It was Muhammed Ali who coined the term “rope-a-dope,” a boxing technique by which he leaned against the ropes while his opponent wore himself out flailing ineffectively at a mostly protected target. How ironic that Islamophobe Donald Trump’s champion, Attorney General William Barr, would adopt a Muslim boxer’s strategy to deliver a TKO to our country.
By first using his four-page summary and a soon-to-be-released redacted copy of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report on Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Barr is rope-a-doping America and effectively pulling all the punches out of a report that millions of Trump opponents had waited breathlessly to see. Barr has already slowed the momentum, and all that remains is for him to deliver a knockout punch that could spell the end for our once-great nation.
People who know me know there aren’t many people who hate Donald Trump more than I, but if I’m sitting ringside, I’m beginning to see how this fight could end, and it won’t be pretty.
Just as he has been doing all along, Barr will continue to bob, weave, dodge, block and delay every haymaker his opponents attempt to land against the criminal in the Oval Office, but ultimately it will be a Republican-packed Supreme Court that’s standing over the prone form of our democracy and counting to 10 while Barr, with Trump at his side, raise their arms in triumph.
Here at The Shinbone Star we’ve battled hard. Our unlikely band of journalistic has-beens has together written more than 1,000 anti-Trump posts. I created The Shinbone Star and am proud of our achievements, but after writing more than 100 articles myself and editing at least 900 of the ones written by other people, I’m tired. I’ve been rope-a-doped and I know I’m not alone.
Other writers on our staff lost steam on their punches long ago, and I can hardly keep urging them to get back out there and fight when I can hardly still do it myself. There have always been days when The Shinbone Star fell silent, but you can expect those days to be more frequent now. The same small cadre of do-bees cannot continue to carry 95 percent of the load.
What we’re experiencing here at Shinbone is no different than what other publications experience every day, even though most of those other outfits pay slightly better than ours. The glory days of newspapers have long been over, killed by corporate greed and a readership that scorns paywalls and thinks investigative journalism just happens for free.
Some on our staff will keep fighting — hell, I’ll probably scrape myself off the mat and still throw a weak punch of my own once in awhile, but I can’t keep up the pace and I’m through trying to motivate staff members who, in all fairness, were rope-a-doped right out of the fight a long time ago.
Those of us who remain still hate Trump and that’s not going to change. But as a staff, how many more ways can we say it? And as a reader, how many more times must you be told that you can’t just talk the talk, you have to walk the walk. Activism, not talk, could be our only hope.
The Shinbone Star will survive if it’s meant to survive, and new leadership will emerge.
I’ve grown too negative about the prospects for our democracy and my ability to keep fighting for it. In my darkest moments I see where this is going and how it will all end. It’s not pretty. Yes, the battle must still be waged, but as a still-loyal member of the opposition I’m telling you my arms feel like butter.
I’ve been rope-a-doped and it’s someone else’s turn. I think I’m all punched out.