Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The Age of Bush

is nearly at an end, and that criminal and criminally incompetent regime will leave behind an entire economy to rebuild. A nation to get healthy. A relationship with natural to rebalance. An education system to restructure. An energy policy to unfuck. And a few hundred other cultural five-alarm fires to put out.

Lots to do.

And near the top of that list has to be the systematic and sustained repudiation of the quacks and crackpots whose lethal creed of Conservatism caused so much damage so many of the vital organs of our body politic in the first place.

For a generation, Conservatism has been our nation’s Number One sugar-coated, melamine-flavored, cyanide-laced, triple-lead-dipped, mercury-slathered,Thalidomide-sprinkled seven-for-a-dollar ideology. It came wrapped in shiny-shiny Scripture and was sold to the yokels with the most sophisticated advertising Wall Street and “K” Street could buy.

Worse than making us poor, sick, hated and crazy, Conservatism nearly succeeded in conning us into believing that poor-sick-hated-and-crazy was normal.

If it was a car, it would have been recalled, scrapped, crushed and buried in the desert. If it was canned tuna, it would have been yanked from the shelves, every teevee in the country would be running warnings about it, the feds would be impounding it at the docks, and the company owners would be in custody by now.

But Conservatism is a school of thought, and we don’t ban those in America, so its purveyors go merrily on their way, shrugging off the bodies and wreckage they have left in their wake, insisting the antidote to the horrific side-effects of their patent medicine is to double the dosage.

And because this is the case, it falls to us -- the crazy America-hating Left -- to take the Big Clown Hammer to the revisionists whenever and wherever they pop out of the shadows to try and slap a new paint job on their ideological Ford Pinto and resell it as a Conservative Prius.

Such as this column by Andrew Sullivan:
"Freedom Or Power?

"In many ways, I think those two polarities often expose the deeper fault-lines in our politics than right or left (because the choice between freedom and power exists within both right and left as well). And this Rick Warren flap at its core, I think, is about the difference between those who see a civil rights movement as a means to wield power and those who see it as a means to spread freedom.…"
This is the last, great lie that Conservatives tell themselves; the false-equivalence moral firewall they erect to spare themselves the harsh judgment an unbiased reading of their years as the willfully-ignorant bag-men of evil would yield.

And while it is tautologically true that the Authoritarian beast lurks in every human heart, there is no question whatsoever that is been the Andrew Sullivan’s Conservative Movement which let it off the fucking leash. Andrew Sullivan’s Conservative Movement that has been methodically cultivating, catalyzing and harvesting that impulse for political ends. And the only reason Andrew Sullivan is writing his piffle for money for the Atlantic instead of part of forced confession portion of a degayification program at “Camp Redemption” deep inside some Christopath gulag is that the Left finally pulled together enough backbone to stop it.
I want to live in a free society alongside people who genuinely believe I am a sinner destined for hell - and I want to get along with them. I am concerned (but not obsessed) with changing their minds, but totally repelled by the idea of coercing or pressuring them to do so. I am simply interested in having the government treat me as it would treat them. Once we establish that…"
Yeah, and once the state melts away, we will live in a Perfect Communist Paradise.

And once National Socialism cleans up all the “mongrel races”…

And once the markets are allowed to finally run free and unfettered…

And once the mothership comes in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet

But no matter how many times these Utopian houses of cards collapse, the earnest pamphleteers of the Next Big Ridiculous Movement always seem to find a following.
"...So I oppose hate crime laws because they walk too close to the line of trying to police people's thoughts. I support the right of various religious associations to discriminate against homosexuals in employment. I support the right of the most fanatical Christianist to spread the most defamatory stuff about me and the right of the most persuasive Christianist to teach me the error of my ways. I support the right of the St Patrick's Day Parade to exclude gay people - because that's what freedom of association requires. In my ideal libertarian world, I would even support the right of employers to fire gay people at will (although I am in a tiny minority of gays and straights who would tolerate such a thing). All I ask in return is a reciprocal respect: the right to express myself freely and to be treated by the government exactly as any heterosexual in my position would be treated.
It is genuinely staggering that someone who makes a fine living writing about the intersection of human nature and political philosophy has such dangerously shallow and abstract understanding of how either of them play out in the real world.

