Windy shitty

Chicago has always been a waypoint for me. Before I could speak or walk my parents were flying me through O’Hare twice a summer, en route from San Jose to Albany in early August and back from Albany to San Jose just before Labor Day. That version of Chicago was always more dynamic, upbeat, and generally encouraging than the three intervening weeks not in Chicago, but over the years I came to feel more and more that I was missing out on the real Chicago. So it’s been good to spend more time on the ground in Chicago, beyond the H and K concourses, as I’ve gotten older, on my way across the country, and I’m still trying to spend more time in actual Chicago, not less.

Put a Batman Beatdown on my White ass, Willis; that sounds like a fucking college application essay. Bitch I’m a Chicago taxpayer, too; I’ve already paid over a dollar into that broad-shouldered kitty today, and I haven’t bought but a big Mediterranean at Potbelly and a few cups of coffee. Presumably my CTA fare to Midway will pay for something worth having. I have no hope that the sales tax I contribute to this joint isn’t already down the shitter. They won’t even keep the schools open around here. Kids were taking their lives into their own hands walking to school through rival gang territory, and community activists, parents, and teachers were frantically warning city hall about how dangerous this situation was, but Honey Mayor don’t care. Sux 2b blak, lol. The reports from the neighborhoods are horrifying, and the government will hardly even mount a Michael Nutter-grade effort to pretend to give a shit.

Chicago elected Rahmbo, but he does not represent it, and he is not representative of it. Sure, there are some sleazy white motherfuckers, I believe term is, trying to gentrify Addison and whatever, and yeah, they’re assholes, but I’m sorry, there is no way that a city of three million gets demographically and politically averaged out into its mayor and ends up with that. Dinnunndah go down like dat, doggy. The fucking District of Columbia wouldn’t end up with that steak knife voodoo massacre shitbird as its perfectly representative mayor, and DC has a night-and-day worse, more immoral stiver population than anyone I’ve seen in Chicago. Maybe West Falls Church or McLean would deserve him, or Chevy Chase Village Section Five, where they like beer. They Enjoy Coke, too, although they try to keep that much off the record. The yearbook isn’t a public record, right?

A good hard measure of political and civic dysfunction went into the installation of the current mayor, not to mention the police force as it’s permitted to govern itself. Hell if I know what all happened. The current TV version, the one that brings out the SS to back up the Burge, doesn’t help. That is not good. They’ve got a guy named fucking Halstead, too. What happened? Were Milwaukee and Canal out sick? Everybody on Chicago Wednesday is, like, a firefighter and a general contractor and an alderman, as one is at the same time in real life, and it’s morally ambiguous to threaten to gouge a suspect’s eyes out with a bowie knife and also have a safe full of unaccounted-for large bills at home. Anyone living like that in the real world would be trucker-tweaked all week long and would not have time to stand in a park staring at the lake at the end of the episode.

It’s bullshit, but it’s culturally influential bullshit. This garbage must be a funhouse lens through which we admire ourselves for what we totally would be as proud Sandburgian Americans if we didn’t have basically a fifth of our working-age population out of work. That’s closer to the real number than the official number is, for sure. But I guess watching bullshit fictionalized cops and firemen and doctors (ooh, good: health policy) be drama queens for a living is more psychosexually gratifying than figuring out what happened to Chicago’s once strong middle class.

In that case, we probably wouldn’t be getting a clue, too. Chicago has always had more than its share of amoral shysters hustling their sleazy angles on anyone who didn’t tell them to go the fuck away, but there used to be a bunch of unionized factories and slaughterhouses, and there are still the big railroad and airline crew bases, which ought to provide a model for not bending over and lubing up for management every fucking morning like a good sub. Plus this is the Midwest. The weather alone should tamp down the worst impulses to let the poor freeze to death by their own devices.

Have we learned a damn thing from The Jungle? Of course not. That would mean doing our assigned reading. Have we learned anything from Sister Carrie? I have: that there must be better literature about Chicago, hookers, and Chicago hookers, and that if I find it I’ll read it instead.

Please don’t tell me that it’s on me to write it. I’d rather go back to shitposting about the Mounties. The part about the Rudkus women developing totally flat affects when they went into the whorehouse wasn’t too believable, either, and NBC inevitably fucks up everything about prostitutes vis-à-vis cops, too, although at least it isn’t run by junkies who see the need to write borderline-mute Swedish immigrant characters. We wouldn’t want the viewing public getting ideas about pursuing honest lines of work, now, would we? There’s no blue privilege in that, Nadia. My main literary standard right now is to do better than any of this horseshit.

And yet, for a city with so many World’s Fair-era ghosts haunting its streets, Chicago could be worse. The slow-moving widebodies in the real, untelevised Chicago Fire Department must be why. Lol, I initially wrote “Chicago Fired.” How’s the job treating you these days, Van Dyke? Holy beefcake have they got some big boys in the truck, and they don’t look like they were hired for their offensive line brute force, either. Fat and happy is better than another neurotic skinny bitch. Take it from Fat Cracka. By the way, I prefer “damn, white boy, you thicc.” #TheMoreYouKnow. I’ll probably end up with some Over-the-Rhine half-Germanic brick shithouse of a woman telling me that but offering to charge me only $20, but it could be worse, and on the Sacramento light rail system, it is.

Take your fat white ass down to Midway and fly away from this cruel corner of greasy earth. Go somewhere without bad weather or social problems, like Las Vegas. Any of you white motherfuckers who want to get on the bus for free will be interested to learn that RTC expressly and without exception forbids courtesy rides. There’s worse in this country than gameday swipey bois hanging out at the turnstile and depriving good local governments of their hard-earned revenue. RAHM SHANTI, RAHM HARE HARE.


Dog hours

Know this about Greyhound: when some navelgazing ball of literary neurosis like Gary Shteyngart spends a month or two on board to mine the ride for characters, or when a serious policy maven like Robert D. Kaplan tries to cohere a smaller, more reasonable number of trips into a comprehensive sociology of Greater New Mexico, the actual, nonfictional, blood sweat and steel Greyhound is worse. Riding Greyhound to look for America is a terrible idea; all the luck to hope for as a passenger is that America, Yakov Smirnoff’s what a funny country it is, doesn’t come looking for you. I’m not kidding. I’ve done more time on it than I’d like, and for five or ten years I’ve mostly stayed the hell away from it. It’s one of the most earnestly, bleakly, unrelentingly shitty and degraded things going in the United States, a hellscape of casual civil liberties infringements, honest-to-God poverty and hunger, and all-around dysfunction.

A well-run government would replicate its entire network, branch out from there, improve every dimension of service beyond recognition, and allow Greyhound to sink or swim as a competitive private business. Instead, we have, to take a particularly appalling example, Amtrak cross-honoring Greyhound tickets between Salt Lake City and Reno on the California Zephyr and fuck you very much if you’re trying to get to Lovelock or Wendover or Battle Mountain. I’d damn well rather catch that fine-ass bilevel rolling socialism myself, even if Greyhound Greyhound were an available alternative to Amtrak Greyhound, but it’s absolutely disgraceful that the main national intercity bus company refuses to operate at all along 520 miles of heavily trafficked rural Interstate and no one at any level of government is stepping up to patch the gap.

Against the usual odds, Greyhound is positioned to fuck my shit up next week, when I’ll be traveling from Las Vegas to Reno. Keep in mind that I don’t have a problem with interline transfers that work: I’m already planning to take Amtrak, Transpo, the South Shore Line, the CTA, Southwest, and RTC (both of them), unless the Lake Shore Limited is too late into South Bend or I feel too tired. Midway sucks, but the rest of it makes sense for those of us who enjoy diverse and bitchin’ styles of ride. The problem is that I could avoid the rest of these segments and still get fucked up by Greyhound. Amtrak sells interline tickets from Las Vegas to Reno through Salt Lake City, and I was leaning towards getting one until I realized that that would almost certainly force me to spend an extra hour on the goddamn Dirty Dog riding directly between two FrontRunner stations. I know the drill, and I wouldn’t count on the assholes who run Greyhound to let me grab my checked bag from under the bus in Provo. If I buy a ticket to Provo directly from Greyhound, it’s cheaper than the Amtrak interline itinerary but more expensive than Greyhound all the way to Salt Lake, because get hosed bitch. Amtrak sells tickets from Las Vegas to Provo, but only with a ten-hour overnight layover in Salt Lake, just down the street from the rescue missions, and an ass crack of predawn arrival back in Provo a full city block from where Greyhound stopped more than twelve hours previously, in case we’re all total dipshits.

