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Vengeance is mine, saith Democrats


Like many of you, I’m super-downcast over the Supreme Court situation. I didn’t blog yesterday because I was too depressed. For the same reason, I’ve been staying away from watching the news on T.V. I can’t even take MSNBC; the news is too infuriating. Just the sight of McConnell’s monstrous, chinless head makes me want to hurl a brick at my television.

Is this what Republicans want—to demoralize us going into the elections? What McConnell has done is, quite simply, the worst political thing I’ve ever seen in my life—and that includes Republicans impeaching Clinton, Republican SCOTUS judges handing George W. Bush his 2000 victory, the rise of the racist, homophobic and deeply anti-democratic Tea Party, Republican efforts to undo Obamacare, and, of course, McConnell’s first treachery: refusing to allow a Senate vote on Merrick Garland. Not to mention Republican tolerance of Trump’s rapacious crimes.

Those were awful, atrocious things for Republicans to do. But they’ve now outdone themselves. You know it, I know it, Mitt Romney knows it, everybody knows it. I’m sick and tired of the word “hypocrisy.” It has become normalized, the way Trump’s perverted behavior has become normalized: we see it so much that we become inured to it. There are no adjectives to adequately describe today’s Republican Party, the way there are no adjectives to describe the Holocaust. To attempt to describe such things trivializes them—throws them into the world of things that can be described, which is to say: everything else. The Holocaust deservedly stands alone in history; so, too, ought the modern Republican Party to stand alone in American political and cultural history. An anomaly, a singularity—but there I go again, trying to describe the indescribable.

As depressed as I am—we all know there will be a new Republican Justice in the next few weeks—I also know that if I tune out, crawl under the covers and binge on Netflix, I’m playing the Republican game. That’s what they want me, and you, to do. They want this for two reasons: to discourage as many Democrats as possible from voting, and for the sheer sadistic pleasure of torturing us. I guess I can’t blame them in that respect: if the shoe were on the other foot, I’d take pleasure—schadenfreude—in Republican unhappiness, as I did when we elected Obama in 2008 and re-elected him four years later, as I did when Democrats took control of the House in 2018, as I did when the John Roberts Supreme Court allowed Obamacare and gay marriage to stand.

But this time, I want revenge. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it well yesterday: McConnell is “playing with fire” by holding a vote. What does that mean? I don’t know and I don’t think Rep. Ocasio-Cortez knows, but we don’t have to have the specifics spelled out at this point. All we need is to hold onto our rage. The day will come, as surely as the sun rises in the East, when we will get our chance to extract vengeance. Now, having said that, I’m flooded with guilt: we’re not supposed to hold onto anger, we’re supposed to get along with each other, we’re supposed to strive for bipartisanship. Even Joe Biden talks about “reaching out” to Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents. Vengeance is said to be a very bad thing. It’s unhealthy in a democracy. We should be singing Kumbaya, not wanting to incarcerate our political opponents.

Sorry. I’m not buying it. Not to overuse a cliché, but you don’t bring a flower to a knife fight. The Republican Party made the decision fifty, sixty years ago to fight dirty. This happened when the evangelicals joined up with the professional conservatives to remake the Republican Party into a mafia. Let me tell you, friends, there’s nobody that fights dirtier or tells more lies than a political evangelical! Meanwhile, for all those years, Democrats in Washington tried to play nice. We conciliated, we shied away from street brawls, we refused to call Republicanism what it is: a sick little cult, because we didn’t want to “alienate” all those nice Christians, who were our brothers and sisters and co-workers. We thought, if we treat them with respect, maybe we can get our real message through: universal healthcare, higher wages, a woman’s right to choose, equality for gay people, fair taxes on the rich, respect for the environment.

It didn’t work. The nicer we were, the nastier they were. And now, here we are. It’s time to put niceness away. Niceness doesn’t work. What works is power. Republicans have it now: they’re going to put a whacked-out Christian psycho lady onto the High Court and there’s nothing we can do about it. But there is: we can vote on Nov. 3. We can keep the House, take the Senate, and elect Joe Biden as President. And then, come next January, we can begin the work of undoing the damage Trump, McConnell and the rest of the thugs have inflicted upon America. We can—yes—begin to extract revenge.

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