Second Thoughts, Post-Mortem

by William Skink

By the more sober light of morning our new reality is slowly sinking in. On Facebook the shock is shifting to anger and calls to action. It’s time to fight, I see people saying. But fight who? The angry white people who elected Trump? That will mean the oligarchy wins. Who needs to start a war with Russia when we can just get a civil war going instead?

On the Democratic side, I don’t see much capacity to acknowledge what the harsh reality of Trump’s win means. James Conner is one of the few bloggers who does seem to get it:

Democrats intent on making history by putting a woman in the White House nominated Hillary Clinton, her high negatives notwithstanding. She and they then ran an identity politics campaign that confirmed for many Americans that the Democratic Party considers the white working class deplorable bigots who are, and should be, second class Americans.

Once the backbone of the Democratic Party, the white working class, shunned, shamed, and deplored by Hillary Clinton and her political party, turned, in anger and despair, to Donald Trump, a strongman whose finger in the establishment’s face and promise to “Make America Great Again” resonated.

The results: President-elect Donald J. Trump, and a Congress controlled by Republicans.

Yep, the former backbone of the Democratic Party delivered the FUCK YOU Michael Moore recently and quite eloquently warned us about. So instead of the GOP crumbling, we are seeing an existential crisis for Democrats. How will they respond?

A positive response could be finding areas of common interest with the new GOP, like on trade. Donald Trump outflanked Democrats by coopting Bernie’s criticism of the disastrous trade deals, then used NAFTA to bash Hillary. That was one part of Trump’s successful strategy, and it’s something that any self-respecting Democrat who has looked at these terrible trade deals can agree with.

But are Democrats going to make any effort to acknowledge a common policy position, or are they going to throw tantrums and call every working stiff a bigoted, misogynistic, Islamophobe?

For a taste of that reaction, here is Don Pogreba throwing in the blogging towel because team Democrat got trounced:

While I would describe myself as still mostly being in a state of shock, I’m furious—at an electorate that refused to vote in its best interests, at a print media whose false equivalency and horrific coverage led to the election of candidate like a State Auditor who has no real understanding of the job nor a real desire to do it, at the people who tell themselves from awfully privileged perches that elections don’t matter.

It might be time for a little cleaning. It’s time to read books, go to the gym, plan trips to new and exciting places, pretend to work on my “novel,” and to step back from a system that seems, today, to be broken. I’m not sure a country that just elected a candidate they believed to be less fit for the office of President, a country that passed over the most qualified candidate in a hundred years, a country that elected a man who called for unity after running the most hateful, divisive candidate in a generation, is in a place where I feel like I can make real change here.

Sure, if only the ignorant rubes knew what was good for them, they would have voted for “the most qualified candidate in a hundred years”. Anyone who thinks that about Hillary Clinton, then goes on to lament our “post-fact” world, is part of the problem.

In addition to being a post-fact nation of deplorables, how about the fact we are also post-law in this country thanks to Democrats? Obama executed American citizens without due process and faced no penalty. The Clintons have flouted any semblance of following the law with their pay-to-play influence peddling foundation, and (so far) they face no penalty, legally speaking. Hillary Clinton had emails destroyed AFTER getting a subpoena, and she wasn’t indicted. There are even people in prison for doing far less than she did with regards to handling classified, yet for some reason HRC was able to break those laws and get away with it.

Democrats are correct to be scared about what Trump could do with the presidency. That was one of the points I often made when I criticized Democrats inability to hold their own politicians accountable. Obama going after whistleblowers now morphs into Trump going after journalists or that Muslim-looking guy that just looked at him funny. Obama killing a teenager with a drone strike (then later joking about killing his daughter’s would-be suitors at a press dinner) could morph into Trump ordering drone strikes on whatever or whomever he chooses.

Pete Talbot is also taking a break and didn’t offer much on the presidential race.  In his farewell post, titled We’ve gone mad, he had this to say:

I have little to say about the Presidential election. I’m numb. I did have a friend call me to tell me he is scared shitless that his pre-existing health condition will mean no more insurance once Congress and Trump torpedo Obamacare.

I’m glad Pete brought up Obamacare, because it’s currently imploding across the nation and is another big reason Trump got elected.

Yes, it has extended coverage to many previously uninsured people, and that is a good thing, but it’s not stopping the big insurers from imploding the ACA and financially pillaging those of us in the private market.

I’m feeling this one personally. I lost my insurance when I left my job, and for reasons I still can’t figure out, was unable to sign up for Medicaid coverage unless my whole family jumped from their plan. My wife and kids have been with BCBS, but the cost is going up $500 dollars next year to nearly $1,200 dollars a month with $6,000 dollar deductibles for EACH person. My parents plan–they are both healthy and in their early 60’s–is going up $800 bucks. Not only are these costs very difficult to absorb, there is the multiplier effect of less discretionary money to spend on other things, like maybe eating out every once in a while.

