There's no problem that can't be ignored if we really put our minds to it!
-- His Majesty Ralph Jones, King Ralph
Stop me if you've heard this one.
Talk about a bad joke.
The leading Republican candidate for President of the United States is a unrepentant seditionist currently under criminal indictment in four jurisdictions (and likely soon to be five), charged with nearly a hundred major felonies and who was recently found liable for sexual assault.
He's not the first candidate for president with a mugshot, but he might be the only one who got arrested, fingerprinted, and had to call a bail bondsman while he was running for office.
He may or may not be the only candidate to try and make a buck off his criminal indictment, but he is most certainly the only one with supporters dumb enough to give him money for it.
When he's not getting arrested, Donald Trump spends all day, every day, on his rapidly failing social media platform, crowing about his polls, attacking his imagined enemies, and ranting in all caps and the third person about how unfair everyone is to Trump. The more this guy talks, and the more he talks about himself in the third person, the more delusional he sounds. Trump is quite literally his own worst enemy and if he was your dad, you'd have him sedated and put into an elder care facility with big burly mean nurses and doors that lock from the outside.
Trump's entire presidency was nothing but excuses -- well, that and golf.
He accomplished quite literally nothing, other than an ill-conceived trade war and record unemployment. And yet, somehow, the dipshits he screwed the worst are firmly convinced it's all somehow the fault of woke trans people, Joe Biden, and illegal immigrants.
A bizarrely high number of his lawyers are disbarred or in prison.
The only members of his administration who didn't end up writing books about how insane and incompetent and outright dangerous he is are the ones currently negotiating plea agreements to keep from going to prison for him themselves.
Trump's most loyal supporters are the convicted felons he pardoned on his last day in office.
He was a terrible leader, the worst kind in every aspect. He's the boss from hell. He's the officer who gets you killed, in peacetime. He's your crazy ex, the stalker who keeps violating the restraining order. He's the nut on the corner who smells like cat piss shouting about UFOs and CIA brain implants. He's racist Mel Gibson in a drunken rage leaving a voicemail on your phone.
And he just might be the least presidential candidate to ever run for office -- and that list includes lunatic extremist and hardcore antisemite Lyndon LaRouche who ran for president from prison and who likewise had a violent cultlike following of deluded morons, brawlers, and antigovernment seditionists who still want him to be president even though he's dead.
Trump is the foul distilled essence of the very worse aspects of America. He's loudly bombastic and proudly ignorant, all glitz and fake-gold veneer over a hollow shell of greed and dirty stained sheets like an Atlantic City casino. He's overfed and underinformed, the cold, stale, limp fast-food cheeseburger of politicians. He has more money than sense -- and he lies about how much money he has. He is chronically, pathetically, and desperately insecure and he spends every waking moment furiously compensating for his impotent inadequacies like a human shaped pair of rubber Truck Nutz dangling from the rear bumper of some jacked up, coal-rolling Texas 4x4 with a Molon Labe decal in the back window and a fake cowboy with a giant hat in the front seat.
Trump is right now openly threatening the Courts, attacking law enforcement, and promising to lock up everyone he feels done him wrong the minute he's back in power.
Donald Trump appeals to the worse, most base, most shallow elements of his supporters and they love him because he makes it okay to be the very worst version of themselves.
Gee, Jim, why don't you tell us something we don't know already?
All right. Yeah. I'm not telling you anything you don't already know. True. But, see? That's the thing. That, right there. I know. You know. Everybody knows. Hell, even Republicans know -- and they do. Oh, yes, they do. They know what a complete piece of shit Donald Trump actually is, but he's still the leading candidate for the Republican ticket by at least 40 points, maybe 50, depending on who you believe.
Republicans know, but they'll put him in power again if given even half a chance.
If you don't show up, Republicans are going to put Trump in the White House and they'll queue up behind him like good little storm troopers and they'll commit every atrocity and gleefully watch the Republic burn without so much as a single twinge of regret or a moment of conscience. Because while Trump was horribly bad for the country and the world at large, he was pretty good for Republicans. They got everything they wanted out of him and then some. He was the perfect Republican president, loud, stupid, cowed by wealth and power, easily manipulated by business and religion, and enthusiastically willing to screw all the people Republicans hate. They don't care what happens in the future, so long as they get rich and they get revenge now.
They'll put Trump back in office.
They absolutely will.
How do I know? Well, Trump is not only the leading candidate for the Republican ticket, the guy in second place isn't even close.
And who is the guy in second place?
Does it really matter? The official second place? Numbers, polls, etc? Really? I mean, they're all varying degrees of terrible, little goosestepping copies of Trump all busy trying to be the most extreme.
