What is the sound of one hand clapping? Chinese proverb
OK screw it, I was wrong. So, sue me. A little over a week ago I put up a rather lengthy article, in which I chronicled the fact that Trump’s obstinance in the current partial government shutdown was not something unique to Trump, nor to the shutdown, but was simply the latest episode in an almost decade long history of perpetual obstinance by the GOP, both as a minority party, and now as the majority party. I was right about that, but as it turns out, I missed the mark on the bigger picture.
Obstinance is a blind and innate stubbornness, which flies in the face of facts, and persists, even when the obstinance is rendered futile. That was true then. But now, with Trump’s attitude, we have entered a whole new realm. We have passed from the barren wasteland of obstinance into the vast, arid desert of petulance.
There have been a whole lot of descriptions laid on this President to give body to his demeanor, and few of them pleasant. “Man child,” “Infantile,” “Childish,” “The Toddler in Chief,” “a whiny 2 year old,” and my own personal favorite, “The Pampers President.” They all share one common characteristic, and that characteristic drives His Lowness into a foaming, rabid rage. Basically, the President of the United States of America is noting more or less than a big baby. “You think I’m a fucking baby?!?” Trump raged at his then Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson. Considering the fact that this President is the only world leader I’ve ever known of who has been immortalized by a giant baby blimp in his likeness, I’m guessing that the answer is in the affirmative.
But what is the universal defining physical characteristic of a baby? Why, a diaper of course! How can you have a baby without a diaper? You can’t have one without the other. And right now, in a very literal sense, Trump’s personal and public diaper is none other than Yertl the Turtle, one Mitch McConnell.Mitch McConnell has become the political receptacle for all of Donald Trump’s shit.
How in the hell did this happen? Mitch McConnell is supposed to be a wily, savvy, career politician. How did Mitch McConnell become the final resting place for Donald Trump’s political boo-boos? I look at him as a character from the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mitch McConnell is Smeagol. Just another simple, good natured goof. But then, he was seduced by a dark power. And that power was power itself.McConnell saw the shimmering gold of being the Senate Majority Leader, and it consumed him. And once he got it, he was ready to do anything to maintain it. Ravage the very traditions and norms of the chamber he held dear? Done. Cause untold suffering to millions through obstinance? No problemo. Hitch his star to an evil, malignant force to remain in control? Your wish is my command. McConnell is no unwitting dupe here, and he doesn’t give a shit about Trump, he sees Trump’b base as a way of clinging to power. McConnell has become Gollum.
And like Gollum, McConnell no longer has any control over the power that will eventually destroy him, and his little dog too. McConnell had his chance at salvation yesterday, he could have set his caucus free to pass the House resolution with a veto proof majority, and ended the nightmare for 800,000 federal workers, and instead he sat in his dark corner, rasping “My Precious” over and over again.Just like his new overlord, the Trump Sauron, ending the shutdown would have been seen as a lessening of his power, something that could not be accepted.
Gollum McConnell is about to go plunging off of the cliff into the fiery pit, clutching his precious ring. It was reported last night that there was an extremely nasty and contentious private meeting of the GOP Senate caucus yesterday, with WI Senator Ron Johnson bluntly telling McConnell, “This is all your fault!”Since when does a member of the caucus hold the leader personally responsible for a political debacle, especially in front of the rest of the caucus? Can anyone even conceive of a rank and file Democratic Representative directly castigating Nancy Pelosi, in front of her caucus? It was even reported that the Vice President, Mike Pence, was not spared the ire of the caucus. I would have given my left nut to have been in the room for that one. It had to be like watching somebody chase his new puppy around with a rolled up newspaper for piddling on the living room carpet.
I honestly believe that the end to the shutdown is in sight, and sooner rather than later. Trump’s meek subservience to Pelosi on the SOTU skirmish shows that he knows that he’s beaten, as does his “We’re getting crushed” comment to aides in response to the media coverage of the shutdown. The fact that immediately following the two failed votes in the Senate yesterday, McConnell summoned Schumer to his office, shows that the only real question left is just how much the resolution to the shutdown is going to cost McConnell.The Democrats will shortly present a counter offer to Trump’s dribble of last Saturday, and McConnell will save as much face as he can. With the brewing upheaval in the Senate, I find it doubtful that Trump’s wishes are going to get much consideration.
But to my eye, the way this is playing out strongly suggests to me that this is the beginning of the end for Mitch McConnell. He’ll likely survive the rest of this session of congress, mainly because nobody else wants the job of having to be a conduit between Trump and the rational world. But if GOP Senators, especially those whose chances for reelection McConnell has just weakened, are holding McConnell personally responsible for their situation, it’s hard to see how he gets reelected to leadership, especially if the GOP ends up back in the minority again in 2021.
Because McConnell fornicated the canine. He put 800,000 federal workers on the shelf, but that’s only 7 departments of the federal government. There are millions of other federal employees out there, and they have been watching closely what has befallen their brethren. Only 20% of the federal workforce resides and works “inside the beltway.” The rest of them are scattered throughout all 50 states, and they’re paying attention. Furloughed federal employees are starting to say on camera that this shutdown has mobilized them and their families. Their children, and other non political family members are now registering to vote. And they’re spreading the word far and wide. This is not going to be another “Cruz shutdown,” Here one moment, and quickly forgotten a week later. This has gone on too long, it has gotten too personal, and there has been too much pain. Shit just got real boys.
It will be interesting to see how this finally plays out, and how long it takes. But the fact that McConnell’s own caucus is now split, an d likely with a bitterness and recriminations that go on long after the shutdown is over, McConnell’s, and by extension Trump’s power has been weakened. And this is not good news for either one of them, especially with so many cabinet vacancies to fill, and the slew of judges that McConnell still wants to pack the court with. It’s starting to look like it’s “every man for himself” now, and that’s not an effective way to get things done. Don’t touch that dial.
Copies of President Evil, and the sequel, President Evil II, A Clodwork Orange make perfect e-stocking stuffer gifts for people you really aren't all that interested in impressing. And what better time to get reacquainted with the roller coaster that was the 2016 election cycle than before the release of the final volume of the trilogy, President Evil III, All the Presidents Fen.
Cross posted on Politizoom.com
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