Thursday, July 28, 2016

The Mercy Rule

 (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

A mercy rule -- also known by the terms slaughter rule, knockout rule and skunk rule -- brings a sports event to an early end when one team has a very large and presumably insurmountable lead over the other team. It is called the mercy rule because it spares the losing team the humiliation of suffering a loss by an even larger number of points.

-- Wikipedia 

By the time a hero astronaut had introduced his wife, a hero congresswoman, it was over.

By the time a Marine and a Navy man had both validated Hillary Clinton's Commander-in-Chief card, it was over.

But then came Uncle Joe Biden, roaring out on his Harley and red-white-and-blue jumpsuit, whipping his Ray Bans off and and leading the crowd in a rousing chorus of "USA!USA!".

And then the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace made itself manifest in the person of Michael "No Labels" Bloomberg.  And the Invisible Hand was swinging a 100 foot Vorpal Sword with which he proceeded to gleefully lay about the Terrible Orange Jabberwocky:
One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!

He left it dead, and with its head

He went galumphing back.
Then came Tim "Martin Minivan Buren" Kaine who made us all scrambled eggs and cracked us up with his goofy-dad Donald J. Trump impressions while cheerfully name-checking...
Social Justice
The Nobility of public service
and the United States Marine Corps.
It was over.  It was over.  It was so over.

And then the sweetest, funniest, feistiest Gold Star Mom and school board member straight from Frank Capra central casting in the world walked up to the microphone to introduce her president.  The speech that President Obama delivered after her introduction is already being translated into every language on Earth, shared on every media site and will be studied by school kids on our Martian colonies a century from now, so since you can find it anywhere (and rightly so) let us instead give the floor of this tiny blog to Mrs. Sharon Belkofer of Rossford, Ohio:

It was over.  It was already so over.

And then President Obama delivered what I can best describe as the "Morning In America" speech Abraham Lincoln might have given at the end of his second term had a radical Christian white supremacist not cut him down in one of the greatest acts of domestic terrorism in American history.

Day Three of the DNC was, collectively, the most comprehensive political beat-down I have ever seen.

Will it budge Hillary Clinton's numbers?  Probably.  A little.  A few points.  But probably not more than that.  The election will still be a close thing because we are now an irrevocably riven country.  A House Divided, not between honestly-held contending philosophies which argue back and forth in good faith, but between a hateful, paranoid mob who have been reduced to mindless beasts by 20 years of Fox News/Hate Radio taking a dump in their skulls every single day...

...a contentious concatenation of Liberals and Progressives who work each in their own way to leave this country a little better than we found it and who have been warning that this day of reckoning would come for 20 years...

...and a timorous band of Both Siderist children, moral cowards and professional jellyfish whose only dogma is mindless fidelity to the delusion that what they see happening right in front of them cannot possibly be happening.  Who would travel 1,000 miles just to find a fence to straddle. Whose holy mantra is that somewhere under the gargantuan steaming pile of shit that is the Republican Party there must be a pony, and that somewhere in the Haight-Ashbury of their imagination, some Dirty Hippie is probably doing something right now that is somehow as equally and oppositely disqualifying as Paul Ryan or Mike Pence or Trey Gowdy or Donald J. Trump.

And this is the ground the Republican Party abandoned when they decided to give up on the very concept of self-government, and instead chase the Kenyan Usurper from Death Panel to Benghaaaazi, and give their base permission to let their racist freak flags fly.  

This middle place -- this small town, hard-hit-but-hopeful, church-going, duty, honor, country place -- is what the Republicans ceded so that they could build the Golden Calf of their dreams out of an Orange Con Man who has all the best words.

On Day Three of the DNC, the Democratic Party orchestrated an extremely effective land, sea and air invasion of this middle place.  They established a beachhead there, and unless they fuck up very badly, for the next three months the campaign will be slugging it out from hedgerow-to-hedgerow in a Battle for the (how it hurts me to say this) Sensible Center.  And that campaign will be fighting against the collective muscle memory and professional instincts of the Beltway Both Siderists who are desperate to turn this back into a mindless horse-race between equally flawed minions of the Corrupt Duopoly.  

Which is why the Mercy Rule cannot be invoked.  Because however soaring the rhetoric or overwhelmingly damning the evidence may be, at least 40% of our fellow citizens will be going to the polls in November to cast a vote for Donald J. Trump.  

And between now and then it will be our job to confront the children, moral cowards and professional jellyfish who want to go right on cowering in the Both Siderist spider hole hoping this will all blow over.  To whang away at them over and over again with brutal truth that Donald Trump is not merely a disaster because he is an unhinged racist lunatic -- he is a disaster because he is the manifestation of the unhinged racist lunacy that is at the very core of Republican Party as it exists today, here and now.

Our job is to leave them no place to hide. 

And to do it with a smile on our face, a song in our heart and a beer in our hand.  


dinthebeast said...

Like Molly Ivins would surely have said: Remember to have fun while you're freedom fighting!

-Doug in Oakland

Dave McCarthy said...

We have to make sure that the much-vaunted 40% number is forty percent OF THE VOTES CAST

Brad in Dallas said...

The soaring rhetoric of the DNC has brought our pundit class to echoing peals of poetic analysis. Ladies and gentlemen, I say ye, Driftglass.

trgahan said...

It is worth pointing out that on Monday the media tried the "Look the DNC is JUST AS BAD!" talking point and it flopped, badly.

Last night the Democratic Party challenged Trump to an electoral fight. Trump doesn't have the campaign infrastructure to punch back in a meaningful way and the election is passed the part where calling in to cable news shows to spout crap will have any positive effect in November.

