Month: July 2017

Thank You, John McCain

Not for saving Obamacare, but thank you, John McCain, for ending Hell Week with a grand moment of American hope, honor, and pride. To stand in front of that deliberative body last night and vote against the tide and vote for your party’s legitimacy, to see Mitch McConnell look downward and realize that this was the moment when Obamacare could not be killed and must be saved, and to hear the audible gasp of shock and awe when McCain uttered no, to experience this high moment in American history this morning was so sorely needed…

I listened to McCain’s speech at the beginning of the week, and I doubted his authenticity, especially since he voted yes for the Senate version of Repeal and Replace shortly afterward. After all, at the beginning of this insane mess of a year, he had said that using the nuclear option to change the voting procedures was crazy or insane, but lo and behold, he voted for the nuclear option because McConnell said to do it if Repub’s wanted to get Gorsuch. Very much like Trump on Healthcare, McConnell and McCain were looking for any victory when it came to replacing Scalia. I didn’t hold John McCain at his word when he said that he would not vote for this bill, especially as he enunciated every syllable of the declaration…

I was wrong. John McCain is a man of his word, and I contritely apologize to McCain for doubting his veracity. When McCain ran for the Presidency, he had a moment when he withdrew a microphone from a woman who disparaged Barack Obama for being a Muslim, and he assured the country that we will not stoop to such lows to win a Presidency. John McCain shows us what it means to be a good American.

This morning, I turned on the news and saw the first really positive thing I have seen about my country in a long, freaking time. John McCain made me proud to be an American this morning when I saw his grand vote of NO against the “skinny” repeal that Paul Ryan would have surreptitiously passed through the House, and I couldn’t help but squeeze out a few tears. Forgive me for showing emotion as I unexpectedly watched John McCain restore my faith in this shattered country. I’m sure McCain will say something hawkish that will make me curse him out again, but at the conclusion of a tumultuous week, I’d like to trumpet my support for John McCain.

No matter how Trump “likes his war heroes,” rest assured that you are an American legend, sir, in my book. Thank you, John McCain.

[Addendum: While my essay praises John McCain, I have maintained great respect for Susan Collins throughout this process, and I have gained respect for Lisa Murkowski over the last month, especially considering Trump’s threats to hold Alaska hostage because of her votes. All three are Republicans who should be lauded after last night’s vote.]

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

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Hell Week

Our country treads water furiously as Trump clings heavily about Lady Liberty’s neck, trying to keep his head above water as America drowns beneath his considerable weight. A better analogy probably involves a torture rack with bound arms and legs slowly being stretched out of their sockets, with Trump gleefully smiling beneath a Sith-lord hood as he turns the over-sized wheel slowly and daily.

This is not a surprise. It’s what happens when white, working-class men and their women put a miserable old man with money and all-around awful person at the helm of our great country. The rural Christian community, backed and supported by Fox News, has successfully distorted American Goodness to such awful lows…

Let’s recap the week: 1) We started with the laughable excuses coming out of Jared Kushner’s public report, many of which wouldn’t be acceptable from one of my students turning in a late paper with some half-baked excuses like, “I didn’t read the whole thing, and who reads the entire thing anyway?”  or “Gosh, I hit that pesky SEND button before I finished what I was doing. Sorry, teach. I won’t get any points deducted because of that, right?” 2) Trump aggressively Twitter-attacks Jeff Sessions, by suggesting he pay more attention to Hillary Clinton’s server (which was apparently the only thing not hacked during the election of 2016), because “Lock Her Up!” never gets old. This whole Russia thing seems to really be getting underneath the Orange Menace’s skin. Reminds me of Poe’s Tell-Tale Heart. 3) Trump decides it’s time to ramp up his efforts to warp the minds of American children by glorifying himself instead of the country in front of the Boy Scouts. 4) He continues his self-defeating assault specifically on members of his own damn party. His game? He pressures Senators about the nebulous repeal of the Not-Quite-as-Dead-as-Trump-and-the-Majority-of-Republicans-Think Obamacare Law, and provides no coherent antidote of his own. All he’s got is blowing hot air, and the Republicans are slow to realize it. Contrition for Democrats and admission of Obamacare’s benefits are needed to fix the healthcare system, and neither appear to be on the horizon… 5) Trump reaffirms his allegiance to the American Christians who think he’s the Messiah by banning transgender people from their Godly-appointed American Armies.

