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More Crap from the Democrats

You’d think an article titled “Democrats launch scorched-earth strategy against Trump” would have some good news in it, but it turns out to be more useless, cowardly nonsense from the Democratic Party. Go read it, then come back here for the fisking.

There’s so much wrong in this story that it boggles the mind. Here are just a few things that jumped out at me:

Some party leaders are wary of the implications of teeth-baring, no-holds-barred opposition. They worry about the difficult position in which it puts vulnerable Democratic senators — 10 of them will be up for reelection in 2018 in states that Trump carried.

Translation: If we’re mean to Trump, his supporters won’t vote for us! Guess what, geniuses? They’re never going to vote for you! Your game here is to show undecideds and pissed-off lefties that they can trust you to stand up to President Tic-Tac, not coddle him in hopes of turning his acolytes. Voters respond to strong, confident action, not soothing words.

There are also concerns about the dangers of appearing overly obstructionist, and the possible blowback it could create for party officeholders up and down the ballot in 2018.

Yep, appearing “overly obstructionist” absolutely devastated the Republican Party, didn’t it?

An explicitly aggressive approach also stands to shape the 2020 presidential field, incentivizing potential candidates to compete in expressing their level of anti-Trump vitriol.

You say that like it’s a bad thing.

“We need to remember that one of the reasons young voters, especially, were uninspired is you can’t have a message of, “I’m not him,’” cautioned DNC vice chairman R.T. Rybak, the former Minneapolis mayor.

Are you kidding me? Someone kick this guy out. Voters weren’t uninspired — Hillary got more votes than President Pussy-Grabber! Voters were unevenly distributed. And given Trump’s first week, I think a hell of a lot of people would vote for “Not him.”

Democratic lawmakers have still found ways to embarrass Trump…

You can’t embarrass this guy. He has zero shame. Stop thinking embarrassing him is a victory!

…less objectionable picks through without a fight, like Housing and Urban Development Secretary nominee Ben Carson…

Oh, so “less objectionable” = “clueless, inexperienced, and with no idea how to handle the issues he’s been given.” Gotcha. I await my appointment to the Joint Chiefs.

…senators believe they can inoculate themselves from the criticism of obstructionism often leveled at McConnell during Obama’s presidency.

See above. McConnell is still standing, jackasses, and he’s stronger than ever!

By delivering a massive slight to the president on the first day of the Trump era — roughly a third of the House Democratic Caucus refused to attend his inauguration — Democrats sent a strong signal about their intentions both to the White House and to the American public.

Oh, God. This is the point at which I’m ready to put a gun to my head. If you think anyone in America noticed or cared about this, you need to resign right now. Symbolic gestures are absolutely meaningless in this case. If you’re really going to go scorched earth, you have to actually, y’know, set the ground on fire. You can’t just talk about getting the can of gasoline.

Like this:

I’ve said before that the Democratic Party needs to toughen up. This article is worrisome because it shows that it thinks it has, when it clearly hasn’t.

A New Hope

So, I read this story in the Washington Post. Go read it — it won’t take long.

OK, so just in case you didn’t actually go read it, the TL;DR of it is this: A woman in a Trump town who had spent her whole life as a Republican and who had no outside influences on her just…spontaneously decided to take a closer look at things, switched to being a Democrat, and went on the Women’s March.

There’s a lot of talk about how to reach out to those Trump supporters (a majority, I hope) who were gulled into voting for him, who don’t really understand the stakes or the issues, who were seduced by easy talk and fake news. But that’s a mighty tall order. Almost by definition, “they” don’t live where “we” do. “They” don’t read, watch, or otherwise consume the same sources of information as “we” do. It’s a tough nut to crack.

But this woman… All on her own, without any sort of outreach, without a person in her life saying, “Hey, have you considered looking at things a different way?”, she just looked around and thought, Wait. This doesn’t make sense. This doesn’t seem right.

Well, damn.

Maybe there’s hope after all.

WiRL: “A Towering Figure of High Culture”

The latest episode of Writing in Real Life is up!

Episode 81: The One where Morgan’s Still Pregnant

A shout-out for Barry??? Moms being attached to newborns and the dads who have nothing to do. The meaning of #FUSS! Barry fundraises for the ACLU. Keeping a diary…or not. Does losing hurt more than winning feels good?

“Democrats…Fight”

A few days ago, I published my open letter to Nancy Pelosi, in which I said, in part:

In my decades of following the political conversation, I’ve never seen a headline that contained the phrase “Democrats fight.”

My brother recently sent me this screenshot, which contains those words, but with a niggling detail between:

Democrats wuss out

This isn’t a dilemma, Democrats. You fight all the way. Otherwise, you fall into the trap of compromising too far. If you’re at B and the Republicans are at H, it’s OK to compromise at D or so. But if you’re at B and Trump’s at Z, you’ll end up compromising somewhere around M. Not cool.

The late Ron Silver, playing Bruno Gianelli and speaking words written by the inimitable Aaron Sorkin, said it best years ago:

“No more” should be the Democratic rallying cry. Instead, it seems to be “Please don’t hurt me.”

(P.S. Please buy my short story “The Ghosts at 95” before 1/31/17 — all proceeds go to the ACLU.)

One Way I Choose to Fight

So, last year a thing happened. A thing I was — and am — not happy about. If you’re reading this, I imagine you feel the same because the people who read my books generally seem to be cool like that.

What can I do about this? has been a pretty common refrain since the election. And the good news is that there’s a lot we can do, both collectively and individually. I’ve been donating money to worthy organizations and keeping on top of my elected officials, for example.

But I’ve wanted to do more. I’m not a politician or much of an organizer, but I’m a writer. So I figured out a way to make writing be my way of “doing more.”

For every month in 2017, I will publish a different short story. Some of these stories will be short. Some will be long. Some will be old. Some will be new.

They will all cost $1.99.

And every cent I make will go to the American Civil Liberties Union.

The stories will only be available for one month each. If you miss the January story, well, it’s gone. I’m hoping this imposition of a form of scarcity will motivate people to buy.

Let me be clear about this: I’m not keeping your money. I’m not taking a single penny for myself. You’re handing money to me so that I can give it to the ACLU. (If you want to just give money straight to them or donate directly to them as well, don’t let me stop you!)

Do I expect this to make a difference? Beats the hell out of me. Look, if this crazy thing of mine spreads and gets lots of attention, it could end up being a significant chunk of change. If not, well, I guess every penny helps, right?

Please tell everyone. Please tweet it and Tumblr it and Facebook it and Snapchat it and Instagram it and do whatever else. Heck, you can even tell people about it face-to-face. (I know — crazy, right?)

The first story is already up. It is titled “The Ghosts at 95,” and you can see the cover and description below. It will come down late on January 31/early on February 1, depending on where you live. The clock’s ticking. Go buy it.

Ghosts at 95 cover

ALL PROCEEDS FROM THIS STORY BENEFIT THE AMERICAN CIVIL LIBERTIES UNION!

The year is 2006, and Jeremy Castle has it pretty good. His girlfriend has left him, true, but he has a job at a top downtown financial firm that has made him pretty rich. From his new apartment, he can see the Statue of Liberty and the construction at Ground Zero. If only he could figure out the meaning of the lights that only he can see. And those voices… Why does he keep hearing those voices…?

In “The Ghosts at 95,” Barry Lyga tackles the themes that made his reputation: Isolation, being an outcast, and the fear that your best self and your worst self may be one and the same.