Exhaustion is the whole point

It’s exhausting to witness the president’s inexhaustible commitment to denial, every day, every moment — the now reclusive Winner-in-Chief grimly insistent that he WON, now more than a month after he lost the election. You can restrict yourself to catching the news once a day and there it is. Lame duck tweets “#OVERTURN” — 17 state attorneys general join shady Texas AG in petition to Supreme Court to overturn certified election results in four other states. You think, well, “overturn”… Trump’s admitting he lost, isn’t he? No need to overturn the results of an election you won, right? No matter. He makes a brief appearance on camera and shambles away in the middle of hanging a presidential medal around somebody’s neck. You watch the short clip, the camera pans over to the medalist, suddenly alone in the middle of the Oval Office. The man gives the camera a big WTF? shrug. He shrugs for all of us.

It’s hard to focus the mind on anything else, I find, while this rabid man persists in soiling everything his office, his nation, is supposed to stand for. As our country sets a world record for COVID-19 deaths in a single day, surpassing the total killed by terrorists on 9/11, the defeated president is focused only on somehow invalidating the ballots of millions of Americans. We are literally in the middle of a seemingly eternal war between demonstrable fact, upheld by actual laws, and FUCK YOU YOU GODDAMNED FUCKING FUCK!

Tech giant youTube puts a link to a government website debunking all rumors of a stolen election under every video [1]. You click on it (accidentally in my case) read a bit and wonder how the government officials at the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency who maintain this so-called fact-based website are still on the job under the reflexively vindictive master of the purge.

Let me try to take our minds off the immediate shit show for a moment with this little game. Take any fact you like, let’s go with a historical one. Abraham Lincoln was a Republican, the party’s second ever candidate for president [2]. The sharply divided Democratic party in 1860 (it ran different candidates in the north and in the south) was dominated by pro-slavery racists, certainly in the slave states. Today you will hear the talking point, from in-your-face right-wing provocateurs, that the Republican party is the party of equality, the party that emancipated the slaves, and the Democratic party is the party of the Ku Klux Klan.

Look at any presidential election map since Nixon’s 1968 victory. The entire former Confederacy is painted solid red, for Republican. Since the Civil Rights legislation of the 1960s (and LBJ, signing these bills into law knew he was crippling his own party in the former Confederacy), and Nixon’s “Southern Strategy” of dog whistling racism to bigots to get votes that would have gone to his challenger George Wallace, the party of the aggrieved white man is the former party of Lincoln. Wallace, we learn, pursued an electoral strategy similar to Trump’s — throw the lost election to the House of Representatives [3]! Fuck, there he is again…

Impossible to escape from this ubiquitous, attention-obsessed, emotionally frail egomaniac and his loud-mouthed fans. Hard to even remember that in 40 days his replacement will be sworn in. Just using the word ‘replacement’ in that sentence puts the cadence of those fine young chanting men into my head “Jews will not replace us!” It’s exhausting to anyone who believes reason and logic are still indispensable to the human experiment in not destroying all life on the planet.

Exhaustion is the whole point of the infernal exercise.

[1]

from the “traitorous” Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency website:

#PROTECT2020 RUMOR VS. REALITY


Mis- and disinformation can undermine public confidence in the electoral process, as well as in our democracy.  Elections are administered by state and local officials who implement numerous safeguards to protect the security of your vote pursuant to various state and federal laws and processes. This resource is designed to debunk common misinformation and disinformation narratives and themes that relate broadly to the security of election infrastructure and related processes. It is not intended to address jurisdiction-specific claims. Instead, this resource addresses election security rumors by describing common and generally applicable protective processes, security measures, and legal requirements designed to protect against or detect large-scale security issues related to election infrastructure and processes. 

You can learn more about mis- and disinformation from CISA’s Countering Foreign Influence Task Force. Click an icon below to go directly to that section.

[2]

History little recalls the nation’s first Republican presidential candidate. Most of us will need a search engine, and less than a second, for the answer to that trivia question:

John C. Frémont ran as the first Republican nominee for President in 1856 behind the slogan “Free soil, free silver, free men, Frémont and victory!” Although Frémont’s bid was unsuccessful, the party showed a strong base. Abbreviation: GOP (Grand Old Party) Political position: Center-right to right-wing
History of the Republican Party (United States) – Wikipedia

[3] Wikipedia:

Former Governor of Alabama George Wallace ran in the 1968 United States presidential election as the candidate for the American Independent Party against Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. Wallace’s pro-segregation policies during his term as Governor of Alabama were rejected by most. The impact of the Wallace campaign was substantial, winning the electoral votes of several states in the Deep South. Although Wallace did not expect to win the election, his strategy was to prevent either major party candidate from winning a majority in the Electoral College. This would throw the election into the House of Representatives, where Wallace would have bargaining power sufficient to determine, or at least strongly influence, the selection of a winner.

Although Nixon ultimately won a majority of 301 electoral votes (270 being a majority), Wallace’s effort put the chance of a brokered electoral college relatively close. For example; had he won South Carolina or Tennessee (falling less than 50,000 votes short) and had the Democratic ticket won either Illinois or Ohio (trailing the Republican one by around 100,000 votes in both cases) Nixon would have ended up with a plurality but not a majority, and the election would – for the first time since 1824 – have been thrown to the House of Representatives.

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