Worst Case Scenario

Submitted by Charlie on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 10:48

After lunch, can I whip you?, Nope., Aw, no fair.

"My life can't get any worse." - Homer Simpson
"Homer Simpson, report for Much Worse duties." - Mr. Smithers
"D'oh!" - Homer Simpson

It has been two weeks since Donald John Trump was elected President of these United States. In that time I have started and abandoned about a dozen blog posts attempting to say something meaningful about it. These serial failures are made even more frustrating since I am under no illusion that anyone but me cares what I say on the internet. In other words, I can't even organize my thoughts internally, nevermind coming up with some semi-insightful puffery for other people. For me to be unable to profoundly bullshit is like a sprinter forgetting how to run or a violin guy forgetting how to violin.

Every time I try to wrap my thinking around the vast damage of last week's result, I find myself chasing some specific thread to unfathomably dark conclusions. For example, Trump is going to put Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III in charge of the Justice Department. Not only is the man dimmer than a basement lightbulb, he's also an unreconstructed (<- see what I did there?) bigot, a holdover model from the '53 line of Polite Southern Assholes. He hates black people voting the way drunken Little League dads hate umpires: he's convinced he's being cheated, he just can't say why in public.

The implications of this are so far reaching as to disappear beyond the shit horizon. Not only are we going to have a Justice Department that doesn't bother to enforce what's left of the Voting Rights Act; we're going to have one that actively turns the bottomless pit of federal resources against it. This will prevent countless Americans from voting in elections from President to Sewer Commissioner. On top of that, defeats and legal intimidation will discourage and disempower whole crops of future Democratic politicians and office holders. Oh, and Sessions is going to be in charge of the racist Drug War, the even more racist War on Terror, and the slap-on-the-wrist kabuki that is the Securities and Exchange Commission. Hooray.

Things are no rosier elsewhere: a Labor Department that works for the bosses, a State Department filled with cronies who wouldn't know how to negotiate a grade school lunch room trade, a Department of Health and Human Services that views medical care as a luxury and birth control as a sin. Bush the Younger's Administration demonstrated how a years long slow-down strike built on sustained incompetence could cripple the federal government ("Heckuva job, Brownie!"), and we are now in for far worse.

I could go on, but the inescapable conclusion is that any attempt to catalog or predict the horrors to come is doomed to overwhelmingly incompleteness. (And that's without even mentioning the retch inducing rulings a Trump packed Supreme Court will make.) The only thing we know for sure is that it's going to be bad, as in "pine for the days of Bush the Younger" bad.

Nor am I heartened by anti-Trump protests, conscientious Broadway cast members, or people on Twitter chanting "This. Is. Not. Normal." every time Trump and his henchmen announce another terrible appointee or nakedly feather their own nest. It's nice to see, but that pompous dipshit and his cronies are going to be in power for four years at a minimum, and the politics of total opposition simply cannot be sustained for that length of time, not in the face of bills to pay, kids to pick up from school, and fun new shows on Netflix. Day to day life will always take precedent over politics, and the toilet in the upstairs bathroom is still running after you flush.

(Besides, the overpaid hacks who command the biggest media outlets and audiences haven't exactly covered themselves in glory recently. They're far more likely to adopt a profitable go-along-get-along attitude towards the new Administration than the antagonistic one the country so desperately needs. Trump's evil deeds will go unseen by all but the most dedicated newshounds.)

The only meaningful consolation at this point is that, legislatively, the 2020 election is more important than the 2016 election. (Like I said, I'm not even thinking about the Supreme Court.) The 2010 REDMAP gerrymander will be at its weakest, the 2020 redistricting will be on tap, and the Democrats will have their best shot at unified federal government since 2008. But that's four years from now, four years of increased carbon emissions, looser regulation of Wall Street, and god knows what else.

We are so screwed.