Losers and suckers

They want us dead. If our elected officials didn’t want their constituents dead, they’d show some sadness at the news of the suicide epidemics killing ordinary Americans, the number of Americans medicating themselves to death, and the frankly pandemic levels of suicidal ideation among the American poor. A 25% self-disclosure rate in response to a survey question about suicidal thoughts over the preceding month is not a case of the damn blues. It’s a pervasive mental health crisis, and our politicians good and goddamned well know it.

They don’t care. They’re aware of the opioid epidemic. They know it isn’t a bunch of recreational users who finally have the time to enjoy a dope set. They think it’s funny that despondent people who see no prospects for themselves for the rest of their lives are routinely found unresponsive in Sheetz bathrooms with hypodermic needles sticking out of veins non-users don’t even know they have. They think it’s funny when they become unresponsive by first becoming dead.

It’s a cruel joke to them. They wouldn’t blame entire communities that their own policies deliberately, strategically ruined for falling on hard times if they took their citizens’ grievances seriously. The fucking bumpkins expect us to hand out jobs like candy, they grumble; serves them right to die at 25 for dropping out of school and getting into dope. They should have learned to code.

I’m not joking about any of this. Ripping away people’s livelihoods, doing jack shit to get them into jobs offering them comparable or better pay and conditions, blaming them for being too backwards to do something else for a living in a business their elected officials don’t decide to destroy on a whim for profit, and telling them to shut up and take it like grown-ups is not anything officials do in a spirit of respect or duty or stewardship. It’s depredation, and it’s on purpose.

When Hillary Clinton bragged about how her administration was going to put a bunch of coal miners out of work, she didn’t speak inartfully. She said it because she thought it. Her thinking was as crude as she expressed it: we are going to destroy you. She didn’t mysteriously fail to articulate her thoughts about how she had environmental concerns and saw the market looking rough on account of all the gas coming online. If anyone should be prone to such thoughts, it should be a notorious former commodities trader. She didn’t mysteriously fail to articulate her ideas of how to get mining communities through the hard times and into a more sustainabble economy truly serving the needs of those taking part in it on the other side.

No. She was there to express her smug satisfaction with her own plan to punish the coal miners among her constituents, along with their families and neighbors. To heaven with me, to hell with them; I, of the Elect, righteously proclaim them damned for their sins.

Yeah, Hillary is a Main Line Methodist, not an old time religion Calvinist hardliner like Betsy DeVos. It’s crazy. It’s much too consider,,, But she reveled in the prospect of punishing coal miners for their sins by closing their mines and putting them out of work. Bernie didn’t, because he wasn’t Her, and he wasn’t entirely #WithHer. Hillary did. She wished wrath upon them. Truly that was the depth of her thot.

*****

The denunciations Trump catches for violating norms and being a crooked idiot are outrageous. Bill Barr rolled onto the scene and the usual suspects kept shrieking florid nonsense about Russia. I’d rather see them hold their fire for use on Dr. Strangelove, Pervert Enabler, but what the hell do I know. I read too much samizdat. I even write some.

Trump has committed literally countless impeachable offenses during his presidency. I don’t think I could accurately estimate within a margin of error of 100 how many times he has publicly suborned communal violence. It’s the next thing to background noise. That’s JUST the deal where video keeps killing the star of Radio Mille Collines, the thousand points of hi-fi audiovisual light. His two most recent predecessors committed numerous impeachable offenses of their own, with total impunity, and their predecessor committed some, excluding the government-rate Penthouse Letter about the plump Jewess in the blue dress. *Artfully licentious Stephanie Lazarus voice* Excuse me, I have my own attachment issues around handsome, charismatic men! I, too, am a Jew in blue! John!

Shit. Dan. Greg. Fancy seeing the two of you here. It’s pronouned “Rutten.”

The point, of course, is that Congress could have finally taken some damn action to shitcan the moist boy even though it demurred when Sonny and Mocha Haole committed even higher crimes, but the Russia tale wasn’t it. As I maintain, this was deliberate; the Democrats, or at least Chuck and Nancy and the gang, Bob McCulloch-style threw their own case. They still could take action to this day over, say, the Louis DeJoy scam: no mulligans for that shyster, Don; bitch you are fired.

