Got Those Plague-Times, POTUS-Crimes, Post-Election Blues

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I intended to blog right after the election, but I couldn’t get off these g’ddam tenterhooks long enough to sit down at the keyboard.

(c) Anonymous: Tenter hook in an 1822 trade catalogue, published by H. Barnes and Sons, Birmingham, England.

The White-House Washout’s plethora of meritless lawsuits, the GSA’s (General Services Administration) refusal to cooperate with the Biden transition team, McSmug McConnell rushing to fill every open judicial seat with an anti-progressive, and the upcoming run-off elections in Georgia have kept my nerves taut for more than four weeks now.

That, and COVID, of course. Resolute in their determination to do zilch to combat the virus, the Has-Been and his Admin have all but cheered as infections, hospitalizations, and deaths hit new heights last month.  Equally resolute in his determination to deny Americans a desperately needed COVID relief bill, Mitch the Merciless is instead using his influence to cripple the Biden Administration before it’s even a thing.

I know y’all were hoping Biden’s win had brought me joy.  I’ll allow it has brought me more restful nights.  Counting the days till the petulant pervert is no longer POTUS is way more effective than counting sheep.  And I’m tots excited about Kamala Harris as VEEP.  I had a few issues with her work as California Attorney General, but she’s been a helluva Senator, and all those about-time! FIRST boxes she checks are simply brilliant.

Still, it’s hard to put on a party hat when the GOP is digging trenches in the halls of government and actively urging folks to buy into election conspiracy shite.  Hard to dance in the streets with Mitch and his mindless minions pledging to be as obstructionist with Biden as they were with Obama — times 100.  Hard to pull off rose-colored glasses when the only reason Dipstick Donnie’s countless coup attempts have so-far failed is that Biden did what he absolutely had to do:  he won in an unmitigated landslide.  Had the margin of victory been even remotely disputable, the deciding votes would have been cast by the newly-minted, aggressively-conservative Supreme Court, and there would be no glimmer of light at the end of this four-year tunnel.

What’s really got me singing the blues, though, is the dismaying success of the Alt-Right misinformation/propaganda machine.  It works so well, it’s got 75% of America’s voters believing there was voter fraud in the November election (there wasn’t), and 40% of them convinced that voter fraud affected the election’s outcome (it didn’t).

The rhetoric from the Right as they swing wrecking balls at reality with their baseless claims and groundless accusations is disturbingly violent.  Since a Nazi-sympathizing racist became president, there’s been a massive uptick in domestic terrorism; incidents quadrupled between 2016 and 2017 alone. Worryingly, this post-election fire and fury isn’t just coming from the radical Right.  It’s coming from ordinary, average citizens who are being whipped into a frenzy by partisan messaging about Democratic conspiracies.

(c) CNN

I’m not surprised the Proud Boys are waiting for their loser-leader’s orders to start the next civil war.  I am a bit surprised that the people virtually gathering by the tens of thousands under hashtags like “Stop the Steal” and enlisting in factions like Liberate and Reopen (the “patriots” whose pre-election pro-Trump convoys clogged freeways, stopped traffic, and tried to run the Biden bus off the road) are normal, everyday, next-door neighbor Republicans.  I wish I was surprised that a group calling for “boots on the ground to protect the integrity of the vote” attracted 350,000 members before being booted from Facebook for spreading disinformation. The fact that FB once again managed to get the stable door closed only after the horse had bolted doesn’t surprise me in the least.

So here we are, 48 days from Biden’s inauguration, and election officials, poll workers, vote counters — folks just doing their jobs — are afraid for their lives.  Republicans who certified election results, refused to discard valid ballots, or failed to find an extra million or so votes for Trump hiding in the recounts are being reviled as traitors.  Joe DiGenova, a lawyer for the runner-up, recently added fuel to the fire by attacking Chris Krebs, former head of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (Cisa) and Trump appointee.  Krebs was fired from his post shortly after (correctly) stating that the November election “was the most secure in American history.”

“Anybody who thinks the election went well,” DiGenova said on The Howie Carr Show, a podcast aired on YouTube and the Trump-allied Newsmax TV, “like that idiot Krebs who used to be the head of cybersecurity, that guy is a class A moron.  He should be drawn and quartered.  Taken out at dawn and shot.”

(c) Heinz-Dieter Falkenstein/imageBROKER: The Drawing and Quartering of François Ravaillac, the assassin of Henry IV of France, 1610.

The silver lining here, I suppose, is that sane Republicans are begging people to get a grip.  In fact, one of them just called the voted-out Prez on his incendiary speeches and tweets.

Gabriel Sterling, Georgia’s voting systems manager, was already upset about the threats he’d received after announcing his state’s election results, the police protection he subsequently needed for his home, the soon-to-be ex-POTUS calling his boss (also a Republican) “an enemy of the people”, and the sexualized threats directed at his boss’ wife.  When he learned that a contractor working on the Georgia recount was getting death threats because a video of him transferring a report to a county computer was being used to falsely accuse the poor fella of manipulating election data, Sterling held a press conference to plead with He Who Shall Not Concede to put an end to the madness.

“Mr. President . . . You have the right to go to the courts.  What you don’t have the ability to do — and you need to step up and say this — is stop inspiring people to commit potential acts of violence.  Someone is going to get hurt, someone is going to get shot, someone is going to get killed, and it’s not right.  It’s not right.”

The lame-brained lame duck’s response?  Next day he released a 46-minute video where he quacked like crazy, touting the voter fraud BS the courts have rejected, spewing an outdated litany of complaints about Russia and Obama, making a hard-ask of the Supreme Court to overturn the results of the election, and calling for a re-vote.

That last one is popular among the misguided MAGAs these days.  Retired Lt. General Michael Flynn, National Security Advisor for the first three weeks of Donald Jellybelly Drumpf’s term — and guy who pled guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts — used the Get-Out-Of-Jail-Free card (presidential pardon) he’d just been handed to take to Twitter. 

The right-wing news release Flynn retweeted petitions America’s Sorest Loser to declare martial law, suspend the Constitution, silence the media, and command the military to “oversee” a national re-vote.  “We will also have no other choice but to take matters into our own hands and defend our rights on our own,” the news release warns, “if you do not act within your powers to defend us.”

It’s not right, it’s just not right
Somebody’s gonna get killed some night.
Someone will die —
But that won’t satisfy
Delusional Don and the rabid Alt-Right.
Oh, baby, it’s sad but true,
I’ve got those plague-times, POTUS-crimes, post-election blues.

Risa Aratyr @ December 3, 2020