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I don’t know why I was hopeful last night.

There were no upsets or surprises. Republicans were leading in the polls in every race they won, and they had been leading the entire campaign.

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I don’t have anything positive or reasonable to say about the election because I’m not a journalist — so I don’t have to be objective — and I’m not an optimist — so I don’t have to put a happy face on anything.

I let myself hope yesterday and that’s so not in my character. I don’t even know where it came from! I was actually LESS hopeful during the 2016 election, and when Trump won, I was largely unaffected. I assumed Clinton would win, because all y’all’s polls kept telling me so, but when she didn’t, I said “whelp, that’s just White America being the White America I always knew they were” and I left it at that. I went about my Wednesday after the election like nothing ever happened.

I don’t know where this hope came from last night!

There were no upsets or surprises. Republicans were leading in the polls in every race they won, and they had been leading the entire campaign. At no point did Gillum, O’Rourke, or Abrams have a lead over their Republican competition. At no point did the Senate map look favorable for a Democratic takeover in any way whatsoever.

So I don’t know where this hope came from!

Still, I am absolutely crushed. Even though the election played out exactly the way it was going to from the start, I actually let myself hope for a surprise victory, a referendum on hate and bigotry and Trump that would prove to me that this idea of a better America was attainable. I’m tired of seeing them win, even though I thought I’d grown out of this infantile notion that Good Triumphs Over Evil or the vague universal notion of karma. You don’t reap what you sow, not in the way we’d like to believe. You plant seeds, and either they grow or they don’t, and it has nothing to do with how “good” you are, only how good you are at watering the seeds.

The United States is founded on bad seeds and there is more than enough water for each and every one of them. I wanted a surprise victory the way they got their surprise victory in 2016, but we haven’t planted enough of those seeds to counterbalance the harvest of hate the GOP is currently reaping.

I can’t speak for everyone in my age bracket, but for me, I knew logically that this wasn’t a great country for most of my life. I could see it in the statistics, in the rhetoric, in the “democratic” process, but I became an adult during the Obama administration. I got to vote for a Black man with a Muslim name TWICE and he won TWICE on a platform of hope. I was wearing these rose-colored glasses for my entree into political engagement. 2016 took them off and 2018 stepped on them. I grew up a queer Black atheist in the rural South, so at no point in my life did I ever feel like this country was for me or that I was welcome here. I always felt like I was barely clinging to the American ladder, holding on to one of those lower rungs by my fingertips, but under Obama, I felt like I had a whole palm on it! It was like I too could feel proud to be an American. I didn’t have to be a Straight White Christian to feel comfortable in the US because this Black man with big ears and a Muslim name was the PRESIDENT!! and he got elected twice. Now I’m back to my fingertips, growing out my nails for extra traction so I don’t slip off completely.

We picked up the House seats we knew we would, and we lost the Senate and governors’ races we knew we would, but I wanted America to surprise me. I wanted to know that blatant lies and racism and bigotry and misogyny and VIOLENCE! were all so abhorrent, that people would be so enraged at what’s happening in the country, they’d overcome the voter suppression and misinformation to send a firm message to the Republican party that we refuse to accept this as the new norm. But Conservatives still outvoted us. They said “we like where the country is going” and I don’t know how to process that right now because I don’t know what I’m supposed to do. I can’t physically drag people to the polls. If what they’re seeing isn’t enough to get them off the couch, I don’t know what I’m supposed to DO to convince them that the only way to correct course is an enormously massive and unprecedented turnout so we can fix the easy problems immediately and set to work on the big ones. We need to redraw voting districts fairly and a federal voting holiday and automatic registration when you turn 18 and paper printouts of voting confirmation so people have faith in their vote. These are things we can fix immediately if we take control and wield that power the way Republicans have.

But that’s in the future. Today, right now, in this moment, I don’t know what I’m supposed to do in order to feel good about this country or what I’m supposed to say to myself to feel like we have any hope in 2020.

Now that you’ve gotten this far, go read some balanced reporting about how difficult it is to flip the House when the economy is strong (we did that), about the number of women joining Congress, about Ohio and Michigan and what those races say about Trump’s (possibly diminishing) strength in the Midwest, about felons in Florida getting the right the vote, about subpoenas and investigations into this administration, about potential prospects for 2020 now that the race has basically kicked off, about energized young people all over the country ready to buckle down and do even better next time.  Go read all those things because giving up is obviously not an option.

(If you wanna take a couple of weeks off that’s fine though. I’ma finally bust through some of this Netflix queue I’ve stacked up.)

 

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Sarah Palin’s death panels are finally here.

And they have nothing to do with Obamacare.

