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Category: Politics

Hillary Dillary
Hillary dillary dock
Can the spouse run out the clock?
Trump sucks a ton
Will he go down?
Hickety tickety tock
100 Days Until Forever
We have just passed an important milestone in this year’s race for the White House: we are now inside the last hundred days before the election. You might receive this news with relief or with keen anticipation or with an icy sense of dread, but please try to keep your perspective. It is true that we are close to the end of this cycle, but remember that there are still fifteen hundred days left until the 2020 presidential election.

That’s how we do presidential politics in America these days: 24/7/365/1460. There is some governing, but it’s mostly nonstop campaigning. If you’re like me, you’re way tired of the current contest, so why don’t we forget it for a moment and jump forward into the next one?

Our first question: who will be running? Topping the list of certain contenders will be the irrepressible Ted Cruz. In fact, you can pretty much write in Ted until they finally drive a stake through his heart, because he’ll never, ever be elected.

The incumbent, whoever she/he is, will certainly be in it to shoot for a second term. We know this because Hillary doesn’t know when to quit, and Trump wouldn’t be able to resist the extra attention, the branding, or the possibility (however remote) that he might become President-for-life. If it is Trump, then you’ll see Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, and Mark Warner for the Dems and a tiny band of Republicans (if that party still exists) who never endorsed Donald Trump. If Hillary becomes our 45th president, we’ll see all those same Republicans, perhaps a few democratic socialists, and a whole slew of reality TV stars.

When it comes to issues, some of the old favorites will return. National security, income inequality, and hand size will be center stage. New topics will include tweet misspellings, the narcissism of dead war heroes, and treason. Simple human decency will not make the cut, nor will the imminent death of the planet.

Come to think of it, maybe this election isn’t so bad. We could, if we’re lucky, witness a major political party implode while its candidate gets set to explode. And it could happen on live TV!

Popcorn and rubber suits for everybody!
Tic Talk
The presidential campaign is flowing freely now. All the deadwood of failed candidates has been carried away by the current. Only Bernie remains, but he’s hung up on a snag and can’t pull free. The political theater plays on, but the plot is set, and things will likely continue this way on through to November when this river will finally empty into the great inland sea of politics-as-usual.

There will be new events, but they will mostly be reoccurrences of old ones in a slightly different form. Polls will rise and sink. Vice Presidential picks will be floated, only to disappear beneath the waves. Surrogates will paddle gamely along in their support craft, and the presumptive nominees will do their best to navigate the treacherous rapids of unfavorability.

There will be a few surprises, to be sure, but the campaign from here on out promises to be mostly predictable. Consequential, but boring. For that reason, I have decided to focus on bits of flotsam in the stream that have no bearing on the outcome and no importance in either the grand or the infinitesimally small scheme of things.

This week, the topic is gestural tics, one from each candidate. Both examples are meant to communicate positivity, but I find myself obsessing over them, and not in a good way.

First, we have the Hillary bobblehead nod. It was on display again yesterday during her joint appearance with Elizabeth Warren. As Warren gleefully tore into Trump, there was Hillary off to the side, her lips curled in a serene smile — and her head bobbing rhythmically. It’s a nod of agreement, but there is something about that slow, persistent rhythm that concerns me, something eerily robotic.

With Trump, it’s his oddly inappropriate thumbs up. Instead of using the standard, Facebook-style gesture with the thumb fully extended above the fist, he holds his thumb close to the fingers, with only the last phalanx upturned. I can’t help but feel that he is qualifying his enthusiasm in some way. Worse yet, he has a tendency to point the thumb not up, but directly at his audience. It seems less like a friendly gesture than a threat to maim — or perhaps to hook an unsuspecting fish.

Now, I am not saying that Hillary Clinton is a political Roomba with a glitch in her programming. And I don’t think that Donald Trump wants to gouge out your eye (unless there’s a buck in it). I am not even charging them with insincerity in their gestures of affirmation. Insincerity is, after all, a given in politics.

No, I’m writing this as a thank you to the candidates. If I didn’t have their funny little mannerisms (and their physical appearance in general) to make fun of, I’d be stuck here on the riverbank with only my morbid fascination with the collapse of western civilization to keep me amused. I’m sure they’ll forgive a little gentle mocking if it will hold off the existential despair.
NRA or No?
Are you a member of the National Rifle Association?

By the way you just tensed up there, I’m guessing that you are. But please don’t worry, this is not personal attack. I just want to ask you a couple of questions.

I’ve seen numbers showing that 75% of the NRA’s membership support universal background checks for all gun purchases, even at gun shows and those made through the internet. Are you part of that majority? Despite your interest in firearms and your deep respect for the Second Amendment, do you understand the need for a free society to keep guns — especially weapons of war — away from people with a predilection for murder? You know – bad guys and crazy people?

The leadership of the NRA does not. They spend millions of dollars, including yours, to fight the expansion of simple background checks.

Which brings me to my last question: Why are you still a member?
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No "new normal" for me, this shit ain't normal.
~ MS, Truckee