The American election season never ends with the election. Not anymore.
Nailing the president-elect for reneging on his second-biggest campaign promise became the national sport overnight …for the Red Team. And the rest of us? We’re still here, and we’re not going down without a fight. In the fortnight following the vote, Jill Stein raised more money to fund a recount in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, than she did during her entire presidential campaign.
But this one executive change of heart is a decision that I can support:
The future President Drumpf has decided to not put Hillary Clinton in jail after all. I say that’s mighty white of him. He doesn’t have the authority anyway, and the Justice Department did already decide not to prosecute. But the restless Court of Public Opinion that Trump stirred up at every campaign stop (white middle-class division) is having none of that.
No sooner did Trump back down on that, and other campaign promises, then we learned something: his supporters do indeed take him literally.
Surprise (or not)—many actually want him to Lock Her Up. This is as much a test on them as it is on Trump. I love it: Ann Coulter complaining that letting Hillary off is the FBI’s job, or the DOJ’s job, not the president’s—blatantly ignoring that the act of putting people in jail is also not the president’s job.
Unless, of course, the president’s actual job is dictator.
So I’ll play the game too. By the authority vested in me by no one at all, asserting my nonexistent mandate, I held my own kangaroo court and I will now pronounce sentence on the guilty. Lock ‘Em Up!
I started this column just days before the election, back when the polls were tight but Hillary was still going to win. And I didn’t worry, it was supposed to be exciting, but it was also certain. So I assembled notes that I’d been keeping since The Donald glided down the Trump Tower elevator into the applause of a crowd he paid $50 a head.
He grabbed the media by the short hairs that day in June 2015, with promises to deport all the rapists that Mexico streams across the border at us. He never let go …or maybe it was the media that never shut off the cameras.
So my first convict is The Media. Guilty! For all that free airtime, all that attention, all the hoopla. Guilty—and this is hardly a new crime—for broadcasting obvious bullshit without questioning its veracity. Guilty for playing up to the worst in viewers because it gets better ratings. Lock ‘Em Up!
Oh wait, I forgot all the people who watch, and drool over the ugly stuff, and jack up the ratings. And social media, which has no effective filter for fake news, and the millions of eyeballs and mouse pointers ready to click on anything outrageous. Lock up all of them (um, and that would be us too)! But, to paraphrase Brody’s immortal quote from Jaws, you’re gonna need a bigger prison.
The Pollsters, for a steady stream of inaccurate information touted as electoral gospel. Guilty! You failed the public miserably, with all your adjustments to raw data that did not balance the result, only slanted it to meet everyone’s oh-so-wrong expectations. The Clinton campaign never set foot in perpetually-blue Wisconsin; Michigan and Pennsylvania were blue for every poll.
Clinton’s people starting thinking they could steal Georgia or Arizona, or even Texas. Where did they get that hubris? Your inaccurate polling.
Here’s something funny—I recall cable news criticism of Trump for campaigning in the Rust belt during the final week. Did Trump’s campaign know something? I also recall Trump’s reason for denying the polls: the enthusiasm at his rallies. He reads the room and reacts accordingly, they say. That sounds foolish in the world of recorded everything, but it argues for emotion over logic–and that certainly describes the Trump campaign.
I include the Trump voters for not answering their phones when pollsters called, or giving false answers. How are we supposed to predict the future before it happens, if you won’t cooperate? Or… here’s an idea: pay people to answer polls and limit each call to just ten questions.
Until then, Lock ‘Em Up and make ‘em watch All The President’s Men on an infinite loop.
Donald J. Trump, soon-to-be 45th President of the United States, not so much for being a casual bullshitter and rule-bender; for being a big-league liar with the sensitivities and study habits of a third grader. Apparently these are valuable skills when running for office, but IMO worthless when filling it. He is SO not qualified. Guilty! The next four years offer plenty of opportunity to examine this bull in a china shop closer. And we will! So for now I’ll leave it to a quote from the horse’s mouth:
“I don’t like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see.”
No need to lock this one up yet: he just jumped into the world’s brightest-lit fish bowl for four years, and we already see signs that even this world-class narcissist thinks that the level of attention is too much. Hah! Just wait until you’re actually sworn in, plebe.
The Culture of Violence that has flourished around Trump—and thoroughly encouraged by him. Guilty! I’m thinking of those self-declared patriots who say—and I heard this with my own ears—“If I have to be a patriot, I will” meaning assassinate President Hillary Clinton. Some advice, jerk: your hero won and there you sit with your loaded gun. Be a patriot and shoot yourself.
I’m thinking of the coward in a cowboy hat who sucker-punched a protester who was being escorted out of a Trump rally by the police. He told the media, “Next time, we might have to kill him!” What a tough guy you are, surrounded by all your fellow haters, hitting a man with the police nearby.
