This morning the furnace fired up for the first time this fall.
If this had happened Tuesday evening, I might have considered it an omen. But on Thursday? It’s November, man. It had to happen sometime.
And so, too, probably, did Donald Trump.
Maybe Wisconsin should have been our canary in the coal mine. This former case study in the practical application of progressive politics has turned into its Bizarro World doppleganger, inexplicably clinging to its numbnuts Gov. Scott Walker like some sort of smelly security blanket and telling Russ Feingold to go fuck himself.
Walker the presidential candidate didn’t even make it to the Iowa caucuses, dropping out of the race in September 2015, and we all had a good laugh about how his lame little act wasn’t ready for prime time.
And then Insane Clown Pussy made it all the way to the finish line.
You’ll find any number of analyses for why this played out the way it did, but I find myself agreeing with Kevin Drum and Charles P. Pierce, who think it has a lot to do with what Drum politely calls “racial and cultural identity,” Pierce calls “nativist racism,” and I call “assholes.” (Hey, I don’t have any advertisers to take offense.)
What does it all mean? There are plenty of deep thoughts about that floating around too, and I imagine you’ve already seen, heard, read or had many of them.
But for starters, it means that once again the GOP has done an “Exorcist”-style about-face on just about everything it’s claimed to hold dear whenever Democrats are in charge: Filibusters are bad; the Electoral College is good; and only “spoiled crybabies” dare question the legitimacy of a duly elected president.
What do we do next? Pick ourselves up, dust ourselves off, and get back after it — hopefully a little wiser for the experience.*
As E.J. Dionne writes: “(W)e cannot allow fear or anger to drive us from the field. If ever our nation needed a determined, thoughtful and creative opposition, it is now.”
* Speaking of “thoughtful and creative,” let’s not burn any flags, OK? Bad optics, don’t you know. I thought that shit was stupid even when I was a hippie.