WHAT THE HELL

Kevin Brennan Writes About What It's Like

Back in the U.S.🇺🇸S.R.

Most of us over a certain age never imagined that the institutions of democracy itself would ever be threatened from the inside. Back in the day, we were afraid of the Soviet Union, Communist China, and Noam Chomsky. But I think it’s pretty clear now—and polls back this up, showing that a majority of Republican voters approve of non-democratic means to get their way (see below)—that the GOP and its base are prepared to end America’s democratic experiment. They don’t believe they should ever lose an election, which makes all Democratic wins illegitimate. Which means they want one-party rule. Which means they’re willing to suppress, and oppress if they have to, the other side. 

It doesn’t help that they have all the guns too … 

Everything I post here demonstrates that this is happening, and it’s happening right now. If you love democracy over your particular political team (as all of us should), demand from your representatives that they protect our institutions, fight against corruption of the electoral process, and, above all, stop lying for competitive advantage. 

Here are some more heartbreakers from the last few days:

•  A story in the Washington Post says that Democratic lawmakers have “security concerns” over going back to their home districts this summer. Thanks to unhinged people like Marjorie Taylor Greene, they’re afraid events might draw radicalized MAGA types. Since Greene is basically stalking AOC, and since MAGA types own about ninety-nine guns each, you can understand their fears. 

•  A new Ipsos poll reveals that 56% of Republican voters think the 2020 election was rigged, and 53% think that Donald Trump is the true president. Consequently, 87% of them support the wave of voter suppression laws sweeping the land. What this tells me more than anything is that there’s no point in trying to reason or negotiate with delusional Republicans. Democrats should proceed as if the country is in the middle of a national emergency. Which it clearly is. 

•  Marjorie Taylor Greene compared mask mandates to the Holocaust the other day, and even Kevin McCarthy has stepped meekly up to the mic to call that “appalling.” (He took the opportunity at the same time to say that Democrats are becoming antisemitic. Oy.) On the other hand, shortly after January 6, he said Trump was out of line but walked it back after being summoned to Florida. In other words, who cares what he has to say about Marjorie Taylor Greene? He’ll probably get primaried now … heh heh. 

•  Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs has just been stripped of certain election-oriented powers by the state House of Representatives’ Appropriations Committee. The ability to defend election lawsuits will now be handled by the Attorney General’s office. One can imagine so many scenarios in which this kind of move might come into play … Democracy dies by a thousand tiny cuts. 

•  Republican Senators voted in near-lockstep to try to block the confirmation of Kristen Clarke to head the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. Clarke is a Black woman and the first such to run the CRD. Are we detecting a pattern in GOP resistance to certain nominees yet? 

•  Seems the Nevada Republican Party might have let a member of the Proud Boys vote in a censure of Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske. You see, Cegavske “failed to investigate election fraud.” Of which there was none in Nevada (or anywhere else for that matter). The Proud Boys and groups like it are little by little infiltrating the GOP (see “Marjorie Taylor Greene” above) and making it impossible for any Republican lawmaker to express moderate views. 

I happen to be reading a novel by Julian Barnes right now (The Noise of Time) about Dmitri Shostakovitch, the great Russian composer who somehow managed to navigate the Stalin era without getting a bullet in the back of his head. Some of the hoops he was made to jump through sound a lot like what Republicans are doing today—denying reality in order to stay viable. “The Soviet Union is where elephants come from” isn’t that different from “There are bamboo fibers on Arizona ballots.” 

Either way things land in this country, I don’t see any way we avoid re-education camps of one stripe or another. Only half-joking. If MAGA wins, people like me will have to be Orwelled into believing that pedophiles have been running the Democratic Party for decades, and if we win we’ll have to teach the Trumpians that the earth isn’t flat, etc. 

6 comments on “Back in the U.S.🇺🇸S.R.

  1. Gary Trujillo
    May 27, 2021

    The Boomers aren’t happy with just being the generation that destroyed everyone’s future….no! Now that they feel the pang of being worm food slowly creeping in they must introduce the country to fascism as well! The “MAGA” theme would have been better off being “Let’s make white, middle class, homogenized, old people relevant again.” And Trump’s loss (haha) proved that they won’t be.
    As you a**holes put it so succinctly, “F*** your feelings” and please, PLEASE die soon so we can pay off our student loans and heal psychologically as a culture and as a country.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 27, 2021

      Well, as a Boomer myself, I take umbrage at your generalization. It’d be easy enough for me to lambast Gen X and Millennials for being politically indifferent for so long. That created the vacuum in which radicalized conservatism basically took over.

      • Gary Trujillo
        May 27, 2021

        Being politically indifferent and destroying a 200 year old economic and political system in ONE GENERATION (not to mention the environment) are two diffrent things. I’m certainly not saying all Boomers are horrible people (actually you seem pretty cool, and I dig your writing) but these assumptions aren’t based on generalizations, but statistical facts.

      • Kevin Brennan
        May 27, 2021

        The bottom line is, all of us have to fight this bullshit right now, regardless of our own generation. And then there’s climate change …

  2. Marie A Bailey
    May 27, 2021

    I didn’t see any statistical facts in Mr. Trujillo’s comment, and I would disagree that being politically indifferent is “a different thing.” Political indifference brought the country to this point. Political indifference is people of all generations not feeling a civic duty to educate themselves politically and vote. I’ve been voting since I turned 18 and not just in national elections, but also state and local elections. I consider it a civic duty, no matter how inconvenient the GOP tries to make it. Also, so-called Boomers cover a wide generation (1946 to 1964). Boomers born in 1946 are likely quite different from from those born in 1964, at least that’s been my experience in my rather large extended family. The younger Boomers tend to be more liberal (although, sadly, not all of them). Growing up, I was concerned about the environment, racial justice, gender equality, etc. Political apathy unnerved me because this country is so young and has so much to lose, yet for decades now, people have taken our democracy for granted.

    Throwing insults does nothing to bring people together. Comments such as Mr. Trujillo’s only serves to keep the generations divided. Perhaps that is his intent. But as you say, Kevin, we are all in this together, and we need to work together to undo the damage that, frankly, started with Reagan, but that Trump picked up and continued at breakneck speed.

    • Kevin Brennan
      May 27, 2021

      Thanks for this, Marie! I agree completely that “Boomer” is such a wide-open demo. that to tag the whole generation with the crime of losing democracy is a fallacy. Besides the apathy of younger people, and some socioeconomic groups, something’s been going on with the conservative willingness to break conventions, rules, and precedents. You’re right: It started with Reagan, and then got reinforced with the Supreme Court Bush v. Gore decision. From there, downhill all the way. Now it’s pretty clear they’re kind of done with fair elections.

      It’s definitely time for a lot of different groups to find common cause.

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This entry was posted on May 27, 2021 by in politics and tagged , , , .
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