A Poem for Memorial Day

Singing Out
by Jan Barry

How big would the war
Memorial wall be
If it listed all the names
Of soldiers who died of suicide ¬–
Able, Baker, Charlie…
Jacob David George
Three tours in Afghanistan
Jeffrey Lucey
Marine vet of Iraq invasion
Theodore S. Westhusing
Col., US Army
Who wrote in Iraq
“Death before being dishonored”

I couldn’t write about
The first Vietnam vet I knew
Who killed himself –
I couldn’t write about him
I couldn’t write his obit
Because newspaper policy prohibited
Reporting suicides
I didn’t know what to do
With that—that—that—muzzling

The second vet I knew
Who killed himself
Was found with a copy
Of one of my writings
In his wallet –
We cannot protect our buddies
We cannot protect our friends
With words alone

We need to change
Our apocalyptic, hellacious
Hell-bent, death-dealing culture –
Our flag flapping, sword saluting
Sworn to secrecy
Stiff upper lip, suck it up
He-man, iron man military mindset

We need to transform
The “death before dishonor”
Code seeded in our souls –
To singing out for life,
For a lifetime
Singing out
To challenge, to change
Our dancing with death

(This poem comes from Warrior Writers, a non-profit organization that teaches and gives space for veterans to write and create art about their experiences. You can donate here.)


Republicans Are the Extremists, and They Want to Blow Up the Joint

Last week, Republican House Minority Leader Kevin "I hope Trump keeps my balls on ice so they can be reattached some day" McCarthy gave a press conference that was a distillation of everything the GOP is right now. Indeed, in many ways, it was a succinct summary of the Republican strategy since at least Ronald Reagan, if not Barry Goldwater. The best way to describe it would be "barbaric nihilism masked as patriotism and piety." Or maybe "A pile of bullshit with a hypocrisy sauce dripped on top that they expect their voters to gleefully gobble up." 

McCarthy dragged out the old hits that Trump Republicans have revived. Much like Donald Trump's brain, the GOP's development was arrested in the 1980s, which is why McCarthy can say with a straight face, "Socialism never practice what it preaches. That is why I’m alarmed when Democrats use Socialist rhetoric and push Socialist policies." 

Every time a conservative launches into some old song about supposed leftist extremists like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Bernie Sanders, I just think, "You dumb motherfuckers wouldn’t know how to deal with real left-wing extremists. You think drum-circle kids with Antifa tattoos and Bernie memes are radical? The fuck are you talking about? Health care-for-all is no more socialist than roads and fire departments. Those are public goods. You think a higher tax rate on the rich is some kind communist plot? You couldn’t fucking take some genuine motherfucking wealth redistributionists who will strip the rich people of their money and property at the end of gun, if necessary. We’re talking people who would fucking blow up Trump Tower. We're talking environmental warriors and armed Marxists ready to bring capital to its knees. But you know what? On the left, we don’t give those real radicals the keys to the party. The right fucking elects its extremists. Its racists. Its conspiracy nuts. Its gun nuts. They’re running the joint now. We have to bargain with terrorists when we try to reason with Republicans. Fuck you."

I'm not making this shit up. It's not just Cro-Magnon Barbie doll Marjorie Taylor Greene and her antisemitic grunts while waving a spear and screaming at the moon for murdering the sun. She and a few other hysterical shit babies just sent a letter to the Secretary of Defense whining about "the creeping left-wing extremism in the U.S. military." What's the evidence of this? Is it an attempt to steal military equipment to attack Wall Street? No, it's that soldiers might have to watch a video with a lesbian couple and their kids. Or they might have to do some diversity training. This is their response to an investigation into right-wing extremism in the military, which is not about teaching soldiers not to be racist, but is about violent motherfuckers joining things like, oh, hey, a coup against the U.S. government.

Meanwhile, the Republican Party of Clark County, Nevada (where Las Vegas and 75% of the state's population are), is desperately trying to prevent a takeover by the Proud Boys, those Nazis-without-the training who have become so ubiquitous at GOP events that, really, the line between the two groups really doesn't exist. But that doesn't mean Republicans want that relationship out in the open by electing them to leadership positions. "Jesus," county officials must be thinking, "keep the crazies in the cellar. Don't let 'em run free and fuck it up for the rest of us."

