The smashed pickle jar

Dear President Biden,

Happy Valentine’s Day! I hope you and Dr. Biden had a good day. The Sweetart-like hearts she had installed on the lawn at your place are pretty darn adorable. Right in keeping with the cookies she distributed to the National Guard folks when they were looking out for everyone there in DC after the siege. It’s so wonderful to have a real family with real love in their hearts in the White House. You all obviously have your work cut out for you doing a hard reset on tone and gestures (and really, everything else), but you’re proving yourselves more than equal to the task.

Thank goodness. Really. We need all the goodness we can get as we attempt to pick up the pieces of our democracy, the billion large and small shards of the most fragile material known to humankind that was hurled to the ground and stomped underfoot by DJT, his handlers, and his enablers. Yes, it’s a melodramatic description, but I think it’s apt. And I’m not alone.

Yesterday after the GOP did what the GOP was always going to do all along and acquitted DJT (aka Public Enemy #1), my brother texted and said “we’re doomed.” He’s rather prone to hyperbole and he didn’t seem to be appreciating that we were just as doomed before the acquittal became official as we were after it became official, but I’m afraid he’s not entirely wrong. He might not be completely correct – doomed is pretty certain and final – but we are definitely in a serious pickle, maybe even a situation not unlike when someone raises a full glass jar of pickles overhead and smashes it to the ground and there’s a billion bits of glass and stabbed pickles all in a disgusting, sticky mess of oozy liquid. It’s that bad. Woe unto whomever is charged with cleaning up THAT mess.

And apparently, woe unto whomever is charged with holding the one who purposely smashed the full pickle jar on the ground accountable for their actions. Hmm.

As Ruth Marcus pointed out in her WP column earlier today, the GOP has shot right past the Stockholm Syndrome and is suffering the newly coined (by her) “Mar-a-lago Syndrome” wherein one is so afraid of the person who just tried to kill you that you give them a total pass. Actually, the too-cute name of the phenomenon is completely unnecessary – this is the same horrible situation that people who are choked by their partners are often in. They have almost died at the literal hands of their partner but having survived, they can’t risk going against them because they know what they are capable of. It’s a horrible bind, specially if there are children involved.

While I have a great deal of compassion for victims of domestic violence, it’s surely no surprise that I have none for the GOP Congresspeople who voted to protect their abuser. They may be down on their hands and knees sweeping the pickles and glass under the rug, nursing the cuts on their fingers, but damn if they aren’t going to deny they’re down on their knees or that they’re bleeding. The best they can come up with is that it’s already dinner time and since the pickle jar smashing happened at lunch and the perpetrator wasn’t immediately called out and made to pay, it’s time to move on.

Holy crap – this is what it is to be pretty likely doomed; (partially) governed by grown men (and some women) who’re willing to give a total sadist a pass on the lamest of non-logic, and who, for their next act, will first blame the people who are trying to clean up the mess and then will accuse them of being partisan. It’s a neat, if deeply disturbed and extremely dangerous, trick.

May we be safe from doom.
May we be willing to keep a bead on the smasher and his enablers, as wearying as that may be.
May we know that endurance and stubbornness are forms of strength.
May we accept that the GOP is beyond toxic.

Tracy Simpson

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