Well, it’s 2021, and this is the week it all happens. The runoffs in Georgia will determine the balance of power in the Senate. A day or so later the results of the Electoral College voting will land in Congress to be certified. Hopeful times, right? I thought I should write something about the dawning new year and the prospects for some sort of turnaround! But all that came out was this:
Show of hands, everybody who’s looking forward to 2021, convinced it just has to be better than 2020!
Really? That many?
You people are frickin’ idiots.
And then, this:
Yes, there’s a bunch of COVID vaccines, but the rollout is going horribly, and not just in America. Here in Canada, the per capita vaccination figures are even worse, and the absence of centralized federal guidance just as pronounced. Deaths will thus continue to mount on both sides of the border for many months to come, particularly given the masses of people who either a), don’t believe COVID is serious and refuse to take precautions, or b), have been convinced by the shit they read on Facebook to refuse to take vaccines (and yes, both varieties of yahoo live up here, too). Plus, in case anybody up here in We The North country is feeling smug, Canada has suffered close to 16,000 deaths thus far, which per capita is only a little better than twice as good as the US, which is to say, not so great (even though we are doing four times as well on reported cases – still not great, considering). Here in Ontario, we continue to set daily records for infections, and everything is going back into lockdown, while reports out of Alberta and Quebec seem even worse. There’s no immediate end in sight. Maybe things’ll improve come Spring. Or Summer. Or maybe the frigging bug will mutate into something beyond the immunity provided by the current vaccines.
Yes, Trump is going – but is he, though? Leaving aside the last gasp efforts to reject the election outcome and pull off a coup, which, as I write this, are still ongoing and have moved from the courts to Congress, Trump and his clan have designs on the future, and might just maintain their iron grip on the now hopelessly corrupted Republican Party. I’m not saying this is inevitable. I’m not asserting that one mean Tweet from Donald will always be enough to strike terror into the hearts of the likes of Lindsey Graham, and all those other worthless turds whose chief fear is getting “primaried” and losing their death-grips on their cushy jobs suckling at the public teat. Nothing is certain, sure, fine. But do you feel lucky? Are you actually optimistic? Anyway, if not Don Jr. or Ivanka in 2024, who? Tom Cotton? Ted Cruz?
From which followed naturally:
Maybe you think that poor Joe Biden is going to be able to return things to normal? C’mon. Fat chance. Anyway, what do you mean, “normal”? Rationality? Fact-based policy? Bi-partisan comity? You gotta go back to before Newt F’ing Gingrich for that. The pre-Trump, Obama era normal – to which we’d be lucky to return at this point – was already a dumpster fire riding a rickety rollercoaster to Hell. It wasn’t Donald who started the authoritarian, heinously anti-democratic rot that took over the GOP, and turned early 21st Century America into an oligarchy in the grip of minority White rule reminiscent of Apartheid era South Africa. It wasn’t Trump who turned Congress into a blocked up talking shop of White male obstructionists unwilling to do anything at all if it made the Dems look good, no matter how sensible it was. Unless the Biden administration can reform the Senate, reform the Supreme Court, abolish the Electoral College, redraw America’s skewed electoral maps, get new States admitted to the Union, counteract the malign influence of Big Tech and social media, re-draft the crappy 18th century Constitution, put teeth into laws that are supposed to keep the Executive in check, fix the problem of Big Money running Washington, get the quavering Democratic caucus to abolish the filibuster, and stop America’s vast herd of ungulate dim-bulbs from voting the likes of Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul back into their permanent sinecures every six years (thanks, Kentucky!), democracy in the US is as dead as a nit. Just like it already was when SCOTUS handed the Presidency to popular vote loser Bush. Just like it was when Donald took the White House despite the GOP again losing the popular vote, for the seventh time out of the last eight elections, actually, this time by roughly three million. Just like it must continue to be so long as 73 odd million Trump voters believe the shit that Donald’s been shovelling, and remain convinced that Biden stole the White house from the guy who actually did steal the White House, and still means to steal it again. Even when Trump’s last ditch gambit fails, the damage is done. Vast numbers of White Americans prefer tyranny to fair elections that don’t go their way.
So yeah, Biden will take power, after still more bumps in the road. Then what? Even if, somehow, the Dems win both Senate run-offs in Georgia, you think Joe’s going to be able to ride his razor-thin, two-year-long Senate majority to vast socio-political reforms that address climate change, entrenched racism, extreme economic inequality, brutal tax system unfairness, voter suppression, health care dysfunction, crumbling infrastructure, the manifold nightmares of relentless Republican deregulation, and the sad effects of decades of GOP assault on the very notion of government? You do know how the American political system works?
And you think he’ll be able to restore America’s standing in the world, now, after four years of Trump’s depredations? Like, Europeans and Asians are suddenly going to regard America as a reliable ally and partner in upholding the crumbling liberal world order? Foes like China and Russia will once again fear the sustained, unwavering counter-pressure of American policy? Countries like Iran are going to come back to the negotiating table to sign new treaties with good old dependable America?
You think all the rest of us in the declining western world will be just fine somehow when he can’t?
Gosh. That’s no fun. Anyway, you’ve heard it all before. Boring! Perhaps a new leaf is in order? After all, it’s a brand new year! Anything is possible! Can’t we be just a little bit optimistic for a wee while until events prove us misguided? Can’t we just wait and see? Must we start off by bemoaning the fresh Hell that hasn’t even arrived yet? Let’s try hope for a change!!
Yeah, OK, sure.
Hang on a sec. Just need to make a slight adjustment…
Right, I’m now oozing optimism, I swear.