Donald Trump is no longer president. Why doesn’t it feel better?

How long did you wait for this? How impossible did it used to feel that we’d ever get to this point? What were you thinking in those early morning hours of November 9, 2016? Or in those early evening hours on November 3, 2020?

Well, we did it, Joe. Donald Trump is no longer the president of the United States. But I gotta say, I thought I’d feel a little happier. I’d assumed that the day Donald Trump left office would be one of those “see a doctor if it lasts longer than four hours” days. Or that it’d be like when the Cubs won the World Series, with crashing waves of spontaneous euphoria bursting through unannounced for weeks. Or at very least, that it’d be something along the lines of November 7, 2020, with the crowds in the streets and the joy in the air.

But it doesn’t feel like that.

Maybe it’s because of all the dead people. The crematoriums running past capacity in LA County, EMTs instructed not to bother bringing those who are too close to death to the hospital. The nurses and doctors who worked past the breaking point, pleading with us to stay home as patients lay in the hallway. Yes, the pandemic that’s been permitted to run roughshod over an entire people is probably part of it.

Or maybe it’s the Nazis. The lunatic fringe that has prospered like no other group under Trump’s leadership, recruiting enough members to overtake a Capitol police force still trained to see no hint of threat in white people with guns. It’s definitely hard to feel joy when the same people who think Tom Hanks chugs baby blood also get to choose the nominees for one of the two major parties.

Or it could be Joe Manchin. We worked and organized and donated and volunteered and wrote letters and registered and voted like the world depended on it… and now Joe Manchin gets to decide which of our dreams live and die. The guy who voted to confirm Kavanbrough and got elected by shooting a climate bill on TV. It could definitely be Joe Manchin.

Perhaps it’s the 74 million votes. We can all agree that that’s altogether too many votes to re-elect the man who oversaw the resurgence of the aforementioned Nazis, the unchecked spread of the aforementioned pandemic, and incited the aforementioned insurrection. But unless the machines really were rigged, he got more votes than any candidate in American history without the middle name Robinette. That doesn’t inspire much excitement.

I guess it could be because of the Supreme Court too. We got a lot of wins these past four years, mainly because Donald Trump is deeply incompetent—but Mitch McConnell is not. And so, a 6–3 conservative majority is enshrined for decades, likely to strip healthcare and rights from anyone who didn’t party with Brett. And the more you think about it, the more likely it seems that SCOTUS is the reason.

There’s a big part of me that thinks it’s the way he’s leaving. We wanted him in handcuffs, or at very least resigning in some sort of self-pardon deal. Instead, he’s off to Mar-A-Lago (in the country’s largest swing state, which he won TWICE) and will likely be able to sell a book or start a TV station to pay off his debts. His children seem primed to run for office. Impeached twice is nice, but it’s a far cry from those Mueller fever dreams, and I’m not sure everyone got over that.

But I think it’s something worse. It’s a lack of hope.

No one really wanted this. Democrats nominated Biden because we thought he could win and put an end to the nightmare (we were right!) and because some core constituencies thought they could trust him to do the moral thing (they might be right!). But no one did it because they were so deeply inspired by him. No one voted Biden for the hope of it all.

Some people did so very enthusiastically, myself included. But when Biden first got to the White House in 2008 it was under the delightly vague banner of “hope and change.” As much as his ace campaign staff tried putting aviators on ice cream cones and getting Eminem to cut sick ads, his 2020 banner was “fewer excess deaths per capita.” We voted for Biden because we were sad and nearly broken by what’s happened, not because we hoped for much better.

No one voted for Donald Trump out of hope either. As much ink has been spilled on the streets of Youngstown trying to explain How Trump Won, I don’t think I’ve heard anyone answer this simple question: have you ever found a passionate Trump supporter who is happy with their life? Someone who wears the hat and pledges loyalty to him, then goes home to a loving home, fulfilled by the days that pass and content in their personhood? If such a person exists, they’ve done an excellent job of hiding. 

They voted for him because they’re angry. Angry at all different things, most likely, but angry. 

This time, sadness beat anger. And for now, that has to be enough.

Make John King Get back in front of That Map until They Call Alaska’s ballot Proposition: An Open Letter

Listen here, you little shit. None of us are having a good time, ok? I hate it here, you hate it here, we all hate it here. 

But if there’s one thing that’s been getting us, collectively as a nation, through this past month, it’s been watching John King suffer in front of his damn map.

