Yesterday, a group of 33 Democrats got bilked by Republicans into caving on protections for dreamers, somehow surmising that Mitch McConnell and the Republican establishment will engage in a fair negotiation about the future of the DACA program later, when they have no reason to. The thinking behind this political malpractice was that somehow keeping the government closed would be too politically costly for the Democrats, alienating the mythical “centrist voter” by actually standing for something, ever. These are, of course, divided times, and rather than rising to them with actual goals, policies, and ideals that reflect them these centrists have chosen to buckle as a show of half-assed compromise.
News came late last night that Donald Trump had signed the bill into law, formally ending the nearly three-day shutdown.
And yet, while this is a demoralizing blow for anyone who had hoped the Democratic party might maintain a spine in year two of the Trump administration, there remains some hope for us all. In a blazing show of solidarity, Americans of all political stripes responded not by the dozen, nor hundred, but by the thousand to the Associated Press’s tweet about the end of the shutdown, all crying out one word, one response, in one voice, truly indivisible:
On and on they go, a never-ending (mostly male) choir pointing both of their index fingers at the almost 200-year-old nonprofit news service and knowingly intoning “nice” at its unintentional—but maybe intentional, heh heh—use of the number “69.” Twitter’s infinite scroll begins to croak as more and more approving smirks load onto the screen, one “nice” after the next.
A half hour later, the AP followed up their original post with a link to a full story, which immediately inspired several hundred more respectfully doffed caps:
The American government may be a clattering clown car full of dipshits, craven racists, and cowards, but at least common Americans can rally around the inspiring cause of laughing when someone inadvertently says the number 69. There’s hope for the American experiment yet.