To cleanse the palate. Apocalyptic left-wing bombast isn’t the same when the guy in the White House, the Power to whom Truth must be spoken, is himself a left-wing bien-pensant in good standing. You can’t make liberals happy attacking smilin’ Barack Obama and no one much cares if you attack small fry like Mitch McConnell or Paul Ryan. Now we’ve got a new president, though, one from the right party, a man who’s larger than life and who has enough personal, political, and financial foibles to guarantee 100 years’ worth of shrieking rants like this one. Olby saw his opportunity and he took it. Welcome back, buddy. Merry Christmas from Donald J. Trump.

You’ll have to sit through what feels like three hours of wheezing here about what the Founding Fathers would have wanted before he gets to the good stuff in the last two minutes — Keith farking Olbermann pleading with the electoral college to elect Mitt Romney (or John McCain). I used to think this insane scenario of an electoral-college revolt was just Democrats’ way of coping with the shock of Hillary’s defeat, and I’m sure it still is to some extent. It’s not going to happen or even get close to happening, no matter what Lawrence Lessig’s sources are whispering to him, and we all understand that. But the fantasy continues because it gives lefties something they desperately need right now: The comforting illusion of power, that they can still influence the outcome of an election that appears to have locked them out of control of all three branches of government. Increasingly, though, I think it’s also a matter of simple virtue-signaling. I dislike that explanation in most cases since often there’s no easy way to tell what’s an honestly held conviction and what’s sanctimony for an audience’s benefit, but … it just can’t be that intelligent liberals actually believe there’s a chance that the electoral college will block Trump, especially when they know the House is waiting in the wings to make him president even if they do. It’s got to be a performance thing. “So deep is my diehard opposition to Trump that I’ll plead futilely with the electors to stop him,” etc.

Watching this and remembering the heyday of the Olbermann “Special Comment” makes it seem suddenly like the entire American political-media scene is a replay of 2006 except more so, like a TV that’s gone haywire so that all of the colors are super-saturated. The Republican president is, supposedly, a would-be dictator who threatens the very existence of American democracy — except more so than under Bush. There’s Olbermann doing his Howard Beale shtick, channeling the left-wing id by demanding that the Republican tyrant leave office — except more so, with a plea to the electoral college to block him from the presidency before he’s been sworn in. There’s conservative media, defending the president at every turn from a relentless liberal media assault — except more so, with Fox News’s big names even discovering the virtues of Wikileaks(!) because they did some damage to Hillary Clinton. By 2026, we’ll all need drugs to manage.