At this point, it's probably Vivek Ramaswamy.
Every time Ramaswamy opens his mouth it's to announce some authoritarian extremism that he plans on implementing his first day in office despite the fact it's blatantly illegal and grossly unconstitutional -- something that doesn't seem to much bother the party of self-declared "Constitutional Conservatives" given how few Republicans (zero) have denounced his fascism.
Yesterday, Ramaswamy promised that if elected president, he'll deport American-born children of undocumented immigrants even though they are by law U.S. citizens. Deport them … where? To what country? They're Americans. By birth. By law. By the Constitution. They've never lived anywhere else. They're likely productive members of our society. They grew up here, went to school here, speak our language, live our culture. They didn't break the law, but they'd get punished for the sins of their parents and, man, it just don't get any more Christian than that, does it? Deporting them would be completely illegal, unconstitutional, a violation of international law and agreements, far beyond the authority of the president (or any member of the government), and a very, very Trumpian thing to promise.
And the crowd cheered.
Previously, Ramaswamy wanted to ban 18 to 25-year-olds from voting, unless they passed a test based on his criteria -- or had military service, something he himself seems to have avoided. Again, illegal, unconstitutional, beyond the scope of the president's authority, but a very, very Trump thing to say given the common perception that young people tend to vote liberal and military service makes you conservative. The Republican response to any vote against them is to ban those people from voting and then tell you how we don't actually live in a democracy.
You have to wonder exactly what answers you'd have to give to "pass" that test.
Probably one of the most telling statements Ramaswamy has made is: "I've fired underperformers in the private sector. I'm going to do it for probably 75% of the people who work as federal bureaucrats in the government in Washington, D.C [...] Mass layoffs are absolutely what I'm bringing to the D.C. bureaucracy." This is yet another conservative who thinks you can run government like one of Trump's bed-bug infested hotels. Liquidate a few divisions, outsource essential services, jack up the stock prices and bonuses for all the executives. Like Trump, he doesn't see you as citizens, but rather as suckers to be fleeced for profit.
Government as a business, run by a techbro like Elon Musk, and not a real great place to work hardly seems like the kind of country that would be much fun to live in, does it?
Following the recent Jacksonville mass shooting, where a self-described neo-Nazi murdered three black people in a Dollar General and then turned his gun on himself, Ramaswamy immediately blamed the racially motivated hate crime on Democrats, Higher Education, and the Media, essentially saying that if people of color would just be quiet about rights, black lives, and justice, well, then racists wouldn't have a reason to kill them. Ramaswamy seems to think that if he's the biggest asshole in the room, all the old white Conservatives will forget he's a brown skinned son of immigrants with a funny name, an Ivy League education, and a rich Wall Street elite who runs a pharmaceutical company.
The worst part is that he might not be wrong.
Well, there's Ron Pudding Fingers DeSantis, once the MAGA heir apparent, now just another wannabe fascist thrown under the Trump bus with Eric and Mike Pence.
What can I say about Red Tide Ron that hasn't been said already? I mean, goddamn, when your biggest, most outspoken, most visible supporters are the flabby balding toothless genetic failures wearing Nazi uniforms and waving Swastikas in front of Disney, I'm not really sure what I can add to that.
The pathetic sadness of DeSantis' attempts to appear manly is exceeded only by how much he fails at it.
Every time DeSantis thumps his chest and declares in his little squeaky voice how much of an anti-woke stud he is, I picture him in a gimp suit getting his ass spanked by an insurance executive in a leather Goofy costume holding a Little Mermaid themed cat-O-nine-tails. The only thing bigger than Ron DeSantis' failure is Matt Gaetz forehead. Ron DeSantis couldn't get laid in The Villages with two front row tickets to The Grand Ole Opry and a handful of Golden Corral coupons.
Mike Pence might be the only point of agreement in America: everybody hates him. Left. Right. Moderate. Extremist. There are probably space aliens living in some incomprehensible technological construct a thousand light years from here that hate Mike Pence and wouldn't anal probe him even if he was the last redneck on a remote Nevada highway. Everyone hates Mike Pence -- which sounds like a sitcom starring Kevin Sorbo and Roseanne Barr that got cancelled halfway through the first episode.
Pence did one noteworthy thing in his entire ingrown toenail of a life.
That one time, on January 6th, when he actually did his job and refused to stop the election certification. It wasn't heroism. It's just in that moment Mike Pence suddenly realized he hadn't gotten permission from Mother to be the villain he'd always wanted to be. So, he did the safe thing. Now, yeah, great, that worked out for us, for the Republic, but Mike Pence isn't any hero and the worst part about it for him is that he can't even pretend to be.
That one thing, that one single action in his entire life when he actually did the moral thing, he can't run on it.
