...before I go down, you'll all sleep with the fishes.
Why this is So Fucking Bad – Part II
The underlying motives of the Modern GOP.
You and I, we live in a house built by giants.
Flawed giants to be sure – we’re all sinners here – but the men and women who made this place for us stood a full head taller than their times and looked to make us as fine a future as their magnificent, damaged vision could perceive.
The planks of the floor tongue-and-grooved together by Jefferson’s prose. The bricks laid straight and true by Washington. The kitchen kept tight and warm by Franklin. The Southern Wing fumigated by Sherman and made beautiful by Ms. Rosa Parks.
Everywhere the joins and seams are sealed against the elements by the blood of patriots who died at Omaha Beach, and Gettysburg, and Philidelphia, Mississippi to keep our house safe, or to force the landlords to keep their promise and make our house a home for all who live here.
It’s not a perfect house – it has always been a fixer-upper – but it’s our house, yours and mine, black and white, man and woman, conservative and liberal, rich and poor, new arrival or DAR.
And we work on the place, year after year. Some of us, sadly, have little or no interest in the basic duties of citizenship, and believe that the Democracy Fairy comes and snakes the pipes, weather-strips the doors and re-caulks the tub. Some of us involve ourselves in the running of the country with varying degrees of passion and duration because that's what we can afford. And some of our fellow citizens spend their lives at it because we understand that keeping up the Old Home Place is the slow work of lifetimes. A task that is incremental, blooms only rarely and usually lacks heroics.
It is rarely the lifers that militate for Revolution Now! because they well understand what is at stake and how hard it is to build and govern once the revolutionaries are done knocking it all down and dancing around the fires. No, it is usually the uninvolved -- the sleepy ones who have little or no understanding of how the political process works, how a bill becomes a law (Schoolhouse Rock, People!) or how a minority party has to fight with finesse and under the radar -- who come tumbling down from the attic full of drive-by advice on the futility of hard work and how the fact that everything isn't perfect yet proves that we need to burn it all down and start over.
Fine. As the boys and girls of Fireside Theater once said, "I Think We're all Bozos on This Bus." This experiment has been running for two-and-a-quarter centuries, and it has been every bit as much a Freak Carnival and Tijuana Donkey Show as it has been High Mass.
We all work in the dark and we all do what we can. That’s the social compact. That’s the deal, and from generation to generation our house gets little additions. New furnishings from Imperial to Populist to Early "Whip Inflation Now."
Sometimes we paint the place Red, and sometimes Blue, and sometimes what those colors mean changes completely, but the compact requires -- absolutely requires -- that we respect the house itself.
And it is in this signal betrayal that the Modern Republican Party is singularly infamous.
They are not remotely interested in changing the artwork or the crown molding; they're going after the walls, the floor and the brickwork. They're setting fire to the foundation stones themselves, and the indictment of Scooter Libby is only the latest link in the chain.
Consider just these few core samples taken from the anthracite soul of the Party of Darkness:
On Making War.
There is a proper way a modern Great Nation goes to war. When describing how a Great Nation undertook the gravest decision any country can make, the watchword damned well better have been "Deliberate". And Cautious. Reluctant. Even Sad. As a last, possible resort. The gravity a Great Nation must feel down to it's bones before going to war might best be summed up by Lincoln in his Second Inaugural:
"All dreaded it, all sought to avert it. While the inaugural address was being delivered from this place, devoted altogether to saving the Union without war, urgent agents were in the city seeking to destroy it without war—seeking to dissolve the Union and divide effects by negotiation. Both parties deprecated war, but one of them would make war rather than let the nation survive, and the other would accept war rather than let it perish.For sober-minded adults, the days of undertaking mass slaughter for martial glory and piqued pride disappeared in the trenches of World War I, and were permanently entombed under the rubble of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
And the war came."
But instead, this Chickenhawk Administration came to the table iron-hard, leg-humpin', Priapistic for war. For the profit it would bring as well as the suppressing fire it would provide for its political agenda. War as Distraction. War as Photo-Op.
And to accomplish this end, they ate away at the decision-making apparatus itself. When, like this Administration, you see war as just another means to a profitable end -- and you have no ethics-bound limits on what you are prepared to do to advance your partisan agenda -- you end up lying lavishly because you no longer recognize Truth or Falsehood as points on a moral compass.
Bush did not seek to prove the case for war; instead he strove to destroy the very mechanism by which such decisions are made.
He did what he has done his whole life. He cheated, and his Party cheered, and in doing so he took a sledgehammer to the floorboards of democracy,
On Appointing Judges.
No big mystery here. When Harriet Miers got into choppy water over her utter lack of qualifications for the job to which Bush had nominated her, he casually played the Evangelical Card.
