Every morning, to earn my bread I go to the market where lies are traded In hope I take my place amongst the sellers.
- B. Brecht, Hollywood Elegies, 1942
Talking about sex, and I believe some of us were: Why, we were in the habit of asking ourselves, idly pondering the trumpled shape of America, as a break from learning to make masks from socks and sanitary pads, choosing which $300 shoes would best hide your fetid untended feet, revering raccoons for masking and handwashing , and wondering, What's the difference between presymptomatic/ postsymptomatic/asymptomanic and how will I know? --anyhoo: Why? as I started out saying, I had taken to wondering, do sex charges stick to Democrats, but not to Republicans? Or, more broadly, pardon the expression: Why do they cling ineradicably to the leftish, but slip-slippery off the rock-ribbed rightist?
We quelled unseemly doubts about raccoons and the amount of time they spend rolling in garbage. And we posed the sex question on FB, prompting a briefly sparky discussion:
-Why do sex scandals stick to democrats but not to republicans?... I suppose we already have very low standards for Republicans...
- And they for themselves...
- I agree! It seems when they can’t beat the democrats, republicans make a sexual innuendo against them. But when the republicans actually do something sexually offensive - it rolls off their backs - a la trump. He was elected president after his sexual offences were revealed!
-Exactly. What’s Trump at? 25 accusations?...
Not to mention Il Presidente Americano's Italian confrere, perpetually-resurfacing ex-Premier Silvio Berlusconi., who famously boasted: “When asked if they would like to have sex with me, 30 percent of women said, ‘Yes,’ while the other 70 percent replied, ‘What, again?’" - an only slightly more refined version of the Trumpster's vaunting of his celebrity pussy-grabbing license.
And although he was convicted in 2013 of paying for sex with an underage 17-year-old girl at one of his famed "bunga bunga" parties, Berlusconi's seven-year suspended prison sentence, and lifetime ban on holding public office, were both overturned by an appeals court that said there was no proof Il Primo Ministero knew the girl was underage. Today, at 82, shoepolish-black hair still glittering above an ever-tighter orange face, Berlu is Italy's newly elected member of the European parliament.
In 2017, just a year into the Trumpian administration, a Washington Times believer could crow: "2017 is the year of the left-wing sexual predator or at least the year of their demise. These guys are dropping so fast, it is hard to keep up with them. Harvey Weinstein... Actor Kevin Spacey .... Al Franken.... Garrison Keillor was fired. John Conyers is under fire, with demands that he resign from Congress. Rap mogul Russell Simmons now admits an encounter that was less than consensual with a woman, and Matt Lauer’s career crashed and burned faster than the Hindenburg..."
Yes, for anti-establishmentarian contrarians, like whistleblower Julian Assange, Wall Street gadfly Elliott Spitzer, Dem-socialist politico Dominique Strauss-Kahn, it's sex-scandal hell forever. And the power to sex-destroy is no longer solely the purview of, um looser ladies, who would then find themselves enshrined in the history books - I used to think a great new-age western song would be: Mothers, do let let your babies grow up to be call girls...
But those days are done: today, happily, the pulverizing power is in the hands of any and everywoman, and growing numbers have stepped up to use it. Galvanized by #MeToo and #BelieveWomen, they have cut no putative predator even a millimeter of slack, be he as spotlessly liberal as the driven snow.
Until Joe Biden.
And the paradigm suddenly shifts.
Suddenly with Biden, the previously sure, the heretofore unshakeable and unimpeachably, pardon the expression, impartial banner bearers and bolsterers of #BelieveWomen et al., are finding room to learn to doubt.
George Washington U political scientist Lara Brown, who wrote her dissertation on the effect of scandals on elections, says she sees voters asking: “Do I want the tarnished person who agrees with me, or do I want the tarnished person who disagrees with me?”" Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents "are looking at Joe Biden versus Donald Trump and they say, well, he may not be perfect, but he’s certainly a heck of a lot better than Trump. And even if we’re talking about sexual assault allegations, Biden has one very serious allegation that’s come against him. Trump has more than a dozen."