Getting back to McCarthy, just look at this shit he babbled on about. He said, "Democrats want to control what we read, what we teach our children and deny our history" while Republican legislatures are passing laws that literally control what is taught and what is read when it comes to history.  He said, "Democrats want to censure free speech and restrict debate through political correctness" while stripping the incredibly shitty Liz Cheney of her leadership because what she said about Trump and the election was not heterodox enough for the GOP terrorists. He said, "Democrats want to redistribute taxpayers’ hard-earned money from those who work to those who choose not to" while refusing to raise the minimum wage and after having cut taxes on the wealthiest, taking money from the hard-working poor to fund the wealthy.

It's not hypocrisy. It's utter bullshit, and it's bullshit that's meant to keep the Tucker Carlson-watching shit gobblers satisfied. Terrorists thrive on lies and duping the easily fooled. It's how they succeed. And they do it all to please Donald Trump, who is their Osama bin Laden, not satisfied until he brings the whole goddamn joint down.

The point here is that Democrats need to stop pretending that these savages can be reasoned with. Every time Joe Manchin meets with Republican senators, he is giving aid and comfort to a group of mad bombers who want to push the country backwards, who will undermine the things we believe are foundational to the nation, like democracy and freedom of expression and more. We can't treat terrorists like they're honorable or reasonable negotiators. 


I'm Losing My Capacity for Empathy Thanks to People Who Refuse to Get Vaccinated

I want to see things through other people's eyes. I really do. I want to understand why they believe the fucked-up things they do. Those of us who truly understand the MAGA crowd, who have attempted to put their barbarism and belligerence in some kind of context that makes sense, who have considered their "economic anxiety" and their manipulation by nutzoid media and mad evangelicalism, we know that it all comes down to racism, whether they wanna admit it or not. And in moments of empathy, I get that they are victims as much as they are perpetrators, that decades of GOP fuckery in gutting and dumbing down the education system, not to mention an unending stream of lies spit at them from politicians and alleged "news" outlets, not to mention generations of ignorance being passed down as wisdom, the ultimate in bullshit taking the place of rational thought, that all of this has an effect on their brains, contorting them into a grotesque version of an engaged citizen, one that couldn't give a fuck about the society as a whole, just themselves and their group of fellow racists. 

I never said I liked them. I just said I can find empathy, having grown up among the very same people.

But when a young white man I was talking to this week told me, "I'm not getting vaccinated," I lost my capacity for empathy. I asked why, and he said that he didn't trust the vaccine because of how quickly it was developed. When I did my usual rap about how it's actually taken 20 years of work to get to this point where the vaccine could be developed, he said, "I know. I've heard. I just don't trust it."

I said, "Oh, someone's been watching YouTube too much."

"No," he said. "I don't watch that stuff. And I'm not conservative. I don't even watch the news." To be fair, when someone tells me "I don't watch the news," I just think that means they get their news from idiots around them rather than a news source, but, hey, might not be worse than Fox. 

"Then I don't understand," I responded. "You're a smart person" (he is) "so you should know the science."

"I just don't trust it," he said. I left it there. And that was the moment I thought, "Fuck it. Get sick. I'm vaccinated. I'm covered."

Yeah, I know there are legit medical reasons why some can't get vaccinated. And, of course, there are kids under 12, who can't get it yet. But otherwise, I just don't give a fuck about your queasiness. I don't give a fuck about your worry that scientists have played fast and loose this time. I just don't fucking care. Your misgivings are bullshit. And your feelings don't fucking matter to me. And they shouldn't matter to anyone. 

Because, see, what you're saying by not getting vaccinated when you can is that you don't give a fuck about anyone else. Yeah, the chance of death is still pretty low, but the chance of long-term damage to your health in even mild cases of COVID is not quite as low, with a greater chance to die in general because you had it.  But it's not that you can get it. It's that you can give it to someone else. 

And I don't fuckin' care that you know someone who tested positive of COVID after getting vaccinated. Get back to me when you've heard about thousands of people getting badly sick or dying. Because that's what the vaccine prevents, also.