For days on end, the powers that be at CNN refused to let him sleep. To let him eat. To let him out of a room with his ex-wife. “Read us the results,” they told him. “The people want to know the latest totals from Bucks County.”

And indeed we did. We relished in his pain, danced in his torment. We delighted in that first light of daybreak when we flipped the TV back on and found him there, as he had been the night before. Outfit unchanged, face in agony, zooming in closer and closer on Atlanta suburbs.

But here’s the thing: it was never about the election. It was about the joy we got in watching one man suffer for all our sins. We need that back in our lives, and with 40% of the expected vote in Alaska outstanding and a ranked choice voting ballot proposition still left to be determined, we have ample ground to demand it.

So get back in front of your map, Johnny boy. Read us the numbers. Tell us which areas historically HATE ranked choice systems and where we can expect boatloads of those famous Ranked Choice Zealots to be voting. Zoom in on the swing precincts. Extrapolate wildly. Do a math.

You have no choice. It’s either your pain or ours.

I’m Definitely Not Rooting for Anyone to Get Hurt

The confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett as the newest Supreme Court Justice—who has as much experience trying constitutional law cases I do playing in the NBA—has gotten people justifiably riled up. In an egregiously short time window, the chief Demon Turtle of the Senate has forced through a LIFETIME appointment more aggressively than Donald Trump forces himself on women. (ha ha! It’s funny because he’s a rapist!) However, even though this miscarriage of justice will literally echo for decades, it’s important that we don’t violate our very super duper important sense of common decency and wish totally justifiable ill will on these shitsacks walking hate crimes “people.” That’s why, today, I am making this declaration: I am definitely not wishing harm on these people.

I most certainly don’t want to see Ted Cruz get lice in his midlife crisis beard. I 100% don’t want to watch Mitt Romney choke during a speech so self-pleasuring it can only be seen on Cinemax After Dark. There is no world in which it would be endlessly funny to see Mitch McConnell get COVID only to have medical professionals refuse to help him because most people don’t die from it anyhow (that’s how it works right, you jowly fucknugget). I definitely don’t want to see any of that. 

No, I’m above wishing ill will on the people who would rather watch your family die in the streets without healthcare before they pay taxes on money their grandfathers made selling slaves in agriculture. Would it be absolutely hilarious to see Lindsey Graham, Brett Kavanaugh, and Clarence Thomas have heart attacks during their weekly backroom tuggy session? Yes, 100%. I’m only human. However, do I wish for those embodiments of mediocre, sniveling male privilege to die that way? Almost definitely not. Because I’m a good person who legally cannot say that I would like that to happen.

These are bad times. The people in charge of our government are bad people. However, we mustn’t stoop to their level. That is why I am imploring you to take this pledge with me: I will not wish harm or death upon the people responsible for stealing this Supreme Court seat, no matter how totally awesome it would be.

10 Questions That the Judiciary Committee Should Have Asked Amy Coney Barrett

ACB’s judiciary hearings: bad!! Here’s 10 questions that would have improved the process: 

  1. Are you mad at me? 
  2. Wait, you went to Rhodesia College before they changed the name to Zimbabwe?
  3. Do you think Pete Buttigieg is jealous that you’ve almost made it out of South Bend?
  4. How much of your opposition to Obamacare is just because it’s a total bitch to cite to National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius?
  5. How will YOU use the power of the judiciary to further the Republican Party’s descent into fascism? 
  6. Is this whole thing really just to get back at all those Cubs fans who said they’d take a Trump presidency if the Cubs won the World Series in 2016? 
  7. Which RBG opinion will you overturn first to honor her memory? 
  8. How did your Fed Soc membership at Notre Dame prepare you for a lifetime of a false sense of persecution as a member of a 6–3 conservative majority? 
  9. But actually, what would Trump have to do for you to not accept his nomination?
  10. Is the fact that so many people got infected at your nomination ceremony evidence that COVID-19 has an anti-Catholic bias?

Trump’s Most Likely October Surprises, Ranked

8. Replacing Mike Pence. If this was going to happen, by the rules it would have to be done at the convention. But the rules* also say you can’t have your attorney facilitate hush money payments to your porn star mistress during a campaign, so I feel like we can’t rule this out. It’s definitely the least likely item on the list, mainly because Trump values loyalty above all else and Pence has been a sycophant’s sycophant for his entire term.

7. Mass tribunals for BLM protesters. We’ve seen Tennessee announce that engaging in protests would result in a forfeiture of voting rights, and Trump already sent the secret police to create violence in Portland. So they’re not being terribly creative here, just kind of running down a totalitarian checklist for engaging with the opposition. Feels like show trials should come up fairly soon.

