Down the Toilet With Vlad, Donald, and Kevin
By Charlie Barber, The LAST WORD, Filed to the High Plains Reader, Fargo, ND, January 13, 2023
“One might say ‘Better a zero than a Nero.’ Sadly, history shows that behind every zero lurks a future Nero.”
– Karl Theodor Richard Lessing (1872-1933)
“(U.S. President Barack Obama)…was tragically wrong. He had missed Putin’s transformation from a bureaucrat who had accidentally been entrusted with a huge country into a megalomaniacal dictator who believed he was on a civilizational mission–and who was apparently supported in this view by the people of his huge country. This transformation had been drastic and sudden…(but)…much more important now was that he had upset the entire post-WWII world order and felt justified and inspired in his aggression.”
– Masha Gessen, Postscript to the 2014 edition of The Man Without a Face:The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin
“…productive capacity — ultimately, economic power — tends to be decisive in a war of attrition. And Russia is just hugely outclassed by that measure…this is…largely about math. And the arithmetic, incredibly, seems to favor Ukraine.”
– Paul Krugman, NY Times/Daily Kos, 01/06/23
“Let them (Vladimir Putin’s Russian Armed Forces) take the toilet bowls – they’ll need them on the road – and go back home, behind our border of 1991.”
– Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky, 01/05/23
“They attempted a coup. That is the most important fact about what happened. Donald Trump led an effort to overthrow the lawful government of the United States…If there is overwhelming evidence of a conspiracy…hatched and pursued at the highest levels of government, then prosecutors have a duty to prosecute the conspirators and their leader…So, the United States, as a nation and a government is facing a test…It can reach conclusions and confront them in public, to redress an authoritarian, anarchic attack on democracy with the best attempt at truth and justice—or it can devolve into a muddle of competing claims.”
– Ari Melber, “Foreword on the Coup Conspiracy,” The January 6 Report, House January 6th Committee, 2022
“…while Democrats are united, present, ready, willing, and able to get things done on behalf of the American people, Republicans are dysfunctional: Chaos, crisis and confusion, along with craziness.”
– House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), 01/03/23
“Kevin McCarthy Thanks Trump after Speakership Win: ‘I Don’t Think Anybody Should Doubt His Influence.’”
– National Review, 01/07/23
“The bodies of many murder victims (in the U.S.) are never found, especially those of women who disappear after chance encounters with men…For women the world was and still is a jungle dense with rapists, molesters, batterers, torturers, incestuous relatives, and killers.”
– (Father) Andrew Greeley, Happy Are the Poor in Spirit, 1994
“At this writing an estimated 400 Iranian protesters have been killed by security forces…and judicial authorities are seeking harsh penalties for some of those detained…No one, not the officials in Iran nor governments around the world who have made hostility to women a brand of politics, saw the power of a young woman (Vida Movahed, in Winter 2017) standing on a utility box, demanding to be left alone.”
– Azadeh Moaveni, Time, 12/26/22
“In politics, being deceived is no excuse.”
– Leszek Kolakowski
So, who is flushing whom down the toilet in 2023? Those seem to be the biggest takeaways that one gets from the first week of the New Year, watching Republicans pretend to be choosing a strong Speaker of the House in “civil” discourse; Vladimir Putin pretend that he is struggling for a “civilized world,” not fighting a vicious war of aggression, or Donald Trump pretend that he ever knew, or cared, about civics in the first place. And how is one supposed to see how these lethal “clown shows” will move humankind away from flushing itself down Mother Nature’s toilet via climate change? These questions required answers from others than pundits or plumbers, so I turned to my expert sniffers of foul odors among my renegade KGB-trained animal companions as they slid by in wintry Mandan, ND.
High Plains Reader: Dear friends, I get the feeling that some people and some things are really going to get “flushed down the toilet” in the next year or two, but I can’t get a handle on the situation. Is American Democracy truly in peril from Republican MAGA morons and nihilists? New House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), and a majority of House Republicans in the new Congress, are left from the 140 who voted for treasonous nullification of the 2020 Presidential Election on January 6, 2021. Inquiring liberal minds and conservatives with a conscience would like to know how much damage they can actually effect. So, would I.
Putin: There’s probably not as much danger as your E-mail funding pleas and pundits’ revelations of fascists real and fake, past and present, would contend. If you ask “what” is being flushed down the toilet? rather than “who?”; your answers might be less scary.
