There's an asshole in your office. Let's call him Dale. Dale treats everyone like shit and is overwhelmingly disliked. Yet management hasn't yet told him he could lose his job if he doesn't stop handing out photocopies of his butt. Even worse, he doesn't even wipe off his cheek prints when he's done. He leaves two enormous slabs of butt moisture there for your reports to get stuck to.
If his growing confidence is left unchecked, in time, Dale will feel unstoppable. The lack of consequences would allow him to include just a little bit of testicle in his photocopy ass portraits, and he'd even make sure to run a mile before he does it so he can really juice up that copier with those sweaty cheeks. He's pushing the limits to see how much he can get away with.
"Now It'll already be there next time you tell me to get my ass in your office."
Republicans, for the most part, have been Dale-ing it up since November. They don't have much reason to distance themselves from Donald Trump, even though his disapproval ratings are so high (60 percent) that they equal George W. Bush's when he forgot to help a drowning city and Richard Nixon's when he fired everyone investigating him in a failed attempt to look innocent. That might be a harbinger of horrible things to come for the party, but that's way off toward the end of 2018. Trump might have killed us all by then, so what do they care?
If you're wondering why a president who is so toxic that congressmen can physically feel their own poll numbers dropping the closer they stand to him is still garnering such fervent support, look no further than Dale. Why flee when there's no tangible proof that their job is in jeopardy?
That first shred of proof might show up tomorrow, when we get the results for the special election in Georgia's sixth congressional district. I've written before about the GOP's sad attempts at putting together an effective attack ad against the race's Democratic candidate, John Ossoff.
In that column, I parroted the conventional wisdom of the time when I confidently said that Ossoff had no shot of winning. But as I learned after playing a game of street rules Uno wherein I confidently laid down a Draw-4, only to watch everyone lay down their own Draws in rapid succession until it got back to me with no other Draws in hand, being confident has never once worked in my favor. The race has bounced between statistical ties to commanding leads for Ossoff. Since my track record for guessing sucks, I have no idea what will happen tomorrow. So I'm more fascinated in finding out what could happen in the future, should Ossoff win a district he seemingly has no business winning.
Remember that very recent special election in Montana, where the Republican candidate was so terrified of answering a question about the Republican's healthcare bill that he beat up a journalist who had the audacity to perform the basic duties of his job? Well, the body-slammer won, which makes sense, since the only thing Americans can agree on anymore is how cool it would be if Dwayne Johnson ran for president. It's true that the race was way closer than it should have been, but the result reassured Republicans that they have not yet been caught in the swirling vortex of gonorrhea and poop that is Donald Trump.
Similarly, Georgia's sixth has been deeply red since 1979. It's the district that cursed us with Newt Gingrich. It's so red that it's where Trump got his secretary of Health and Human Services -- weird for a state where the number-one cause of death is "pulled pork sandwich." But somehow, a 30-year-old Democrat who once played multiple roles in a frat house remake of Star Wars has a decent shot at winning, according to everyone who isn't me -- because again, I'm very bad at these things.
Shit like this is why I love politics. I want to know if an Ossoff win sets off a chain reaction of fear within a party that has let go of the steering wheel to let their inner Dale write a healthcare bill entirely in secret. The party is so filled with an inflated sense of Dale-ness that they stripped away regulations put in place to prevent another financial meltdown like the one in 2008. And they're itching to harness their Dale chi to kill net neutrality so Comcast can finally start charging you a premium for the privilege of streaming at speeds above that of a PowerPoint slideshow. It could be the first legitimate shot across the bow that makes them update their resumes just in case. I want to know if within minutes of an Ossoff victory, would Republicans in purple districts release statements reassuring their constituents that the next time they meet Donald Trump, they'll give him a "Gimme five, up high, down low, too slow."
This man is too handsome for this dumb joke.
Even a squeaker of a win for Ossoff has the possibility of triggering an extremely entertaining panic, as everyone stampedes from Trump's side like he ripped a beefy stinker while making the exact face you already know I'm about to post a picture of:
If he doesn't win, then Republicans can look forward to a year and a half of bravado before they truly find out if hanging out with Trump has left them with a stink that can only be scrubbed off by CDC employees in hazmat suits. But tomorrow will be fun, because it's the day we find out if Dale's boss will work up the courage to tell him that if he smears his sweaty ass on the copy machine 15 or 16 more goddamn times, they'll start thinking about firing him at some point, maybe.
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