“The government” is not an impartial machine. Not a force of nature. Not an old testament god. Not an occupying army.

Government is power, and how it is really used here in the real world has never been better expressed than by "President Art Hockstader" in "The Best Man" (1961):
Power is not a toy we give to good children. It is a weapon. And the strong man takes it and uses it. If you don't go down there and beat Joe Cantwell to the floor with this very dirty stick, then you've got no business in the big league. Because if you don't fight, the job is not for you. And it never will be.

Sullivan continues;
Using government to advance the worldview of one group of people and to stigmatize another is exactly what went wrong these past eight years.
Again, denial.

Again the lying by omission. The desperate attempt to rewrite history so that Conservatism was not a monster born long ago in bigoted rage and but a noble ideal horribly betrayed by one man and one Administration.

I have said it before; George W. Bush was not Conservatism’s aberration, but its apotheosis. His reign of faith-based disasters, failure, treason and lies all grew from the soil Sullivan and other like him aerated, plowed and fertilized year after year after year. Came shambling straight from the slaughterhouse floor of political reality on which men like Atwater and Rove, Falwell and Robertson, Weyrich and DeLay, Reagan and Limbaugh, Gingrich and Nixon and a thousand others practiced the bloody business of wielding power, while delicate souls like Sullivan – who never had the guts to face the fact that their Wingnut Welfare Chateaubriand came from the butcher’s block – invented fantasies about the Libertarian Meat Fairy, who delivered his fat slice of the good life bloodlessly, on Spode china, with clean linens and a fine red wine.
If we take this issue fairly to the ballot box next time instead of using power to enforce a premature settlement, our victory will have a durability and a legitimacy that will count for generations. So thanks, Jerry Brown, but no thanks. We already have marriage in two states. If we have patience and rely on freedom, victory - and a meaningful victory of good ideas - will come.
Just like the righteousness of the cause of abolition overcame the institution of slavery without a shot being fired?

Just like the injustice of Jim Crow and segregation was suffocated without the use of courts or the National Guard?

The key point about marriage rights for gays, after all, is that they do not affect or change marriage rights for straights. No one's rights are removed.
To quote Pericles: “Just because you do not take an interest in politics doesn't mean politics won't take an interest in you!”

Really, the dimensions of this narcissism are breathtaking: That is how YOU SEE this issue, Andrew. That is not how THEY SEE this issue.

To a very real extent, government’s only power is coercive. The power to threaten to beat people up and/or take their lunch money, whether in the form of taxation or civil and criminal law.

Half the people who take an interest in such things believe that power should be used to carve a few acres of justice and fairness out of the jungle of human nature: everybody pays, everybody benefits, everybody sacrifices a little, and so long as those things get done, we agree to stay out of each other’s way.

Those people are called “Liberals”.

But the people who want to keep you a second-class citizen do so because they believe you are a second-class citizen. You ought to know; for the last 20 years, while they’ve been blaming Dirty Liberals like me for their aches and pains, you’ve been one of the oarsmen on their ideological galley. So you also ought to damned well know that waving the constitution in their face and blatting on about “rights” is as meaningless and irrelevant to them as Thomas Aquinas screaming about first causes is to a mole rat.

They believe it is their Christian duty to seize the hammer of government to pound the rest of us into their ideological mold, because their Prime Directive demands it. Because the demonizing, Manichean vocabulary of their faith makes it all-but-impossible for them to conceptualize the world otherwise. Because their dogma says gays cause hurricanes. Gays caused 9/11. Gays are an existential threat to marriage, Western civilization and Sweet Baby Jesus.

And to cope with that threat, they have a Plan delivered directly from God that overrides and overrules all other arrangements, and everything of this world is either a threat to the Plan, or a means to implementing the Plan.