This is only Thursday morning. I’m sure as I write this, there is another crisis about which many of us will wring our hands, and some of us will applaud.

This may not be a surprise to me, but it still is so very painful to see Trump degrade my country with so much vigor and support. The most painful thing is the applause and laughter when he proclaims himself to be so damn great, and his fans capitulate every single, infuriating time! It’s more painful when it’s our children, who will likely think it’s okay to be so vainglorious and overbearing. Our children may now validate the consistent belittling of good rationale, grammar, and spelling, and the young students may give up entirely on reading complicated texts or thinking beyond the surface layer of most arguments. Our children are learning that the way to money and power is to be a popular bully, who gets more outrageous the more he is enabled by the other wannabe bullies who cheer him on…It’s no surprise, but there’s a lot of pain in my bleedin’ American heart.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

Stubborn Fox News

There’s this popular idea that there is a “Dumbing-Down” happening in America. I know because I was rebuked for doubting its validity yesterday in a couple of internet exchanges concerning the notion of what we think is educational versus what we insist is entertainment.

I don’t think America is becoming stupid, but we have become stubbornly certain of our own genius.

The weird thing is that becoming employed by Fox News Channel automatically certifies one to be smarter than the rest of us…It must be a part of the contracts over there, whether greater intelligence is bestowed by reading the clever conservative legalese or signing the pact agreed upon with the more religious segments of America.

Apparently, while we should fear every brown-skinned person who travels up from our Southern border to the point where we must wall it off, while we should cower at the idea of letting Muslims bring their culture into our borders and infecting good-ol’-boy minds, while we should oppress and demonize those who are queer or funny-looking and have the nerve to use the wrong bathroom, and while we shouldn’t listen to any arguments coming from our own journalists, teachers, and scientists lest we’re all killed by their silly ideas about the world and science and God…

…what we really need to do as a country is not give in to all this silly Russia hysteria! Vladimir Putin is a swell guy and a strong leader, as our President has promoted from day one, and according to Fox News, we are required to stubbornly accept what Trump is doing for the country, liberals be damned.

Fear the brown-skinned Mexican and Muslim interlopers, but don’t worry about what’s happening behind closed doors between the Trump family and Putin emissaries.

Fear the South-Side of Chicago, where black kids shoot to kill and Trump rallies are thwarted, but don’t worry about all those Russians Putin has blatantly killed with radioactive poison, mob-style beatings, and shootings within the very shadow of the Kremlin.

Fear the rest of the world, especially our traditional allies, but don’t worry about America turning into an oppressive, authoritarian regime like Russia, our future bestie.

Fox News is more stubborn than any political entity, and they convince their viewers to be as stubborn as their mouthpieces, who are paid well to be more stubborn than the rest of us. A couple of weeks ago, Bill Maher was whining about needing a month-long break from Trump, while in the same show, admitted that he admires Republicans for being so united and diligent. While MSNBC broadcasts its prison franchise shows on the weekends, Hannity, Watters, and the rest are putting in overtime, zealously pushing the Trump takeover, to the zealots who just can’t turn off that Fox News dial.

This Fox News bullshit continues to work like a charm. Just like the torture issue back at the end of the W. Bush administration, the American people are polled, and lo and behold, nobody in America seems to give a shit about Russian interference in our election…so let’s all just collectively drop the subject.

America isn’t becoming stupid. It’s been there for a while, for as long as Fox News has been dominating American living rooms.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

So Now What Do We Do?

Alright, so we’ve some proof that Donald Trump likely colluded with the Russians to sabotage Hillary Clinton in the election. So now what happens?