Rasputin: George Orwell’s essay (Freedom of the Park) of December 7, 1945 clearly states what wannabe GOP and “God Squad” tyrants, backed by their dark money trolls, are up against in Texas, Florida, Wisconsin, and Arizona; in the House of Representatives; and on the U.S. Supreme Court: “The relative freedom which we enjoy depends on public opinion…If large numbers of people are interested in freedom of speech, there will be freedom of speech, even if the law forbids it; if public opinion is sluggish, inconvenient minorities will be persecuted, even if laws exist to protect them.”
Lena: The vast majority of U.S. women, supported by a substantial plurality of men, are demanding freedom for women to control their own bodies. All the laws imposed by sexist zealots in all three branches of U.S. Federal, State and Local governments will eventually get flushed down the reality toilet. How messy and smelly this flushing will be is the only question.
Prudence Possum: “Trump Light” Governor Glenn Youngkin (R-VA) has just seen his phony crusade against a woman’s right to choose go down the drain with the victory of a Democrat that thwarts his control of the Virginia State Senate. That leaves only his phony crusade against the teaching of American History as it actually was, and, to a certain extent, still is – including slavery of African Americans, racism against all people of color, bigotry towards all religions not certain types of Protestant, and ethnic cleansing of Native Americans.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: The problem for book burning bigots like Governors Youngkin, DeSantis (R-FL) and Abbot (R-TX), as well as local school boards who don’t know Critical Race Theory from Newton’s Laws of Motion (especially those who still drive drunk, or ride motorcycles without a helmet) is that, if you ban a book in the U.S., it only increases sales.
Chicago Dog: Youngkin, DeSantis, Abbot and other GOP professional haters in Congress, State and Local governments are trying to keep white kids away from books about diversity; but those same kids are playing sports which celebrate diversity in color, ethnicity, and sexual orientation, now more than ever. Their athletic heroes and heroines reflect this New Age: Baseball’s Aaron Judge, football’s Damar Hamlin, tennis’s Serena Williams, and basketball’s Lebron James, Sue Bird, Candace Parker; and Giannis Antetokounmpo of the NBA’s Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks’ sit-down strike upon the murder of George Floyd in 2020 pushed the world of professional sports and American politics a tad further in the direction of tolerance.
Becky Badger: Giannis, known affectionately, and for the sake of linguistic convenience in the NBA world as the “Greek Freak,” could more accurately be called the “Greek-Nigerian Freak.” While meeting academic demands of Critical Race Theory, this inclusion of his parents’ heritage with the nation of his birth might spoil the alliteration of the two-word nickname, however.
Mr. Swamp Fox: Alliteration as a rhetorical device in defense of diversity against GOP white nationalist bigotry has become instantly chic with the speech of Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) in the early hours of January 7, 2023. Upon handing over the House Speaker’s gavel in celebration of the peaceful transfer of power to January 6th 2021 insurrectionist enabler Kevin McCarthy, Congressman Jeffries’s rapid-fire rhetoric stunned the GOP and media alike.
Omar Khayyam: Meanwhile, Iranian women, and male supporters, are paying with their lives nowadays, simply for the right to freedom of expression that was granted to every kook who could find Hyde Park corner in Orwell’s London. Yet, they are shaking that particular tyranny to its foundations. Iran’s Leaders’ illusions of male supremacy have “hit the fan” over there.
Mr. Crying Wolf: American illusions about the virtues of their “Greatest Generation” and the “crusade” of their government’s Cold War against Communism in Russia and China are also being flushed down the “truth toilet” as your civilian and military leadership support a genuinely democratic, anti-colonial, nation of Ukraine. As Msnbc’s Joy Reid notes: American military might has often been used to overthrow democratic leaders in favor of dictatorships. It is doing something less hypocritical this time. It helps that it looks like Volodymyr Zelensky’s Ukraine is winning both the tactical and strategic wars necessary for political victory.
Irena Raccoon: In his interview with Time, Zelensky made it very clear that he rejects comparisons made by U.S. and British media of his heroics with those of an imperialist like Winston Churchill. He prefers, instead, to be associated with George Orwell, whose 1943 book Animal Farm, satirizing the hypocrisy of the West in accepting Soviet lies, was translated into Ukrainian as soon as it came out from under WWII censorship in England, August 17, 1945.
Schickelgruber: Comedian-turned war leader and statesman, Zelensky also admires Charlie Chaplin’s lampooning of Hitler. As he told Time reporter Simon Shuster: “Chaplin…used the weapon of information during the Second World War to fight against fascism. You see,…these artists…had a lot of admirers, and their influence was often stronger than artillery.”
