Good Tidings and Nog

(This will be my newspaper column appearing on Xmas eve.)

On this, the morning of the day of the night before Christmas, good tidings we bring. Figgy pudding, which is to say the minds of those whose only news sources taste like Trump, we set aside. For they won’t have been privy to the tidings, nor would they see them as good if they had.

We begin with a Scrooge who has seen the Ghost of Politics Future. Mitch McConnell, whose credo has always placed personal benefit above our country’s, who once spoke in the highest of dudgeon against creating the January 6 Commission, now says its findings are “something the public needs to know,” even as most Congressional Republicans dissemble, ignore, and refuse cooperation. From which we conclude Mitch’s finger drips wet in the winter wind. Recognizing the significance, seeing a loser in the looming, he concluded it’s time to disembark the Trump train. Indeed, those findings are exceptionally serious. (This eggnog is very tasty.)

The hardest-core Trumpofoxified will never see it that way; he’ll always have his thirty-five percent, despite or, just as likely, because of his exposed crimes. But ’tis the season for belief. Surely, there exist enough rational conservatives, if not Republicans (mistletoe and lumps of coal), who see the Commission’s revelations for what they are: damning. Of Trump and the amoral, unqualified sycophants with whom he protectively surrounded himself. How they tried to subvert and overturn a legitimate, fraud-free election –- the fundament of democracy — by whatever extra-constitutional means necessary, is now as clear as Mount Baker on winter’s cloudless days. So is the “fraud-free” part. (Think I’ll have another.)

Trump wasn’t the first. Nixon, too, worked to overturn an election, the one he lost to JFK. The difference is that, nasty and dishonest as he was, in the end he could place America’s good above his own; be convinced by people around him not wholly devoid of morality. Same with impeachment. Which stands in snow-white contrast to Trump and his atramentous mobsters.

We’ve also learned that several Fox “news” talkers privately understood the horror of the insurrection, while publicly dismissing its seriousness. This will convince the cogent of how dishonest and damaging the network is and always has been; now, they’ll look elsewhere. Tucker and Laura and Sean, never fans of fair elections, won’t change, nor will their psychically attached viewers. But true conservatives, by definition, should be fans; and, like Mitch (not that he fits the definition), they must have had enough of Trump, in sufficient numbers to keep him foundering in Florida. (Maybe one more.)

The denouement of his power to corrupt is good tiding, indeed, if not necessarily for democracy. Fully given over to preventing opposition voting, Republicans are likely to nominate someone equally dangerous, but smart. Like Raging Ron DeSantis, who is to Florida, Covid-wise, as Trump was to all states. Obvious even as it unfolded, the degree to which Trump politicized the pandemic and muzzled scientists has now been laid out, in black and white. Or is it blue and red? More reasons to ho-ho-hope for the slumbering to awaken.

Same, dare we say, with climate change. Hardly a haven of liberalism, the Pentagon recently released a statement detailing the ways in which global warming threatens national security. Last week we read of the degree to which it’s destabilizing Earth’s poles, imperiling the entire planet. Only science-denying anti-vaxers can dismiss the evidence; and whereas they have the numbers to keep the pandemic alive, they may no longer have the votes to do the same for climate denialism. In time for Christmas, its existence is real to everyone having accessible intelligence.

There’s good news, too, in Joe “Owns-and-Owned-by-Coal” Manchin’s sabotage of President Biden’s Build Back Better Bill. His West Virginia is the second-poorest and unhealthy state in the Union. When its citizens realize how they’d have benefitted, and that Manchin joined every single R in voting against it, and that he thinks they spend tax credits on drugs, they’ll make their state reliably blue again, as once it was. Thanks to demographics and to its leaders, unconcerned for its Tiny Tims, Texas is getting there as well. Joyeux Noel. (Yes, please.)

Sarah of Wasilla provided heimal tidings, too, pledging to Turning Point USA’s death-cult gathering that she’d be vaccinated “over my dead body.” Sorry, Sarah: no one vaccinates dead bodies. Saner than she, I’m triple vaccinated. You should be, too. Research confirms it’s highly protective from omicron.

So, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate it. Season’s Greetings and/or Happy Holidays to those who don’t. (Hey, how much booze was in that eggnog, and how many did I have?)



Retired surgeon. Published author. Blogger. Columnist. Losing hope that American democracy can survive Republican attempts to end it.

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Sid Schwab

Retired surgeon. Published author. Blogger. Columnist. Losing hope that American democracy can survive Republican attempts to end it.