6. Banning mail or something. It almost feels inevitable at this point that we’re gonna reach a stage where sending mail items through the USPS is going to be a fierce act of #resistance.

5. War :). Remember how much he loved the fawning media coverage of his Syria strike? Now imagine that, but with a country no one’s ever heard of. 

4. Finding a doctor to claim Biden’s senile. This would probably need to be ginned up in the last few days before the election, so the news media doesn’t have time to dig up “facts” that “show this doctor has never had Joe Biden as a patient” or whatever. But still, it wouldn’t be too hard to find someone to make the claim. Is the devil jizz lady still available?

3. Killing his niece on Fifth Avenue. Experts agree, murdering a woman with a firearm could bring Trump’s GOP approval rating up an extra 3-6 percentage points.

2. Announcing charges/investigation into Biden, Hillary, Obama or, idk, someone like that. Again, this is an authoritarian classic, and Bill Barr has shown a somewhat sexual excitement at the opportunity to serve as Trump’s attack dog. It’s hard to imagine exactly what the charges would be (Did Hillary ever send an email about Benghazi? Could be something there), but that would largely be beside the point. Like Comey’s letter in 2016, the aim would just be to get the name of a Democrat in the news alongside words like “corruption” and “federal charges.”

1. Approving a COVID-19 vaccine. It’s hard to call this one a surprise, really. He’s been telegraphing it for months, and the administration is reportedly targeting the (fairly promising!) Oxford University vaccine. Whether he succeeds in making the FDA actually grant vaccine approval before the election, or just unilaterally announces that we have a vaccine now, I have absolutely 0% doubt that Trump is going to claim there’s a COVID vaccine by election day. And honestly I just hope there’s even a crumb of truth to it.

Twelve Things Less Cute Five Months Into Quarantine

Do you remember mid-March? Oh, those were the days. Stockpiling two weeks of toilet paper like we’d only be trapped inside for AT MOST three weeks, and posting photos of our medicare bread. What a time. Now, five months into what is either definitely the home stretch or the beginning of our lives hermetically sealed in our apartments for the rest of forever, this whole experience has become a little less novel. Here are twelve things that are way less cute five months into the endless quarantine. 

  1. Sourdough Starter: The sourdough starter may have died, but something in there is alive, purple, and growing. I don’t think it would be happy if I tried to bake it. 
  2. Avoiding People on the Sidewalk: I would trade my big toe to casually bump into a stranger without fear.
  3. Zoom Backgrounds: No amount of pretending to be on the Death Star during video conferences will suppress the desire to force-choke anyone who requires cameras to be on for every meeting.
  4. Drinking Alone: FaceTime happy hour turns into private sad five-hour and it is ~not chill~ anymore.
  5. Baking as Therapy: Eating your feelings is not sustainable for this much time with this many feelings to eat. I have gout. 
  6. Donald Trump being President: lol remember when Republicans were like, “OMG shut up it’s not like he’s going to kill everyone. Remember when Obama wore a tan suit?” Well I hate to say we told you so but 163,000 people are dead and this is not a joke and it never was a joke jesus christ. Get this man into a retirement home where he can spend time with his favorite person, woman, man, camera, and TV.
  7. Retail Therapy: The only thing less fun than getting fat and sad is getting fat, sad, and poor. 
  8. Not Being in Crowds: I will pay you to graze my ass like we’re in a cramped space just so I can feel something, anything.
  9. Cutting Your Own Hair: U-G-L-Y you ain’t got no alibi YOUR HAIR IS FUCKED UP.
  10. Working on the Couch: BRB Googling, “Can you develop scoliosis by sitting hunched forever?” 
  11. Living in a State of Perpetual Panic: Hahah is this literally ever going to end? No, seriously. Someone tell me. This was cute when it was all like, “We’re all in this together, let’s all applaud for the working poor being forced to risk their health or starve.” (Editor’s note: This was not cute.) Now though, I’m about one more stalled relief bill from flying to DC and spitting directly into Mitch McConnell’s mouth to finally get results on whether I have COVID on a reasonable timeline. Remember when you would debate with your friends on who would last longest in a zombie apocalypse? Well it’s not me, and it would be pretty nifty if we don’t have to put those theories to the test. 
  12. Not Going into the Office: JK this one still rules. You fuckers will never see me in-person again if I have anything to say about it. Deuces. 

