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Bright Shiny Objects

Muscles tensed, eyes focused as thousands of years of feline instinct exploded into an attack on the a red dot, that just as quickly, moved away.The little lioness in the living room spun, to find its ruby colored prey shimmering in the corner and pounced.Repeatedly this dance resulted in failure and then boredom.The cat turned away from its crimson tormentor, returning to kneading and clawing its owner's favorite scarf, but it was gone.Frustrated it curled up in an alluring sunbeam and went to sleep.Business and marketing consultants refer to this as the bright, shiny objector, more apropos for us, S.O.S., "Shiny Object Syndrome", defined in the Urban Dictionary as "To be driven toward shiny objects. Usually related to projects, in the sense that you won't finish one project before starting a new one. " On January 20th Trump's red laser pointer was turned on and we have been chasing it ever since.Confronted by a frenetic barrage of Twitter and Press Conference absurdities, the Press and we are misdirected away from meaningful to expend our energy on the irrelevant.

The Trump administration, via the auspices of the new reactionary Attorney General, rescinded the Obama era's protection for student transgender guidelines.We were rightly outraged reacting and protesting, but this guideline was already on hold because of a court injunction.Meanwhile this had no real effect except to mask a silent increase in authoritarian prosecution of immigration offenses that have risen to a "Show your papers" action on a domestic airline flight[1], without equivalent outrage.Using another well-worn technique from the totalitarian playbook is to say a big lie and keep repeating it.[2]The lies are myriad but a recurring one is that the mainstream media is "fake news". The media took the bait and, until very recently, expended airtime in self-defense but ignoring the Paul Ryan maneuvering to repeal the ACA.Even the furor over the Russian connection may be a MacGuffin to obscure the dismantling of the EPA, Dept. of Education and other departments of what Steve Bannon referred to as the Administrative State[3].

As never before, Progressives must focus on the attacks to our core values.We must decide if it is wise to react to every Tweet and Trumpism, expending our tide of enthusiasm against a rocky shore of misdirection or wear away at the poor foundation of the Conservative beach house.We have made a good start by targeting local and state offices, now we must carry through with more women in office across the political spectrum.Remember, while it seems like years, we have only been in the new reality for just over a month.This is not a sprint it is a marathon. The news media is beginning to catch on to this obscuration, so must we. The big danger is that we exhaust ourselves on too many issues rather than focusing, like a laser, to a penetrating dot that the Conservatives can chase.


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