America First

Look, I have seen the Miracle on Ice game 457 times. I own three books about it, I own the game on DVD, I have met the majority of the team in person and Jim Craig put his arm around me and Mark Wells kissed my hand, and I almost died of joy the day I met Herb Brooks and he signed a box of Cheerios for me.

My point is, if you want someone to bag on Russia I am generally your girl.

But I feel like we’re missing something here: 

Michael Hayden, speaking on MSNBC’s Morning Joe podcast, chalked up peoples’ fear over Jade Helm 15 to “Russian bots and the American alt-right media [that] convinced many Texans [Jade Helm] was an Obama plan to round up political dissidents.”

This was all over my various social media feeds all weekend and the commentary was all SEE RUSSIA ATTACKED US and A FOREIGN POWER INTERFERED and WE NEED NATIONAL SECURITY ON THIS NOW when the part that I saw said this:

Weeks before the exercise began, Abbott wrote a letter to the State Guard asking them to keep an eye on the operation so “Texans know their safety, constitutional rights, private property rights and civil liberties will not be infringed.” In the letter, Abbott added that he had “the utmost respect for the deep patriotism of the brave men and women who put their lives on the line to fight for and defend our freedom.”

Can we please, while we are getting mad at Russia and making cartoons of Trump servicing Putin in various repulsive ways, spare a thought for our homegrown ratfuckers, who are doing and continue to do immeasurable damage way, way offline?

I just … I get it, okay? The ins and outs of the Mueller investigation, the revelations that yes, Jared Kushner and Don Jr. are as dumb and venal as we thought they were, that Trump is mobbed up and always has been … I get that all of this is horrifying. Colluding with Russia is horrifying, and the idea of Russia stirring shit up because Putin wanted to be a chaos-causing shitlord is definitely something we should be concerned about.

But I guess I just can’t get as concerned about Russia as I can about Sinclair Broadcasting, you know? When we talk about who drove the most votes, what informs the nice ladies of the Midwest who attend the megachurch, we’re back to talk radio and cable news and the easy, lazy narratives that get fed into the Republican puke funnel and extruded all over the editorial pages of our august publications.

We’re back to idiots like Abbott, who is not even smart enough to know how dumb he is, stirring shit to appeal to the Limbaugh crowd, and we’re back to Limbaugh and his lesser lights, who moved votes the GOP’s racist way long before Mark Zuckerberg got the idea to rate college girls based on hotness.

We’re back to political reporting that treats politics like a joke, we’re back to how it was just horrible that that nice lady Sarah Huckabee Sanders got made fun of, we’re back to “both sides” and “very fine people.” I think this stuff tweaks me more than anything Russia could do at this point because unlike tracing whatever shit comes out of Wikileaks at least “the American alt-right media” is something we have a prayer of fighting back against.

Let’s work on America’s assholes first.