I'm fucking exhausted with the vaccine refuseniks. I'm especially exhausted with Republican refuseniks because their goddamn president, the one that made this whole situation so much worse, still brays like a drunk jackass at a cheap petting zoo about how he personally ejaculated the vaccine for everyone. Which is it, GOP? If you love Trump so much, why not take his cold, hard injection? 

The same thing goes for masking. I stopped wearing a mask outdoors except in crowded places a few months ago, even before I was vaccinated, because the science said I could. Most of the time, I wear a mask just to make others feel comfortable, even in places that don't still require it around here. I'd bet that the majority of people who wear masks indoors in places like Texas or Iowa or Florida are vaccinated. I get that. I have empathy there. We just went through some scary shit that's still going on. I understand that you might be really freaked the fuck out. But there's gonna come a day where I think, "Yeah, I'm done wearing a mask if I don't have to." Probably on a day that hits 90 degrees. At some point, you either trust the vaccine or you don't. I'm Modernaed up, motherfuckers. 

Of course, the refuseniks are gonna be total lying twatmites about mask-wearing, demanding that they be able to go without, even if the science says they shouldn't. Some of them have started saying the snarky, transphobic "I identify as vaccinated." To which you can only say: Okay, you dumb bitches, then when are you going to transition to vaccinated? By the way, you can get a t-shirt that says that shit. In fact, there's a whole line of anti-vax tees because of course there are. 

Look, we're never going back to "normal." The pre-COVID normal doesn't exist anymore. For instance, I learned that I can wear a mask at the house of my friends who have cats, to which I am savagely allergic (please don't tell me what to try - I have). But the mask allows me to hang out, shoot the shit, do some edibles, even pet the cat. I'm not going back to normal: my eyes watering, stuffed nose, face freaking out. And my face is like the world in general. We're figuring out how to negotiate this post-pandemic world, trying to figure out what works for us. 

And the assholes who won't get vaccinated are making it that much fucking harder. 


How Public Schools Failed Black and White Students in the South By Hiding the Truth

Ever since I heard about the Opelousas massacre of 1868, I haven't been able to stop thinking about it. Also called the St. Landry or St. Landry Parish massacre, I asked friends of mine who, like me, grew up in Lafayette, Louisiana and were educated by public schools there. None of them had heard of it, including one who is a historian, although not of that particular subject. And that ignorance disturbs me on a very deep and personal level.

The first time I became aware of it was when I clicked on a tweet from the Equal Justice Initiative, an amazing civil rights organization based in Alabama. It featured a film by Jim Batt and Kim Boekbinder on the history of Reconstruction, the period after the Civil War, when Blacks, mostly freed slaves, were terrorized in the South even as the U.S. government attempted to secure their rights and safety before abandoning them in 1877. The short film, narrated by Tera DuVernay (Ava's sister) and with illustrations by Molly Crabapple, was focusing on the rampant violence against Blacks when it brought up how, in Opelousas, Louisiana, in September 1868, an estimated 200 Black people were killed by white mobs over the course of a couple of weeks. 

I felt like I had been kicked in the stomach. What the hell did she say? Opelousas massacre? That's a town about 17 miles from my family's house. Why had I never heard of this? After watching the rest of the film (which you should), I went to the "Reconstruction in America" report put out by EJI, which is all about how rampaging whites lynched thousands of Black people during Reconstruction. And on page 60, there it was, a story about how whites, enraged at the thought of Blacks voting, beat a white abolitionist writer and ran him out of town and then, to stop them from voting, mobs of white people, including the Knights of the White Camellia (basically the KKK), went on the days-long killing spree. The stark result of the violence was that in the 1868 election, in St. Landry Parish, which had a population of 14,000, 3000 of whom belonged to the Knights, not a single vote was cast for Republican Ulysses S. Grant. Louisiana had the worst violence in the South during Reconstruction, and the Opelousas or St. Landry massacre was "Reconstruction's deadliest episode of violence."

