Carnage and Malarkey: Viral Politics in the Age of Fuckery Part III | Under The Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
Wednesday, June 16th, 2021  

Carnage and Malarkey: Viral Politics in the Age of Fuckery Part III

A Recap and Wrap Up of This Crazy Election Season

Jan 20, 2021 By Steve King Web Exclusive
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Don’t listen to a word I say
The screams all sound the same
Though the truth may vary, this
Ship will carry our
Bodies safe to shore

In Danse Macabre Stephen King wrote about American horror at Russia launching Sputnik as “Terror—what Hunter Thompson calls ‘fear and loathing’—often arises from a pervasive sense of disestablishment; that things are in the unmaking. If that sense of unmaking is sudden and seems personal—if it hits you around the heart—then it lodges in the memory as a complete set.” President Trump has terrorized Americans in such a profound way, more people voted (during a pandemic, no less) in this election than ever before in the history of American politics. Which means…

President Joe Motherfucking Biden, y’all!!! I’ve been in agony since 2015 and if you’ll just allow me this moment… THANK FUCKING GOD! And it was Obama’s vice president with my girl Kamala Harris? Shut up! You’re crazy! We made it, folks. We made it to the end of the Trump nightmare. The uncivil war will continue but, for now, let’s party.

Walmart pulled guns and ammo from their shelves temporarily. School shootings and mass murder didn’t make them do the right thing. Civil unrest associated with an American election did. For all the whining that the Black Lives Matter protests would push suburban women into the president’s gropey arms, they actually helped motivate and juice Democratic voter registration.

Yes, there was a Red Mirage on election night. And of course, Trump tried to declare victory a couple times. There was no definitive Blue Wave but there was a clear repudiation of Trump. The week after the election was like dancing on a razor’s edge. The memes were amazing. Between “You About to Lose Your Job” and the Lord of the Rings memes, and hilarious videos of people partying all over the world, it was a time of High Content. The Avengers/Biden deepfake alone was one of the greatest things the internet has ever produced. But once the Philadelphia numbers came in, the battle was over and Joe Biden was the presumptive winner. Once the verdict on Trump was clear, the nation and world exploded in an exuberant celebration, the likes of which have never been seen. It was similar to the night Obama had Bin Laden killed. The feeling was even better than when the president caught COVID. The parties outside of the White House lasted for days. Some glorious genius brought a gong. My personal favorite of the celebration videos was the people partying at a gas station to Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas Is You.” As if people had actually stopped saying Merry Christmas. Indeed, no one would be safe in Joe Biden’s America.

New Yorkers were screaming, banging pots and pans, and celebrating in the streets; rural Mexican towns went nuts; people applauded mail trucks as they passed; citizens were literally dancing in the streets. The president bitched and moaned. Jake Tapper called him pathetic; Anderson Cooper compared him to an obese turtle. The mayor of Philly told the president to “put his big boy pants on.” Gritty became the hero we needed and deserved. Donald Trump Jr. was coked out of his gourd the whole time. As the president complained about voter fraud, some vote counting centers actually live-streamed the counting process. Michael Rappaport somehow became a tribune of the people. Trump supporters, of course, lost their collective shit. They were praying on the ground in front of vote counting centers, planning to attack vote centers, sending death threats to electors. They went the full nine.

So many great things happened that week it was hard to keep track of them all. Rudy Giuliani, fresh off of jangling his cock in Borat 2, held what may have been the Trump campaign’s final stop at Four Seasonsing Total Landscaping; they couldn’t find a place in Pennsylvania where they were not being protested, so Rudy’s insane press conference took place in an industrial park next to an animal crematorium and a sex shop. (The owner of the sex shop didn’t support Trump.) It was an electoral landslide, by Kellyanne Conway’s 2016 standards. The election was not hacked by Russia; their disinformation was weaker this time. Americans have reclaimed the disinformation edge on themselves. In fact, there were rumors that Vladimir Putin has Parkinsons’ and that he may be stepping away from public life next year. Peace, Vlad! QAnon went quiet for a while, no doubt trying to come up with ways to explain why The Storm never took place. Although someone will have to explain to them that Joe Biden will be the one liberating children from Trump’s immigrant concentration camps.

Voters were motivated as hell. The Lt. Governor of Idaho made a fool of herself. Navajo voters rode to the polls on horseback. MAGA trolls blocked intersections and highways, for no apparent reason. In the end, the election was called while Trump was golfing. His supporters refused to believe it, instead claiming it was a “Plandemic,” as if all of that Executive Time watching cable news had somehow prepared Trump to handle the virus. Yeah, some plan, ya rubes. We lost the damn Supreme Court.