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Flattening the curve is the strategy we were told to implement to keep from overwhelming the healthcare system. I’m not sure when that messaging got lost, but the death rate in Italy was so high because they didn’t have the ability to treat all of the infections, not because the virus itself was so much more deadly. When covidiots respond to articles about the uptick in infections with statements about how low the death rate is, they are correct. The death rate is lower in these hotspots than we expected, because we have the ability to treat the sick.

What happens when there is no more space to treat them? The bodies start to pile up, and that’s the next uptick we’ll see, because hospitals have run out of beds and doctors have to make on the spot decisions about who receives care and who doesn’t.

You have ten people who will die if you don’t save them. How do you pick which three? Doctors are not equipped to do that and no one should have to pick and choose who dies because the government failed to protect the public. The government decided it was more important to put people back to work and the government has decided these are the talking points they’re going to arm their supporters and coronvirus deniers with:

  1. The number of infections is up because we’re doing more testing.
    The percentage of infections is up because more people are getting sick. If one in ten tests came back positive and now one in four come back positive, that has nothing to do with the number of tests you’re doing and everything to do with the rate of infection, which is sky rocketing.
  2. The death rate is low because it’s mostly young people getting sick.
    Don’t young people know old people who will then get sick? And what happens when those young people need medical care and there’s no space for them?
  3. Most people recover.
    Just because I’m going to recover from something doesn’t mean I want to get it in the first place. I can recover from a broken leg, but it really really hurts, so I avoid breaking my leg. Some people are sick for weeks. Some have lasting neurological deficits. Some people still can’t breathe well. And a lot of those people recover because there was space in the hospital.

Since we are running out of space, despite what any covidiot tells you, we have to decide who gets treatment and who doesn’t.

Enter, the death panels. Along with a further dumbing down of political discourse, Sarah Palin left us with the phrase “death panels” which she coined herself in a Facebook post back in 2009 where she railed against Obamacare.

The America I know and love is not one in which my parents or my baby with Down Syndrome will have to stand in front of Obama’s ‘death panel’ so his bureaucrats can decide, based on a subjective judgment of their ‘level of productivity in society

(cont. Facebook)

The Right took it and ran with it. The Affordable Care Act was especially heinous because sick people would have to parade themselves in front of paper pushers who would decide whether they live or die. They would have to beg bureaucrats for the right to receive healthcare. Every time the Republicans try to repeal Obamacare, these death panels are mentioned again, panels that have never come to fruition.

Until now. If Sarah Palin defines a death panel as a group of people deciding how productive someone will be to society, then Arizona’s coronavirus scorecards are death panels. They grade people based on their general health and life expectancy. The sicker you are, the older you are, the higher your score, and the lower your priority on the care list.

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Flattening the curve would’ve prevented this. Arizona is a Republican state with a Republican governor and they have rolled out the dreaded death panels in response to a situation they created themselves. In the 11 years since Sarah Palin gave the GOP their main talking point against Obamacare, we haven’t seen a death panel of any sort. In the 4 months since COVID-19 hit our shores, we have a formal death panel in Arizona and instant death panel calculations going on in ICUs across the country as doctors grapple with the reality that they cannot treat every patient who needs life-saving measures.

But at least people can go to Applebee’s.

 

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A rapist will be elected. Now what?

You, me, all of us — we will elect Donald Trump or Joe Biden in November and they’ve both assaulted women, so let’s talk about that.

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I’m not here to discuss the validity of Tara Reade’s accusation against Joe Biden. Everything I’m about to say is based on the premise that you believe Biden assaulted Reade in 1993 and that you believe Trump assaulted his first ex-wife. Even if you didn’t believe either, it’s evident from our own eyes that they are both creepy old men who have issues with physical boundaries, personal space, and consent to being touched, but that’s a separate conversation.

I’m also not here to discuss any anti-Biden conspiracy theories about mainstream media covering up for Biden, or Times Up ignoring Reade out of an allegiance to Biden. By the same token, I’m not here to discuss any pro-Biden conspiracy theories about Reade being mentally unstable, a Russian agent, or a Bernie supporter looking to take down Biden. None of that is relevant to where I’m coming from which is…

You, me, all of us — we will elect Donald Trump or Joe Biden in November and they’ve both assaulted women, so let’s talk about that.

If you’re a Trump supporter (you shouldn’t even be here but), you’re going to elect a rapist. If you’re a Biden supporter, you’re going to elect a rapist. If you are abstaining because you refuse to vote for a rapist, you are going to elect Donald Trump — a rapist. A third party vote or lack of a vote isn’t a “vote for Trump,” but it’s a vote that didn’t go to the only person who can kick Trump out of the White House. We can go back and forth all day about your individual morality and how you feel about physically casting a vote for a rapist, but we’re not going to get anywhere.