Brenda Bison: Some American pundits and historians still mistakenly treat World War II as a one act drama beginning at Pearl Harbor, rather than the second act of a tragedy, with a 20 year intermission, that began at Sarajevo in 1914. Also, if you look at the U.S. Congress from 1941-1945, you will notice that the majority of the elected representatives of that so-called “Greatest Generation” supported, or refused to denounce, a racist, sexist and anti-Semitic America.
HPR: Are Kevin McCarthy’s Republicans a throwback to bigots of that generation?
Madam Inspector Chen: Of course! They are still trying to take FDR’s New Deal Social Security away from the American people and hand it over to the kind of Wall Street that produced the Depression of 1929, and touts Bitcoin scams today.
Putin: The GOP House majority of 222 harbors a majority of their caucus (118), including the new Speaker, who voted on January 6, 2021, to overturn the Presidential election of 2020. Their treasonous intent of then is now being peddled as patriotism in defense of their real goal, other than power for the hell of it, of tax breaks for the filthy rich and Kevin McCarthy’s K-Street “Krokodile” buddies – still funneling dark money to GOP coffers, while Tucker Carlson, a host of right-wing wind bags, and “Christian” Nationalists funnel dark thoughts to American hearts and minds, in order that they take their eyes and minds off: “what’s in your wallet?”
HPR: But loud, reactionary and nihilist Republicans in the House don’t control the Senate or the Presidency, and they, like the five reactionary Supremes, are having trouble controlling themselves.
Annabelle Anaconda: True. There’s also Wall Street and CEO concern for Adam Smith’s “Wealth of the American Nation,” that includes their own bottom line. They are discovering that Democratic leadership under Joe Biden and his Congressional allies, while a bit too harsh on tax policy for their liking, have nevertheless, successfully grappled with inflation, and are too sane to blow up the world economy by allowing a default on the debt ceiling. They realize that the MAGA GOP, to which Kevin McCarthy has pledged his soul and gavel, might actually try it.
Señor Perro: Wall Street also notes that Trump’s four years of criminality, chaos, and coup wasn’t supported by America’s military, who, using brilliant, rope-a-dope bureaucratic tactics (see David Rothkopf, American Resistance: The Inside Story of How the Deep State Saved the Nation, 2022), successfully shepherded a peaceful transfer power by not backing Trump and treason enablers. Significantly, the Brazilian military followed suit in supporting democratically elected President Lula, while American media focused on Steve Bannon’s “Fascist Fantasia.” The Brazilian coup-plotter-in-chief, Bolsonaro, currently resides in Florida nearby the Donald. Former dictators used to flee to South America. Now it seems that they head for South Florida.
Señora Perro: Wall Street also knows that the American economy needs immigrants to keep a full economy functioning, on the one hand, and that there are not enough “white” ones to fill all the job openings lying vacant. Most refugee Ukrainians, for example, prefer to go back to make post-war Ukraine “great again,” or settle close to home within the European Union, rather than go across the Atlantic. For the U.S. economy it’s either diversity or defeat. Most CEOs flushed white nationalism down the toilet when the market place changed color several decades ago.
Corporal Kangaroo: Enter Congresswoman Katie Porter (D-CA), running for Senator in 2024; a new, ongoing, nightmare for GOP sycophants. Certainly, climate change, and how Kevin McCarthy’s GOP doesn’t care about it, will be at the top of the news, no matter what Kevin does to Katie’s committee assignments. Her eviscerations of arrogant CEO’s in Congressional hearings will now be applied to the whole of the GOP phony agenda for 2023-2024. The sound of flushed GOP egos awaits us. Alas for Kevin, Attorney General Merrick Garland has pickled the Red Herring he needed by assigning a Trump-Era Special Counsel to look into Vice President Biden’s errant classified documents. There is embarrassment, but no flushing, here.
Agatha Alligator: While media ferret out what’s in Kevin’s secret give-away protocols to his MAGA masters and mistresses, our swamp creatures found his inner doubts scribbled on a piece of toilet paper, tucked in the pages of a porno magazine left by George Santos in his office.
Kevin’s Secret “Hamlet” Protocol……………………………Headless Horseman
To flush, or be flushed, is the question now.
I know I am not worthy of the post
Of Speaker. Yet I want it more than most;
And now must use my users’ lust, somehow.
Matt Gaetz and gaudy haters in that row
Of swine that I must feed a full supply
Of fear and loathing; do not care if I
Succeed, or drown in Trumpian undertow.
I seek revenge against the Democrats;
But don’t remember why; Or how it’s done.
The DOJ ain’t playin’. That I fear
Will soon expose our lurid, made-up “facts;”
That seek to flush the truths that we must own.
It could be worse. It will soon be next year.