For Our Leaders
Sweet dreams. And trust us, you’re going to want to enable full screen for this.
This governing shit is hard, am I right? Obama made it look easy. He made a chump out of you.
Turns out this whole leader-of-the-free-world gig cuts into the time you have available for golfing, Twitter rants and pussy grabbing.
But I’ve got some good news for you: You don’t have to do this. You can just quit and go back to Trump Tower.
I know, I know, you have a thing about not looking like a loser.
That makes you smart.
So, because I care, I made you a list of reasons you can use to quit and still save some (orange) face.
You’ll like these; they blame someone else for your fai– uh, challenges.
For your convenience, I made them all less than 140 characters.
See? Any reasonable person will understand why you’re quitting and totally not think you’re a pathetic loser. You don’t have to tell them any of the real reasons, like the fact that your coke dealer can’t get past White House security and you’re sick of having to go to Mar-a-Lago every time you need blow.
So don’t wait another minute. Pick a reason and plug it into this handy template I’ve included below. Sign it, take a picture, tweet it. And maybe make a copy and give it to Pence to make it all official.
Then off to the golf course with you! You deserve it! Bigly!
I, [your name], hereby submit my resignation from the office of the President of the United State of America. While I would have done GREAT things – YUGE things — for this country, I can’t now because __________________.
So blame ____________________________.
I’m gonna go play golf and tweet about how amazing things would have been if I would have finished my term. And I’m taking Bannon with me.
We were all introduced to the concept of “same seats” in childhood — you get to keep the seat you had before. That very one. Not the one next to it, or behind it, or right up next to the teacher…the same seat you started in.
Same seats is a great policy. For school busses. And classrooms. And the back of your mom’s station wagon or SUV.
Same seats is not applicable to the United States Supreme Court.
Republicans keep insisting that the seat once belonging to Antonin Scalia belongs to a conservative. To a strict constructionist. To someone just like Scalia. They were affronted that, due to Scalia’s unexpected demise, President Obama — liberal, divisive, lame duck, Kenyan-born Obama — had the opportunity to fill the now-empty chair in our nation’s highest court. Scalia died on February 13, 2016. President Obama’s term ended on January 19th, 2017. By any calculation, there was plenty of time, and a Constitutional responsibility, to try to fill the seat. Yet, we all know that Merrick Garland has never been voted on, and the seat remains vacant, splitting the court 4-4.
Now, the Republicans are happy that Trump has the opportunity to fill Scalia’s seat with another conservative. Pundits galore, and Republican politicians, have been talking for nearly a year now about how “Scalia’s seat” should be filled with another conservative…because it’s “Scalia’s seat.”
Same seats is not applicable to the United States Supreme Court.
It’s a child’s game. A way of asserting dominance. Grasping for what you had and making sure no one takes it from you. As an adult, trying to call same seats in a conference room or a waiting room will, at best, get you strange looks. It’s certainly not a way to govern.
However, if you want to apply the concept of same seats, well, strict constructionist, anti-equality Scalia never should have taken Earl Warren’s seat. From 1953 to 1969, Justice Warren presided over a court that “elaborated a doctrine of fairness” in a time of vast social change. The court that, among other successes, outlawed segregation; barred racial discrimination in voting, in marriage laws, in the use of public parks, airports and bus terminals and in housing sales and rentals; extended the boundaries of free speech; ruled out compulsory religious exercises in public schools; held that federal prisoners could sue the government for injuries sustained in jail; and sustained the right to disseminate and receive birth control information.
That’s the kind of same seats I can get behind.
I’m a forty-year-old writer and mother of two. But today, in my imaginings, I’m the coach of a high school football team and it’s time for a heart-to-heart.
The quarterback has been caught in some criminal-type hazing of a minority student. It’s bullying; it’s hate. It’s obviously crossed a line.
The whole team knew about it. But only two of them spoke up.
After school special material if ever there was.
“Look, team,” I say, oozing rationality and calm. There’s a whistle around my neck. I think I’m wearing a polo shirt, for Christ’s sake. “I just want to understand,” I say. “Tell me why none of you said anything.”
No one from the team will meet my eye.
“When you see something that’s clearly wrong, you’ve gotta say something, or you’re just as bad as the perpetrator.” At this, some look down at the ground, a few thrust out their chins in defiance.
Then I look more closely and realize my entire team is dressed in suits — some with red neckties, but each lapel dotted with an American flag pin. And we’re not sitting on bleachers, we’re in the Senate Chamber.
These are grown-ass people who were elected to be representatives of the people and uphold the tenets of our constitution.
And they don’t have a word to say about an executive order that bans people from nine countries that are predominantly Muslim. They won’t raise their voice to condemn an act that results in families torn apart, or support those who served our government in times of war. They are quiet while our government turns away people who have lost everything and are desperate to escape a regime that threatens their very lives.
And I know why they are silent. They don’t need to tell me.
They are silent because they want to hang on to the power they have. Sticking their necks out could put them at risk of losing that power. Or it could put them directly in the sights of someone powerful who’s known for getting revenge on his perceived enemies. Or they’re just fucking racist xenophobes.
They are in a situation they are not morally equipped to handle. And no after school special talk is going to change that.
But, enormous crowds of their constituents brandishing signs at airports might help. And each one of us in a voting booth in 2018 can definitely help.
I tear the whistle from around my neck and throw it at them before walking away in disgust.
Then the fantasy fades away and I’m out of my khakis and polo shirt and back in my writer’s yoga pants clicking the DONATE button on the ACLU website.