White Courtesy Phone.
I think it’s always cracking good sport when you can wallop a Conservative Republican upside his pointy, white head with citations and “lessons” from Ayn Rand.
It's a lot like lobbing their very own, Clinton-Impeachment era rhetoric about the absolute Constitutional imperative of holding any Presdient accountable for the perfect verity of every word they utter – especially when our soldiers are in harm’s way in distant lands – back into their camp...
...and then watching them run screaming from their own thunderhead rhetoric faster than if that critter from Alien had farted acid into their eyes.
Because the basic problem with Conservatives is, of course, they dare not be honest -- really, really honest -- about what drives them. Despite the groundbreaking work being done in Advanced Public Hatespeech at the Coulter/Malkin Institute for Applied Fascism, it still isn’t cool to embrace one’s Inner Klansman in the town square.
It still isn’t OK to just come out and say that you loathe anyone who doesn’t look and act and think and pray exactly like you do. That you really, at core, despise everything this country stands for. That in your eyes, America is simply so many square miles of dirt. Not an Ideal State of Liberty and Tolerance and Equality to be proudly aspired towards and promulgated for the common good, but just so much Real Estate to be protected at any cost for the economic benefit of rich, white people.
That at a bare minimum you don’t want a single thin dime of your taxes going for anything having anything to do with “those people”. Except for fences, guns and prisons: Then, of course, money is no object.
Better still, wall ‘em off or wipe ‘em out.
And mo’ better even than that, wiping ‘em out with special gusto and under the Mandate of Heaven if they happen to be sitting on top of vast natural resources that we need to keep our profligate lifestyle propped up.
But coming out of the Blackshirt Closet is still not quite socially acceptable -- yet -- which means Conservative Republicans are forced to verbally contort themselves into all kinds of fascinating, Escher-esque configurations to pretend that what they really want, at the end of the day, isn't a nice, tidy, Christian police state. Owned and operated by unregulated megacorporation, with orthodoxy enforced by Fundy-friendly courts and cops.
Sorta Saudi Arabia v2.0.
So you end up with this kind of hi-larous column by BoBo Brooks decrying the awfulness of the selfsame perambulating slugmen who his Party has so carefully bred, fed, curried, harnessed, and ridden to one, narrow electoral victory after another. Positively stamping his widdle webbed feet and demanding that they shut up and get back in the kitchen.
And fetch him a fucking sammich!
This is trimmed from a larger block of fat in the NYT entitled “Sir Galahad of the G.O.P.”, interspersed with some observations of my own.
Speaking as the second-person narrator of “a Republican senator supporting the immigration compromise”, BoBo sez...
For weeks now — months, actually! — you've been besieged by the close-the-border restrictionists, who shut down your phone lines and scream at you in town meetings. You've been hit with slopping barrages of manure by Limbaugh, Savage, Levin and every other talk-radio jock in the Northern Hemisphere.
People who don't run for office don't understand how disorienting it is to have your base, your own people, suddenly turn carnivorous and out for your flesh.
They say you and your fellow immigration compromisers are performing the biggest act of political suicide in modern history, and you wonder whether they are right.
What bothers you about the restrictionists is not that they are primitives or racists. They're not.
Yes they are, and that is precisely the fucking point. Ethically cashed-in shills like Brooks WILL NOT look his Party square in the eye and see the true, naked, ugly face of the swine he has made a lavish living defending year after year.
He must not. He dare not.
Not only his pocket-book is at stake, but he risks his entire worldview going up like a flashpaper skirt at a firewalking party, and that means no matter how overwhelming the evidence to the contrary, he will not form his mouth the speak the simple truth.
And yet, because he must somehow torque his words to explain the ruin all around him, he comes perilously close to blurting it out.
It's their imperviousness, their unwillingness to compromise. They don't have the numbers to govern, but they think they have the numbers to destroy.
Oh. My. Lordy. And Bingo his name-oh.
Here Bobo briefly lays a fleeting, terrified finger right on the artery beneath which beats the poison that is destroying our country. Then he yanks it away and diagnoses the symptom correctly but lies his ass completely off about the name of the disease.
