Messing with Texas

Yankee shitlibs refuse to confront the ugly truth that the gross misgovernment of the South mainly harms Southerners, most especially poor Southerners. It’s probablly because they’re racists. This evil country has been building common cause between Confederate brutes and Union appeasers since Appomattox. Charles Sumner got his insolent white ass caned on the Senate floor for refusing to accommodate his fellow cuntrymen, a misspelling he would wholeheartedly agree is not one. Some of speak more deeply in the Vulgate than others, some of the time. The good old classists–goodness, classicists–of the Good Old South were, as Sumner provocatively pointed out, Daniel Holtzclaw, just prissier. That was enough for Preston Brooks, Southern Gentleman, to forcibly get Charlie off his political bullshit. #CHAHLEE!

True Song of the South: I had the pleasure and honor, in my troubled youth, of briefly getting to know Mr. Charles and his owners. Mr. Charles was a nice pussy. They lived in a bed and breakfast outside Luray. Good folks, of all breeds. Mr. Charles was far from the worst Southern Ginger. Any of you fools read about the characters who founded this nation? My parents were taking me to a summer camp between Harrisonburg and New Market. Mr. Charles had his shit way more together than my modal peer or chaperone at camp. That outfit put the loco into the parentis indeed.

These days I’m much less troubled on my trips to Virginny, new, old, and dead. I’m talking about trips where I do shit like break down in tears in an easily bent-out-of-shape Marylander’s arms when we see each other for the first time in fifteen years and she asks me how I’m doing. “I keep thinking I see her.” All alma sane, y’all, is, some of us are less fucked up than we used to be. Take courage! Take comfort! In a world when so many things regress, some nerds advance!

Huh. We’re recycling our #content again. But ask: How much is there that is new under the harsh Texas sun? The ugliest members of the gentry are still grievously torturing their socioeconomic, and hence racial, inferiors. It remains the official policy. The scions of old-line Jeffersonian families do it because it’s what their families have always done. Canadian immigrants and other arrivistes in the Jacksonian mold do it because it’s what the Jeffersonian master class has done since time immemorial. We’re examining here the examples the American Adams of their diseased culture set in their own lives, not the ideals they proclaimed. That’s some perverse phrasing I used, but it’s not like we just started deploying seedy political accusations of treason and incest.

To plunge into the truly odd, our recently departed Oaf of Office, a man of publicly avowed incestuous interest in his own daughter, is consistently accused only of treason, which there is absolutely no evidence he ever committed. Did he get entanged in foreign rivalries, against the sage advice of our wiser framers and in the immediately recognizable fashion of every predecessor holding his office in his lifetime, as well as that of multiple framers of the United States Constitution? You betcha. Was whatever he thought he was trying to accomplish in the Russia and the Ukraine treasonous? Good God, y’all. “Woody Allen adopted that girl? Okay, but he’s Julius Rosenberg.” Come again? Dafuq?

The Russia obsession is the psychotic political equivalent of Ella Emhoff’s style of dress. That bird of prey goth bullshit is itself an updated version of the extant tradition of dressing up in starched shirts and neckties as a sign of one’s transcendence of physical labor. We’re encouraged to believe she does that to shock the bourgeoisie. Huh uh; homegirl is doing that to BE the bourgeoisie. The smartly dressed black bum on the San Diego Trolley who told his Goodwill muumuu-class white girlfriend “I can’t afford to go to the bank no more” dressed respectably because he couldn’t afford to go to the social capital bank no more neither.

John Regan would probably argue this is why we maintain monarchies. I take a different stance. This is why we mock monarchies. This is why we mercilessly mock all who butt in with aristocratic or monarchical pretensions. Go back to Canada and take that fancy-pants imperial condescension with you. “Oh. Which Canadian?” Yeah, that’s the fucking problem. We’ve got one in the fucking White House and still have one in the Senate. I’m afraid we can identify Regan as one of the good ones because he fled for Canada, not from it. They can’t all be Chad Kroeger or the Mentionable Justin. If I was them, would I let me in, like they did Dziekanski? I’d like to think so, but honestly, I’m interested in the backchannels–ironically by surf and turf, not sky–more than I am tempted.

Many of us, then, are stuck here. Do I sound like the kind of Cancunt who gets into Congress? Guadalajara? Oh no. Volaris is the Greyhound Airborne. Let’s see if there’s some room on the business standby list for Houston. Well shit, in that case maybe there’s a couple cops waiting for me back home, at the airport.

Bitch you could fly to Calgary instead, eh?

Rafael Edward’s Mexican Adventure is, in strictly technical terms, a distraction from the catastrophic failure of ERCOT and many of Texas’s municipal water supplies under the onslaught of a cold snap that was accurately forecast days in advance. That said, it’s of a piece with Ted Cruz’s decision to fuck off to Mexico during a statewide crisis, blame his minor daughters for making him abandon his constituents, and telling a press scrum at the Cancun Airport that he was flying home to roll up his sleeves and work on the grid. Cruz wore a Lone Star Flag mask for his airport press conference. He literally, bodily justified himself from behind the cover of his state’s flag.

Don’t mess with what now? Who dat living on the Gulf of Mexico and vacationing down at a different part of it to get out of the cold? Cruz’s block got priority grid service at a time when his constituents were on the verge of dying of thirst, dozens of them as a preliminary estimate had already died of exposure or carbon monoxide poisoning, and he and his family had fled out of country, not just out of town.

Everything they say happens to political cultures and supply lines in communist countries just happened in Texas, on an even worse extreme and grander scale. Indigent Texans are lining up for bottled water at drive-through delivery points. Will Rogers thought it was absurd that America went to the poor house in the automobile. That’s how we, as a country, are going to the soup kitchen and the open call for fucking water rations. It’s an astoundingy dystopian work of science fiction, and the citizens of a hypermilitarized police state, the subjects of the sole remaining global imperial superpower, are living in it. That’s our real life.

Fuck off about bitch-ass Russia. That joint at least seems to more or less work. The Gulag was a chronic atrocity, nothing to dismiss or justify, but it was never the fault or immediate business of the United States. It was a Soviet atrocity. Americans were right to denounce it in its day. But the United States is currently operating its own Gulag archipelago. It’s committing many of the same atrocities against its own prisoners, many of whom it incarcerates for political reasons. This is what America is doing to its own people today, as I write and you read. Our prisons deny their inmates food or serve them food that is unwholesome and barely edible. They deny their inmates clean facilities and clean water. This week, Texas prisons have been denying their inmates water, period, denying them heat, and even denying them blankets.

It’s controversial to say that the United States is a nation founded and run on genocide. Maybe we should think about something less unpleasant, something less recent. Mercy, O’Hara.

Mercy, Mr. Charles.

Most politicians, even the psychopaths, are keenly aware of how important it is to show empathy. The psychopaths among them at least try to mimic empathy to an extent that they figure will fool the rubes. This is exactly why there’s such a concerted campaign to praise Joe Biden for his “empathy” and “decency,” and Kamala Harris for her “warmth.” It’s a sickening effort to rehabilitate two armchair thugs who have devoted their careers to doing evil and continue, to this day, to deliberately do evil. The point of this campaign is to gaslight genuine liberals who voted for Biden and Harris in ambivalent but desperate hope that they’d be better than Trump. This same jumble of bullshit and lies is also good for writing the story of American politics from scratch on the blank slate of the low-information voter’s mind and reassuring illiberal propertied Wilson-Deukmejian Republicans who believe in life without parole much more than life with it that they’re in fact good bleeding-heart liberals.

The message is Message I Care. Poppy Bush was a psychopath pandering to the worst angels of the American electorate’s nature, but geez, they make a federal case out of it if you’re walking around the shanty in Kennybunkport in your plaid PJ’s at three in the afternoon just because you’ve got a case of the sniffles, so geez, Argentina, go cry for that papist collaborator fellow Bergoglio instead or something, and let me know how pork bellies are doing on the Exchange before I’m all out of rinds.

The point of this shtick is to bamboozle the public. They’re eager to minimize the cohort of dissidents openly wondering why that goody-two-shoes piece of shit spends so much time Downeast and never goes riding with Teddy. The gambit worked with the Bushes because their elders and family retainers teach them from birth the need to maintain the false front of noblesse oblige. The false modesty of WASP shabby chic is a way to avoid rubbing it in for the losers. They won’t vote for you if you flaunt it too much, kid. Behave yourself. Keep the guillotine memes directed at someone else, some idiot and fool who doesn’t know what’s best for him.

Ted Cruz’s message is What, Me Care? Message I Don’t lol sucka. The free press is eternally vigilant, always on the lookout for an easy dunk. The public enjoys an easy dunk and is increasingly furious with its officials. A savvy, refined politician knows this. The Bushes all try to act like they care. It isn’t just an old money thing, either: Marco Rubio and John Kasich try to show some fucking modesty, too.

Cruz is too arrogant to try to show any fellow feeling with his constituents. He’s too shameless. He doesn’t have it in himself even to make an insincere show of gratitude for having a lavishly compensated six-year contract for a position of public trust ostensibly requiring part-time hours but subject to no meaningful attendance or performance standards. He doesn’t have it in him to act like he’s got a good gig and is lucky to have it. He shows no interest even in pretending to want to repay the trust the public has placed in him. He flew back early from Cancun because he got caught. He put his name on the fucking upgrade standby list.

Cruz won’t resign for being so self-serving and irresponsible in the face of an arguably unprecedented crisis, the way the asshole mayor of Colorado City did after lashing out at his constituents on Facebook with a tirade about how he and the rest of the government didn’t own them a damn thing. That guy was a two-bit local yokel, used to doing whatever bad deeds he felt moved to do in obscurity, slithering around in the muddy dark. He must have been taken aback to get pushback for blaming his constituents when they begged for help during the infrastructural crisis of their lives. Cruz is used to the limelight and the savagery that comes with it. He’s used to being not just hated but one of the most hated members of the Senate. His colleagues can’t stand him or Mitch McConnell. By some accounts they have more patience with McConnell.

Scumbags whose understanding of communism is members of the Nomenklatura fleeing to their dachas on the Black Sea while ordinary Russians living in shabby housing estates wait in bread lines all day are here to tell us all about how their tropical vacations in the thick of a deadly breakdown of civiliation were perhaps ill-advised in hindsight, but privatized utilities issuing $200k household electric bills because they felt like market-surging the costs of energy they just barely delivered, when they delivered it at all, onto their ratepayers. This is capitalism, bitch. This is the free market. This is what we must defend against imperial interference from our own federal government, no matter the hardship.

ERCOT’s executives have been quick to accept blame–not all, but some–for their failures. They must be horrified by how badly they got caught off guard. It’s an unfortunate name, ERCOT. Watch your gonsonants; you good gadge a gase of id. The truly embarrassing part is the R. It stands for reliability.

Oops.

There’s a reason for their relative accountability. Independent system operators are run by people with extensive, granular technical knowledge. They’re forced to work in the real world, and deeply so. ISO’s attract people who take intense pride in their work. They literally keep the lights on. They’re embarrassed when they don’t. In episodes as dire as what just ravaged Texas, they’re powerfully alarmed.

Rick Perry is able to mouth off about the honor of enduring hardship for the sake of the continued independence of an electrical grid that just catastrophically failed because he suffers little hardship from the failure of public utilities and he socializes exclusively with peers who suffer little hardship. The cognitive dissonance doesn’t register with him because he casually, instinctively dehumanizes fellow Texans who do not live on properties with industrial-grade home generators. It helps to think they deserve hardship for being losers, and therefore of low character, but people of his class, even people I’ve known who are merely upper middle class and have a chip on their shoulder about somehow living in precarity and having to fight to kill what they eat, fundamentally conceive of “people” or “Americans” or “New Yorkers” or whatever else they find resonant as themselves and their class peers. “My Uber tonight was a sweetheart!”, that kind of thing. If she lives in her car and parks for the night at the hopelessly overcrowded rest area on the hill above Vallejo, she won’t breathe a word about it.

Rick Perry is a few stations up the line from there. He doesn’t understand what it’s like to live in a normal house. When his ilk arrogantly issue grandiose pronouncements about “Texas” or “Texans,” they’re pontificating about nothing of the sort. It’s Trolley Time with Uncle Fred. Everybody in Thailand has a servant. They need the servant to drive the family elephant. It’s awful when the family elephant has to go to the vet and they have to cross Bangkok on the elephant bus to their jobs as their servants’ servants

I’m fuller of shit than the elephant’s ass right now: the servants are not part of “everybody.” Duh. They’re excluded. They’re the underclass the law binds but does not protect, bound to their due station to serve the overclass which the law protects but does not bind. It’s no coincidence that rich, cosmopolitan parts of the United States are hardening into caste societies, in ways that overlap with race but in no way entirely map onto it. It’s no coincidence that famously liberal Santa Monica is ever more infested with property owners who foam at the mouth with fascist rage, good Democrats who privately concede that Stephen Miller has some good points but they don’t want him clamping down too hard on the beaner supply lines that keep them in gardeners and maids.

When Rick Perry blusters on behalf of “Texans,” he excludes the vast majority of every major Texas city, with the possible but unlikely exception of Fort Worth. That’s the most generous possible description. He’s actually excluding damn near the whole fucking state. The simultaneous, nearly statewide failure of electrical, water, and natural gas supply lines during and on account of an extreme cold snap is an entirely different beast from differences of regulatory philosophy or practical day-to-day engagement between the state and federal governments. The Texas state government allowed electric and gas utilities to decline to weatherize their key facilities in the interest of short-term investor profits. This was the regulatory regime AFTER a similar but milder cold snap in 2011 caused widespread power failures.

Working stiffs will not stand for this shit, in the name of Texas or in the name of anything else. The mythical hardscrabble pioneer stock the likes of Rick Perry claims to represent in fact exist. In parts of the state they’re prevalent. They’re mythical in the sense that their hardiness and prevalence is somewhat exaggerated for lyrical effect. If they supported the separation of the ERCOT grid from neighboring megagrids, it was to make it easier for the people running the system on the ground to keep it affordable and reliable. That kind of thinking isn’t just belligerently ideological. The continental-scale cascading failures precipitating the 2003 Northeast Blackout were a consequence of ill-designed and ill-managed interconnectivity on a continental scale. That blackout was truly nightmarish. My parents and I were lucky enough to be visiting family and friends in Oregon when the grid failed and to have booked ourselves on a return flight that arrived after the grid was back online in our part of Pennsylvania. If ERCOT were tied into any of the megagrids in the same haphazard, brittle fashion as the regional ISO’s are tied into one another within the megagrids, the results could be calamitous.

The North American electrical grid is designed, constructed, and operated for shit. ERCOT is not uniquely dysfunctional. The current (heh) blackouts were exacerbated by inadequate interties to neighboring ISO’s. In this instance, ERCOT’s unusual regionalization and operational separation from neighboring systems inhibited its capacity to import power from outside and then distributed it internally. In the event of a big sectoral blackout on the scale of 2003, ERCOT’s independence might well keep most of Texas fully powered.

Again, this shit isn’t about Texas. Exploitative bad actors in public office and corporate marketing departments want to make it about Texas. They want to make it about their lies about renewables failing during the blackouts to distract from the failures of deliberately unwinterized fossil fuel infrastructure. It’s about calculated disinvestment in already vulnerable and poorly maintained public utilities.

In a word, it’s about looting. Vulture investors get corrupt governments to give them the license to loot. They encourage them to gouge ratepayers, strip company assets, effectively embezzle capital on hand, and make a shambles of what they’ve been chartered to run. Texas is one of the states whose governments they’ve most thoroughly corrupted, and hence one whose citizens they’ve most thoroughly beggared. It isn’t because Texas is Republican. They pull the same shit in Democratic states. I’m due to pay PG&E $150 this week. I have no control over the stewardship of my utility payments. I have no control over how much of it goes to infrastructural improvements versus administrative costs versus embezzlement. About a third of it is going to Sonoma Clean Power. Do I have any goddamn way to direct that cut, or to know what the hell they’re doing with it? Of course not. It’s probably more transparent than PG&E, but for all I know it may be a huge pile of bullshit, and if it is, that’s a low-priority agenda item on the civic triage chart.

Yeah, we’ve got a lot of smug Californians–PG&E ratepayers, no less–shrieking about the absolute awfulness of Trump and the Republican Party and the states they win, rather than taking the beam from their own eye. Greg Abbott would probably find a way to make PG&E even worse, but that’s no excuse for blaming ordinary Texans. For the love of God cut that shit out. They don’t deserve to suffer because they vote Republican. They don’t deserve to suffer because their states voted Republican.

The demographic breakdown of the latter might skew darker and poorer than Mark West, but I can’t White see how.

The cops know

It’s curious how so many violent weirdos are able to carry on with impunity right in front of the police: Dahmer, Pickton, DeAngelo, Wortman, Tsarnaev, Abdulmutallab. Concerned citizens can beg the police to investigate them in the disappearances of missing loved ones, for naught. Other countries’ cops can alert their counterparts through official channels with prophetic warnings of looming attacks: what he did here today he may do there tomorrow, and then, whaddaya fuggen know, Boston gets bombed.

Nobody could have predicted it. Oddly, the FSB did exactly that. That cat has an anger management problem, and he’s running with the beards back home. The Russian security services think he may mean his adoptive homeland harm? You don’t say!

In the Tsarnaev case, the feds iced the meathead principal, iced some contacts with knowledge or involvement, and are itching to ice the kid brother for being a patsy and a whipped little bitch. Gee, maybe one of the tens of thousands of G-Men who didn’t give a shit about what Tamerlan Tsarnaev thought about them because they weren’t his terrified little brother would have been in a better position than poor Dzhokhar was to stop him. I thot that was why we paid them.

Nah, face it, Jack. We know better than that. These things we cherish above Ruby. Up against the wall, signora, if you’ve got space for my book in your depository.

I got sideshowed on my way to the BART station today. Friday, three in the afternoon, jaywalkers everywhere, and some asshole was doing donuts in a stolen hot red Porsche on MacDonald Avenue. I was going to miss my train out of Richmond regardless, and all I got in the end was a free round tripout of Millbrae on Caltrain after one of our sister trains struck a car at a grade crossing around Hayward Park. The transit scene was fubar. The sideshow was the scary part. I stayed calm, and thank God our boy was competing in it as an individual sport. It could have been worse.

/Borat Voice/ My part-time wife chicksplained to me that sideshow cars are stolen. Duh. Always. Whaddaya mean, always? When Lisa Novak goes for a drive, it depends. That explains how fourth-generation welfare claimants living in ramshackle tenements can afford Escalades and Beamers. They come by them the old-fashioned way.

She knows about these things. My woman has an ear to the ground. She showed me a video of an all-night sideshow in Oakland, ten hours of uninterupted footage of caterwauling, twerking, donuts, and honky–I mean, honking. I can’t white see how that happened. You may not be able to say wop on NPR (Andrew Cuomo is!), but you are, indeed, allowed to say WAP. Schitt, Huizenga, oil beef hooked on anything but phonics. I saw enough of that video after two minutes. It was boring. YouTube has ten-hour cab videos of winter train trips across Norway. Still, the white boy can have a little doofus in a gold chain clowing around on the hood of a Mercedes, as a treat.

/BV/MPTW says the sideshow districts are no-go zones for the police. The cops don’t have the courage, physical or moral, to confront the mob. It tracks: they’re barely brave enough to answer the door at the cop shop armed and in full uniform. It’s like they say about the Crips: they’re blue, but they aren’t Blue Shield. It’s good to know that one of the infinite duties the police do not in any meaningful or, God forbid, binding way have is the duty to break up all-night hooligan takeovers of public streets using stolen motor vehicles. You know, #TeshTips, that kind of thing. Our police chiefs would fire Anirut Malee for keeping the peace, not the law.

One might wonder about the capabilities of our police agencies’ proliferating helicopters and BearCats and CCTV cameras and shit to interdict stolen vehicles on their way to sideshows. Shouldn’t these lavishly appointed outfits be able to use their fun toys to stop stolen cars from being driven to sideshows, say, on the probable cause of the registered owner who reported his Maserati stolen out of Piedmont affying that he did not give the current driver permission to drive it to 98th Street? Well, uh. There was a time a few years ago when the only type of crime increasing in San Diego was auto theft. The insurance companies demand their paperwork. There’s no paperwork for threatening to murder protesters for tailing the vans carrying their freshly blackbagged comrades.

Some of these pathologies are in fact particular to local cultures. There are police departments that fire bad cops. There are others that hire the shitcanned as lateral transfers. Constituents had to storm the city council chambers in Fairfield the other day to get their officials to do something about the serial killer thug they’d hired out of Vallejo, one of the homies with the bent points on his star.

In LA, where bitter, hard-aged young men with Huey hours came home to their pick of police work and television work, they do chases. Everybody wants to be a star, Fuhrman. They all want to be stars. Send me a goddamn picture postcard you blotchy creep. No matter how many choppers were on the trail, the LAPD’s ground patrols always ended up escalating the aftermath of their botched traffic stops until their erstwhile quarry crossed a dozen city lines, cleanly felled a palm tree onto an electrical line, and Russell Wellered a six-year-old into a Yoshinoya. Bill Bratton showed up from New York, took a look at this whatthefuckular bullshit, and ordered an end to it. His cops mostly complied, or so the papers said.

The East Bay does sideshows. They’re a team sport. It’s hard to say what it’ll take to stop them, but doing nothing ain’t it. This isn’t a case of standing down when some poor schmuck with a drug warrant gets triggered and flees a traffic stop for a broken taillight. It takes a force to defeat a force.

Or, as we discussed above, the cops could nip that shit in the bud. They’re already contact-tracing every kid in the neighborhood for gang affiliations, real or spurious. Of course, they could also do something about the murders, too, say, by intervening when somebody they know has beef is getting openly agitated. They could tell the hothead’s target to hop in for his own safety and ride out the storm. The violence isn’t senseless. It’s the inevitable reaction of feuds with weapons.

The cops know this. The overtime must be better on homicide than it is on patrol.

Any affluent city policed in the fashion of Oakland would recall its entire government within the year. The Palo Alto Police Department does not allow its officers to ignore car theft reports and fuck up their homicide investigations so they can focus on precrime augury on neighborhood kids’ Instagram accounts and violent jumpouts. No, asshole, you’re here to STOP street crime. Police departments in rich areas don’t have the latitude to blame violent crime problems on prostitution and drugs. They’re forced to investigate actual fucking crimes, not just complain that Kenneth Fitzhugh was loaded on coke and probably motorboated it off strippers sometimes.

That’s what monogamy gets you, boys.

Not for one second do I believe that the Richmond Police were unable to stop that asshole from doing donuts in front of me and dozens of pedestrians on a crowded city street in broad daylight. As we were told some months ago at a Gavin Gabbin, we’re decisions, not conditions. Our cops choose to be bad at both. Those who fire together wire together, and we can all see how our cops have become wired. They’re guard labor for capital, but they can hardly be bothered to do work for the insurance companies.

/Most civic Roger Schafer Spanish Space Program ground control voice/ I didn’t do shit to the bomb! I was cutting government waste!

