CSotD: Whole lot of shakin’ up goin’ on

Robert Ariail (AMS) has it right: The Republicans are beginning to admit to themselves that Trump is highly unlikely to survive on Nov. 3.

And the photos on the windowsill are a nice touch, because Dear Leader has always been more concerned with Dear Leader than anyone else, but we knew that, and, more to the point, the Republicans knew that.

We discussed the meaning of “rats leaving a sinking ship” the other day, and, if these rats had been going to do that, they’d have at least ignored him, if not renounced him, four years ago. But they didn’t, which makes the lifeboat metaphor much more apt.

Those who knew the ship was doomed left well before Dear Leader’s ascent. They bailed out during the Newt Gingrich years. Those who stayed, and those who came aboard since, knew what they were getting into, and have been happy to take advantage of the majorities they’ve enjoyed.

At this point, I think it is only Trump that they are abandoning, not the GOP itself, nor are they necessarily calling for the party to cast off its more extreme trappings. The fact that the party is officially supportive of Q-Anon candidates suggests that nobody’s sorry for having failed to keep Trump off the ticket in 2016.

However, to extend the metaphor, after launching your lifeboats, it’s necessary to row hard and fast in order to get away from the wreck, to avoid being sucked under when the big ship sinks, and there are Republicans now who are not sorry for the past three-and-a-half years but are very sorry to be bound to Trump in this election cycle.

As others have suggested, it may be hard, a year from now, to find any Republicans who even remember that Trump existed, much less that they endorsed and supported him.


Still, as Lisa Benson (WPWG) points out, to the victors belong the spoils, and the hardcore, post-Gingrich Republicans are perfectly happy to celebrate the gains they’ve made in this administration, which were, after all, not all that dependent on Donald Trump.

Trump was simply a symbol of the free hand they’d been given: It was Mitch McConnell who blocked Merritt Garland and then pushed through Amy Coney Barrett, giving the Republicans three SC justices when tradition — assuming a Biden victory — would have only given them one.

W was a puppet of Cheney and an unspoken network of hardcore Republican operatives, but McConnell hasn’t bothered to hide his manipulation.

Which means that the various Senate races coming up may be more important than the Presidential one.

Obviously, a Democratic White House would be valuable, given that, however, things shake out, the GOP won’t have a veto-proof majority in either House, even if they manage to hang on.

But they didn’t have a veto-proof majority under Obama, either, and the fact is, you can’t sign or veto a bill that never hits your desk, and McConnell blocks anything he doesn’t like.

He’ll do that again if the GOP holds onto the Senate, even by one seat.


I wasn’t planning to feature more Pope/Civil Union cartoons, but Graeme MacKay (Hamilton Spectator) captures some relevant matters here.

The obvious one is the absurd hypocrisy of accusing Democrats of bigotry for opposing Barrett’s nomination on religious grounds, given that their presidential candidate is a devout Catholic, and I did get a chuckle.

At the same time, however, the Pope’s coming out in support of civil unions isn’t much of a game changer for Catholic voters either, because the Church is nowhere near the “one holy Catholic and apostolic church” it was before Vatican II, which, I would note, was nearly 60 years ago.


Still, playing the bigotry card has its value, though a very large number of Catholics would laugh it off, just as they have ignored the Church’s teachings on birth control and post-divorce dating for the past half-century.

As for the upcoming vote, GOP Senators in tight races might wish to remain silent until after the election, but forcing an early vote means they must choose: They could gain votes by demonstrating independence and strong ethics, but it would cost them the support of Republican hardliners.

It’s a no-win situation, and they’ll have to vote to confirm, even if their only goal is to remain in office to help rebuild a shattered party.

Bearing in mind that, as in similar situations, that shattered party is going to have to want to be rebuilt or it will all be heartbreak and a waste of effort.


Perhaps that energy might be better spent attempting to rebuild a shattered nation, as depicted by Chris Weyant (Boston Globe).

The Pledge is a powerful symbol of how our nation has fallen from grace over the past century. In liberal circles, it’s well known that it was written by a socialist and referred more to the flag as a symbol of the American people than of their government.

Machs nix. It was quickly seized upon as a loyalty oath to the government, the words “under God” being retrofitted to keep them atheist commies out, and it is required in classrooms in nearly every state (a few simply “recommend” it) in order to indoctrinate children before they are even old enough to know what the word “allegiance” means.


Despite the Facebook rantings of rightwingers who insist it isn’t happening, as seen in this 2015 You Damn Kid strip.

Grandpa Harvey would also be disappointed to learn that it was never “illegal” to say “Merry Christmas,” but you’d never get him to believe it, the advantage of the Big Lie being that people who have pledged their allegiance consider it unpatriotic to ask questions.

We’ve always been at war with Eastasia.


In lieu of a tune

Arlo Guthrie has announced his retirement, due to a series of strokes and due to it simply being time.

Here’s an interview I did with him in 1980.

And another I did with him in 1989.

“Good man” doesn’t begin to cover it. Talking to Arlo will reset your spirit, and we could all use that about now.

5 thoughts on “CSotD: Whole lot of shakin’ up goin’ on

  1. Re the Pledge or Allegiance: I recommend teaching children what “indivisible” means. When I was in elementary school, that confused me. I knew it was different from “Invisible” but I still didn’t understand the word.

  2. We stopped saying “The Pledge” in schools where I lived in 1969. I distinctly remember the day it happened. In my Kindergarten class, we students decided to say it anyway (since we worked so hard at home to learn it) and the teacher nearly got fired. Imagine that; my first act of civil disobedience was saying the “Pledge of Allegiance!”

  3. A lot of high schools make it part of their morning announcements, which is okay if they make morning announcements before classes begin. However, I’ve lectured several places where it’s not that well organized and it’s infuriating to get started and be interrupted by the intercom.

    One place I was four minutes into my spiel, in an auditorium with four classes of jrs and srs, when the voice boomed in saying “Please stand and say the Pledge,” at which I said, “Y’all are alcoholics?”

    Had them in the palm of my hand for the rest of the period.

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