There's a story I've told a bunch of times: In eighth-grade, in my middle school in south Louisiana, the social studies subject was the history of the state. Our teacher was Mrs. Broussard, a middle-aged white woman with a Cajun accent who always wore floral print dresses to class. She carried herself like she was going to a cotillion after school. The class was about a third Black students, two-thirds white. Now, that was a long, long time ago, and I think the subject of the day was immigration to Louisiana from Ireland and Italy. I may be foggy about that, but I distinctly remember one lesson from Mrs. Broussard. She told us, "I'd have rather been a slave than an immigrant back then because if you were a slave, all you had to do was obey Massa and you got meals and a place to sleep." And most of the class, Black and white, agreed. Unfortunately, I couldn't join them because, see, I had watched Roots a year or two before. I saw what they did to Kunta Kinte and Kizzy, and it had blown my mind wide open about the savagery of slavery. It had filled in huge gaps that we simply weren't taught in any of our history classes and wouldn't be taught to me until I went to college.

And now, I was furious that we hadn't been taught about the Opelousas massacre in my Louisiana history class. It wasn't like it was hidden in its time: The violence was the subject of congressional hearings, and it was reported around the country. The entirety of Louisiana's racist history is breathtakingly awful. But this was just up the road. It wasn't 100 miles away like the Colfax massacre, where up to 150 Black people were killed in 1873, or the St. Bernard Parish massacre, where up to 100 were killed in October 1868, or others, and all of which we should have been taught, too. This wasn't abstract, either. Families around me were descended from the whites of St. Landry Parish

I'm thinking about this for a couple of reasons. Obviously, the first one is the bizarre way in which conservative politicians and media figures are attacking "critical race theory," which nearly every one of them gets wrong, and the 1619 Project, the incredible act of journalism and research edited by Nikole Hannah-Jones that reconfigures American history around the original sin of slavery in this land and its legacy. The Project's impact has been astonishing, with some public schools creating new curricula around it, and that has scared the hell out of white conservatives. So now we have states and localities making laws saying things like the one in Texas that states that teachers can't teach that "one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex” or that “an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race or sex, bears responsibility for actions committed in the past by other members of the same race or sex.” And, of course, that's all up for interpretation, which means that if someone makes white people feel bad by talking about all the massacres and oppression of non-white people, it would violate the law. Why would you bother courting that kind of trouble? 

The other reason I'm thinking about all of this is an article from Michael Harriot in The Root where he excavates the history textbooks taught to various Republican senators who are screeching about critical race theory (or their perversion and hypersimplification of it) and the 1619 Project. Interestingly, many of the textbooks are state history ones, and, unsurprisingly, they whitewash the reality of slavery. As Lindsey Graham would have read in the 1958 edition of The History of South Carolina, for instance, "Most masters treated their slaves kindly. Africans were brought from a worse life to a better one. As slaves, they were trained in the ways of civilization. Above all, the landowners argued, the slaves were given the opportunity to become Christians in a Christian land, instead of remaining heathen in a savage country." Harriot also finds a Louisiana history textbook from a few years before I would have taken my eighth-grade class, and it says the state's slaves were "among the happiest and most content" and, regarding the massacres during Reconstruction, "Because of frequent clashes between freedmen and whites, the War Department dispatched Union soldiers to Louisiana while groups of former Confederates like the White League formed to protect whites." It wasn't that whites were mass-murdering Blacks. It was "clashes."

I'm constantly enraged about the history of this nation and I'm constantly appalled by the treatment of non-whites and I'm constantly disappointed by our refusal to fully confront that past. Even the details around the Opelousas massacre will make your blood boil, like how, under duress, some Blacks declared allegiance to the Democratic Party and they were given red ribbons to wear, indicating to the rampaging whites not to kill them. I've always been furious that we were taught a false version of history, one that elided over the brutality whites committed against Blacks. And I feel that fury anew now that I know that history included an event that should have been, at the very least, given a lesson or two, if not a full damn unit. That fury includes anger for the victims of the massacre, who should not be forgotten by the Black and white people in the state.

Why weren't we taught about the goddamn Opelousas massacre? Someone had a stake in not telling us about it. They had a stake in keeping us ignorant of our sins. They had a stake in lying to us, and in doing so, the schools failed us students. I don't know if the other white kids would have come away from a lesson on the Opelousas massacre with a different perspective on race in our state. But it would have given them a fuller picture of the reality. And that might have changed a few ignorant minds. It might have even made a few of the kids, white and black, angry about their history. That was the threat.