Trump lost Arizona, Georgia, all of the Blue Wall states, and the states with the most boat owners. Steve Bannon was fired by his lawyers for saying Fauci should be beheaded. The president stopped working after the election, even as the virus tore through the country and his own White House for a second time. He cleared his schedule and lost the will to be blond.

And then the inevitable frivolous Trump lawsuits started. Over the following month more than 50 of them were tossed out of court. Giuliani got COVID by passing around jump drives and infected a lot of Republicans in Arizona. Roger Stone engineered the impotent “Stop the Steal” demonstrations. The president’s legal team profaned themselves in court so many times it honestly got a little boring. It wasn’t even funny, just boring. That’s like the cardinal sin of reality TV. They tried to dispute votes in swing state counties that didn’t exist. They spelled Georgia wrong at one point. It was a bit of a miracle that the election worked exactly as it should have, during a pandemic, no less, with no large-scale fraud and limited Republican voter suppression.

The president continued his nonsensical lies about how he won big; he lost by over seven million votes. The Supreme Court shut him down twice. His own Supreme Court, a third of whom he had given lifetime jobs, acted like they didn’t know him. As odd as the Trump demonstrations are, they were expected. Civil wars in political parties are inevitable after an election loss. This has all happened before and will happen again. But Mike Flynn’s sister never butchered “God Bless America” before. This was all after Karl Rove and GOP superlawyer Ben Ginsberg said that there was still no evidence of voter fraud. Trump refused to concede and insisted on dragging out every excruciating moment of his own electoral defeat. Like another perverted asshole who got everybody excited for no good reason, Trump needed to have a Rasputin-like political death.

Trump, through his tantrums, sent out nothing but lies on Twitter and royally messed up the normal transition of power. It was a classic bad Trump divorce. His followers are bent on destroying not only Fox News, but the GOP as a whole. They had a couple Million MAGA rallies; one instigated by the Proud Boys ended with church banners of Black Lives Matter being burned in the street and a bunch of stabbings. Real classy stuff. Electors in different states needed police escorts and had to go into hiding as they certified the election results. Throughout the entire certification process, there was a threat of right wing violence. Proud Boys wrote “FUCK ANTIFA” on their own asses. The My Pillow guy was wildin’ out. Trump, Giuliani, and his other subpar conspiracy lawyers spouted nonsense about Dominion voting machines (Dominion later sued everyone) and how Trump’s election loss was a communist plot by the ghost of Hugo Chavez… or something. The Trump campaign had to shut down their Voter Fraud Hotline because it was getting too many crank calls.

By refusing to concede and fundraising with emails about a stolen election, the president has given himself a couple hundred million dollars of walking around money for the next couple years. Even as he was playing the victim to his base, he was robbing them blind. He has entertained the idea of starting some kind of FOX News competitor, like a Trump streaming service. Trump is obsessed with TV ratings and the media. To launch some kind of wackadoo Trump TV might actually make his anhedonic ass happy. He would thrive and never have to fail at the work involved with being president again. Or… the New York Attorney General and SDNY will be coming for him, and without the legal protection of the presidency his thicc ass will be fair game. He may not have time to waste away at Mar-a-Lago like Al Capone.

Trump’s future and his ability to influence politics and the country is an open question. The now former president Trump retweeted a Twitter account named Carturd; he wanted to show the obituaries of dead voters at rallies (a dead person did vote for Trump though); he kept crying about a communist Venezuelan plot involving Dominion voting machines, and spoke with people around him about announcing another run for president in 2024. Just toying with the idea was a stroke of political genius, in that it freezes the GOP 2024 field, and threatens to guarantee that we never escape the unholy year of 2020. He even wanted to announce during Biden’s inauguration. But like all Trump plans it was half-baked and fluid and had changed within weeks. If he’s not in jail, dead of a heart attack (inshallah), or insanely more powerful with a News-Porn streaming app, then, yeah, let’s dance, motherfucker. But no, Trump is all bark and no bite. He’s a lazy loudmouth. It’s the same reason he keeps screaming about “vote dumps” and the evil Dominion.

And then the thing that had been obvious for over a month to people who hadn’t spent the last five years plumbing the depths of their own asses happened. The Electoral fucking College vote! Trump almost immediately fired Attorney General Bill Barr for contradicting his voter fraud allegations. That evening President-elect Biden addressed the nation again, but this time in a way he hadn’t before. He curb-stomped every outlandish reality-bending attack Trump had made on the election results. No one had seen Biden dickslap Trump during the campaign as hard as he did in the speech cementing his new position. It was withering and made all the more poignant by occasionally clearing his throat.