Now that you know PART of the REST of the STORY, I’ll probably be paying Greyhound seven bucks or some shit extra to drive me 40 fewer miles to one of its scheduled stops and taking FrontRunner the rest of the way, just to spend less time on Consolidated Government Ghettobus and more time on a transit system that is operated with its head outside its own ass. None of this should be at issue. Nobody should have to deal with this bullshit, ever. We really shouldn’t have a crew of fuckwits from an ancient legacy carrier that they’ve spent decades running into the ground reifying Congo G-Bus across most of this country’s geography. It’s inexcusable.

It isn’t even that I’m against bus travel. I was once on the Zephyr across the aisle from a guy who was traveling from Garden City to Denver via Chicago, not even Galesburg, because he refused to spend even the four or so hours that it takes the Thruway bus to travel north from Raton. I was impressed by his dedication, but that’s not something I’ve ever been tempted to do. Megabus is usually okay. Even Greyhound can be okay when it doesn’t totally suck ass.

Don’t count on that. Greyhound synthesizes the festering semi-employed American underclass and the revolving sallyport of the American carceral state with the chronic operational and aesthetic failures of American public transportation. It’s a lodestone for everything bad. Believe me, there’s nothing good and hardly anything enlightening about being the only person from a broad middle-class background on the bus. That earnestly sucks shit. The main result of this experience is contact degradation by exposure to severe social problems that no one is realistically doing a goddamned thing to fix and that the rest of the broad middle class, and God knows the upper end of it, is spending every penny it takes to permanently avoid. Everything that shouldn’t exist is channeled into one hellish vessel and distilled, never to flow back out or be diluted by anything wholesome. It’s just a fucking horror show: four or five different people whose changes of clothes are a different pair of stained sweatpants stuffed into a Walmart bag, some doofus who learned to cook with corn nuts in prison, and usually several unfortunates who are somehow at once malnourished, hungry, and fat, easily flat broke and completely unable to buy themselves food the whole way from Miami to Sacramento. Come back and complain about how flying has been degraded when this crowd fills a quarter of the aircraft, you whiny White bitch.

I didn’t pipe up here tonight to offer up my Jacob Riis-ass half-scandalized, half-salacious lamentations to the heavens about how the poor endure and will always be with us, but I’m honestly, truly past the point of giving a shit what anyone thinks about my worldview here, or my tone. Greyhound quite simply has too many of these fucking people present all at once in the same confined quarters, and there’s no way in hell that this arrangement does not have a destabilizing effect on the host society, i.e., the rest of us. This absolutely should not be the condition of the only intercity bus system serving most of a country as wealthy as the United States. Bother me about my tone when you’ve personally ridden that shit through Utah.

Do I believe in the Promised Land? Hell no, boss. I do, however, believe in smoking hot conductors working out of the Salt Lake City crew base, in a low-key Mormon MILF kind of way, mind you, because they’re every bit as real as the fat ornery geezer in the suspenders who woke me up at first light in, like, Draper by threatening to have a druggie who had overslept his stop in Salt Lake arrested by the UTA Police for theft of services if he was caught north of downtown without a ticket. This, Gabriel, is the speed train that you could have in our time of latter-day bureaucratic charity.

It’s still better than the fucking bus.

Cycle of abuse

There are forms of pain and suffering that deserve sympathy: depression, anxiety, severe stress, social or socioeconomic instability, poverty, decrepitude, bereavement, and so forth. These are unfortunate circumstances that could befall any of us, no matter how reasonable or prudent or well-adjusted or decent we try to be; we are all of the flesh, and but for the grace of God do any of us not suffer through the entirety of our incarnation until we complete our pilgrim journey and arrive at last at our destination. And what is that destination? I dunno. Probably El Segundo.

Then there are the utterly bogus, performative forms of pain and suffering favored by the likes of state-level Republican committeewomen who bitch and moan to political reporters about the excruciating vicarious hurt that they have endured through the Inquisition of the Lord’s Servant Brett Michael: you know, the deal where the guy had a tentative job offer, but then accusations and rumors and more accusations started popping up like whack-a-moles about how he was a violently drunk serial sex offender, and the hiring committee got back in touch with him and was like, hey, man, you gotta come back down here and explain yourself if you still want this job. So of course this dude, already a sitting federal judge, showed up three sheets to the wind and looking like he was probably tweaking out on freebase, too, and spent several hours yelling at the Judiciary Committee about how his life was ruined and he might never be able to coach girls’ sports again, and now this movement of D-List Republican she-bullies is having a mad as a group about how personally offended they are by Judge Kavanaugh’s subjection to the Passion of St. John Dennis Hastert.

Here’s a different idea: give John Stossel a break; then, once you’ve gotten that out of the way, come over and give me a fucking break, and kiss my fat white ass while you’re at it. Nobody should be giving these vicious bitches any sympathy for their salt works. That’s moral hazard. It’s their party, and sure enough they’re crying, so since the #TCOT’s got triggered by a sorry-assed excuse for due diligence on a Supreme Court nominee’s personal background, the rest of us have no duty to do anything but point at them and laugh. Brett Kavanaugh is a total stranger to them, a guy they’ve only heard of because he’s on the news a lot. What the hell is his currently frustrated political and professional ambition to them? He isn’t even facing criminal charges at this point. Am I over here having a snit because Keith Ellison has been accused of domestic violence and yelling about how scandalous it is to repeat the allegations against him? Of course not.

This group tantrum has–you guessed it–John Dennis Diddly to do with the fucking truth. The right-wing talking points have absolutely nothing to do with what Kavanaugh’s political allies believe he did and absolutely everything to do with what they would like to believe he did not do and insist on the entire nation believing, all for the coarsest, crassest, most depraved political reasons imaginable. This spectacle is as Orwellian as anything other geyser of bullshit to erupt all over the American civic fabric in living memory. Sure, there are some particularly shrill activists on the left screeching Orwellian talking points about the imperative to “believe all victims” and the like, but there are a couple of relevant counterpoints worth hurling back at the right-wing mob on this matter: 1) it ain’t me, cracka; and, 2) get your own fucking house in order. These assholes are basically Dennis Rader being annoyed with Detective Landwehr for not giving him a sporting chance, except that Sexy Male Code Enforcement Officer Lynn Rader was much, much more polite.

Hmm, we’re having great luck with all DENNIS Methods. Verily this is the song about the heartland that we joyously sing. The committeewomen’s shit fit is no more about truth than any of the rest of this garbage. They’re doing nothing but trying to guilt, gaslight, and otherwise bully everyone else into shutting up about the very reasonable objections that have been raised to installing a man with severe temperament and background problems on the Supreme Court. The appropriate response to this bullying campaign is to lob the ball back into their court at warp speed and tell them that THEY are the ones who need to shut the fuck up. They’ll never guess what will pair beautifully with their White Whine. That’s right: this extra-salty Manchego Fuck Yourself.

There’s all too great a chance that these women got hazed into their modern Republicanism, i.e., that they have a variant of Stockholm Syndrome. Yes, let’s don’t be rough with the Hearst girl, knowing the shame it would be the harsh the young lady’s mellow. It really doesn’t matter. The country’s business takes precedence over whatever lack of honor, decency, and self-control they have on account of whatever the hell some other shitheads did to them over the years. They can go to hell with their resentment of those of us who refuse to take part in their hazing rituals. If they’re making excuses for their own drunken wifebeater husbands and don’t know any of them from Cain and Abel, that’s on them alone. The problem here is that they’re making excuses for a drunken wifebeater who is being foisted on the entire nation as the next swing justice, and if that constipated turtle-ass weasel McConnell pulls it off, the whole sleazy episode will be on all of us. It’s their business if they tolerate violent shitheads in their own private lives, away from the rest of us; it’s our business if they try to force one of their pet raging asshats on all of us.