This isn't about an interpretation of history. It's about the factual events of history. Add your interpretation after you tell the truth about the deadliest massacre of the Reconstruction era. Our schools have a responsibility to give us the good and the bad and the outright evil in our history. What's happening today in many of our schools is that they are correcting a generations-old, intentional, harmful deception that has done untold damage to our country. I can't imagine the betrayal that Black Americans feel about that deception, but I fully grasp the betrayal that white Americans should feel about it.

You wanna know why so many people are ready to believe whatever lies the powerful tell them, despite all facts showing the truth? It's because they've been conditioned from an early age to believe a fantasy, one that is affirmed every day by the media they choose and the leaders who benefit from the lies.

So now that works like the 1619 Project and other reexaminations of American history have come out,  now that some schools that used to lie want to tell the truth, today's Republicans need to shut that down. Or else where will they get their future voters?


How a Story From a Middle Tennessee College Is Really About Our American Apocalypse (Part 1)

This isn't a hard story, but the hardest part about telling this story is where to begin. There are so many pieces, so much history, so many still-moving parts. It involves a history of a town, Cookeville, Tennessee; the history of a school, Tennessee Technological University; the personal stories of those involved; a battle over a school mascot; right-wing media's vortex; and so very much more. But, maybe, we should begin with the cause of all the trouble: the flyer.

The flyer shows a white man with a buzzcut sitting on the Iron Throne from Game of Thrones, looking stern, as one might do when posing on that iconic prop. This is Professor Andrew "A.J." Donadio of the Nursing Department at TTU. The flyer reads, "This racist college professor thought it would be a great idea to help start a Tennessee Tech chapter for this national hate group, where racist students can unite to harass, threaten, intimidate, and terrorize persons of color, feminists, liberals, and the like, especially their teachers. Their organization created a national ‘Professor Watchlist’ to harass and intimidate progressive educators, including many women, African-American, and Muslim professors. Professor Donadio and Turning Point USA. You are on our list. Your hate & hypocrisy are not welcome at Tennessee Tech. No Unity With Racists. Hate Speech Is Not Free Speech."

The flyer was created by a friend of mine and a tenured English professor at TTU, Andrew William Smith. On Friday, February 5, copies of it were placed on tables in the largely empty Nursing building by tenured German professor Julia Gruber. Gruber went back 90 minutes later to take the flyers away because it is a college in the middle of Tennessee and it didn't seem to be worth the trouble, but some of the flyers had already been taken by someone and shown to Donadio. On the afternoon of Saturday, February 6, Smith posted it on a bulletin board in the student center. It was brought to the attention of the school administration, which launched an investigation into Smith and Gruber based on a complaint from Donadio for violating university policies by posting the flyers, even briefly. They were identified by witnesses and surveillance images - no, really, they used security footage, and they look like terrorists in the pictures from it because they're wearing masks, which is what you do in a pandemic.

Some context here: Donadio, who is an outspoken conservative on Facebook and at meetings in Putnam County where he is an elected county commissioner, became the faculty advisor to a TTU chapter of Turning Point USA, which is the organization started by annoying conservative activist and insipid radio "personality" Charlie Kirk. It says it's a "non-profit organization whose mission is to identify, educate, train, and organize students to promote freedom." In other words, TPUSA (which, to be fair, always makes me giggle because, well, TPing the USA does seem like the right-wing's goal) wants to indoctrinate college students into conservatism. It is literally doing what conservatives accuse "liberal professors" of doing. 

Oh, and TPUSA does have a Professor Watchlist, which exists "to expose and document college professors who discriminate against conservative students and advance leftist propaganda in the classroom." It's a fairly limited list, and it mostly just gives people excuses to harass the professors for things like sending an email saying that God wouldn't be mentioned in a graduation ceremony or for activism off campus. It's bullshit, like everything Charlie Kirk does, but it has a malevolent intent, like everything Charlie Kirk does.