No, BoBo. It is YOU who don’t have the numbers to govern. You are riding shotgun in Jerry Falwell’s Clown Car, not the other way around. You are the one who has made a career of telling people not to mind the madmen in the basement of the GOP, as they ripped the walls out, burned the deeds and carefully mutated the Party of Lincoln into the party of Jefferson Davis.
Right before your very eyes, and you did...nothing. Worse than nothing; you told people to ignore the lump in the flesh of their Party. That it was harmless.
Just a cyst. Just the fringe.
While the carcinoma spread, people like you didn’t sound the alarm; instead you smashed the alarm to flinders and then hid the evidence in your pillowcase.
While the racists and the Christopaths metastasized, people like you told the Moderates that Dobson was just a fluke. Robertson was just a loon. Rush was just a loudmouth. Coulter is just a nut. That they could all be laughed off and ignored, and you did it for the same reason that in the old joke, the family with the crazy Uncle who thinks he’s a chicken never had him locked up: because you needed the eggs.
You cultivated these loathsome cowards with the fascist tendencies because you know without them the GOP would never, ever, ever win another election anywhere.
That is the Original Sin you dare not admit.
You haven't been able to get your restrictionist friends to think pragmatically. Do they really think they'll get a better immigration bill in the next Congress, when there are more Democrats, or under President Hillary Clinton or John McCain? Do they really want to preserve the status quo for another decade? Do they think the G.O.P. can have a future if it insults even the Hispanics who are already here?
It's almost as if they are not going to engage in any back-and-forth as a matter of principle.
Bwahaha!!! David Brooks actually has the temerity to feign shock and shed three, tiny tears that his Party (who, for the last 15 years, has proudly touted that Compromise is Treason and sunk their fangs into the flesh of any Dem that offered an olive branch) ”...won’t engage in any back-and-forth as a matter of principle.“
Well hold the fucking presses!
On Monday night, many of them approached President Bush's speech looking for things to hate. They didn't want to hear his plan for serious enforcement measures. When Bush — the man they revered until the day before yesterday — said something tough about securing the border, they assumed he was dissembling, and they lashed out in ways identical to the Bushophobic left.
Ah, Bobo; A proud graduate of the Rove/Gingrich 101 course in Reflexive Bombthrowing. When even on your deathbed, having administered the lethal dose of the smack you bought with your own money, to your own heart, with your own large-bore cardiac needle, remember that you must never missing an opportunity to take a cheap potshot at the Left and look for a way to maybe tag them with at least some of the blame them for your OD.
Do you still wonder why we despise you?
It's as if there's some displaced rage here, some anger that couldn't be expressed about other issues. Or perhaps they are punishing Bush for the sin of being unpopular, and thus robbing them of the sense of triumph they felt when the left was on the ropes.
This is no fun. Yet the worst thing would be to stop now, having angered everybody and not resolved the issue.
No, Bobo. Not displaced rage; just rage. Blind, vicious, useful rage, which is all your Party has had to run on for the last two decades. It is the only fuel you have left to power the GOP Machine and you feed it a constant diet of fear and hatred.
Where do you think anti Flag Burning amendments come from, Bobo? From the Magic Patriot Fairy? Or gay-hating, anti-marriage laws? They exist solely to focus all of that yummy-yummy hatred through an electoral lens. You win solely because you have made common cause with despicable, irrational people, so how fucking DARE you turn around now, at this late date, and complain that the you got burned when the boilers you keep constantly stoked finally blow up all over something you care about.
Welcome to life on the other side of Hate Radio, Brooks. The land where pig people wipe their pasty asses with appeals to reason and calls for compromise and comity.
In other words, welcome to Liberalville, bitch.
You know the Hagel-Martinez compromise is just a step. But there's something important in the way the Senate majority has been able to hold together amid the cacophony this week. Maybe the restrictionists are ferocious because they understand their growing weakness. Maybe Rove was right when he insisted that something can be done, even in a conference with the House.