Sullivan’s ivory tower onanism would be amusing and perhaps even practicable if we were all pure, noumenal beings, rafting down discrete, superconducting rivers of thought that could run freely side-by-side and intertwine but never touch or collide. (And, yes, I did unashamedly use the words “onanism”, “noumenal” and “superconducting” in one sentence.)

But we are not, and because government will always be with us and fascism never sleeps, the question is not and never can be “Freedom Or Power?”

The real question will always be whether that power will be wielded as a sword at Liberty’s throat or a shield on Liberty’s arm.


The Minstrel Boy said...

dano'ah selwigoh doo iis dah do'o iindii eedihii nanah daagon'iillka'ad

(all the free men are dead or still fighting)

golah kah yeh (geronimo)

goddamn drifty, you got preternatural skillz. i am, as usual, in awe.

Serving Patriot said...


Bravo. Simply BRAVO.


Comrade PhysioProf said...

Came shambling straight from the slaughterhouse floor of political reality on which men like Atwater and Rove, Falwell and Robertson, Weyrich and DeLay, Reagan and Limbaugh, Gingrich and Nixon and a thousand others practiced the bloody business of wielding power, while delicate souls like Sullivan – who never had the guts to face the fact that their Wingnut Welfare Chateaubriand came from the butcher’s block – invented fantasies about the Libertarian Meat Fairy, who delivered his fat slice of the good life bloodlessly, on Spode china, with clean linens and a fine red wine.

This sentence is mind-blowingly good.

Dude, have you ever written any allegorical fiction?

John Lofton, Recovering Republican said...

Forget "conservatism," please. It has been Godless and therefore irrelevant. Secular conservatism will not defeat secular liberalism because to God both are two atheistic peas-in-a-pod and thus predestined to failure. As Stonewall Jackson's Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

"[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today .one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It .is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth."

Our country is collapsing because we have turned our back on God (Psalm 9:17) and refused to kiss His Son (Psalm 2).

John Lofton, Editor, TheAmericanView.com
Recovering Republican

driftglass said...

The Minstrel Boy.
Winning is fun. Keeping what we've won is hard, unglamorous and twice as important.

Serving Patriot,
Thank you, pal.

Comrade PhysioProf,
Thanks. And not exactly. When writing anything, I use whatever materials on-hand will pull the plow.

US Blues said...

If you don't go down there and beat Andrew Sullivan to the floor with this very dirty stick, then you've got no business in the big league.

Thank you for following these inestimable words of advice. Welcome to the Big Leagues, you're batting 1.000, keep it up and the Cubs or White Sox may come calling. ;-)

US Blues said...

Dear Recovering Republican,

What species of damned-fool are you? Great Spirit doesn't give a rats ass about this nation-state, nor whether you believe in the garbled writings of a particular book. Why don't you pull your cranium out of your anal sphincter and discover what's really going on.


US Blues

cognitive dissident said...

Talk about an airing of grievances...bloody awesome work, and thanks much for venting!

(That line about "ivory-tower onanism" was particularly delightful.)

the rev. paperboy said...

(And, yes, I did unashamedly use the words “onanism”, “noumenal” and “superconducting” in one sentence.)

Elitist!"real Americans" don't know what any of those words mean because we are too busy watching football and Full House reruns and drinking Bud Light and eating cheetos and going to Church to sit and read the dictionary like you, Pointdexter!

If I can be serious for a moment though, this is the second time about a week I've come over here and read and sat back and said "whoa."

You appear to have been eating your writer's Wheaties or be on blogging steriods or some damn thing lately. Whatever it is, your doing it right.

It is much the same as when I see a clip of Eric Clapton or Jimi Hendrix playing in their peak years or Doc Watson playing anytime. I watch, I listen, I sit back and look at my Yamaha sitting in the corner of the room and wonder whether it really is the same instrument that those guys are playing, because even when we play the same song, I sound like me and they sound like, well, like they are playing some other instrument that sounds exponentially better. My playing is perfectly serviceable -- it amuses and entertains, people have been seen to tap their toes and so forth, but my rendition of Red House or White Room or Blackberry Blosson is virtually unrecognizable when compared to the Platonic ideal of the original. So I sit back and say to myself "whoa."

