The estrogen fueled post-inauguration protest marches, which drew millions of people as compared to the woefully undersubscribed crowds that showed up to watch Donald Trump put one of his small hands on the Lincoln Bible and lie, were heartening, although I do wonder where all of you were in November. But most importantly, the marches beg the very big question of what do we do now?
Our expectations for Trump were subterranean to begin with. But the level of deceit is nevertheless staggering as he determinedly ignores problems that cry out for attention and calls forth an apocalyptic vision of other problems that his meddling will make much worse and embarks on a scorched earth governance while the cauldron of bad behavior and scandal that has bubbled under his capacious rump for decades comes to a boil.
But all this was to be expected and still leaves the very big question of what do we do now?
The first thing we do is come to terms with the fact that Hillary Clinton was a deeply flawed candidate ripe for exploitation. By the practiced right-wing noise machine. And by the Russian hacking and false news campaign with an able assist from the maladroit James Comey.
The second thing we do is accept that the Democratic Party is nearly as rotten as the Republican Party. Both are deeply addicted to money, which is the crack cocaine of politics, and the only substantial difference between them is that Republicans are almost as morally bereft as their new president.
The third thing we do is get the Democratic National Committee and its affiliates out of the business of merely being reelection machines to feed that money addiction and into the business of fundraising for all the important stuff that needs to happen in between elections.
The fourth thing we need to do is tell the Bernie Sanders told-you-so diehards, who are still bleating like spoiled brats over how The Bern' could have kicked ass, to please shut up and either get on the bus or get off it. And enough about abolishing the Electoral College. It ain't gonna happen.
The fifth thing we do is what the Republicans have been doing very well at the state and local levels and the Democrats much less so. It's called organizing, and not just through what is left of labor unions. Trump doesn't want to build bridges, which only enhances our opportunities to do so.
As my friend, former colleague and all-around wise guy Gene Seymour says, now is the time to "think slow and act fast."
I'm getting sick to the point of nausea with those on both sides of the matter arguing over "purity" in progressive ideology. Why bother at all with these clammy arguments when we live in a country where ideology -- anybody's ideology -- matters about as much to its citizens as Euclidian geometry does to a house cat? Whatever hard feelings remain from the election, telling Susan Sarandon to go fuck herself isn't the same thing as making sure kids don't go to bed hungry or that their out-of-work-since-forever parents can't imagine themselves as anything other than poor. FOCUS, PEOPLE!!!
The focus needs to be on organizing and resisting -- and resisting and organizing -- and that effort needs to be concentrated in the burbs, as well as in small towns and rural areas where Trump did especially well and there is virtually no progressive political presence.
This may be less daunting than it seems because one of the big stories of the coming months will be the slow realization of Trumpkins that they are being betrayed bigtime by their hero. These are the very Americans often most in need of the government safety net that is about to be shredded into itty-bitty pieces by their elitist president and his inner circle, people who have never gotten their hands dirty, let alone taken out the trash, and are worth an extraordinary $14 billion not counting the stray $100 million or so that one of his Cabinet nominees found in a pants pocket.
One of the other big stories -- if we choose to write it -- is that there is a tactical advantage in the reality that things are going to get much worse as a mean-spirited and inept president in way over his big orange head and his oligarch advisers take the keys to the national car and set abut wreaking havoc.
So let's do it.