Disincentives to work

My parents and I drove through Tamaqua on our way north from Pennsylvania a few weeks ago. It was my idea. Two of the most resourceful rednecks I’ve ever encountered were from Tamaqua, and I was interested in seeing their hometown, to see what made them what they were.

It is not the right stuff. Tamaqua is one of the most overpowering shitholes I’ve ever transected. It’s rundown, it’s depressing, it has worse traffic than most of Philadelphia, and it has a lot of extremely shady characters hanging out on the porch. Tamaqua is the sociology of Albuquerque stuffed into a half-abandoned neighborhood in Pittsburgh where the trees have all been mowed down. *Extremely “Lebanon’s Looking Up!” Voice* Naw, yous can get work at the warehouse if yous pass the drug screen and have open availability; don’t go rawnd sayin’ we never offered yous nothin’.

Other common things to do for a living in Tamaqua include nothing. I 100% seriously suspect trust fund beneficiaries have a lower rate of unemployment than Tamaquans. We hear about unemployed rich kids more than unemployed poor kids for a number of reasons, most of them involving the very toxic “hustle” culture. That used to be an unambiguously pejorative word, by the way, an epithet for transient characters who might need to roll up their carpetbags and leave town within the hour to escape the wrath of their newly wise victims. Nice racket you were running there, pal; shame if you happened to the ship channel. On Soviet Staten Island, Van Kull kills YOU!

The agitprop to admire proles who live in poverty as a consequence of their 80-hour workweeks and resent trust fund kids for living decently without working is aimed at middle-class normies, or at least at people who, as we call it in this country, work. There are underclass families in this country who lost the plot a generation or two ago. Their deep story, to the chagrin of business owners who would theoretically hire them, is a more honest and cynical one: work is for suckers. Cousin Gigolo and his mother subscribe, and they both have payroll work histories. He’s cleared minimum wage, too, just not by turning tricks. Mom burned down her trailer for the insurance money. I believe she was a sheriff’s dispatcher. One of the local drunks sold the work boots the welfare department gave him and went drinking. That was back in some shit like 1965.

It’s not like the poor or the lower middling have always worked, or the idle rich have not. The rich are the ones who really benefit from getting jobs. They’re the ones who score the good conditions, the good pay, and the prestige. They’re always banging on about how they eat what they kill, unlike their siblings and classmates who are lazy but actually depressed by vice of not being psychotic. Their stories are bullshit: the reason they’re in i-banking or power sales or whatever the hell is that their parents are loaded and networked. If you want to be quality, surround yourself with quality, or have your parents surround you with it from cradle to graduate school, since I guess that’s how we classify third-tier MBA programs. Mind you, I’m a mere bachelor of history who’s never had the drive to pursue a master’s degree in Dale Carnegie Studies. I’m a loser, baby, so why don’t you ignore me, then flip your shit at me when I ridicule your shitty friends for being yuppies?

Here’s a point of comparison: Are 10% of my prep school or college classmates unemployed and adrift? No way. Are 10% of working-age Tamaqua residents? Probably. We can’t trust the statistics because they’re dry-labbed, and we can’t trust local employers because they’re puffed full of shit about their own superiority to the indolent proles they keep saying they’d hire.

Tamaquans aren’t poor because they don’t work; they don’t work because they’re poor. The 1% or 5% or whatever it is of trust fund beneficiaries who actually disengage from the payroll job market are easily more marginal to their class than the 10-30%–shit, maybe more–of working-age people who crash out in hard-hit rustbelt shitholes like Tamaqua. Imperial County’s U-3 rate fluctuated seasonally between about 15% and 30% before the Rona, which is odd because everyone knows Mexicans love to work, but that’s exactly it: piss-poor campesino lettuce cutters and their children are the only workers eager enough for work to jump quantum out of U-6 when they can’t find any and get themselves recorded in the figures published for the normies.

There’s no money in working. It’s for a reason that insolvent Anthracite Country municipalities have been sprouting so many nonunion warehouses. Endemic poverty and official corruption make these facilities viable in spite of the extra transportation costs of sorting freight on remote mine landfills without railheads. Recruitment isn’t a bust. People need the money.

Some of the old-school blue-collar locals need the work per se psychically to an extent that’s rare outside Anthracite County and other heavy industrial regions. Before long, though, the work ethic gets spread thin. The postindustrial nonunion shops blow sunshine up everybody’s ass about how great it is to work for them, and residents who are honest with themselves recognize the injury and insult they face from these companies as a sucker’s bet.

When I lived in Lebanon County as a teenager, I was always coming across happy horseshit about how great it was to work at, say, the chicken packinghouses in Fredericksburg. Hersheypark, where I actually worked, paid less than the chicken plants–I think–but not by much. Mercifully, only the dumbest (and, I assume, best-paid) assholes in the company gave a shit about the Hersheypark Happy bollocks. HR didn’t entirely act like we were just there to run the deep fryers, but the rest of us had the good sense to know it and act the part. We were within spitting distance of minimum wage, and our immediate supervisors’ wages were within spitting distance of our own. By God this carny shit was a job, not a career.

The amount of this sponsored content I encountered for shit-tier votech tracks where the Puerto Rican ladies on the floor were all so happy because they changed spots every two hours to prevent repetitive stress dropped off a cliff after I transferred to the Day School, where Everyone’s A Wiener (TM). Like hell did anyone there want any of us ending up pulling crop all day for eight bucks an hour. They were paid to keep us off the floor, just like the Lebanon Daily News and the counselors back at Cedar Crest were paid to shunt the slow kids from the poor corners of the district off to Bell & Evans. Ironically, that gig at least pays. Yanqui can’t afford to be picky about stuff like getting a paycheck and some damn FICA if he wants farm jobs, is alls I’m saying. Of course nobody on the prep circuit wanted any of us ending up below the station of an i-banker or maybe a cardiologist’s wife. Oops lol.

Everybody who pays a second’s attention to the schools know this. Places like Tamaqua get the ass end of the deal. The townies can tell when their governments don’t think they’re worth half a shit to society. They know for a fact, and a correct one, that their government and the rich pigs who bought it wouldn’t have hung them out to dry in a failing county full of played-out mines, failing infrastructure, and poverty-wage right-to-work shops if they cared about their welfare one damn bit. The state shows which constituents it despises and prefers dead by exposing itself to them exclusively through tinpot tyrants in the schools, the welfare offices, the criminal “justice” system, and the DMV. The rich don’t get anywhere near such a raw deal. Most of them live around each other in the metropoles to assure it.

As I’ve often poined out in some fashion or other, this is one of Donald Trump’s great political strengths in the Rust Belt. No shit there are racists in Schuylkill County, but I thought we were trying to distinguish it from Santa Monica. The high-turnout local notables in the Anthracite Country broke about the same way they always do everywhere in 2016: this time for their fellow Republican business shyster, not the usual starve-the-beast Republican zealot who tries to grease them with some tact. Much of Trump’s working-class base, however, and likely most of it, had an equally savvy reason to vote for him. At last they had a major-party candidate who bluntly called out the entire political system as a huge fraud and racket instead of blowing endless sunshine up their asses about how the system works just fine and would do them wonders if only they changed everything about their lives.

Political parties do NOT tell voters whose support they value to change themselves. The GOP does not tell its local notables to stop being shysters who routinely commit wage theft and use their businesses as collateral for their drug habits. The Democratic Party does not tell its PMC strivers to stop being shitty freaks who need to chill out about college. They’d cashbomb the shit out of workaday–and loafaday!–Tamaquans if they valued their votes. Scolding the locals for being unambitious, clingy to their roots, and set in their ways is a way of saying Wee Haidt,, Yoo. Hunky crack coal; message: we don’t care.

Rather, hunky cracked coal. And Lord have Mersey on your fairy ass if you don’t suppose a Pollock ever had a bad thing to say about his fellow Slav.

The Brahmins need to hear this. There are worse, in fact much worse, things for a politician to be in a washed-up rustbelt shithole than a boorishly vulgar playboy who pretends to be rich for a living and flimflams his way into getting bottomless cash and credit dumped into his lap. For real, I was around and some cases personally knew people in Central Pennsylvania who owned, among other businesses, Maier Bread, Ward Trucking, and Turkey Hill. I have one degree of separation from the fucking Sheetzes. Yes, I mean exactly the Sheetzes you have in mind, not that my career is made-to-order lmao fml. I have never known or even known of anyone in Central Pennsylvania who acts like Donald Trump. Dude’s alien, even if his son-in-law is REALLY alien.

Hillary Clinton is another matter. She’s a very serviceable example of what made people in places like Tamaqua hate school. Plenty of rich people in rich areas also hate power-hungry incomptents who lord it over those they were hired to serve, but the rich get results for putting up with them. Tamaqua is poor. Hillary would fit in as a principal or a district attorney, and provincials who salivate over DA’s screwing the proles over hate Hillary.

Do we still wonder how Trump won Schuylkill County?

Affluenza cases who ringfence their entire lives to hoard all the good shit don’t like dealing with ill-tempered, capricious tinpot authority figures, either, as we learned from Operation Varsity Blues. Rick Singer got er done, and he wasn’t particularly unpleasant about it. In the poor, left-behind (TM) districts, the sacrifice zones, much of the population cannot remember an interaction with an authority figure that wasn’t bad. Their cops are thugs, their bosses are passive-aggressive assholes or outright predators, social services clerks give them the runaround and look down on them, their schoolteachers think they’ll never amount to a thing, and preachers look at them as something between embarrassing lost causes and two-bit revenue streams. It doesn’t play in Schuylkill County to be a cringe mashup of a pearlclutching church lady, a schoolmarm, a detention monitor, and a guidance counselor who’s always telling the poor kids to consider an exciting career in logistics, i.e., get paid shit to slave away in a warehouse up by the freeway while the company bathes in tax breaks for being a “job creator” with 0% collective bargaining in its shops.

The Donald may have lead poisoning, but Hillz looks down on Anthracite Country for having a case. Trump’s hardhat shtick was always crude and usually vague, but it worked under an assumption of high union penetration: jobs everywhere, money everywhere, shove it up their shaft if they try again to shut down the mine. More to the point, like any other constituency in, say, Bethesda or Streeterville, poor voters in Tamaqua want their elected officials to fucking do something for them. In coal country, that means, well, what else are you thinking besides coal?

Not much of the locals ain’t it, Hillz.

A Trading Places deal between Tamaqua and Chevy Chase Section Five would get Tamaqua’s government recalled within the month. I can’t say this enough: the affluent DO NOT put up with that degrading shit. The only ones who dabble in it are local notables who prefer to stick around town and lord it over the local poor until they’re even worse degraded than to move somewhere with a decent quality of life in exchange for modestly less power.

Like all other politics, this is about power. Does ya gots it or doesn’t ya? Rich liberals are pissed off at provincial hardhats for voting FOR their own interests, not against them. Trump intermittently threatens portfolios and destabilizes the force fields of clout around other ungodly rich and vain celebrities. Crucially, he does it in a way that makes politics look disreputable, as our politics most assuredly are. Trump pisses Washington off for crashing its party at the invitation of mere constituents. To the extent that ordinary voters in Schuylkill County are aware of ghouls like HR McMaster and John Bolton, it’s as the guys who got their friends shipped home from the desert as hamburger meat.

It’s awful that people who never catch a break because every level of government constituted to serve them has deliberately failed them don’t care about the pronouncements of the Intelligence Community about Vladimindcontrol Putin. Pissing a bunch of Beltway scolds off is more than they usually get from their officials.

Tamaqua in an extreme but by no means unique example of a community that gives its citizens no reason to invest one minute in maintaining the system. I’ve spent enough time in nearby parts of Pennsylvania to be pretty sure that if I were from Tamaqua I’d throw up my hands and walk away from it rather than try to fix it. There is a LOT of misgovernment around there. Something had to go pretty fucking wrong for multiple levels of duly constituted sovereign government to produce the slums of inner-city York and Lancaster, the north and east sides of Harrisburg, or Reading in general. For God’s sake Harrisburg is the state capital! It’s a seat of government, and no government with jurisdiction over it can keep it inhabitable for a population of under 50,000!

When full-time employment in productive, physically demanding jobs leaves people living like that, it’s hard to seriously conclude that the answer is to get a job. No, just take a fucking look around and tell me that a reasonable resident of this shithole would consider it worth working to fix and not instead demanding that one or more of the governments aggressively asserting sovereignty over it steps up to the goddamn plate for once.

While we’re at it, let’s not kid ourselves about what bougie normies mean by “work.” That’s what they call 3-4 hours of identifiable work over the course of roughly 8 hours between an air-conditioned office and air-conditioned vehicles. If we’re using the same words to describe the job duties of a strawberry picker, a dentist, a good-looking lazy bullshitter who styles himself an internist, and an utterly no-account college administrator, we’re using words that don’t mean shit. Grossing $160k to sit around an office in Plymouth Meeting filling out Phillies backseat coaching schematics for six hours and looking up insurance law questions for fifteen minutes is “work” the same way Carley Gomez is “my girlfriend.” Gimme a fucking break, Stossel.

These don’t seem like characters who should be questioning my work ethic or work history, or those of anyone else in this country who occasionally pulls weeds, so of course they’re the ones with all the clout and all the civic power.

The night before my parents and I drove through Tamaqua, a friend took me out to dinner in East York. He’s one of the best friends I’ve ever had, but mercy the fucking normcore. He does office work and (mostly?) light field work for a commercial real estate company with a middling regional property portfolio. I’m not clear about how much of his job is actually work. However much it is, it seems to give him a lot more downtime than any farm or yard job I’ve ever had. “I’m clearing a blackberry patch. Okay, I’m mostly just standing around in a half-daze looking at what I haven’t cut, listening to another excruciating hour of NPR for some awful reason.” Come to think of it, yet again, this is what I have to keep reminding myself. Every hour I spend picking blueberries or clearing invasive weeds is a good 40-50 minutes more than some of my classmates spend over the same period walking down the hall to the Keurig machine.

Again, what we’re trying to keep straight here is what the hell is work. It seems to mean about as much as “conservatism.” It’s only Maine Family Values if they’re Mainers; otherwise it’s just Flinty Incest. That’s what the French call an Appalachian D’Origine Controllee. /Most Immigrant Paul LePage Voice/ If I was them I wouldn’t let me into the gene pool, either. The French–not the Quebeckers; figure that lot out for your damn self–the French, since we’ve been mentioning them an unseemly amount, aren’t lazier than us. They’re about as productive; they just aren’t lying showoffs about it. Did it take some work to drive this tractor into Paris? Oui. Did it take some work to hose the agriculture ministry building down with this tank of liquefied cowshit? Mais oui. Are there leftovers? Hon hon hon, is food for piggy!

It is to protest. Shitposting isn’t exactly work, but it isn’t exactly not work, so call it what you will. Two hours a day doing concerted but easy work is a far cry from eight doing mentally and physically taxing work. Our national language makes zero distinction.

Am I trying to say that we’re right to make fun of our compatriots for being lazy or underworked? If they’re loud about their full-time employed status or work ethic, uh, yes I am.

My normie friend’s complaints had to do with the CARES Act, specifically with the way the $600 weekly unemployment benefit “disincentivized work.” I interjected, “and it saved a lot of people’s lives,” and he pushed on: “Yeah, but it disincentivized work.” Shucks, I guess we lost the plot there. In rough economic terms, what keeps the poor alive is consumption, not production, and we produce so much stupid and destructive shit that if we retooled and redeployed workers who are already producing we could add to our already large reserves of /astonished Ethiopian bus driver voice/ stuffs. Besides, too much of it is made in China to take seriously the claim that our rulers want us to be producers, as opposed to the consumers they won’t stop prodding us to be.

Some commercial tenants had told my friend that nobody is even turning in applications. They’re always complaining about that shit and they would best plead their case by shutting the fuck up about it. One of these stores was Dollar General. While we’re on the subject, fuck your Dollar General. My friend said some of the stores were paying a $12.00 minimum wage, which is possible but not convincing when Sheetz is trying to hire managers at only $13.50. Maybe they’d get more applicants by paying employees more. Maybe retail supervisorial responsibilities should start at $15 or $18 an hour. Dollar General might be able to recruit clerks at a starting wage of $20 in its capacity as a soul-sucking shithole. Sometimes it’s just the money, but not always.

The gist of this whining is that the economy owes these fuckheads people who show up as ordered and work as ordered in exchange for compensation packages that won’t keep them safely afloat. Every fucking time they try to make their own recruitment easier, they go for punitive measures that threaten the health, welfare, and lives of employees, not for reforms that would make it possible for anyone who feels like working to work without fear of immiseration, impossible paperwork, and denial of public benefits. They could push for everybody to get a government guarantee of publicly-subsidized healthcare free at the point of service with no questions about billing: Medicare for All, check this box if you want Medicaid, whatever, just not the snowballing horror show we’ve been suffering through for decades. They could push for $600 a week for everybody, the money and the cash that we all welcome in a manner fully allowing and in fact encouraging us to additionally welcome the money and the cash of payroll work. Instead they’re all No Soup For You.

They’re always moaning that these measures would cost money. Yeah, genius, like everything else. The government isn’t stopping them from evading taxes by working for cash under the table–as a practical matter, this goes unenforced–or heading to Eugene in a VW bus and bartering it for a barrel of pickles. What’s stopping that is the desire not to be wheeling a fucking barrel of pickles down Highway 126 like Tom Joad when the truck breaks down. A handful of marginal freaks want a thing to do with any of that. Some things are pricelessly stupid and stupidly priceless. For everything else, there are media of exchange.

Somehow the military-industrial complex and the carceral system don’t register very loudly for businesspeople and their more gung-ho managers as huge public money sucks. What registers for them at earsplitting volume is the waste of giving ordinary citizens public benefits that they’ll mostly plow back into the productive economy, e.g., the businesses they complain they can’t staff. If they think their tax dollars specifically are going to pay for public benefits, they’re nuts. Leaving aside the merits of modern monetary theory, their taxes are being pooled with hundreds of millions of other people’s taxes and some measly shit like 5% of that pool is going to public benefits. Ian Welsh writes that it was more back when we had regular political bombings.

What they actually object to is the government providing for its own constituents in ways that keep them from having to subordinate themselves to people who mistreat them in jobs they don’t like. In causative terms, they expect the government to deprive the poor of their rations as a way to coerce them to work for others. In other settings, such a gratuitous, manipulative deprivation might veer into felony child abuse or a war crime. In this setting, it’s normal. It’s what we’ve always done.

So was slavery.

My dad lately loves to tell about how a hardware store owner he likes asked a couple of girls who had come into the store to apply for work what they planned to do with their lives. The girls appalled him by forthrightly telling him that they wanted to work for a bit and then go on welfare.

We might have more of an American work ethic if we had less of a Chinese export ethic, as displayed on the shelves of that very store. Please enjoy dumping, the traditional and typical of Chinese glorious industrial policy. Plus our dude asked the question. I didn’t need to take a confirmatory look around the county at, say, the quality of company my grandmother kept, to believe that he might not like the answer.

It would be awful to turn into a society where the degraded remnants of the working class go out on the street and sell the work boots they got from the welfare department for an afternoon’s drinking money. We were too proud and self-respecting to do a thing like that back in, like, 1970, when a friend of my grandmother’s boyfriend did exactly that not five miles from the same hardware store. To keep it clear (lol wut), that’s Cousin Gigolo’s grandfather’s buddy. The guy whose daughter and grandson both committed insurance fraud kicked it with a guy who fenced a pair of presumably shoddy boots the welfare department had given him so he’d get a job. I can’t imagine why other citizens of this fine community, where all but a few hundred yards of lakefront is owned by or in trust for out-of-towners who can afford to be jagoffs all summer, show limited interest in working for a living in a store whose merchandise was once made in American mill towns, quite possibly ones in the Mohawk and Hudson Valleys, but is now made in China because Americans don’t want to compete for the job.

Welfare is one way not to compete. The problem with decades of vile propaganda about how the American working class is lazy and overindulged is that some of the working class who are meant to react with shame instead react with renewed aspirations to collect a check just like Momma does. Oops. No shit there ends up being a black market of food stamps for bunks, government board for private room. What else are the losers supposed to do? Crime? That’s always an option, as Cousin Gigolo and his mother show.

No, I do not mean prostitution or drug dealing. That’s work. It’s fine to say that’s no basis for an economy, but neither are summer camps. Nobody who comments on this shit knows a damn thing about it. Pricing in this country is meaningless. The only thing backwards counties in rural Nebraska do is sell grain and meat on glutted commodities markets, depending for their survival on charity from the big cities. All you can do with foodstuffs is eat them.

NPR helpfully advises us that the government cheese program was inefficient. The government had to hire cheese graders, which no private bulk cheese purchaser ever does, and some of the cheese was substandard. Thank God we have to go to the government for shitty cheese that’s free and can’t just go pay for cheese that’s even worse at Walmart. Markets are the efficient way to allocate resources. They would never allocate bulk milk produced by our job-creating commodity dairymen into the Des Moines River starting no later than 1931.

If I were cynical, I’d posit that the entire welfare apparatus in the United States is designed to discourage gainful employment and then blame beneficiaries for being out of work. If the goal is for beneficiaries to get their shit together and get a job, how about not throwing their benefits into chaos when they do that? *Smug headtapping meme*

Our officials know this. They defy FDR’s wisdom about universal benefits because they seek to profit by sowing division among their constituents. Social Security and Medicare are popular because they’re structured to minimize resentment. Reach retirement age and they’re yours.

That’s only a modest simplification. Other programs get nonclaimants and rejected applicants hot and bothered about their neighbors’ free lunch. We wouldn’t need cashiers in our school cafeterias if we had one, come to think of it. There’d be less complaining about food stamp “abuse,” the usual shit about the lazy poor arrogating the right to buy steak at the IGA just because they have the money on their SNAP cards, if all it took to get the free grocery money were to put one’s name and mailing information on a form and sign it as an affidavit of one’s desire to welcome the money and the cash. Believe me: every millionaire currently living on canned beans in a shanty and bitterly complaining about food stamps for lobster would fill out the form and claim the gibs. That’s an extra few hundred a month to stuff into old Folger’s cans and National Geographic collections and leave around the shack, too deep in the junk for anyone else to scavenge. Not one of those miserable bastards turns down Social Security or Medicare, benefits paid for with their hard-earned tax dollars as much as any other function of government.

This shit is ridiculously straightforward. Want to encourage the poor to work? Eliminate all penalties on their reported earnings when they get jobs. Turn their earned income into a 100% marginal benefit on top of their welfare checks.

In fairness, this regime would put certain people out of work. Specifically, it would unemploy the legions of gatekeeping bureaucrats responsible for operating the means-testing regime. It would put the desk detectives out of work, or “work.” There’s no need to investigate welfare claims that are expressly lawful. They’ll be returned to the wellspring in the form of taxes if they’re going to anyone who isn’t poor or living deep under the table.

Jeff Bezos could file his own welfare claims, too, but he’s always too busy buying his payouts from corrupt government officials whose staffers are much obliged to fill out the necessary forms. These benefits keep ordinary people afloat. They are not how the rich piece together their fortunes. Please.