These shady circumstances should theoretically inspire cognitive dissonance in the Outer Party. The problem is, I hesitate to deem them cognitive. This shit has turned their minds to goo. The Oaf still holds his office, the #resistance is still moaning fortissimo about Bircher nonsense that is somehow as soporific as it is deranged, and the base is still unshakably convinced that its party is a serious and crucial operation, desperately trying to save democracy at the eleventh hour, Winston Churchill as reinterpreted by the smarmiest, most self-important boors in the student government.

No, no, you don’t understand. We had to impeach him because we didn’t like the executive discretion he was using in foreign policy, but we can’t get ahead of ourselves and impeach him again just because the crook he put in as Postmaster General trashed the Post Office to goose the private logistics stocks in his portfolio, no matter how much we love getting insulin to our veterans and hate insider trading. We don’t have the political capital to impeach him again because he did something obviously awful that everybody hates. It just isn’t realistic. Now, if you’ll excuse me, Mother needs her afteroon gelato, you filthy serf.

We never see the limits of their power because they never exercise their power. The House Democrats could shove Trump and the Republican Senate Caucus up against the wall, if they wished, and tell them that either Trump fires DeJoy, the Senate fires Trump and DeJoy with him, or Senators go on the record defending the President for retaining and defending the crook while the USPS goes to pieces on their watch.

This stuff would actually make sense to the voting public. It would convince some of them that the Democratic Party actually has some backbone and that they for once have a good reason to humiliate our Thicc Moist Boi and boss him around. Everything about this scenario makes more sense than the Russia story.

That’s probably why the Democrats aren’t interested, aside from any mutually assured destruction blackmail pact. That’s also possible. Jeffrey had an unfortunate disease. Satyriasis. You should look it up sometime. I hardly knew Jeffrey. He had that horrible disease where he constantly needed to be boning some broad.

We’re well past the point at which the process should be winning outcomes. Lyndon Johnson wouldn’t be sitting around moping about how he has no persuasion or leverage over the Senate; he’d be bodily corncobbing T. F. Green into a fucking closet. It’s hard to believe that Democratic voters don’t realize on some level that their Congressional caucuses aren’t entirely serious about Trump. Mitch McConnell sandbagged Obama’s judicial slate and ran out the clock just to be an asshole, and meanwhile his Democratic counterparts are sitting around with their thumbs up their asses, wondering why their hands are going numb.

The Democratic base’s horror over Trump is mixed up and projected all over the place but largely heartfelt. They want him out. They’re desperate to force Biden over the top for exactly, and sometimes solely, this reason. This allows Biden, Harris, and their campaign to hold them hostage more effectively. Just look at the alternative, they blurt out. We have to vote for Joe.

Uh, who are we calling “us” here? YOU have to vote for those creeps; I don’t. Does that mean I’ll vote for the Donald for real this time? As we say online, fuck around and find out.

The tepidness and ambivalence of the endorsements Joseph and the Witch are picking up is amazing. There’s hardly even the positive feminist message Our Womanhood used last time for Her. Biden-Harris phonebankers are being trained NOT to say anything about the ticket’s platform. Just talk about how empathetic Joe is. The two of them are so warm. They’re making up a huge pile of shit about how that sundowning hairplugged car salesman-ass scumbag is a mensch. Pay no attention to the handsy stuff and the hairsniffing.

Good Lord do these two have the right stuff.

*****

When centrists complain in shock that we’ve never had such a divisive president, what they mean is that we’ve never in their memory had a president who got so messy in public and talked trash about people like themselves or celebrities they admire. The war on drugs, NAFTA, welfare “reform,” mass incarceration, No Child Left Behind, the ACA, and the entire war on terror were all plenty divisive. Busting PATCO and a bunch of meatpackers’ locals was divisive. Pretending to drink tap water in Flint instead of actually making the supply potable again was divisive. None of these fuckers since Jimmy Carter has made a credible effort to unite the country. Carter gets ridiculed to this day as a bleeding-heart pussy for more or less trying.

What stands out about the claim that Trump’s predecessors were uniters, not dividers, is that they all governed in ways that fucked shit up for the poor and lower middling, not the affluent or rich. The unions Reagan and his successors busted had members who were able to save up enough to be modestly affluent, but their busting demonstrated their members’ fundamental precarity. The upper strata are left mostly unmolested in the war on drugs. They’re able to exempt their children from bullshit standardized tests by enrolling them in private schools that leave other, poorer children behind. Flint is out of sight and out of mind, just like everything else about water in Michigan is kept to the extent its officials can enforce. The ACA’s Rube Goldberg horseshit is more navigable for them than for their social inferiors, it enshrines health insurance as a Veblen Good, and it even gets some of their failspawn policy jobs. Discount prison labor and the ratfucking of public benefits claimants makes the servants cheaper for the served.