I just want to understand what you want to happen.

I already know what you don’t want. You don’t want Biden to be President, and that is your reason for refusing to give him your vote. That part I am clear on, but actions have consequences, and nothing happens in a vacuum. First, let’s come to an agreement about what the consequences are.

Some Abstainers (that’s what we’re calling you now) say Trump will win no matter what. The voting machines won’t work, the polling stations will be closed and no one can vote, the votes will be lost, the votes will be miscounted, the GOP won’t accept the results if the votes don’t go Trump’s way, etc. Valid concerns. Not completely unfounded. But by no means a certainty. All of those things will probably happen, but that doesn’t mean Trump wins. All of those things can happen with an outcome where Biden does take office if there are enough votes and enough support to overwhelm the shenanigans of the other side.

If you are 100% certain that the GOP will steal this election from Biden, but you were not 100% certain the GOP would steal it from Bernie, you’re lying to yourself in this emotional moment because your disappointment over Bernie dropping out is forcing you to justify not voting at all. If your vote is not helping the rest of us to overwhelm the dirty tricks planned by Trump and his party, then you are contributing to his win.

So, back to my question: What do you want to happen? I’m not asking about what you’re resigning yourself to see happen, which seems to be a Trump victory. I’m asking what do you actually want. Who do you want in the White House between Trump and Biden? Saying neither is a cop out, because you are answering from a place of “Bernie should be President,” not from a reality where that’s not possible.

If your answer is Trump, be honest about why. If you really think Trump is a better President than Biden would be, you need to be able to answer for that opinion when someone asks. Tell them you think Trump is smarter, that he’s a better diplomat, that he champions better policies, that the team he has around him is more qualified and more equipped than the team Biden will build. If that’s how you feel, own that.

If your answer is Trump because you think the country will be more likely to accept a progressive savior if we spiral further into chaos and corruption, own that. You need to be able to tell poor people, marginalized people, and immigrants that you want their lives to get worse so that the country may potentially do an extreme course correction into a fundamental shift in the way the American government works. Tell gay people you want their marriages dissolved. Tell women you want them to be forced to have babies. Tell Muslims you want them to be fired or kicked out of their housing. Be honest about wanting to see those things happen in order to give a better opportunity for a revolution to really take hold.

Those are the only two options. Either you think Trump is a better option or you think he’s such an awful option the American public will be begging for a radical savior in 2024. If both of those options are terrible, then your vote has to go to Joe Biden.

Electing Trump is electing a lot of things. You’re electing two more Supreme Court judges. You’re electing A LOT of federal judges who will continue to reshape the legislative system across the country for a generation. You’re electing four more years where the GOP can further erode the democratic processes that already make it hard to elect liberals. You’re electing stress. Will he botch another response to a natural disaster? Will he trade more allies for dictators? Will World War III start because of a tweet?

Electing Joe Biden is electing a new education secretary, a new health secretary, a new PRESS secretary that we can trust. You’re electing a Supreme Court that won’t repeal Roe v Wade and federal judges who don’t think corporations are people. You’re electing normalcy for the millions of people who are just exhausted and you’re electing a cabinet that can support, guide, advise, and carry the burden of running the country for a man who is the wrong person for the job.

I’m so frustrated that I live in a country where people voted for Joe Biden. Placing blame at “the Democratic Party” or “the Party Elites” sounds good, but it’s inaccurate. More people voted for Joe Biden. There was no conspiracy. No superdelegates. No rigging. No backdoor deals. It’s April, and Bernie Sanders dropped out of a race he was losing due to having less voters show up for him because he wanted y’all to have as much time as possible to get used to the idea that Joe Biden has to become President over Donald Trump.

“The same party who said Donald Trump is a rapist wants me to vote for Joe Biden who is also a rapist.”

Yes. There’s no easy way to dance around that. Yes. And it makes me sick. A diverse field of highly qualified candidates has come down to a handsy old man with dementia who has been failing at running for President for 30 years. I am SICK of this ridiculous country and its endless variety of ill-informed voters making all of us suffer.

“We’re no better than them if we replace one rapist with another!”

I don’t need to be better than them. There are no points and no scorecard and no prizes. I don’t need bragging rights. The moral weight of voting for a rapist who will improve lives for millions of people is lighter than the moral weight of voting for a rapist who will make life more difficult for millions of people.

“What about rape victims? What are you telling them?”

I, a rape survivor, see a rapist in the White House. He’s been there since November 2016. I hate that this country elected him. I hate that Democratic voters across the country have chosen another rapist to succeed him. I would love to be able to clear the incredibly low bar of “did he rape anybody?” before we install a new leader but we didn’t. I can get stabbed in the shoulder or I can get stabbed in the eye. The guy offering a hug has left the room, so which knife hurts less.