Grading Fauci

Recently, Anthony Fauci was the subject of a scathing op-ed by something called a Peter Navarro (??). Navarri is known, tragically, to have an extremely bad brain and the White House was forced to claim they had nothing to do with the piece. 

But while much scorn has been directed Navarro’s way, what should we make of Fauci himself? He’s been deified on the left, vilified on the right, and sidelined by the White House. But how should we grade his performance during this pandemic?

Criteria 1: death and destruction
Hooooo boy. Ok, so theoretically, as the nation’s top virologist it’s Fauci’s main job to prevent hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths by virus. On that front, the scale of the failure is, um, unignorable. But it’s not going too far out on a limb to say that his guidance hasn’t always been followed, and his advice has generally been to do things like socially distance and wear a mask (we’ll get back to this) that could have prevented the current nightmare we’re sleepwalking through. And considering that the head of the White House Coronavirus task force is the same guy responsible for bringing the HIV/AIDS epidemic back to Indiana, it’s probably fair to say this could have been much worse.
Grade: B-

Criteria 2: scientific adherence
Here’s where Fauci has really shined. In the face of a White House courageously pledging not to let “the science get in the way” of killing teachers, Fauci has been steadfast in forcing the science into the way. It hasn’t always worked out, but Fauci has consistently refused to talk politics or really anything other than the science of the pandemic—and it seems pretty likely that if the president had suggested injecting bleach in his presence, rather than Dr. Birx’s, he would have spoken up,
Grade: A

Criteria 3: protective measures
On the one hand, the CDC committed what epidemiologists refer to as a “catastrophic fuck up” (CFU, in industry-speak) when in March it advised the nation not to wear masks for a virus that turned out to likely be airborne. Fauci doesn’t work at the CDC, but as the nation’s most trusted voice on communicable diseases, he surely played a role in that CFU. On the other hand, Fauci has been adamant about keeping social distance and closing down businesses when needed, even in the face of a president determined to eradicate the state of Florida. 
Grade: B+

Criteria 4: looking sick as fuck
Anthony Fauci is like four feet tall, a billion years old, and would absolutely be able to pipe every intern in the greater Silver Springs area if there weren’t a fucking pandemic. 
Grade: A+, somehow

Criteria 5: keeping his job
As bad as things are, they would surely be worse if Trump’s next choice for the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Disease—the doctor who prescribed Michael Jackson all that propofol, probably—were in charge. Fauci’s ability to publicly contradict the president and not get fired has been perhaps his greatest strength, and perhaps the only thing keeping us from a situation as dire as that in [add country doing worse at this than the US, make one up if none exists].
Grade: A++

So how do we grade him on the whole? The pandemic has been a disaster for everyone except grave-diggers, so he’s certainly not getting perfect marks. But an A- feels pretty fair. Maybe that’s just because it’s so jarring to see a government official trying to keep people alive, but if he’s benefiting from low expectations, so be it. Now, go have some freaky socially distant phone sex with a GW grad student, Tony. 
Grade: A-

A Totally Random Thought LOL

So, like, I was thinking and, like, I had a total ~crazy~ idea that’s like super funny but what if all of the people who said Donald Trump wasn’t elected for being a racist were LOL totally wrong and haha he is just a racist and that’s why they elected him and IT’S. JUST. WILD. because white Americans have enjoyed never having to change their way of thinking and, like, LOL they realized we may actually have to start moving towards real equality 😉 after having a Black president didn’t magically make racism disappear WHICH IS CRAZY BCUZ I TOTALLY THOUGHT IT WOULD 😛 and lol then they were like “I don’t LOVE oppression but I’m supes afraid of real equality and racial justice because my grandparents did some p fucked up stuff to make sure Black people didn’t live in their neighborhood” then *oop* they voted for the guy who started his campaign by calling Mexicans rapists but it was chill because he did concede some of them are okay so it’s not a race thing except the whole putting kids in cages thing so I guess that was a racism (?) but the stock market was booming so yay racism (!!) jk but really they did enjoy the racism because it freed them from the PC police who made them do bads like not say the N word and call people by their names which is totes hard since I hate people and their stupid names UGH and now the president is retweeting people saying “white power” except he didn’t hear that part because ~he doesn’t hear color~ which we used to think was a no no don’t do except all of the indoor racists are now outdoor racists and lol I know it’s just a random idea but 😉 maybe forty percent of our country just wants to kill Black people haha OOP

We’ll Get Through This

Best read while blasting Bruce Springsteen’s “Lonesome Day,” or whatever uplifting piece of Americana you prefer. 

