just don’t believe he is the most monumentally uninspiring, questionable-thinking, poorest candidate the Democratic Party could choose to run against Trump – bar none – you should stop reading now. Because you are unlikely to believe or agree with… well, you might believe and agree with some of what you’ll encounter hereafter but I make no promises.

I will not debate anyone about my assessments of the two men, either. Because now is a time when lines must be drawn, when the truth and reality of things must be accepted and acknowledged; a time when, frankly, sides must be chosen. Trump is a human horror show and Biden is but a cipher of the leader needed in this moment. Thus, it just doesn’t matter – if it’s between the two of them the country must choose in November – who gets sworn in as President next January.

“Oh, but think of the Supreme Court!” my well-meaning friends on the Left will wail. Here’s a truth and reality to accept and acknowledge: the Supreme Court is why we are where we are (see Bush v. Gore, 2000; Citizens United, 2010). Anyone waiting for the Supreme Court to save anyone’s rights, or improve anyone’s access to justice, or to freedom or happiness, best not even be born yet.

No, the only thing that matters now, all that can save the country from finally ending its grand experiment in self government, is wresting control of the legislative branch from the Republican Party. And given the dubious commitment mainstream Democrats have to serving the interests of The People, even that may not stop the United States of America from soon being united no more.

The first order of business, of course, is getting Mitch McConnell out of the Senate. The senior senator from the sad state of Kentucky is, perhaps more than any single person in the past two decades, responsible for throwing sand in the gears and holding at bay any impulse to use the power of government to better the lives of the human beings who call the U.S. home. 44 year-old former Marine Corps fighter pilot Amy McGrath has mounted a plausible challenge to McConnell’s incumbency but she’ll have to fight off two Democratic primary challengers in June for the honor of bringing McConnell’s craven approach to public service to light in November. It’s brutal work, this holding a democracy together.

Denying Republicans a majority in the Senate in 2021 will require some combination of Democrats and Independents to net a total of four seats among the 35 on the ballot in November.

As I see it, the next most-toxic boil needed to be lanced from the body politic is Lindsey Graham, who insanely became Donald Trump’s most public water carrier in Congress after having rightly branded him a “race-baiting, xenophobic bigot” in 2015, and who predicted a Trump presidency would destroy the Republican Party. For a so-called leader of the party of small government, Graham has always been a friend of the security state; he is also a noted luddite and opponent of net neutrality, and a consistent champion of giant corporations in opposition to small businesses and individual Americans.

Now would be a great time for voters in Arkansas to pull the plug on one-term Senator Tom Cotton, before he jaws the country into a shooting war with China, or Iran. It would also be a great time for Arkansas voters to remember that sons and daughters of the Sooie State tend to die in war, on a per capita basis, more than those of many other states.

Beyond those three, there are plenty to choose from among Republican senators, who largely act to prevent any kind of real social or civic progress from being made in this country: Arizona Senator Martha McSally, appointed by the governor in 2018 to fill the seat left vacant by retiring Senator John Kyl (who himself had been appointed to fill the seat left vacant by the death of John McCain in August of that year), faces a credible challenge by retired astronaut Mark Kelly. McSally has mainly slaked her thirst for power by drinking Trump’s kool aide and she showed she knows how to mislead the public with the best of them, having featured in her campaign testimonials from a woman she paid nearly $400,000; payments she of course failed to disclose publicly.

Let us not forget America’s most disappointed senator, four-term incumbent Susan Collins of Maine, who has consistently milked her supposed position as an all-important swing vote in the tightly divided current senate makeup, only to side with Republicans, and Trump, and the forces of Darkness, every. single. time.

Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has shown herself to be another anti-China xenophobe and a public servant who likes to hide things from her constituents.

Georgia voters, thanks to Republican Governor Brian Kemp’s unfathomable stupidity, have a two-fer opportunity, where they could make David Perdue a one-term senator, and also rid themselves of Kelly Loeffler, appointed by Kemp to fill retiring Senator Johnny Isakson’s seat just months ago, who, in one of her first notable acts, used a private intelligence briefing on the coronavirus and its potential to disrupt the economy as an opportunity to bank hundreds of thousands of dollars in gains trading on the stock market prior to the news becoming public. Editor’s Note: If you or I did something similar, dear reader, we would go to prison, just like Martha Stewart, for insider trading.

It is not my purpose here to exhaustively annotate the landscape of a potential Republican implosion on Capitol Hill, though there are literally dozens of craven, two-faced, dangerous men and women operating under the Republican banner in both the Senate and House of Representatives. They represent not the People of their constituencies but rather the Money. They are cognitively dissonant as to the means they employ and the ends to which those means lead. They are roundly dismissive of science and evidence-based realities, focused on securing and retaining their own personal power, and on obtaining as much money for their “campaigns” as possible.

Democrats are not immune to the siren call of legislative power, by any means. There are some who simply do whatever they must, including vote with Republicans, in order to keep their seats in presumably conservative districts. Part of the problem for Democrats is that their tent is so big, it’s difficult to present a unified vision of policy for the electorate. Ideas that excite Democrats in Northern California don’t necessarily sit well with Democrats in West Virginia.

The print and broadcast media, on the other hand, and the vast majority of people who are active on social media platforms, seem to have little awareness of or bandwidth for many of the down-ticket players in our national tragedy, remaining laser-focused on the Road to the White House. This is understandable, given that Donald Trump has been, for more than three years now, at the core of a daily dumpster fire wrapped in a freeway pileup inside a train wreck.

After having begun the primary season with an attractive lineup of qualified, thoughtful, intelligent, and creative women and non-whites, along with stalwart old, white men running to oppose Trump on behalf of the Democratic Party, it’s down, apparently, to Joe Biden. Wagons have been circled and the ranks closed. And now, of course, the media, along with some number of people (not to mention nearly all Republicans), are frothing at the mouth with prurient interest in a charge of sexual assault levied against him by a former staffer.

As usual, people are focused on the wrong thing. Joe Biden has substantive flaws as a politician. He has backed terribly undemocratic, punitive, and draconian policies that have hurt the American people and damaged the country’s image in the eyes of observers abroad.

Just as with Donald Trump, who may or may not have sexually assaulted one or more of the twenty-plus women on record who say he did, who may or may not have raped the 13 year-old girl who said he did, the Republican incumbent for President offers a catalog of bad ideas that, should one be inclined to accept and acknowledge truth and reality, prove he is manifestly unfit to be re-elected.

Thus, a truth and reality we all must accept and acknowledge: unless voters take away Republican control of the Senate in November, unless they allow Democrats and Independents even greater control of the House of Representatives, it just doesn’t matter who they choose to be President.


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