Today is the 78th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the Nazis' rampage through Germany smashing the windows of Jewish-owned businesses and killing about 100 Jews.
It's also the first day in the countdown to the 115th Congress on January 3rd and the swearing-in of the 45th President on January 20th.
Having studied authoritarian, nativist takeovers in other countries, most notably Germany in the early 1930s, the U.S. in 1828, and Hungary in the last few years, I have some idea what we may be in for, and what we're not.
Our standing in the world will take a hit. How big depends on how stupidly Trump actually behaves. Given his record, and his lack of coherent policies, who knows what he'll do. But the Republican Congress? We know what they'll do pretty well.
It's not just the ACA, the Supreme Court, immigration, taxation, giveaways to private interests; all that's pretty bad. It's also the dozens of Federal District Court judges they've refused to confirm. Arts funding. Action on climate change. The regulations they'll write. The tiny, tiny ways they'll dig in like intestinal parasites to undo the Obama years and hold back progress for another generation.
I'm beyond disappointed with my country today. I'm ashamed. But I'm going to observe the first six months of 2017 intently to decide if we're America 1828, America 1856, Rome 120 BCE, or Germany 1933. Because I think we're one of those things now.