A peculiar thing is happening in the American press and throughout the social media that I follow.
Everything is the fault of the Democrats (and/or liberals in general) for happening, and everything is the responsibility of the Democrats/liberals to repair. This is not a new demand, though it has risen to a roar since the orange shitgibbon clawed out the EC victory last November. I’m a steadfast Hillary supporter, so you can imagine my volcanic rage at the abuse being heaped upon her head, but the sentiment encompasses more than just her. She is a focus, but the not the phenomenon itself.
I’ve written on this before when it was more in a negative mode – the Democrats/liberals are the root of all that is wrong. (I’ll try to hunt down that old post some other time) This more recent storming about has a different demand.
Every inhuman proposal from the White House, every horrifyingly sadistic bill put forward by the Republican Congress, are presented to the public as something that the Democrats must halt, or be responsible for the outcome.
Democrats are being asked to take responsibility for the nightmare psychosis that has taken over the Republican party and its constituents. We are also being told that we must somehow fix this, stop this, change this, make it all go away. If we fail to, then the apocalypse that most rational people can see looming on the horizon is our fault.
The gleefully hate-drenched, corrupt and self-enriching actions of the Republicans earn a shrug. They’re in power and they will do whatever they like unless they are stopped has become the “Well, duh!” answer to any attempt to question what the hell is going on. Yes, we and the rest of the world know this, but it is a description, not a diagnosis. It is worse than “bothsiderism,” where each party’s acts are set up as equally good or equally nefarious. Acts that are openly acknowledged to be false, cruel, financially unsupportable, patently self-serving, etc., are not described as anything that the perpetrators of them are responsible for. That the entire nation should be recoiling in horror at their acts (and public opinion polls seem to show that up to 90% of the populace is doing just that, depending on the topic) doesn’t perturb the reporters or political analysts in the slightest. It’s just what the Republicans are going to do unless they’re forced to stop. Duh.
What does come through in all of this is the fear. Fear that the responsible adult won’t administer the right tough love and bring those rascally kids back in line. A terror that something has been broken in unspeakable ways and the only force that can put it back together is itself weakened and staggering. The fear that Mommy won’t stop the worst from happening. It’s not a mistake that the rage before and after November was focused so much on Hillary – she literally and figuratively engendered the brutalized body politic.
And the media, in its ferocious need to prove to itself that Mommy was Wonder Woman and would make the unthinkable retreat back into its lair, spent the election season throwing as many burdens on her (the candidate, the party, the Democratic electorate) as possible to test that strength, ensuring that the many-headed beast found a rift through which it could slip.
The public political argument thrown at the Democrats now is indistinguishable from the private argument aimed at an abused partner – why can’t you make him stop it? In the latest salvo, the New York Times today ran an article blaming Democrats for the radicalization of the Republicans on climate change. There was some sighing and finger wagging that the Republicans really shouldn’t be doing this, but their political extremism was laid primarily at the feet of the Democrats for not being more conciliatory. Not making the crazy stop.
The “serious” press wants the Democrats to do what it is too scared to do – name the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice. But not so anyone gets offended or anything. And not so the abusers feel bad about themselves or actually pay any price, just so they’ll back off and quit scaring the rest of us so much. Other, more scummy press personalities, revel in the fear being stirred up, kissing asses and giggling madly at the impotence of the Democrats to stop this. It makes them feel powerful to be associated with the winners. The abusers. The people who maim and kill.
I have no answer, no call to action. We’ve got only one path and that is somehow, someway, become Wonder Woman. Defeat the gerrymandering. Defeat the demoralization. Defeat the organizational challenge. Defeat the financial disparities. Defeat the cyber warfare. Live up to the demands that we do the superhuman task of forcing the nihilists on the other side of the aisle to respect humanity.
I wonder how it will turn out.