I remember the first time that someone called me a “chump.”
I was in fifth grade: that time when, for girls of my generation, “being popular” was maybe the most important thing in the world. A girl I hardly knew called me up (getting “called up” was huge; you’d stretch the long extension cord from the kitchen out to the “tv room” and settle in for a good, long chat that your parents couldn’t hear but, yes, chump that I was, this should have been my first clue) and, after a rambling discussion about other things, the other girl began to ask me what I thought about Jane Doe, one of the “most popular” girls in our class. I was desperate for Jane Doe to like me and, as the other girl’s comments about Jane turned more and more negative, I desperately fought the fight of a Pisces Sun/Gemini Rising against either agreeing with her or (because, of course, I needed the other girl to like me, too, in order for me to “be popular”) outright disagreeing. Finally, she said, “Well, Jane Doe is kind of a snob, don’t you agree? Yes or No?”
And Jane Doe was a snob, there was no disagreeing. Of course she was a snob; she was “popular” and part of being “popular” was never being seen with certain people and only being seen with other people and, well, Jane Doe had snubbed me more than once. Admitting that she was a snob was simply admitting that she was “popular,” so, like an idiot, like the chump that I was, I agreed that, yes, Jane could be a bit of a snob.
Of course (I imagine you saw this coming), the next day on the playground, everyone knew that I’d called Jane Doe a snob and Jane was, of course, the victim and I was, of course, the villain. Surprising only me, Jane Doe had been on the extension, listening the whole time, and had, again, surprising only me, gotten the other girl to make the call and ask the questions.
At the time, I used to wonder why Jane Doe had bothered, but later I learned a lot more about how powerful people keep themselves in power.
That afternoon, thinking I was smart, and brave, and virtuous, I confronted the other girl in the lavatory and said, “That wasn’t fair. You tricked me. Why would you do that to me?” And she said, before throwing her paper towel in the bin and exiting: “Chump.”
I understood exactly what she meant.
I went home that afternoon, shuffling my penny loafers: defeated, deflated, miserable, disappointed in myself — not only for having played this whole game but, even more, also, for having been, as the other girl said, a “chump.” A chump is someone who, due to her own good intentions, fucks up. A chump is someone who gets used by “smarter” people and gets betrayed due to her own goodness. A chump is someone whose own “goodness,” inasmuch as “goodness” is a marker for “naïveté,” gets her into trouble, into the drink, into a pickle, into trouble.
Most modern Democrats are chumps.
Alan Grayson says that they are chumps who get paid to lose for a living and I think he’s right. But there’s a more important reason that Democrats are called chumps while Republicans are called “strong,” and “vibrant,” and “masculine.”
The Republicans vote, over and over and over, to, for example, repeal “Obamacare” and, to, as they did yesterday, deny funding to Planned Parenthood. They do it over and over, even when they know that they won’t win. Why do they do this?
Well, they do it because they are smarter about the Overton Window than Alan Grayson’s “paid losers” can ever be. Republicans regularly vote for measures, such as the measure to unfound Planned Parenthood, that they KNOW will fail. Why don’t Democrats do the same????
The Republican move to “defund” Planned Parenthood was “motivated” by some doctored videos by far-right Republican activists who keep showing up and doing their best to discredit basic Democratic institutions such as Planned Parenthood.
Ever wondered why ????????
Ever wondered why, after each mass shooting, far-left Democratic activists don’t take members of the NRA out to lunch and get them on tape chatting up about how cool it is for gun-rights-activists to kill children, old people, innocent folks in theatres?
The Republicans know they’ll lose every Planned Parenthood vote, but they go ahead and call the vote. Oddly, the Democrats are afraid to do the same. Ask yourself why this is and consider the Overton Window.
Ever wonder why, after every mass shooting, the Democrats don’t force a vote about why gun stores should have to have CCTV cameras and other expensive security devices? About why gun buyers should have to buy expensive insurance? About why gun sellers should have to show gun buyers a video about dead children? About why gun buyers shoul have to watch a video about dead children and certify that they’ve seen the video and wait 24 hours? About why gun buyers should have to wait a day and sign a statement that they’d seen a video discussing alternatives to gun violence and gotten their partners’ permission to bring a gun into their home. About why no store clerk should be forced to sell guns if their religion says “Thou Shalt Not Kill”? About well, you get the idea.
Republicans don’t care that their regular attempts to defund “Obamacare” fail or why their attempts to shut down Planned Parenthood go down in defeat. They understand that their base appreciates even the attempt. And they understand that keeping the Democrats playing defense keeps them from playing offense.
Why don’t the people who represent you understand this???????????
Oh, yeah, we get all excited about Lizzie Warern speaking truth to power, but when have they ever made the other side spend time and political capital defending the other side’s shit????? Why are we supposed to be excited that they didn’t get to destroy something this time instead of being happy that we actually won a new victory?
Or, do they understand, but believe you to be just chumps????????
I didn’t like being a chump.