Put Some Gay In Your Day, Dallas!

A Queen Speaks

Saying that no one can throw shade like a queen leaves one open to the charge of stating the obvious, kind of like the newscasters this week telling us that the barrier islands affected by Hurricane Dorian are surrounded by water. (Perhaps they are looking for a job in the Trump administration.) 

And, before anyone jumps up my backside, I’m not using that word in its negative connotation of a flamboyant homosexual gentleman, but in its more traditional meaning as the consort of a king. 

Such a consort was the most recent Queen Mary of the United Kingdom, married to George V and mother of Edward VIII. She reportedly described the abdication crisis to the then Prime Minister by saying, “Well, Mr. Baldwin, this is a pretty kettle of fish!” One can only imagine what she would have to say about Boris Johnson.

To be honest, I don’t quite understand the British parliamentary system. Although I must confess this “snap election” thing sounds mighty attractive when we’re facing 14 more months of Trump, campaigning, polls and debates. 

My other confession along these lines is thinking that our English cousins have lost their minds, or at least control of their government. But then my cousin Lillibet could send some side eye across the pond from her regnant throne and assert, “Well, my dear, that’s the pot calling the fish kettle black.”

Over here, in these trying times, many of us have heard commentators talk about how our democracy is under attack. (I’m not going to quibble about the differences between democracies, republics, democratic republics, etc.) But the idea that is besieged implies that it is extant. Is it really?

Of the many things that can be said about Donald Trump, at least one seems inarguable. He has demonstrated no interest at all in representing all of the American people. Quite candidly, it is unclear who he considers the American people to include. 

Mitch McConnell similarly has shut down all debate on every issue of the day, abrogating his responsibilities as majority leader in the Senate every time he takes a breath. This week, he deferred any action on gun control until Trump takes “a position on a bill.” Gee, Mitch, I know Trump is slippery when it comes to saying what he wants, but I thought part of the process of making law was negotiating. 

Meanwhile, over in the House, Nancy Pelosi has pushed proposed legislation from her chamber to Mitch’s “graveyard.” Several months ago, the number of stalled bills hit three figures, and it’s hard to tell how many there are now because the media isn’t even focused on it. 

But while it is within her power to start an impeachment inquiry—something that is supported by the majority of her caucus, that doesn’t seem to be happening. So Nancy herself isn’t exactly responsive to the majority of the people who put her where she is.

There is an intellectually robust case to be made that the three most powerful people in the federal government are at best ignoring what their constituents want. 

At worse, they are doing it—not for power—but to retain their own position and privilege. Trump wants a second term. Mitch wants to stay majority leader, even if Trump loses. Nancy wants to keep the House, even if Trump wins. Am I missing something?

It’s rather ironic that Walmart, criticized for years about how it treats and pays its employees, announced this week that it is discontinuing the sale of ammunition for handguns and that which can be used in assault weapons. Also, Walmart is asking that customers do not open carry in its stores, even where it is legal to do so. 

Things have reached a pretty pass when America’s largest retailer is responsive to the situation at hand while the folks in Washington continue to collect paychecks, power and privilege and effectively do nothing.

As Queen Mary said, “Really! This might as well be Romania!”