Derp Nation

Headline on an AP Story: “Exit poll: Voters unhappy with Obama and GOP.” So they elect more Republicans to send to Washington? Why do voters hate America?

We’re in for a nasty couple of years.

Peter Baker writes in the NY Times that President Obama is “fighting for his own relevance.” But President Obama’s relevance is the least of my concerns today. What’s really at stake is America’s relevance. If we thought U.S. politics has mostly been a clown show for the past 20 years, I fear that was just the warm up act. I know we’ve been joking for years about moving to Canada, but frankly were I a young person I would seriously be considering finding a more stable country to live in. We can’t keep this up.

31 thoughts on “Derp Nation

  1. I picked a bad time to give-up sniffing glue and huffing solvents.

    And pharmaceuticals – legal and illegal.

    My liver, though, is going to get a work-out for the next 2+ years.
    I can’t afford much booze, so I’ll have to pick my spots.

    I hope it’s up to the challenge!

  2. Just wait till they start trotting out Newt Gingrich like he was a respectable human being. They will go back to what they have always done: claiming cloth coat respectability and frugality and blowing up the budget on “defense” spending to fight everybody who is not white enough.

  3. If there is one general rule in the material world, it’s that good things take forever to build but can be damaged in an instant. Progress is painfully slow and it can come undone so quickly that most of the time it seems futile even to entertain the notion, and maybe it is. But, there is a price that comes with siding with futility and I am not quite ready to pay that right now.

    I may have mentioned the blitz of attack ads against Kay Hagan. The ads were so lame that it was hard to imagine that they wouldn’t backfire. But, pretty obviously, they didn’t. I like to think, even for an instant, that my email box will stop filling up with pleas for money, backed by fearsome predictions, that maybe the stress level will subside. But, we’re in unrelenting campaign mode, like the continuous war in “1984,” so that’s not on the menu. Capitalism is swamping democracy with money and there is too much profit in all the various ancillary industries for the game to end.

    The system was dysfunctional before. Now we’ll get to see what the “next level” is. Let’s hope it doesn’t make too big a splash in the history books of the next century.


    We are seriously considering relocating after my wife’s retirement. That should be in around three years. Sometimes it seems like a crazy idea to move, but, most of the time, it seems like it would be crazy not to. Our age is definitely a factor and a lot depends on how things go in the next few years. I like to think that we would be having one last big adventure before “the taking of the toast and tea,” rather than escaping America’s future. But, it’s a little bit of both.

  4. Definitely time to move to Canada. I’ve had my eye on Salt Spring Island in BC for years. Husband is less enthusiastic.

  5. Hmmm…it has now come down to “fight or flight” sort of thing…Canada is a petro-state, and is as conservative as the gop…Mexico???? hmmm…if’n there is going to be a fight, might as well do it on home turf…

  6. Bob: I’m with you. Canada is too cold and Mexico? I don’t speak Spanish. How about Ireland or New Zealand? I read somewhere New Zealand is the 3rd most peaceable country in the world. The idea of fighting doesn’t appeal to me. Oh, I forgot, I won’t fly anymore and that is too far to swim. Oh well, just settle in with a cup of tea and a good book.

  7. grannyeagle,
    I admire your sense of calm.

    I’m glad I’m bald, otherwise my hair would be on fire.

  8. It’s gonna be all impeachment all the time on Faux news…sigh. It will be awful for most of us. Also, too, impending Theocracy. 🙁

  9. I remember when Bush “won” in 2000 – the local alternative paper posted ads from travel agencies offering one-way expat flights to various destinations.

  10. If these Republicans think we need to wage war on ISIS, let us see them put a declaration of war on the floor and vote to pass it. Congress has that power under the Constitution; since they won several contests on that issue, they can make good on it.

  11. We’ve thought about Ireland too, grannyeagle. I haven’t found any bargains on the real estate sites, but, I haven’t searched a great deal. Their economy could sure use some new consumers. Costa Rica is supposed to have excellent cheap healthcare.