Universal or on-demand public benefits would free Americans to do some of the actual work that needs to be done around here. Tamaqua has more than its fair share of deferred maintenance. So do countless other Trump Country dumps. Means-testing doesn’t achieve the deferment of maintenance on its own, but it sure helps. Keeping people too busy on the phone with benefits clerks and too exhausted afterwards to do anything productive is a good way to keep a shithole down and dirty.

The real purpose of means-testing is to keep useless eaters and surplus labor more broadly employed (if they’re middle-class) or to cull them from the herd (if they’re poor and overwhelmed). Our rulers good and goddamned well know what they’re doing. They want the poor to have a life expectancy of perimenopause. Their family values talk is misdirection: at a minimum, they want the lower half of the elderly to be too poor to pay for a decent meal, just as they were when Social Security was first established. Fancy Nancy doesn’t want her fellow Italian grandmothers hanging around unless they have gelato money, just like herself, and she ain’t handing it out from the US Treasury.

We need to give up on the idea that hard work is how Americans get ahead. It isn’t enough for that to be true for half of Americans, or even two thirds. What about the other third? Guess they can go eat shit and die.

There’s basically no correlation. Dentists work hard, and lawyer-cop-politicians (the Democratic Party, as we now conceive of it) show up to do whatever it takes to brutalize and ruin their constituents and feather their own nests. This doesn’t answer why crooked flimflamming slavedrivers who’ve spent their careers catering to sadistic shakeddown artists deserve a dentist’s retirement fund and thirty-year veteran strawberry pickers don’t.

There are certainly plenty of no-account derelict scumbags and thugs who live in poverty and squalor, but their morals don’t dictate their station in life. Our Old McDonald friend Captain Flimflam could use his existing skillset to get rich running a cult. He’s a few barely perceptible tweaks away from being a pre-gas Shoko Asahara. The Ragin Canajun–who doesn’t dress like an Amishman and look like Bruce Springsteen, doesn’t bend over to cut a 20×20′ patch of wheat into hand-sized sheaves with a little pre-UFW scythe and then fuck off two hours and two valleys over for the night to lose money playing a $200 bar gig with his folk garage band, reliably shows up to tend his farm plots, disposes of piles of human waste when he encounters them instead of letting shit pile up to seat level of portapotties he’s agreed to have replaced, and is the farthest thing from shady trash–the Ragin Canajun is the one who’d have trouble getting ahead in that business if he tried.

America is a society that kinda sorta sometimes does code enforcement. It’d be a longshot to fill Pot-o-Shit Friend’s housewarming gift in Palo Alto and then fly back to Raleigh, but that’s because it’s Palo Alto. Otherwise, it’s basically cool to charge rent on that mute twink’s pre-rural electrification shack and/or some weekly motels. There’s no stigma to preening that hard work explains one’s net worth when it’s a matter of easily provable fact that 60% of it is real estate inflation.

Work per se isn’t the chump’s game here. Do I sound lazy? I write this stuff on my own, but for the love of God if that sounds like a jagoff’s pastime I’ve personally operated an estate winery. This is pretty reputable in a country where it’s considered public service for one pervert to tell another pervert on live television, “Oh, you’re cool. You aren’t a pervert; she’s a lying tramp!” This is why we need Joe Biden, for the courts.

The chump’s game is acting like the system is owed a goddamned thing. The overclasses it’s structured to benefit don’t care about being productive as long as they get paid enough to compel their inferiors to do the work. Trump, Pence, Biden, and Harris all indulge in the same general mode of living: scamming and bullying their inferiors into doing the work. The Angola Penitentiary is literally, geographically a plantation. Senator Girlboss don’t mind. She likes it that way. Two slavedriving scumbag lawyers are running for the presidency and the vice presidency to unseat a mob money laundering frontman cum serial business cum intelligence asset (ours, not Vlad’s lol) and a talk radio grifter. Who the hell would enthusiastically do the work allowing any of these four to keep lounging around and bossing other people around? They deserve to go hungry until THEY come groveling to US. Withholding labor from them is righteous.

The last thing Joe Biden is is working-class. Half the people I know from around Philadelphia who talk like him are lawyers or cops or six-figure sales hustlers. His carrying-on about being from Scranton isn’t entirely false, but the implication is. His daddy never worked in the fucking mines. Dad was a transiently ruined bougie turned used car salesman. Joe’s the town mill owner’s kid who’s always up in his hardhats’ faces for giving him backsass and up in their wives’ privates at company events. American voters are willing to look past this, especially after what they forgave in 2016, but like his opponent, the guy’s a liar, a cheat, and an upper-crust rapist.

To no great surprise, people like them abandon the same troubled postindustrial districts our elected officials have been abandoning for the past two or three generations, depending on which left-behind dumps we’ve been abandoning and how young their girls get pregnant. Our rulers want the residents of these communities to move away to endure worse poverty away from their loved ones, die young, and raise just enough surviving adolescents to provide a suitable number of servants.

They do not want Tamaquans asserting a right to stay in Tamaqua and be given help getting by. That’s a privilege reserved for rich assholes in Chevy Chase. No lie, Billy, they have in fact taken all the coal from the ground, even burned met coal in steam locomotives to keep some rich bitches’ dresses white. In a civically healthy society this would be a reason to fund the maintenance that has been deferred in coal country and fund other economic development projects that actually fucking develop constituents’ economies. In what passes for American society these days, it’s an excuse to drive them into overpriced metropoles and into student debt, to deracinate them for purposes of private service.

It is what the Germans used to call an incentive to make free. These are cultural learnings of America for make benefit the worst possible people now. Thus has it always been. You get food to eat, but only as an incentive.

A screaming eagle on fire, perched on a beam of steel

It’s been nineteen fucking years. The twentieth we’re keeping in reserve in Colorado lol. #TooSoon, of course. I was young then, so I feel kind of old now, no longer merely a freshman in this society where nobody is ever held responsible.

Not the ones who do the deeds, at least: remember, George W. Bush is a good liberal now. Even if he didn’t, uh, start the fire, he’s been on the record all along for ordering campaigns of official torture that would have gotten him hanged at Nuremberg.

It makes me feel like I’m having a stroke. Any Hannibal Lecter scumbag who doesn’t trick himself out with MAGA gear or talk trash about centrist celebrities is the #Resistance. My parents and their peers get really uncomfortable when I argue that Trump is not the most illiberal president of my lifetime and definitively is not the first illiberal, divisive, or immoral man to hold the office. Whenever I hear another round of that shit I point out that every other president going back to Reagan, my birth president, was at least as divisive, illiberal, and immoral as the current Oaf of Office, based on actual policy, not just the warm fuzzy feeling that they didn’t yell so much back then.

I think many liberals have spent the past twelve years but especially the past four doing everything they can to forget the horrors of the Bush-Cheney Regime. Trump doesn’t exactly have a Cheney figure; Barr comes close, but he’s a new kid on the block–preowned, actually–in an administration with exceptionally high churn and low institutional memory. If we’re actually looking to limit their damage, we should be grateful that they don’t know where anything is around the office. Few things stand between the Trump Administration and its missing administrative incompetence than the Donald’s own impulsiveness, disorganization, and drama.

This popular centrist derangement makes sense when we remember that the Democratic Party is a cult whose liturgies are set by Josiah Bartlet and folk devils exorcised by Rachel Maddow. We have always been at war with Eastasia, chap!

The Inner Party is mostly grifting; it’s again rid itself of its true threat, Bernie, and can now focus on cynically pretending to oppose Trump for being the worst ever. As long as Bernie isn’t their standard bearer and is given minimal influence over the platform and agenda, Chuck and Nancy truly do not care. They can work with Trump; the record shows that they regularly do exactly that.

The rank and file in the Outer Party take that bullshit much more seriously. This is what makes the cynicism of the Inner Party so heinous. The rich are ginning the merely affluent and in some cases the middling into hysteria so they’ll give more money. It’s despicable.

A spray-tan blowhard in elevator shoes calling people losers almost at random isn’t enough to make me forget or forgive the paranoid hysteria that erupted after 9/11. Bush and Cheney still deserve nothing but ill will for that. Most of the incumbent political class at the time does as well, including the Democrats. The mainstream media sure as hell do. I guess my memory and span of attention are longer than Trump’s. It’s cause for gratitude and relief that we haven’t had a definitive Reichstag Fire-ass casus belli on Trump’s watch. Compared to precedent within my adult life, this is no small mercy.

By the way, why the fuck do the Democrats have to slobber all over every general’s staff in exchange for his endorsement of their latest reviled shithead? Trump is bad, but he doesn’t make them good. Between the all-around weirdness of our old soldiers and spooks and the calamities they’ve made of our foreign engagements, maybe we ought to stop listening to a thing they tell us until we’ve confirmed it with someone we can trust.

Seriously, they’re bad news. Just by taking the usual Beltway shit less seriously Trump is an improvement. He doesn’t know what the hell he’s doing, either, but he’s less of a snake, and he calls bullshit from time to time. If we’re doing attack retrospectives, something too consider,,, about 9/11 is that the fourth anniversary of Pearl Harbor was celebrated under President MacArthur in Japan. We’re nineteen years out from an attack that served no clear military objective per se, still raping hornets’ nests abroad in countries whose regimes were vaguely or fictionally connected to the attacks, and meanwhile the Saudis are still our good buddies in spite of it all.

This must be why generals who thought, and still think, our military adventurism in the Middle East was necessary or justified or plainly good are now indispensable defenders of democracy against a Commander-in-Chief who occasionally says they’re full of shit. #Resistance dipshits don’t turn to them for backup just when Trump is mouthing off about not leaving office or pursuing a third term; they turn to them when he’s merely calling our foreign and military policy stupid, or said to have called our World War I dead losers and suckers. Talk about an ability to #NeverForget anything but the lessons of our worst wars.

Forgetting 9/11 wouldn’t be the worst thing we could do, especially when our remembrance has had such disastrous effects for so long, not just for other countries and nations but for our own. The only proper way to remember, it seems, is with the spicy memes. They do more to defend our freedoms than the US government has ever attempted in response to 9/11.

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.

Hoosier favorite Hoosier faggot?

Andrew Yang debased himself into deep homophobic cringe in that excruciating comedy (sic) sketch about Mike Pence with Julia Louis-Dreyfus because Louis-Dreyfus is an A-List celebrity worth $400m. That’s what we call causation. Wealth alienates those holding it from the real world. This is worrisomely hard to explain to the normies, but it’s some basic shit. What on earth about Louis-Dreyfus or anyone else at her station sounds normal, let alone ordinary? She’s unfathomably rich and surrounded by servants 24/7. Hollywood is full of supremely arrogant divas who take the servants to include Gavin De Becker and Benjamin Brafman. On-call retainers swoop in at a moment’s notice to clean up any mess. Not all maids are Mexicans.

With rare exceptions, celebrities are abnormal, and the prominent among them all the more powerfully so. Michael Jackson’s entrancingly tragic career shows what can happen when the extreme wealth and power of celebrity suffuse a person with unhealed childhood trauma. Other celebrities are object lessons in the ill effects of giving the same wealth and power to the belligerently arrogant (Mel Gibson), the all-around cruel (Ellen DeGeneres), the hypomanic (Charlie Sheen; Tom Cruise), addicts (Charlie Sheen; Lindsay Lohan), those with intractable sexual resentments (Harvey Weinstein), the more generally sexually disordered (Woody Allen), the violently sexually reactive (Phil Spector), other styles of perverts (too many to count), or narcissists (ditto). Many such cases!

We’re all aware of celebrity perversion; the gossip rags see to it. It’s obvious, then, why celebrities ought to be used sparingly in politics: their deployment as proxies is high-stakes, and they’re very often too extremely idiotic to offer a credible upside to campaigns. They work best when the voting public is every bit as idiotic, a situation many would call standard operating procedure. An assumption of popular idiocy doesn’t work as well as it did a generation or two ago, on account of the internet. It’s impossible to direct widespread idiocy from the top down anymore.

The legacy media understandably resent this. Cronkite, they intone, told it the way it was. It’s fascinating that the major networks were the province of eminent gentlemen of the news, of Murrow and Sevareid and Rather, and never of a dumbed-down sleazeball like Pat Sajak. Does Connie Chung bring back greasily unsettling memories? Goodness, I, for one, always expected better of Maury Povich’s wife.

A big bunch of shady characters are chronically resentful of the breakup of the manufactured consent-industrial complex. They never cared for that sweet antitrust action of the free (lol) market. Sensing their looming semirelevance, the political gatekeepers coarsened their sexual shtick, most bracingly with the shitty saxophonist Bill Clinton, a man whom neither boxers nor briefs could keep continent of slick willie. They’d been more demure about His Vigor Broad-Bangin’ Jack; Christ, Bobby, this isn’t the comic books section in the Bowery heyah. By the surprisingly gay nineties, they saved their discretion for flyover country he-frumps like Dennis Hastert and clumsily weird squares like Larry Craig, unconcerned that John Spritzgerald Kennedy at his soapiest dindu nun wah Denny Dundiddly dun.

Public sexual coarseness in American politics, even presidential politics, dates back at least as far as partisanship in Congress. Washington didn’t care for any of that, but Jefferson and Adams did. There have, however, been periods when this sort of seediness was towards the margins of American political culture. For example, it’s historically been rare for partisan conventions to explicitly sexualize candidates on the main stage.

This manifestation of self-respect in politics is missing lately, along with a number of others. It’s painful. Class analysis, the determination of who gets to take whose shit, isn’t fundamentally any more refined, but it tends to crowd out obnoxious idpol bullshit, and idpol wedges are routinely used to distract voters from economic platforms they may find distasteful or unacceptable, i.e., from class analysis.

Here’s the question. Do you want to allocate our collective resources through a political process focusing on the allocation of available resources, or do you prefer to do it through a pissing match about who’s gay? Our elites continue to reaffirm their choice. It is to judge booty. Our preferences may differ, but if that’s the case, they sure as hell didn’t ask us.

*****

Pay attention to what the party kingmakers do to Democratic candidates whose normal inclination is to stay above that seedy shit. Bernie Sanders, who has too strong a sense of dignity to take sexually coarse bait, just emerged from his second primary ratfucking in two successive primaries. Andrew Yang, who is goofier, needier, and more suggestible, debased himself in that cringe-ass standup routine about Mike Pence being gay because Julia Louis-Dreyfus and company thot it was a good idea.

This is where we find ourselves. A slick faculty brat gentrification thug from South Bend is the good kind of Indiana Gay; a slick hard-right talk radio grifter from Columbus is the bad kind. Mike Ponce, Mike Nonce, What Eva: We run with the cool kind of homosexual, a man from South Bend, first name Peter, last name Booty Judge, husband’s name Chasten.

The Democratic Party is fulfilling its civic pledge to give proof through the night that the fag is still there. Surely a state the size of Indiana has nonpsychopathic gay guys, too, but who cares? Mayor Pete is so inspiring! He’s so unifying!

Inspiring and unifying of what, though? Again, the omissions paint a rich picture. Like Obama in his own prime time and Bush the Younger in Trump’s, he unifies the affluent with the good feelings about their politics that they wish to enjoy along with their money. Trump yells a lot, you see. He makes people feel bad by yelling. He shouldn’t do this in our politics. He shouldn’t do this TO our politics. His predecessors weren’t screaming meanies. They were nice.

It helps to forget the terrible things the center-left constantly had to say about W during his presidency, many of them appropriate to his conduct and some of them understated. It REALLY helps to forget about the Patriot Act, Gitmo, the second Gulf War, and the rest of that big basket of fun. Obama has never come close to the very partial reckoning W faced, and it’s a matter of national consensus that the nineties, back before the Bush family organization did its naughty little thing, mostly in New York, were a time of national innocence.

What we actually mean is immaturity. One of the lines of evidence used to push this stupid narrative is the popularity of the Seinfeld show, our girl Julia’s old hangout. I’ll be sure to ask Ricky Ray Rector for recommendations on later episides next time I see him.

It would help if the arguments people who get paid to comment on politics made were grounded in nonfictional politics, not fictional stories about some friends hanging out in the living room. The nostalgia is for make-believe versions of the nineties, as we’re shown all too well by the continuing obsession with that bitch-ass Bartlet. That cracker is made up, and he was made up to sanitize a Clinton administration that had already been scrubbed good and hard for polite enjoyment. It’s a second-order delusion.

Rector’s execution fits all too neatly into the black lives matter narrative. So do so many of our executions. So does capital punishment as an American institution. On the other hand, we don’t want to say bad things about a charming, beloved president emeritus just for having one poor bastard killed in cold blood purely for political advantage. The mob can have a little Barabbas, as a treat.

Forget Lewinsky and all the adulterers and closet cases she scandalized on Pennsylvania Avenue. The definitive vignette of Clinton’s character as a president was his campaign trip back to Arkansas to execute the dessert afterwards guy. I knew he was a psycho from the start, and I was only ten.

This is the point at which we start discovering just how many Americans–not just people anywhere in the distant abstract, but our own–are expendable as pawns in the great game of moderate politics. The Big Dog had to perform a human sacrifice for the Electoral College, you see. He had to show swing voters that he was tough on crime to win election, and with it the opportunity to govern liberally.

That very premise is utterly amoral and rather inept, and sure enough, as President, Bill folded every time some sleazy busybody with a closet full of sexual skeletons called him a dirty liberal. Instead of Joycelyn Elders, he gave us the Defense of Marriage Act. The worst voters in the country had to be placated. The master triangulator focus-grouped the bigots first and foremost. If there’d ever been anything liberal worth a damn about that ghoul, we would never have blundered anywhere near the position in which it was more politically inflammatory to encourage teenagers to carry condoms in their purses (Be Prepared!) than to execute a guy retarded enough to set his pie aside for the evening.

We can see where some of the hostility arises towards face masks in our time of global sickness. Fascist argumentation has, unsurprisingly, driven psychotic ideation about personal and public hygiene. It’s other people who get dirty and sick. Duh. Gentlemen surgeons have no need to wash their hands. Huh. Maybe medicine has a historical problem with fascism of its own.

It’s a poorly kept secret that the Third Way crew is viscerally uncomfortable with the poor. All we have to do is compare Hillary’s demeanor around the poor and their surroundings to Bernie’s. It’s night and day.

If individual poor can pull themselves up by the bootstraps under the cherished neoliberal framework, excellent; they make neoliberalism look as wonderful as themselves. Not so much if they get use public assistance to take care of their families, or if they collectively bargain through unions assertive enough to steamroll management and capital, or if they decide Trump is better for them than Her and vote accordingly. At that point, they suddenly don’t understand their own interests. They’re self-destructive idiots, voting for Elmer Gantry to dispossess themselves.

The Third Way would have said the same thing about William Jennings Bryan. This shit has nothing to do with policy, as the Democratic establishment shows time and time again. What they mean when they say that the poor vote against their own interests is that the poor vote against the interests of the affluent, as asserted by mealymouthed centrist Democrats. Tu casa es mi casa, pendejo. It’s what Mencius Moldbug called a nostrism. Bitch, who’s “us?”

NAFTA was good for the country. Okay, who the hell is the country? Who the hell is the economy? Can the fuckers even distinguish between the overbearing rich assholes who own the factory and the working stiffs who actually run it? Another whiny prick who blew the proceeds of his fabrication business on framed sports memorabilia is on NPR to bitch about how he *needs* discount Chinese steel to compete on the mercilessly competitive market. What the fuck does that do for a town full of people who got laid off when the hot mill closed, whose kids are now floundering on the margins somewhere between dead-end jobs at Dollar General and an archipelago of dope squats? What are the aggregate numbers worth? Who puts food on the table in the fucking aggregate?

Ah, swamp critters with think tank salaries and portfolios to defend. Of course.

They can’t possibly imagine they’ll win disaffected voters over by thundering on high from their 90% model minority (Asian/White) neighborhoods in Arlington that Trump’s supporters are on his side because they’re all unrepentant, incorrigible racists and sexists. Can they? Some of them are delusional enough to believe it, but the bigger impetus is their burning desire to humiliate and punish their inferiors. It’s the same thing they in the ACA with the individual mandate and the doubling down on affluent parents as the channel of health insurance for downwardly mobile young people whose age peers were already raising their own school-age children. Fuck you for not having insurance. Fuck you for not having a job. Fuck you for not deftly and happily Navigating The Marketplace.

Fuck you for thinking the company owes you a decent job doing something else if it won’t give you a decent job on the floor at the mill. Learn to code, bitch. Stack cash with Uber. Fuck you for not having a 110% serviceable late-model car. Invest in yourself. Fuck you for not finishing college.

And of course, fuck you for not voting for us. Why are you such a bitter uneducated racist? This abrasive lace curtain Irish car salesman-ass shithead from the Commonwealth of Chancery Court, LLC, and his creepy diversity office dungeon mistress lieutenant from the sniveling part of San Francisco (which one?), aslo a prosecutor, are here to defend you against predators.

Just trust us, for God’s sake. You ain’t black if you don’t. Why are you asking me about guns, punk? Let’s take it outside.

A bonechilling faculty brat sellout whose whole career reads as proof that affirmative action and Title IX are vectors of capricious discrimination is here riding shotgun to Bhad Bhabie with hair plugs, and we’re supposed wholeheartedly believe them decent, empathetic people, committed public servants looking out for us always.

There’s much to be said for voting for Trump expressly to punish these ghouls back. It isn’t hugely much; the #resistance is right that Trump’s bad. Maybe Nancy could fucking do something about him, then, like not expedite his homeland security wish lists. Mitch McConnell jammed up Barack Obama’s judicial appointments just to be an asshole. There’s no procedural reason Chuck and Nancy can’t both run a turtle-speed train on Trump’s entire agenda until he at long last behaves himself. Instead, Lady Gelati won’t even play good cop to Rashida Tlaib’s bad cop. She won’t even be Captain Queegan, sympathetically but firmly warning a punk to shape up and watch his ass, to Macky Mack, Steyaff Seaagent.

Good God is that an odd squad. It’s no wonder, then, that the convention featured a jarring juxtaposition between Pete Buttigieg waxing earnest about how he wasn’t allowed to live his gay truth until Obama and Biden finally allowed it with Julia Louis-Dreyfus’s obnoxious gag about Mike Pence being a perv and a fag. It’s no wonder that Yang got ganged into taking part in that extreme cringe. They would have decked him out in Kente if he’d been in town for that helping of spicy Jollof rice.

There’s zero principle to any of this shit. The orchestrators don’t care about the welfare or survival of ordinary African-Americans. They don’t care about sexual liberties. Our smarmy phony is good for being gay; your self-righteous demagogue is bad for being gay. Hurr durr Trump and Putin are butt buddies. First of all, that’s too improbable to consider, but what do coarse schoolyard taunts add to the already weak case that Trump is Putin’s Manchurian Candidate? Besides, we/ve known for years that the Saudis don’t need to personally sex our officials to have their way with them.

This is the party of sexual privacy as a human right, if you can believe it. Can they just let him have a private sex life and focus on something that matters? They’re studiously silent about the Epstein affair, the great Implicator of Faves. Maybe this would be a good time for shysters running cover for an international child sex trafficking organization to demur about their salacious speculation that Mike Pence is a switch hitter. It’s obnoxious, it’s stupid, it’s morally and civically derelict, and it isn’t going to win them a single vote.