These women are caping for the guy who came spent his job interview blurting out whataboutist accusations at one of his interviewers that she, not he, was the real blackout drunk: not a good look, and not one that I am here to excuse. There should be social consequences for casting one’s lot with such a steaming piece of shit, such as everyone else saying, listen here, bitch, we smelt it, he dealt it, and you won’t stop savoring it like it’s somehow wholesome.

If these sleazy, nasty mama grizzly wannabes aren’t codependent abuse enablers themselves, they’re sure gung ho for a school with a notorious tradition of peer-to-peer and adult-on-teen abuse. Georgetown Prep keeps getting cited as the premier Jesuit boys’ school for the Beltway Power elite, the next thing to Sidwell Friends, and yet every anecdote that comes out about its institutional culture is either sleazy or downright abhorrent. It’s to be expected that groups of teenagers, boys especially, will often regress to Lord of the Flies gang behavior. What’s remarkable about Prep, and so scandalous, is that there is so much evidence that the teachers, guidance counselors, general-assignment priests, and other adult authority figures do nothing to intervene when they see the boys under their supervision getting out of control and blatantly mistreating others. The entire environment sounds toxic: teachers battering students for being nerds, students punching one another in the genitals the way normal kids might high-five in the hallways, using the yearbook to belittle randomly chosen women for supposedly being notorious sluts, sex education units in which teachers advise their students to spend their wedding nights so intoxicated that they can’t feel their own penises.

This is a British-style public school operating on the edge of the federal capital district of the United States. Bar your bums against Mr. Savile, boys. I spent my high school years at a fairly expensive and elite private day school, a regional magnet for affluent and wealthy families from a catchment area of a million or more residents, and I never saw or heard of an environment anything like this. We generally knew not to be jackasses around the adults or our square classmates, and if we wanted to put anything salacious, let alone defamatory, in our yearbooks, we had to scribble it out ourselves, by hand. There was no using official school publications for stories about how when Josie comes home, she’s a good loose lay, and I’m the pride of the neighborhood myself for sticking a cocaine suppository up my ass.

Lancaster Country Day could be kind of fucked up–remember, it put Mike Mersky in charge for years–but it wasn’t THAT fucked up. No shit some of us snickered about Headmaster Dick Johnson. Look him up; your boy Fat Cracka ain’t kidding. But there were things we all knew better than to do, because we were under active adult supervision and knew it, like brag openly about our substance abuse problems or how proud we were about our campaign to turn Rehtaeh Parsons into our Piggy.

It speaks volumes that wealthy, influential parents pay top dollar to get their children into schools like Georgetown Prep. These are systemically abusive institutions; it would take a real idiot not to tell that something is amiss with them. The only appropriate thing to do about them is to sue them into either dissolution or judicial receivership. Who, though, watches the watchdogs? Hell if I know, what with the caliber of the federal judiciary these days. What I do know from the history books, however, is old men and fire, and there’s no reason it has to be exclusively a Georgia thing. Billy, do be a hero.

A senatorial overproduction of elites: following the money all the way back to the Boof Zone

The licentious psychodramas of characters like Jeff Flake presents as a suite of bizarre emotional and mental disorders, so it’s all too *Horny on Main Orrin Hatch Voice* attractive to interpret their over-the-top Solomonic handwringing bullshit as unfortunately being sincere because they’re too high on their own supply to know any better. The Honorable Brett M. Kavanaugh’s favorite television program, The Twilight Zone, was never averse to storylines about characters whose method acting projects went awry, a circumstance that seems consistent with high elected officials acting like fucking lunatics in front of the press all the damn time. The obvious reason to get rid of them under this gloss is that they’ve spent too long too deep in the rabbit hole to know any better by now and are too severely warped to do any good.

These assholes probably do this on purpose. Occasionally one of them explicitly admits as much. It can’t be in their political and career interests to admit that they ply their exceptionally sleazy versions of their business because they welcome the money and the cash. They aren’t in it just for the lulz or the psychosexual gratification. There are plenty of other fora where they could be dysfunctional, disordered freaks for the love of the pathology without earning six-figure salaries supplemented by exceptionally generous fringe benefits and also being surrounded by suspiciously convenient and abundant opportunities to sell out for a fortune. There’s no shortage of private citizens who get into dysfunctional, maladaptive, psychosexually stimulative activities for free in whatever free time they can spare. The internet is majestic. These assholes in Congress are making bank at work under the worst-case scenario, and an impressive number of them are married to heiresses or other sugar-folk: Pelosi, DiFi, Jump Cord Straight Talk (twice) (Beebo was a better pilot), Long Face. An ordinary group of 535 American adults would not include multiple spouses of multimillionaires and at least one member who married into an A-List food processing fortune.

Every one of these cats is making what is for many Americans an unfathomably lavish compensation package for a high-stakes, high-profile job, so one would fucking hope that they would generally make an effort to act like responsible adults and not publicly make asses of themselves on a regular basis. One might equally hope for situations involving two out of three options, such as Mariska Hargitay, Dagmar Midcap, and clothes. Gee, Charney, I got a bad feeling about cotton prices round about now. Instead, we’ve got this sick positive feedback loop of A-List politicians acting like absolute dipshits because the media give them coverage for their dipshittery and normalize it and the sheer volume o their dipshittery and the resulting coverage driving its normalization. No one present has the Buckley-on-the-ramparts nerve to stand up and say, hey, maybe we should cut this shit out because this really isn’t a good look. Meanwhile a silent majority of ordinary Americans, the constituents of these assclowns, is disgusted to some greater or lesser degree, often disgusted enough not to vote.

One of the intractable cultural problems driving this debasement is the ubiquity and sheer concentration of PR dipshits who are uncomfortable taking the bus through seedy neighborhoods in their own hometowns and come to Washington to seek out and breathlessly chronicle every two-bit bourgeois provincial minstrel act that passes for local color on Capitol Hill. These sheltered hipster shitbirds are the proximal audience for every bogus regional cultural diversity scam Congress has to offer. They eat this shit up: intersectional Lonesome Dove/goody-two-shoes Mormon shtick, the SoCal sales manager tying one on at BJ’s before rear-ending a cement truck on the 405 and telling the responding Chippie to go fuck himself, John Wayne-ass autohagiography from a scion of the naval flag officer class and hell-on-horseback planter secesh whose paternal lineage was why he never got booted from Annapolis, honking nasal Outer Borough smarm, prim flat-affect Cornhusker rectitude lecturing from a former university president who brags about driving for Uber, flinty upcountry New England horseshit, histrionic bi-curious Tidewater gentry hollering about Jesus.

Jeff Flake has the Arizona thing going for himself, as did John McCain before him, who was totally from Arizona in the same way that Barack Obama was totally from Chicago. The Mocha Haole story alone is a bitch to unpack: da kine tried to pass himself off as the next Harold Washington while running Rahm Emanuel game, #TCOT took one look at him and was convinced that he was a sharia Mau-Mau fifth column socialist, and Mom was CIA, right? I dunno, but maybe this wouldn’t have happened if Jesse Jackson had won the 1988 primary and we hadn’t spent so much time looking at the picture of that puffed-up putz in the tank. Remember, Message I Care didn’t have the strongest opponent in the general. Heh. Boston Shorty wasn’t a questionable black guy; he was a white ethnic Masshole Dem-dork infamously associated with the black criminal furlough underclass.

Waxing eloquent about the hackneyed downhome personal narratives that these fuckheads present for transcription is more comfortable for the Washington press corps than asking them relevant, topical, pointed questions about their actual fucking platforms and voting records. This is true for both sides, to whatever extent they’re credibly sides. Most of them don’t know John Dennis Diddly about local politics or socioeconomic demographics in Arizona, other than Sheriff Joe having it in for the Mexicans (until a year or so ago, I always assumed that he was a Chicano), so of course they eat up Jeff Flake’s quiet, pained post-polygamous Mormon home-on-the-range act. Accidentally killing a shed full of dogs by heat exposure would fit in better out in Colorado City, and I have no clue why that came to mind. Maybe the Senator has a son and a daughter-in-law who did that. It turns out, as fictionally or nonfictionally as the reader cares to infer, that it was an unforeseeable accident because the filter on the air conditioner got clogged to shit and shut the unit down. That’s some real Mountain West resourcefulness and self-reliance right there, the kind a fellow needs when he’s living in the Phoenix metroplex, far from all the HVAC parts suppliers and on-call technicians and cares in the world.

