What is to be done?

What, indeed?

What, indeed?

Yes, the headline is the title of a book by Lenin.

“I am the Walrus.”

You know what I’m trying to say. …

“I am the Walrus.”

I’m not advocating a communist uprising here, but. …

“I am the Walrus.”

Shut the fuck up, Donny! V.I. Lenin! Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov!

(deep breath)

Anyway: Lenin, Donny and the Walrus aside, the question remains: What is to be done?

As my ideas are probably no better than yours or anybody else’s, including Donny’s and Lenin’s, I’m going to throw the blog open to a discussion about how we, the perplexed citizens of the freshly declared People’s Republic of Kakistostan, should move forward given the “objective conditions,” as my old commie pals used to say.

Some of us have taken to the streets, others to their heels (O, Canada!) and still others to drink, I expect. Also, and too, despair.

So, what next? What now? What is to be done?

Leave your thoughts in comments.

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53 Responses to “What is to be done?”

  1. Jeff Cozad Says:

    It remains to be seen just who The Vulgar Talking Yam (thank you Charles P. Pierce) puts into the Cabinet. Once I see that I can truly despair. I’ll likely be contributing to the surge in whiskey sales.

    I think the only thing we can do is to work our collective butts off to get some rational people into the House and Senate at the midterms. I suspect the Trump Voters are going to be mighty displeased with his delivery of his “promises”. The Democratic party needs to put the progressive wing in charge of things. I am sure glad that Senator Warren didn’t run as VP, but maybe it would have made a difference. We’ll never know.

    • smitwil1 Says:

      Heard someone on NPR this morning say something to the effect of “…well, Bernie could have pulled it off…” followed by “yeah, I wrote him in…”. I wonder how many currently woeful Dems either wrote in a non-candidate or just stayed home in “protest” and are now fretting about the next 4 to 8 years after having chosen to do absolutely everything in their power to put DT in office?

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      The Donks need a better program, better candidates and a better sales crew, for sure. Being GOP Lite ain’t workin’ for them, or for us.

      The composition of Congress is basically status quo, which tells you this wasn’t a “change” election in any real sense.

      It was, however, a reminder (you’d think we wouldn’t need one, but whatever) that a small, determined cadre of true believers can prevail, especially when a vast herd prefers mooing around the feedlot to growing a pair of horns and chasing the Gucci cowboys out of Dodge.

      Midterms need attention for sure. Gerrymandering and the proliferation of safe seats make congressional change a big rock to roll up a steep hill, but at least it’s honest work. Sure kept Sisyphus off the streets.

  2. smitwil1 Says:

    I remember during my short stint in the military that someone said “respect the position, even if you don’t respect the person holding it”. However, I’m not sure how much respect the current president elect respects the position he’s about to hold. It remains to be seen, I suppose, but it’s going to be a personal stretch for me, given the respect that I have for the current man in that position.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      “Salute the uniform.” I understand the concept, having grown up in a military family.

      The presidency is a civilian gig, though, and since this guy didn’t show us the courtesy of preparing for the job interview I decline to tip my hat to him. I recommended that he not be hired but was overruled.

      He will fuck up. That much is certain. How early, how often and how seriously remains to be seen. We’ll have to try to see that he’s held accountable while avoiding Chicken Little syndrome, which is a tough line to walk.

  3. mooremediaone Says:

    My real pet peeve with trumpkin is that he won’t accept that climate change is real – and all the wrong things that he might do to accelerate it.

    I have just enough energy in my day to day life to take action on this issue when he starts going south.

    Other than that, my head will be in the sand with all his other issues that piss me off. There are just too many. I will defend the one that I am most passionate about.

    I think this will allow me to mostly keep calm and carry on. I want to enjoy the holidays coming up, the cycling trips I have planned and all the other good things in life. I refuse to let him ruin my zest for life.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      It’s hard to know where to start opposing Trumplestiltskin because he lies so easily and so frequently about what it is he wants to do that there’s no easily identifiable square one. Especially since his goals, whatever those may be, and those of the GOP are certain to diverge from time to time.

      Climate change is as good a place as any to direct your attention, and the issue that will probably make itself known, eventually, to even the dimmest bulbs in the national chandelier. I mean, even a Republican will take notice when his base starts washing out to sea.

    • Herb Clevenger Says:

      Would very much agree with concerns about the environment topping my list of things Adolph Trump can fuck up. The economy? Meh..bigger fools than him have tried to destroy my meager nest egg. Seems like Republicans are born with teeth. As a old line Democrat I’m feeling pretty toothless right now. So I’m thinking about joining the Sierra Club as a start to combatting all/any attacks on clean air and water. The Sierra Club seems to really piss off conservatives and have at least the legal incisors to thwart an occasional dark move by those who push profits over the people. The Democratic Party will never again see a thin dime from my household. Would rather fund those that will tie up frackers, smackers and crackers in courts all over the land. Hit them in the wallet hard.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        “Hit them in the wallet hard.” Yep. It’s their only vulnerable organ.

