Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

January 6 insurrection.

A supporter of former President Donald Trump inside the U.S. Capitol Building on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. (Photo: Brent Stirton/Getty Images)

American Carnage and Stupidity: A Slow Leak In A Balloon On the Floor

After months of faithful, former-guy flunkies—Flynn, Cruz, Powell, Crenshaw, Junior, Pillow Guy and now George P. Bush, because yes there's more of them—wading through the unholy detritus of MAGA world to prop up its creaking edifice, their one-term, twice-impeached, reinstatement-obsessed, Facebook-banned, delusional shell of a "leader" finally reappeared this weekend at a GOP cabal to expose with frightening clarity the lunatic loser they're frenetically enabling. During his sulking time-out in Florida, though, his past-due coterie of grifters and sycophants has stayed busy trying to keep alive the fetid dream in ever-more tawdry, unhinged ways. At a recent QAnon "For God & Country Patriot Round-Up" confab in Dallas, convicted felon Michael Flynn called for a Myanmar-style military coup - and then disjointedly tried to walk it back - while crackpot lawyer Sidney Powell assured the crowd that Trump "can simply be reinstated" as pretend president, a chimerical claim first voiced by renowned Constitutional scholar and about-to-be-bankrupt pillow peddler Mike Lindell. In Congress, Trump fangirl Marjorie "I Just Can't STFU"Taylor Greene has been trying to Fire Fauci and ban the rainbow flag, calling critics of murder by cop "people whose feelings are hurt when they get arrested," saying "Democrat Socialists" will "end just like Tiananmen Square" and using a cringey Mexican accent to charge that, "Cartels love the Democrats." 



Meanwhile, MAGA-ite Ted Cruz has trashed our "woke, emasculated military" compared with the manly, homoerotic Russian military; abetting the performative outrage, "shitposting propagandist" Texas Rep. Dan Crenshaw, long linked to the smear campaign of a female vet who complained of sexual assault, has created a "whistleblower webpage"—aka "safe space for snowflakes"—to submit personal stories of excessive wokeness in a "spineless" military. He's been overrun by trolls: Harrowing reports of a police force where "we're CONSTANTLY shooting people," a political party that supports sedition, a suspicion Crenshaw "molests the ducks in the pond near my house" and the wish "he'd go fuck himself, not those ducks," the time "George Bush sent me off to fight in the wrong country," too much shirtless volleyball, and the succinct "complaint description," "You are an idiot." The military has also dubbed him "a disgrace to all of us who served," but otherwise it's going well. So is the campaign by son of Jeb and Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush—"It is 'Pee,' isn't it?"—for Attorney General to replace scandal-ridden Ken Paxton. Along with lauding "our brave border patrol agents" and posting himself in ironed dress shirt "putting some rounds down range"—"The smell of desperation"—the "worst Bush" has shown "a fetish for humiliation" and "some serious servile beta energy" by grovelling before the guy who insulted his entire family and once tweeted Jeb Bush "has to like the Mexican illegals because of his wife." From pandering launch—"Like President (sic) Trump, I will not sit idly by while our freedoms are under attack"—to sad swag—beer koozies with Trump praising him as "the only Bush that likes me"—he is "the rise and fall of the Bush dynasty, now in Koozie form.”

The desperation among MAGA acolytes is evidently widespread. Facing massive legal bills—"How you know Trump isn't really a billionaire for $500, Alex"—Little Donnie Jr. last week began pimping himself out on Cameo, where D-list celebrities can send videos to fans for a price, in this case $525 a pop, or $787 if you want it within 24 hours. Going truly low for the blow—though a "portion" of proceeds will go to Shadow Warriors Project (LOL)—Jr. appears in lumpy polos, wildly waving his coked-up hands, to wish people Happy Birthday with passive-aggressive insults. "I hear you're turning older than dirt," he sneers at a guy named Peter, "and I'm not that sorry because I'm told you're a serious lib." He goes on, "I've also heard about some of your fetishes, so you may be as sick as some of the people in the Biden family.... But I hope you have a good birthday (and) your family rides you like Seabiscuit." Weirdly—though apple/tree—he sounds as mean and nasty as the vindictive guy always railing against "losers and haters" who just abruptly shut down his blog in fury after its tired, bitter drivel drew a "staggeringly small audience,” not the millions promised when it launched with, "In a time of silence and lies, a beacon of freedom arises." Best headline: "Old Yeller Puts Angry Blog Out of Its Misery." Facebook also banned him for two more years, after which they will "assess whether the risk to public safety has receded." The news prompted gloating online and more ranting from the usual suspect: "Our country can't take this abuse anymore!"—true, that—and he will no longer invite Zuck to dinner "next time I'm in the White House," which according to surreal reports he believes will be in August. Thanks One American News, pillow guy, and those other "highly respected people.”

In truth, "The scale of Trump's delusion is quite startling," Charles Cooke writes blisteringly in the conservative mainstay National Review. "This is not merely an eccentric interpretation of the facts or an interesting foible...It is a rejection of reality, a rejection of law, and, ultimately, a rejection of the entire system of American government"—which contains "no mechanism for reinstatement (or) anything even approximating it. That is not how America works, how America has ever worked, or how America can ever work." Trump, he reports, "is living in a fantasy world...unmoored from the real world." In Trump's bonkers world, the Arizona "forensic recount" will and must lead to ultimate triumph in Pennsylvania rapidly followed by other states, or he'll become Speaker of the House and launch an impeachment probe against Biden, or he'll win a Nobel for rushing through the vaccine even though you can't trust it, or....something else involving unicorns will magically happen. In the real world, a fat, orange, unhinged old man shambled onstage Saturday night at North Carolina's GOP convention—"The place will be packed! All records broken!" = a few hundred white people—to the song from "The Titanic," because you can't make up this shit, in shiny, sagging, weirdly bunched-up pants he'd the-entire-Internet-swears put on backwards (see can't make up), prompting the  hashtags #DiaperDon and PantsBackwardsDiaperTrump and the irresistible gag, "I like a president who knows how to put his pants on." Predictably, he babbled about "the crime of the century" whose "evidence is too voluminous to mention," which is why he didn't, instead insisting dead people voted and "Indians" were paid to vote and Italy used satellites to tamper with voting machines in "a third-world election like we've never seen before." Actually, we've seen it all before. It's staler and sorrier than ever. Amidst reports his frantic minions are trying to get him to help not crash the GOP in the mid-terms, they will likely reap what they sow. "It's like a slow leak of a balloon," said one, "that's now laying on the floor.”


Abby Zimet

Abby Zimet, Further columnist

Abby has written CD's Further column since 2008. A longtime, award-winning journalist, she moved to the Maine woods in the early 70s, where she spent a dozen years building a house, thinning the carrots, hauling too much water, experiencing true if ragged community, and writing. Having come of political age during the Vietnam War, she has long been involved in women's, labor, anti-war, social justice and refugee rights issues. 

Summit Participants Embrace 'Vaccine Internationalism' to End Pandemic

"Our goal is simple: to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by securing Covid-19 vaccines for all," says the coordinator of Progressive International's four-day virtual summit.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·