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Countdown to Election Night!


I’ve made my plans for election night. I refuse to watch it on T.V. alone—it’s going to be too gut-wrenching. So I’ll go up to Lauren and Fernando’s place. I’ll bring a bottle of Aperol, the Italian liqueur I’ve been enjoying lately, which is similar to Campari but a little sweeter, and also some Perrier to mix it with (over ice, of course). And a snack: maybe pizza. Then we’ll settle in.

I’m nervous as f**k, as is every Democrat in America. This could go either way. It could go in several different directions at once. Judging from my conversations with folks, everybody seems to anticipate some kind of chaos, with the most general expectation being that Nov. 3 and the following weeks or months will bring an unprecedented period in American history. Of course, it’s possible that all this catastrophizing is simply that; the election will go off smoothly, whoever loses will concede to the winner, there will be no explosions in the streets, and that will be that.

But if you believe that rosy scenario, I have a bridge I’d like to sell you.

Every time it looks like Biden is a shoo-in, something happens to make me worry. A new poll appears that shows Trump winning the general election. Or a poll showing the Senate remaining out of Democratic control. Or a new report on Republican/Supreme Court voter suppression. It’s interesting to speculate on what happens if Biden wins but Republicans (and McConnell) retain Senate control. It’s a lot more emotionally satisfying to think of Biden winning and the Senate flipping. First thing I would do, were I the new Senate Majority Leader (presumably Schumer), is to institute proceedings to expel McConnell. The U.S. Constitution allows that. Article 1, Section 5 says

“Each House [of Congress] may determine the Rules of its proceedings, punish its members for disorderly behavior, and, with the concurrence of two-thirds, expel a member.”

The thing is, we Democrats have a powerful thirst for revenge. (Most of us, anyway. I sure do.) After what McConnell did to Merrick Garland, he has to be made to pay. Expulsion would be the minimum. Just throw his sorry, chinless ass out. We also want revenge on Trump himself and on his children. All of them. The most satisfying outcome would be for a complete Democratic takeover. Then both Houses of Congress could begin their investigations—into Trump’s taxes, his violation of the emoluments clause, his using the presidency to enrich himself and his family, the collusion with the Russians and everything else. Congress could vote to release the entire Mueller Report to the public, and all the other “secret” documents Trump’s lawyers have been fighting to keep private. Then, too, the civil lawsuits against Trump and his family could be filed—the sexual assaults, the hush money payments, the Chinese bank accounts, the tax dodging, the crooked real estate deals, the whole sordid private life of a disgusting man. I don’t want to hear anyone issuing any Rodney King-type “Can’t we all just get along?” pleas, and that includes Biden, who sometimes, in his urge to unite the country, seems a little too anxious to let criminals off the hook. While we’re at it, the House can expel Devin Nunes (assuming he wins re-election, which he’s almost certain to). He represents one of the reddest parts of California, the inland area of Fresno and Tulare counties, which is 72% white (including “Hispanic”). Nunes got nearly 58% of the vote in 2018, and despite his violent malpractice during Impeachment (when as the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee he transmitted secret developments personally to Trump in the White House), his agricultural base loves him because they’re terrified of “the situation in Los Angeles” spilling over into their idyllic little inland enclave of white middle-classness.

Thing is, if I lived in a tranquil non-urban setting, I’d probably be a little paranoid about the problems of the urban areas (like Oakland) coming into my neighborhood. But I like to think I’m smart enough to understand that you can’t build a wall around Fresno (or anyplace else) and expect to shut the rest of America out. We’re all in this together, to quote a much-overused but accurate saying, and if America can’t figure out what to do about poverty, then we’re just going to continue to drift apart into separate, non-equal constituencies. This may work for the short haul, but not over the longer one, and we’re already seeing how brushing off this problem of unequal income has taken a terrible toll on America. Folks in truly rural areas like the Dakotas, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming—the reddest of the red states—may think they can throw up an electrified, barbed wire fence around their perimeter, but they can’t. Not forever, and not even for much longer. It is true that white people are going to have to make some sacrifices in order for us to “form a more perfect union.” But people of color have been making sacrifices forever. It’s time to share the burden. Look, I’ve been listening to a lot of country music lately, and although I’m a city guy through and through, I “get” it. (Charlie Daniels is basically the musical distillation of Trumpism.) But a C&W song is one thing; governing is another. You can’t just take drug dealers and hang them from a tree in some Georgia swamp. That’s called lynching.

Well, we’ll find out soon enough who wins and what happens. Six days. Go Biden/Harris, go Blue Tsunami, go all you Democratic challengers to Senate Republicans. Just as I continue to have hope for Gus, so I have hope that this Republican nightmare will be overthrown, and we’ll be able to get on solving America’s problems.

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