Now Trump will have to debate Clinton after calling on another nation to conduct a cyber attack on the U.S. That 40% may never vote anything but Republican, but it doesn't like being made to look ridiculous by their candidate in front of liberals (ex. President George W. Bush). Still early, but Trump still has time to make it so embarrassing to support him that the Bush Off machine may get retooled and fired up before November.

Sandman said...

I shared Charlie Pierce's column this morning on Facebook, declaring it his best work ever. This afternoon, you have surpassed him with this. Bravo!

Niccki said...

May I lift that beer high to toast you, kind sir...for a slam dunk of HOOUGE proportions. Time to lift ourselves out of our comfy chairs and do the work, knock on the doors, get the people registered, and drag their ass to the polls.
Cause if this blithering idiot gets anywhere near the White House, Canada is not nearly far enough away folks, and the rockets aren't ready to colonize Mars yet

Neo Tuxedo said...

a Battle for the (how it hurts me to say this) Sensible Center.

I can understand it hurting, given what a bitter joke those two words have become, but this time, it shouldn't. The real sensible center is still where it's been, way to the left of where the Both Siderist children, moral cowards and professional jellyfish have set up Camp Very Serious People. The people who live there just needed a reminder of how much they matter, and how much their opting out of the process has mattered. Donald J. Trump, Millionaire, who owns a mansion and a yacht, has been a reminder. "He, Trump" (as Brother Charles calls him) has awakened the sleeping giant and filled it with the sort of resolve that's terrible when you're in its crosshairs and magnificent when you're aligned with it.

moeman said...

"Don't boo, vote" ~ Barack Obama

Tell your friends and maybe an enemy or two.

Unknown said...

There have been some good signs that the Both Siderists might do the right thing in the face of the Trumpocalypse. Even Ron (I almost used my now-tasteless nickname out of habit) Fournier is mostly heaping praise on the DNC and being a little more forthright that this shit is too serious to vomit BothSiderist crap all over it like he usually does.

But we'll see. The pundits tend to say "oooh good convention" and then go back to business as usual once the balloons and confetti are all swept up.

In a sane country, Michelle Obama would have been worth a 10 point bounce by herself, and President Obama's unique brilliance on display yesterday would have put the election permanently out of reach and begun an epic Hillary rout. But it's not at all clear this is a sane country right now. So we'll see.

Unknown said...

Well said, sir. Kudos for the brilliant take down of the naysayers and cynics who know nothing and believe less.

Robt said...

Well said and your choice of sharing the feisty sharon Belkofer. One snapshot in time of what is assumed "the average American" Because if she is average, average is keenly inspiring. Entirely different than the guy who called malarkey. The First Lady was so average in her humble offering that BillO of FOX was incensed that she could be so compellingly exceptionally average . He felt less superior and the pain he imagined cause him to strike out.

Does Sharon Belkofer reflect Trump's view that America is a divided crime scene?

Reading this cause me to consider the debates. The verbal food fights, denigrating of others, lack of substance, the absence of the presence of mind for the very American voter they seek to govern as President. Juxtaposed to the issues and concerns pertaining to the General welfare of the people and how to get there.

Now over, the conventions provided a basis with which to access. I can tell you this, If I was invited to a party convention style Christmas gathering by the GOP and the DNC that happened to be on the same day. To spend a special time together.
I would choose the gathering with the DNC.

I do have a bit of a disagreement with "it" being over when DG states.
This is laying the foundation to build the campaign upon. And a very well formed and strong foundation this house will have. In my opinion.

Keeping in ind, Hillary is the first female to accept a political party nomination in history. In my lifetime. This is progress. Following the first Kenyan usurper President.
So, The big question for me with Hillary and the Dems.
Between Clinton;s machine and her Dress tails carry enough to make a difference in Congress?
The implications of a Trump SCOTUS vs a Hillary SCOTUS is dramatic. Would you prefer a Ruth Bader Ginsberg or a Louie Gohmert for the next 10 to 20 years??

Anonymous said...

This was brilliantly written and deserves to be shared far and wide.

Jimbo said...

Some of your best writing that I have read, at least. But, by far the hardest part will be GOTV, as always.

W. Hackwhacker said...

Allow me to join the chorus in saying, bravo! Let's all get to work now, each in our own way, to ensure the beat- down that needs to happen in November.

Meremark said...

I note that Driftglass wrote great. Comprehensive, conclusive, and accurate in his facts, which latterest is more than Pierce does. Who's column is where I was reminded Driftglass still exists; I used to come here years ago. Reading here today in this '97 theses' nailing it, and sticking the landing, I kept being interrupted by the thought, 'this is the charmed feeling I get reading Pierce, even better.' Just: Big Up, DG. Word. Righteous. major upworthy

jack said...

From the very first time I went on your website I have been impressed at your biting, heartfelt, incisive and humorous writing. You almost always hit the nail square on it's head and you make me laugh as well as think. I am a Bernie supporter who has reluctantly come to view Hillary Clinton in a much better light than that in which I previously saw her. Not to mention the fact that we must face down this arrogant, facist, foulmouthed bully! God damn how I detest bullies!. I say fuck Trump and all that he (stands?) for and let us all take him and his supporters down to the depths of Hades and leave them there.

p.s. There is nothing worse than those in the media who are both siderists. They, like the gutless, spineless Republicans who kiss The Donald's ring, are beneath contempt. They have a great expression in Spanish which characterizes these folks "sin verguenza" ......without shame!

Unknown said...

Widely read already, but I can't help but enjoy watching Rich Lowry squirm as the knife is twisted:

The GoP has abandoned the center. Time to punish them harshly.

Blue Girl, Red State said...

Your title made a neuron fire:

Professional Left Podcast #602

“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” -- Zen saying Don't forge...