Listen, Ringo, we’re trying to stay on the path of the righteous. We’re trying to go full Lloyd Braun until January 20 and keep repeating our mantra: “Serenity Now.” But Agent Orange is trying our patience. And yours. So we may mention a thing or two about all that. Sorry.
by John Walters
en route to a “Stop The Steal” rally in Alpharetta
The Walking Dread
Georgia. It’s the location for filming of AMC’s The Walking Dead. What’s that, you ask? For those who don’t know, it’s a series that has remained on air about four years beyond it’s jump-the-shark expiration date. It pits a courageous and resourceful band of lucid human survivors against a relentless swarm of brain-dead zombies.
Why do I bring that up today? Oh, I dunno.
Profile In Courage
Because the White House had phoned 18 previous times to the Georgia Secretary of State’s office before Brad Raffensperger took the call, we can assume that he was prepared for Donald Trump’s effluent bullshit when he finally answered. Still, Raffensperger’s (and his attorney’s) restraint during that phone call is admirable.
What is also admirable—and it’s a shame we need to be saying this, but we do—is his integrity. He’s a Republican and he knows what Donnie Brash Co. is asking him to do—TO CHEAT TO HELP HIM WIN—but he opts to do the right thing.
(When even the sound tech dude is dragging you...)
This is an important thing to commend but also an important lesson to keep in mind for the future. The only mistake Trump made was not having enough corrupt sycophants in enough important posts to overturn the will of the people. But 81 million votes in favor of the Biden-Harris ticket were still at the will of a few state election officials and electors…less than, say, 1,000 people. And that’s a little scary.
For now, a salute to Raffensperger and to all the electors who did the jobs they were called on to do.
And a reminder…Trump and his followers are adhering to the First Law of George Costanza: It’s not a lie if you believe it.
Here’s Jamelle Bouie (yes, that sounds like someone black because it is) asking the fundamental question: “Can Only Republicans Legitimately Win Elections?“
The Warriors Need To Sign This Kid
To Live And Die In L.A.
From above-the-fold in this morning’s Los Angeles Times:
Ambulance operators are being told not to bring patients who have virtually no chance of survival to hospitals, as officials scramble to ensure they can provide enough lifesaving oxygen for critically ill patients.
That first clause. So ambulance operators are being given authority to decide who should live and who will die? Does that sound a little to you like… death panels?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not blaming the health-care workers in Los Angeles, ambulance operators, or the public health system. Merely pointing out that the same people who told you that the previous administration’s health-care plan would foster death panels now has their man in office (for 15 more days) and we have actual death panels happening due to his negligence and incompetence.
Above: a Venn diagram showing the overlap of COVID-19 deniers and election result deniers.
If It’s All White, It’s Alright
Here’s Chris Rock in his absolute prime (and I was fortunate enough to see him on this tour) sharing the unspoken Republican mantra.
Election results a fraud, but only those votes that went to Biden but not those that went to Republicans, even though all of those votes can be on one ballot since you don’t just vote for the president on your ballot? Sure. If it’s all white, it’s alright.
Senators and house congressmen (and women) voting to object to the election even though every state election official ratified the results and more than 50 lawsuits have been thrown out on the basis of no supporting evidence? Sure. If it’s all white, it’s alright.
At its core, Trumpism is all about white supremacy.
And so you ask a Trumper, what is it about black or brown people becoming empowered in this country that so terrifies you. And if they’re being honest (at least in their own mind), they’ll tell you something about how this nation was founded by white men from Europe.
And then you remind them that this land was originally settled by brown men, most likely originally from Asia (with a sprinkling of central America). And then they tell you, Yeah, but those people were savages. The European settlers were savages.
And then you remind them that while the Native Americans were not complete pacifists, they didn’t go out and kill more than half a million of their own kind over a silly dispute about slavery. Yes, the Civil War remains not only the deadliest war ever to take place on American soil, it cost the most American lives of any war. That includes World War II.
So, savages? Well, who fits that description better? The white man.
So once you prove that point to them, they just give you that “I don’t care” look. There’s only one guiding principle to these people: POWER, and how to keep it. Everything else they say or purport to be about is bullshit.
And do yourself a favor. Read two excellent books by Nathaniel Philbrick: Mayflower and The Last Stand. It’s a wake-up call to the pioneer myth.
You’re Up, Mike
If you’ve paid any attention to Mike Pence, a.k.a. the Vice President, over the past five years, then you should already know the following:
- He ain’t stupid
- He’s a brilliant political tactician
- He’s ambitious
- He’d rather not take a stand on anything (other than pro-life, gun rights, leaving NFL games early and visiting chain restaurants in New York City)
Alas, for poor ol’ Mike, Fate has finally called his number and he cannot avoid it. Tomorrow in the U.S. Senate he has to decide whether or not to formally ratify the Electoral College’s vote that gives Joe Biden the victory. It’s supposed to be a mere formality, of course, but everything about the rule of Trump is unprecedented.
This is what Mike Pence, as Vice President and thus President of the Senate, is charged with doing tomorrow (from The New York Times):
As president of the Senate, Mr. Pence is expected to preside over the pro forma certification of the Electoral College vote count in front of a joint session of Congress. It is a constitutionally prescribed, televised moment in which Mr. Pence will name the winner of the 2020 presidential election, Joseph R. Biden Jr.
President Trump, just last night, said that he hoped Pence would do the right thing (by him). “I hope Mike Pence comes through for us, I have to tell you,” Trump said at a Kelly Loeffler rally last night (where he called her “Karen,” which is just the 4,000th thing in this presidency that is simply too delicious to have made up). “”Of course, if he doesn’t come through, I won’t like him as much.”
So this is Mike Pence’s conundrum: Stick with the rule of law and be remembered in history as someone who, in the biggest moment of his life, chose integrity? Or stay loyal to Trump and, at least in the short term, stay cool with 45 and the Proud Boys and your neighbors who’ve replaced their “Trump/Pence” lawn signs with “STOP THE STEAL” lawn signs.
Should be riveting viewing.