I’m not usually a person who revels in Schadenfreude, but I have to say that a primal scream from Katha Pollitt against Trump-land is incredibly gratifying.
Katha Pollitt didn’t set out to write a feel-good article. In fact, she feels terrible — but it’s the reasons behind her feelings that are such good news to those of us who have, for the past many years, missed a coherent, constitutional America, with strong borders, that is also a good friend to its allies and a bad enemy to its foes.
If you’ll pardon me a few ball-spiking moments, here’s a quick rundown of the pertinent points in Katha Pollitt’s “Year One: My Anger Management” article at the New York Review of Books. I’ve interlineated my comments with her prose. I’ve also broken her lengthy paragraphs into individual sentences to make it easier to separate my comments from her complaints:
The other day, a friend of mine, a liberal Democrat, said that he had to admit his life hadn’t changed since Trump was elected. Well, I said, It’s only been eight months. Give him time!
What I wanted to say was, How nice for you. Tell it to that undocumented teenage girl who was blocked for a month from getting an abortion while held in a Texas detention center. [In other words, Pollitt is terribly upset that the Trump administration tried to stop a girl from entering the country illegally and from using taxpayer dollars to kill a child.]
Tell it to the Muslim family that a Connecticut neighbor of mine saw a white guy shouting at in the Big Y supermarket parking lot: Go back to your own country! [This is a man bites dog story. The reality is that the most trumpeted examples of anti-Muslim activity have proven to be hoaxes because real instances just don’t happen very often (or at all). This is true no matter how much the media warns us of anti-Muslim backlash every time there’s yet another “Allahu Akbar” attack.]
Tell it to my daughter-in-law who got the hairy eyeball from a passerby for speaking Spanish on the street to her little girl. (And this was in Bloomington, Indiana, a large and pleasant university town.) [Man bites dog. Also, the “hairy eyeball” is a pretty darn subjective standard if you ask me. The daughter-in-law might have been wearing a particularly ugly dress or have an unattractive distinguishing feature other than her language. People looking to be insulted will find insults everywhere.]
Tell it to Myesha Johnson, widow of one of the soldiers killed in Niger, who was dragged through the mud because Trump couldn’t make a sympathy call sound sympathetic. [Definitely a he-said/she-said thing here. To those of us who believe General Kelly, who is not known for lying, Trump tried hard to say the right thing about someone who dedicated his life to military service and died in that service. To those others who believe Rep. Wilson, a firebrand with a penchant for self-aggrandizement, Trump was tactless — but at least he made the effort. Also (just saying), it was Obama’s fault that Sgt. Johnson was in Niger in the first place.]
Tell it to the Puerto Ricans and Virgin Islanders still waiting for power and clean water more than a month after Hurricane Maria. [Yes, indeed. Do please tell it to citizens who have been the victims of Detroit-style Democrat governance for decades. Trump got FEMA to these islands with remarkable speed, only for FEMA to discover that, with no infrastructure and lots of corruption, it was hard to make headway against the disaster.]