Here’s the world these people live in:
At a rally in Reno just before the election, a protester pulled a “Republicans Against Trump” sign from under his shirt. Someone saw the motion and yelled, “Gun!” Secret Service agents hustled Trump off the stage and jumped the protester. These colors don’t run, you say? I watched Trump supporters run from that spot in a panic, like anyone else would.
Security quickly determined that there was no gun, just a sign with an opposing point of view. Trump returned to the stage with, “Nobody said it would be easy for us,” he said. “But we will never be stopped. Never. Ever.”
At the next stop, Denver, the speaker who gave the invocation said, “Tonight I think the hate [that] a lot of the media raised against him caused an attempt of murder against him in Nevada.”
There was no gun. There was no murder attempt. Were Trump and his introducer—or the crowd, for that matter—really too stupid to understand that’s it’s their own charged atmosphere of hatred and violence that created this false alarm?
- I’m thinking of the Trump followers who wore “bitch” t-shirts featuring Hillary’s face.
- I’m thinking of every white supremacist offering a “hail Trump” to their supposed new Führer.
- I’m thinking of Baylor University, where 300+ students gathered to walk to class with a black student who was earlier shoved off the sidewalk and called the n-word by a fellow student—declaring he was “just trying to make America great again.”
- I’m thinking of the militias who prepared for the armageddon of a Clinton win: “This is the last chance to save America from ruin,” one said. “I’m surprised I was able to survive or suffer through eight years of Obama without literally going insane, but Hillary is going to be more of the same.” Suffer? Oh please, you live for that shit.
- I’m thinking of the ass-wipes who torched a black church and left “Vote for Trump” graffiti.
- I’m also thinking of the ass-wipes who booby-trapped a Trump yard sign with razor blades. Don’t think for a moment that you’re any better than the people whose fingers you sliced up.
- And last but hardly least, I’m thinking of Chris Christie, the former U.S. Attorney and current New Jersey Governor in absentia for the time he spent on the Convention stage prosecuting Hillary for imagined offenses. Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not ever pass go again. While you’re there, say “Hi” to your former flunkies Bridget Ann Kelly and Bill Baroni, both convicted for their roles in that psychotic revenge plot of yours called Bridgegate.
That’s right, Chris: Guilty! I’m locking all of you up!
All you haters of democracy for thinking that destroying a process is the way to master it. Hater #1, a.k.a. Donald the Demagogue, spent the final two months of his campaign expecting to lose and declaring how rigged it all was. Funny, he’s calling the Jill Stein-sponsored recount “a scam,” although its purpose is to establish that no rigging occurred.
The world watched through splayed fingers as Trump repeatedly promised the outrageous and impossible, including a 50-foot wall on the Mexican border, deportation SWAT teams, abandoned trade deals and treaties, a Muslim registry, and numerous other hostile policies. The tired and poor need not apply for entry.
John McCain and Ted Cruz, and your Senate cohorts for pledging, before Hillary’s certain win, that you would block any and all Supreme Court nominations from her. Even though “advise and consent” is your duty in the Constitution! What do you stand for?
Let’s not forget Mitch McConnell, John Boehner and Paul Ryan and every Republican for blocking every element of Obama’s agenda that they could. They refused to judge anything on its merit, even their own proposals handed back to them. Had Hillary won, this election was to be just the beginning of four more years of government dysfunction.
We know exactly what each of you stands for. Guilty! Lock ‘Em Up!
All you Hillary haters, you can stop pretending that we don’t know the real reason: she’s strong but has no penis. And while you’re congratulating yourselves that we didn’t elect someone with a private email server, maybe you can recall why you were okay that George W. Bush’s White House ‘lost’ 22 million emails.
Here’s a money quote from an excellent Newsweek article on that subject:
“Clinton’s email habits look positively transparent when compared with the subpoena-dodging, email-hiding, private-server-using George W. Bush administration. Between 2003 and 2009, the Bush White House ‘lost’ 22 million emails. This correspondence included millions of emails written during the darkest period in America’s recent history, when the Bush administration was ginning up support for what turned out to be a disastrous war in Iraq … and later, when it was firing U.S. attorneys for political reasons. Like Clinton, the Bush White House used a private email server … And the Bush administration failed to store its emails, as required by law, and then refused to comply with a congressional subpoena seeking some of those emails.”
Guilty! Lock ‘Em Up! Toss in Cheney and Rumsfeld while you’re at it.
There is sooo much more…but I must stop now. I’m exhausted, and I need a laugh. You do too. The Daily Show’s Jordan Klepper asked people at the Republican Convention: Exactly when was America great? That’s an answer I’ve yearned to hear ever since I first saw it on a baseball cap.
Political Survivor #63