Hello? Anyone there? Hellloooooo?
This neat bit of writing by Sara Robinson is waiting for you over at the Group News Blog.
“You Call These Candidates?
I've been trying to figure something out since this whole overheated, overlong campaign season started. It's starting to make my head hurt.
It's about the GOP. Ever since the late 70s, they've been intensely focused on priming their political pump with a rich flow of potential candidates. To this end, they've been hand-picking preachers and PTA presidents, packing school boards, sending people off for elite candidate training courses, hooking them up with money people, and generally doing far more to cultivate their native leadership talent than the Democrats even thought about doing until Paul Wellstone came along. This aggressive candidate-building infrastructure has been a core source of the GOP's power for about 30 years now. They take it very seriously -- and they're very, very good at it.
Which is why my head begins to hurt when I look at that sorry passel of White Christian Males parading across the stage at the GOP debates. All those years, all that money, that whole infrastructure -- and this is the very best their party can offer us now? I mean, really? Rudy Giuliani, with his nasty divorces and a record that makes him one of the most despised men in New York? Unctious, officious Mormon good-boy Mitt Romney?
And Fred Thompson? FRED THOMPSON? In what universe is this man a serious presidential candidate? I mean, Reagan was an actor, too -- but he also had some serious chops as a union president before becoming a two-term governor of California. And then, only then, was he considered presidential material. Thompson's skipped right over all of that. His backers think he's got what it takes to go straight from a totally fictitious DA's office to the very real White House.
Go read the rest, because it deftly described the prison the Republicans have built for themselves, brick-by-brick, bar-by-bar, Newt-by-Newt, Rush-by-Rush and Rove-by-Rove.
For thirty years, the GOP has barbered both ends of the swine. With one hand, they carefully conditioning the great, swaying ass of the Party to respond in an ever more mindlessly Pavlovian way to hate, fear, ignorance. And with the other -- in perfect, political symbiosis -- they have build candidates whose whole electoral vocabulary is saturated with the magic killwords that make the Base stand up and squeal.
Now the pasty little neocons and safety-net-rending apologists told themselves this was just a means to a meaningful end. That the Segregations dribblers and the Christopath droolers could be kept in-harness and used cost-free to transport their lassiere faire asses to a Randite Promised Land, where the livin’ is easy and the slack-jawed mopes what brung ‘em could render one last service as wait-staff, organ banks or cannon fodder before they died.
They were, after all, the beasts of bourgeois burden, and after they had performed their Bell Curve-destined function, they could be put down like a loyal pet. Perhaps literally rendered for their more lucrative and oleaginous chemicals.
But the Beast got fat and the Beast got hungry, and as the GOP rode it to victory, it began to demand more meat.
And, like the old joke about two labs rats:
“Yeah, I have him completely conditioned,” One rat says to another. “Every time I ring this bell, the subject brings me a piece of cheese.”
the GOP was not paying attention to who was conditioning whom.
So the Base started demanded that, instead of the occasional jolt of current to their hategasm nerve clusters, they get rage mainlined with a hollow-bore cardiac needle straight into their skulls.
Because they had been taught so carefully to literally turn their brains off in the presence of inconvenient facts and logic, and cheer only on command for the most reptilian, “Hulk, Smash!” propaganda, they predictably developed a complete intolerance for the very ideas of “compromise”, “due process”, “dissent”, “checks and balances”, “plurality” and any part of the Constitution or Bill of Rights that did not directly involve the possibility of them getting to kill things.
In other words, to get elected, the GOP spend billions building themselves an army of slavering orcs who deeply and profoundly despise everything this country stands for.
The mob they made want to nuke anyone that looks at us funny, nuke anyone that points out that it would be bad/crazy/wrong/bad policy to nuke anyone that looks at us funny, deport every Messican from sea to shining sea, line up and shoot every Liberal and every member of the press who does not agree with every fucking word that flees the Vocabulary Gitmo of the Dear Leader's mouth only to perish under Tony Snow's wingtipped jackboots, and generally wants to send America spiraling back to the good old days of submissive women and obedient Negroes.
And now they are the road to the White House, and like Jack Lemmon looking for the hidden stash of booze in the "Days of Wine and Roses”, they will tear apart any candidate who does not feed them the killwords to which they have become addicted, right fucking now and cask strength.
That’s a more conventional description.
For a less convention description, Part 2 follows.