Fancy them caring about that, though.

The Democrats are impressively unfunny. They raise it into something approaching an art. As performance bits go it’s excruciating, but there’s something awesome about their dedication to inept self-seriousness so total as to produce political standup routines with all the lameness of Jimmy’s summer camp set on South Park but none of the entertainment value.

Maybe comedy, too, is that polarized. Shit. It’s confusing to come across so many liberals who see absolutely nothing funny about the Oaf of Office when he waxes rude about “college students, crummy students, great students, horrible students, dumb people, liberal people, conservative people….people with PhD’s from MIT, people with PhD’s from crummy colleges.” Their objections to him are aesthetic: Barry and now even George the Younger barely register with them for having done things that were just as bad. Paradoxically, this keeps them from enjoying the amazing aesthetic gifts he brings to the presidency.

Again, this shit is a distraction from the people’s business, which the Democratic Congressional caucuses steadfastly refuse to do. If they brought serious articles of impeachment against him and eighty-sixed his ass, he’d be free that night to get airtime for blurting out the same ridiculous shit as ever, just not from a high public office invested with the most frightening powers.

The Democrats care about aesthetics. What distinguishes them from the Republicans is that theirs are atrocious. A small community of squeamish nerds digs that shit and everybody else hates it. The Epic Clapback could have been fun, but Fancy Nancy doesn’t know how to have fun. The giorno di gelati came close, but it, too, was overly performative and forced. Nobody had fun at the Kente Cloth Kneeling Ceremony. They don’t enjoy delivering their lectures.

They’re too desperate to defeat an opponent they refuse to meaningfully oppose to enjoy Funny Uncle Joe’s recurrent brain scrambles, which–let’s be honest–are hella funny. “Covid has taken this year, just the outbreak, has taken more than one hundred year–Look, here’s it–The lives, it’s just, it’s–I mean, think about it, more lives this year than any other year in the past hundred years.” If it’s okay to ridicule anyone for talking like that, Joe’s it. He’s a psychopath pretending to be a left-liberal and a reactionary authoritarian at once, nominated for the presidency on the cusp of eighty because his crooked party fixed the primaries on his behalf, appearing in public with a skull full of watered-down Quaker Instant Oats.

Why can’t we make fun of his cokehead son? He got the kid sinecures with Amtrak and Burisma. I make fun of Larry Kudlow for being a cokehead, too. They aren’t all that shitty, but a lot of them are. Rob Ford is okay, though; dudes rock!

It’s not like the Trump Organization, which we actually have good reasons for calling that, isn’t crawling with shambolic characters and covered in the splatter of their hilarious substance abuse problems. Steve Bannon seems like one the Dems could fun to good effect. Our boy Stephen Kevin decided to bamboozle the griftable with a story about how he was going to Build The Wall, privately, on federal property, with their donations. The only thing that chunky dunker was about to build was another mound of corned beef and cabbage to ward off the whiskey munchies. Can you believe it?

Bannon, like his donors, had what the Massachusett elders called Lassen Knee Innis Hat. Did I ever tell you about the time Vladimir Putin rode a tiger all the way through the taiga? Somehow, these stories only ever get worse; that one’s so headspinning I can hardly bear to tell it myself. Can you believe they got Charlie off and gave him his own checkpoint? CHAHLEE! My favorite Vova anecdote, though, is about the time he joined a search party to look for a group of old hunters who’d been friends in the war, a Czech, a Brit, and a Frenchman. The search party came across two exceptionally plump and sated bears. Uh-oh. Vladimir Vladimirovich drew his sword and with a single deft stroke sliced open the belly of the sow, revealing the Brit and the Frenchman. Turning to his horrified companions with a shrug and a smirk, he said, “Well, I guess the Czech’s in the male.”

That was free, whatever the hell it was supposed to be. The wall isn’t. When I first read about Bannon’s wall grift, I assumed he was hard up for cash after living beyond his means. Then I read that he was worth $48m, acid enough for as many hot tubs and trips as he desired. It turns out what he did was almost archetypal: people who study white-collar crime say it’s never the guy making $80k who goes crooked for a windfall of $3m, but always the guy making $3m who cheats for an extra $80k.

That tubby old parrothead-looking-ass lush stacked the cash because he was totally gonna build the wall. They had to send a crew of Coasties and Posties out to bring him back from #YachtLife. What the hell was wrong with him? Switzerland doesn’t have a maritime border, but Costa Rica does. You might want to Christopher cross into waters that don’t fall under our extradition treaties, big guy.

Whale oil beef hooked, Huizenga, it is a hearty Colcannon. Mercy, my Dutch love, oil beef hentai Eire leaf hooked to lie me yeas upon the flue of lard sloughing off that greasy hot cross bun.

That was rude. I guess we should just let the make-believe Veep call the real Veep a fag instead. Vote for Cuomo, not the homo. *Impossibly annoyed Alan Chartock bedtime voice* I’ve always wondered when the party would run a colored man for that office.

D mock crass, see

NPR’s initial coverage of the debut of Kamala Harris was loathesome. Hope springing intermittent, I’d been foolish enough to expect better, not good by any stretch but also not excruciatingly embarrassing. Oops. The breathless fawning over Harris’s great liberal vision, personal toughness, popularity, and trailblazing ethnic identity was beyond my tolerance, so I actually turned the state radio off a few times to spare myself, but I got a taste of it, good and hard.

NPR is the same network that aired an El Paso Walmart shooting survivor’s insight that “as a Latina, you sometimes argue with your mother.” Christ. Are they Jews now? The Harris debut is that, but lasting for days, and focused on one prominent psychopath’s bottomless virtue, warmth, and popularity. For the Harris festivities, they interviewed a lady who collaged her own Biden-Harris sign at home and an Indian doofus who gushed about Kamala for being one of his kind. My excruciating favorite was Robin Young’s softball to Amy Klobuchar about how she removed herself from consideration for the vice presidency because she felt passionately that the nomination should go to a woman of color. Klobuchar is an ice-cold weirdo who yells bloody murder at her staffers and throws projectiles at them, so I’m sure her dwelling place in an even uglier part of the uncanny valley than Harris had nothing to do with her decision, and surely there was no partisan corruption or intrigue at play for an elder stateswoman of her character.

Listening to that sneering freak enthuse about her fellow prosecutrix was like getting Dennis Rader’s thoughts on the upcoming sheriff’s election. “With Dahmer unfortunately departed, many have been asking me to run, but I’m as much of a kraut as that treacherous bastard Landwehr, and I’ve come to believe that the position demands a colored fellow. Say what you will about Joseph DeAngelo, but know this: He’s an Italian. Joe won’t just be a top cop. He’ll be a wop cop.”

This is exactly what the KHive and its allies are doing with their rewarmed idpol shit. They’re being just as crude as I am. The difference is that they’re pretending to be refined and intelligent, not disingenuous wokescolding partisan hacks.

I voted for Loretta Sanchez twice in 2018, but I guess she doesn’t fit NPR’s bill as a Congresswoman of Color. This may have something to do with her being genuinely liberal, not a deeply illiberal megalomaniac. The Wilson-Deukmejian Republican vote was going to go somewhere, and not all of it followed Mark Fuhrman up north onto the Whitey Rez. In 2018, it went to John Cox and Kamala Harris. Cox is a proud Republican who loves to yell about crazy shit. That talk radio energy falls flat in the burned-over district off Mark West. Harris is a grandstanding wackass herself, but she codes it to barely meet rich liberals’ standards for dinner party respectability.

Kamala is popular in many rich white neighborhoods. Is it because she’s black? Oh yeah sweet baby girl it is. Few dare admit it, probably even to themselves, but what they cherish in her is the cover she gives them for their most bigoted authoritarian impulses. They’re squeamish around brashly authoritarian Republican white boys like Pete Wilson noting that California traditionally cooks with gas but they’d consider switching to electric. It makes them feel bad to quietly agree that minority crime is a real problem having more than a bit to do with their settling in the hills.

Harris, then, is a real Brahmin score, a black yuppie who’s made it on the San Francisco social scene and talks a great game about shit like the importance of education and the professional gatekeepers of the nonprofit-industrial complex. She’s sassy, but not TOO sassy, and she QUIETLY locks up the young bucks. For disingenuous hypocrites whose currency is virtue-signaling, Kamala Harris isn’t a hardhearted prosecutor who spent much of her career disproportionately incarcerating black and brown constituents for a combination of extremely minor offenses like their children’s truancy from school and the state’s interest in maintaining a full complement of inmate firefighters; she’s their black friend.

These are affluent, sheltered people who get really irate and defensive when their politics are challenged, especially by those they presume their fellow travelers. One reserves one’s worst ire for the apostate, not the heathen. Why the fuck are Hillary Clinton and Kamala Harris feminism, but not Jill Stein and Loretta Sanchez? Have they ever even tried feminism? Katie Hill has. The common denominator of what it means to be With Her is center-left yuppies shrieking about the absolute need to support some of the most vicious, illiberal, corrupt candidates the Democratic Party coughs up for high office. We need to defeat the bad orange man, they scream.

Okay. Find me a challenger who isn’t atrocious. The handsy hairsniffing funny uncle behind the crime bill and the student debt crisis has now chosen as his runningmate a crazed prosecutor who argued in court to keep the slaves in their camps to fight fires on the cheap. Biden and Harris are literally slavers. Kamala prefers direct slavedriving, while Uncle Joe demands to Shanghai the poor into debt servitude as an adjunct to the slave camps.

These are just two terrible parts of their records. Knowing what I know just about American prisons, I cannot for one second believe that Donald Trump is the absolute standard of evil and danger in American politics. He’s running against two challengers with longstanding records of doing their damnedest to lock Americans up. Even his own ghoulish, Strangelovian Attorney General, Bill Barr, has directed the early release of federal prisoners in the interest of public health.

It’s telling, though, that so few #Resistance loudmouths have seized on Barr as an exceptional threat to our constitutional order and our civil liberties, instead continuing to focus on Trump as an utterly and uniquely bad leader. What they’re doing is pretty straightforward: they’re scapegoating the Oaf of Office for being a messy bitch. Barr cleans up well, just like every other depravity from the movement conservative hard right. They speak in public like white shoe lawyers. Trump speaks like exactly the celebrity drama queen he loves to be.

Hence the endless bellyaching about who on earth let HIM in here. Hence the squeamish whining about his activation of the white working class, a constituency that never would have come close to electing him without Trump’s much larger base of Optimate business success guys and right-wing professionals. Trump is an MBA leading a base heavy on dentists, car dealers, industrialists, and major landowners. He’s still widely presented as a washed-up carnival barker leading a rabble of out-of-work coal miners. The assumption is that they’re all uneducated, ignorant, and stupid: never mind the keen working intelligence needed to make it through the day in a shaft mine or a steel mill, of course.

In other words, Trump is unqualified to lead, and his voters are unqualified to vote. This is facially bogus under the US Constitution, of course, but the West Wing nerds don’t care about any of that shit when it conflicts with their prejudices. We need more and better political education, they moan. And where the hell do we go for that? MSNBC? That shit’s Wesley Willis psychotic, with none of the insight and humility. There are a lot of really disturbed people who would gladly admit that they must have been off their meds when they caught Vladimir Putin’s cube farm elves rewiring their brains over the computer. Shit, Aftab, you aren’t gonna believe it, and indeed he won’t. Maybe florid conspiracy theories about Kremlin mind control that ignore the overwhelming evidence of the losers’ political ineptitude should be taken on advisement.

Mind you, I’m just an overqualified loser myself, and I don’t even have the political sinecure to show for it. All I’ve gotten are interrogations about whether I’m wallowing in the samizdat. Nice try, officer. This party that demands my vote in exchange for more or less jack shit has taken an official stand about foreign election interference that is clinically paranoid and also extremely fucking whiny.

That’s just the aesthetic obnoxiousness of it. Substantively, it’s evasive, not just in how it deflects blame for self-inflicted fuckups but in how it projects every seedy and crooked thing about US politics onto foreign scapegoats. Our presidential campaigns are awash in manipulative ads costing over a billion dollars a cycle in recent years, but the problem is Grandmother’s special internet friend, a Russian pretending to be an American. We’re explicitly lectured to heed warnings from the “intelligence community.” Excuse me, but that lame-ass name is about as old as the Trump Administration, and those motherfuckers lie. There’s no warranty that any particular classified briefing our elected officials claim they can’t disclose to us isn’t a crock of shit. In point of fact they’re immunized against prosecution for reading classifed information into the Congressional Record, but solemnly intoning about their secret knowledge is mainly another way to lord it over the rest of us.

It’s unconscionable to be expected to treat any of this nonsense as prudence, not insanity. They work for us, not vice versa. We have a compelling interest in their honest services and every reason to demand it. This easily includes the disclosure of bad acts that have been given cover of classification. They actually have the nerve to lecture us about how we need to believe them that they have our best interests at heart when they’re obvious crooks and they refuse to offer us a full accounting of what they’ve heard from the spook nests.

Again, they fucking work for us, not for Langley. A den of liars who keep promising to tell the truth told them a bunch of shit that we’re now expected to take on faith even though we’re unworthy of the details. They want to know what we’re reading to give ourselves such outlandishly conspiratorial ideas, but they don’t trust us with full information about what they’re reading.

Yeah, here’s a point of order, punk: go fuck yourself.

These same ghouls won’t shut up about how much they’re doing for ordinary Americans. “Working families” seems to be the popular term of art, probably because the country has fewer residents than usual either working for a living or living in families. They do all this shit for “us.” For the Democrats, much of it is not being Donald Trump, as they loudly point out. In other words, they beat us up less than our ex did. They buy us flowers afterwards.

Who the hell is us? It’s obviously bougie trash who are too squeamish and self-esteeming to Bradley Effect John Cox into the Senate to protect their property values. That ain’t me, chief.

This is not an incidental, negotiable point. My circumstances and interests have dramatically diverged from those of my parents and their peers, and I fucking expect our elected officials to do something about it. That’s the whole fucking point of politics. It’s precisely and exclusively the raison d’etre of representative democracy: we vote and they act on our demands.

The yuppies, young and old, who vote for dungeon crawlers like Kamala Harris and Eric Garcetti fully understand this. They vote against Bernie Sanders because they fear, correctly, what he’ll do to their privilege in the broad public interest. Their prerogatives as gatekeeper and rentiers will become unenforceable. They’ll have to do something honest for a living or just live on their properties, not exploit them for financial gain at their neighbors’ expense. Their portfolios may lose value.

Personally, I’m sympathetic to their fears of socioeconomic decline and retaliation, having caught a fair bit of it myself. This is why we so desperately need to equalize our society, to level up the worst-off and ensure that none among us ever again crashes into their degraded circumstances.

What I find absolutely unsympathetic is their insistence on speaking on behalf of the entire left-leaning swathes of the poor and the downwardly mobile. Nobody has my blessing to speak over me on my behalf. That’s when I talk over them until they shut the fuck up. Biden, Harris, and their ilk have done significant articulable damage to my prospects and circumstances, and I do not forgive them. They need to whole-ass 180 their ship to have a chance in hell of winning my grace. They didn’t incidentally or accidentally flood the zone with bad, ill-disciplined cops, cater to the worst banks, or structure the disbursement of public funds in ways maximizing the employment of obedient failchildren in gatekeeping positions at the expense of beneficiaries who need the fucking help.

Anything I have to do with Biden or Harris is going to be 100% transactional. They need to shut up and serve me. Again, this is the point of politics: voters don’t turn out, let alone campaign, for candidates they don’t expect to effectively and consistently serve them. If that’s Donald Trump and not Joe Biden, what the fuck else am I supposed to say? This is the point at which a shrieking chorus of property owners who have lived for decades in segregated neighborhoods angrily call me a racist, but Fat Cracka ain’t here cause he cares about any of that.

This same affluent, notionally liberal constituency proudly proclaims that it cherishes an engaged, passionate citizenry. Then that passion and engagement works in Donald Trump’s favor, even a touch, and they flip their damn shit about how the only people who even think about voting for him are idiots, ignoramuses, and bigots. Maybe check out the records of his opposition if you’d care to revise your statements; hell if I know. I could drive to the watering tub just over the hill on 29, or I could get screamed at for the better part of an hour a block off Silverado. It probably depends on how much company I need.

Joey and Kammy–those two are in no position to tell me how they are to be addressed–are thrust before us as the indispensable bulwarks of relative good against the absolute evil of Donald of Orange. It’s a cool story for those of us who are familiar with precedents for much worse evil in American politics: you know, Preston Brooks, Woodrow Wilson, George W. Bush, George H. W. Bush, the rest of the CIA. We had an NGO gig in Indonesia under the Ford Foundation, yeah? We tortured some folks, yeah? We’re just trying to deal with our old grievances against past administrations more aloha here. *Juicily disturbed Guy Hagi voice* See you out in the Pacific!

Now, white Punahou alumni aren’t supposed to pass da kine of da local parlance into themselves, and Mocha Haole is half white. In fact, he’s wholly White. What I’m writing about our first half-white president is a spicy poke bowl. Any worse and I’d be in public office myself. In fairness, he’s pretty competent at politics, apparently convicing a plurality of Americans that he’s a black guy from Chicago and half-assedly reforming the health insurance system to spottily restore coverage to young people whose affluent parents raised them to vote.

Don’t let anybody tell you the politics of division don’t work. They work great for messy bitches from Queens, too. Many wonder about our Thicc Moist Boi’s acumen for responding to a combined public health and economic crisis by Posting Through It, but he’s in show business, same as ever, and he’ll continue to grift his goobers whether he stays or goes. So will the Democrats. Does any of this look like it’s NOT a business?

The coming politics of unity this November and the four years starting the following January is another piece of fantasy fiction. It’s Harry Potter, but with gravity, as Shoko Asahara is said to have ultimately experienced. We obviously spend too much time reading about Bartlets and wizards and construing them as political models. If I published Keebler Elf fan fiction recapitulating the beleaguered yeoman virtue of the early modern English farmer, I doubt I could justify the cultural disgrace with the royalties, not in a land whose public television network is always airing bitch-ass Downton Abbey. Nah, let’s be real: I’m not too self-respecting to refrain, just too disorganized.

Who the fuck are we gonna unify this fall? Americans who earnestly regard that stupid manor soap as reputable, harmless entertainment with those of us who correctly identify it as lame, low-key seditious trash about a castle full of the most miserable cunts? Affluent, secure property owners with precarious to flat-ruined renters? Is there a place for the homeless in this coalition? I don’t mean as an agenda item for do-gooders to handle; I mean actually fucking listening to the homeless, as Democratic politicians do to any shitlib homeowner with property values to defend. I can tell I’m on the wrong side of that transaction for having personal experience, as far as they’re concerned.

On that gross topic, I’m not here to accept ANY blame from them for having become or remained homeless. They’re always free to start blaming their own propertied base for making homelessness such a huge problem by being pushy about zoning and chasing cheap deals that screw over workers. Besides, you don’t win voters over in politics by blaming them. Donald Trump knows this. The Democratic establishment is so accustomed to abusing the lower strata of its own target base that it doesn’t care. We’re obviously on the shitlib do-gooders’ side. What upsets them is when they talk over us and we have the insolence to talk back. They’re highly qualified, you see.

Yeah, it’s passionate political engagement, bitch, and political ignorance it is not. I’ve closely followed Bill De Blasio, Lori Lightfoot, Jacob Frey, Jenny Durkan, Ted Wheeler, and Eric Garcetti over the summer. Blue no matter who is going great!

Lose me with the cult shit. That’s like pointing out that George Pell is Roman Catholic. It’s meant as a disingenuous appeal to tribal affiliation but works out as a grand object lesson in derelicts and moral horrors who should immediately be banished from any party claiming the mantle of the left. I don’t need a reason to stay Catholic, incidentally because nobody is all up in my face to demand my fealty to bad clergy. On the other hand, I’m not a Democrat. Yes, I’m registered as one, but all that means is that I’ve told the registrar of elections to let me vote in Democratic primaries. I am not a member of that outfit and have never been. Do I sound that stupid? Go bother your own people.

If the Democrats want me on board, or millions of other Americans who are angry about the way both parties have been running the country, they can run on a platform that isn’t dogshit and be credible about it. For starters, they can promise to provide for public medical and dental coverage on demand and free at the point of service, a medical debt jubilee, a student debt jubilee, the imposition of strict oversight and discipline on the police, an end to qualified immunity, an end to civil asset forfeiture absent a conviction or verdict of liability, the prosecution of bad cops and prosecutors, the systematic release of prisoners who do not pose an articulable and credible threat to public safety or welfare, the systematic overhaul of the entire criminal justice system, postal banking, a crackdown on residential evictions and foreclosures, a major buildout of high-quality public housing, the close regulation of credit reporting agencies, strict limits on the use of credit scores, an end to drug tests (with narrow exemptions for truly high-risk positions, if need be), and a monetary and fiscal policy reestablishing a goal of full employment. It’s straightforward: we demand to be treated like fellow people and fellow citizens, to have our general welfare safeguarded in the same fashion as the most affluent, and to regain the liberty to tell bad actors in positions of authority to fuck off witout suffering consequences for prosocial assertions of our rights.

What would the Democratic Party say to this? We already know. Oh, be reasonable. That’s unrealistic. You’re asking for too much. We need to appeal to moderate swing voters in the suburbs. (Cool, property owners again). Be patient and wait your turn. Go back to school. Learn to code. The loser can have a little means-tested tax break, as a treat.

If this shitty party insists on catering to the shittiest elements of the upper middle class, there’s nothing the openly poor, downwardy mobile, or precarious can do to directly force it to actually be the big tent it brags about being. They’ve rigged their own presidential primaries twice in a row to ratfuck their most popular candidate, done their best to marginalize him as he’s tried to engage and influence their platform, and surrounded themselves with a forcefield of prissy bougies who feel beleaguered for having home equity but not the prerogative to summarily silence insolent peasants.

Here’s where it gets abusive again. What happens if we defect? What happens if we tell them to go fuck themselves? Oh no, you can’t do that! You can’t vote Republican! You can’t vote Green or Libertarian! How can you say ANYTHING good about Trump? Blue no matter who! We need to stop him! We need to stop Putin!

What the hell Putin has to do with any of that, including Donald Trump, is pretty tenuous. In any event, it would be more reputable to examine our own interference as a nation in other nations’ elections.

It’s worth noticing that all they ever tell left-wing dissidents in their own defense is that they’re better than the Republicans. They’ve now reached the disgraceful point at which George W. Bush is better than the Republican Party, certainly better than Big Orange. They can take that take straight to hell, no $200 on the way past Go. A survey of what they actually represent and accomplish shows that they’re too busy for the little people because they’re occupied in a spirit of great devotion with the psychic and material maintenance of their real base: affluent Brahmin conformists. They’re siding with a prickly, defensive constituency articulably adverse to me as socioeconomic and cultural actors. They’re representing voters whose politics have already done me significant harm and have killed many.

Guys. Ya gotta do better.