I don’t have any illusions that Donald Trump will fix any of this. But I’d be facing the same situation if Hillary had been elected, and unless the plutocrats running this grift-shop we call America want it fixed, then it’s going to keep doing what I suspect it was designed to do: further hollow out middle America.

I know my opinion means next to nothing to those still invested in providing legitimacy to this political system rotten to its core, but I have no immediate plans to shut-up and quit writing. That would feel too much like giving up, and I’m not quite ready to do that.

Stay tuned…

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About William Skink

I'm a poet and political cynic living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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15 Responses to Second Thoughts, Post-Mortem

  1. Well. we have time to create something else while the Republicans are in charge. We should do inventory to have a baseline assessment of how their leadership plays out.

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  2. Eric Coobs says:

    “I don’t have any illusions that Donald Trump will fix any of this.”

    Exactly why not? Looking at it from a business standpoint, and balancing what WE, the taxpayers want, I think he can fix it.

    Being part of the ‘Basket of Deplorables’ that the Dems despise, I hope they start passing out Obamacare waivers to companies on day 1, eliminate the penalty for not obeying, open up insurance across State lines, and get rid of some of the lunacy in Obamacare, such as if you get diagnoses with Cancer or AIDS, THEN you go sign up for insurance and they have to take you, etc.

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  3. Big Swede says:

    “I don’t have any illusions that Donald Trump will fix any of this.”

    But if he did you wouldn’t give him credit anyway.

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  4. petetalbot says:

    You gave up when you burned your ballot, Skink. What you did, though, is help contribute to an all-Republican PSC, the commission that helps decide our energy future. You helped send a militaristic, fossil fuel loving, anti-choice incumbent back to Congress instead of a Native American woman. (Although in your defense, he is a gun-toting, anti-immigration guy.)
    Then there were the judicial races, legislative races, initiatives … but why be bothered? Just keep writing and producing videos, à la Wayne and Garth. I’m sure that will radically alter the course of history.

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    • you are more butthurt over electoral collateral damage from those who refuse to lend legitimacy to this political charade than you are the hundreds of thousands of poor brown people slaughtered by the Obama regime, which I find utterly disgusting and typical of liberal elitists. I think liberals like you who see poor brown people being slaughtered in places like Yemen as not worthy of the same outrage you direct at me makes you just as racist as the angry white men your party is now desperately scapegoating to avoid the uncomfortable reality that Democrats fucked this up so bad Trump won, handily.

      Democratic leadership in this state and across the country worked to disenfranchise primary voters, then shoved one of the worst candidates possible down our throats, despite a growing body of evidence of her corruption and criminality, which gelded partisans like you studiously ignored it as it came out, which is THE MAIN REASON Trump won on Tuesday.

      if you were to actually watch some of the videos I made, you might realize that I’m working through trauma I sustained from 7 years of putting myself and my family at risk working within a broken system to improve services for chronically homeless individuals in this community. I didn’t do it for the meager salary or to climb some political ladder like the Democratic politician who nearly destroyed the shelter due to her incompetence. I did it because I wanted to help, but the political responsiveness in Missoula is to business and development and gentrification.

      I am encouraged some younger leadership is beginning to take the reigns here. your generation needs to step aside because your generation has squandered the post-war prosperity this country enjoyed after WWII and helped create the economic conditions that made a Trump win possible.

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      • petetalbot says:

        Perhaps you’e forgotten that it was Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld who took us to war in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yeah, some Democrats helped and should be held accountable. It’s why I supported Sanders instead of Clinton, and will continue to advance and support peace and justice candidates.

        But when it came down to Clinton or Trump in White House, are there really any qualification questions? We could have survived a Clinton Presidency. I’m not so sure about President Trump.

        But you’re kind of a sexist, aren’t you? The vitriol you’e shown Hillary Clinton rivals that of Limbaugh and Beck. Emails, the Clinton Foundation and a womanizing husband trumps Trump’s sociopathic, misogynistic, racist, nativist proclivities? Time for you to return from Bizarro Land.

        Did you actually talk to any of the women who supported Clinton? This was a big deal to them: the working women, candidates, wives and mothers who have had to take a back seat because of their gender. Something you obviously don’t understand. You call it “identity politics,” but aren’t all politics “identity politics?” Unless there are huge ideological disparities, a Latino is going to vote for a Latino, a Native American for a Native American, a hedge fund manager for Trump.

        And you think Clinton would have sold the working class down the tubes? The damage Trump is going to do to them is incalculable.

