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Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Defending a President I Hate

| 27 Comments

To be clear before we start, in case there’s anyone here who doesn’t know it, I did not vote for Hillary Clinton, and I am not a fan of, well, anything she’s done since she was elected. She was so universally despised that she nearly lost an election to Donald Trump for god’s sake, and nothing since she’s taken office has made me think she should be more popular.

But.

The attacks on her from the extreme right have gotten so absurd, that I just have to say something. I’m not talking about Republican accusations of treason for her meeting with Kim Jong-un; anyone with half a brain knew that was coming. It’s other things.

One thing that makes me rub my eyes is immigration. What the hell do the Republicans want? She is already continuing Obama’s mass deportations (as well, of course, as the slaughter in Yemen and the bombing in Syria to make sure of a growing supply of refugees to abuse and deport), and even continuing his massive deportation of children. She is on pace to break his record of most deportations of any administration in history.  Isn’t that enough?  Will the Republicans not be satisfied until concentration camps are set up? Sheesh.

Of course, the Republicans are silent about the worst aspects of her presidency: her continuing Obama’s policies of cuts to SNAP benefits, her support of police militarization, her “get tough” talk against Russia and China (along with increasing the US supply of nuclear weapons!), her continuing drone killings of non-combatants, her failure to do anything about climate change, constantly pushing for legislation that will benefit no one but Wall Street, her headlong retreats before the religious right, &c &c. Those things the Republicans like, so they just ignore them like good little hypocrites.

What broke it for me was the accusation, again, of treason (do you guys even realize that there is no such thing as treason absent a foreign power being a legally defined enemy, which pretty much means a war?  No, of course not; why would Republicans bother learning about the law before making accusations?) for what happened in her meeting in Copenhagen with President Rivlin of Israel. I mean, come on. Did Israel interfere in the US elections, as the Republicans keep yammering about, and as the various intelligence services say they did? No doubt they did—as did thirty or forty other countries, all working for their own agendas, as happens in international politics. Chances are, Putin (Vladimir Putin, president of Russia) interfered just as much on behalf of Trump. But if Trump had won—as nearly happened—I don’t think we’d have seen the Democrats complaining about his “interference.” And, seriously, when President Clinton (or “President Hillary” as Fox News has started calling her, using the thin justification that there was recently another President Clinton) implied that she didn’t necessarily believe the report of the intelligence services, well, it was like every Republican Senator was about to have his head explode. I mean, did you hear Paul Ryan, during his reelection campaign? I thought he’d have a coronary right there. *scream scream* treason *scream scream* anti-American *scream scream* bought and paid for by Israel *scream scream*.   Here is a place where I have to agree with my Democratic friends who have been doing such a good job of pointing out the history of the US intelligence services.  If it’s treason to mistrust everything said by the NSA, the CIA, and the FBI, then treason has just been defined as, “having a minimal amount of common sense.”

Anyway, sorry for the rant. No, I do not support President Clinton. But I can’t watch this absurd Republican hypocrisy without saying something.

skzb

Author: skzb

I play the drum.

27 Comments

  1. Alas, this is just how the Republicans are. Hopefully, in the midterms, we’ll get a more level-headed Democratic majority.

  2. I feel that I can’t make enough assumptions to decide if this piece is taking a stand.

  3. @Tim Avery Where is this level-headed Democratic majority going to come from?

    The primary challenges have mostly failed. We have mostly the same old Democrats as before.

  4. Steve, you’ve got to admit that when Clinton and Merkel stroked the palantír and a black sarcophagus rose out of the earth and their eyes started to glow, well that was a tad over the top.

  5. Richard Orr: I’m pretty sure this piece mocks some recent Democratic hypocrisy. As a Democrat, I have to say I’ve been amused to see pious respect for the intelligence community coming from the leftish side, the side where I’d often heard about COINTELPRO and CIA disinformation and what’s now called the “deep state”. (I haven’t checked that it’s exactly the same people who’ve reversed themselves, though.)

    I’ll also say that Obama’s immigration policies caused a lot of pain, but zero tolerance is worse than some tolerance.

  6. skzb

    Steve Halter: Well, yeah.

  7. “I’ll also say that Obama’s immigration policies caused a lot of pain, but zero tolerance is worse than some tolerance.”

    Democrats are bad.
    Republicans are bad.

    Acting like one side is adequate because the other is bad, is bad.

  8. Jonah:
    +1

  9. Acting like both sides are equally bad, is bad.

  10. Alexx: Bad to the bone.

  11. It doesn’t matter whether they’re equally bad.

    It matters whether one of them is good enough to support. And neither are.

    If you vote to eat ten pounds of shit because you think the alternative is you’ll have to eat twenty pounds of shit, then you are very submissive. You don’t need a vote, you need a responsible dom to take care of you.

  12. Ah, so this is ‘I didn’t vote against Trump, so I have to invent a fantasy narrative to justify my position’ post.

    I prefer my fantasy with the elves and dragons; it’s more realistic.

  13. Very nice thought experiment here. Only change I would suggest is that HRC probably would not have backed down in Syria and we’d all be dead right now.

    Also kudos to the 10 lbs or 20 lbs analogy. That’s so very spot on.

    Now let’s all get fired up to go out there and elect some Dismal Dollar Democrats! Because that’ll fix everything. The NSA told me so.

  14. skzb

    Kragar re Syria: Yeah, you make a valid point. But that would have produced an entirely different sort of post making an entirely different point, so I shaded things.

  15. You haven’t mentioned any of the unmentionable antics of our First Gentleman, Billy-Bob Clinton, as he’s affectionately called. For instance, it’s been recently made known that the First Gentleman has been having a long-time open secret affair with Melania Trump! What have YOU heard?