Not to brag, I was right about Trump being too outrageous and provocative not to stir up opposition to agendas he shared with centrist Democrats. They crafted the Crime Bill and continue to quietly delegate police violence to local agencies; he had federal goons gas and beat protesters out from the curtilage of a church for an absurdist photo op with a bible, had goons go on rampages in Portland that helpfully distracted the public from Ted Wheeler’s failure to control the PPB, and fumed at length about his plan to deploy feds to Chicago, distracting from another Democratic city government’s deployment of out-of-control municipal police. They allowed the GOP to ratfuck the Post Office with pension prepayment obligations, left these obligations in place through two years of unified Democratic government, and publicly mulled privatizing the Post Office; he appointed a blatantly corrupt crony Postmaster General to remove mailboxes and sorting equipment a bit over a month before an expected huge surge in electoral mail.

Trump is such an incorrigibly messy bitch, he forces the Democrats to do their job and stand up to him. They can’t West Wing it and throw all the usual little people into the buzzsaw; he makes the whole gig too blatant, forcing them to act on their avowed principles. A good reason to fear Biden and Harris is that they’ll revert Washington to the usual bipartisan civility gobbledygook, giving themselves and Congress the cover to workshop more privatization schemes. I say workshop because nobody has yet been able to get the full privatization of Social Security or the USPS into law on account of the blowback. Even so, we’ll have to stay on guard, even more than we do with a raging oaf appointing a sleazy doofus who owns lots of FedEx and UPS stock to unabashedly trash the Post Office. That’s reason enough to distrust and resent the Democratic ticket.

Shit. Maybe Biden and Harris are having Trump kayfabe them into a position that will force them to beef up the USPS. This shit can be baffling. Chuck the Schmuck and the Donald get along fabulously behind closed doors and open curtains, a heartwarming bipartisan friendship between two greazy bridge-and-tunnel sleazeballs. I doubt Obama minded being smeared as a Sharia Mau-Mau when he’d already spent so much of his life establishing himself as a member of the Chicago Community. Or, as his Vice President Emeritus would say, you’re articulate, but you ain’t black!

I doubt Kamala minds the tokenization, either. It’s powered much of her career. In fact, I’d be surprised if the campaign isn’t directing the fawning idpol coverage of her debut. They must expect it to appeal to Millennial Voters of Color. Every Thirty Seconds a young Latin becomes eligible to teach Antonio Villaraigosa Spanish. Personally, I’d start with English. At least they’ve still got that colored fellow Garcetti as mayor, although word on the streets in the Gateway Cities has always been that Paul Tanaka is white.

These are the things that matter when the police are committing an armed insurrection against the citizenry. With Kamala, it’s an overachieving Indian-Jamaican state beatdown. It’s a refusal of color to reexamine the conviction of that Persian son of a bitch who definitely shot RFK without any help.

The party line is that Harris will help win over the minority youth vote. Okay, but why is she so hated and distrusted in young minority neighborhoods and so popular with shriveled-up old honky motherfuckers? Look. I’m just trying out racial essentialism; I learned it on NPR.

Duh. She’s got Whitey’s back. It’s the same answer as before. NPR is dressing her up for the fancy crackers. This is why we hear about how the Indians love her because, like the Oaf of Office, they love the Hindu. It’s why we hear about how the Jamaicans love her because she’s an overachieving Jamaican from an overachieving Jamaican family. Say, could you shut the fuck up about your above-average children? We grow enough of that shit at home not to have to import it.

Of course not. It’s NPR.

For all the identitarian shit and wonkery, Totebag Nation has no grasp of how the racial framing of Kamala Harris plays with young voters. It keeps hitting me that thirty-year-olds today have spent their entire adult lives under either a two-term black president or his immediate successor, who barely beat a woman in the general election. There are no assurances that young voters see anything trailblazing about Harris, while it’s well established that many of them are unhappy with her record. Most of them, if they vote, will still vote for her, but mainly because they’re horrified by Trump, or just sick of him. The suspicion that she’s a phony, a sellout, and a ghoul won’t be put to rest with fawning coverage on NPR. They’ll sour on Harris and Biden in a hurry if they don’t deliver the goods in ways that repudiate their own longstanding records. They’re already off on a bad foot for being a cop and a rapist in a time when both roles are under great fire.

Can you believe it, DeAngelo? They can’t even maneuver a hand truck through a supermarket warehouse!

Did you know that Kwesi Millington is an Afro-Canadian? Did you know that Monty Robinson is an Indian drunkard? If you’ve been around here long, I’m afraid you do. I shouldn’t polerize our politics, so of coarse I do exactly that.

I don’t know why I just thot of that, but they don’t seem to be sending us their best.

Friendship Ended With Electoral Democracy; Now Direct Action Is My Best Friend

Chuck Schumer and Donald Trump get along fabulously behind closed doors. There are photographs. Trump is said to get along well with Rod Rosenstein. Fancy Nancy and Addison the Bitch get along well, an odd thing for anyone to do with that turtle-ass motherfucker when his whole caucus is reportedly fed up with him.

It’s all just for show: the epic clapback, the speech-tearing, the Kente Cloth Kneeling Ceremony, the acrimonious deadlocks over arbitrary spending limits on emergency social welfare payments in this, our Time of Illness, the impeachment. It’s a game for them. For most of them, the game is politics. For the Donald, the game is show business. The establishment ghouls are there for the usual West Wing horseshit about civility and wonkery and similar barfables. The Oaf of Office is there to be a messy bitch from Queens who lives for drama. His idea of a professionallhy aggrandizing time involves a lot of yelling in public, not just in private. A handful of true believers are in Town for public service (Bernie Sanders), ideological aggression (Stephen Miller), or both (Steve Bannon, maybe). It’s real strange, but there are reasons to believe that genocidal eugenicist creeps like Lord Hairspray are some of the LEAST cynical Beltway critters.

What the rest believe in is straightforward: their own wealth and power. They’re there to enrich and entrench themselves, their cronies, their families, their prep school classmates, and a few high strata of comparable worthies. Everybody else can go die in a ditch. The election was held in March, over the course of a few days bracketing Super Tuesday, when Mocha Haole cleared the field for his trusty old hairsniffing lieutenant, passing da rest o da kine outta da way, yeah? Between that aw-shucks wave of dropouts, the bought and paid-for endorsements, and the electoral fraud in various Democratic caucuses and primaries, the party did what it needed to do: it ratfucked Bernie again. The big show we’ve got coming up in November is as civicically meaningful as the Super Bowl. Are the ads any better? Your taste is as bad as mine. (You’re here, after all!) All We’re doing over the fall is determining, with excruciating melodrama and at licentious expense, which style of bigoted authoritarian police state shyster gerontocrat we want yelling at whom and how.

The Outer Party is still having a shit fit about the Bad Orange Man, of course. They’re doing this because the Inner Party has been grifting them with moral panics about Russia and threats to our democracy in the same way it’s been grifting the openly fascistic and the religiously preoccupied with moral panics about secular communists. Biden is against God. He’s here to hurt the Bible, to hurt God. We all hurt God at Gethsemane, in the present and the past, a paradox I prefer to leave to theologians, theoretical physicists, Leon Bridges, and whoever. *Most Visitation of Robert Oppenheimer Voice* Long time since we’ve had nukes around here, right? How ya like em?

The Inner Party doesn’t give a damn about this shit. Fancy Nancy reading from Ecclesiastes is every bit as performative as our Thicc Moist Boi walking out into the smoke and holding up A Bible. Pat Robertson reserved the Pig Hebrew for the boob tube and the latest copy of the Financial Times for the Operation Blessing flight to the blood diamond districts of the Congo. Ish kabish kawaka waka hey hey shalom it is mitzvah unto the rain please bless.

The NYT, one of the great CI-Adjacent papers of record, made a killing peddling tenuous, baroque campfire stories about Donald Trump, Traitor, to hysterical shitlibs. Some speculate that Trump, a very likely money launderer for the Russian mob, is also a CIA and FBI asset. In that case, he has to be secretly but heartily in favor of the Russia smears. Who would ever think to look for US secret police and intelligence assets among Kremlin assets? But think about it. Who looks more enthusiastic to recruit and retain that boor as an A-List asset: Vladimir Putin, or the WASP dumbasses at Langley?

It’s not exactly that nothing will change after Biden takes office. The federal penal regime may get marginally worse, depending on what the hell Bill Barr does. It won’t get better; Biden has never believed in mercy as a component of justice and he still doesn’t. He’s still a bigot who relishes locking up black people. The differences between him and Trump are minor and narrow, dwarfed by the overlap.

This is why I keep responding to Blue No Matter Who deadenders when they sputter about Trump’s singular awfulness. Gee, maybe what Biden has been DOING for practically half a century straight is predictive of what he will do as our next president. As a struggling, inept empire that won’t maintain basic government services at home, we’re about to inaugurate our seventh successive stone-cold pandering sadist as our president. Like hell we had politics of unity and decency for decades and then suddenly this oaf showed up from the TV and ruined it all by mouthing off a lot. Should we be surprised to watch this character claim his office in P. J. O’Rourke’s Television branch of government?

If he picks Kamala Harris as his running mate, as his campaign has inadvertently leaked through its predictable ineptitude, I’ll be honored to vote against her a third time. Trump actually balanced his ticket with Mike Pence, a smarmy Hoosier religious busybody to his own libertine New York drama queen. Kamala has Joe’s carceral politics on steroids with an extra creep factor, but as Joe would say, geez, Jack, why don’tcha meet me outside, she’s a colored broad!

That’s what we’re calling diversity. It’s disgraceful. Melissa Ann Shepard looks like she wouldn’t try to kill me unless I married her. Few of our federal elected officials care if we live or die. Half a million or a million constituent deaths are nothing but numbers on a spreadsheet to them. Sometimes they do good things for other numbers on different parts of the spreadsheet. When that happens, they approve. The opioids are just killing backwards white working-class bigots, after all, Trump’s base. Neither of these things are true, but the big tent of liberalism has an embarrassingly large amount of room for Harry Potter freaks.

All kinds of vile bigotry are perfectly acceptable as long as they’re politely couched. Establishment Democrats have the extra nerve to demand that the targets of their bigotry vote for them because the opposition, if we can believe them, is even worse. They despise the downwardly mobile college-educated losers they did their best to create, but we went to college, and college boys and girls vote Democratic.

Huh? First of all, where the fuck did they get that idea? Ah, they mean we were raised Brahmin. Okay, fuck you too, then. The liberal arts give us the liberty to make up our own minds, remember? Some of us make up our minds differently from others and get tearfully screamed at about it for close to an hour off Silverado Trail.

I have to go a step further here, though. You do NOT lecture anyone AT ALL for not having the skills or the education to get a job and then demand my vote. That’s all there fucking is to it. I expect politicians not to publicly disrespect constituents for having difficulty in the job market. I do not dispense absolution for shitting on me and tens of millions of other Americans, many of them much more decent and worth having around than our political class, for coming to grief in a job market that the same nasty politicians calculatingly trashed.

As I’ve said before, Trump at least has the principle not to demand the votes of people whose right to a livelihood he contemptuously dismisses in his own public comments. The Democratic establishment can’t help itself. We owe them our fealty. We’re them. They’re us. How dare we say otherwise.

This is a strategic conflation on the part of the Inner Party. The Outer Party’s critical thinking is so shot that I can’t tell what the hell its thoughts are on this insane nostrism. Nancy Pelosi has jack shit in common with someone who ended up homeless due to dangerous living situations like me or to anyone with student debt. One would hope to hear her supporters recognize this. Oh, yeah, you’re practically ruined and she’s richer than God. This is some basic shit. On the other hand, the shitlib base is full of old real estate owners who don’t want to admit that they benefited from Prop 13 in ways their children and grandchildren never will.

It should be mortifying to project one’s own success under the current neoliberal regime onto people it has obviously, grievously failed, but the narrowly broad center of American politics is full of disingenuous self-dealers high on their own supply. For movement conservatives, it’s mostly happy horseshit about job creators and government debt. For shitlibs, it’s mostly shit about education and skills. The twain happily converge. None of this crap is in any way necessary to the proper function or viability of a society. That’s why they agree on so much of it.

Trump is refreshingly honest for activating the most defiantly base elements of the right wing. The hard right is into some pretty crass shit. It’s huge, as she said, on sales scams like mail-order dick pills, gold certificates, and car dealerships. They’re shitheads, but they’re obvious shitheads. Only the greedy would try to join their league.

The really slippery shit is in the respectable center. That’s where we find beliefs that are just plausible and respectable enough not to reject out of hand on first sight like the latest Stan Merrill pitch. That’s who tells us most earnestly that education is the path to success, that critical thinking is cherished above rubies in the job market, that the forty-hour salary plus benefits model is the foundation of upward mobility and the middle class, that deadenders working horrible minimum-wage jobs will someday, somehow, but not right now catch the same train to prosperity.

Honestly, I’d rather have some hustler barking about dong hardeners on news-talk radio. The less normal that shit sounds, the safer it is for all of us. We want everyone involved with corrosive ideas to sound like a deranged, sleazy freak, not a respectable normie. We do not want to be bored or smoothtalked into lowering our defenses.

This is what’s so dangerous about Barack Obama. Mocha Haole, he smooth. It’s the same thing with Peter the Booty Judge. They use a dangerous style to conceal an ugly substance. They’ve both gotten people immiserated and killed, and they don’t care. They both dispossessed large numbers of African-Americans of their houses, deliberately. Obama fucked up healthcare reform. He’s responsible for our dystopian postmodern parlance of “open enrollment” and “marketplace navigators.” He could have set up a simple, easily navigable system. Instead he chose to set up a heavily siloed kludge and a jobs program for servile white-collar dimwits who stayed in school too long.

Bad policy has bad consequences. Americans fall through the cracks because the ACA is designed to allow us to fall through the cracks. Why the fuck would I call Covered California to “report a change?” The fuck will they do for me with the information? The fuck will they do for anyone? The horny-for-rules nerds who pushed that shit would have come up with something less intrusive and useless if they and their college buddies regularly had changes to report, but the gig economy is for other people, you see.

It rules that Democrats think they can win over the downwardly mobile voters they’ve ruined with more artificial complexity, artificial scarcity, and artificial pain. That shit is not okay. It just isn’t. I’m not taking questions about it. Donald Trump is able to outflank the Democratic establishment on the left because he’s content to beef with other celebrities. He doesn’t need wonk policy clout for his bunghole. He probably won’t tack meaningfully left at this point because he’s so tight with Bill Barr and other heinous police state ghouls. It’ll cost him the election, but we’d be fools to assume he’d have a problem with President Biden just because he says he would. They’re both out to hurt God. They’re certainly both out to hurt God’s people.

Conversations with Tara Reade’s managers

Luke O’Neil had a brief item in his most recent Welcome to Hellworld free subscriber e-mail about one of the old country’s posh and her reaction to these maidless times:

The other day I saw a British lady post that her kids don’t flush their turds and she has to do it now that the maid can’t come over and it was supposed to garner sympathy of some kind I think.

England, where I assume this lady lives, although I may be wrong, is governed again by people who have never done their own laundry or grocery shopping. This is apparently not the case in Ulster and definitively not the case in Scotland, where ye cannae get Sturgeon to suffer such a cunt, and I leave it to others to examine the Welsh, but this style of posh idiocy waxes and wanes in Westminster over the decades. Thatcher greased the skids for its reintroduction into mainstream British political life at the dusk of the trente glorieuses, which were not so glorious in parts of the North, in significant part due to Maggie herself.

Blithering public school twerps like BoJo have always been more popular in the Home Counties than in the North, let alone the fringe Celtogaelic holdings, and I again leave it to the peanut gallery to make sense of Wales. The North-South divide in England is stark. The heavy industry has always skewed north; the white-collar strivers cluster around London and the Greater Southeast, i.e., roughly the Home Counties. The dumbest cheerio bullshit seems to come out of the South, especially the provincial-suburban interface and the secondary cities. The South throws more block party picnics to celebrate coronations than the North. White Van Man, if I recall correctly, is a south-skewing suburban phenomenon.

There’s obscene, absurd wealth all over Great Britain (although not so much Northern Ireland, from what I can tell), but some parts are peopled by a public that doesn’t mind telling the toffs to bugger off if they won’t show some consideration. BoJo, like Trump, tacks populist, so he’s an exception from the stuff ye back into ye britches ye dense twat rule. He listens, the working class figures, and he tries. He’s an idiot, of course, about all sorts of things. It shows up in his government’s ridiculous public health directives pursuant to the Dread Ailment. It showed up in his whistling that rude sentimental ditty about the gook broad in the Shwedagon Pagoda, right beside an ashen-faced career diplomat who begged him to be silent.

Good stuff.

Regardless of their local estate ties, the British upper class aspires to a posh Home Counties accent and a bearing suitable to the smart parts of London. Hence our bitch above, the one too prissy to toilet-train her own children. Heavens, the governess is not here to clean up after Alastair; what ever shall we do! Hey, ya miserable cunt, heya’s an idear: flush the bloody doo and be done with it. When I find the shitter in the Sebastopol Safeway backed up with a stranger’s floaters, I track down the store manager; I grab the plunger, unblock the fucking drain, flush a couple of times, reload the bowl, and flush again. Yes, it’s gross, but grow up. But here we are, faced with the great scandal of this crisis of public health: that it renders absent and unavailable the servants required to flush downstairs that which the half-feral children of the country’s aristocrats and future prime ministers produced upstairs.

Good stuff.

*****

America has always harbored versions of these useless crybaby wastrels. We got our first infusion straight from the most enclosed parts of England, or in some cases via the West Indies. They proliferated in earnest throughout the Gilded Age, then got the message from Roosevelt and his constituents to tone it the fuck down right now or be lynched. These elites have resented the restraint forced upon them, not only for the nation’s survival but for their own, ever since. Much of the evil and dysfunction we see today is their handiwork. They and their upper-middle-class subalterns, not the disaffected working classes, drove the Reagan-Thatcher revolution. Lasch was right that the elites were in revolt; what he got wrong was the thrust of their partisan affiliations, although he was partially vindicated by the late nineties, shortly after his death, by the consolidation of the affluent cosmopolitan vote under New Labour and Clintonworld.

Lasch focused on the American upper middle class, in particular those he took to be cosmopolitan bohemians. David Brooks eventually followed in his footsteps with his weakly entertaining “BoBo,” or “Bourgeois Bohemian” framing of a striver subculture that by the time of his writing already reviled the old Bohemian loaf ethic, would come to revile it ever more intensely from then until now, and did everything in its power to purge its children of any interest in taking the time to explore and observe the world, let alone enjoy it. After all, you gotta keep up the hustle to tap dat sweet intern ass and achieve the Second Mountin’. Much of our national literature, all too predictably for a society whose discretionary income lives with the Baby Boom, is recursive prose retellings of the midlife crisis archetype. But I really shouldn’t have picked on the nonfictional offerings before remembering that I’ve read Franzen. (“Ugh. He’s the person everybody wishes had died instead of David Foster Wallace.”)

The gist here is that the salaryman can have a little mistress, as a treat. Lounging around buck naked in hot tubs was never the worst thing the Boomers did. They had to dry off and get dressed to go do M&A work, and that isn’t really what happened, either; rock-ribbed Republican scumbags hustled in on the yuppie jobs as much as anybody, and plenty of bohemians, of various strengths of attachment to the work ethic and the job market, got ruined.

The thing about America’s Gatsby-adjacent wastrels is that they’ve always known they’re unusual. The only part of the country where a mainstream gentry culture really took hold was the Planter South. In the Northeast, the upcountry South, and across to the West Coast, the rich knew they were different in ways working to their disadvantage. There was too much self-consciously abstemious Puritanism in circulation for them to fully lose sight of it, even at the height of the Gilded Age. Elite Northerners were also likelier to live in large cities, not on plantations or in industrial company towns, exposing them to ordinary citizens who did not directly report to them or their deputies. What could a WASP do about Boss Tweed? Bitch about micks?

As I said, the obliviousness and in-your-face arrogance waxes and wanes. It took the Depression, which started years after the Army Air Corps bombed striking miners in Colorado and decades after the mass deployment of Pinkerton strikebreakers, to bring the elites partially to heel: that is, to get them to make do for a spell with what they’d already strongarmed out of the productive members of society and stop flaunting their prosperity in the rough parts of town, formerly limited to neighborhoods like the Bowery but now encompassing the entire country. This came as a shock to the summering classes and those perceiving themselves within reach of their wealth, It pissed off industrialists and small businessmen alike. It provoked shrill whining about Bolshevism. It didn’t matter to them that FDR was no Lenin or Stalin, but an American Bismarck.

The Great Depression bore many lessons. We have since forgotten many of them, as witnessed by our still struggling to emerge from our Second Great Depression. Forget the horseshit they tell you on TV; I’ve got enough numbers on my side, including official ones, to make the case. Among the lessons forgotten: the poor we will always have with us; they are our fellow citizens; their grievances are valid; if they are ignored or told to hold their peace, the shit may well hit the fan.

*****

Tara Reade was late on rent. One has to shudder at the thought of what this nation would do without the free press to watch over its welfare and safeguard it against the chance that moneys owed by a struggling woman bouncing around the residential gray market in Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties, and incidentally accusing the presumptive Democratic nominee for the presidency of forcible rape, not being in hand on the first of the month, right on time. How would we, as Californians, now I used to sleep at rest areas several times a week, but how would we, as Californians, enforce our birthright to temper our real estate equity with rent payments?

These were the goods that Politico and the NewsHour had on Tara Reade. They had a story about some aliases, possibly shady but also possibly indispensable to get a fresh start after evictions and negative landlord references, and they had a claim that she inepty handled consituent mail, and they had a story about how she enthused about working for Joe Biden, contradicted by roughly contemporaneous testimony from other landlords that she had told them about sexual assault at Biden’s hands, and there is of course the divorce affidavit in which her ex-husband swore that she had privately accused Biden of sexual assault, but mainly they had a handful of bad references from her former landlords. She was a deadbeat. She missed rent. She contested extrajudicial eviction efforts.

The other claims they had were from former colleagues, most of them now career staffers on Capitol Hill or otherwise professionally and very gainfully employed. She loved the job. She loved Joe. She mishandled the mail.

The personal is the political, as these assholes all show. They resent and hate Tara Reade for standing up to, rather than by, their man Joe Plagiarism. They’ll have us know that they succeeded in their careers where she failed. They’ll have us know, tacitly but resoundingly, that they make rent. Does Lisa DesJardins sound like she’s domiciled down the row from Mark Judge in that UPS Store?

The Democrats have cast their lot with the professional-managerial class. They’re the part of the cosmpolitan, the jetsetting, the professionally successful, or at least the professionally aspirational. This constituency, they assume, is one of lovely, unobjectionable, universally beloved role models, disliked only by fuming Republican bigots. They get steamed up like a tower of shumai baskets whenever they discover anew that this is in fact a widely reviled constituency, one hated no more by permanent Republicans than by Democratic voters who can’t stand the GOP.

