Making the rounds

I’m seeing this pop up all over the place lately, so I might as well echo it. This is great writing by Charles Pierce.

This video should be the only news from now until Election Day, and probably beyond that, all the way to the next Election Day in 2020 as well.

This video captures perfectly where we are as a nation at this moment in history. It shows with startling clarity the end result of civic disengagement and democratic apathy. It shows without question that we have allowed our republic to fall into the hands of a sociopath whose feeling for his fellow human beings can be measured against a poker chip. It shows beyond a shadow of a doubt that the better angels of our nation have been sold out to anger, and greed, and stone hatred. It shows precisely the depths to which our fellow citizens will follow this bag of old and rancid sins. Some of those citizens know better. Some of them don’t. All of them are dangerous blockheads.

Look at the man behind the seal of the President of the United States, mocking the recollections of a survivor of sexual assault. In my life, I have watched John Kennedy talk on television about missiles in Cuba. I saw Lyndon Johnson look Richard Russell squarely in the eye and and say, “And we shall overcome.” I saw Richard Nixon resign and Gerald Ford tell the Congress that our long national nightmare was over. I saw Jimmy Carter talk about malaise and Ronald Reagan talk about a shining city on a hill. I saw George H.W. Bush deliver the eulogy for the Soviet bloc, and Bill Clinton comfort the survivors of Timothy McVeigh’s madness in Oklahoma City. I saw George W. Bush struggle to make sense of it all on September 11, 2001, and I saw Barack Obama sing “Amazing Grace” in the wounded sanctuary of Mother Emanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina.

These were the presidents of my lifetime. These were not perfect men. They were not perfect presidents, god knows. Not one of them was that. But they approached the job, and they took to the podium, with all the gravitas they could muster as appropriate to the job. They tried, at least, to reach for something in the presidency that was beyond their grasp as ordinary human beings. They were not all ennobled by the attempt, but they tried nonetheless.

And comes now this hopeless, vicious buffoon, and the audience of equally hopeless and vicious buffoons who laughed and cheered when he made sport of a woman whose lasting memory of the trauma she suffered is the laughter of the perpetrators. Now he comes, a man swathed in scandal, with no interest beyond what he can put in his pocket and what he can put over on a universe of suckers, and he does something like this while occupying an office that we gave him, and while endowed with a public trust that he dishonors every day he wakes up in the White House.

The scion of a multigenerational criminal enterprise, the parameters of which we are only now beginning to comprehend. A vessel for all the worst elements of the American condition. And a cheap, soulless bully besides.

We have had good presidents and bad—a Buchanan is followed by a Lincoln who is followed by an Andrew Johnson, and so forth. But we never have had such a cheap counterfeit of a president* as currently occupies the office. We have had presidents who have been the worthy targets of scalding scorn, but James Callender went after giants. We never have had a president* so completely deserving of scorn and yet so small in the office that it almost seems a waste of time and energy to summon up the requisite contempt.

Watch him make fun of the woman again. Watch how a republic dies in the empty eyes of an empty man who feels nothing but his own imaginary greatness, and who cannot find in himself the decency simply to shut the fuck up even when it is in his best interest to do so. Presidents don’t have to be heroes to be good presidents. They just have to realize that their humanity is our common humanity, and that their political commonwealth is our political commonwealth, too.

Watch him again, behind the seal of the President of the United States. Isn’t he a funny man? Isn’t what happened to that lady hilarious? Watch the assembled morons cheer. This is the only story now.

There’s nothing we can do, short of a revolution, to remove that buffoon from office. Not even his vast incompetence is addressable in our political protocols, which is a huge oversight.


  1. Akira MacKenzie says

    Watch the assembled morons cheer.

    Uh oh, Pierce called the Great ‘Mercan masses “morons!” That will only make them want to vote for Trump all the more! /sarcasm

  2. marcoli says

    A few days ago I was in a diner having dinner, and the guy sitting across from us was going on and on about how the democrats are such hypocrites about this sort of thing since we were accusing Kavenaugh while defending Joe Biden. Far from true, btw, and yeah of course attempted rape is equivalent to being weird and kinda creepy.

  3. thirdmill301 says

    Trump was only electable in the first place because we have an electoral college that starts out giving an advantage to conservatives. It’s like having a super bowl in which one of the teams gets a free touchdown. If the other team is really, really good they may be able to overcome the free touchdown and win the game anyway — Obama did it twice — but don’t pretend that it’s a fair system. If your team is the one getting the free touchdown, you may like it for purely tribal reasons, but tribalism isn’t a good basis for public policy. However, we appear stuck with it for the immediate future.

  4. jack16 says

    From the beginning Ronald Reagan was a professional propagandist. A professional liar!


  5. wzrd1 says

    Actually, if the Republicans in the Senate would actually perform their duty, rather than hold blind acceptance of felonious actions by the President, we’d be well along in being rid of him.
    When he faked his “state of emergency”, then started clawing appropriated funds to divert toward his “wall”, he violated the misappropriation act, which is a felony.

  6. Curious Digressions says

    His outrage is missing the point. He was elected because of his callousness, not in spite of it. The people who support him want to see him step on the disadvantaged. They want him to do it because it indicates that they can do it too and they can feel do it without feeling guilty.

    I’m disgusted and outraged, but I’d vote for the sentient poker chip over him. I’m not in the target audience, so my opinion isn’t going to impact his performance.

    It was the same with Kavanaugh. He would still have been confirmed if he’s presented as cluelessly apologetic and vaguely contrite. The Republicans would have voted him in. He chose to appeal to the same people who support Trump by presenting the most belligerent, bullying persona possible.

    The nastiness isn’t a bug. It’s a feature.