These are dark times. Unprecedented times. And things are going to get worse before they get better. 

But we’ll get through this. We’ll make our way through like we’ve done before and will do again. We’ll see each other on the other side—we’ll hug one another, gather together, and celebrate all of what’s been taken from us. 

We’ll come through hopefully smarter, hopefully better prepared for the next challenge. 

We’ll come through with a better appreciation for what’s been lost. The friends whose company we savored. The places where we congregated to celebrate life, love, and passion. The stadiums, churches, restaurants, and bars. We’ll kiss our loved ones and take in their presence with a renewed eye toward what they mean to us. 

We’ll be scarred, and we’ll be scared, but we’ll start to heal. Some wounds won’t though. Some people will be lost, and for that we can never forget or forgive the cowardice, idiocy, and hubris of the officials who failed us. And we’ll need to support those who have been so hurt—financially, physically, emotionally—from this period that it will be difficult for them to become whole when it’s over. 

I hope that we come out of this with a reaffirmed sense of the resilience and compassion that we like to tell ourselves we share as Americans. And I hope we’ve learned just how interconnected we are the whole world over—how we rise, and we fall, together. 

So take care of yourself, and take care of one another. We need each other to get through this. And then we need to make sure this never happens again. 

Picking a Campaign Song for Every Candidate Left

A great campaign song can transform an election. Bill Clinton had “Don’t Stop” by Fleetwood Mac, Barack Obama used “Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder to great effect, and who can forget the old-timey background music from Birth of a Nation that Donald Trump presumably blared?

But when it comes to trademark songs, the current crop of candidates seems to be vacillating between incredibly blessed and just remarkably cursed choices. That’s not good enough. With that in mind, we set out to help. Here are the songs each of the Democrats contending for the nomination and also Mike Bloomberg should use this campaign season:

Bernie Sanders – Everything I Wanted, by Billie Eilish. Oh sure, he’ll promise you everything you say you want. Healthcare. Education. Jobs. A planet to inhabit. But what if, hear me out, it’s actually a socialist nightmare?!?! Not what you’d think???!!! If you’re being honest!!! (This article is a sponsored post provided by the Mike Bloomberg campaign. “Bloomberg 2020: You’re Gonna Get What You Deserve, You Little Shits.”)

Joe Biden – Ocean Eyes, by Billie Eilish. Say what you want about Joe Biden. No seriously, go ahead and talk about this and this and hell, even this. While you do that, I’m just gonna be staring into those baby blues

Elizabeth Warren – No Time To Die, by Billie Eilish. This isn’t a rallying cry for a comeback. Nor is it about any of the song’s lyrics. It’s more just a general symmetry between the song and the candidate. Like, they both seemed like they were gonna be hits. And people generally don’t hate either of them, exactly. But, like, did you remember this song existed? Probably not. Did anyone in Nevada remember that Liz killed the CEO of Wells Fargo? Certainly not.

Mike Bloomberg – Bad Guy, by Billie Eilish. This one’s fun because Mike Bloomberg’s NYPD illegally surveilled the city’s Muslim population and threw black men against the wall for fun. He is, in most modern ethical frameworks, a bad guy. It’s the titular role!

Pete Buttigieg – idontwannabeyouanymore, by Billie Eilish. Look, we were all about it for a minute. Abolish the electoral college? Yes daddy. Unpack the Supreme Court? Um, ok king! Parlay white male midwestern mediocrity into the most powerful position alive? I’M TRYING. But the more we got to know him, the less we wanted to be just like Mayor Pete. We’ll stick to more inspirational role models for now, like that girl who was selling feet pics to save Australia <3. 

Amy Klobuchar – All The Good Girls Go To Hell, by Billie Eilish. I will maintain until my dying day that Amy Klobuchar should have leaned into the ice queen aesthetic from day one. No one wants a nice senator who promises to win back Trump counties; we want a firebreather who will sucker punch your mom for not saying “God rest his soul” after mentioning Paul Wellstone. Also, this song includes the line “Peter should know better,” which is a pretty good summary of every time Amy opens her mouth on the debate stage. Case closed.

Tom Steyer – You Should See Me In A Crown, by Billie Eilish. Idk idk, he’s rich or something. I honestly don’t get this dude’s deal. He’s the second richest billionaire in the race and his plan seems to be siphoning off just enough support from Biden (???) to finish third in one of the first four states? This seems like a dumb plan. This campaign is dumb.