the tunnel at the end of the light

“The Democrats don’t have a prayer until they can make the GOP pay for every wingnut they have. Every last racist, absurd lunatic, religious bigot – they have to be front and center, and not just on the Daily Show at 11 PM. The GOP is living off the assertion that ANSWER is the Democrats’ base. That has to change.”


Spoiler alert: it didn’t change. The GOP managed to run against Obama for eight years as the bastard son of Malcom X and George McGovern, and then got the most openly racist candidate for President in forty-plus years into the White House. And at no point was the GOP ever made to answer for being a cesspool of white supremacists and wackadoo conspiracy theorists, and unless there’s a tsunami election in 2018 it doesn’t look like they ever will be. 

You could pin it on an American media in love with the golden mean fallacy, but the uncomfortable fact of the matter is that much of America isn’t what we wanted to think it was. Every time someone tries to say “we’re better than this,” the appropriate reply, like a slap on the face, is “apparently not.” Because we’re not. 

Because the GOP tolerated the crazy. Hell, the GOP embraced the crazy, took it around behind the middle school and tried to get pregnant by it. GOP members of Congress shot watermelons in their yard. GOP Senators pledged their troth to talk radio lunatics. Republicans mounted a six year fishing expedition that started with allegations around a shady land deal and eventually impeached a President based on perjury in testimony about a civil suit completely unrelated to the land deal which somehow got bound up in the same investigation. (At least Robert Mueller’s investigation is wholly focused around the matter of Russian interference, until he gets fired anyway.) There were eight years of screeching about whether a Democratic President was actually born in the United States or secretly in thrall to some foreign power. Then he was replaced by his loudest antagonist, in thrall to a foreign power.

And nobody ever made the Republicans pay. Not for Glenn Beck, not for Alex Jones, not for Dan Burton or Louie Gohmert or Steve King or Donald Trump. The Democrats were made to answer for everyone from a fringe rapper to a former preacher to fictional characters (I hear Murphy Brown is coming back, though) and the GOP had to apologize for none of its nut jobs. Which is how one ended up in the White House. And now gets to add a second member to the Supreme Court. 

So: there is no price for crazy, the side with the most votes loses repeatedly, and the institutions lock these results in. That’s a broken system. There are consequences. I may not be glad I lived to see them. I’ll tell you this free of charge, though: the decision not to have kids was the right one.

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