Welcome to the inaugural segment of Bipartisan Buddiez!
Hey everyone! Marisa here – one of the two distinguished bitches behind D&H.
I’ve always been a pretty political person. Before the 2016 election made me want to hang up my boots (and die) forever, I actually used to consider politics one of my life’s greatest passions. I studied it in college and now in law school, always kept up with the news, and have worked on countless state and local campaigns over the years. I enjoyed nothing more than talking politics with a few, select people in my life who shared this passion and a similar level of expertise. But I always lived in a liberal city, came from a liberal family, and went to a liberal public school. I hadn’t ever really been challenged.
Enter H. The Scalia to my Ginsburg. The Swanson to my Knope. The conservative cuck to my hippie libtard. H and I lived on the same dorm hall in our freshman year of college and immediately realized we had met our political matches. To this day, we’re in near-constant communication about whatever is going on in the news. I think it’s imperative that everyone have an H in their life. Before him, I honestly didn’t have any close friends who were Republicans, and I was worse off for it. If you don’t have a friend from the opposing party, the “other side” can easily become a caricature in your mind. And as much as I love shitting on Republicans, this isn’t good – for us personally or the country in general.
So, after the worst fucking election of our collective lives, we’re introducing Bipartisan Buddiez. We hope to develop this as a recurring series throughout the first 100 days of the Trump Administration. Each week (or so) we’ll give you our smokin’-hot takes on a couple relevant topics from the week. H hails from the right side of the spectrum, and myself from the left.
A quick note from H to introduce you all to his worldview and *~*style*~*:
Hey guys, I’m “H.” If you’re reading this, you probably know who I am but I’m gonna stay relatively anonymous because internet reasons. I’m a registered Republican, but I have strong libertarian tendencies. Rand Paul was my preferred candidate in the primaries, but I ended up voting for Gary Johnson. I probably could have voted for someone like Kasich, Rubio, or Jeb!, but by the time the general election rolled around I just figured I’d try and pad the Libertarian Party’s numbers. I wasn’t going to vote for Hillary and couldn’t bring myself to pull the lever for Trump. I’m pretty conservative on economic and national security issues, and a few other things like the 2nd Amendment, but my libertarian side comes out on most social issues, and occasionally complicates my views on security. Oh, and I follow way too many conservative dad-meme pages on Instagram:
He seems okay, right? Anyway, here are our thoughts on the first week of this strange new life:
H: Honestly, I enjoyed it for all of the wrong reasons. 3 Doors Down? Toby Keith? Sign me up! It was over-the-top ‘Merica. I thought Trump’s actual inauguration speech was pretty polished and solid overall, but definitely had the populist, nationalist message cranked up to 11. Lots of “give the power back to the people,” “America first,” and such. If people would have actually listened to the speech with an open mind, I think they would have found it oddly unifying. Whatever, they’re just scripted words, not his actions.
M: I couldn’t watch it live, because I was in my Constitutional Law class, which felt like a really fucking good thing to be doing instead of watching our nation’s funeral. Instead, when the clock struck noon, I opened my pocket Constitution, silently read the Presidential Oath of Office, and shed a single tear. I caught coverage of it after the fact and read his inaugural speech. It seemed dark and bizarre – “American carnage” was a true stand-out, while his continued use of Charles Lindbergh’s famous “America First” catchphrase remains troubling. Also, LOL at the crowd size. Sad!
H: I didn’t participate (I’m still in wait-and-see mode with Trump tbh), but I gotta give credit where credit is due. There was a YUUUGE turnout, and it’s great to see people get out and actively fight for issues that are important to them. On the flip side, there were so many different factions within the march(es), and I’m sure there will be some growing pains. Still, I could see the initial march evolving into a diverse, grassroots movement that acts like a progressive version of the Tea Party Movement.
M: I attended the march in Boston with 175,000 of my closest friends. It was fucking lit – so positive and powerful! I couldn’t believe it when I got home and checked the news. I had seen some Snapchats and Instagrams from friends around the country throughout the day, and the crowds seemed huge everywhere, but when the raw numbers started to roll in, I was stunned. The geographic expanse of the marches and sheer number of bodies was really overwhelming. I think it really sent a message and charged a lot of people up about political participation. I’m so impressed with what the organizers of the march were able to put together, and I can’t wait to see how the resistance persists.
Sean Spicer’s first week on the job/alternative facts:
H: Ugh… Spicer’s a little rough around the edges but I think he’ll get the hang of the job in the next few weeks. I’m throwing up in my mouth typing this but I think Kellyanne Conway would have been a better fit for the job. Or even someone else, such as Kimberly Guilfoyle from FOX News, who was initially floated as a contender. On “alternative facts?” It was a quick excuse that has now been turned into a cringey buzzword a la “fake news.”
