Wednesday, September 19, 2018

American Politics: Don't Mean Nothin'

American Politics: Don’t Mean Nothin’
Peter Schultz

            It all dawned on me as I responded to a friend’s post on Facebook that the charges against Kavanaugh were “a set up.” I responded that, of course, it was a set up and then it became clear to me what I meant. It was a set up but the people being set up were the American people; they were being played by both parties in a little drama that reveals how meaningless most of the American political drama is.

            Here’s the jest of the story. Senator Feinstein reveals that she has a letter, which of course she turned over to the FBI, in which the nominee Kavanaugh is accused of sexually attacking a young woman some 30 years ago when he was in high school. Of course, with the help of an all too willing media, the story blows up and becomes a major story.

            But think about it: Which party loses? The answer: Neither one loses. The Democrats get to trot out another sexually abused victim, and appear to be fighting Kavanaugh’s appointment “to the bitter end.” And, of course, with the mid-terms only a few weeks away, they win because they can appeal to their base and charge the Republicans with trying to ram through the appointment of someone who might be guilty of sexual abuse. So the Democrats win.

            And the Republicans? Well, they win too because they can protest that this whole event is a charade, a bogus charge with little to back it up of something that may or may not have happened decades ago. Think of how the Trumpsters, et. al., can pound this rather lame charge into the ground, which of course makes the charges leveled against the president himself look just as weak. Our patriarchy will be fortified. And then, of course, the Republicans will still get Kavanaugh on the court because it will be so easy for the Senate to shoot down these charges. So the Republicans win as well.

            This encapsulates the character of American politics. The two parties collude in ways that benefit both parties and to do so takes no great effort at all. No “smoke filled rooms” are needed. All that is needed is that the two parties act as people expect them to act, as they pretend to be “enemies.” They are in fact “indispensable enemies,” insofar as the games they play fortify their power, fortify their authority, while convincing the American people they are “enemies.”

            Does anyone lose? Well, I am guessing that Christine Ford will lose. Her life as she knew it is over and I wouldn’t be surprised if in the not too distant future her career will take a dive. And, of course, I also suspect that we, the American people, will lose also as another hypocrite takes a seat on the Supreme Court which he will hold at his own pleasure, pretending that he actually cares about the Constitution and what it means. “So it goes.” American politics: Almost all smoke and mirrors.

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