    Anyway, I don’t think about it as “fight or flight” so much. If I am lucky, I might have twenty years left. I can spend it banging my head against the wall or studying history, visiting historical sites and learning a language. The choice seems clear, now, we’ll have to determine if it’s possible. The southern rural culture just doesn’t do it for me anymore, despite many good years here.

    By the way, I haven’t decided to give up head banging completely. I’d say about a 80%/20% mix, historical study, etc/banging head against wall, would be about right.

  12. It must also be admitted that the Dems deserved to lose this one. They campaigned on issues of abortion and contraception. Income inequality and the way it slows down the economy was not even mentioned in my state. If Elizabeth Warren had been calling the shots for the campaign, we would be looking at different numbers this morning. Right wingers like Joni Ernst in Iowa could easily laugh off a “war on women” campaign, but not a “war on the 99%” campaign.

  13. Right wingers like Joni Ernst in Iowa could easily laugh off a “war on women” campaign…

    Yes, maybe the Democrats were hoping for a Todd Akin or Richard Mourdock moment, but then they’d be making the old mistake of fighting the last war. It’s kind of appalling, though, because of course Joni Ernst’s position on abortion rights is identical to Akin’s and Mourdock’s. Since nothing actually matters anymore, it’s fine to want a total abortion ban, without exceptions, as long as you don’t say anything offensive when asked to defend your position. If indeed you are asked to defend your position.

    Meanwhile, the war on women continues, and it’s not going to go away just because it happens to be out of phase with the news cycle. It may just be that the Democrats’ focus on women’s issues was a little premature. Wait until the new Republican Congress gets to work. Then in 2016, the Democrats’ message to women voters can be “Don’t say we didn’t warn you.”

  14. Lets hope this is a wake up call to the democrats, get rid of Harry and Nancy and start the fuck over!

  15. These newly elected nutjobs scare the hell out of me. I live in WI and am angry that the sleeze Scott Walker won again. The hillbillies and rednecks keep moving north.

  16. Some of this happened because of our Republican paid for media, too. I think you covered this pretty well, Maha. If I could move to Canada, I would. Even my two cats are disgusted. I can tell by the way they are sleeping. I basically feel sorry for Obama and his family. They did nothing to deserve what’s coming down the pike for them–except be black. Where are the Howard Beales when you need them?

  17. I don’t know what to make of it. I do remember hearing that it’s not an uncommon condition that victims of abuse tend to protect and defend their abusers. Other than that I’m at a loss to understand what just transpired. I guess the one bright spot in all of this is that I’m a white male so my interests theoretically should be advanced as a result of the GOP victory. God help you if you’ve got a uterus.

  18. It will be OK. They one, now they have to perform. I went through this same crap when my psychopathic neighbor got on the school board. In the end, the sheriff’s dept. Recommend she leave the area to avoid prosecution. Make some popcorn and enjoy the freak show.

  19. They one, now they have to perform.

    They have been performing like the clowns they are.. John Ringling wasn’t even lucky enough to have such a diverse troop of clowns at his disposal. Ted Cruz has vowed (on the altar of God) to finish off Obama through a series of unrelenting attacks. He wants to drag Obama’s political carcass onto the floor at the 2016 GOP convention to claim the right to the nomination.
    Like a pack of hyenas pursuing a slow running wildebeest they all are jockeying for the credit for Obama’s takedown.

  20. My brother moved to New Zealand on account of Dubya. Being female, old and poor means there’s nowhere for me to go. Or any way to get there. *Sigh* and here I was hoping to die peacefully some day soon. The “die” will happen, the “peaceful” will not. I’ not looking forward to the future.

  21. Ah, I’ve gone the (inadvertant) exile route to Pura Vida land, back here looking at the insanity again, seeking equinimity (not denial, gawd it’s fucked up), and you know, considering staying put, because that’s what you do when lost in the woods, and also, I live in CO, so lost in the woods is a geographical state of mind. Um, exile if you will, but just watch which way the winds toss your sails. Odysseus.

