The Response

I don’t know what I expected from last night’s charade. It’s not like the Democrats were going to sit on their hands and scowl the entire time. There were moments of stillness, but it was punctuated by flurries of activity. I’d tell you to pause the video and identify the sellouts who kept rising to their feet, but ass location isn’t a measure of corruption here. Waving free or sweaty and seated, they’re all bought and paid for.

Did I think they’d protest their own government? Did I imagine they’d rail against themselves? It’s an absurd notion, as if I’d make a sign and stand in my front yard picketing my own existence. “NO BLOG, NO BOB! THIS IS WHAT BOB TALBOT LOOKS LIKE!”

Maybe one of the neighborhood cops would notice me on his way to Panera. “No more Dunkin’ for this Higleytown Hero,” he’d mumble to himself. “Gotta cut down, Captain’s orders.”

Then, he’d catch something flailing out of the corner of the cool Oakleys his wife got him for Valentine’s Day. The patrol car would squeak to a halt on the street in front of my yard. He’d roll down his window and say, “Hey pard, everything alright out there?”

“Yeah man,” I’d say between breaths, “I’m just engaging in my right to free speech and assembly against the TYRANNY of BOB TALBOT.”

“Who is Bob Tal-”

That motherfucker.”

“Wait, what? What did you say to me?”

“I said Bob Talbot. Is. A fucker. He’s fucked mothers. It’s proven.”

“Okay. Well, can I see some ID?”

“Oh yeah, sure man. Sure,” I’d say while violently whipping my wallet out of my back pocket and jumping into a taekwondo stance I learned thirty years ago.

Officer Panera, unperturbed, would slowly blink twice under his shiny new orange specs. “Identification, please.”

I’d struggle to get my driver’s license out of the too-small slot for upwards of 45 seconds before thrusting my fingers in and ripping the sleeve free of the stitching with my Hulk-like power, then I’d toss the card at the cop’s face like a shuriken. He’d pluck it deftly from the air, glance at it in the time it takes him to yawn, and toss it into the spring weeds that bloom at the edge of my lawn.

“White and American. Checks out. Have a nice day, Mr. Talbot.”

“Down with Bob Talbot! Down with tyranny!”

“Sic semper tyrannis,” he’d say while unfurling a Gadsden flag out his driver’s side window. Then he’d floor the gas peddle and peel out for 100 yards, Tokyo drifting onto Caraway Road. I wouldn’t be certain, but I’d swear I hear a car horn blast out the first few notes of “Dixie” as his engine revs into the distance. Our tax dollars at work?

Even Bernie found the strength to lift his withered old palms and set coordinates for a collision course. Where’s that little bird? Not a raven, “Nevermore,” or a sparrow, the harbinger of death, but a house finch, previously without portent, now the augury of impotence, the omen of life continued long after the thrill of livin’ is gone. Now walk on.

Some keen fact checker will have to dig into the last 90 years of transcripts, but when is the last time the President of the United States of America spoke the word “savages” in front of the assembled Congress, justices of the Supreme Court, and their guests? Does it hearken back to an even earlier time, when the US Cavalry blazed across the Great Plains and sowed the seeds of destruction that blossom yet today? Has it even occurred since the early days of the 19th century, when it couldn’t have been uncommon to hear “savages” or worse shouted in the halls of government?


When I heard the phrase “merit-based immigration policy,” I couldn’t help but wonder why a foreign professional person of color would want to bring their precious life, and their years of experience and education, to this country only to be gunned down by a berserk bigot follower of the very monster who uttered the words and stoked his Republican compatriots to make that system so. Sure, let’s eschew refugee admittance from the nations we’ve destabilized. Trump can hand-wave the situation away by saying, “Obama left us a mess,” and better yet, we can’t argue with the notion, because he did. His administration continued to dabble in regime change. He embraced Forever War the way Democrats do, with special forces raids and missile strikes. Syria is a disaster laid at his feet, and Clinton’s, and Kerry’s (Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, we can keep going). What a boon. What a casus belli for an a tin pot wannabe who’d love to put boots on the ground en masse, Republican Style, under the guise of fixin’ shit.

And now I tread lightly, because we’ve come to Ryan Owens. This echoes something I’ve seen before. It rhymes with Chris Kyle and other men who were led to commit war crimes by oligarchs who beckoned to them with the lies of patriotism and justice. Some of you have made careers out of military service, and I learned long ago that fucking civvies should have no opinion in these matters. I’d not drag out any phantoms of Vietnam era spitting airport protesters (if those even existed). Nevertheless, if we’re not court-martialing, but honoring men who machine gunned women and children (one of which was an eight-year-old American citizen), is “baby killer” really unfair? At least it applies to that dead hero, to the men on his team, to Chris Kyle, and various other sociopaths, nature’d or nurtured. I would not paint you with such a broad brush, but if I cannot admonish your coworkers for murdering kids, who will? The Commander-in-Chief said, “Ryan died as he lived: a warrior, and a hero, battling against terrorism and securing our nation.”

When it comes time for you to “secure our nation,” and that means firing into a pack of little girls, will you? If you’re in the rear with the gear, will you high five those warriors when they make it back to camp? In the case of Owens, I think God, chaos, or whatever, may have saved the Marines some work down at the range.

I’ll leave it to the economic alchemists to divine the rest. I can yell about the human factors with some confidence. The ACA may be saved yet by tumultuous town hall meetings. Nothing frightens a career politician like the specter of unelection. You may take care to focus your efforts on those up for renewal in 2018, though. Villains like Tom Cotton, who are secure until 2020, will steadfastly bow to their financiers. He’ll count on America’s short attention span, and he’ll probably be right.

It is at least a bit ironic, though, that Trump drags Obama through the dirt when Barry’s done such a good job propping him up. BHO obviously cares for the status quo survival of our system more than the individual humans who labor under it. Again, it’s not shocking that a person would not seek to dig the ground out from under themselves (Minecraft ProTip), but after orchestrating Tom Perez’s appointment to DNC chair, it’s pretty clear that Barry doesn’t have a problem handing a drunk the keys to the Americamobile and clearing all the roadblocks.

“If Trump doesn’t total it, we can get back in the driver’s seat in four to eight years. Now watch me hang ten.”

As the founder and Chairman of Arkansas Fully Automated Luxury Pansexual Polyamorous Space Communists Not Yet Incorporated, I’d ask you not to give in to fear. The capitalists on both sides of the aisle want you shaking and shitting into your sneakers so they can steer you toward their intended outcome. Maybe I’m the accelerationist BernBro they warned you about, the straw Brocialist in the closet, but I don’t think so. There’s work to be done everywhere that doesn’t involve casting a vote. I’ll leave what you do in the booth up to you.

There are still people to be protected, faxes to be sent, and representatives to be yelled at. There are missives to be written and experiences to be recorded. Don’t let them whittle you down to a vote. You’re a person with a message. Americans love a good story. Let’s give them one.