        As for those “brown people” you’re so concerned about, for God’s sake, don’t let them settle in Missoula, right, Skink?

        Hoping you can work through that “trauma,” though.

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        • Big Swede says:

          Actually Pete a lot of women supported Trump.

          Los Angeles (AFP) – Despite sex assault allegations hounding him, fat-shaming a former beauty queen and his controversial abortion stand, a large number of women voters helped put Donald Trump in the White House.

          Though his rival, Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, clinched 54 percent of the female vote, Trump was backed by 42 percent of women voters, which contributed to his stunning victory, according to CNN exit polls.

          Some 53 percent of white women voters supported the Republican candidate, CNN said, the majority of them (62 percent) non-college educated.

          The results upended predictions that sexist and degrading comments Trump made against women would sway female voters — who accounted for about 52 percent of the electorate Tuesday — in favor of a candidate that could have broken the glass ceiling.-Yahoo News

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  5. This is so much fun! Two pwoggies going at it, each morally superior. Fur is flying. Get out the milk saucers.

    Gadzooks! A horror show! They’re both afraid. They should get adjoining rooms at the Bates Motel. Politics is so scary.

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  6. Don Pogreba says:

    Thank you.
    I learned a great deal about myself when I realized just how easy it was to ignore people who behave like you.
    It’s been a tremendous improvement in my life. Thanks for the laughs.

    With total sincerity, thank you.

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    • thank you for the comment, Don👌🏻

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    • I am glad you are “retiring,” though I fear you’ll be back. The big red flag is that Matt Singer got you into blogging. He was a Democrat hire whose job was to recruit true believers for the emerging blogging community. He set you up on a small stipend, gave you software, but never had to ask that that you to preach the party line. He already knew you would. He was smart and conniving, a true apparatchik. You’re not. He also told you there was a staff of writers in Helena who would supply your blog with content. Just do party line, no matter from you or them.

      The deepest wound is that you are a “teacher” and you imagine that young people benefit from your mentoring. You imagine you teach them how to think when you do the opposite. Your constant reminder to use “trusted sources” is only another way of saying “do not think for yourself. Avoid using your brain.” You are a poseur. You haven’t a clue how complicated this existence is. You’re so light in weight that birds in the air are fighting each other for nesting material from your thoughts.

      You’re going to do a rejoinder, if you read this, that I think John Lennon is alive. Belief is the enemy of truth. You are a stupid man, a fool. Somehow Carrol College managed to convince you that you should be an example. What a system!

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  7. Jesus you are clueless, Pete. it wasn’t just Republicans that got us into war, it was the New York Times and the rest of corporate media, the same media that sold their souls to Clinton. then you claim we could survive a Clinton presidency, yet you seem to be willfully ignorant on the very real threat of Clinton escalating Cold War 2.0 with Russia. Clinton’s hawkishness is just one of the many reason she was a terrible candidate who got rightfully shit-canned. go ahead and pretend your “support” of Bernie means a goddamn thing now–his chance was stolen by your qualified huckster, HRC. but now with Trump arriving in office, you pathetic, fair-weather anti-war frauds will suddenly be horrified at wars. where was your horror the last 8 years?

    people like you really need to learn some critical lessons right now. calling me a sexist for legitimate criticism against HRC, or a racist when I vehemently criticized Obama, is just one more reason your party lost, lost big, and will continue to lose. are you trying to prove that old dogs can’t learn new tricks? you can’t even fathom Hillary’s disdain for the working class, which is obvious from this part of your comment:

    And you think Clinton would have sold the working class down the tubes? The damage Trump is going to do to them is incalculable.

    again, you are incredibly clueless, but you are correct that Trump will probably do significant harm, but the reason he will be in a position to do that harm is because your Democrats have proven themselves to be slobbering Wall Street enablers incapable of connecting with the real struggles of real people who don’t live on either coast.

    but don’t listen to me, Michael Moore and Thomas Frank are doing a superb job doling out potent doses of reality for clueless Democrats. check ’em out, maybe you’ll learn something.

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    • petetalbot says:

      I listen, and have always taken Moore and Frank seriously. Thanks for the “clueless” references though. Anyway, I’ll leave you with my copied comment from your latest post:

      I’m done commenting here. I’m bitter and hurt and needed to vent. Some really good people went down this election along with many progressive ideals, swept up in Trump’s, Zinke’s and others’ simplistic sound bites. In Montana, this electoral disaster will be felt in many ways, and I’ve mentioned some but here’s another: the state land board. We’ll be auctioning off our Montana trust lands to the highest bidder.

      My time now will be better spent doing some analysis and figuring out how to move forward. I’m not quitting on that. Peace.

      Like

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