For all the “Magapoolzas” and “Stop the Steal” protests, it was all for nothing; just the last gasp of a dying regime and its deluded followers. Trump insisted on having the worst transition possible, and set as many fires as he could on the way out the door. It was needless scorched earth politics. But this is Trump we’re talking about, after all. He needs a dirty exit after every failed marriage. Senate Republicans also did their part to hobble the incoming Biden administration. The transition was already a national security risk, but then it was revealed that Russia hadn’t hacked the United States voting systems, but rather our nuclear codes and Treasury. Trump then contradicted his own Secretary of State and tried in vain to claim it had been China, finally confirming that the president has been committing treason for the entirety of his short, unfortunate political life.

It was all just petty Trump bullshit. He wasn’t trying to overturn the election. You don’t put Rudy Giuliani in charge of the legal effort unless you want him to get COVID and fart through court hearings. It was all an effort to save face, even if it tore the country apart and gave his followers false hope while he conducted one of his last presidential hustles. By encouraging protests in January around the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote, he still has his hand in his supporters’ back pockets.

Though President Trump has been defeated, disgraced, humiliated, and neutered, the time between the election and Biden’s inauguration was still beset with violence, fear, pardons, and horror. At the end Trump was still trying to incite a military conflict with Iran (why not end the year where it started?) and a civil war at home.

There was still unfinished business in Georgia. White collar criminals David Perdue and Kelly Loeffler went down in flames, thanks in part to the president’s anger at the Republican establishment for not stealing the election, and his claims of voter fraud depressing the Republican vote. And Stacey Abrams. Stacey Abrams has saved America. But for real though, Perdue and Loeffler got classified briefings about the virus, and their responses was to invest in body bags, for shit’s sake. The senate is now split with Kamala Harris as the tie breaking vote. Now we’ll get some real stuff done. But Democrats know how tenuous a senate majority can be, so the gloves are off. Kiss the filibuster goodbye.

There are still millions of Republican voters who think the election was stolen by devil-worshipping, global child sex ring-operating, blood-drinking Democrats. And 20% of Trump voters lied about their support for him, meaning that the madness will not end and polls won’t be accurate anytime soon. Trump created not so much a political movement with MAGA, as much as he further radicalized most of his political party into a domestic terrorist group. Like the virus, the evil that lives in half of Americans will endure long after Trump, and be much harder to kill. Trump will fade, but there is no vaccine for hate.

In the time after the election, the president essentially lost what little of his mind he still had left. He considered more treason, entertained Mike Flynn’s martial law masturbatory fantasies, committed more impeachable crimes by trying to lean on the Georgia Secretary of State, and basically yelled at everyone who worked for him. It just couldn’t compute for him that he was now a “loser.” But in the end, it wasn’t even close.

The MAGA electoral vote certification protests started with a guy telling the crowd to spread the virus, Giuliani called for “trial by combat,” and then the president, after months of lying about how the election was stolen, unleashed his horde on Congress, turning a normal part of the post-election process into a historic, disgraceful horrorshow. January 6th was supposed to be 3 Percent Walking Dead militia cosplay protest to intimidate Congress but it quickly revealed a vast and insidious conspiracy of white terrorism.

The insurrectionist assault on Congress was the most shameful thing Trump has engineered since, well… his attack on Black Lives Matter protesters in the summer. Trump literally had his followers attack Congress because his pressure campaign to get Pence to illegally throw out the certification failed. Pence became Trump’s target as well.

They beat a cop to death, fired guns onto the senate floor, damaged and stole federal property, and smeared their own shit on the walls. It was disgusting. Bombs were left at the DNC and RNC headquarters. What was even more disturbing was the complicity of many of the DC and Capitol cops meant to protect the Capitol. They took selfies with the terrorists, directed them to members’ offices, and essentially stood down. When the DC mayor requested the National Guard, it was denied and slow-walked. Pence had to give the order. This was state sponsored terrorism, inflicted on the state by members of the state. It was a terrorist attack masterminded by the president.

Many of the seditionists, led by Proud Boys and militias, had some knowledge of the Capitol floor plans, had been shown around the Capitol days before, and were searching for high ranking Democrats and the vice president. They erected a cross and gallows, and were planning on public executions of lawmakers. It was essentially a larger and deadlier version of what far right extremists have been doing in Michigan. The extent of how much official assistance the attackers had is still coming to light. Trump and his minions were pretty involved. What do you call protesters who come armed to the teeth?

