Well folks, we are only hours away from the swearing-in of POTUS # 45, Donald J. Trump. Some view this event as the beginning of the end. Others see it as the end of the beginning, envisioning more of the same thrills, chills and spills that had marked his unorthodox campaign and shocking victory. Plenty to love or hate here, depending on what horse you backed. But I wonder what the forty-plus percent of eligible voters who didn’t cast a ballot think of it?
The reaction of many in the Democratic Party, soon to be renamed the Party of Sore Losers, defines the old adage, “It’s all over but the crying.” From safety pins, sit-ins, street demonstrations, bumper stickers, Facebook posts and all variety of “Not My President” protestations, it seems the president-elect is in for a rocky road indeed. At last count, sixty-two members of the shrinking Democratic minority in Congress now plan to skip the Inauguration entirely, poking their collective fingers into the eye of this cherished ceremony long symbolizing our history of peaceful political transition.
The Inauguration promises to be a more toned-down affair than seen in years past. This is due primarily to the left-leaning entertainment industry turning their collective derrieres on any thought of celebration. So, no Beyonce’, Mariah Carey (thank God) The Boss or Madonna. Party-goers at the several Deplorable Balls staged throughout the Capitol will have to settle for entertainment from Tony Orlando (without Dawn) and Kiss cover bands.
But the Big Story is the promised Women’s March on Washington scheduled for Saturday. Liberal ladies and others from across the nation and beyond are planning to descend on the Capitol to occupy, resist, and voice their collective disgust, dismay and distrust of the new man in the White House. The march will be transformative. It will be empowering. It will give men complete license to act foolishly during the NFL playoffs on Sunday. But mostly, it will screw up Washington traffic for hours and create havoc for the poor slobs trying to schlep to their weekend jobs to put bread on the table.
The media coverage of this march will be ubiquitous and predictable. CNN, NPR, MSNBC, the New York Times, the Boston Globe and other progressive media outlets will breathlessly report crowds totaling in the millions, preaching solidarity and sending a message to be heard round the world. Fox, Breibart, the Boston Herald and MAD Magazine will casually mention that a few dozen misguided people wandered down Pennsylvania Avenue seeking a selfie with Ashley Judd. Clearly, big media wins huge with this election.
The passing of the torch to a new President and Republican majority causes my cynical heart to wax nostalgic. I will miss the rants of the Rabid Right claiming Barack Obama a closeted Muslim and jihadist agent-provocateur, plotting to disarm America through the deployment of blue-helmeted United Nations peace keeping forces made up of battalions of third world troops surreptitiously garrisoned in red states with orders to confiscate every last AR-15 and AK-47, even sacrilegiously prying the late, revered Charlton Heston’s treasured flintlock from his dead hands.
But I take solace that this nonsense is being rapidly supplanted by the howls of the Loony Left. Coping with the shock of Hillary Clinton’s uncanny achievement of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they have emerged from a very brief period of soul-searching and finger-pointing to conclude that she really had won all along. Her victory was merely muted by “non-college educated,” (their pc term for illiterate) white voters from the more backward, reactionary, culturally primitive and rusty parts of the country – roughly within the confines of the Appalachian Mountains, the Sierra Nevada, the Canadian border and the Gulf of Mexico.
They reason these poor dupes were grossly manipulated by a cynical billionaire with a smart phone employing tactical support provided by Russian intelligence and the F.B.I. Throw in the obsolete, inherently racist, democracy confounding Electoral College, and you have a trifecta casting long odds.
To counter this, the L.L. supports massive increases of Planned Parenthood funding in the red states, professes a new-found affection for their long time enemy the C.I.A., and demands the elimination of the Electoral College – or at least the merger of it with Harvard University.
The election has brought about a climate change in the rarefied air of the Washington political environment. The Democrats have suddenly discovered their latent Federalist tendencies. Suddenly, the succor and support offered by local and state government as a backstop against the bullying Federal behemoth seems like a very good thing indeed. Separation of Powers is hailed by Progressive Federalists with a zeal not seen since the time of John Breckenridge and Jefferson Davis. They have also become New-Age Cold Warriors, expressing antagonism and hostility toward anything generally Russian and specifically Putinistic. (I invented a new word here) They have convinced themselves that Donald Trump is merely a martinet, jerked to and fro by the puppet-master and former KGB strongman.
Rumors abound that Russian intelligence agents not only had the dirt on Hillary Clinton’s machinations against the late Bernie Sanders campaign, but more shockingly, unconfirmed reports hinted they have POTUS # 45 on tape in flagrante delicto in Moscow with someone not Melania. Mr. Trump immediately mounted a vigorous defense of his fidelity to wife number three, claiming to be both a germophobe and someone far too wary of surveillance to fall for that old honey-trap. But oh, how far we have fallen. Note this as we say goodbye to a president embodying class and replace him with someone known for crass.
The Republicans, now in control of the whole shooting match, do what power-drunk politicians always do. The shocking thing is the speed in which they managed to stick both feet in their gaping mouths when caught attempting to de-fang an “ethics” watchdog committee on the first day of their congressional majority.
“Whoops, what were we thinking,” they said after the rest of the world cried fowl. Even the President-Elect chided them for acting so hastily.
Indeed, with approval ratings in the thirty percentile, it would appear that President Trump has nowhere to go but up. I hope that he does show up for the swearing-in on Friday and doesn’t just tweet “I Do” from his Manhattan fortress. We are entering a new political reality on January 20th, with a President who really doesn’t give a hoot about his adopted political party and threatens to act independently….or so he says.
This maliciously moderate, cynical centrist has only two words for you: