Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps,
the end of the beginning. — Winston Churchill, Nov 10, 1942
Juxtaposition of the Past Four Years
David Rowe bookends the Trump presidency, offering a conclusion to what became an instant classic in the shocking wake of our last presidential election.
Granted, as Churchill cautioned Parliament, a bit of good news doesn’t bring it all to a close, and, while Rowe has, in the sequel, reduced Trump to an angry, locked-out Twitterbird, there are still orange stains on the pillowcases, because abusive relationships may end, but the damage never quite goes away.
And it would be worth your while to visit Rowe’s Facebook page and scroll through all the other things he had to say about the results.
But we’ve got a lot to cover today, so we’ll leave Australia and go to this
Juxtaposition of the Day
The predicted “Blue Wave” didn’t happen, and Turner expresses both shock and dismay at the apparent disparity in voters’ choices, while Benson chortles and mocks Democrats for having only turned the incumbent president out of office while failing to flip the Senate, pending the special elections in Georgia.
Turner’s surprise is perhaps based on the combination of our federalist system, in which the whole doesn’t always seem to be the sum of the parts, as well as what I think is an oddity resulting from the Seventeenth Amendment, by which in 1913 we altered the Founders’ intention that the Senate be appointed by state leglislatures as a more thoughtful, deliberative body less vulnerable to voter whims.
This article suggests it wasn’t working very well anyway, but that doesn’t mean it’s working well now. And while everyone continues to complain about another vestige of federalism, the Electoral College, the lack of a Blue Wave suggests this might be a bad time to call for a Constitutional Convention, tear the whole thing up and start over.
God knows what the majority might decide should be in or out.
However, celebrating the fact that public rejection of Trumpism wasn’t overwhelming seems a bit like bragging over how many yards your quarterback passed for in a Super Bowl that your team lost.
Juxtaposition of the Day Again
One thing both Conservatives and Liberals can agree on is that the pollsters blew it, and, as Horsey notes, this wasn’t the first time.
Which might explain why, prior to the election, social media was flooded with reminders that the pollsters had also predicted a Clinton win in 2016 and warnings that Biden supporters should not lay back and assume the results would happen unaided.
A pity that James Randi didn’t live a few more weeks so that he could have explained how and why the predicters of future events failed, but, again, it’s not like he was the only Cassandra who could see through the smoke and mirrors.
The tragedy of Cassandra being that nobody believed her anyway.
I don’t know what to do about polls, which, like the Electoral College and the Senate, seem like good ideas in theory that face a lot of real-world obstacles. You can’t simply do away with them — no, not even the Electoral College — until you come up with something that fills that theoretical need but actually works as intended.
Though while the College and Senate are intended to protect against Tyranny of the Majority, the polls seem intended to enshrine it.
It is a puzzlement.
John Auchter (Michigan Public Radio) encapsulates things: It seems simple enough on the surface, but we have an almost limitless ability to overcome simplicity.
To be fair, and to repeat what has been said here before, the concept of pure democracy seems — judging from history as well as logic — better suited for small, homogeneous groups, and, if you want to seek consensus government, it’s best if dissenters have a viable exit plan.
And even then, it’s never simply been a case of finding unoccupied land to relieve the pressure, Frederick Jackson Turner notwithstanding. The “closing of the frontier” is as Eurocentric and silly a concept as is the idea that the prairies were unproductive because they weren’t dotted with cities and planted with crops.
We can agree that it’s pretty screwed up, actually, but only if we accept that simpleminded definitions lead to trouble. Sorry, oh Great Guru.
And so we come to yet another
Juxtaposition of the Day
Thompson’s caption refers to the title of an autobiography and movie about Jimmy Piersall, a ballplayer whose severe emotional problems were amplified by a harsh and over-demanding father.
Major League Baseball can probably be grateful that Piersall never had access to an army of attorneys and that people who cared about him led him to get professional help, which, by the by, is why the story was called “Fear Strikes Out” — because Piersall overcame his demons rather than allowing them to define and direct his career.
Also just saying that I hope those lawyers and loyalist Republicans are getting paid up front.
Though I suppose they’re expecting to be paid back in referrals and other future opportunities, or they wouldn’t, as Pat Bagley (SLC Tribune) depicts them, waste time and energy on such an obvious snipe hunt.
But here’s a Juxtaposition to celebrate
However much clean up and fix up and reform and rebalancing lay ahead, the results of our election have brought forth a moment that matters.
And if you think it’s just some theoretical talking point, perhaps you need to listen to more of the people to whom it matters, including a very successful, well-known sports analyst, who answered her own earlier tweet with excitement.
Now let’s end with a song whose Zulu chorus roughly translates as
It will work out in the end, and, if it doesn’t work out, it isn’t the end.