  16. “What have YOU heard?”

    Well of course, Pizzagate. The word is that no Democratic politician can get any real influence without giving the party provable evidence of pedophilia. Whether they enjoy it or not. Unless the party can destroy their lives, it can’t trust them.

  17. Rather than unequal bags of crap, I think the situation is more like the Titanic. The base situation is that the ship is going down. Now, some of the people are trying to be helpful; maybe even giving up a possible seat on a lifeboat. Others are leaping into half full boats and barging ahead of women and children. I’ll leave it as an exercise who these parties are.
    None of these actions–good or bad are changing the facts much. The ship is still going down.
    What we need to do is change the base facts in the problem (hopefully we aren’t yet quite so doomed). Change the construction of the ship and and maybe it won’t sink.

  18. OK. The ship is going down. The two parties are having a big argument about what to do about stowaways, and about abortion, and who should be allowed into which restrooms, and who did the most election fraud in the last election.

    The current captain tries to make people think he’s a buffoon. The one who lost made a big deal about her competence at being captain of an undamaged ship. The previous one didn’t do much — because he faced so much opposition, but when he started out with a lot of support he didn’t try to do much then either. He picked up an Israeli letter bomb and lost several fingers, and he tried something about healthcare with mixed results.

    And the ship is going down. Neither party does anything at all about it, and they work together to stop third parties.

  19. Jonah:Yep. And, the current captain and his supporters claim that not only could there not have been ice bergs, but that clearly the ship is both not sinking and that any sinking is caused by that guy who both did nothing and caused all the problems.
    Meanwhile, the band plays on, hopefully summoning the Old Ones from the depths. Maybe they will be friendly?

  20. It isn’t hard to imagine a scenario where the country or even the world is better off by getting a Trump now instead of later. Sort of like the Asimov story where we lucked out by getting the atomic bomb early enough to be afraid of using nukes. Clinton would be more of the same with possibly not enough reaction by the people against the system. The hope is maybe Trump *will* cause enough reaction against the system.

  21. skzb

    Steve: The Titanic is a good metaphor, yes.

  22. skzb

    Alexx Kay above said, “Acting like both sides are equally bad, is bad” and I’ve been chewing on that for a while, trying to figure out a way to express why I think it is so wrong headed.

    Here’s how I see it: there is a brutal, vicious war being waged. Blood has been spilled, and there is no sign of a let-up. On one side, there is a terrible argument going about the best way to win that war. But you see, the masses of the oppressed, the exploited, are on the other side. We are the ones they want to crush. And yet, some people are saying we ought to get involved in the debate about what is the best way to crush us. In fact, some people are saying that the situation is so hopeless, that our only choice is to help decide which one of our enemies comes out on top.

    I do not, cannot, and will not accept that. Those who want to crush us, are our enemies. And if the Republicans want to use backwardness and ignorance to crush us with brute force, while the Democrats want to use identity politics and other frauds to turn us against each other, that is a tactical disagreement among our enemies, and no reason for us to pick one or the other. We need to build, prepare, and organize on our own behalf, which puts us against both of them. “Better” or “worse” is not the issue.

  23. skzb Thank you!

    I’d been feeling that and groping for a way to say it, and I just didn’t have it worked out in my mind.

    You said it so clearly!

  24. skzb:

    I know you meant to write “vicious” instead of “viscous.” But, your next sentence begins with “Blood has been spilled …” And now I have a mental image of what a “viscous war” looks like.

  25. skzb

    Kukuforguns: LOL! Thanks for the correction. Will fix.

  26. The morning sun, coming into the mess hall in shafts of sparkling dust, illuminated the private’s breakfast: eggs over easy and a tall stack of buttered pancakes.

    As his hand crept past the ketchup, reaching, a gruff voice stopped it cold: “Never forget what we’re doing here, maggot.”

    “Sarge,” the private said, his hand recoiling. “Didn’t see you there.”

    “You youngsters have it so easy – few raids across the border, the juice flowing like a river… back when this started those damn Canucks would raid daily, and start so many fires we’d be able to refine just by holding a pot out.”

    “Yes, sarge,” the private responded, not completely devoid of sarcasm. Yet a furtive glance at the sergeant’s eye: fused shut, flesh puckered pink, and with not a whit of brow caused him to reevaluate both his position and his tone. “We can never stop watching the border, can we, sarge?”

    “No, son, we can’t,” the sergeant said, his voice taking a softer edge. “The rest of the country may think different, they wouldn’t have labeled this war what they did otherwise. But you didn’t join the Vermont Volunteers to sit on your ass, did you?”

    Not waiting for a response, he stood up and bellowed “Two minutes ’til PT, skidmarks! Eat like you have a purpose.”

    A cacophony of rustling bodies and clinking silverware made the sergeant smile as he quickly strode out of the mess hall. The private, shaken out of his thoughts, quickly downed his eggs. Staring at the remains of his breakfast, he again reached past the ketchup to the one thing he wanted most – and the one thing that started this damnable war to begin with.

  27. But a Democratic President helped pass legislation in favor of civil rights 54 years ago! After a mass movement forced his hand(and backing of corporate America who wanted to add new victims, er, customers from previously untapped markets).

    So the Dems are the good guys, for sure. Maybe if we little folks wait patiently for another 54 years, another bone will be thrown our way. Medicare for all? Guaranteed basic income? Who knows what treats are in store!

    For now, let’s find some foreign leaders to demonize and some helpless brown people to bomb. That should help the time fly by.

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