        And no more cookies for the Donks until and unless they wise up. We’re getting our clock cleaned from the school boards to the Supreme Court.

        There’s a huge crowd out there that doesn’t vote at all, for either of our two allegedly political parties, or even one of the alternatives. We need to find a way to get them engaged.

        ‘Course, they may not engage on our side of the barricades. Food for thought.

  4. Pat O'Brien Says:

    The oligarchy still controls the congress, and they will try to control Trump. But, they agree on enough scary shit to do some real damage in the next 2 years. Maybe then the “Bexit” like regret will set in and the electorate will wake up.
    What else can we do? Not much. I am sending one email to McSally and McCain telling them to take me off their email distribution until they regain their honor.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Yeah, I think the Repugs still believe they can ride this tiger. There’s the ears, just grab ’em, hop aboard, and hang on. May get iffy when he stops for lunch, but hey, we’ll cross that crumbling bridge when we get to it, assuming the roads hold up.

      I’ll take a few small measures, including croaking my PayPal and Facebook accounts. Down with Thiel and Zuckerberg; down, down. Time to examine the portfolio, shove a few folks over the side there, too. And discretionary spending must be examined as well. No point in feeding folks who bite your hand, or worse.

      We’ll ramp up our support for Mother Jones, The Nation, food pantries, animal shelters, ACLU, SPLC, etc., et al., and so on and so forth.

      And zazen. Mustn’t forget zazen. Don’t just do something, sit there.

  5. Libby Says:

    Thanks for the dose of Lebowski. The gift that keeps in giving. An antidote to the “Hair Furor”.

    For the second Veteran’s Day in a row I shared your post about your father , “Temporary Quarters” on FB. Thank you.

  6. Medium Rick Says:

    What? Keep fighting the good fight, that’s what.

  7. Stan Thomas Says:

    I am the eggman
    They are the eggmen
    I am the walrus
    Goo goo g’ joob g’ goo goo g’ joob

    Expert texpert choking smokers
    Don’t you think the joker laughs at you?
    See how they smile
    Like pigs in a sty, see how they snied
    I’m crying

    … as are we all.

  8. Dale Says:

    Dimon is likely to get a seat around the trough at the Trump House. After the first priority on the agenda (gutting ACA), the next will be to hand over the Social Security trust fund to Wall Street. I may be grandfathered, but I am not counting on it.

  9. Charley Auer Says:

    I’m not over depression and disgust yet to talk rationally!

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      I hear ya, Charley. I’m used to losing, having gone two for 12 in picking presidents. Herself is finding it a little harder to bear, being newer to the game. Neither of us is exactly grinning up a storm, which is problematical for me, since I have deadlines looming and need to crank up the funny, like, yesterday.

  10. larryatcycleitalia Says:

    I see no reason to do much until the new prez gets sworn-in. Until then you’re just pissing-in-the-wind. Once he’s in I’ll wait-and-see what he does and who he asks for help from…if (more likely when) that starts down the crapper I’ll start complaining (and probably moving up my USA to Italy plans). That’s of course if we’ve not been ruined financially by then? Unless you’re rich your tax break’s not going to be very large, so the dolts who elected the guy will be screaming as loud as the rest of us as Trump fails to deliver on most of his kooky campaign promises, but I don’t underestimate the ability of the Rethugs to get on their knees for the “good of the countr……er……party” and help dismantle as much of Obama’s legacy as possible. The real long-term loser here may be Mother Earth as we don’t get any do-overs on any retreat on efforts to combat climate change – how many other countries will conclude, “Well, if the USA’s no longer going to honor the deal, why should we?”
    I ditched the Democratic Party after the hatchet job they did on Howard Dean in 2004. The only good that came out of it was when Dean took over the party and implemented his “50 State Strategy” that somehow then got ditched once Obama was in…and then Debbie Washingmachine Schlitz took over. They torpedoed Sanders in favor of the establishment candidate, same as 2004, with similar results. Someone like Michael Moore needs to take the thing over. After all, he predicted this outcome, but nobody at the DNC paid attention.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      That’s the thing, really … this shit rolls downhill. The GOP’s unwillingness to keep up the national property with its effects on the rest of the planet’s landlords reminds me of watching a neighborhood go downhill.

      One guy stops taking care of the house and yard, then another guy parks his ’72 Winnebago in the petunias, and before you know it the place looks like a “Mad Max” set, only with more cannibals.

  11. larry brown Says:

    OK the orange dude is crazy but the people who are running him are really scary they are the ones we need to watch.