This raises questions. How on earth does a man who appears vaguely sensible by Congressional standards raise a child to do THAT? Where exactly did the acorn fall relative to the old Council Oak? The old man, Lord Anguish himself, has a regular annual trip to do survivalist shit in the South Pacific, talking to hermit crabs on the beach and all, and his kid AND his kid’s wife are too hapless to take a look at the AC unit before leaving a pack of dogs in a cage for their summer getaway. That must be what one does as a responsible citizen of Phoenix.

But then there are the comments Flake the Elder makes about how crucial illegal immigrants are, have always been, and always will be to his family’s ranching operation, and how much the Flakes respect them for their grit and work ethic, to the point that one of his best buddies as a teenager was a wetback, in the grand tradition of Detective Fuhrman’s Main 77th Street Police Niggers, and he did the good Huck Finn shit for them to ward off the Border Patrol.

Yeah, white boy, ain’t none of this about cultural exchange and understanding. It’s about the cheap, complaint labor. No, I do not believe I overstated my case above. I, for one, HAVE socialized and worked as a colleague with non-Asian minorities. I do not need some cheap whiny bitch with an understaffed ranch complaining about how Americans just don’t want to do the hard work needed to keep our agricultural economy running when I have personally done commercial farm work and operated a farm as a minority owner. And I’m pretty sure Cesar Chavez cared a fair bit less for the wets than I do.

Besides, who the hell does this Dudley Do Right asshole think he is, disrespecting his own citizen constituents by preening about their inferiority to the illegal immigrants his family hires to do farm chores? Who does this piece of shit think he is, as a sitting elected official no less, to publicly evaluate his fellow Americans based solely on their work performance, real or imagined, and brag of rejecting the substandard ones like seconds on a quality control line? This asshat’s rhetoric is at the level of my white trash-adjacent grandmother barking that the hillbilly dipshit everyone was mad at for trying to prank them with a story about how Joe Dirtbag was drunk and chasing a mulatto girl around the lake was her workman, and you dare not insult my workman. Anyone wondering how a verbally abusive, emotionally unstable loudmouth like Donald Trump could ever be more popular than this mewling, anodyne, passive-aggressive twerp should consider that the Donald approaches the voters he seeks to win over as fellow citizens. It’s a low bar, but the You’re Fired guy is somehow just about the only elected official in sight who regularly clears it.

For the sake of our own self-respect, this isn’t such a difficult script to flip. Is the gentleman from Arizona disappointed in our attendance, punctuality, and work ethic as Americans but quite pleased with that of his Mexicans? Shut up, fuckhead; we’re your constituents, and you do not dare insult your constituents. Maybe this is getting a bit Wow Much civix Such engaged Omg norman rockwell Very fatigue, but it’s worth a try now and then. Maybe Flake can take the backsass as the cue he needs to retire from public employment and return to the job-creating private sector his party so obsequiously fellates for its moral and functional superiority to government. I know, he’s already retiring, but why so late?

At least someone barged into that elevator and chewed him the fuck out while he moped there all hangdog. He should have gotten the same treatment years ago for disrespecting his own constituents and fellow citizens for being his socioeconomic inferiors, but now that he finally is getting that loving earful, I’m not one to complain that he’s catching it for being callous to the plight of those he is elected to represent and govern for sick psychosexual reasons.

There’s obviously something abnormal by the community standards of ordinary Americans on the ground out in the provinces about the way people like Jeff Flake wring their hands and suffer their dark nights of the soul and then, when push comes to shove, shrug about how it’s all futile because their offices are ineffectual against forces so much larger than themselves. In Flake we’ve got this whispering grandstander who decides, upon further reflection and consultation, announces that he is recommending additional investigation of the nominee prior to a floor vote of the full Senate and has decided to vote to advance the same nominee out of committee with this qualification regarding his unresolved concerns and the stance that he will not vote to confirm until the FBI tells him what’s good. It’s such a conundrum, being a mere US Senator and member of the Judiciary Committee and having such a hard time figuring out what to do about a Supreme Court nominee of questionable fitness for office. Kavanaugh is a federal judge, and Flake is just a potential swing vote on the Judiciary Committee.

Imagine taking this pathetic, sniveling Jeffry Agonistes act to normal voters and holding it up in the light as something honorable. A normal voter, being uncomfortable with a candidate and believing that there are better alternatives, would not have any trouble making a decision by NOT VOTING FOR THE CREEP. It’s so unremarkably, obviously straightforward that it’s inconceivable that anyone would have to spell it out for an adult of normal intelligence and judgment. Flake won’t even say that he thinks confirming Kavanaugh is better than not confirming him. He doesn’t even have the moral clarity or conviction to plead the lesser of two evils, something that ordinary voters do all the fucking time. He wielded one of the most powerful votes in the country, pissed away an opportunity to shitcan the nomination of an exceptionally controversial and shady judicial nominee, and is now publicly having a sad about how, gee whiz, Washington doesn’t work so great and is all broken-like.

This shameful behavior raises a broader question of why Washington has so many prominent elected officials who act like dungeon subs in public. Trump alone has humiliated and then subjugated not only Jeff Flake but also Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and Lindsey Graham. They’ll bitch and moan for a while about a political rival who called them sissies and an assassin’s son, but they won’t actually stand up to him from their positions as elected officials in a coequal branch of government.

And then there are the wives. Ashley Kavanaugh spent hours sitting in a committee hearing room, a stony ashen look on her face, while her husband threw an epic tantrum at his interviewers for all the world to see. What gives? She could have sat this fucking spectacle out to keep the home fires burning, as Phyllis Schlafly always instructed. Like, legit what the fuck?

Follow the damn money. Follow the money for every last one of these, rough sex or fair, each of them crass. Giggity, if you’re into that kind of thing, and if you are, get help. Hillary Clinton suffered through the public humiliation of the Lewinsky affair, to the point of literally standing by her man in his time of crisis, not because she was a high monogamist but because she was a social climber. That set of coattails was to be pried out of her cold dead Charlton Heston hands. All these embarrassing characters on Capitol Hill who act like Mr. Slave to Mr. Garrison’s Trump are in it to keep their own rice bowls intact and full. Please, clap.

Ashley Kavanaugh, well-bred and well-schooled lady that she is, knows that a woman cannot stay home and bake cookies for visiting reporters in the spirit of high Christian conservative domesticity if she’s working outside the home in a yes-show job, as a 911 dispatcher or train conductor or some shit. Thank goodness she baked that batch, though; otherwise, someone might have had to turn on daytime TV for directions to the Potomac Village Safeway.

A woman can, however, have it all as a mother and a careerist when she is employed, so to speak, as the town manager for Chevy Chase Section Five. This raises a new set of questions: for example, what the fuck is that? St. Louis County for fancy crackers? This lady is the chief administrative functionary for a ward that somehow got incorporated as an independent municipality, if Wikipedia isn’t totally fucked to hell, with a 2010 census population of 658. By that reckoning the Kavanaughs, counting their two children, make up just over one half of one percent of the municipal population. That population is not meaningfully growing. There’s no need to look up off-year population estimates or school enrollment or anything like that. This isn’t Rockville or Tysons Corner or Court House or Dupont Circle. This is More than Friendship Heights, and my sweet slow cracker child, More than Friendship Heights is not where the urban infill goes.

What, then, might this village manager job pay? $10k? $30k plus bennies because it’s a unionized civil service gig under a woke af government? No. That gig pays $66,000 a year. That must be the market incentive it takes to attract and retain a qualified candidate to administer the most Tip O’Neill local level of government for several-odd hundred of the richest people in the country. It’s hard for a modern woman to balance her life, what with work, children’s enrichment, church, baking, and taking off an entire Thursday afternoon to be in the audience for her husband’s star appearance on Maury Povich Live.