Right now I'm lookng at your blog, and I'm looking at my blog and I'm saying "whoa."

skunqesh said...

rev.paperboy - legend has it DG types these in his sleep, with his feet, while juggling a chainsaw, a blow torch, and a kitten..


Holidaze Happeez, one and all, ya'll
May comfort and joy surround your soles


andrea said...

drifty, now that you've skewered Sully, about another Friedman dopeslap, after his latest missive


D. said...

Well done, Drifty. Mr. Sullivan has seen daylight on conservatism and gay issues, as that gores his ox; too bad he won't use logic on conservatism per se.

Pleasant peaceful holidays to you!

StringonaStick said...

OK Sully, here's the deal. If employers can fire anyone for being gay, then they can fire anyone for being a conservative. Or a liberal. Or black. Or too white. Or .........

What a self-hating moron. Mr. Drifty however, is the sharpest writer in the quiver and deserves 100X the audience this twink has.

Bill said...

Thank you for your Christmas gift, drifty. Awesome...!

Your passionate & articulate analysis is just what the doctor ordered for those of us who would otherwise be groaning in frustration through clenched teeth.

Kewalo said...

I couldn't agree more. Conservativism must be stopped and unhappily I don't see how. But this is one of the best rants I have ever read and I thank you.

blader said...

What deflates is that progressives just won't have anything to do with a sorely needed, good ol' fashioned, rip roaring proscription.

Or perhaps re-education camps? Something along lines that would make even Pol Pot blush.

Sullivan's main of many problems is he's just a fucking tool, nothing more than a trained parrot. And about as relevant.

Anonymous said...

Not to denigrate your erudition or challange your content, but -

Until the HAVA is repealed, and electronic manipulation is firewalled from the election process you will get more unelected presidents placed in office from interested parties. Bush was not elected twice, and we will pay the price for the rest of my life.

I would hold up Franken's recount to illustrate the value of analog ballots and paper marks that can be recounted.

Ask S. D. O'Conner, ask her about her comment about not being able "to stand the idea of Gore" in the White House. How well did that work out Sandra?

Fix the enabling system or accept that the common wisdom will be thwarted again. (and again.)

roxtar said...

And, yes, I did unashamedly use the words “onanism”, “noumenal” and “superconducting” in one sentence.

That was quite a feat of verbal stunt-pilotry. Zooey Glass would be proud.

dave said...

Andrew Fucking Sullivan...if he had any self awareness, he'd run a hard copy of this post off on his printer and tape it to his refrigerator so he could read it every day. Instead, he writes like he's dying to join Karen Hughes and Karl Rove on the "Bush Legacy Project", already underway even though Bush's useless carcass is still stinking up the White House. Keep swinging, Sir Drift...these assclowns may be on the run, but they aren't even close to dead yet.

Anonymous said...

merry fu**ing christmas
this is brilliant

Gavmon said...

I am greatly impressed with this blog. You sir are a wonder to behold. Thank you and please keep 'em coming.

P.S. Merry Christmas

Anonymous said...

I need to spend more time reading your blog. I'm always impressed with your writings and often times leave scratching my head wondering why more people don't get a chance to read your writings (or is it musings?)Bravo!

jedwards said...

oh, my, driftie, you have outdone yourself, i have emailed this to everyone. i printed it and will read it aloud to my 84 year old mother who will smile and shake her head as she says "yes...yes...yes...".

Oilfieldguy said...

Shorter Drifty,

Sullivan, the gay Lieberman...

as per usual I read with slack-jawed amazement. I rarely comment here, and do so today under the excruciating pain of a dislocated shoulder. Worth it.

damaged goods said...

i ad my voice full-throated to the chorus: astonishing stuff, as good as it gets.

thanks much for applying your turbocharged writing talents and lethally fierce intelligence to the cause of beating back the unending minions of Con Servatives (TM) and their lust to power. They always trick it up as something new and improved -- "wrapped in a flag and holding a bible" -- but it's not an ideology, it's a pathology.

we will need your skills at full strength in the years to come. may you have safe passage into the undiscovered country that is 2009.