Their attitude towards disaffected downwardly mobile scions of educated Democratic families is one of horror and outrage at the apostasy. We have the temerity to leave the reservation. This is why they dig Pete Buttigieg. The Booty Judge is a hopeful, positive, optimistic kid who recognizes the good things his parents’ generation has given him and is grateful for them. He gives thanks. He doesn’t pout about how it isn’t enough. He gets career-track jobs. A lot of us are over here whining about our bad lot, falling in with a blustery shanty Jewish Brooklyn socialist agitator who bummed around Vermont straight through his late twenties and thirties and didn’t get a real job until he was elected Mayor of Burlington. Don’t we see what they’ve done for us? They’ve given us every advantage in life! They’ve given us everything!

Everything, that is, and oddly, except jobs. That’s the thing about well-to-do Republican parents. They take their driveling idiot spawn and place them directly in positions at the family company. They directly hire their families’ sex pests, degenerate gamblers, druggies, hopeless spendthrifts, thugs, losers who can’t do a thing for themselves but get toileted and dressed, and then only when they’re vaguely sober, and other undesirables. Does Eric Trump look like he’s ever had to interview for a job?

The thing about rich losers like the Trump kids, Jared, the fucked-up dude Giuliani sired, and so forth is that their sinecures are not exclusive to the children of celebrities or the very rich. This isn’t something that starts at the Bush Tier. I used to drink with a guy in Manayunk who was grossing $110k a year for an executive job, or “job,” at the family tool company. This guy sustained $3k in dental trauma when he got trashed and tripped on the R6 tracks (but he emerged weeks later with nice new front teeth!). He wandered around the yuppie bro/sis crash pad where his crew lived, barely ambulatory and nonverbal. He dropped absurd amounts in tips, like $40 or $100 or something a night, for bartenders he was trying to pick up. He played six online poker screens at a time and lost up to $7k in a week: several times his gross salary, down the fucking shitter for nothing. His father, also a raging drunk, filled whole refrigerator compartments at their shore house with metastable piles of Yuengling bottles. He had, I don’t really fucking know, five or six cases of glass beer bottles shoved into a half-assed honeycomb stack in the bottom half of a full-sized fridge with two or three shelves removed, right above a bare concrete floor. This wasn’t beer that he was keeping indefinitely in the garage after a big run to the package store; it was the short-term stash he was KEEPING COLD.

This joint was never a meritocracy. There were better people than either of those two to run a manufactrer and its sales and distribution arms for six-figure salaries. There are plenty of quick studies who know manufacturing inside and out and do not have compulsions making it impossible to make ends meet on $110k when they’re living without dependents in a midmarket shared rental house. My point isn’t that I need somebody to give me a job already, although I would not object from the outset, but that we need to recognize how this fucking place is actually run. Showing up to this race with “skills” rather than a direct job placement is a fool’s errand. Peter the Booty Judge is well into the top decile of scummy PMC bullshit artists. The average faculty brat has nothing on that oily shyster.

That dude who was making $110k at the family business was about my age. I met him by the age of 25.

Affluent normie Democrats put their children at a significant disadvantage by refusing to recognize the prevalence and efficacy of this style of flagrant favoritism in hiring. It’s sleazy, and it’s bad for society, but with these stipulations, the question is what we’re going to do about it. Do we set up LLC’s to ape them? Do we push through tax policies to disadvantage and deter that kind of shit? Do we arm both sides of the conflict and do a little of each? If we figure that blood is a bit thicker than water, can’t we conclude that it’s probably harder to get fired by a parent or another close relative than by some career politician or nonprofit executive who is not kin?

This is the same shit Democratic officials do before Republicans: fold like cheap beachware. They play to win, but we can’t; it would be unbecoming. They give their loser children jobs, but that would be unbecoming. Oh no, Speaker Pelosi is becoming; she’s just a savvy investor.

How DARE you not vote for these dedicated public servants just because you think they want to kill you. You only think they’re psychopaths because you’re a paranoiac who reads too much samizdat.

*****

The official bill of particulars against Tara Reade has three main components:

–First, that she crashed off the career track and into a spotty, chaotic job history;

–Second, that she crashed out of the prime rental market and into subprime markets, including marginal work-trade and informal rooming arrangements of variable legal enforceability, putting herself in a position to be criticized by former landlords; and,

–Third, that she broke rank with an officially favored presidential candidate in the thick of the coronation process, committing apostasy against him and his party.

Nobody fucking cares that she lied or if she lied. If she were hounding George Nori on the Wildcard Line with stories about how Justin Trudeau and Barack Obama ran train on her in a flying saucer while Rob Ford and the aliens watched, they wouldn’t give a shit. Best I can tell, Coast to Coast is a community that respects a trope-honoring whopper well told, although that might be taken as too political, and low-class campfire stories are a great way to discomfit and annoy PMC liberals.

More relevantly, they would not object to a scurrilous rape smear on Bernie Sanders or Donald Trump. They constantly lie and bullshit and tell delusional stories about both men themselves.

They’re angry specifically that Reade came at their king, and they’re really angry with her for coming at him with an accusation that rings true. The guy LOOKS and ACTS like a rapist. Have they watched any of the footage of him rubbing and fondling and nosing people in full public view? This is not fucking normal behavior. He yells at people in public, invades their personal space, and utters fighting words. Bernie gets endless flak for pointing his index finger and raising his voice at other presidential candidates from his own podium on the debate stage.

Biden is a rude, vulgar man with poor impulse control. This has long been the case. It predates his mental decline. The Democrats’ furious complaints about Trump feature his rudeness, vulgarity, diminished mental state, and poor impulse control. They insist that they can beat the Oaf of Office with a version of his worst vices reworked as an endlessly longwinded car dealer turned city councilor who talks over colleagues and constituents with stream-of-consciousness rambling about process. They insist that they can beat a publicly accused rapist who bragged about crude foreplay with starlets on a hot mic, with a publicly accused rapist who habitually caresses colleagues and total strangers and sniffs their hair.

They think they can beat the guy who installed Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh with the guy who installed Clarence Thomas. Biden less infamously but even more hilariously spent so much time gushing about Samuel Alito’s fine character that the nominee himself could barely get a word in edgewise to make his own case for confirmation.

This is a fucking clown show. Their idea of electability is an abrasive asshole who apes Trump as a boor and a pervert, but as a self-aggrandizing Model UN gasbag, not as a fun standup comic, roast artist, and god-tier shitposter. Again, this is because the Democrats are a party of, by, and for joyless nerds. Their Dudley Do Right Robert’s Rules of Order act predictably falls flat and puts ordinary Americans off, and they just as predictably whine about how unimaginable and unfair this is. Well, shit, maybe try something else that people who get out into the real world think might work.

*****

Democratic strategists are eager to win the youth vote. We’re defining youth broadly here, up to at least 35, probably 40 or 45, maybe even 50. They often say that demography is destiny. They look at demographic trends in Texas, for example, which show a swelling electorate of young Latinos in urban areas and reliably Democratic border counties, and forecast an imminent breach of the Solid South. Like cold fusion and perpetual motion, it’s always just a few years farther off than forecast, a horizon that stays tantalizingly close and yet so unreachably distant. The wonks are sandbagged by their own habit, all the more unfortunate for self-professed data nerds, of making extrapolations measurable in the decades from bulk aggregate data that are credibly valid for the current electoral cycle in the US House.

Let’s be honest here: I know more about this shit than they do. Losers like Nate Silver sat in TV studios all night in 2016, more stunned and dumbfounded by the half hour, mumbling about how, uh, huh, duhhh, huh, huh, how did Trump win, nobody saw this coming. Who the fuck is “nobody?” You and your equally idiotic associates who never speak to anybody between Leesburg and Midtown Sacramento didn’t see it coming, but I fucking did. These shitwits preen about (extremely nerds voice) My Data, but they don’t konw what to do with it. They’re clueless. Scanning the Great Lakes, I immediately saw thousands of county-level wildcards throwing every state in the watershed except New York and Illinois into clear contention. (St. Lawrence, pray for us, that we might have geographical discernment with respect to Vermont.) It was possible to eke out a victory with none of the Great Lakes swing states, but that meant sweeping the Southern swing states of Florida, Virginia, and North Carolina, holding Nevada and Colorado, and probably winning some combination of Iowa, Arizona, and Missouri, I was convinced that these were far from the only credible swing states: I was fully prepared for any combination of Colorado, New Jersey, California, and Oregon to break for Trump, and possibly Washington State.

They’re here to do it again, this time with a widely hated reactionary mush-for-brains gasbag sex pest instead of a widely hated reactionary harridan scorned.

Trump is obviously crooked as all hell. Billary had but one Lincoln Bedroom to let. This fucker rents out his own overpriced branded hotel rooms and golf carts at his lame, overrated resorts to the Secret Service and suitors looking to do business with his administration when he has Camp David at his disposal on next to no notice. The accounts of Mike Pompeo debasing his already dorky tryhard ass with Traficant-tier demands for butler work on the federal dime are gross; Jim at least dressed well, gave some good-ass speeches from beneath that rich layer of layers of hair, and leveled with us about how we all want wider bottoms.

So why do they keep running these reviled crooks against a reviled crook? They’re either hopelessly arrogant or looking to lose and blame their social inferiors for not voting blue no matter who. Last time it was the commodities insider trader and Whitewater racketeer with the private e-mail account full of official correspondence of thoroughly questionable morals. This time it’s the Senior Senator from the State of Freddie Mac-Visa, long known to be a grabby piece of shit, lately accused on the record of forcible rape, brains dribbling out of his ears while he barks at factory workers like Grampa Bregoli to meet him outside. I voted for Bernie Sanders, a guy who was ready to go the distance and win that thing; don’t fucking blame me for barring this stinking dog pie from the White House.

Crunching the numbers on the matchup of old voters versus young, white versus brown versus black, college- versus high school-educated, and so on and so forth until the returns pour in doesn’t explain what the hell Biden is supposed to do to assuage younger voters that he’s turned the page on the bankruptcy “reform” bill that he shepherded into law, making their student debt nondischargeable. Gee, you’d think maybe he’s not the guy to rock the youth vote when he did that. It isn’t some ancient shit from back when James Blunt was in a club with you, singing here we go again, like the brouhaha over school bussing. That bill was enacted in 2005. That’s roughly half the duration of a full term in the United States Senate before he was sworn in as Vice President.

The same assholes who command us to forget about Biden’s starring role in the Clarence Thomas fiasco, when he was middle-aged, and his starring role in the bankruptcy ratfuck, when he was getting into old age and on the cusp of the vice presidency, constantly bitch about low-information voters. Cut a punk some slack. What the hell is it about familiarity with these episodes that is low-information? They’re just fucking making shit up as they go. Low-information means ignoring or forgetting the most famous, or infamous, highlights of Biden’s career, such as the bankruptcy bill, the Thomas/Hill clusterfuck, the cultural appropriation of the Honorable Neil Kinnock, and the touchy-feely shit. Fuck outta here for insinuating that I’m ignorant.

*****

This is the point where the Democratic Party has to choose a horse and ride. They’re indulging in their quadrennial snit that they built a house divided against itself and it’s now threatening to collapse. There are consequences to fielding a senile, disinibited, vicious gerontocrat who consigned damn near an entire generation to debt servitude so extreme that they’re afraid to start families.

And for what? Our degrees are more worthless than ever on the job market. More and more of them are in bullshit fields for drooling retards, like marketing and communications. I’m not speaking for myself here, but for my age cohort. I have a degree in the liberals arts which, as a standalone intellectual background, is worthwhile, and I have, thank God and my parents, never taken on student debt. My degree, too, however, is worth jack fucking shit on the job market, based on everything I’ve been able to discern. The job market has been strategically trashed, and I’ve seen things that I will never unsee precisely for remaining enrolled in a fancy undergraduate college whose prevailing culture I was pretty sure, and correctly so, was toxic.

Besides, that is not the point of the liberal arts, and anyone who isn’t lying or uneducated knows it. Dickinson College couldn’t even give me a liberal humane education without exposing me to entire communities of vicious, antisocial armchair thugs, bullies who had no business interacting with their peers without direct chaperone supervision. They goddamn well knew they were admitting trash on a pay-for-play basis. That school is the academic equivalent of the backwards counties in Alabama whose tax base is dump fees assessed on New York City garbage barges.

The entire premise is thoroughly fraudulent and inconsistent (something we see so abundantly and wretchedly with the Democratic Party that I can’t be bothered to scrutinize Trump too closely on the same points): oh, we’re giving you a liberal arts education, and we’re also teaching you critical thinking and writing skills (lolwut), and we’re also teaching you the soft skills that will give you the confidence to find your way in the job market and the world, but oh, no, we don’t just set you up with jobs or anything like that. What we have are career fairs (the ones Rutgers hosts are on a fucking train line) and virtual career portals (What, Monster? Craigslist?) and networking events and etiquette luncheons (Ah, like the shit my mom threatened to enroll me in for socialites’ wayward children at Neiman Marcus, back when I was, like, seven).

There’s nothing where they actually deliver the goods, like Harold Washington or some shit. That’s on the individual alumnus. They will, however, gladly blackmail disaffected students with bad references on their permanent records should they drop out and tar alumni who didn’t have their shit entirely together for bullshit distribution requirements in late adolescence with poor GPA’s.

It’s the same shit bad landlords pull. Our institutions conspire to materially disparage the noncompliant as a means of retaliation and to threaten the currently compliant with material disparagement should they slip. Universities do this with no distinction between gross anatomy in medical school and 100-level undergraduate survey courses in world religions. Landlords do this with no distinction between late rent and whole-ass Steve Bannon hydrochloric acid in the bathtub.

This is a thoroughly, deeply immoral regime. It is blatantly prone to corruption. I don’t know quantitatively how much financial bribery, sexual quid pro quo, blackmail, and similar perversion there is in these businesses, but I do know that this sort of corruption is much more pervasive than is publicly discussed. There’s no way around it. The embarrassing seediness of Rick Singer’s discount window admissions scam offers an idea of what parents will do, and pay, just to get their kids in the door.

I ended up accidentally turning to Tom fucking Wolfe for the warranty details years after I graduated, when I read Hoyt Thorpe’s dimwitted absorption of the medieval warrior/priest/slave caste system and his construal that he absolutely would have been a Roger Young-grade hero back in the War, as opposed to a sporadically violent drunkard too pampered to ever consider ROTC and a trip or two to the desert. The liberal arts, Wolfe helpfully taught, are studies for those who are liberated from slavery, via a selective form of liberalism. Good to know, cracka. Fucking proto-alt-right gonzo novelist writing about two or three characters who are not morally repulsive and hanging out at UVA house parties in a cream zoot suit had the decency to lay it out straight, probably because his publisher collected only one fee at the point of service.

Truly this is a world in which even the men can be harlot womens.

Joe Biden clearly has the worst possible motives for pushing college education. He’s manifestly using it as a conduit for the enrichment of his banking cronies, and that is not a thing people do without taking a cut in one fashion or another. He’s exactly the kind of morally and intellectually vacuous weathervane who will push bachelor’s-level STEM vo-tech one year and old-timey Great Books humanities the next, depending entirely on the prevailing marketing. He’s exactly the slimy con artist who will conflate the liberal arts and vocational training, for utterly fraudulent reasons, until it’s impossible to disentangle the two.

At some point we have to take this shit back to the drawing board. What in all hell is wrong with a co-op arrangement? What in the everloving fuck is wrong with admitting applicants to specific departments or courses in bachelor’s programs, with transfer approval available for those who aren’t jagoffs? What’s the problem with part-time enrollment?

If we’re going for the Bright College Days of Wine and Roses Mr. Chips socialization bollocks as our reason for charging all-inclusive per diem term fees working out to some shit like $280, can we at least have the decency to shoot for a Grove City-style reckon you’ll be marryin’ one a these here broads deal? They at least admit that they’re crass like that. Whatever the equivalent of the MRS degree is in the men’s division, they’re offering it. There are worse things than turning thirty with an amicable divorce and an excuse to visit Fort Wayne sometime. I’ve written in the past about my Charlie Robertson-adjacent excuse for a dating life, back when we were merely freshmen but the Brooklyn Jew from Cleveland Heights was somewhere around forty. I nearly wrote that as Charlie Rose fml: not worse, just different.

Do, however, watch out if you go to Boston, lest you be forced to get Charlie off. #CHAHLEE!

*****

Joe Biden has a knack for positioning himself squarely at the intersection of some of the worst trends in postmodern American life: metastatic incarceration, institutional financial corruption, crooked shenanigans involving inscrutable foreign businesses and his own unemployable crackhead son, student debt, rigged Democratic presidential primaries, undisclosed personal assets and conflicts of interest, gerontocracy, sexual dissolution under color of authority, tenant-shaming, generalized poor-shaming, electoral brinksmanship. This is a bad dude. It’s bizarre to argue that the incumbent a man of this atrocious character is challenging is the sine qua non international standard for mental and moral dissolution in public office. Like, get real, you’re all caping for a man who leaves a LOT more room above him than below.

I consider it a personal affront and offense to be told to vote for this thug. That PBS/Politico hatchet job on Tara Reade alone burned me by smearing her for having shitty job and rental histories and not handling incidents of workplace mistreatment perfectly. The personal is the political, and I take these political outbursts personally. They found people working in a city and a business with some of the most manifestly bad mental health I’ve ever witnessed to smear a former colleague as a maladjusted fuckup. They found former landlords to publicly accuse her of being a liar and a deadbeat.

As one shitposter beautifully put it, “‘She was rude to Californians.’ First of all, good.” Reade is a Californian herself, but most of us get the point: she rented on the gray market from exactly the types who cash out and flood Oregon, Idaho, Austin, and Middle Tennessee with their disruptive home equity, distorting the housing markets wherever they swarm. We’re way past the point of having to tell her haters, look, if you have a problem with her for being your socioeconomic inferior, that’s on you, not her. What percentage of Americans could possibly stand the combination of procedural bullshit and social toxicity that prevails in Washington? Even the ones already there hardly can. It’s all mentally ill alcoholics who do business in the pews at Tim Russert’s funeral mass, and to be clear, what we mean by business is standing up for the welfare of people who rent out spare rooms in exchange for chores on their horse properties in Atascadero.

Everything about Joe Biden disgusts me. He encapsulates every major aspect of what’s diseased about American politics. He’s a grandiose, arrogant prick who brags with no self-awareness about being humble. He’s a rich man who feigns modest means. He’s a dissembler who pretends to be a plain speaker and a crook who catfishes as a plain dealer. He’s a known groper and very likely rapist who brags about his concern for women’s welfare and safety. He’s a bizarrely, disgracefully prejudiced man with more than his share of outright racial bigotry who brags about how he served under a black man, the latter being the half-white son of a Kenyan father he never knew and both of them having presided over the wholesale incarceration, immiseration, and bodily poisoning of black neighborhoods. He’s an advocate for the disinfecting power of sunshine who keeps records likely illuminating his history of sexual depravity under seal. He’s a loudmouthed meritocrat who got his unemployable son a lavishly compensated corporate board position for which he was blatantly unqualified and almost certainly incompetent. He’s a foreign policy scold who screwed around, via the same crooked, coked-up son, in the same restive part of the world where he insists that his opponent has no right to pursue his own objectives as the sitting president. He’s an exceptionally senile septuagenarian who is being promoted as the indispensable alternative to an age peer who can talk circles around him, an elder so far gone that any private citizen in his state would have relatives clamoring to have him placed under guardianship or conservatorship in a home, who we’re told to flee to for judicious command of the world’s largest nuclear arsenal.

Every one of these moral failures is fundamentally disqualifying. He’s a liar, a phony, a fraud, a cheat, and a thug. It’s wryly desultory that he got run out of the 1988 primary on a rail for plagiarism, of all sins. The same party that told him to fall on his sword for jacking Neil Kinnock’s speechwriter’s shit now insists that he is compos mentis when he can’t consistently string a coherent sentence together, can’t control his temper in the face of scrupulously civil questions from the public, went incommunicado for weeks to recuperate from a debate, and couldn’t enunciate “legislature” in a prerecorded video address cobbled together from dozens of cuts.

The nominally left-wing major party ratfucked its most viable candidate, not coincidentally one of its leftmost, and then paid off the remaining centrist challengers to drop out, all to abruptly clear the field for this predatory, hopelessly brain-damaged son of a bitch. They’re already orchestrating the apparatus to blame ordinary voters with weak and weakening Democratic affiliation for Biden’s upcoming loss, along with voters who will eagerly support downballot Democratic candidates who do not stand for Biden’s evil. The Democratic Party, as an institution, is little more than a cult dedicated to the abuse of people it mistakes for its members. It’s whole shtick is, “I beat you less than your husband, sweetheart,” punctuated with explosive outrage every time a voter insists that her husband doesn’t beat her at all.

The husband in this case is, for better and mostly worse, Donald Trump. It’s not his fault that he’s more gracious to many of the Democrats’ target voters than the Democrats are themselves. It’s not his fault that an opposition party heavy on Watergate babies has entirely forgotten Muhammad Ali’s line about the Viet Cong. Paraphrase it thus: no thicc moist boi ever called me a loser. Multiply it by twenty or a hundred million or whatever. Bone spurs! Many such cases!

A wide swath of the upper middle class–roughly the Brahmins, under Mencius Moldbug’s caste framework–are codependent with the Democratic Party. They refuse to consider or examine its proliferating depravity, unmovably convinced that it is the last defense against an evil madman. They refuse to look at its collaboration with the same madman on matters including mass surveillance and omnibus budgets that lavish largesse on the most wastefully reactionary projects Trump and his aides hold dear.

The conspiratorial thinking is spreading, not just through Hillbot deadenders and other crypto-Republican trash, but through genuinely center-left voters who cannot be convinced to soberly examine their party. They dismiss Tara Reade as a lunatic and a fabricator. They point to the floorplan of the Senate hallways and well as proof that Tara Reade could not have been assaulted in public view. They dismiss outrage over his aggressive bad touch as overreaction, newly insisting that his unwanted shoulder-rubbing and hairsniffing and other habitual acts of extremely forward physical contact are within prevailing social norms and would not get a private citizen battered on sight.

Biden’s promiscuous physicality is grossly, flagrantly aberrant. There are avoidant and repressed people who get weird around physical touch that is socially appropriate. I’ve had a number of interactions in which I tensed up while other people were touching me in basically appropriate and reasonable ways that I found deeply moving and welcome but had no courage at all to express, even physically. The point still stands that these most of these interactions were not weird. I’ve had at least one with a homeless guy who was totally harmless but off-the-wall psychotic, but that obviously falls into an entirely different category because he was insane. Joe Biden is demented but sane. He’s familiar with social and moral norms governing physical touch. He’s a scumbag, not an idiot.

Ashton Carter did not want Joe Biden all but making love to his wife during that press conference. Joe knew it. He cut it out and stepped away when Carter turned from the podium and looked at him. Here was a quiet, conscientious career public servant of exceptionally low bluster and bullshit for the Beltway speaking at a press conference, and the fucking Vice President was off to the side, distracting him by rubbing up on /Borat Voice/ my neighbor’s wife.

Joe was fully aware of two circumstances: first, that he was a top-level Secret Service protectee, and second, that Ash was not the kind of man who would step up and full Jonathan Josey flat floorplank him in front of the television press pool. The Secret Service is enough to deter most men from avenging their wives. The 77th Street Division night watch might be, but your mileage may vary.