It wasn’t just the neckbeard incels, militia losers, and Facebook-radicalized Boomers. The mob was composed of off-duty cops, veterans, real estate agents, an Olympic gold medalist, a son of a judge, state representatives, and other aggrieved whites.

So to sum up, the president instructed his horde of white male rage to attack the Capitol and try to kill Pence, Pelosi, Schumer, and whoever else may have been in the line of succession. He had already tried to infect Joe Biden at their first debate. The Republican Party was fine with sedition, but threatening Pence was a step too far. Apparently the president loved every minute of the attack, then tried to blame it on Antifa, as if the seditionists hadn’t livestreamed and taken selfies (without masks) the entire time.

The insurrection failed to stop the certification of the electoral votes, and Pence and Trump drifted apart, not talking for almost a week after the attack. The best part is that Trump got impeached again for inciting sedition, he was de-platformed by almost every social network, his business partners in New York cancelled future construction projects, and the PGA tour was pulled from his Bedminster Club. Hundreds of millions of dollars were probably lost, and now the family is back to being the toxic pariahs they were before he ran for president. Who knows what will happen with the Senate trial? McConnell, who has spent the last four years enabling Trump, only to have his own chamber of Congress desecrated by the rioters, is so pissed off he may vote to convict, which should give Republican senators cover to vote the right way and bar Trump from a future elected office. But 17 Republican votes is a bit of a stretch.

Many in his administration either avoided the president or resigned in disgrace. We all thought he was going to get kicked off Twitter after he left office, but January 6th was the last straw. Would you believe that misinformation dropped after the ban? I know, crazy, right? Shocker of shockers. The shame of the insurrection will never go away. The family may be successful grifters but political life has essentially ruined them. You really couldn’t ask for a more karmic ending for this president. The president’s approval has cratered since his election loss.

Losing the presidency after one term is the highest profile public humiliation a politician can endure, and since Trump has spent his whole insecure life shining shit and calling it gold, and never acknowledging his many failures, it simply short-circuited his already warped mind. Why he would want to undemocratically stay in a job he hates, and citizens hate him in, can only be explained by his pathological inability to accept defeat. Trump has finally shot the Republican Party that he has held hostage since 2015. He should put them out of their misery and start a new party. What even is the future for the Republican Party after this? Because it seems that Republicans are getting worse with each cycle. Who is their future? Pence? He’s a dead man walking, to Trump at least.Tom Cotton? No, uggo. Cruz? Uggo and hated by everyone. Hawley? Seems to have shot his load with the sedition votes. Nikki Haley might be the only one who can lead them out of the wilderness. In the meantime, everyone has been just counting down the days.

Oh, and some of the rioters were positive for COVID so naturally, when members of congress had to shelter in place along with other members who refused to wear masks, infections spread.

This all makes an outdoor inauguration a very dangerous affair. Armed protests, otherwise known as terrorism, have been organized to occur in all 50 states. The national mall will be closed and there are currently more soldiers in DC than there are in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan combined, though many of them are going through extreme vetting because for some odd reason, white men with guns just aren’t to be trusted.

We could go over all of the stupid and evil things that Republicans have done since losing the election, but honestly, who fucking cares anymore? It’s all sound and fury signifying nothing. Trump had given up on the virus and given up on the work, he got a ton of Republicans to sign on to overturning the election, he said he and his supporters “we’re all victims,” and most of his daffy, inept lawyers got COVID. He said that the election results and ensuing legal battles were like a third world country, just not the way that he thinks.

Even as Trump was trying to keep a job he clearly hates, Biden was building the most diverse and progressive presidential administration ever in American history. For all the hoopla surrounding the certification in congress and the president’s baseless claims of voter fraud, it flew under the radar that the Republican party was denying that a black woman had won the vice presidency. Congressional certification of the election would all be business as usual if we hadn’t previously elected a whiny man child with cult leader tendencies. And, no, the president doesn’t have the constitutional authority to delay an inauguration. Republicans are so mad about Biden winning, you’d think he’s a black man in his late 40s. But really, truly, who gives a sweet heavenly shit? It’s over. There’s no there there. Let’s move on. It’s all over but for the screaming. Trump may have been a content machine full of crazy contradictions, but man, I have hated writing about him. I said that he was an evil person and boy, did he live up to it. For the whole MAGA experiment to end in such utter disaster and disgrace, there is an overwhelming sense of vindication. Fuck that guy. Qanon deadenders thought that inauguration day would be The Storm. They were wrong.