The talented tenth came out on the blessed sides of these divisions, with occasional exceptions (the war on terror was and still is an all-around horror show). Their kids got the good jobs (or some of them did lol; biotchim whaddup). Their kids got to stay on mom and dad’s health plans through the bitter end of military draft age if they left college first.

Millions of 25-year-old have school-aged children of their own. The non-breeder parts of the upper middle class resent and fear Bristol Palin for personally showing that it doesn’t have to be a total clusterfuck, even if the baby daddy is. *Befuddled deadpan Larry King voice* You were herding sheep. They’re scared of their kids going native with childrearing proles in the same way the Puritan minister-governors of Massachusetts Bay and the joint stock company superintendents of Jamestown were of their citizens fleeing to live with Indians as Indians.

The main thing to keep in mind about the extended adolescence of college per se is that both this arrangement and the hot takes about twentager immaturity swirling around it are profit centers. A bunch of doofuses get to kick the can down the road for a few years and the savvier among them get to turn profits as well. The schools are asymmetrically cynical and crass about this shit; the rest of us aren’t nearly cynical or crass enough.

Even I burden it with too much honor. I shouldn’t wonder if I didn’t get enough out of a college that charged our parents $50k a year and then sent us “bills” upon graduation for the balance of expenses supposedly covered by annual funds and the endowment. That isn’t what any part of an organization does when its core mission is education.

Mocha Haole, being da smart kine, was careful to tacitly keep college looking good. We’re just trying to interact with pushy, neurotic yuppie shitheads more aloha. It’s generally college-educated parents who have health insurance their grown kids can use as dependents in the first place. College might start to look superfluous if any dumb bastard could check a box for a Medicaid card. I guess we’re expected to get jobs at 26 now. I’m not saying this is a good idea; I’m saying it’s the consensus. Don’t look at me. I’m not the fuckhead who set it up.

A 23-year-old with a child in kindergarten might normally figure, no shit, rich kids have an easier time being jagoffs. She might find it more objectionable that full health coverage is now a 100% guaranteed fringe benefit of that deal as well, especially if she comes from a poorer family and falls into one of the ACA’s strategic coverage gaps on account of arbitrary income guidelines.

This shit was designed to be divisive from the start. I don’t really care whether it was Obama’s fault or McConnell’s. They all spent months and countless thousands of pages of paper to give us, their constituents, an unwieldy pile of shit. Fuck them.

Every one of these pompous shits knows full well that Medicare and Social Security are almost universally popular because they’re universal programs. They chose to play mind games on the electorate for profit and sport. They chose to treat the children of the affluent as permanent sophomores because it manipulated votes out of them by exploiting their parents’ coarse class identity, and the adult children’s to the extent that ones other than me could stand to be belittled so by scummy elected officials.

Centrists insist these were necessary compromises. In that case, fuck compromise. Nobody who gets actual services from elected officials gives a rat’s ass about compromise, either. I despise Barack Obama because he condescended to people like me by treating us as failures to launch who needed our parents’ insurance plans instead of just mailing everybody in the country a fucking Medicaid card. I don’t fucking care how much of a failure I was; it was still Mocha Haole’s civic duty to treat me and people I took to be like me with full respect as voters ready to punish him if he stepped out of line or else forfeit my vote and never ask a thing of me again, personally or by proxy.

This is what Tip O’Neill called local politics. It doesn’t get any more local than the Independent Republic of Oneself. I’m the first voter to be unabashedly selfish in the same way that I’m General Stroganoff of Tsarist Russia, where beef has YOU!

Serve me or shut the fuck up. I’m absolutely serious. Elected officials who put themselves through campaigns every two years for positions that, by firm Constitutional regulation, have one opening per 764,000 residents or some shit act like I’m not doing enough for them as a citizen. Excuse me? They aren’t doing enough for me. I’m sure it’s easier to pick blueberries, but if the $174k plus per diem allowances and other expenses for an optional-show job is so awful they can always quit.

The selfishness of individual voters averages out into whatever the fuck we’re currently calling politics. If you or I don’t get our way, some other selfish bastard will get his. The only reason any of these fuckers sit around in salons and preen about their own civility is that either a plurality of their voting constituents or else some disturbed recluse with think tank money can stand them. They’ll shut the fuck up and do work the moment their pollsters warn them that their smugness may be bringing a critical mass of hostile elements to the polls.