Everything about this entire spectacle is an incredibly sleazy simulacrum of normal civic, professional, and family life. Examining just the Kavanaughs we find the wife of a publicly drunk and disorderly federal judge skimming an extra $66k from the town government as a crony of the ward bosses, taking time off from her no-show job at the village hall to act as an audience prop for her nutjub shouty boi of a husband and to bamboozle idiotic Beltway journalists with her Betty Crocker-ass June Cleaver home baking game. It takes a real dupe to sincerely, truly believe that any of this shit is relatable to ordinary workaday Americans of any moral substance. It’s bad. We have actually degenerated to the point of performative home baking by aristocratic wives as a category of national political news, and yet we, whoever the hell “we” are supposed to be, actually wonder why ordinary Americans are so often put off by politics.

There’s some real Stacy’s Mom potential with the Kavanaugh lady, and let’s face it, with a husband like hers, she’s fair game, but let’s also face this: bish be cray. Look at who she has married and not divorced. Look at Mrs. Kavanaugh herself, publicly embarrassed by her loose cannon of a husband and still coming back for seconds.

We’re in Wonderland now, and there’s no Blue Line back downtown. Mercy, Mr. Charles, there’ll be trouble ahead AND behind if we try to get ourselves off now, CHAHLEE! House of Cards isn’t salacious fiction; it’s current events. Orwell was right about the Party versus the proles. Marx, too. In cases like these, only the proles have little enough to lose that they’ll actually muster the spine to stand up for what little they have, usually their dignity. If Ashley Kavanaugh were a bartender and Brett her boyfriend-cum-shift lead (giggity), there’s a good chance that she’d smack the shit out of that mouthy little prick for publicly humiliating her with his antics. Like, how about you stop being a whiny little bitch about them not showing you any respect and show ME some fucking respect for a change. This sort of drama can be a medicine worse than the disease it’s dosed out to treat, not the stuff of a livable home or social environment, but our shouty boi Brett is the most blatant example of it to appear before Congress in decades, if ever, so there’s no reason it can’t be sauce for the gander. (Do you mean beer? I like beer.)

This dysfunction and moral rot goes deeper than just Ashley Kavanaugh’s Good Wife act. It’s more pervasive than just this one stiff-upper-lip Texas bougie social climber’s culturally appropriative perversion of Patty Blagojevich’s Chicago grace under Chicago fire. I hear the air’s a bit lighter and thinner out on the Front Range. Say, Rod, do you ski? The smoking hot Lake Cook Road Jewess who liked to dig her fingernails into my kneecaps and then spread them for some awful, inexplicable reason was better-adjusted than the Kavanaugh lady, or Lieutenant Tittytorque.

Counterpoint: Hey, maybe don’t do that again. All the same, that was loosely normal sociosexual give-and-take between two people who, look, we weren’t the goddamn Kavanaughs. As I was starting to say before–nah, don’t even try to reconstruct that accident scene–as I was starting to say, it’s scandalous and disgusting that anyone from a community that makes such a big deal about Eagle Forum norms of feminine domestic virtue would engage in, celebrate, or even tolerate Ashley Kavanaugh’s pathetic on-air Stepford Wife act for a husband who is actively making an utter travesty of masculine Christian headship right in front of her. It’s the most disgraceful thing imaginable this side of verbally abusing senators in their own chambers, as their testifying witness. I’d unhesitatingly tell any girl or young woman who asked me or mentioned her in passing that that woman is an atrocious role model for anyone, man, woman, or Middlesex. (I drive through just about every time I go back to campus.)

This whole thing sounds not so good for all the married ladies, all the married ladies; and yet, in spite of it all, patriarchy isn’t exactly what’s behind this clusterfuck. We can tell that it’s something deeper and even more pathetic when we hear of Christine Blasey Ford’s own father telling family friends that he’s uncomfortable taking a public stand on behalf of his own daughter for fear that doing so would jeopardize his position as a country club president. This is gossip, but unfortunately this situation needs gossip to force sunlight down into the filthy nooks and crannies. If I were aware of any gossip about these MontCo assholes that I found more credible than not, coming from any source and by any chain of custody that I deemed reasonably trustworthy, I would immediately publish it.

There is so much fucking sleaze surrounding this whole crew that they deserve to have the accusations thrown onto the public record and sorted out after the fact. As it happens, I have one or two degrees of separation from Blasey in Palo Alto and likely no more than two degrees, if even that, from Kavanaugh on the Beltway bullshit end. It’s a sign of how insular and secretive this crowd is that everything I’ve heard about it has come from public statements or reports. I keep a keen ear to the ground, but the first I heard of Kavanaugh being trouble in his personal life was when the assault allegations against him started emerging.

It’s striking, then, how many of the allegations check out and bolster one another. It’s beyond doubt that Kavanaugh did something really bad to Deborah Ramirez, probably exactly what she describes, and then tried to cover it up for years afterwards. The New Haven Police Department, which apparently took no special interest in Kavanaugh and his buddies one way or another, has an incident report on file documenting his interrogation as a suspect in a barroom brawl, a brawl that his drinking buddy Chad Ludington says he stared. Again and again people who socialized with him insist that he was memorable as a belligerent, sloppy, handsy, falling-down drunk, a sex pest, or both. Mark Judge, his best friend from high school, made a literary career for himself with stories of drunken sex pests, in addition to curating dozens of seedy damsel-in-distress videos on his personal YouTube channel.

The bottom line is that everyone defending these bad actors as upstanding citizens walks away degraded. Only a sociopath can squeeze anything good out of this clusterfuck. In any number of disputes between private citizens acting like the parties to this horseshit, there’d be no shortage of sworn conservatives (pretty sic) who would preach that Ralph Blasey should have gone to Brett Kavanaugh’s front door with a shotgun and a shovel, announced that he was there as a warning, and declared that he’d be using what he’d brought if ever there was a next time. Instead they’re all caping for this sexually violent creep and calling Christine Blasey Ford a crazy lying slut. When push comes to shove, the only thing these creepy shits bring to the yard is reptilian reaction. It’s rare even for people who are uncomfortable with the likes of Brett Kavanaugh and the social dynamics enabling them to blow the whistle. In Kavanaugh’s case, it took a Supreme Court nomination and corroboration of his pattern of bad behavior to convince people with knowledge of his background to come forward.

In a healthy society, Special K would have been ratted out in a New York minute decades ago. Instead, he still has a major party gunning for his confirmation to the Supreme Court, and he’s still got his good wife showing up for him in public in a stoic effort to make him, of all people, look good. It’s unspeakably gross to watch these assholes hold themselves up as paragons of Christian family values. They’re all living a lie on national TV. It’s really too bad that Kajieme Powell wasn’t around grab AshKav’s cookies by the handful and throw them on the fucking ground. *Commanding Sam Dotson voice* Hey now, five-second rule; Chief doesn’t go home hungry.

It’s insulting to have anyone even insinuating that these overpaid Machiavellian scumbags deserve our admiration for doing all that carpooling and baking and coaching and just trying to balance work and family and shit like ordinary Americans. They expect us to actually think that these are normal Americans just trying to do normal American stuff. As that ranch country bumper sticker says, behind every successful rancher is a wife working in town. Is that what Ashley Kavanaugh is supposed to be? I always thought that referred to women who worked for Les Schwab or JeldWen or the county, where there’s work that actually has to be done, not some no-show neighborhood improvement district bullshit that makes the broad arc of Chicago municipal government history look clean and lean.

These fuckers can’t even do day-drinking right. On a parallel timeline, Brett might be having a more or less responsible three-martini lunch followed by a good roll on the photocopier with his secretary; Ashley, for her part, might be getting tore up on Sutter Home Chardonnay and eaten out by a pool boy. We’ve already established that sexual conservatism is not what drives this crew, not in any sense that leaves anything worthwhile conserved. Instead they both came up to the fucking Hill for their Afternoon Disgrace. Do we need to rehash yet again how that went?

Chronicling this horror show gives us an idea of what we’re facing. What it doesn’t tell us is what in heaven, on earth, or under the earth we can possibly do about it. The Kavanaughs and their kind do not rule their societies in ways that are hospitable for the rest of us. We may soon end up in weird, uncharted territory if we Enjoy Coke and have that liquored-up raging sex pest constitutionally invalidating the entire New Deal from the bench. Come on; we know that Special K doesn’t have to go to Aspen to shred that powdery white shit. These are not good times for governmental legitimacy. We’ve got a caucus of Congressional thralls chomping at the bit to install a judicial thrall on the highest bench in the land, and the characters bankrolling all of these servants in comfort, so that they don’t have to work for a living or hone their loafaday Kato Kaelin game, include dipshits who cheat Indian nations out of oil royalties with crooked scales and think that a bit of nuclear blast radiation does the body good.