It’s the sweetest historical poetic justice that Trump began his ill-fated political career by screaming for Obama’s birth certificate, which eventually vaulted him to the White House, and his utter failure as president brought about the first black woman Vice President. The presidency that began with the Women’s March will end with a black woman in the White House.

President Biden will do his best to heal a damaged nation, but he has already done enough. He stopped Trump. That was his mandate, and it has already been accomplished, so it’s on to the next thing: Killing COVID in America. Though it will be difficult, not just because 40% of America has simply lost its mind, but because the Trump administration was low key going for “herd immunity.” Fixing the disaster of the last four years will take longer than the electorate is ready to absorb, so he will naturally have a 2022 midterm congressional defeat. It sucks, but thems the damn rules. Americans will support you, vote you into office, and then go about undoing the decision they have just made. This is the way things work. But for now, Biden is your president. And he might not be down with coddling your bullshit anymore. He may finally drop the act.

For Biden, Pelosi, and Schumer this is a one-way suicide mission. They all know there is no tomorrow for them, that their time has passed, and they are just here to clear the way for the next generation of Democrats like Harris, AOC, and Whitmer. It’s time. They know. They’re just trying to right the ship before the end. That feeling of responsibility to correct your generation’s mistakes is admirable, considering Baby Boomers have always made it their primary focus to suffocate any chance younger generations have at a normal life. But sometimes it takes a wrongdoer to show you’re doing wrong. Biden is very effective at conveying atonement and loss. We may have to spend the next four years atoning for the last four, so whoever Democrats nominate next time will need to pep things up. Looking at you, Harris and AOC.

The Trump presidency was like a bolt-of-lightning-realization that maybe the class war had gone too far. It’s difficult to maintain a fundamentally unfair class system when you kill the lower classes. But this is the way American politics works. Every Republican president nearly destroys the country and then Democrats are elected to clean up the mess, and the whole process starts over again. By defeating Trump, Biden has already done something no other politician has been able to do since the Second World War. He slayed a dragon, a terrorist leader president, and saved the world. The bulk of his job is done.

Honestly, I was watching a recent Biden speech and I started to fall asleep. It was pretty chill. I can’t remember the last time that happened. During the Obama years, probably. Sleepy Joe? Fine, sounds great. Bore me to sleep, Papa Joe. Let’s go!

Biden will be a one-term president yet not a lame duck, because he’s got nothing left but his balls and good intentions. He’s essentially in his third term, so he’s got nothing to lose. Presidents do big things when they’re fresh outta fucks. When he recently said that our “darkest days are ahead of us,” it was genuinely jarring after years of Trump saying things will magically get better. It’s a wild feeling to hear a president tell the truth again. While Biden was honoring the 400,000 dead Americans on the night before the inauguration with a memorial on the national mall, Trump was pardoning Steve Bannon and Lil Wayne.

Biden has possibly inherited a worse situation than the one Bush left Obama. It seems like an insurmountable task to stop a rampant virus, subdue an ungovernable country, and fix a collapsing economy. Injury is easy. Healing and recovery is hard. Reconciliation is one thing. Redemption is something else. How does a country heal after such sustained disgrace?

We are a troubled people in a country borne of lies and ruthlessness. But it was also borne of the idea of freedom, if not freedom itself. We make terrible mistakes, oftentimes for worse reasons, but we eventually do our best to correct them. It just may take another couple hundred years. With Trump, we did it in four. That’s not to say his reign of terror and sway over people is at an end, but it has been defeated for now.

There will be vaccine conspiracies. Kamala Harris will bear the brunt of a lot of hatred and racially tinged sexism. There will always be resistance to progress but things will get better for a time before we elect another Republican. Each generation of America is slightly better than the last. If they weren’t, we would not have a President Obama or Vice President Harris.

America is a complicated place, always pulling itself back and forth from chaos and order, hatred and love, hope and fear. We are haunted. The story of this country is a tragedy with a happy ending. We improve. We are not yet irredeemable.

Hunter S. Thompson wrote, “I am guilty, Lord, but I am also a lover—and I am one of your best people, as you know; and yea tho I have walked in many strange shadows and acted crazy from time to time and even drooled on many High Priests, I have not been an embarrassment to you….”

The Trump Depression: Viral Politics in the Age of Fuckery Part II

The Trump Plague: Viral Politics in the Age of Fuckery

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March 16th 2021
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