Look. It’s April. We have to vote in November. There are a lot of weeks between now and then where emotions can subside and cooler heads can prevail. Hopefully some of you Abstainers will see the error of your ways and pick the lesser of two evils, but between now and then, we don’t really need to do this over and over. It won’t change the options presented to us and it won’t make the situation more palatable. If we work together we can find the next candidate and make sure THIS is the worst election we EVER have to experience, but four years is a long time. Be prepared to support the vision of however you’ve decided the next four years should look.

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Mayor Pete’s Millennial Resume

Mayor Pete is essentially running for President the way a Millennial would apply for an office job: here are my real qualifications but how can I re-word and slightly exaggerate them on my resume to impress Human Resources?

America doesn’t have an HR department tho.

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How do you get a job in today’s climate? The first step is the resume. Not only do you tailor it to the job you want, but you might exaggerate a little here and there. Receptionist becomes Executive Assistant. Head Cashier becomes Assistant Manager. And knowing a smattering of words in a few languages becomes speaks eight languages.

In a country where a huge portion of the population is firmly against learning even the most basic phrases in Spanish because [MAGA accent] “we speak English in ‘Murrkka,” you wouldn’t think a boring white guy bragging about his linguistic talents would be an advantage to securing any political position, but it’s just the kind of thing that would impress someone without being threatening. He’s not a dreaded SPANISH-speaker trying to woo the Mexicans by offering them our excellent healthcare system and wondrous selection of minimum wage jobs. He’s MULTI-lingual, which means he’s super smart and he’s seen the world. He speaks NORWEGIAN, after all, so he’s gotta be pretty daggum intelligent, right?

Let’s be clear: I could not possibly care less about Norway or how many languages a potential candidate for President of the United States can speak. I don’t care if Pete can speak Norwegian. I care that he says out of the eight languages he allegedly speaks (not just knows a little bit of here and there, but speaks) Norwegian is one of his best. If this is his self-described best of anything I don’t need to see more. He’s mediocre, a liar, or both. Either his very best is unimpressive and rudimentary, and/or he lied about this being his best. Whatever your interpretation, it disqualifies him from being the nominee.

Mayor Pete is just a lump of nothing. Speaking eight languages is a weird kind of brag you use to impress Midwestern white people with your personal brand of intelligence they can neither relate to nor check up on. There’s no Norwegian population in South Bend to check him on that. There’s nobody there who speaks eight languages. It’s something he exaggerated early on in Indiana and he can’t walk back the lie now that he’s on the national stage, forced to impress a whole country.

It fits in with his pattern of behavior. Knowing some phrases in multiple languages became “speaks eight languages.” Having dinner at some Black restaurants in South Carolina became “partnered with local businesses.”

Pete Buttigieg is working hard to convince black voters that they should support him. To do this, he’s promoting his “Frederick Douglass Plan,” which he describes as “a comprehensive investment in the empowerment of Black America.” That’s from an op-ed that Buttigieg wrote last week for The State, a local newspaper based in Columbia, South Carolina, in which he writes: “That begins with entrepreneurship, and our campaign has proudly partnered with local businesses like Diane’s Kitchen in Chester, Atlantis Restaurant in Moncks Corner and the Fair Deal Grocery on Charleston’s Eastside.”

There’s one major problem with the strategy though: apparently those businesses are unaware that they’ve partnered with Buttigieg.

[Diane Cole of Diane’s Kitchen] ultimately told the campaign, “It sounds like you’re saying that I am your business partner. I’m only going to accept that you all stopped in while you were campaigning in South Carolina and I welcomed you all.”

The story was the same with Atlantis Restaurant. The Buttigieg campaign held an event at the restaurant in January, but owner Wendell Varner didn’t learn that the campaign claimed they were in a partnership until ABC News contacted him. Varner said, “It’s a little disheartening to say that—that they would say that we have a partnership with them when we don’t.” The Buttigieg campaign responded to that statement by insisting that Atlantis Restaurant said it was “proud to partner with Mayor Pete in January.” Varner then replied to ABC News again to stress that he was in no way partnered with Buttigieg, saying his relationship with the campaign went no further than “they paid us to have an event at our restaurant.”

(cont. GQ)

Mayor Pete is essentially running for President the way a Millennial would apply for an office job: here are my real qualifications but how can I re-word and slightly exaggerate them on my resume to impress Human Resources?

The problem for Pete is, America’s HR department is us, and we can spot the bullshit in real time thanks to the Internet.

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