We’re so enamored with power in America that a lot of us blame people out of power for the things people with power do
It’s only March, and a month ago, we were talking about the Devin Nunes memo. A year ago, a lot of our political media debated the idea of the Deep State with some kind of urgency, as if it was real. Now this idea is one that only the Trump regime and its cronies take seriously.
That whole Deep State nonsense was straight Glenn Greenwald foofaw. He’s yet another ‘loyal opposition’ person who somehow always manages to focus his ire on Democrats and Progressives, while convincing his readers (who may be convincing themselves) that they’re really not supporting Trumpism. It’s the same reflex that people invoked during the Iraq War, that otherwise on the surface decent people flex when they think, “Well, that black person the police beat up MUST have been arguing and uncooperative,” that a lot of the country forgets when its convenient.
We love power so much, get nostalgic for it so much, that even George W. Bush has been getting his great rehabilitation in the media, despite what he and Cheney did. A lot of the same people who forgive Bush, also pour their fury about the Iraq War into Bush and Cheney, and forget that he was reelected by a whopping amount in 2004. How popular he was. People like Trump and Greenwald supported him, until they didn’t, and then pretend now like it never happened. Bush got elected to a second term, there were two wars, and yet somehow, the American people, the majority who elected him the second time, it’s like that never happened. Eventually their way ‘lost’, perhaps, the tide turned, and so they become crucibles for what sins we allowed.
And sometimes progressives, I don’t get something. Our culture seems to hate people who lose so much, as a people, as a culture, that we use them as crucibles for sin even more so. Perhaps that’s why Bush and Cheney eventually became unpopular, because their way lost, their power eroded. Whatever you think of Hillary Clinton, that’s what she’s been for so long in our popular culture. I’ve seen people get more angry at HER about the Iraq War than the actual architects and people who executed it!
I was furious about John Kerry and the caucus process in Washington State, and how messed up the politics were there in 2004 and (arguably) remain in some ways. I don’t live there anymore, though, so I worry about New York and the small things I can do here. I was furious about John Kerry, but the one thing I don’t do is blame Bush on Kerry. Ever. I don’t trust people who do, either, because it’s part of a pattern in our country. Namely, blaming the losers for the hurt caused by the winners.
We’re living through another version of this now, and I don’t know if people always see it. But I do. I’m still hopeful we can stop repeating some of these patterns.