Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Yates was an example

The hypocrisy demonstrated by Trump's firing of Sally Yates is pretty astounding.  But it's not an accident.  Under a regime that seems determined not to be constrained by checks and balances, any official that will act according to them is unwelcome.  To fit in, a person needs to be able to pretend like they care about the constitution, but then act only in deference to Trump.

Further, the hypocrisy is part of it.  It's an act of humiliation to prove loyalty.  When no one knows whether to take you literally or seriously, they ignore you and hope that you're on their side.  Until they're detained in an airport for trying to come home.  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A Farewell to Language

Photo via Arnold Chao

Do you prefer the ACA or Obamacare?  Trick question.  They're the same thing.  If you're reading my blog, you knew that already, but it's becoming apparent that not everyone does.

My first thought about this seeming impossibility was that something was being lost in translation (From English to English?  I guess that's what we've come to.).  Yet it keeps coming up all over the place.

A quick recap of what I've learned over the last year: facts don't matter in elections.  You can hem and haw over whether Trump should have been taken literally or seriously or neither, but either way our country is facing literal and serious problems.  Millions will lose access to health care.  The European peace since World War II is not as stable as it could be.

Constant disinformation has done major damage to how people communicate in the United States of America.  It hasn't been many years since people went ape over an "atheist Muslim" Barack Obama.  If you want me to explain why that's idiotic, you're out of luck, and not acting in good faith.

Over the campaign of 2016, I was  amazed at Donald Trump's manner of speaking.  A lot of times he sounds like his speech has been run through a few different languages on Google Translate.  In the infamous "grab em by the pussy" tape, he used an expression, "I moved on her like a bitch."  That's not an expression.

A lot of people are expressing disappointment that the ACA is being dismantled, even when they voted for that to happen.    I can only conclude that this election was not about health care or foreign policy.  On those issues, Americans have pretty clear preferences that align with the candidate for whom they voted.

Trump's campaign was just a scream of status quo entitlement.  Republicans have stood in the same place since 1968 and shrieked in frustration any time the wrong kind of person gets any benefit out of being part of our society.

It's no surprise that they've thrown their lot in with the nihilistic Russian outlook that says "Yeah we're bad corrupt assholes, but at least we're honest about it."

Don't be fooled: this isn't a new development.  It's not even honest.  This voluntary aphasia is a project Fox News has been working on for decades.

I don't know how we come back from this.  All I can say is that it was not worth destroying civil dialog to immiserate the American people.    

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Bad Timing

I'm scared for reproductive freedom in America.  Actually, I'm scared for almost all freedom in America.

This election has scared me off of making political predictions, but if we do indeed see Roe go away, it would happen at a really bad time.  There has already been local transmission of Zika in Texas already.  Given the upcoming administration's apparent attitude toward people with disabilities, and disinterest in maintaining a social safety net, THIS WILL BE VERY BAD.

Unfortunately, it will also give people a lot of opportunity to think about how medical exceptions should or should not be written into laws about abortion.  People tend to use very rare cases to illustrate why the freedom to choose whether to carry to term is important, but if those cases become less rare, maybe people will be more practical.

Sunday, January 01, 2017

Fault vs. Responsibility

I just read Elizabeth Grattan's piece on Medium, "The Decent Woman Who Voted For Trump (Does not exist)."  That's deliberately provocative, and I clicked.  Mostly, it's just about how there's no good excuse to vote Trump.  So far, so good.  Then it goes into some not really convincing flagellation of white women, including those of us who didn't vote Trump.  Just when I think I'm getting to why I should be just as guilty as a Trump voter, all I get is
While I did cast my ballot for Clinton, this is yet another example of the white woman bathing in her privileged perched pedestal of denial. Because women of color weren’t taken by surprise by the divide in this nation. They live it. All their lives. It is a divide that has been witnessed by women of color for generations

This doesn't explain a damn thing to me.  Is voting for the better candidate a form of denial?  I guess it was a little polyannaish to think that running a decent campaign against an indecent candidate would let us keep what we've been working for, but it certainly wasn't the wrong move to vote Clinton.

This rush to blame someone, even nobly blame ourselves, is farcical.  It isn't my fault Trump won, but it is my responsibility to fix everything I can about this mess.

This is navel-gazing rather than taking responsibility.