Saturday, June 30, 2018

You know the way to stop me, but you don't have the discipline


I sometimes wonder about republicans like Flake and McCain and Collins and Murkowski who are always making feeble little anti-trump noises but then invariably fall into line when it actually matters in any way. I think: you guys could stop him cold if you really wanted to. You could fuck his shit up. But...obviously, you don't want to do that. So stop with the self-righteous mewling! You're sufficiently self-aware to know that history will not judge this president kindly; do you really think it's going to give any more credit to people who could have stopped him but didn't?

I think there's actually a dissonant feedback loop in these people's heads (not consciously, of course): ugh, this guy is embarrassing, he's grotesque and he constantly tells idiotic lies. I'll speak out against him! He's the worst! But...he's also letting us do whatever we want! But how can I reconcile that with the fact that he's awful? It can't just be that I object to him on aesthetic grounds; that would be embarrassing. I must object to him on substantive grounds? And yet he's doing exactly what I want on substantive grounds! ABORT RETRY FAIL.

So they try to square the circle in this most infuriatingly cowardly way: they say mean things about the president, but when it comes anything substantive, they support him anyway, in spite of whatever grade-school insults he flings at them on twitter. And they expect--and, in some cases, get, from our dumber commentators--praise for this shit. They're trying to have it both ways, but in the process they're just degrading themselves.

If they actually objected to trump in any serious way, this would be a simple calculation, especially if you're retiring like Flake or dying like McCain: caucus with Democrats to staunch the bleeding. This would win you genuine admiration. Sure, people like me might grumble things like "TOOK you long enough," but any such criticism would be drowned out my tidal waves of good will--and really, I shouldn't gripe; as much as it's the obvious ethical thing to do, it's not easy to turn your entire life around like that, so if you're able to, GREAT.

But if you're not interested in doing that or not able to: kindly shut the fuck up. You are worthy of nothing but contempt, and your dim self-awareness doesn't make this any less the case. More, if anything.

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