REWIND: Six open letters to the newsmakers of the week

Lindsey Graham, Josh Hawley, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, Nancy Pelosi, Twitter, Jack Dorsey

The road to sedition: Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO), autocrat Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Twitter’s Jack Dorsey.

In my defense, last week when I wrote about having a glimmer of optimism about 2021 I did specifically say it would get worse before it got better. I stand by my assertion that we’ll probably be at least somewhat better off on Dec. 31, 2021 than we were on Jan. 1, 2021, even if we haven’t reached rock bottom yet.

Anyway, usually I list five songs and write some combination of history, jokes and snark. But honestly I don’t think any of us are in the mood for that. It seems cheap and flippant to be cracking jokes about music right now or attaching songs to things just because this is a music site. So we’ll get back to that next week. This week I have six short open letters instead.

Dear Sen. Josh Hawley,

You absolute garbage pile of a human being.

We all know you encouraged insurrection, and better people than me have written about what should happen about that. We won’t waste time going over that again because you have neither the conscience or the dignity to do anything about it. Instead, let’s cover how profoundly stupid you are.

It’s clear to everyone watching that you’ve been defending Trump in an effort to be the next Trump. You want to run for President in 2024 as the Young Trump. In 2017 that may have been a good plan! But in case you haven’t noticed, even Trump’s allies are leaping off that sinking ship.

A disturbing percentage of Republicans may think Wednesday’s terrorist attack was justified, but now that the fascists can’t use social media to recruit, that will be harder to maintain. Pretty soon, because you fully boarded the Trump Train, your entire base will be people wearing pelts flinging their own poop.

It’s bad enough to be evil to get ahead, but somehow it’s even worse to be evil with little to no potential upside.

Dear Sen. Ted Cruz,

You tiresome, irritating hanger-on.

Are you seriously trying to rehabilitate your image in the same week you tried to throw out 81 million votes because 74 million people voted differently? Accusing others of causing division and violence and trying to distance yourself from Trump?

This is why nobody likes you and why nobody has ever liked you. It’s rare to see someone with a lust for power but literally zero charisma or people skills. It would be funny if your awkward, flailing attempts to join a clique didn’t get a police officer beaten to death with a fire extinguisher.

Resign, obviously, but mostly just go away.

Dear Sen. Lindsey Graham,

You complete and utter fool.

Did you really expect to spend the last four years directly and overtly catering to the most hateful and violent people in America and never face their wrath? Did you honestly think you’d stay in their good graces forever?

They’re stupid and violent! It was only a matter of time before they turned on you, because turning on people is literally all their tiny, rage-addled minds are capable of. So now not only will you spend the rest of your life being hated by intelligent people for coddling a fascist, you’ll also spend the rest of your life facing the rage you saw at that airport from the fascists because you didn’t coddle them enough.

All you had to do was the right thing just one time, one single time, at any time in the last five years. But you didn’t. Enjoy fighting the monster you helped create.

Dear Jack Dorsey and Mark Zuckerberg,

You slow-witted frontrunners.

I’m not saying that it’s not a good thing that you’ve finally, after all this time, stopped terrorists and fascists from using your platforms to recruit and organize. Because it is. Limiting their reach to small, fascist-specific platforms makes it much harder to reach new people.

But you don’t get credit for doing it because you only did after the coup failed. You didn’t even jump ship when Trump lost the election, you clearly thought there was enough of a chance he’d seize power that you waited until after the insurrection flopped. Suddenly you’re trying to get on the Democrats’ good side before they take control of both the Executive and Legislative branches.

You don’t get credit for that. You allowed American democracy to be eroded to the brink of collapse for profit and only stopped out of self-defense. You could have stopped this all five years ago but instead you sat by and let Trump, Q-anon and the Proud Boys flourish under your roof.

This is all on you and you’ll both have to live with that.

Dear Rep. Nancy Pelosi,

You utter coward.

I’m sorry you went through what happened on Wednesday. But I hope you realize that your stubborn refusal to wield the powers of your office emboldened the instigators of that terrorist attack.

Even as the minority party in 2017 and 2018, you had parliamentary tools to slow the Republicans’ attacks on the nation’s institutions, but you feigned powerlessness because you didn’t have the votes. When you were swept into power on the back of promises to hold Trump accountable, you took a full year to even attempt impeachment, and when your hand was finally forced you gave a rushed, half-hearted effort, because you didn’t have the votes in the Senate to convict.

Not once in all of that did you make any effort to get more votes.

Votes are not a law of nature you must obey but can never change. Public opinion is not an unchanging force that can never be questioned. It’s your job to sell the public on your ideas, to use the tools available to you to convince or force votes to change. To rally the people to your side.

But instead you refuse to do anything at all for fear of upsetting someone. Even when your office was ransacked and your life threatened, you still immediately called for a lack of consequences until the rest of your caucus forced your hand and you agreed to impeach… but only after they fail to invoke the 25th amendment… and after Trump has a chance to resign.

You were born before Pearl Harbor. It’s time to retire and let someone with backbone take charge.

Dear Donald Trump,

You pathetic, flailing loser.

The hangers-on who padded your ego for the last four years are jumping ship. Your New York real estate buddies won’t be seen with you. Your Florida neighbors won’t let you move in. Your cult is realizing how weak you are and reacting accordingly. And now, funniest of all, you no longer have your constant friend, Twitter.

Right now you’re probably screaming at whoever’s nearby, or possibly nobody at all, because there’s nothing else you can do. You’re bright red, shouting, probably winded from the mild activity. Undoubtedly sweating through your polo shirt. Maybe you’re throwing things you find on your desk, and being slightly disappointed that they barely make it to the wall.

But you can’t scream forever. Eventually you’ll have to stop, and the knowledge that you’re helpless and alone will creep back into your mind. You’re everything you hate—a weak, ignored loser. All the people who surrounded you are gone; they were never your friends, it was never about you. You were being used. You know that now.

Your father was right about you.

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