He didn't even encrypt it -- he just up and said that Harriet should be trusted because of her specific and rancid views on Christ. Period.
From Terri Schiavo, to Justice Sundays, to anointing John Ashcroft as Inquisitor General, to the whole "Torture? So what!" stance of the GOP, to veiled death threats against "activist judges", to Pat Robertson's psychotic and unrepudiated assertions that "liberal judges" are the greatest threat to American civilization in history, to James Dobson's flaunting his ownership of Bill Frist's testicles and reassurance that Dear Harriet would've voted the right way...the GOP has made it explicitly clear that they have no use for an independent judiciary. They have set an overt Christopath Evangelical Test for holding the gavel; a perversion that our Constitution was explicitly set up to guard against.
As is true in the Prosecution of War, in the Prosecution of Justice the GOP have no use for the mechanisms the Founders put in place. They don't make war on a given judge: They make war on the very idea of Justice.
On the Idea of the Commonweal.
Begin with two, filthy words: Grover Norquist.
Then comes Katrina, Barbara Bush, "Brownie" and showing our racism to the world.
"AARP's Gay!" attacks on Social Security, backed up by the likes of Brit Hume lying as loud and often as necessary to blowtorch the last line of defense between senior citizens and penury.
The Modern GOP rides to electoral victory on the stooped backs and sloped brows of ten million loyal bigots, segregationists, and American Swastika flyin' wannabe Klansmen. It's not that they object to this program or that; they loathe the very idea that the government should be in the business of helping its citizens at all, especially "those people."
Understanding racists is really not that difficult: For these degenerates, the Government Is the Problem because it takes their tax money and gives it to Mud People, fags and Furriners. Period. And on that basis, they are completely cool with the idea of gutting government itself. And as they have made crystal clear, if they can't milk what they want from their conservative manques and stalking horses, these types are perfectly willing to go back to blowing up Federal Buildings and Family Planning Clinics.
On the Primacy of Reason.
First and foremost, we Americans are the Children of the Enlightenment.
We were born during the rise of the Rational against the the dark tide of Superstition and Fear. It was because of our willingness to swear fealty to Reason even though it might doom some of our sacred cows to the slaughter line that we truly were a light unto the world; and it is this primary, prenatal fact of our origins that is most despised and conspicuously ignored by the current crop of Fundy "Originalists" who only want to ram the Ten Commandments down our throats and send all those scarily emancipated women back to purdah.
So again we see the perversity of the GOP on a cellular level.
Because it affronts the sensibilities of its loyal swine, the Republican party is actually willing to wage war on Evolution; a science whose fundamentals have been settled beyond any serious debate across an entire, global community of literate, learned humans for over a century.
Except with the panderers that run the Republican Party who, for sordid electoral wages, are more than happy to run three centuries of Enlightenment through the wood chipper. Who cheerfully retard our children -- that face a future of fierce, technological competition -- by forcing the schools to teach that the ignorant superstitions of snake handlers are every bit as 'scientifically" valid as the results of a century and a half of careful observation, exploration and experimentation.
And because it might impinge on the bottom lines of their corporate overlords, these same illiterate, innumerate whores are quite willing to rewrite the laws of physics and meteorology in Crayola, and pretend that Global Warming is just the kooky notion of a handful of addled intellectuals, even as one "storm of the century" after another beats the coastal United States to splinters, and sheets of polar ice the size of states continue to "melt, thaw, and resolve themselves into a dew."
Again, it is not a particular decision or theory against which the GOP has set themselves, but the entire idea of Man using Reason to make decisions against which they have set themselves.
They make war on the idea of Enlightenment itself.
How much more of an enemy of Democracy could they possibly be?
And now...Scooter Libby.
What is the Scoot Man charged with?
Blow away the smoke and just listen to the sturdy poetry of the indictment itself to understand what is at stake here.
When all is said and done, what Libby tried to do was no less than attempt to destroy the instrumentality by which the truth itself could be found.
On a matter of National Security.
During a time of war.
He did it as cooly and deliberately as a suicide bomber going after a troop carrier, which is treason to the bone, and only a traitor would defend it or spin it as anything less.
And the best either the Real President and the Potemkin President could choke out were a few words of non-specific regret, padded out with praise for all the Goodness Scooter had ladled over the Constitution.
In the end, there is always room in our raucous, national chorus for voices of discontent, dissent and disputation. That's how our house was built; that's exactly what its checks and balances and tightly toleranced acoustics are designed to modulate.
What cannot be tolerated are those whose goal is the razing of Liberty's Temple.
Those who carefully nurture ignorance, deliberately foster bigotry and fear, and take up arms against the muscle and sinew of Enlightenment itself.
The vermin that dare to call themselves "Republicans" while working day and night to cripple and kill the Republic.
The termites in the joists and tenons of Democracy's home.