Well, the outrage warriors are at it again. As usual, it starts with one thing about which some folks get upset, then some other folks get upset about the folks that got upset in the first place, followed by name calling and some of us—still tired from the last round—reaching for a bottle of Geritol.
It’s daily now. Sunday saw what many thought was way too much of Jennifer Lopez and Shakira at the Super Bowl. Watching it, I indulged in a bit of outrage myself because what’s left of my body can’t do what theirs were doing. Then I remembered that my body couldn’t do that stuff when I was their ages (50 and 43). Then my inner bitch (she’s one of the characters who talks a lot in my inner dialogue) reminded me that my body didn’t work that way when I was 20.
With that warm and fuzzy commentary, I grunted my way off the sofa to go to the kitchen for another crunchy taco cup. I took two. So when the “think of the children” crowd met the “you’re ignorant about Latino culture, you racist” folks for a round of cultural outrage, I had to recuse myself for being incapable of an impartial verdict on the grounds of being jealous as hell.
Monday followed Sunday, and what should have been pretty easy got pretty hard when Iowa couldn’t get the caucus results out. The only good thing about the delay (the results at this writing are still incomplete) is many of us now understand way more about this archaic system than we ever needed to know.
It’s pretty clear to me that a six person committee of high school students, maybe two of which are math nerds, could have overseen the caucuses, tabulated the results, reported them upstream armed with nothing more than a box of No. 2 pencils, a half dozen Big Chief tablets, and a landline. Going from irritated to outraged might be a bit extreme, but even so, Iowa is the new Florida.
After Monday comes Tuesday and the State of the Union address. Taking a page from Ouiser’s book (which she didn’t read because if it’s any good, they’ll make it into a miniseries), I didn’t watch it because cable news will just play the best parts and edit out the boring stuff. Apparently, everything Trump said fits into the latter category.
With the exception of some talk about Rush Limbaugh, an incomplete forward handshake, and the usual fact checking of his remarks, Trump’s address was completely overshadowed by the rip heard around the world—or at least the nation. Nancy Pelosi, in a calculated move, took a copy of his speech, divided it into four manageable chunks, and tore them in half. The pep rally, as it has been described, in the house chamber then turned into another chapter of All About Nancy. We all remember the pilot episode of the series that ended with the seal clap.
Seemingly unaware that this was a play to Pelosi’s caucus and the Democratic base, those loyal to the President took to the air waves and social media to vilify her and inadvertently provided the soundtrack of exploding Trumpster heads. That’s when my Inner Bitch perked up and said, “Well done, Sister, now go file your nails.”
Well, I thought that would be enough outrageousness to last the rest of the week, but then Mitt Romney came along and said, “Hold my chocolate milk.” By voting to convict Trump, he earned himself another footnote in the history books and a whole lot of outrage from Trump supporters. Not surprisingly, Donald Trump, Jr. got in on the action with an Instagram post essentially calling Romney the word forever associated with “grab ‘em by” and saying Romney is now “a member of the resistance and should be expelled from the @GOP”—evoking a couple of connotations that he might be better served avoiding.
But Romney’s vote this week is likely to be no more than the second sentence in his obituary. After all, he was the Republican nominee for president in 2012, and he got almost 61 million votes. Romney may be a turncoat (traitor seems harsh), but it might be a good idea to move away from any kind of vitriolic name calling. After all, most of those millions of folks ended up voting for Trump in 2016. And, we don’t want to call their judgment into question, do we?
Sunday is Oscar night, and the outrage machine is already ginned up. No doubt, someone will say something to send some folks over the edge. So take your meds—but not too many—before you go to the show, Hollywood. (I’m looking at you, Joaquin Phoenix.)