Thursday, January 21, 2021

Shmutz Off

 A woman I know wanted to reverse a mistake she'd made decades before. So with the aid of her husband she set off to reverse it.  Together, they did.  I received a note a few hours later.

"Shmutz off."

Shmutz is the yiddish word for dirt.  To be shmutzik is to be soiled. 

On Wednesday afternoon as I saw Joe Biden take the oath of office, the two words that my woman friend and her husband sent me rocketed to my consciousness.  "Shmutz off."

I am not great at making political predictions.  This year, though, I was not too bad.  I could not imagine that any state other than the states that Trump had won in '16 would flip to Trump.  And I knew-as well as one can know--that the atypical factors that cost Clinton, Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin would not be factors in 2020.  I also predicted that the two Democrats in Georgia would prevail in the runoff.  Trump lost Georgia by 12000 votes. The Georgia runoff was not about the candidates running. It was a referendum on Trump. Because of his undemocratic behavior after the election, I knew that while the Republican candidates might get all the voters who voted for Trump in November, they would not get many others. And I thought that other voters would come out to vote against Trump. 

I'll make some other predictions now, though I don't think you need to be a soothsayer to have such foresight.  The perceived magnitude of Trump's offenses while president and especially in the two months after he lost the election will not dissipate. The perceived magnitude and outrage will grow exponentially.  The extent of his complicity and the perceptions of his culpability regarding the 400,000 American COVID deaths will only increase.

Politicians who foolishly sucked up to Trump because they thought allegiance to him would be a ticket to reelection will distance themselves from the narcissist like someone racing away when they've seen a bear.  Spin doctors will be hauled in to try and reconstruct the erstwhile supporters' stained images.  Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley are very very lucky that they do not come up for reelection for four years.  Hawley has as much chance of winning the 2024 presidential election as my father's aunt Tzivia.  Aunt Tzivia died during the Kennedy administration. The Republican congresspeople who signed on to the Supreme Court challenge, are already twisting themselves into pretzels muttering variations of Ralph Kramden's, Hometa Hometa Hometa.

We were stained for four years. Each monstrosity which we thought was the last straw, was topped by another last straw. The claiming that he could grab women by the pussy with impunity which we all thought was horrible--and it was--was rendered benign by the reference to countries as shit countries, snuggling up with a Russian tyrant, pissing on our allies, calling the free press "an enemy of the people", regularly ridiculing women journalists, disparaging the handicapped, attempting to blackmail Ukrainian officials, telling the American public that the COVID was a hoax--when he knew it was deadly, suggesting that knocking back some Chlorox might be a good way to deal with the virus; claiming that he won an election which he knew he had lost; calling up Georgia's attorney general and asking him to find 12,000 votes, and then inciting a riot to undermine our democratic process while gloating when the riot took place.

When I saw his plane leave, I was relieved. When lady Gaga sang the star spangled banner, I started to tear.  When Harris and then Biden took the oaths I felt a weight being lifted. I felt like I had taken a long hot shower after having spent time in the mud.

We've reversed an error that threatened to end this democracy.  He is gone. His followers will become smaller and smaller. We have rid ourselves of a foul stain.

Shmutz off.

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