2017 minus 69: Fifteen days

Posted: 24 October 2016 in 2017 minus, politics
Tags: , , , ,

Thirty some years ago, I knew when the end of the uni term/semester was approaching. I don’t mean I knew by the calendar; like most students, I knew when the term would be ending from the day it started. No, I’m talking about knowing it, feeling it approaching, knowing inside that I had only a couple of weeks until a break arrived.

For my first two years in Manchester, the first indication was always a specific odour: the smell of omelettes and scrambled eggs. I lived in a self-catering hall of residence and those were the quickest, cheapest, easiest to make and most fulfilling meals. So when the place started smelling like cooked eggs every night? You could lay good money that a holiday was near.

But the real sign? That was when I started counting down how many ‘sleeps’ I had left in that bed before I’d be back home in Luton, when I’d think: less than 20 sleeps left before I’ll be on the train, or in the car, back to my parents’, and decent food, a decent bed, seeing old friends.

It’s been a while since I’ve counted sleeps to an event, but I wonder if Secretary Hillary Clinton and PieceOfShit Donald Trump are at the stage, fifteen days before the election, where they’re counting the sleeps. I kid, of course; in the former’s case, she’s almost certainly counting down the hours. In his case, he’s merely counting the characters left in his latest abusive tweet. SAD!

But in fifteen days, it’ll [almost certainly] be over. The caveat is there for a reason. Well, several reasons. Trump might not accept the result – he’s keeping us in suspense, remember? Actually, one of the few pleasures of this election has been the mental image of him on January 21st, trying to gain access to the White House and the secret service dragging his orange excuse for a skinsuit away from the front gates, his ‘hair’ blowing in the winter breeze… But there’s another reason: if, heaven forfend, there’s a suit, and it goes to the still 8 member Supreme Court of the United States, who deadlock, and send it back to a lower court to decide something-or-other…

As it is, I don’t think either of those things will occur; I think Clinton will win; how much she wins by is anyone’s guess, although I hope it’s by a fucking landslide. It’s not enough that she wins; whatever her faults as a nominee for President, it’s important that Trump and his entire attitude, political (for want of a better word) outlook, and supporters are routed, are absolutely shellacked, to use one of Rachel Maddow’s favourite term. I don’t want him just to ‘lose’. I want him to be beaten out of sight.

And, were it possible, I’d want all those in the GOP who’ve supported him, who’ve excused, justified, trivialised and minimised his racism, his sexism, his behaviour, his sexual assaults, his mocking of disabilities, his lies and his… his… being him… beaten, trounced, decried, and similarly routed.   

Four months ago, after Trump said… something or other – there’s been so many, I forget which one this was –  I tweeted the following: 


I wish I could say that I was wrong, that it was solely a joke. But I was pretty sure that it was – and would continue to be – the actual unwritten, unspoken, policy of the Republican Party. And so it’s proved. The list of those (and their supporters) who trashed Trump during the primary season and who later did a 180 would be far too long to list here. Hell, I could probably name one an hour and I’d not be done by election day. “But budgie,” you say, “that’s what happens during primary season; look at Sanders and Clinton…” Indeed, look at them… Sanders has at no point ever said that Clinton is unfit to be President; he merely said that he thinks he’d be a better President and that there’s some stuff she’d do that he couldn’t support. Contrast that with the long line of Republican Primary candidates who flat out said that Trump wasn’t fit to be President… and then changed what they’re pleased to call their minds.

Of course, if you’re going to say that, then you’ve got to exclude Lindsay Graham. (I mean, there’s Jeb Bush as well, but let’s stick to Graham for a minute.) Graham never hid his views about Cruz or Trump; while he said the latter wasn’t fit to br President for any number of reasons, he just does not like Cruz… in any way whatsoever. I’m sure, had he lasted longer, he’d have parodied Cruz’s Dr Seuss filibuster. Maybe:

I will not back him on the stump

He’s just as bad as Donald Trump

Not even in a voting booth

I will not vote for that Ted Cruz.

Maybe not.

But that brings up a fascinating question in respect of the US and the UK systems, since they’re the only ones I’ve any familiarity with.

OK, your party does… something. In the US, currently, let’s say they nominate a racist, fascistic, ableist, lying, cheating, far right pandering utter shit. To take an example out of the air. Or over here, the government votes for a vile, horrible law.

How should we treat the ‘rebels’? Seriously.

I asked this on Twitter. The results so far, as I type this are over there on the side. Because that’s a thing that genuinely interests me. 

Don’t get me wrong; I dislike almost everything this Tory government are doing, and I disliked a hell of a lot the last government did. And thsoe that rebel on a specific issue are still Conservative members of Parliament. They have voted for other particularly shitty stuff. And they no doubt will vote for for other particularly shitty stuff in the weeks, months and years to come. So, why ‘reward’ them for ‘doing the right thing’ this time?

Two answers to that, both meaning the same thing effectively. If they are condemned for the policy/law just as much as those who voted FOR the proposal, then what was the point for them in voting the way they did? In other words, why shouldn’t they think “might as well get hanged for a sheep as for a lamb”? Why should i piss off my party whips, my party leadership, possibly my constituency party, exercising mt conscience on an issue if by exercising it, poeple aren’t going to bother distinguishing between my vote of conscience, and that of ol’ Charlie Farnesbarnes who spoke in favour of it…?

Similarly, while I loathe pretty much everything Lindsay Graham stands for, surely he should be congratulated and celebrated for not falling in line with the other GOP cowards and fuckwits. 

Or, and this is a counter argument, are we in the situation that Bobby Jones, the golfer, found himself when he admitted to a foul stroke (when no one had seen him make it). When praised for his honesty (the resulting two stroke penalty cost him the championship) he was dismissive; “you might as well have complimented me on  not robbing a bank”.

Is that where we are? I don’t know.

I have more to say on the US election, but as I said above, fifteen days to go; there will be plenty of occasions before Trumpocalypse Day.

This post is part of a series of blog entries, counting down to 1st January 2017. You can see other posts in the run by clicking here.

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