He can't even mention it.
It's his Waterloo.
The Republican Party is so far gone that they're willing to hang a politician who actually takes the moral high ground.
Mike Pence is as dead as Kevin Sorbo's acting career, he just hasn't figured it out yet.
Chris Christie? LOL. C'mon. Might as well uncrate Mitt Romney in whatever dusty warehouse they're keeping him in, pop in a new battery, and let him regale us with stories of how much he loves dogs. I mean, sure, compared to the previous mentions, Christie seems almost human in comparison. But it only seems that way.
Chris Christie is a petty, petulant sack of limp dicks who would be reviled as one of the worst politicians in America if Trump hadn't come along.
Well, you know, Haley is one of the few former Trump confidants and Administration officials who isn't actually under indictment or in prison, so, I guess maybe that's something.
But, the key thing there is that she was in the Trump administration and like Christi and Pence, she only seems rational in comparison. She only won the Republican primary for governor of South Carolina due to an endorsement by Sarah Palin and if you think she's reasonable, I'd remind you that the fucking Tea Party had her give the Republican "rebuttal" to Barack Obama's 2016 State of the Union Address. You forgot about that hour of insane conspiracy theories, racism, and outright lies, didn't you? Yeah, go look that up on YouTube and tell me she's the rational one of the bunch. Haley is another child of immigrants who is determined to pull the ladder up after herself. I got mine, fuck you. She might have some reservations about the Republican war on abortion, but she as hell isn't going to stand up for any liberal woman's right to choose, not if she wants the endorsement that is.
Haley isn't the savior who pulls the GOP back towards the center, she's just another extremist only smoother and with better hair.
Tim Scott? Favorite recipient of Koch Brothers money? Maybe. But I have my doubts just how far Scott can go in a party that is increasingly open about its white nationalism. And like Haley, who appointed him to the Senate in 2013, Scott only seems reasonable in comparison to the rest of the Republican Party. Though, truthfully, if my choices were Scott or (Trump, DeSantis, Ramaswamy, Haley, et al), I'd grit my teeth and fill in the little circle for Scott. It better not come to that.
Ryan Binkley, Doug Burgum, Larry Elder, Will Hurd, Perry Johnson, Asa Hutchison? I miss anybody?
The only way any of any of these dipshits are going to get anywhere near the nomination is a faulty electrical connection in a rainstorm.
That's right. You heard me. A bolt of lightning.
Like in King Ralph when the entire British Royal Family gets electrocuted during a photoshoot and they have to call in John Goodman -- who would probably make a vastly better president than anyone Republicans currently have in the lineup.
That's the terrible unfunny punchline of this terrible unfunny joke, right there.
A criminal, a white nationalist, and an insurrectionist walk into a bar and, yes, we have heard this one before. Too damn often. And the punchline should be, "what can I get you, Mr. Trump?" but it's not. Because it's not just Trump, it's the whole rotten, miserable, ideology.
It's the whole damn bunch.
This is the best conservative America can offer us, this motley assortment of criminals, seditionists, bigots, and flag waving Nazis who want to crank the clock back to 1950.
You know, Joe Biden might be old and he might not be everything we want and he might have gotten himself elected on the simple fact that he is not Trump, but at this point that's enough.
We're not going to fix this in one fell swoop.
Some young charismatic hero isn't going to drop in, unite the country, and move us back to level center.
It's going to be a long, grim, painful slog, uphill all the way.
We're going to have to beat these goons one contest at a time, and push them back into the wretched shadows whence they came. We're going to have to recover all the ground we lost before we can make any progress -- exactly as I goddamned warned some of you back when you were telling me how everything you care about was settled law.
At least you better hope it'll be a long hard haul, because the alternative is even worse.
Just in case I'm not being clear here: we got rid of the Nazis and reset German society in four years, but it was a little hard on the furniture.
We could have had the change we wanted more quickly, but, well, here we are. And for all those people who yelled at me four years ago, "DON'T TRY TO SCARE US!" I sure hope you're scared now. If you're not, you're a goddamn fool.
I hope you're scared enough to show up and do your duty even if you really, really don't want to.
You know where I'm going with this, don't you?
But I'll say it anyway: You want a better nation? Be a better citizen.
Don't talk like one of them. You're not! Even if you'd like to be. To them, you're just a freak, like me! They need you right now, but when they don't, they'll cast you out, like a leper! You see, their morals, their code, it's a bad joke. Dropped at the first sign of trouble. They're only as good as the world allows them to be. I'll show you. When the chips are down, these... these civilized people, they'll eat each other. See, I'm not a monster. I'm just ahead of the curve.
--The Joker, The Dark Knight (2008)