TPUSA has been cited numerous times for its association with white nationalists and the alt-right and called out for those associations by the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center. No less a source than the conservative Washington Examiner says that it's "a group that’s deeply troubled and dishonest at its core," citing its issues with racism and its blind support for Donald Trump, in an article titled, "Young conservatives should steer clear of Turning Point USA." Other colleges have refused to recognize campus chapters; at Taylor University, which has a student chapter of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, the student senate voted to reject TPUSA. 

And why not? After all, Charlie Kirk praised the continued closure of campuses in the Fall of the pandemic not for safety reasons, but because he believed that it would limit student voting against Trump, which is not exactly supportive of student rights. And Turning Point USA sent seven buses of people to the January 6 election protest that turned into a violent insurrection. Kirk had originally said they would send 80 buses, but he's never not a liar. Kirk himself has often promoted the false allegations of election fraud, with conservative pollster Frank Luntz telling him at one point, "This election is over." In other words, lots of people on the right and on college campuses reject TPUSA and Charlie Kirk. It's not really all that unusual.

I'm telling you all of this because one thing that has gotten lost in the fallout from the flyer is that Turning Point is a terrible organization filled with terrible people and those associated with white nationalist groups and whose goal is to harass and threaten professors, and it suckers students into being part of what is a legitimately more radical organization than just about anything on the left. I mean, for chrissake, look at the hypocrisy at its core - calling out the left for being "woke" and engaging in "cancel culture" while coming up with a rhetorical hit list of liberal professors and attacking anyone who is associated with Black Lives Matter.

I wasn't going to say anything about this whole situation beyond a few tweets because I was worried about my friend losing his job. Then Donadio decided to go public. He turned to the churning right-wing media machine, perhaps hoping to get some mileage out of the usual aggrieved white conservative schtick we've seen so many times. The first piece was in the Tennessee Star, which is run by a former Breitbart-er and Tea Party dinguses. It featured examples of things Smith has said, like a defense of Lil Nas X's "Montero" video. Smith and Gruber are not shy about their activism on a range of issues.

Also getting into the act was Charlie Kirk himself. On TPUSA's website, Kirk called Smith and Gruber "amateur neo-tyrants," and he defended the Professor Watchlist. Yeah, see, according to Chuckles, the Professor Watchlist is pure as driven snow in that it is "reporting only factual accounts that have been published by other news outlets." In one entry, which I won't link to, those "news outlets" include the crazy-right-wing clearing house for attacking liberals at universities, Campus Reform, and the hardly neutral National Review. And then Kirk has the gall to say that it's a threat when the flyer says, "You’re on our list," when his organization has a publicly available, actual, you know, list that professors are, you know, on. So he's saying that to be put on a list is a threat? Then what the hell is TPUSA doing? 

Again, it can't be said enough: This is the kind of thing that Smith and Gruber were protesting: this hatefulness, this demand for conservative hegemonic thought, this silencing of professors they disagree with, this brainwashing of students under the guise of "freedom." And, of course, TPUSA's racist and insurrectionist beliefs.

Smith and Gruber, on advice from their attorney, didn't do any media, awaiting the outcome of the investigation by the university. And, because this was making the rounds on the right-wing nutsosphere, they started getting all kinds of threats and harassing phone calls and emails. Because of course they did.

More on all that, including how they have fought back and how that aforementioned mascot battle is part of the story, in Part 2.


Liz Cheney Demonstrates the Least You Can Do to Preserve Democracy

Among the lies that Republicans tell themselves to justify their continued deranged, perhaps even traitorous behavior in refusing to back down from the Big Lie that the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump, one of the most persistent is that Democrats were always trying to "overturn" the 2016 election. You remember that one, right? Where Trump lost by 3 million votes but, because our democracy is a bullshit vestige of a time when our oh-so-wise founders decided to coddle slaveowners through the creation of the Electoral College, he still won? Sure, sure, when it was time for Congress to certify the electoral vote, a few Democrats in the House objected, but no senators signed on and there was never a question that then-Vice President Joe Biden was going to do the constitutional thing. 

After that, it was over. Really. Yes, there were investigations into election interference by Russia and others, but those were conducted by committees led by Republicans and Democrats. Yes, there were two impeachments, but, at best, those would have removed Trump from office and left in Pence (no one had the stomach to impeach Pence, too), thus still not overturning the 2016 election. And, sure, lots of people thought Trump was illegitimately elected and harbored some fantasy that the Mueller Report or a Supreme Court decision or, hell, the hand of God or something might sweep him out of office and reset everything back to how it was before the fucktastrophe of the Trump administration, and, shit, that was even before the pandemic, the economic collapse, and the insurrection.

