Saturday Day’s All Write For Sighing

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Memo to the Impeachment Trial: THIS IS WHY I COULDN’T WRITE.

What’s this? A Saturday column? I guess there really are no rules.

Anyway, I didn’t write anything all week, and I realized the reason WHY I didn’t was because most of my news was impeachment trial bullshit, and the impeachment trial bullshit was precisely why I couldn’t bring myself to write columns during the second half of the Trump presidency, so what the hell, let’s break it down in detail.

Because the thing about the impeachment trial is that everyone, and I mean everyone, knows what the fuck Trump did leading up to and on the day of January 6. It’s all been laid out. It wasn’t subtle. Everyone knows it, and everyone knows that everyone knows it, and yet we’re still fucking around, because everyone’s still treating this like a game, and playing the game.

The game, as always, is Get Away With It. Republicans win Get Away With It by not facing any significant consequences for their role in whatever their latest bullshit is. Democrats win by making it so publicly embarrassing for Republicans to get away with it that people remember how shameful it was the next time there’s an opportunity for consequences... in 21 months.

The media’s role in Get Away with it is to keep score. There was a time, a long time ago, when the media earned its role as The Fourth Estate by being not scorekeeper but referee, deciding which plays were out of bounds, but that shit stopped right around the time Ted Turner wondered why news couldn’t be on ALL THE TIME. And so they instead tally points in a game that never ends and where the cumulative score is never even tallied.

And for four years, as things got worse and worse, through emoluments and Puerto Rico and Charlottesville and so on and so forth, everyone wondered if this would be the moment where things would be so bad that people would realize that treating it like a game was too dangerous, and that they’d stop playing. And it never happened. And then Trump tried repeatedly to overthrow the government, and it still didn’t happen.

And even with all that evidence that it will never happen - that at this point it literally can’t happen, won’t happen, or both - we wonder if this impeachment trial will be the point at which they stop playing the game. Not because we think it’ll happen, but because we so desperately need it to happen. And it won’t happen.

Trump can get caught learning Mike Pence was in danger two minutes before directing the mob even more forcefully against him with a tweet that is on tape prompting the Hang Mike Pence chants. The game goes on.

Trump’s defense lawyers can be so incompetent that they were national laughingstocks, despite the ongoing help and consultation of Ted Cruz, Lindsey Graham, and Mike Lee, all of whom met with Trump’s impeachment attorneys before and after they swore to be “impartial jurors” in the impeachment. The game goes on.

Noted racist Mitt Romney can almost be murdered by even more virulent racists and only be saved at the last minute by a black Capitol Police officer. The game goes on.

And as the game goes on, it sheds more and more of its pretense of not being a game. Nobody’s even bothering to hide it any more, because Trump didn’t bother to hide it for four goddamned years and you know what? The game went on.

So why waste valuable time pretending to be serious about this shit when you can just sit back, establish the thinnest of excuses for doing whatever the hell you want to do, and let an entire alternate reality propaganda machine that’s essentially self-sustaining this week do all that work for you?

That’s the world the garbage people keep making us live in, and it’s a shitty world to live in and a boring world to write about. Let’s hope this trial is the last of the worst of it for at least a little while.