M: So…..uh….Sean Spicer is a fucking psycho, huh? I don’t see him lasting long at this position. When he addressed the media for the first time, he accosted them, screamed a bunch of easily provable lies, and promptly stormed out without taking any questions, which is the literal opposite of his job description. I don’t see him ever being taken seriously again, but with the press steadily losing its power, it might not be an issue. On the point of Kellyanne Conway and her “alternative facts,” I could tell she knew she had fucked up the second she slipped up and said that. It’s obviously a pretty funny mistake, but I’m more concerned with her in general. Has that woman ever spoken a full sentence that contained no lies? I don’t know how she lives with herself.
Global gag rule reinstatement:
H: Honestly, abortion is one of the few issues I don’t a strong opinion on either way. I respect both sides of the debate, and probably lean pro-choice when it comes down to it, but ultimately it’s an issue that brings out strong emotions on both sides. I haven’t really found my place yet, and I don’t know when/if I will. I kind of fall into the camp of “I’m a man, I don’t even belong in the debate.” As far as the global gag rule goes, I guess that means “no comment/no opinion.”
M: The “global gag rule” is an executive order which bans foreign nongovernmental organizations that receive American aid from counseling clients about abortion in any way. It started under Reagan and continued under Bush, but Trump has actually chosen to expand it in a pretty dangerous way. GWB’s rule provided exceptions for AIDS relief because then, everyone pretty much agreed that it wouldn’t be possible to treat HIV/AIDS in the developing world with the gag rule applied to certain AIDS-focused organizations. Make no mistake about it, women will die because of this policy. Any Republican male who claims this rule promotes “pro-life” ideals is lying. It’s not about women’s safety or some objective sense of morality – women and their babies in the developing world are now at much greater risk of death, all because this group of men want to exert control over the already-limited autonomy of poor women.
Immigration ban from select countries:
H: I’ll probably catch a lot of flak for this, especially given all of the backlash over the past few days (there are literally protests in 30+ cities as I type this), but I think he’s handled this issue well. I really wanted to use my own original words, but I’m going to plagiarize David French’s recent piece in National Review here: “You can read the entire executive order from start to finish, reread it, then read it again, and you will not find a Muslim ban. It’s not there. Nowhere. At its most draconian, it temporarily halts entry from jihadist regions. In other words, Trump’s executive order is a dramatic climb-down from his worst campaign rhetoric.” I think that a temporary ban to re-evaluate the vetting process from active conflict zones such as Iraq, Syria, and Libya, and from hostile countries such as Iran is an entirely reasonable approach given the horrific attacks that Europe has experienced at the hands of terrorists who abused the refugee system. Once the State Department, the Department of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence have reviewed the vetting process, refugees could be coming into the country again by summer. Furthermore, the ban can be waived on a case-by-case basis during the 90-day period, which allows flexibility in exceptional cases. The primary screw-up on Trump’s part with this executive order is how the order affects green card holders who leave the U.S. then attempt to return. Although this problem could be handled through the waiver process (“expeditiously”, as one official put it), it’s still too early to determine how green card holders will be affected.
M: I find this to be absolutely nothing short of shameful. A few points here: First of all, it seems extremely arbitrary – people from the seven countries he chose to implement bans on haven’t committed a fatal attack against the United States since 1975. There’s no ban on Saudi Arabia or Egypt, where the 9/11 attackers were from. Probably because we rely on them for oil and Trump has business holdings there. Trump figured out that a complete “Muslim ban” as he first proposed it would never hold up in court, so he found every loophole to make it just barely pass muster. The situation in Syria is a nightmarish hellscape and people are dying every day. They cannot wait 90 days for Trump to get his shit together. Our vetting is already “extreme” and many of the terror attacks we’ve faced in recent years have been committed by homegrown Americans – this does nothing to protect us from that. I also agree with Senators Graham and McCain in that this could easily backfire and make us more vulnerable to attack, as ISIS leaders will use this ban as near-perfect propaganda to recruit. How could you NOT hate America after this? Then we have the ridiculously sloppy rollout. It went into effect immediately, affecting people who were literally already on planes to the US. And then we find out it affects people who already hold visas and green cards? Legal permanent residents and United States citizens were handcuffed, detained, and interrogated. INFANTS were detained. And to make matters worse, US Border Patrol agents are refusing to abide by an order from a federal judge. This is a crisis and we should all be appalled. The ban is as morally reprehensible as it is ineffective. Shame on you, President Trump, and shame on every single Republican lawmaker who has remained silent.