For the most part, though, post-2016, Democrats sucked it up and moved on. No Cult of Hillary developed that demanded that all Democrats must declare themselves loyal to her or be exiled by the leadership of the party. We Democrats really don't work that way. At our most craven, Obama-fellating peak, we still had it in us to criticize our leaders and even turn against them. Of course we have our personality cults, most recently in the Bernie-can-do-no-wrong weirdness, but, again, it has never been this fucked-up outright denial of reality that the Republican Party has  embraced as a lover and declared that all must allow themselves to be fucked by it in order to be loyal Republicans.

Now, I don't have a lick of pity for Representative Liz Cheney of Wyoming, she who is one of the loin leavings of the legitimately malevolent Dick Cheney. She's a conservative's conservative, someone who has no problem going full-tilt scorched earth. Shit, in her response to President Biden's speech to Congress last week, she called his plans "dangerous" and "heartless" and that "the far-left is now in control of the Democrat Party." I mean, that's like being the shit-throwingest baboon in the monkey house. But it's not enough unless everything you do as a Republican involves you gently cupping Donald Trump's tiny balls and buffing them to a high sheen.

Rep. Cheney is facing a likely ouster from her leadership position in the House Republican caucus because she refuses to back down from acknowledging the truth: that Joe Biden won the 2020 election fair and square. That's not praiseworthy. It's literally the least anyone could do to preserve our democracy. It's like giving someone a trophy for not stabbing you in the face or burning down your house when, sure, they could have totally done that, but we generally don't reward people for being basically civilized. All Cheney's doing is saying that reality is real, and the vast majority of Republicans won't even do that. It means that the GOP is a fuck-cluster of batshit conspiracy mongers and cynical pukes who exploit the deranged, all of them varying degrees of fucking racist.

Cheney has had a couple of Republicans support her, ones who will no doubt be booed and purged by their states. The Wall Street Journal, among others, has written that Cheney shouldn't be sent to pasture. As they put it, "The election was close, but not as close as others in American history." Cheney herself just wrote her justification for her stand in the Washington Post, while still shitting on Democrats. Meanwhile, Republicans are telling Trump not to worry, that Cheney is as good as dead to the party leadership, with corpse worms like Steve Scalise supporting booting her and installing Trump ass remora Elise Stefanik in her place.

Apparently, Republicans are right: you can get canceled for offensive speech.

Imagine being a Republican and given the choice to go all in with the saggy orange nutsack who rages into the ether on his blog (trust me, I know how that feels) or to change your current platform of tax cuts, racism, and Trump worship, you choose the nutsack. In fact, you choose the nutsack so hard that it completely changes you so that everything you do is so you can keep that nutsack happy, and you feel good about yourself when the nutsack is satisfied. I don't feel sorry for any of these GOP fuckfleas, but, man, sometimes you gotta look up from the meth pipe, glance in a mirror, and ask yourself if you like the toothless bitch you see looking back. Of course, Republicans are so far gone that they'll say they look awesome as they decide to move on to shooting that shit up.

The Republican Party must be thought of and dealt with as an anti-democratic insurgency, one that won't be satisfied until it has eliminated the need for elections in order to maintain power. Without the Liz Cheneys in the GOP, if these fuckers win back the House, it's gonna be crazy shit when it comes time to certify the 2024 election if it's even a little close and the Republican candidate has lost. If that candidate happens to be Trump, they will fucking blow up DC to put his huge ass back in the Oval Office. And I'm not really being hyperbolic with the idea of Republicans blowing shit up.

I keep thinking about this quote from an anonymous GOP official from just after the election in November 2020 on Trump wanting to challenge the results: "What is the downside for humoring him for this little bit of time? No one seriously thinks the results will change." No one, it seems, except the deranged rubes and those who want to win on the backs of the deranged rubes. Oh, and, if you can, take them for every penny they've got to fund whatever bullshit "legal challenge" you want, all the better.