If ordinary Americans start thinking that this ruling class is making their country politically uninhabitable, and not just whining about it but acting on it, our national politics have the potential to destabilize other countries. We are not being good neighbors to Canada or Mexico at the moment. Portugal, the Republic of Ireland, Germany, the Netherlands, and maybe some other Schengen countries would be wise to keep an eye on this horseshit and ready themselves for our immigrants. Australia and New Zealand are sheltered by distance but not by language. Oops. The geography and demography at play here do not look good. This shit, whatever it actually is, is going down in the most populous country in North America and the developed world.

The Kavanaugh donnybrook is just the tip of the iceberg, a mere glimpse of the huge disaster lurking under the surface of this sick nation. It may end up being a triggering event for systemic destabilization, or it may not. Even if all ruffled feathers get smoothed after this confirmation fight, there will be no shortage of other destabilizing events ready to go live without notice.

Most Americans, quite sensibly, will want to stay, to refuse to leave it because they love it. Where the hell does this political corruption and dysfunction leave us as private citizens? Beats me, I’m afraid. Dropping out and walking away internally is easier said than done, just like emigration. No matter how badly Rod Dreher beclowns himself by stanning for politically expedient shitheads like Brett Kavanaugh, he has a point well taken in the Benedict Option. Again, though, just as with emigration or any other drastic response, the devil is in the details. My guess is that effective responses to this shit show will come down to half-measures like homeschooling and low-key, habitual consumer boycotts of companies that are caught doing business with bad actors. Small-scale farm homesteading, hunter-gatherer shit, Vermont-ass craft work, and even squatting on disused property may be worthwhile. I don’t expect anyone to be satisfied with this list; I’m not satisfied with it. The problem is that the overclass sticks its tentacles in fucking everywhere, and the only way to get away from it (*Repetitive Rodriguez Voice* You can’t) is to flee to the far margins.

The Kavanaugh crowd is asking for it, though. These worse-than-useless parasites never stop to think about the possibility that they, themselves, are the takers Ayn Rand fantasized about banishing from society, to starve and freeze to death by their own pitiful wits. If the White House and Congress didn’t elevate obedient mediocrities to positions of power and village governments didn’t give their spouses no-show jobs, Brett Kavanaugh would be doing wills and trusts. That’s assuming some sobriety and punctuality and not screaming bloody murder around the office. If you’re Mark Judge, you get fired for doing that. Maybe that’s why the guy keeps nursing his mug of bitter. There’s no reason a meritocracy wouldn’t have Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh living on public assistance in a housing project. They’ve got one in Miami called the Pork-n-Beans. This is why I watch television. They’ve also got a greenbelt in Louisville, and Detective Mickey Cohn on the case to diss a fellow’s work ethic: “I solve these cases for a living. You drink beer for a living.”

Give the smelly fucker a bath and bring him before Congress; all he did was murder a dude, and he’ll be more polite to the Judiciary Committee than Judge Kavanaugh was. Indeed, many of us like beer. I like beer. You probably like beer. You’re on your damn own to do due diligence on microbrewery business practices and be an ethical consumer and shit, in case any of that matters in a time when so few of us are drunk and coked-up enough for the federal bench.

Rugged individualists and shit

The latest Trump revelations are gross. One look at the Oaf of Office’s father’s biography says that he has to be a Hall and Oates Effect beneficiary, and he’s been on the record with a bullshit minimalist stipulation of Daddy’s Cool Million for the past few years, since sometime during his 2016 run for the presidency. Per the NYT, it turns out that the Donald has been underreporting the value of the gifts he received from his father by a factor of over 70: in constant dollar amounts, $413m to $5.4m or so. Stephen Colbert, for his part, conveniently ignored inflation and adjustments for it to misleadingly claim that Trump underreported these gifts by a factor of 413.

Love too live in thee Post-Fact World,,,, This is civic’s; too me. Trump obviously feels no shame or reticence or tact about referring to a million-dollar “loan” from his father, at any inflation-adjusted value from today back to the dollar’s establishment as a currency, as “small.” It’s just more fuck-all-the-haters chest-puffing, never mind that this family “loan” contradicts all his bragging about being a self-made (sic) billionaire (sic). This particular line of bullshit excludes daddy’s delivery of casino chips, as investigated by the New Jersey gambling regulators, as well as all the favors cronies in Trump’s class pay and repay and gladhand out of each other to hustle windfalls that they never by any credible standard earned.

Goldwater Don is a gross man with a gross late father and a mostly gross brood (Barron is too young for moral culpability in these matters, and Tiffany seems to be a good seed from a poisonous tree). At the risk of waxing whataboutist, though, I have to point out that Hillary Clinton would be no better. As a Slick Willie-free Rodham, she’d be an incorrigible, grotesque social climber. As a derodhamized Clinton, she’s an incorrigible, grotesque social climber, a cruder, clunkier version of her husband in this regard as in so many. The Big Dog has always played these things smoother than his wack-ass harpy of a wife, although he has lost his magic touch and turned more and more into a humorless scold, not to mention a Keith Morrison-looking sack of bones.

There has never been a time, together or alone, when Billary was not insatiable. Bill has always had a chip on his shoulder for coming from one of the higher grades of Arkie trailer trash. Hillary has always had a chip on her shoulder for having been raised by merely middle-class parents in a merely nice suburb of Chicago. Trump, for his part, acts all sore that his father was a schmuck from Queens instead of an official Manhattan mover and shaker. I recall this being bullshit, but there’d be nothing novel about that. What every one of these shitheads has in common is a deeply sick relationship to money and status and a compulsion to take all the resulting dysfunction and ill will out on the rest of us. They never have been well-adjusted and never will be well-adjusted about anything to do with their station in life. The featureless voids in their souls compel them to lord it over everyone they can grasp, or, to be more charitable towards Slick Willie, to con and rob everyone in sight. If the last part sounds fair, ask Ricky Ray Rector how he liked dessert.

The moment Bernie Sanders got terminally ratfucked for the rest of the cycle it became inevitable that we would be getting a president who was a shithead about class in America. I thought at the time that Trump was a less absolute shithead than Clinton, mainly #Her but easily enough #Him as well. At this point, I hardly care whether I was right about this. She was an eternally grasping yuppie cunt, he was a preppy crime family prick who had never in his life been told no by anyone who meant it when he wasn’t spending a term suspiciously free of bone spurs at that sleepaway military reform school, and Jill Stein did not act like any of that. There was room on the Stein Steamer. Oh beautiful for spacious skies was there room.

We got 5.5% in Humboldt County, bitch, and we accidentally worked a bunch of yuppies into years-long tantrums while we were at it. There are worse ways to be ungracious in defeat, or in victory. They’re all found in our major parties. So, somehow, is Bernie. I know, I know, he isn’t a real Democrat. He wouldn’t be. He’s in it to win it and to actually govern. Fancy that.


Beeric victory

Hmm. The Republicans bit off more than they could chew with their old boy Kavanaugh, and now, a month from the midterm election, they’re giving themselves a Hot Autoghomeshi. Oops. Normally it would be foolish to underestimate their reptilian cunning, but not this time. They’ve lost the narrative. They can’t convince anyone that their golden boy isn’t a rapist and a screeching liar with a drinking problem. They’ve got their B-List house Habsburg McMegan saying shit like, dang, fam, I mean, he wasn’t lying about any of the BAD stuff; you know, just the usual light perjury before Congress, the kind that’s okay because you’re all embarrassed or whatever.

The Republicans play to win. This is the first time in decades that they’ve doubled down on a narrative that is crumbling into a thousand burning pieces right before a critical election. Thursday evening of last week was the point at which, in any other year that I can recall, their kingmakers would have started the campaign to press Kavanaugh to remove himself from consideration or Trump to withdraw the nomination. With no action over the weekend, they’d be going public to ask that Kavanaugh take one for the fucking team. They did that with Todd Akin, for naught, but they tried. Brett Kavanaugh is the kind to throw back (and up) a few and scream “legitimate rape” all night long.

