Three Hundred

Q: How many days into Trump’s term in office did it take for Democrats to introduce articles of impeachment?

A: Three hundred, not that it has a snowball’s chance of doing anything other than stalling in the House. It’s the thought that counts, I guess? Except the next thought must invariably be President Mike Pence?

(Year Zero/Day Three Hundred)

You’d Better Believe Tax Reform Is Happening

According to the latest reports sourcing purely objective political actors with no ulterior motives, tax reform will be passing the House this week. That’s right: tax reform will be passing the House next week, and the Senate will follow suit by early December.

While the GOP’s original September deadline for producing a bill the president could sign elapsed with nothing to show for it, congressional Republicans now understand the mistake they made was thinking the House would pass a bill other, previous weeks that are not three weeks from now.

The stars are now in alignment. As long as Donald Trump doesn’t expose himself to a minor, or trigger the nuclear holocaust, or attempt to reinstitute slavery, or fire Robert Mueller, or punch a grieving war widow, or mistakenly tell the press he’s now a communist, tax reform is defunitedly happening by the first of June.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Ninety-Eight)

One A Scale From One To Ten…

How surprised are we supposed to be that Roy Moore, the GOP senatorial candidate from Alabama who fully embraced the Trumpian worldview, abused teenage girls?

One.

Or that one of his defenders used a biblical analogy to handwave away what Moore did?

“Take Joseph and Mary. Mary was a teenager and Joseph was an adult carpenter. They became parents of Jesus,” Alabama State Auditor Jim Ziegler told The Washington Examiner. “There’s just nothing immoral or illegal here. Maybe just a little bit unusual.”

Somewhere around a five.

What about Sean Hannity’s declaration that Moore’s relationships with the teens was “consensual”?

HANNITY: How do you possibly tell, know the truth, except — okay, so, the two other girls were older in this case. He was apparently, like, 32, and he dated — one girl was 18, one girl was 17, they never said he did — there was no sexual — there was kissing involved, and then they’re saying this one encounter with a 14 year old —

CO-HOST LYNDA MCLAUGHLIN: And it was consensual —

HANNITY: And consensual, that’s true. And there’s, you know — I just — I don’t know how you find out the truth.

Hmm. Maybe an 8?

And finally, how surprising is it that anyone seriously expects Moore to step aside when denying the problem worked so well for the president last year?

Oh, definitely a 10.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Ninety-Four)

“What’s Steve Bannon Up To?” I Often Muse

It might have been better if Alt-Right Rasputin had remained in the White House, rendered politically impotent, but politics rarely delivers a satisfactory ending. No, ol’ Steve is busy wearing too many shirts, doing his best to avoid red meat and 

now flies only by private plane — and has his own small security team that surrounds him 24 hours a day.

No word on whether Bannon’s new dietary restictions interfere with ritualistically consuming the raw flesh of an infant, which he must do quarterly to appease his dark masters. Did Politico even ask?

An Unhappy Anniversary

How did the night of November 8, 2016 end for you?

Were there tears? Were you panicked? Did you succumb to numb shock? Did you feel something akin to the momentary weightlessness when the trap door opens but before the noose snaps your neck?

I experienced the latter. Sitting in complete silence, not counting the victory speech spewing forth from televisions, I felt spacesick.

Trump’s reign has warped our sense of normalcy, so it’s helpful to recall where Democratic voters and many more non-voters were. The day started with mild optimism. Not for Hillary Clinton, per se, though there was a nation of pantsuit wearers for whom she was an avatar of blasting through the glass ceiling. It was the optimism that a ostensibly democratic system wouldn’t allow a serial abuser and racial demagogue into high office, that the slog — for even then Trump was exhausting — would soon be at an end.

The media narrative was reassuring in this respect. Polls by statistics wunderkind Nate Silver were touted with a kind of religious fervor. I wished I could share their relief; instead, a deep unease disquieted me. I knew, and had been saying for over a year, that Donald Trump was not a joke. He was a threat to democratic norms. He had less in common with the Republican Party than he did with Benito Mussolini. Electing him would spread the poison of fascism deep into the body politic. He was giving fresh voice to America’s ugly racism.

By the end of the night I knew how Cassandra felt.

It’s fitting that the electoral college, a product of the American system of slavery, was the mechanism that solidified our country’s reaction against its first black president. In many ways Donald Trump positions himself as the anti-Obama, the embodied spasm of white rage against the empowered Other. His election was no different. When it became clear Barack Obama had won in 2008, people spontaneously and joyously flowed into the streets. Even many of those who didn’t vote for him felt a cautious optimism about the possibilities of the American experiment. Suddenly the failures of neoliberalism seemed fleeting, a ghost ship passing in the night before the first light of the sun exorcised its terrors.

Eight years of calcified intransigence and growing racial resentment later, we’re under no such illusion. November 8th was the final unspooling of all that hope. In 2016 we were united only in grievance. A year to the day since Donald Trump was improbably elected, his presidency is a singularly corrosive force. America was never great, but what’s happening now threatens to unmake what small progress we were able to scrape together.

(Year Zero/Day Two Hundred and Ninety-Three)