This fuckhead gets away with it because he’s under the 24/7 eagle-eyed watch of the one federal law enforcement agency that everybody knows will rumble, tumble, and bodily take a bullet at the drop of a hat. It’s absolutely preposterous to argue that this is not a bubble of extreme privilege. It’s hiding in plain sight, or else just behind the scenes with its own direct lines of sight, every minute of the day.

It doesn’t matter that battery is illegal. Nightclubs and bars do not overflow with horny-for-rules dorks. They’re full of possessive, animalistic, drama-fueled drunks and cokeheads. The cult nerds who cover the White House live in a bizarre parallel universe. It isn’t just that they don’t get out of the imperial center and into, say, Winchester; they don’t even get out into, or really even around, the District’s seedier nightlife. If they do, they’re absurdly oblivious. Roosh and Roissy/Heartiste channel raw, ugly animal energy straight out of the DMV. It’s some real Jekyll-and-Hyde Amendment–feel free to strike from the record to taste, if you have any–some real Jekyll-and-Hyde shit.

The abundant evidence that Washington swarms with sex pests who rapidly cycle from angel to ape and back works wonders to corroborate Tara Reade’s testimony. It paints the cultural context of Biden’s career. He’s spent almost his entire adult life in an incestuous professional community peopled by characters including Brett Michael Kavanaugh, Dick Pic Tony, J. Denny Dundiddly, and Gateside Downlow. What leavening, these ones.

Washington’s horny-for-rules nerds HATE the unabashed naturals in their midst. Their resentment and embarrassment and humiliation are primal. Even Anthony Weiner was too real for them. His whole deal was, Jesus Christ I’m a freak, okay, I’ll keep it in my slacks and off the screen, oops, Jesus fucking Christ I did it again. It was like Martin Luther’s old gig as a monastic confessional pest, but in semipublic and full public, and about flashing his junk. It might fly in parts of Europe, or at least be something that the locals would approach therapeutically, but we’re way too prudish and salacious a country for any of that. Then we have less surreal swamp critters, guys like Slick Willie, who barely stayed on the good side of the more liberal and less repressed parts of the horny-for-rules squad by tempering his horn for that sweet poon-flavored tang with longwinded wonk-ass horseshit. They still cherished Josiah Bartlet as their boring alternate-timeline president, Nothing But Respect, but they found him tolerable.

Donald Trump they find utterly intolerable. Washington teams with powerful men who grab women (or men!) by the privates, but goodness, one does not speak of these embarrassments. Trump accidentally got Billy Bush to apologize for being a horndog who enjoyed locker room talk, but he never so humiliated himself. Guys like the Donald and the Big Dog stoically stand their ground. It’s easy to see how Clinton unnerved, say, Larry Craig.

None of the scolds will admit that they’re so much as human. That’s why they get so upset with Trump for being hot-tempered, impulsive, and openly shameless and are so much cooler with Jared Kushner for looking like he just cleared immigration at Roswell. Bill Clinton pretended to give a shit, and he enjoyed the act with an exuberance that endeared him to people possessed of unabashed human feeling. Donald Trump infuriates and horrifies them because he entirely does not care. He does business proudly beyond the pale of their prissy respectability politics.

They admire Biden for squirming around in the uncomfortable middle, between ape and angel, and having teams of retainers frantically clean up after him as he shits the floor. This is the Washington Way. It’s deeply scandalous to be a messy, unabashed slut like the Washingtonienne, walking around the Hill with a reporter in tow on a return visit for her book tour, pointing and snickering at the idle staffers who used to work with her, calling them, on the record, losers who don’t even have workloads and just hang around gossiping and gawking at the disgraced lol, like, I got some dick and hoes mad. Meanwhile Mr. McFeely is up there humiliating himself with mealymouthed quasicounterfactual nonsense about how if he believed he’d done what she said he’d done he wouldn’t vote for himself. At last, a vote of no confidence from the government of the Independent Republic of Himself. Gee, gramps, maybe that’s the cue to bow out.

Do these wretches have a humiliation fetish? Dick Pic Tony knows he suffers from something along those lines, always putting it out there, knowing that women will take one look and say ew. He sounds like a guy who couldn’t get it up for his wife because she wanted some. A psychosexually disordered  political party can always use some psychosexual analysis (ooh, I just said “anal!”). There we fucking have it.

*****

Affiliation with either of the major parties in the United States is a path to madness. Both of them are deeply, violently diseased. The main difference is that the GOP is a death cult of, by, and for psychopaths who play to win, while the Democratic Party is a dysfunctional cult of perennial losers organized roughly along the lines of Aum Shinrikyo by junta.

The Democratic Nomenklatura live large on the avails of every illegitimate revenue stream they can commandeer. From their perch on high they enforce Stockholm Syndrome on the ambivalent portions of their bougie base and just outright bribe the crass, ruthless portions with liberal cuts of the loot. These two portions overlap in complicated, bizarre ways, but they’re together or apart, they’re key to the whole operation.

Think of these two strata, the Nomenklatura and the lesser but still successful PMC front-row kids, as Orwell’s Inner Party and Outer Party. To properly understand the towering shit-lubricated Napoelon that is the Democratic Party, however, we must integrate its broad underclass. These are the strata that are barked at about how they’re Democrats, too, even though they get next to nothing good from the Party and huge amounts of material and psychic mistreatment. The Inner and Outer Parties share the sniveling, impossible ideal of consolidating the educated and the affluent into a permanent electoral juggernaut. The math will never support this nonsense. Somebody needs to stay behind and run the joint: keep the lights on, serve and bus the tables, clean up, make sure there’s food, and so forth. That is, we still need losers to feed, house, clothe, and obsequiously serve the winners. The winners have extensive, elaborate wants, so the servant class must proliferate to meet its demands.

This goal of building a permanent Democratic majority by poaching Republican voters from fucked-up exurban SuperZIPs–CB East, Loudoun and Prince William, the Research Triangle, the soul-deadening expanses of Greater Dennydundiddlyland, the Paneras of Alpharetta–is embarrassingly infeasible. It’s also embarrassingly unwoke, this audacity of the caucasity, to exclude America’s people of color. They’re losers for not staying in school, but we can’t say that, and besides, it’s easier for the Party to harvest Mexicans by the precinct in El Centro than it is for the Mexicans to harvest the lettuce. If you have a problem with my phrasing, be advised that I have done commercial farm work and you have yet to shut the fuck up. I am qualified to discuss relations with (extremely growers voice) Our Wetbacks.

Imperial County and the Rio Grande Valley are easy pickings for the Democratic Party because the GOP is still fielding a provocative Yanqui bigot. Joe Biden’s Latino outreach is said to be shambolic, but the Democrats would have to make a dedicated effort to plunge below 55% of the vote in the colonia counties or the barrios, from their current 60-95% range. Whether they admire these voters or look down on them (it’s totally the latter), they’ve got them in the bag.

Working-class Mexican/Chicano neighborhoods have some of the highest fertility rates and numbers of youth per capita. This excites the Democratic Nomenklatura for two overlapping reasons, both quite crass. First, it’s a way to have a poor minority client pool outbreed the middle-class Mormons, evangelicals, TradCaths, and other problematic (read: noncompliant) whites. They already do the gardening and the nannying, so it’s only unfair that they raise a voter crop for the Party to harvest, too. Second, success stories of the first birthright generation staying in school, studying hard (unlike disobedient PMC brats from old white families and, let’s face it since the Dems won’t, plenty of Chicanos), and growing up to do something upwardly mobile and professional for a living, as opposed to cutting lettuce in Cesar Chavez-standard English. We can’t have them learning the high-caste language if we don’t segregate them from the underclass at the first opportunity. Good God.

We’ve now done some light dabbling in Millennial Success Stories pursuant to the American Dream. That’s one of the things we don’t mention about the immigrant scab labor model: the whole point of it is to keep acculturated, socially engaged Americans from crying foul on bad job sites and alerting the press or the authorities. Putting the campesinos’ kids on the escalator to success is a way to pretend that we’re just warming the cold in the melting pot for centuries on end and in no way exploiting the vulnerable. It’s a dig at native-stock slackers who, correctly, take the academic and professional rat race for a shakedown and a scam, an artificial operant conditioning apparatus designed to proletarianize all who march into its maw, not a necessary component of a productive society. The celebration of immigrant honor students dovetails beautifully with Amy Chua’s Think Like A Chink, Bank Like A Chink self-help series. Mama Tiger is a robber baron AND a moral busybody, you see. Having read the language above, you’ll surely be forgiven for assuming that I pimp out young women under my academic authority to a leering, foultempered Irish pervert with a cocaine problem and a federal judgeship.

Do we seriously imagine that Chuck and Nancy care one whit about the children of immigrant domestics and strawberry pickers? About the maids and pickers themselves? Of course they don’t. They use these people as cudgels with which to threaten and abuse the native stock. They gush about these ingredients in the national salad bowl with the same energy Muammar Qaddafi used when he threatened to flood a freshly agitated European Union with negroes. It’s the same energy Hillary used to threaten us all with Donald Trump. The whole gang is now threatening us with Trump. Go ahead; tolerate this madman.

Come to think of it, I may take them up on the offer. If nothing else, he upsets shitheads in “public service” whom I despise more and more by the week. Many of my age peers would never go so far, and they have good reasons, but if the Democrats are going to run on the basis that they’re standing up to the worst man ever to hold the presidency, they might want to convince voters they’ve alienated that he is, in fact, the worst man ever to have held the presidency since Barack Obama.

Oh. Huh. How bow dah. Rehabilitating W, too. We tolerated some folks. We still tolerate some folks.

The other key downmarket Democratic constituency, the one they revile the most for its apostasy and threats of apostasy, but whose electoral loyalty they still demand, is the downwardly mobile. Speaking just for myself, if we’re choosing between a rich scumbag who disses Nancy Pelosi and a rich scumbag who praises her, I’m going for the guy who aggravates her and her dumbass epic clapback fans. Yes, there are other factors; I’m aware of them, as I’ve enumerated at such length above and will continue enumerating for God only knows how long below. It’s not like they’re trying to contrast Trump with anyone decent or normal. Anthony Fauci is probably the closest, but he’s at least nominally apolitical.

They’ve run the litany. Oh, for Chrisssake, Trump is ABSOLUTELY worse than Klobuchar, Buttigieg, Harris, Biden, Pelosi, Schumer, Cuomo. Oh? Are you sure about that? Are you sure WE’RE sure about that? I exclude Warren from this list of dishonor without hesitation, but many do not.

In their estimation, Trump is the only crooked, coarse thug of questionable mentation in the running for anything. He’s the only con artist. He’s the only bad person. Everyone opposite him is not him and is by definition better than him.

I seem to have a much more positive, or perhaps less negative, opinion of Trump than most of my age peers. I don’t mind it. I’d be happy enough to vote for Elizabeth Warren just to be done with him for a while, and especially with the twerps and lunatics and grifters he collects along the way. She’s normal and responsible enough for me to move past the Cherokee fib. What I cannot move past is the atrocious character of so much of the field, including the new heir apparent. A few were great (Bernie, Marianne), a few were good (Yang, Steyer, Warren, Castro), a few were mediocre (Booker, Beto), and an unforgettable medley of them were atrocious. It’s impossible for me not to wonder what the hell is wrong with the party and its core base that it coughs up these collections of slimy goody-two-shoes sellouts, dungeon mistresses, meanspirited sexual deviants, hall monitors, RA’s, all-around crooks, out-of-touch toffs, and mush-for-brains scolds.

I don’t see how anyone who isn’t nuts can look at them, look at me, and conclude that I’m with them. Questions about this line of reasoning cascade into mind. What the fuck have they done for me? At least Liz tore Bloomers a new one the week after she ratfucked Bernie. The rest of the late-cycle mainstage centrists? Jack shit. What have they done for my peers? No, let’s flip it: what have they done TO me and my peers? That’s easy: they’ve violently shit our bed. The bar they’ve set is low enough for Trump to clear on a regular basis, even when he’s broadcasting to his Highlanders on Radio Mille Collines.

For months, probably years (why even track time?), the #Resistance zealots were fuming about Trump being a rapist. Predictably as the moonrise, they got most bent out of shape over his pussy comment, which was a stretch to construe as a declaration of serial sexual assault, a stretch to construe as a true story about anything at all, and at the very worst a private comment about something he said he’d done. This is a man who used to walk into locker rooms while sweet sixteens were getting dressed for his beauty pageants. This is a man who bragged on the radio about how he had the hots for his own daughter, who is now in working in his administration and said to be blackmailing him for leverage. The endless carrying-on about the pee tape, the holy grail of Russian kompromat, distracted from the fully established fact that he is already the subject of American kompromat over his public declarations of incestuous lust.

E. Jean Carroll’s accusation of forcible rape feels oddly desultory. In any normal political context it would be a bombshell. The problem is that she’s too calm and focused about the incident. She isn’t flipping her shit about how Trump bragged that he clumsily gropes starlets’ vulvas.

We’ve gone into the funhouse for real now that Biden is officially an accused rapist. Rape is okay now. He did nothing of the sort. I’d let him rape me. Tara Reade is a scurrilous loser.

This is all psychotic. In the midst of this I’m hearing conspiracy theories about Biden being smeared with deepfakes to make him look senile. It could explain some of the dirt the Republicans release, but it can’t explain the lezheshuhshuh video’s ongoing publication on the Biden campaign’s official Twitter account. The flood of simultaneous, contradictory excuses and justifications and rule changes is exactly the fascist argumentation that Trump and his team are so widely accused of deploying. A bunch of 2020 primary candidates and their campaigns did NOT pull this shit: the Yang Gang, the Orb Gang, Booker, Warren, Castro, Steyer, the Bernard Brotherhood. I can’t even recall Klobuchar or Buttigieg running the fog machine like that. Harris came close, and of course the K-Hive is out of its fucking mind.

The pussy hats are the equivalent of walking around the city hall grounds with a magenta dildo in hand and a placard saying that Roseanne Barr told me she’d twist my nuts. That’s too generous, on second thot: Trump said nothing in that comment about who he grabbed, just groupies who kinda liked it because he was rich. I somehow forgot until just now that Ivana Trump, his first wife, accused him of spousal rape in an affidavit during their divorce proceedings. This is why we’re upset that he made locker room talk with Billy Bush. He bragged about goosing groupies with the sticky finger to a guy who sounds like a wall-mounted talking blueberry bush for sale on late-night TV.

This shit is too wacky for Milton Street. He’d change the subject to how he got arrested at the 7-Eleven in Moorestown.

*****

The falsely accused elder statesman of utmost chastity whose aggressive sexual ministrations would be an honor and a privilege to receive is now, we are instructed, to be rewarded with the presidency. The very framing highlights the difference between Biden’s stage-managed gaslighting and Trump’s stream-of-consciousness ADHD bullshit artistry. If they’re both gaslighting us, which one is worse? Biden can’t remember what he said one sentence ago, but his handlers and fans follow the script. Trump doesn’t care what he said last paragraph–is this even a style of speech that can be broken into paragraphs?–and his fans don’t, either, but he’s the one who can draw a clock.

I keep saying: he’s the more lucid one and the more entertaining one. Romance us on our way to the electric chair, Mr. Thurmond! Okay, that’s an old Democrat they had to wheel around in an adult diaper that he could no longer change for himself at a time when he had no idea where or who he was. That’s what it takes to be a Senator. There might be exhumable bits available to replace Joey Lobotomy when the time comes.

We’re told that Biden was not on the list of the worst Capitol Hill sex pests. Great. That’s like those inflight magazine ads for double eagle steakhouses, but for guys who will push you up against the wall and shove a hand up your skirt. I knew Jack Kennedy, and Senator, you’re one hell of a Jack Kennedy.

This is what passes for tangential exculpatory evidence. A legislature with no more than 535 voting members has dozens of these members specifically blacklisted by staffers as known sexual predators. Don’t worry: Joe Biden wasn’t one of them; he just worked with them. This is the institution Tara Reade defamed as a toxic workplace. These are the halls where she could not have been assaulted in public view by a powerful man whose colleagues routinely sexually harass subordinate women and even colleagues in front of others.

These stories demand answers. American high society loves hazing, but what is the point? Spell out exactly what we get and exactly when we get it for putting up with that shit.

Of course they won’t answer. We’re the impertinent ones for questioning them. They’re all working through the process at the dick sucking factory, and we’re getting in the way by demanding that they represent us as our elected officials. It’s the same thing with college: there aren’t any warranties, just cherrypicked anecdotes and falsified statistics about thriving alumni. A bright-eyed young woman might go far on the Hill, or she might crash and burn, and if she burns out or drops out or gets kicked out, those she leaves behind will smear her as a loser and a hater and a liar.

This whole society is a blackmail shakedown. Some creep is always waiting in the wings with disparaging information. She was incompetent. She was lazy. She missed rent. She talked back to landlords. She got evicted. She got fired. Claims of this nature raise questions. For example, so fucking what? Reade fell somewhere below maybe the 75th percentile of residents on the Central Coast for cash and credit on hand when rent came due.

This is scandalous in workplaces and social circles drawn overwhelmingly from the top decile, such as Capitol Hill. Washington is a big clique of rich kids who are furious with the poor kid for calling foul on their sacred blackmail and gatekeeping operation. These are amoral schemers who know how to work the system to their advantage. They look down on those who can’t and resent those who refuse. They believe, wholeheartedly, that citizens should have demerits hanging over their heads: bad grades, bad test scores, negative performance reviews, bad credit scores, bad employer references, eviction records, criminal records. These demerits are fit for subjects, not for monarchs or lords or privy councilors.

They hate Tara for flipping the script back on them and their king. She weakened the leverage that dutiful scumbags who stayed on the career track have on perverts like Joe Biden. She exposed the whole outfit as a hall of degenerates. She exposed everybody who’s passionately invested in the sacred Beltway norms of discretion and dues-paying as self-interested moral degenerates. These weren’t even things that hadn’t previously been disclosed, other than the details of her rape accusation, but they hate her nonetheless for calling attention to the notoriously scandalous community standards of a promising but ruinous career track she couldn’t endure in an institution many Americans despise.

They hate and resent and fear those they can’t blackmail or silence, and who denounce them for ruling through blackmail and admonitions to silence. They hate a turncoat. Theirs is not a place to break the omerta.

That’s precisely the PMC’s objection to Tara Reade, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and a resounding majority of the eligible electorate. They talk back. They cry foul. They blow the whistle. They’re dissidents.

They’re rude to Californians. Boy howdy do I know some spots in the neighborhood where I can do that.

Summering with Nancy in the Heart of the Shitty

We are not, as a polity, going to have a coherent one this summer. It ain’t on the agenda, fam. Our once-in-a-century plague, all too likely a preview of more frequent coming attractions, will not take the summer off here any more than it has taken the permanent Philadelphia summer of Southeast Asia off in Singapore. The sun comes out. The barbecues and beer coolers follow. The sap rises. Melanomagenic public nudity beckons. School’s out.

Is any of this a thing that can be cancelled?

Or, government depending, school’s back in session. The only student I know of who applied himself for summer school was a kid back east who told his teachers that he would be damned if he was gonna land on the crew at his father’s paving company again. Kid had to work to maintain his grades. Universal homeschooling has not gone too swimmingly this spring, and congregate schooling in July and August will be controversial, to say the least. The months of May and June are straight down the shitter in an ordinary school year anyhow. The old sap is up too high to focus. Of course a vigorous young thing can get worn out pulling titty at four in the morning in Ferndale any time of the year, but shit, Bessy, who am I kidding? I’m entirely too agrarian-minded for this country.

We’ve lost instructional hours, they say. We’ve lost learning. The bottomless spring break (giggity?) will disrupt the instructional flow for our hardworking young people, in contrast to the annual summer break, which never does that. What percentage of Americans have any idea of how we ended up with a summer break from schooling? 8% of students? Two fifths of teachers? Supposedly less than one percent of Americans live on working agricultural or pastoral properties. I think I’ve heard figures of two million in total.

It’s wryly entertaining that these earnest doofuses construe instruction as the purpose of the American K-12 schooling apparatus in the first place. What planet do they inhabit? At least the commute to ours gives them scientifically relevant experience in space travel. Gotta take what we can in this business.

It seems the modal American is thoroughly ignorant of the contours of the postmodern superstructure holding our country together in a state of haphazard civilization, let alone of how this superstructure interlocks with the past, or as some of the sober among us think of it, real life. Food comes from Whole Foods. It contains the whole store of the foods, right? Sure. There’s no point to explaining these things willy-nilly; we choose our battles to fight. To the fish, before its conversion into sticks, what is “wet?” Wha, whaddaya mean, what’s “wet?” Ah, you aren’t from around here, either! The music immersion program in these parts is phenomenal, Mr. Ross. Say, why don’t you play some? Goodness, it’s the summer. What else would we do? Toil on farms all day, like a bunch of wetbacks?

Wha, whaddaya mean, “wetback?” They’re all dying in the desert. That’s how badly they desire to come here, as aliens.

Brenda Jorett herself posted photos of her own decadent ass lying in the Jersey sand when she wasn’t scolding the kids these days for having no work ethic. We’re all just working for the weekend, cranking it out for the opportunity to lay out. Why, yes, I did personally know some wretchedly self-satisfied jagoffs back east. You may have read about them.

Much of this is arrant bullshit. It’s beside the point. This is the culture we inherit and now steward. As the dumbest, most brainwashed motherfuckers on the face of the earth like to say, it is what it is. It’s our programming. The point is a more intelligently and reputably stoical one: we’re in no position to expeditiously roll back several generations’ worth of hardening cultural idiocy that’s been woven straight into the drapes of the dysfunctional funhouse in which we live out our very weird communal hangups over sex and work (separately or in tandem) just because we’re getting our sick on.

Well over a tenth of the US population lives in California, and most of that lives on the maritime side of the crest. With spring mostly behind us, the only thing we can do now is to pray for a wet summer that is not on deck. We’ll be lucky if we get some good and heavy coastal fog. We’ll be lucky if the June Gloom has any soporific effect at all this year. The cabin fever is only getting worse. The beaches down south were a mob scene over the weekend. Contrary to popular belief out of state, it usually cools down and clouds up noticeably along the Pacific seaboard going into summer, and the summer fog is in no way exclusively a San Francisco thing, but the forecast so far looks good, and that means it looks nothing but bad.

Nob Hill Dreamboat is uneasy, and he has every reason to be. He’s in charge of a hive with no queen bee. Getaway traffic surges unstoppably out of the metropoles when the sun comes out. The only things the authorities can do, realistically, are to close parking lots and deploy spotty park patrols. Spring erupts and a hundred thousand motorists all descend on the same hot spots with adequate parking for a quarter of them. This is what happens with or without a pandemic, and as they say in the dumber parts of Pennsylvania, this year we’re going with.

Look at it this way: Gavin Newsom is the governor of California, not of Instagram. The problem isn’t comfortably or safely housing 8,000 or 16,000 residents per square mile in a city, as the horny-for-sprawl urbanist squad is now concern-trolling in the name of public health, not just in the name of Joel Kotkin’s grandmother who always hated Brooklyn. That’s bollocks, and Kotkin is, as always on urban density, full of shit. Another outer-borough Jew with a chip on his shoulder needs to work out his insipid personal problems: who cares?