The wagon-circling for Roy Moore last year may have been in effect a dry run for the current horseshit, but Gadsden Lovin’ was hella normal and quiet compared to this shrieking motherfucker. Maybe the group mental decline was already setting in for the belated litigation of the Great Christian Mall Cruise; the GOP’s loss of a formerly safe US Senate seat to a less prominent and politically experienced candidate suggests that they weren’t exactly all there in their reading of the electorate.

Kavanaugh, though. Holy fucking shit. The Republicans had a perfect opportunity overnight on Thursday to Friday to announce that they had reconsidered the wisdom of confirming him to the Supreme Court. After his torrent of outbursts, they were in a position to say that they had never imagined that he was so unstable and were taken aback to discover that he was; in other words, We Were Unaware. It might not have withstood full scrutiny, but it would have passed most observers’ primary bullshit tests. Cutting their losses with Kavanaugh would have demonstrated to a fair number of people, no telling exactly how many but enough to be worth winning over, that they are a party of good judgment. Like, if we think a guy is the good shit and a bro but then he turns out to be a total fucking asshole, we shitcan him and find someone else.

They didn’t do that. They still aren’t doing that. They still appear to be pushing for a runaround to get past Jeff Flake’s weaselly yea vote with caveats. Kavanaugh’s raging, top-of-the-lungs disrespect for the Judiciary Committee is far from the only strike against him. We’ve now got indecent exposure and forcible oral copulation, a dumbass bar fight started by Special K that got him interrogated by townie cops and one of his buddies arrested, leaked text messages indicating that he was trying to cover his trail months ago, and an account from a friend of Deborah Ramirez about how he spent a wedding reception in 1997 trying, to her great discomfort, to get a photo with her that he could use for his own retroactive exculpation.

This asshole is guilty as Juice. This isn’t the usual Republican scumbaggery. They’re past the point of being able to bamboozle the usual horserace fuckwits because they’ve lost all control of the pageantry and will not be getting it back until this thing has simmered the hell down. They’re starting October in a midterm year with their shit on fire, and they’re doing John Dennis squat to put it out. Ew. J. Denny Dundiddly would be an improvement, though. The Inadvertent Minnesotan is low-key. I got bored with that video of him bumping his wheelchair into the curb on his way into prison after four or five views. The party has no way to stop Brett Kavanaugh from acting like a fucking toddler in public, and it whines about how unfair it is that anyone else cares.

These arrogant pricks are in no position to with both the battle and the war. If the full Senate votes him down or someone gets him removed from consideration prior to a vote, the GOP loses its golden boy, probably loses its window for a Gorsuch redux, and pisses off its creepy donors, but all at the benefit of regaining a chance of convincing swing voters that it is at least slightly tractable. If Kavanaugh is forced through with a month or less to go before a midterm election that is widely expected to narrow or eliminate its Congressional majorities, it will have hell to pay in November. That way lies a midterm skullfucking.

The partisan shitbirds caping for this mean drunk figure that he’s a lodestone for vicarious achievement and an admired role model for those who matter. The problem with this reasoning is that the reactionary portion of the professional-managerial class, the constituency for this toxic masculinity, is a small and shrinking minority of the eligible electorate and only sporadically capable of constituting a majority of active voters.

Meanwhile, this guy they’re trying to force onto the Supreme Court doesn’t have the self-control to leave the good girls from good families alone. He doesn’t have the prudence to satisfy himself preying on the little people. High-turnout center-left voters who might turn a blind eye to a man taking advantage of the nanny, who is traditionally a Guatemalan peasant in their milieu, are furious that he attacked the likes of a Yale undergraduate and a gentry neighbor girl who grew up to get a degree in psychology and live in Palo Alto. The mouthy little punk won’t so much as restrain his depredations to the outgroups.

Then there’s the question of what percentage of voters imagine that they’ll ever have a snowball’s chance in hell of being able to carry on in a professional setting like Special K did before the Judiciary Committee and not walk away ruined: not ruined in the licentious sense that our shouty boi used to call his pity party to order, but ruined in the sense of summarily fired, blacklisted from their sectors, and likely unable to find new work or stay housed. Again, I’d be spitballing the numbers if I tried to get specific, but this demographic seems to be small and shrinking, and those who have been cast outside, into the weeping and gnashing of teeth and unapproved avocado toast, are bitter and resentful. There’s a possibly viable constituency for this dogshit among affluent Baby Boomers, with some tinkling down into early Gen X, but the numbers start getting pretty unfavorable in the under-40 cohorts, then hostile with the under-35 and really hostile with the under-30. The rough cutoff for graduation from four-year college into the Crash of 2008 is 32; for high school, it’s 28. This doesn’t account for the statistical slop, of course: the three-year valedictorians, the Mark Judge Plan crowd, the dropouts, everyone whose best-laid plans went to shit along with the economy, those too mentally ill or worn out to compete, etc. ad nauseam.

Gadsden Lovin’ couldn’t pull it out in Alabama after it emerged that he’d had a thirty-something thing for the mall girls and his otherwise unremarkable Democratic opponent was not reputed to enjoy the old courthouse square something-something with the Sweet Fourteens. The Republicans are doing worse with their current raging bull, and worse by a long shot. Speaker Jordan may not be in a position to lead the entire House in one unanimous, and unanimously standing, recitation of our National Anthem. No, not the Francis Scott Key shit; the Bobby Sox Song. The way the GOP has been acting, it’s coming. It isn’t the only thing that’s, uh, what’s the phrase, getting on that coast city bus. To the baseball game, mind you, which costs two hundred grand for group tickets.

Yes, I hear that Christian harmony rising again, and it isn’t the only thing that’s rising on Capitol Hill. Put on your stockings, baby; the night’s young and so are you.

Fruits, nuts, and flakes

From the moment Brett and Ashley Kavanaugh walked down the hallway to the Senate hearing room I could tell that things were badly, ominously amiss. It was painful to watch; as much as I distrust and revile Brett Kavanaugh, seeing him and his wife walk to a Congressional hearing room looking completely ashen, at once angry and frightened, brought me no joy or comfort or even encouragement. Considering the extreme, life-altering pressure of the circumstances, I did not expect the judge to appear to testify in his own defense until he appeared, and once he and his helpmeet appeared, I immediately got an ill feeling that we all as a nation would have been better off with him absenting himself from the proceedings.

It was an ill wind that blew no one any good, the kind of thing that simply should not happen on Capitol Hill, at all, ever. Washington has far more than its fair share of kayfabe, a gross and distracting spectacle constantly in the background, intermittently surging to the front and then washing away again, but never really away. This shit has a degrading effect on politics and policy. It’s deplorable. The Kavanaughs’ demeanor on their way into the Capitol was something else entirely. It was deadly serious and sincere. Those two were not putting on an act. Nothing about their demeanor was overwrought or exaggerated in a way allowing it to be reduced to anything potentially harmless. This wasn’t another case of some showboat playing to the cameras for the attention or the dramatic effect or the emotional high.

This unbelievably ominous entrance on its own, before Kavanaugh even started his testimony, was unlike anything that I could remember from two decades or more of regularly following national politics. The only precedent I can recall on further reflection from before my own time is Richard Nixon, who frightened many observers with his visible emotional instability in public settings. This level of genuine emotional instability and drama in government did not seem like something a nation could sustain for very long or in great quantities, as is borne out by the political destabilization of the Nixon years, an episode when the institutions responsible for checking bad official behavior were apparently a good deal stronger than they are today.

In the committee chambers, Kavanaugh melted down in front of his wife, the Senators questioning him, and the international media a few sentences into his prepared opening statement, before the committee had asked its first question of him. Reading this prepared statement off a sheath of papers, he quivered, choked up, cried, grimaced, and raised his voice. A career lawyer who had worked in a special prosecutor’s office and the White House and had been through Congressional confirmation hearings before, he promptly lost all modulation control over his own voice for the uninterrupted sight reading of something that he had written, or claimed to have written. This was a man who had been trained from early childhood to be clubbable, to be smooth and confident, to master the conventions of polite speech that hold open the doors to Society and secure one’s place there. In spite of this, he had no poise at all. I’d been prepared to watch a coolheaded sociopath bloodlessly and confidently deny every bad act he had ever committed. Men like Kavanaugh are trained to recite these scripts and to recite them convincingly, or at least arrogantly enough to bamboozle the gullible. He could not.