We wait, just like we’ve been doing since the Trump stuff started. We wait and see what happens. Trump’s always accommodated America by providing 7-days-a-week, 4-seasons-a-year of outrage and stupidity to consume. We will wait and see what happens tomorrow, whether one of us is rooting for Trump because he’s sticking it to the Obama lovers, or one of us has not fully accepted that Trump likely will be in charge for four full years because the Republicans stubbornly excuse every Trump folly and foible.

We are all now sucked within the gravity of the dark, black hole of daily Trump-existence. We can’t even remember what it was like without Trump, and love him or hate him, we probably will find a void in our hearts and heads when he’s gone, IF he’s ever gone…(I mean when he’s out of office, for those who overreact to every insinuation by an anti-Trumpist).

We have to wait. The markets are strong, stronger than they’ve ever been. The market’s possibly over-inflated by dirty Russian money, but we won’t be able to see that until it’s too late, like the proverbial train at the end of Anna Karenina. As long as the money-making continues, Trump will have license to work with the Russians to oppress American citizens, because we eat up the Trump show at our own peril and expense.

We’ll wait to the very last moment, when Trump sneers at the camera, Col. Nathan R. Jessup-style: “You’re God-damn right I colluded with the Russians!” We’ll even wait after he does that because the Trump apologists have already started easing the acceptance of our new Russian overlords to the general American public. It’s been happening for a while now in American churches, local schools, and Fox News broadcasts; if you don’t believe me, then check Vlad Putin’s approval ratings at the time of Trump’s victory.

We will continue to wait, but it is not necessarily to only see if Trump is removed from office, or if the Democrats will win in 2018, or if Congress will continue to be divided so strongly against each other’s interests…

We wait to see if America can weather the long, tumultuous storm…

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.

The Breaking Point

Today’s the day, June 11th, 2017, after Donald Trump, Jr., was found-out to be seeking help from his Russian buddies to help his Daddy sell-out the country. Junior attended a meeting to collaborate with the Russians because his father had sealed up the Republican nomination, and everybody in Trumpland was on-board the “Beat Hillary at Any Cost” bandwagon. It’s easy to see that Trump and his cohorts wanted to work with the Russians to win the American Presidency, and that is willful collaboration by any reasonable standard.

Today’s the day when we ought to be discussing the removal of the President AND everyone in his administration. I say to hell with impeachment and the 25th amendment, attempting to lance a boil when the tumor has grown to such grotesque proportions. We ought to have a special election in 2018 to replace the current traitorous regime, the Orange Menace AND all of his lackeys. We need to change America’s direction in unprecedented fashion, and it needs to take place at a quicker pace…

I snapped at my wife this morning, after I started raving about Sebastian Gorka’s asinine argumentation in an MSNBC interview with Stephanie Ruhle (Fuck you, Gorka! Needs to be said after how condescending Gorka was to Ruhle.). My wife told me to calm down since I was animated, and I told her to hell with that: She needs to be a bit more outraged.

It wasn’t a big tete-a-tete, but I realize I was taking out some frustrations on her. It’s not like she’s the only one in which I’m disappointed because there are so many people from my workplace, neighborhood, and online community that have told me I need to calm down.

Why should I calm down, when the American government, run by the Republican Party, is selling out to Russia, flirting openly with authoritarianism, shitting all over the American healthcare system and the rest of our important institutions, effectively destroying the very air we breathe by exiting the Paris Climate Accord, and basically telling Americans day-after-day that they need to be more gullible in order to understand the complexities of how Donald Trump’s stupid, stupid brain works?

…And what is the Trump surrogates’ defense? They’ll just use the current word-of-the-day, “nothing-burger,” to obfuscate and deflect; blame Obama and Hilary for everything bad; and wait for the next opportunity to drop a bomb on “bad guys” to prove what a swell guy Trump really is. Nothing to see here! I hope Fox News is charged as a co-conspirator of Trump’s at the treason trial.

We need to be more outraged. This is not the time to be calm.

Scott C. Guffey, M.A.