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More Than a Touch of Schadenfreude

thecounterargument

Sorry, I don’t normally rejoice at people’s setbacks.  While not necessarily liking everyone, I do suffer from abnormal levels of empathy. But over the last few years, watching the behavior of Republicans geared toward the single goal of blocking Obama, my empathy strings have become strangely mute. To be sure, Republicans had a field day–the democratic party is in disarray and no one person was quite right to follow in Obama’s footsteps. Obama, who, flaws and all, brought dignity and grace to the highest office in the land and in the world, who didn’t take the attacks and the obstacles personally but dodgedly went on doing what was right as often as he could although not as often as he should have (Assad? Netanyahu ? Guantanamo ?)

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Today, I imagine that the man who met with slightly raised eyebrows and the word “silly” every insult, every slight, every  aberration from imbeciles such as McConnell (remember him saying that he would not rest but continue blocking Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court ?), Paul Ryan or Ted Cruz, must be aghast at the cascade of uglier and uglier developments. But any insight I, like most Democrats, have gained into Obama over eight years, tells me that he must mostly be feeling pain at the destruction of the country.

I, made of lesser cloth, think small and can’t help rejoicing at the kicks in the butt suffered by same McConnell for his failure to repeal Obamacare and his general pandering to Trump, at Ryan for becoming irrelevant, at all the elected officials such as Gingrich or nominated ones who think nothing of playing with the country’s principles or institutions to satisfy their raging egos. I don’t rejoice at the fall of Comey, probable a decent man and civil servant, but isn’t he the one who served the country on a silver—sorry, gold—platter to Trump for reasons not entirely clear even to himself? On a different note, I’m sorry for McCain’s cancer and thankful for his “no” vote on the repeal of Obamacare, but I never saw him as anything but a poor man’s Ted Kennedy or John Warner. And I can’t forget that he’s the one who unleashed Sarah Palin on the country, starting us on this downward slide where even the least qualified cretin could have high aspirations.

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My schadenfreude also comes into play at the spectacle of the White House revolving door, these terrible, terrible people being mocked and reviled and ridiculed and pushed out and replaced by even more terrible people… I can’t wait for the inner circle’s turn. Though I don’t want to see their heads on a stake, I still eagerly hope to see the Family heading out with angry crowds gathered on Pennsylvania Avenue spitting at them.

And now, people are expressing sympathy for Jeff Sessions’ plight, simply because he won’t let go of his Cabinet position?  Really ? This is the Attorney General repealing the restricting by Eric Holder of the infamous minimum mandatory sentencing which, under Sessions, will resume with a vengeance and increase the prison population*, African-American for the most part, in a carceral system to be turned over entirely to private contractors. This is the Attorney General who is reinstating the no-less infamous asset forfeiture program, which Holder managed to partly ban on one of his very last days in office. Now, under Sessions, cops not too busy murdering African-Americans in total impunity can hold up citizens on their way to deposit hard-earned cash in the bank and requisition it, with very little chance of the rightful owners getting it back and yes, it’s legal. He is also the AG who would like to see guns in the hand of every American, as long as they’re white and Christian, it goes without saying. And, of course, Sessions is a major proponent of the death penalty. So, just because he’s the present target of Trump’s ire, I should sympathize with him ? (As a reminder, of all Western countries, ours is the only one with 1. the death penalty legal in 32 states out of 50, 2. second amendment gun rights, and 3. no universal health care.)

Call me a bad person but I cackle with glee and rub my hands ever time one of these ugly specimens is thrown out on his/her ears. I can’t wait for Scara-what’s-his-name-Mooch’s turn. And my schadenfreude will increase a hundredfold when Trump himself is finally carted off and replaced by….oh, NO!

* With 4.4 percent of the world’s population, the United States is the first for incarceration rate: around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners.

 

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