a Groundhog Day unlike any other

Cause it’s all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man
Say good-bye to the world you thought you lived in  – Mika, Any Other World

I attended the Women’s March in Washington, DC. I was nervous as we (the we pictured below) drove in, because I expected traffic jams and difficulties and there were none. This made me worry that, perhaps because there were so many more convenient marches being held all over the world, no one was showing up for this one. Even when we were in the thick of things, I had no sense of how many of us there were. It was a jolt of joy to see the aerial photographs and read the estimated numbers. And to see the turnouts in London, LA, San Francisco, Antarctica, etc etc etc. I spent one evening thinking, they can’t possibly ignore us. We are legion. But waking up the next morning, I remembered that of course they would ignore us. There is much talk these days of the forgotten Americans, but I too have spent most of my political life feeling ignored. One thing I noticed, particularly during and after the Iraq war, was the disappearance of genuinely leftist voices from the airwaves. God bless Amy Goodman, but she can’t do this alone.

IMG_9072
Three weeks have passed and it’s been a cascade of horrors, designed by their sheer number and audacity to render us speechless. I credit President Bannon with that shock-and-overwhelm strategy, though I have no way of knowing for sure. Whenever so-called President Trump appears, he appears hapless and bewildered. I wish Frederick Douglass would give that man a good talking to.
Anyone who believed in the myth of the principled Republican Congressman has learned, yet again, not to do that. A few will raise their voices. None will withhold their votes. The disastrous raid in Yemen will never be given the Benghazi treatment. The possibility of collusion between the campaign and the Russians will never be explored with the joyous zeal directed to Clinton’s emails. We’ll learn the truth on the same timetable that has recently confirmed that Nixon cratered the Vietnam peace process. The white supremacists have taken their seats on the National Security Council, replacing the Director of National Intelligence and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and no one has stopped it. The despicable Jason Chaffetz has decided that Trump’s conflicts of interest are of no interest. Trump is being treated as the imperial leader he believes himself to be.
I do credit the conservatives in the media and the military and the justice system who are speaking out and speaking plainly against this. But none of these principled conservatives hold seats in Congress.  I am watching those Democrats who betray their constituency. I will remember their votes.
I would so like to talk about other things. The surprising surplus of rain we are having in Santa Cruz. The enormous stone steps that appear to have simply washed away on Its Beach. The pleasures of being up at sunrise to walk along the ocean with a happy dog at my feet and the sky filled with gulls and chevrons of pelicans. But everywhere I look, everything I read, everywhere I go, I see a world in peril.  Except when I look here.  How does anyone without a dog survive this world?IMG_0178