When the questioning started, all hell broke loose. It had broken loose already, but there was no bottom to this pit of drama. A new shock waited around every corner. He ludicrously told Sheldon Whitehouse that “boofing” was juvenile slang for “flatulence,” because “we were teenagers” (according to recent consultations with Internet-Sensei, it refers to recreational drug administration by suppository, not anal sex; #TheMoreYouKnow, Tesh) and that “Renate Alumnius” was an homage to a girl he so admired that he considered her one of the boys. Again and again he mouthed off about his exceptional admiration for women, a regular male feminist just like Jian Ghomeshi and Hugo Schwyzer. Again and again and again he yelled about how much he enjoyed beer, back in the day and to that very day, sometimes too much, sometimes the right amount. When Amy Klobuchar, by her own description the child of a recovered alcoholic who was still in AA in his early nineties, asked him if he had ever blacked out, he petulantly flipped the script on her: “Have you?” He yelled about how he’d been hit with crazy accusations of being in a gang and getting into fights on a boat in Rhode Island, how the “Devil’s Triangle” was a three-cup drinking game, the whole spectacle of his investigation for violent behavior was a Clintonian partisan witchhunt, his ten-year-old daughter had said that the family should “pray for the lady,” he loved coaching girls’ athletics more than anything in the world and now might never coach again, and his life, reputation, and family were being ruined.

Everything about this fiasco was completely fucking batshit insane. Questions about his history of drinking certainly were relevant, given that he was present to answer allegations that he had been violent while intoxicated. It took me more than 24 hours from the conclusion of the hearing to realize that he was gaslighting the Judiciary Committee and the entire viewing public: cavalierly mentioning how much he enjoyed beer to normalize alcohol consumption in one breath, insolently accusing one of the senators questioning him of being a blackout drunk to impeach her credibility and character in the next, and generally changing tack on his every whim to force his own desperate narrative through and keep those questioning him off guard.

The contempt that he showed for the process and for those running it was off the fucking charts. It was especially stunning in contrast to the testimony given earlier that day by his accuser, who had been calm, poised, respectful, detail-oriented, and scrupulous throughout, in spite of her visible emotional distress. This raging asshole then came in yelling like an absolute lunatic and looking like the guiltiest thing ever to walk on two legs. Again, this motherfucker was a sitting federal judge undergoing a follow-up interview for a Supreme Court vacancy, not a naïve layman facing criminal charges or a devastating civil suit.

By the way, dude was drunk. I don’t know this for a fact, but observer after observer kept pointing this out, many of them based on personal experience with alcoholic family members, and Kavanaugh’s behavior makes much more sense drunk than sober. The speculation that he had been mixing uppers and downers seemed pretty credible, too; I would not at all rule out cocaine. He arrived at the hearing looking completely like shit, then started to look incrementally better over the course of the afternoon and evening, as if he was perhaps sobering up. On the other hand, he had multiple Republican committee members brownnosing the everloving hell out of him, most bizarrely Lindsey Graham yelling like a maniac about how the entire process was a farce and a vicious slander on a good man and his good family. The fellow must not be taking Straight Talk Express’s death too well. Even when he was being rimmed by shameless sycophants who refused to do their constitutionally mandated jobs Kavanaugh could barely hold it together.

His demeanor and behavior improved from time to time, but it never recovered to the realm of the normal or the appropriate. It was really just a question of whether the train wreck was smoldering a bit or up in roaring flames. And I’m not convinced that he sobered up much over the course of the hearing, or that he did so at all consistently. I would not be at all surprised if it turned out that he was drinking from a pocket flask and snorting lines of freebase during recesses. I’m completely serious about this.

Procedurally, this was the craziest thing I’d ever seen coming out of Washington. I’d watched constitutional crises in real time before, but never ones that featured abject sycophants in elected office trying to throw a committee hearing for a judicial nominee who was acting like a serial domestic batterer with an acute substance abuse problem right in front of them. This was of course a constitutional crisis of its own: having that man on the federal bench when he was so blatantly unfit was a crisis, and the faintest possibility of his elevation to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court was an even bigger crisis. At a couple of points, Kavanaugh looked like he was on the verge of cursing the committee out at the top of his lungs. He had these foreboding silences that looked like they’d break any split second into full-throttle Heavy Seven. I didn’t know whether to be hopeful or scared. Under any normal circumstances an outburst of FCC-sanctioned language on live television before a Senate committee would be the last straw, an immediate disqualifier.

The problem, of course, was that these were not normal circumstances. This shit was 100% fubar. The majority of the committee was openly refusing to do its job for the coarsest partisan reasons. Whoever the hell asked the last question (I haven’t checked and don’t have the energy at the moment) finished the ceremony on a gross and not so constitutional note by asking the judge whether he believed in God (the fuck was that shithead going to say?) by way of giving him an opportunity to again deny all before God and country. These pieces of shit just had to float a tacit religious test for public office (big bright no-no), actual religious reverence and awe be damned. The easiest thing on earth to ascertain about Special K is that he has no compunction at all about lying. He wouldn’t have carried on like that in the first place if he’d shown up with the fear of God. He wouldn’t have been such a public freak if he’d had the fear of anything but his own humiliation, to which he was contributing so abundantly.

The morning after that insane, horrifying Late Roman farce, the Judiciary Committee reconvened to ram its vote through. This took a few hours longer than the Republican amembers wished after Jeff Flake got cornered into larping as a vertebrate. Maybe there is something to his celebrated anguish and it isn’t just a sleazy act. At this point, though, the perfect is the enemy of the good when it comes to why and how exactly he reacts to being confronted in the elevator by rape victims. Hell, we’d already seen the clusterfuck of process-oriented process or whatever in God’s profaned name passes for the people’s business on Capitol Hill. In Lindsey Graham’s case, it included flippantly telling his own in-his-face rape victim that it was a problem for her and the police, not for him. Gee, asshole, what the fuck do you suppose you’d just been in committee to discuss? Deep thoughts on federalism? Corn ethanol subsidies? U kno what at the Windsor Heights Dairy Queen?

Damn straight constituents should get right up in these creeps’ faces. They won’t take their grievances seriously any other way. At least in Flake’s case the pressure seemed to have an effect. He didn’t mouth off at the women confronting him, and afterwards he conferred privately with Chris Coons. Lord Anguish and the First State Solar Powered Sex Machine apparently did some voodoo over the phone with presidential wrestling nemesis Rod Rosenstein, the upshot being that they tentatively bought another week before a floor vote of the full Senate. In the meantime, Lord Anguish joined his entire caucus in voting to move Kavanaugh’s nomination out of committee for consideration by the full Senate, with no assurances that it wouldn’t proceed to a floor vote pending the weeklong FBI investigation that Flake and Friends had requested, but he’d gotten his fellow pseudomaverick eleventh-hour drama queens Collins and Murkowski to talk about their own cold feet. Graham the Fancy Cracker in turn made a passive-aggressive comment to reporters in the hallway about how “last I checked you still needed fifty” or some shit. Yeah, and last I checked, you were still a frothing reactionary lunatic who would deserve recall from the town board for carrying on like that.

It’s no wonder that the Washington press corps is so weak, disoriented, incoherent, and all-around compromised. It isn’t just the slush-funded corruption; covering Washington politics means following the drama queen attention-whoring of every overpaid, overrated piece of shit with a reputation to front and an ax to grind. It’s a fog of war created by worse-than-useless asshats who call breaks to reload the fog machines. Sure, calculating self-promoters like Jeff Flake encourage unhealthy sycophantic behaviors in the press pool by rewarding compliant hagiographers with access, and it’s a self-reinforcing cycle and a self-licking ice cream cone, but I don’t see how any of this can be structurally reformed from within by reporting on it. Ethics and energy only go so far. These dipshits live in a farther land indeed.

This week’s Flake and Friends antics are just the latest, most horrifying example of how destructive mainstream “horserace” coverage of Washington politics is. That shit has to stop, not that it will. This ain’t Pimlico, assholes.

Shit, Millington, you wouldn’t believe the amount of furniture these cats are throwing.