Weekly News Roundup & Margaritas

Reasons we’re drinking this week: Responsibilities of the Presidency slowly begin to dawn on Trump, Neo Nazis get closer to power, the Ghosts of Republicans Past are pulled out of retirement, and the Democratic party retires to do some soul searching.

One Drink: Trump to Obama: “Wait, I have to do what?”

Shocking revelations this week as leaked reports from Trump’s meeting with Obama stated the blatantly obvious: Trump wasn’t expecting to win and has no idea what he’s gotten himself into. Accounts of his meeting with the sitting president reveal that Donald, serial terminator of employment, was reportedly “unaware” that he would have to replace the entire four-thousand strong West Wing staff. What did he think, that Obama’s personal secretary, used to being treated like a person, would consent to working for a serial pussy-grabber?

The fact that Trump didn’t do any homework on the duties of the job he spent the last hellish 19 months trying to convince the American people to put him in throws a harsh light on his total disrespect for the institution of the presidency, and his whole-hearted selfishness and lack of concern for other people. He doesn’t care about working class Americans, or any Americans other than himself and his children. If he did, he would have looked up how he was going to “make America great again” instead of lining up a host of media executives he’s now having to ask for a rain check on starting the New Trump Times (with the tagline “All The Nonsense That’s Fit to Tweet!”).

Stay tuned, because the next few weeks are really going to elucidate how little Trump has prepared for this. We all need to be holding him accountable. Excuses for not doing the reading stopped working for me after high school. Why should we give a 70 year old man a pass? He should know better by now.

Two Drink: Senator McCarthy is Turning in his Grave

On Monday, Donald Trump made his first major staffing announcement, appointing Steve Bannon to be his chief strategist. While it is not unusual for a candidate to appoint his senior campaign staff to important White House positions, what is unusual is Mr. Bannon’s pre-campaign employment. While Mr. Bannon’s personal beliefs are debatable, the “news organization” he ran before joining Trump is something he admittedly designated as a “platform for the alt right,” or, in layman’s terms, a neo-Nazi propaganda rag.

It’s worth reminding our readership that, despite the storied mistreatment of non-white people in our country’s past, Nazis have never been this close to America’s center of power. In fact, the House Unamerican Activities Committee, which later went on to tarnish its reputation through red baiting, was actually founded to root out Nazi spies in American government. Senator McCarthy would be turning in his grave to hear that one had been so brazenly named to office, and it’s a sign of the times I genuinely feel bad for him now.

On a side note, can we stop using the term “white nationalists” and call a spade a spade? These people are neo-Nazis. The term “white nationalists,” or  “alt-right” is putting lipstick on a pig in some misguided attempt to take their movement seriously. It’s akin to exclusively referring to Nazis as “members of the national socialist party;” technically correct, but deeply misguided. I will not be using the term, and encourage you to do the same.

Red Drink: Blast From The Past

This week, in preparation for Christmas, we were all treated to a visit from the collective Ghosts of Republican Past. Newt Gingrich (serial philanderer), Jeff Sessions (too racist for Republicans to confirm for a judgeship in the 1980s), and David Petraeus (indicted for sharing classified information with his mistress; take that Hillary), among others, have all been disinterred, and are now appearing as potential picks for Donald Trump’s cabinet, as the worst of the Republicans’ past tries to shove their idealized version of the 50s down our collective American throats.

Unfortunately, demographics are not on the Republicans’ side here, and this whole nationally traumatizing episode may be the party’s “last gasp,” a sudden jolt of energy before death. Voters 18-29 voted Democrat by an 18 point margin, while voters 65+ voted Trump by an 8 point margin. Essentially, old voters secured the election by the seat of their pants.

Despite having won the election nationally and taking 3 new governor’s mansions, the same problems highlighted in the Republican Party’s post-mortem after getting trounced in the 2012 election still persist: instead of trying to appeal to minorities and young voters as the report suggested was necessary to form a viable long-term party, Republicans have instead antagonized every one of those groups.

The demographic shifts afoot in this country did not reverse on election night because threatened white people said so. If today’s Republicans want the party to continue after the baby boomers die out, the results of that post-mortem still stand. But party leadership’s actions this election cycle have made it virtually impossible for the party to ever take a step back from the brink to address the key action items highlighted in that report.

This whole situation is beginning to remind me uncomfortably of Go Set A Watchman. Beloved character you thought had undergone a moral awakening and was ushering in the new era rears up as having been an abhorrent part of the problem all along. Was Harper Lee a psychic? Or just unusually prescient in releasing her last work? The world will never know.

Speaking of Baby Boomers and older voters making decisions that the rest of the country disagrees with, may I propose a solution? Driver’s licenses are frequently taken away from those who are deemed to no longer be of mental and physical fitness to be responsible for the safety of themselves and those around them when behind the wheel. Does that have anything to do with the right to vote? I would certainly never say something like that.

Blue Drink: Power Struggles: A Whole New Election

The crushing defeat last Tuesday has thrust Democratic leadership into the same soul-searching the Republican party went through after the same experience in 2012. Democratic elites have seemingly been surprised by a lot this year: from the rise of Bernie Sanders to the defeat of Hillary Clinton, and one thing is obvious: the Democratic party is out of touch with a lot of Americans. So what are they doing about it? Well, it appears Democrats are almost as bad as Mr Trump in that regard: they had no plan for this scenario either. Since when have national polls within the margin of error equaled certain victory? Contingency planning should be a part of every national election cycle for a party that has been doing this exact thing for the last 188 years. For anyone who was so deep in the left-wing progressive bubble that the fallibility of the Democratic Party comes as a shock: snap out of it. More to come on this mess as it evolves.

Pop Open the Bubbly: Ben Carson Says He’ll Go Away

Finally, some good news. The former neurosurgeon who fabricated stories about trying to stab his friends while in grade school in an effort to seem relatable said this week that he would not accept a position in the Trump administration because he did not feel he had what it took to govern. This calls into question why he was running for the presidency in the first place (one thinks the answer to this question would elucidate something about Mr. Trump as well).

But, you know what, this was a rough week, so let’s just take this at face value for what it was: a silver lining.

Y’all I’m drinking a margarita. I just can’t. You can find my recipe below.

Yours in continually reminding the world that this is not normal,

The Bartender

 

Red Drink Blue Drink Margarita Tips

A margarita is 3 ingredients: ½ of a lime, 1 oz of Cointreau, and a generous helping of Camarena Blanco Tequila. Juice the lime and add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Take out all of your pent up aggression on the cocktail shaker until it’s too cold to hold anymore (kind of like my ex boyfriend, but I digress). Pour out into a glass and garnish with a second margarita.