  12. Dale Says:

    I want to go back to the idea that old white men elected Trump. There are not enough old white men like me to elect the slug. It took a whole lot of white women (old and young) to push that load over the top. Don’t even mention the crapload of Democrats who find it too taxing to actually vote.

  13. David Rees Says:

    I think the only thing we can do is to simply get more people to vote in the midterms and in four years. I was reading one summation that said if something like another 1500 people in about ten key counties across the country had voted for her it wouldn’t have even been close. Having said that though, if people didn’t vote in an election like this one, how in hell do you get ’em out at all? It is still simply stunning to me that nearly half the population didn’t vote. And dollars to fuckin’ donuts, it will be that same population that complains the loudest when they don’t get what they want out of the government.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Oh, yeah. What you said. Heavy lifting, to be sure. Maybe we can blow them off their couches with a little C-4.

      Then again, maybe not. From a New York Times piece on the protesters taking to the streets we have this:

      Many protest leaders had supported Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont in the Democratic primary and either did not vote or chose a third-party candidate in the presidential election, said Ben Becker, an organizer with the Answer Coalition, an antiwar and antiracism activist group based in New York. Their anger, he said, had been exacerbated by President Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s conciliatory tone with Mr. Trump in the aftermath of Mrs. Clinton’s defeat.

      I can dig it. I voted for third-party candidates when The Hilldebeast’s old man was running, because it seemed a pretty sure thing that he’d win and I wanted to register a protest vote against Business As Usual. But this time around I had to suck it up and take one for the team.

      I’m not arguing that Hillary was a great candidate. I thought she would have made a serviceable president, until they impeached and convicted her. But I’m thinking now that electing her would have simply kicked this Trumprising down the road a piece.

      • David Rees Says:

        That, it seems, was hugely important Patrick. A good friend’s daughter, voting for the first time, voted for Jill Stein in the general; this after who she really wanted – Sanders – didn’t get the nod. She said it was very important to her to vote her heart and what she felt was “right”. I usually wholeheartedly support that sentiment, but THIS ONE WAS DIFFERENT! Like you said, you had to suck it up and vote for HRC. The Millennials didn’t know that. And if that group had not voted like they did, we most likely wouldn’t be having this discussion. Hillary would not have even been on my list of Donks I would want on the ticket, but in the end, you had no choice.

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Aw, David, you know how it is: You live, you learn. Or so it is to be hoped. I notice Agent Orange seems stuck in junior high, but there’s always one, isn’t there? Too bad it’s this one, at this time.

  14. veloben Says:

    My thoughts on action are still unformed on this. Having just ridden RT66 from Chicago to Santa Monica a few things stick out :
    This is a really big country, most people are nice at least on the surface, some folks are instantly hostile based on nothing, a group of strangers can share an experience and form a tight supportive group quickly and hold on to each other for support without judgement. Empathy is a very good thing.

    I’m in a place were national strategies and analysis of party failings doesn’t interest me that much anymore. Creating a safe space for myself and OTHERS is important to me. Just expecting the authorities to do that isn’t enough for me. I find my thinking turning to how to identify harassment in real time and strategising how to intervene so public hate doesn’t become the new normal. If someone wants to hate fine, but not in my space.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      Well done, sir. And well said. Make where you are a better place and hope it spreads.

      Did you enjoy your ride? And what, you pedaled through the Duke City and didn’t holla? No worries, I’m much more interesting and easier to look at from a considerable distance.

      • veloben Says:

        To my regret I did pass through your neck of the woods and did not give you a hollar. I have a passel of excuses, some even plausible, but still just excuses.

        I plan on returning next late summer early fall to spend a week or two camping and hiking around El Morro. Like the country and seems to be more than a few interesting folks there about too.

        Wishing you health and gratitude

      • Patrick O'Grady Says:

        Health and gratitude to you as well. We’ll get together one of these days. Shucks, on Friday, Herself and I joined Khal and Meena for dinner Friday in Santa Fe. So it can happen.

  15. Pat O'Brien Says:

    Good morning all! Well, I caught a cold so flushing out the headgear, as Patrick would say, on the Saga ain’t happening today. Maybe some day the Mad Dog fan club can meet in Duke City for a ride and dinner.

    • Patrick O'Grady Says:

      We’ll git ‘er done one of these days, Pat. Feel better soon. I’ve been enjoying some upper respiratory distress myself, but I’m thinking it’s dust, animal dander or the capriciousness of a vengeful deity.

  16. psobrien Says:

    Hurben, just saw this on the USGS web site. Hope you are doing OK.


  17. khal spencer Says:

    Politics is the art of sausage being made. I held my nose and voted for the Hildebeast because the alternative was far worse. The folks who voted for Jill Stein et al as a protest vote can piss and moan in the street all they want, but by being purists, we got Trump.

    Larry is right, though. We Donks need to shitcan the GOP-lite idiots running the party and return it to its roots.

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