Opines another liberal essayist: "It is unlikely that the Democratic Party will abandon their only candidate who remains in the race, and who leads Trump in polls. So many liberals, who are justifiably desperate to turn the page on the horrors of Trump’s Presidency, are grasping at the world of difference between Trump and Biden—and viewing Reade’s sexual-assault allegation more skeptically than #MeToo has allowed in recent times. This moment may prove to be a pivotal chapter of #MeToo, which marks its more mature reckoning with its deeper goals.. in order to protect ourselves, we have to do something that might feel morally incoherent—which is to vote for someone who was accused of sexual assault... What these open calculations reveal is that #MeToo can countenance the balancing of sexual misconduct against other evils, and the vindication of alleged victims against other goods."
So, #MeToo is now wisely Biden its time. One longtime staunch sister even announced in the NYT: "I believe Tara Reade but I'm voting for Biden,"
And , the People's Prez himself is defending Unca Joe: ''All of a sudden, you become a wealthy guy. You're a famous guy. Then you become president. And people just - people that you've never seen, that you've never heard of make charges. So you know, I guess in a way you could say I'm sticking up for him."
Not to mention those "hundreds of officials who worked for former Republican President George W. Bush [and] are set to endorse Democratic White House hopeful Joe Biden in...a Super PAC ...with a website and Facebook page.... It plans to release 'testimonial videos' praising Biden from high-profile Republicans and will hold get-out-the-vote efforts in the most competitive states." Plus, a whole new flotilla of millionaire and billionaire Republicans, who surfaced plumping for Biden, only this month.
Prompting one sadly bitter blogger to ask: "What is it these Republicans really expect from Joe Biden, who has collaborated with them on everything from their bestial wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to attacking a Venezuela to helping them destroy Social Security and Medicare along with quality integrated public education and keeping the Minimum Wage a poverty wage?"
So: It's only about priorities, pragmatism, politics, power? Because our Democrat rule-makers, now abetted by providentially self-censoring me-too'ers, have put out the word: No knocking their doddery presumptive, their carefully nurtured faint hope of not enshrining the orange pussygrabber for ever?
Who, O who is to be believed in these foggy days?
Women? Men? Tara? Unca Joe?
That Dem establishment and their media, who keelhauled Bernie, and now want the befuddled US electorate to buy their propped up good ol' boy party hack?
With whom the Trumpster himself might prefer to clash mettles, figuring that his armor of dross will demolish Uncle Joe's worn veneer of old gold?
Check this, from a 2014 New Yorker exploration of Unca Joe's dreams of running for president in 2016 - that would have been his third run; the others, in 1987 and 2007, he abandoned early for extreme lack of party support:
"Declassified documents seized in the raid that killed Osama bin-Laden included an unexpected insult: bin Laden had advised assassins to spare Biden and target Obama, telling them: 'Biden is totally unprepared for that post, which will lead the U.S. into a crisis.'
"That summer, a survey by the Pew Research Center and the Washington Post asked people to come up with a single word to describe Biden; the most frequent responses, nearly equal in number, were 'good' and 'idiot.'"
Further: Looking toward 2016, then: although "in the past half century, every sitting VP who sought the presidency won the party's nomination. Biden, however, trails Hillary Clinton by a margin of 50% or more."
We all know how that turned out.
This, then, is the whited-hair-transplanted sepulchre who has been hauled out of the old-parts toolshed to be the shining hope of the American - nay, the whole planet's - future?
And so, you now ask yourself, maundering thought-led amongst the wonderings about masking and not masking - What is that stranger's mask masking?....and, Who is hiding behind which mask? Which hands are washing which hands? whose wheels greasing whose wheels? what ostensibly spotless buyers are striking deals with which dubious hawkers; which purported enemies are secretly shaking hands and sharing champagne cocktails and agendas? Hey, children, what's that sound - is it the perfervid whir of a whole universe of devils making deals with one another in the dark?
Which brings us back to the raccoons. Masked, yes, handwashing, oh, endlessly.
Emerging silently, in the dark, in packs, to rootle together through the offal.
Ruler-raccoons of the world, come forth: Unmask, move into the light, and show us your paws. We have nothing to lose but your garbage.