The Fucking Wall:
H: Okay, this one’s tough. On one hand, I’m all for strong border security (check out Saudi Arabia’s northern border with Iraq and how they deploy technology effectively), but the question becomes whether a wall is even a viable policy proposal? On that note, I highly recommend “The Fence” on HBO GO. Obviously the logical solution is to fix our legal immigration process (the big, beautiful door!), and accept that illegal immigration from Mexico is on the decline. As far as Mexico paying for the wall, I’m with Lindsey Graham!
M: The wall is so fucking stupid. First of all, the American taxpayer, not Mexico, will be paying for this wall. Are we really supposed to accept that the same so-called “conservatives” who say we can’t afford health care are footing the $15 billion bill for a border wall, while Mexican immigration is at net zero?! It’s also going to be ineffective. Most immigrants don’t get in through the border anymore because it’s already so fortified. They enter via coyotes, overstay their visas, or purposely get caught at the border so they can make claims for asylum to border patrol. A wall will fix none of these things. It will, however, be super effective in pissing off Mexico, our third-largest trade partner and a massive help in our actual immigration issue coming from Central America. This is grandstanding on Trump’s part to rile people up in a simple, easy to understand way about an issue that is actually complicated and nuanced.
Voter fraud claims/email server problems:
H: Welp. Trump kinda teed this one up for himself. By defining voter fraud the way he did (people registered in two states, dead people on the voter rolls) he’s going to turn up evidence that allows him to claim that he was right all along. As far as the email server goes: LOL. God, I was as fired up about Hillary’s email controversy as anyone; I literally own a “Hillary for Prison” shirt. Come on guys, don’t make the same mistakes; at best it makes you look like hypocrites.
M: Trump’s claims of voter fraud are completely and totally baseless. He is *literally* claiming that 3 million people voted illegally, and that not a single one of them voted for him. That is laughable. Voter fraud has been proven time and time again to be exceedingly rare, and it’s pretty clear that Trump is just trying to create an excuse because he’s feeling insecure about having lost the popular vote. The fact that his daughter, son-in-law, and nominee for Treasury Secretary are all registered in two states just adds insult to injury. And the fact that half his staff still maintains private email servers, which Clinton was incessantly vilified for, makes me want to JUMP OFF A FUCKING BRIDGE.
H: Another issue I’m not super passionate about, but what the hell, I’ll chime in (that’s the point here, right?). I support pipelines in general; they’re a safer and more eco-friendly way to transport oil than train cars or trucks. There are train tracks that ACTUALLY cross the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and serve train cars carrying crude oil. So I think a lot of the protestors are misguided. Also, a quick anecdote on the job creation side of things, I actually had an interesting conversation with my Uber driver a few weeks ago who was a retired welder/pipefitter, and after some back-and-forth on Trump (he brought it up) I realized that the often decried “temporary” construction jobs are what keep skilled workers like him afloat. Food for thought I guess.
M: This sucks. People have been relentlessly protesting at Standing Rock for a reason. The Dakota Access Pipeline threatens the sole water source of a community from whom we have already stolen so much. I also cannot believe we’re still investing American dollars in such dangerous and dirty sources of energy. Pipelines leak and explode. It’s high time we invest in alternative energy that provide jobs for Americans and don’t endanger our earth.
H: Lots of “meh” but a few solid standouts. I’m a big fan of Mattis and Kelly, I’m optimistic about some picks like Pompeo and surprisingly Ben Carson, but then you have people like Betsy DeVos (a total disaster!) and Jeff Sessions (maybe a liiiiiiiitle too controversial). Trump definitely could have made his picks more diverse and shattered the “old white guy” stereotype but who honestly thought that was going to happen? Also, bringing Reince Priebus on board as Chief of Staff was one of the smarter moves during the transition (although the flip side of that coin is that we have Steve Bannon lurking in the shadows).
M: I think they’re all pretty fuckin’ abysmal, save for Nikki Haley and General Mattis, who are just normal amounts of bad. They’ll all make it through the confirmation process, so whatever.
H: You may or may not have noticed I have a tendency to really read into issues that I’m passionate about (naturally), and hold scattered, underdeveloped, or absent opinions on others. I’m hoping this series of posts will help me change that by critically examining why I think what I think. Additionally, I hope that this will help me better articulate my views; you wouldn’t believe how difficult it was to put my thoughts on paper for this. Anyway, I’m excited to serve as the (relatively) conservative voice on Drunk & Hungry! Our country needs more friendly bipartisan discourse these days, which I’ve been fortunate to have (pretty much every day via text) over the past five or so years of my friendship with Marisa!
M: This was really fun. Go out and make yourself a Bipartisan Buddy! Love you, H-Dawg. Thanks for participating and welcome to the blog, you heartless conservative!