The actual problem with California’s urban planning is a thornier one, because it’s cultural in nature, not infrastructural. Eight million private cars are garaged in the same metroplex on direct lines inland from the same stretch of beach running from Pacific Palisades to Santa Monica, and it’s a pain in the ass to drive to Point Mugu. No, that does not mean that Point Mugu will have parking. Are you out of your mind?

Not everybody makes a break for the coast all at once; it just feels like they do, because it takes nothing but a sunny day to send the traffic spiraling out of all control. There’s any number of things that people could do on their days off that don’t involve all going to the same overcrowded patch of sand, but the crowd surges at play are inevitably irrational. Some vapid fuckhead logs onto Instagram to post dogshit-retarded influencer pictures from some place she first heard about last week, and the next week it’s so popular nobody goes there anymore. Plus people who work or do marketing for a living don’t have the gumption to research every getaway spot that might possibly be within a safe round-trip driving distance and also worth visiting. Inclement weather or remoteness could make a place unsafe (Salton Sea much?), which would tend to make it not worthwhile, and there’s some empty-ass wild shit not very far from city hall in Los Angeles or San Francisco.

It’s the same spat the Malthusians always have with the anticolonialists they always accuse of being pie-in-the-sky morons, who always accuse them of being eugenicist bigots. What, exactly, do we mean by enough space? Potter Stewart himself would never have the clarity of sight to know it. It looks a lot more spacious if there are free seats on the Expo Line than it does if there isn’t free pavement on the 10. We have, in all but the most extreme times, such as this spring, the civil liberty to go to the beach. Does that mean that we have the birthright to drive there right this minute and find parking?

Of course it does. We’re Californians! Gavin said it himself: California is all about living in a dream house in the hills. He’s pretty astute as politicians go, but that’s every bit as ridiculous, irrational, and provably false as insisting that everybody in LA has a car. This shit is so pervasive that we don’t even have to make it up. I had to look up census data and transit ridership statistics to learn that any of this is happy horseshit. Am I supposed to take the rest of the state for such losers?

The urgency of the present is going to last all summer. It’s gonna look great. Take your ass down to Men’s Warehouse and get fitted. Millennia of weather and a century of proliferating automobility are crashing into what is so far a brief season of compromised public health. There’s no way Memorial Day this year doesn’t make things snap. Memorial Day is one of the smattering of extant quasiracinated American holidays marking the seasons. It’s the one that inaugurates hot summer. My God, Caray, you couldn’t ask for a more beautiful day for a health scare and a ballgame.

This thing is operating on a timeline that the wisdom of the crowd finds alien and intolerable. All is not well on the homefront. Families are at the breaking point, which is exactly what every sober observer of Alaska expects all winter. (Nah, all year.) We’ve got millions of people who literally, direly need some time outside. The public health orders are exacerbating every local inequity and disparity in access to open spaces, parks, pedestrian-safe streets, and other places to not just sit around inside all day like prisoners.

This is a good example of how they’ll shit the bed by reopening the schools before Labor Day. Zoom conferences, online curriculum portals, and other horseshit forms of distance “learning” have exhausted the patience of the parents trying to coordinate their new unsupported mandates and the “students” who in a great many cases frankly wouldn’t be learning jack shit worth knowing in the best of times. I learned how to read in school. Does anyone glancing at this blog possibly fucking think I learned how to write there?

Like any other metastable social stress, there’s no identifying the point or time of failure in advance. Things hold, and then suddenly they snap. The reason to expect governments to face a crisis of legitimacy by Memorial Day this year is just that the statistics of our national holiday culture are decidedly not on the other side of that bet. Regional American governments are unwilling to hold the line for the duration of the popularly observed spring. California is a different beast from Georgia, Florida, or the line between them: it’ll be a cold day in hell when we elect a pulsating sleazeball like Brian Kemp or a hapless, ideologically addled dipshit like Ron DeSantis. We do, however, absolutely have roughly our fair national share of loudmouthed death-drive zealots who love shitheads of their caliber for being shitheads. John Cox got over forty percent of the vote against Gavin Newsom in the last general election, and some of the stuff he was pushing was crazy.

The plane of cleavage that busts this whole thing open may not end up being exclusively political in nature, but I fully expect politics to play a prominent, ugly role. It’s a Democrat virus. Hydroxychloroquine is the Republican drug. John Cox loves cars and the car lovers who drive them, so Gavin Newsom is a limousine liberal who hates cars and farmers and everything else that keeps America great. It’s pretty inaccurate, but we curate our own truths. This is America. Leaving enough surface water in the rivers to forestall saltwater intrusion all the way back to Stockton and Clarksburg and the ruination of every riparian, estuarine, and near-estuarine marine ecosystem from San Ysidro to Smith River is a liberal plot against growth.

Yes, this stuff is insane. Yes, people believe it. Remember, the notionally left wing of our political class consumes Harry Potter and Josiah Bartlet wholly in earnest. It’s #content, bitch. The political spectrum in the nation maintaining the global Allied nuclear umbrella spans a riotous diversity of ideology from nerds who believe in castles full of wizards and elves to the guy who looked at the sun with unprotected eyes because he’d been told it would be covered and now wants to develop orthoscopic ultraviolet irradiation of the blood stream as an antiviral treatment.

It’s shockingly politicized. Why would any of it not be? We believe in science and rationality; that’s why we strive for a crypto-English aristocratic utopia based on a series of trashy fantasy novels featuring a species of elf serving as domestics for dilettantes who fly around at will on broom adventures, and it’s also why our ideal government is a version of Bill Clinton who has no personality and never fucks. We believe in the economy and the prosperity springing up from it, and we believe in Jesus Christ; that’s why we insist that there’s nothing potentially troublesome about spewing waste products of proven toxicity into the atmosphere with total abandon, and it’s why we believe in cheating the workers we hire, stopping the courts from judicially legislating bans on the use of lethal injection chemicals that will torture the condemned to death from within, putting tenants out on the streets on three-day unlawful detainer actions, barring church groups from hosting free meals for the poor in city parks, and denying school lunches to chronically malnourished children on account of two-bit billing disputes with their deadbeat parents.

The conservative thing to do is to dump trash into the commons, and high Christian praxis is to torture a convict to death in the state’s name, not to be executed like a loser. Duh. The liberal enlightenment is about–what else?–wizard lords, elf servants, and triangulating realpolitik reactionaries who won’t even permit themselves a half-consummated affair with a plump Jewess.

This is why Gavin Newsom is headlong on his way into a genuinely inevitable political crisis. It doesn’t pay to be the grown-up in that room. We’re jumping off from a baseline political discourse that’s stone fucking nuts: sworn liberals who carry on like timid little authoritarians constantly on the verge of shitting their pants and scold everyone over sex, most drugs, posting cringe, sleeping in, junk food, and pretty much anything else that might be fun, squared off against sworn conservatives forever up in arms about liberals taking away their liberties. You read that right, because it’s all wrong. Let not your heart be troubled, though; a public health crisis with no clear end in sight will be just the thing to inject sobriety into our debates and bleach into our veins.

This much truly is not his fault. Nob Hill Dreamboat is doing a damn good job given the alternatives (Cuomo? Dear God), and he’s up against some nasty obstacles in the way of his effort to maintain the semblance of the State of California in this space. There’s no better example of how the Democrats will be sure to tear defeat from the jaws of victory and screw the pooch raw than Nancy Pelosi. Newsom is more helpless than ever to scare some goddamn sense into that bitch, and she absolutely could not care less about what he’s trying with such great effort to do for their neighbors. He’s preppy as fuck, but he’s serious and on point in crises. Then Fancy Nancy shows up and reminds everybody that the two of them share a city and a political party. It’s absolutely vile that a man of such impressively resolute character is forced to navigate the same political waters as that malignant grand narcissist. We’re facing a global public health crisis, and that fucking cunt is up there foodie-vlogging in her mansion with a pastel sweater tied around her shoulders, showing off her freezer drawer full of high-end ice cream.

It is supremely arrogant to expect ordinary Americans not to be incandescent with rage before that spectacle. THEY are calling US deplorable? Come again? We have to wonder when they’ll get the message, or if they even care. They basically don’t.

Cool. That was easy.

They had Trump dead to rights for stirring up deadly communal tensions, all-around crookedness, and apparent gross mental unfitness for office (which he did and said practically nothing to dispel until after his acquittal), so they mounted a Q Anon string flow chart-ass prosecution over incomprehensibly complicated breaches of lawful foreign policy, violations which looked quite defensible on their strict policy merits, all the while insisting that there was nothing at all unseemly about Joe Biden’s crackhead failson holding a flagrant sinecure at a major oil company in one of the two countries where they claimed to have incontrovertible proof that Trump’s activities were illegal. They have the nerve to brag about Biden’s low net worth, crudely attempting to distract the public from his decades of extreme malevolence and public corruption and also from the suspiciously high net worth of so many of his colleagues whose main disclosed source of support was a flat Congressional salary.

It doesn’t work. It just doesn’t. The Blue No Matter Who crew bray about how Trump is so openly reactionary in so many ways, so he cannot possibly outflank a single Democrat on the left. This is pathetic. What the fuck is so outlandish about the possibility that there are two virulently reactionary parties, not just one? What’s so outlandish about the Donald tacking to the opposition’s left 5% or 10% of the time? The same scolds are constantly in a state of high dudgeon that the president is so erratic. #TeshTips, asshole: that means there’s no predicting the guy. He’s facially obsessed with owning the libs, and he starts shit with other Republicans just for kicks, too. He was on the hard left flank of the Republican primary field in 2016 on, at the very least, the permanent imperial war state and labor and industrial policy.

This isn’t to say that he will push left; it’s to say that he may, because he at times already has. Meanwhile we’re told to take Nancy Pelosi and Joe Biden seriously when they assert themselves as the saviors to deliver the nation from this reactionary authoritarian madman. How dare we disbelieve them!

Shush, hun. Ask a rude question, get a rude answer, and maybe think about inspiring more positivity in the body politic by showing some fucking manners next time. Some of us actually read about voting records. Some of us pay attention to our officials’ coarse social cues and take them seriously for their policy ramifications.

As with politics, so with wealth: just because Donald Trump is a rich vulgarian doesn’t mean that his opponents aren’t as bad or worse. It’s that renowned liberal rationality again. How could Ben Shapiro not market himself as one of America’s keenest political minds? It’s never prudent for only one party to show up to a battle convinced that it is the only rational and sober one present. That’s how we swooped into Afghanistan and got our asses whipped by Toyota cavalry squads with firepower no heavier than our own gifted surface-to-air missiles, from back when the same militias were smacking the poopoo out of the Red Army, with our help. (Why not?) It doesn’t matter that the Republicans are insane. That never stopped the Taliban when they were forbidding women to leave the house with more than their eyes showing and stoning citizens to death for adultery. The gross truth of it is that the Republicans know their enemy in this fight and they fight to win, and the Democrats don’t. Blackhawk Down may take some light rocket science, but this story doesn’t.

There they go again, wearing their beanbag slippers to an East End pipe fight with James Mack. Gee, why does Mack the Pipe keep braining us all the way to Newport? How? Ow! This is so unfair.

This is the minefield Nob Hill Dreamboat must navigate. He has his wits about him, and he’s wise enough make common cause with the death drive wackjobs across the aisle, but once again, that in no way means that he doesn’t share a caucus with partisans every bit as evil and deranged. As I keep saying, Kamala Harris is the Uncanny Valley Girl of present-day Deukmejian-Wilson reaction. She’s our junior Senator. Saying that Harris and Newsom are Democrats is like saying that Rob Ford and Mark Saunders are both from Toronto. It’s fascinating, but they aren’t both falling-down drunk somnambulant crackheads. Yeah, yeah, I know, the Mayor is dead. Long live the Mayor, etc.

The popular grievances coming to a statehouse near you this summer (or spring!) may veer into the petulant, the overwrought, or the flagrantly bogus. It doesn’t matter. What always matters about these dustups is that people believe in their causes and show up itching for a fight. They don’t pull their crew cabs over on the way down from the fancy-pants foothills and ask themselves, huh, we gross $225k and live in a mansion in Granite Bay with a powerboat in the garage, does this make sense, huh. Of course not. Do any of them look like they do? The point is that they’ve got the damn fire in the belly and know what limbic strings to pull. Nancy’s mansions are fancies. They’re plural. She wants nothing more than to take away our freedoms. Gavin is a Democrat.

It’s irrational, but the mistake the usual shitlib suspects keep making is to assume that the loudmouths at these protests care about rationality or fair play or any of that liberal shit and can be shamed into having some. The lie the same illiberal liberals tell is that they care about the plights of ordinary constituents. This is bollocks. Nancy cares about her ice cream collection. You do gotta hand it to her, if you’ve got a spare carton.

Voters notice. There’s no way around this. Gavin Newsom is as capable as any politician of confronting the crazies and holding the line on public health, but he won’t be able to control the firestorm on the hard fringes if the yahoos get up a full head of steam about how Nancy Pelosi isn’t denying herself the creature comforts due to a woman of her stature, is denying her constituents the right to go to the beach, and is the same nanny state liberal swamp creature as Newsom.

If the most extreme five percent on the hard right get riled up about this stuff it’ll be a huge mess. Different strains of woowoo about the virus being a hoax have already been in circulation on Fox News and the low-class samizdat channels on YouTube and Facebook.  For the more downmarket of these audiences, credence before this crackpot nonsense tracks uncannily with poor clinical treatment, bad bedside manner, abusive and fraudulent billing practices, and poor outcomes in allopathic medical care. Add Rush Limbaugh’s florid, ill-tempered conspiracy theories about environmentalism being nothing but a pretext to strip hardworking Americans of their hard-won possessions and we’ll be having us a grand old partisan time. Dumping sewage into the fishing hole and wondering why it smells or not doing that are just some of the Opposing Viewpoints (TM) that leaven our discourse. What the hell do you mean, it smells? Are you a liberal?

Some of this noise is the seething of angry people who operate in bad faith or the outbursts of the chronically paranoid. Demagogues and grifters are always on duty to activate the angry and the paranoid. It’s one way to look at Trump, but scapegoating him for decades of ugly American politics, or really centuries, is disgracefully reductive and pat. None of this started with him, and frankly in many ways he has toned the ugliness down from prior presidential administrations.

Since his candidacy center-left lcircles have been overrun with hysterical assertions that Trump is the worst, most narcissistic, most dangerous, most evil, coarsest, most sadistic, most out-of-control, most demented, most malicious, most all-around atrocious president in the history of the United States. Few ask, compared to whom? The historical memory to make these extreme claims can’t date back past about 2004, which was roughly when the most acute and dynamic threats to civil liberties and the rule of law under the Bush Administration, Cheney Regency, or what have we finally started to attenuate as the memory of 9/11 at last dulled enough for Americans to think clearly. It takes evidence to demonstrate that the Trump Administration is significantly worse than that, in any specific or broad way, and nobody who carries on about it offers evidence.

By contrast, it’s almost hilariously easy to find #Resistance histrionics who suggest that Trump is the ONLY bad president ever. By their reckoning we have never before been governed by a sadist, a crook, a scoundrel, a narcissist, a liar, a bully, or a manipulator. Instead we were led by men who were, like, a little bit problematic or imperfect or eccentric or whatever. This is full-blown delusional. These wackjobs are aware of past presidents and the rough contours of their administrations. The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind shit starts only when the Donald lurches into view. At that point, everything before 2016 vanishes into thin air: Flint, the foreclosure crisis, Abu Ghraib, whatever the hell really happened on September, the Lincoln Bedroom, Ricky Ray Rector, Iran-Contra, Watergate and the Evenings with Dick Tapes, Japanese internment, slavery.

These things flash straight out of their minds because an oaf is mouthing off at the national dinner party. Trump’s deeds and worst words are of secondary consideration; the triggers is that he yells, rambles, and talks trash. It’s reasonable not to want this horseshit in a president or his White House. It’s even more reasonable not to want the misdeeds enumerated in the preceding paragraph as functions of government.

Many of the histrionics have a big problem with his trashing other prominent politicians: Jeb, Joe, Hillary, Chuck-n-Nancy. Point of order, if I may: what in the hell is wrong with that? They’re all scoundrels, too. Besides, Lee Atwater was never as much fun. Our dude has done a lot of bad things, but one of these was not the invention or reification of racism in politics. Good God, y’all. It’s fucking nuts; might as well stick your schlong in the almond butter jar and go at it.

This bitchfest started in earnest when Trump squared off against the woman who is very arguably the most reviled machine operator in American politics today, a woman whose husband happens to be a rather corrupt and sleazy president emeritus himself. She shows up fresh off an internecine ratfucking, and we’re worried about the ethics and decorum of her opponent? Cool. That’s definitely lucid thought and not at all the psychological projection of an elaborate cult apparatus. It couldn’t possibly be that the Russia horseshit is a projectile outburst or a red herring having to do with our own three-letter agencies and their shady relationships to Clintonworld. Everybody’s panties are in a twist that he doesn’t trust G-men and spooks. You fucken for real, dawg? This dude is somehow a Mancurian Candidate for a latter-day Tsar who shows little but disinterest in him, but the Bushes are not suspect for their custom of holding hands with Saudi princes and kings? Bitch please.

There’s every reason to be distrustful of these scathing denunciations, even paranoid. It’s farfetched to fly to the other extreme and insist that, Nothing But Respect, My President is looking out for the little guy, when he can hardly be counted on to look out for, or at, the same thing for two straight minutes. He does, on the other hand, show that exuberant, irrepressible interest. Hillary? Nancy? GTFO. Neither has an empathetic bone in her body, although Hillz did–does?–from time to time have a bone that feels your pain in hers.

Returning to our springtime airing of grievances, the little guy in this scenario is whoever says he’s the little guy. Is he a dentist? A yacht dealer? It doesn’t matter. It matters that the yahoos show up and fuck shit up, or at least act like they might. Since the prevailing community standard is already to relate to our politicians in bizarre parasocial ways, let’s give some thot to who these characters are as parasocial friends. On the one hand, we’ve got the Chappaqua bitch–it took me a few seconds to place why Chappaquiddick seemed not quite right–with her hundred million-dollar family fortune, her hale philandering husband turned scarecrow, their worse-than-useless faildaughter, and their foundations and initiatives and shit; and on her team we also have the sneering Baltimore mayor’s daughter with the wine estate on Zinfandel Lane, the pied-a-terre at the top of Divisadero, and, but of course, the ice cream. On the other hand, we have the guy with the name-branded archipelago of usually faiiling privately-held businesses, the gilded penthouses, the golf courses, and the sporadic but boisterous interest in factories and mines and the hardhats who run them.

Some will object that Trump is just a better actor. It’s a fascinating critique. Does that sound like a liability in politics?

Now review which of these phonies is on which side of the partisan divide between the austere Puritanism of science and the Cavalier exuberance of opening back up for business. Gee, it’s Donny Fingers for the latter, and the rich girls for the former. We’ve been cooped up, or so we say. Can we have a little day out on the town, as a treat, or can we have a little lecture about social distancing, as a treat? Is it a trick? Look at Nancy. Just look at her. Would you take “candy” from a stranger who approached you like that? Those are Melissa Ann Shepard barista hours she’s living.

It’s exactly what rubs people the wrong way about Al Gore’s climate activism, but for having the government’s blessing just to go outside. Again, what matters here is the perception, not the facts. The amount of showing off that affluent liberals (sic) have been doing about their “quarantine” and “lockdown” routines can’t be doing anything but convincing conservatives (pretty sic themselves) that it’s all a big liberal hoax, just like the carbon thing. #NeverForget: It was a quaranpreening episode that inspired Fancy Nancy to beclown herself with the gelati showing in the first place. It’s plain as day who she has in mind as her audience for that shtick: her fellow virtue-signaling cosmopolitan jagoffs. There’s no better platform for that performance than one’s pied-a-terre in the City. This is, for a party striving to be relevant to a diverse coalition of Americans, the chef’s kiss of messaging.

No, my point isn’t that I care if she lives in Napa. All I’ll say about this for now is that when Milton Street lived in New Jersey, or didn’t, he didn’t care himself, and he was fun about it.

Some have more places to lay down their heads than others. To judge from Fancy Nancy, many homes make for hardened hearts. I personally know people who are hella rich and not the least bit like that–hysterical liberals who watch The West Wing for therapy, sure, but good people–but damned if that miserable hag doesn’t give them all a bad name by confirming the worst prejudices of the rest of us.

She has a base for her stunts: the talented tenth, the aspirational 14%, something in that ballpark. That’s the problem, though. Ordinary Americans despise them with just as much white hot rage. The Democrats can’t even keep the affluent and educated at large on their side because they keep preaching killjoy sermons from their palaces. The stench of the hypocrisy is overwhelming: we luxuriate at home, but you go to your shift at Whole Foods, because you didn’t earn what we did; Uber Eats and Grubhub and Instacart for me, but no Applebee’s for thee.

Many affluent reactionaries are parasites themselves. So what? Their ideology and rhetorical framing are too muscular for them to roll over for coddled, sneering Bay Area pissants. That’s the thing about politics: there’s no monopoly on bad faith. It’s a free market and a free-for-all, not an exclusive franchising opportunity.

Nob Hill Dreamboat’s latest public health order, for the targeted closure of the beaches in Orange County, looks petty and reckless as boss moves go, and yet somehow even that seems refreshingly aboveboard compared to the party standard. Of course, derelict local officials could explain more than a bit of it. What are we going to hear next? Posh cunts in Aliso Viejo refusing to vaccinate their children? In any event, this is not a needle a dipshit can thread. We’re talking about locals whose fathas fawt the Second Wooled Waw, and now we’re telling them that it’s no weekend for a Shaw trip? Eyy, that won’t do, Billy!

Drop the accent and see how it plays in RSM. It might not go over so great. At least Gavin carries himself like a big boy. He doesn’t show up on Instagram looking like, oh, shit, we’re late getting Granny her Xanny. The thing about some of these other coastal elites is that there’s so much ocean for them to enjoy and yet so much of them safely on land, failing to enjoy it. As Guy Hagi says, see you out in the Pacific!

Goodness, that was not an aloha thing to say about a national matron just because she wants us obsequiously serving her for a pittance or, better, dead. We really shouldn’t indulge our minds with such juicy disturbances, yeah? To be fair, Hawaii has a ridiculously passive-aggressive name for its local travelers’ aid outfit, the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, whose latest deal is to ship your haole ass back to the mainland on the company dime if you show up without the money for a fortnight of lodging or the inclination to stay put in that which you’ve booked.

I hate to say it, but it makes more sense than some of the federalism we’ve got in the other 49.

Ah well, I reckon we have a fun summer coming. To paraphrase Louis Uccelini, you may not be ready to shred that shit, but that shit is always ready to shred you. It also applies to Yaakov Smirnoff and politics. The upshot of these nearly six thousand words, then, is that we’ll just have to wait and see what happens when it’s time to head to the beach, baby, beach, baby, there on the sand, from July to the end of September, when, God willing, the rains will at last return.