  22. I’m on the back nine myself so I don’t have any desire to transplant elsewhere. At the rate I’m coming apart I don’t see another ten years in my future. Aside from that, the great recession of ’08 dealt me a financial death blow that put me among the walking dead. So any hope of a brighter tomorrow for me has vanished along with the vaunted American dream.
    I do have a great deal of sympathy the up and coming generations though . I was raised on tales of the Great Depression and lived through some difficult times myself. But when I consider the economic disadvantages that are being imposed on the current generation of young people, I shutter. I’m glad I won’t be around to face the circumstances future generation will be faced with if things continue on the current course.
    My problem is that age has depleted my testosterone and flooded me with empathy. I guess that makes me a Liberal.

  23. @Swami – your last comment was pure poetic genius. Bravo. The back nine, indeed. Empathy replaces testosterone as we guys head off toward the sunset.

    @Mike G – yes those countries are presently governed by wingnuts, but they have much further to fall to each where we are – they’re starting from a higher place. A favorite comment by an Australian, that I often throw at right-wingers: “what you call socialism, the rest of the world calls common sense”.

  24. New Zealand was (is) my choice. Sadly, the want only young professionals or wealthy people. Kiwis don’t start problems around the world, and they’re far enough away from everything so it would be a safe choice. Last time I checked they had decent healthcare, and there’s enough interesting stuff to keep me interested for at least another 70 years. The climate is pretty nice too, especially on the north island on the coast.
    I have the same problems swami has. The recession clobbered our finances, too many years of hard work wore out my joints. Gonna buy a lotto ticket today.

  25. Those of us, of a certain age, will remember our fathers telling us this. It must have been in a popular compendium of fatherly advice, now apparently lost to time:

    In a crowded public place, like a carnival, to use my father’s version, an announcement will come over the loudspeaker advising that there are pickpockets in the crowd. The natural response is to check to see if your wallet is still in its place, whereupon, the pickpockets will know precisely where you’re keeping it. There was strong indication of collusion between the person making the announcement and the pickpockets.

    This is far from a precise fit, but, it describes an aspect of our politics over the last few decades. The warnings are varied, the crowd goes on edge and out of fear, they make an alliance of trust with one of the thieves, who pretends to hold their interests at heart.

    It was a simpler world back then.

  26. I have several friends who are expats. One recently had a long and serious bout with cancer and remarked that if he lived in the US instead of the EU, he would almost certainly be dead, by the way. Despite advantages, picking up stakes, especially in the later years is pretty scary. Maybe all this talk of expatriation is just an escape valve. Maybe, it would be the single most effective means of destroying retirement plans and ending up in abject poverty, but maybe not.
    I think Swami nailed it. We’ve been through some tough times, but, I sure wouldn’t want to trade places with millennials. I am sorry that we won’t be leaving them a better world. Except for the accident of being born at the right time, many of us would never have been able to go to college or devote our lives to meaningful work. Both of which were kind of fashionable half a century ago, even for the working class. I know some talented and intelligent young people who are, and probably always will be, trapped in service industry jobs. Their best option seems to be “not playing the game,” and leading a simple life. They may have something there.

    So, some of us are waiting for the rapture, black helicopters and FEMA camps and some of us are waiting for the corporate boot to crush our civil society or hordes of heavily armed dominionists to march roughshod over the ruins of mankind. Those people stand in two camps yelling insults at each other and things like “Wake up! _____tard.” The rest of us just seem to be contemplating the “bang or whimper” question. But, we’re along for the ride, like it or not.

    So, I don’t know, maybe it’s selfish to stop playing the game so late in life. But, the simple life definitely has its merits for older people. I want fewer things to dust or trip over, fewer things to “feed or paint” (with apologies to Utah Phillips) and a society and culture that isn’t a dead man walking.

    It would also be nice to be able to buy decent bread and an occasional rainwater Madeira at modest cost.

  27. Dragging up and moving out of the country is not easy at any age, tougher in our 60’s. Our daughter is moving up in the work place, looking at getting married soon. She is our one andonly, her mother would literally curl up and die if she couldn’t spend time with her in person at least every other week.
    I’d be pretty comfy in mulege Mexico, Costa Rica, or new Zealand. Probably live well off our s.s. in the first two places. Might have to go for economic reasons regardless what party is running the USA. I don’t fret much of this stuff, too many of my old friends never made it to 65. Each day is a gift.

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