Of course they have to be pressured to do their jobs. They get two-year contracts with statistically low chances of nonrenewal and practically zero chance of extraordinary termination between elections (James “Deep Pile Jimmy” Traficant). Many of them seceded from the real world years ago. Fancy Nancy ventures deeper into the Land of Make-Believe by the month. Their advertising budgets are obscene.

These aren’t slacker dipshits who can be fired from jobs doing yard work because they keep running the mower caddywampus into the hedges. They’re supremely powerful and insulated, and many of them are supremely arrogant. This is true of elected officials at all levels, just truer as they rise higher. They need to have their fucking feet held to the fire. Maybe, God and Country willing, the verbal abuse I phone in to Fancy Nancy’s Capitol Hill comment line will aggregate with enough other constituents’ verbal abuse to get her aides to break it to her that we hate her for a reason.

It’s disgraceful to degrade oneself clamoring for a job like that and then, after getting it, to piss and moan or have proxies piss and moan about how hostile it is. Yeah, genius, that means it’s working as designed. You’re fucking up and hearing about it from your victims.

Think about what it takes to act like it’s unfair to be ridiculed and rebuked by no-name losers for displeasing them as the holder of a very well-paid elected office with some of the most lenient attendance and performance standards in the world. Think about what it takes to convince one private citizen to criticize another for being so unfair and cynical as to call Nancy Pelosi an unaccountable psychopath. I dunno. She’s filthy rich, she has access to all sorts of inside stock tips, she lives in several different palaces, she represents a rotten borough that has been purged of its poor on a systematic ongoing basis for decades, she ran Marion Berry Bitch Set Me Up game on her hairstylist after she got caught getting an indoor haircut in violation of public health orders, and she’s always sneering. You tell me.

It seems much more prudent to presume any of these fuckers psychopaths pending evidence that they are not than to presume them decent pending the almost inevitable evidence that they’re evil. It’s especially insufferable to be scolded for judging politicians too harshly by people whose assessments of Trump are virulently denunciatory. They don’t like him. I don’t like a bunch of other politicians but don’t care for him much either. Some of our faves may be implicated. Many such cases!

It’s not like anybody gets results by actually putting foolish credence in politicians. That’s an act. Voters who get the goods either bug the shit out of their officials or hire lobbyists to bug them. Direct action gets the goods, too, in case you’re really looking to make centrists squeamish.

*****

The carrying-on about what an idiot Trump is for pushing tariffs is revealing. Tariffs are bad for business, we’re told. Yeah, what do we mean by “business?” NPR can always get some guy with a steel fabrication business to bitch about how he needs cheap Chinese steel to make ends meet, because shithead business owners would never go on the radio and lie. I don’t see why we can’t also make steel, not just use imported raw steel in our manufacturing. This is a big country. /Annoying little Mexican girl meme/ Why Not Both?

It’s convenient how the neoliberal cotnern-trolling on NPR, MSNBC, and the likes aligns so neatly with the class interests of their affluent listeners. Somehow the offshoring is good for their portfolios. Imagine that.

We’re back to material interests. Good. This means we aren’t getting distracted by another round of Boys State hocus-pocus about process and civility. Lose me with that shit. We really need to run a regular weasel flush on affluent voters who insist that they’re advocating not for their own interests but for the interests of out-of-state industrial workers NPR picked at random. They’re happy with the incumbent political class, probably including Trump more than they want to admit, because the incumbent political class consistently delivers them the goods.

This certainly applies to their satisfaction with haughty asshats like Pelosi. I didn’t say I think she wants permanently affluent voters dead; I said she wants losers like me dead, and that’s a judgment I’ll make case by case on my damn own before I vote. I’d believe this less if Nancy fucking did some shit for me, but I’m not holding my breath.

One of my favorite definitions of elected officials is that they’re the people we pelt with rotten tomatoes until they build a tram stop by our favorite bakery. It’s a crass understanding, but look, nobody votes for politicians NOT to do that. Please. If upper-middle-class voters are satisfied with neoliberal shitheads like Chuck and Nancy because their stocks and home equity are doing well, that’s disappointing, but at least it’s honest. At least it doesn’t force me to read between the lines again.

The last thing I can stand is another Schoolhouse Rock shuck and jive about how basic constituent services other governments have been providing without incident for decades are impossible in the United States because it’s hard to pass a bill. Nuh-uh. Nancy you work for me my good bitch. Do work.

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