So, braced against the storm, you trudge on.
So who in the hell is Gail Wynand? The guy after whom I sorta named this post?
He is a character from Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” (See? See how it all comes together? And you thought we were lost.)
A cynical, powerful newspaper mogul whose paper – The Banner – could best be described as a fictional combination of “The Weekly World News”, “Geraldo” and the worst of Hate Radio. It appealed to the basest, most prurient instincts of its vast readership and was, needless to say, extremely successful.
Late in the novel (as I remember it, which is sorta dodgy because while I own up to having read almost everything she wrote, I gave up reading Rand as idiotic ideology and bad prose shortly after exiting puberty, which was some time ago) Wynand has become enraptured by the pure, Randite wonderfulness of an architect named Howard Roark, who has demolished his own buildings on principle.
Wynand declares that he’ll put the weight of his whole media empire behind his new pal Howie. That “public opinion” is whatever he decides to make it.
Poor, dumb bastard.
Wynand, like Bobo, “shaped” nothing.
He made his fortune by pandering. Pandering, exactly like the Party of God, to the lowest instincts of people. And more, by telling them that noble sentiments and high-mindedness was really just so much shit made up by eggheads. That indulging their lowest instincts wasn’t something shameful no matter what the smarty-pants, know-it-all “elites” said.
That the hateful dumbasses of the world should in fact celebrate that they were better than principled sissies who lived atop some faraway mountain and laughed at the Common Man all the time.
Unsurprisingly he got a readership made up of, well, today we would call them “The Republican Base”. And when he tried to suddenly force them to behave in ways that his own paper had mocked and derided -- quelle surprise! -- they didn’t meekly obey.
They turned on him.
This Wikipedia link is a pretty fair summary that’ll spare you having to wade through pages of Rand’s turgid prose.
Suffice it to say (again) that I find it terrible funny in a terrible way when the Modern Republican Party that Rand very much midwived into being behaves over and over again in ways that are a complete repudiation and betrayal of every bone-head principle she ever stood for.
What Bobo and the rest of the Moderates will not bring themselves to face is that no matter how bulletproof you make that most Randite of delivery systems -- the “rational argument” -- and now matter how aggressively you deploy it in favor of the most basic virtues preached by Ms. Rand (such as woman’s right to choose, or letting consenting adults do what they want – including marrying who they want) it will not change one, microscopic Fundy mind in any way that is measurable by even the most delicate instruments.
Stacking one scientific journal, magazine and grade-school textbook atop another for the last 150 years hasn’t caused Conservative Christopaths to grow opposable thumbs en masse, climb down out of the Stupid Tree and stop believing dangerously lunatic trash. The only effect Reality has on these clowns is to make them feel ever more picked-on and angried-up.
They are the intractable opponents of democracy who, for example, make it their business to make it impossible to keep the Public Square neutral, because Jebus Abhors a Vacuum. Because when you believe the Absolute Truth of your God should fill all things, you will also and inevitably view neutrality-by-design as an Evil Liberal Assault on your righteousness.
We must be rid of them, and there is no cure for the chronic disease of Conservative Fundamentalism (other than a free Huckster Convention in the Utah desert, followed by a thermonuclear flash, followed by an abrupt, mushroom cloud-shaped Rapturing of the faithful up to Heaven in the guise of radioactive-ash) but a slow, deliberate, erosive process of marginalization and education.
A process that cannot even begin as long as one political Party, far from distancing themselves from the Theocratic Hordes, instead insists on selling their soul for remaindered prices by pandering to the scum of the Earth for partisan gain.
And then has the gall to be surprised that the irrational, hateful people they coaxed into the drunken, electoral bed the night before for some kinky, partisan sex insist on behaving like irrational, hateful people when the sun comes streaming in the window the next morning.
When all of a sudden up you don’t have the stomach to look at the thing you let fuck last night, do you?
You just wish it would leave.
Christ, why won’t it leave?
Why won’t it get its scabrous ass out of your face and just leave?
And then you realize to your horror that you’re in its bed, not the other way around.
And it still wants to play.