Friday, September 11, 2009

Like A Virgin



“...they turned to prayer, beseeching
that the sin which had been committed
might be wholly blotted out.”
-- 2 Maccabees. 12:42

Once upon a time, there was a President named Bill Clinton, who was, by most historical standards, a typical Centrist Republican, although by a fluke of geography and circumstances he ran for public office with a "(D)" after his name.

Under his Administration, many Conservative ideas which had long gathered dust on the shelf -- ideas such as welfare reform, a balanced budget, debt reduction, a strict “Pay as You Go” fiscal regime, jobs-jobs-jobs, budget surpluses, NAFTA, GATT, official bans on gay marriage, etc. -- were finally realized.

And for all of his good work on behalf of their ideology, Conservatives spent eight, long years treating Bill Clinton -- a Southern, White, Christian man -- as if he were a case of flesh eating nuclear syphilis.

Because he did not run for office with an "(R)" after his name.

And because he did not run for office with an "(R)" after his name, according to the leading voices in the Republican Party and the Conservative Movement, Bill Clinton was, in no particular order, Hitler, a Socialist, a rapist, a warmonger, a serial murderer, and a drug dealer, whose Presidency was somehow vaguely illegitimate.

And counterpointing the 24/7 slime campaign, there were those endless, endless hearings. Whitewater. Travel office. Christmas Card lists. Lincoln bedroom. Etc ad nauseum.

Or don’t you remember?

He was “Not my President!” (Ollie North: War criminal, terrorist arms dealer, GOP Senate Candidate [1994] and FoxNews Contributor.)

He was warned “not to set foot in my state.” (Jesse Helms: Professional Bigot, Confederate Senator, 1820-2003)

His picture was used for target practice by G. Gordon Liddy, the Watergate felon, would-be assassin, radio personality and Republican hero.

From "The American Prospect":

...it's worth remembering just how virulent the opposition to Clinton's presidency was. Republicans began plotting to impeach Clinton long before anyone had ever heard the name "Lewinsky," and many on the right simply refused to accept that he legitimately occupied the office he held. Then-House Majority Leader Dick Armey, when talking to Democrats, used to refer to Clinton as "your president."

It was a warped, hysterical campaign funded by wealthy Right Wing thugs like Richard Mellon Scaife


and propagated by wealthy Right Wing thugs like Rupert Murdoch who made sure the lies were jack-hammered into the headlines day after day, year after year.

And judging by its objectives, it was also a very successful campaign: it legitimized and metastasized Hate Radio; killed the credibility of the "objective" media once and for all; made the overt mass-slander of political opposition by the Right acceptable; moved radicals, militia nuts, bigots, Creationists and Limbaugh zombies to the center of the Republican Party; accelerated the exodus of reasonable moderates the hell out of the Republican Party; destroyed the possibility of public discourse; and kicked the door open to the use of Congressional hearings as instruments of political vendetta.

But as successful as it was, it was also an incredibly high-risk strategy, because of a thing called the "public record".

The public record meant that each and every time a Republican stood up to, say, slam the Democrat Commander-in-Chief during a time of war (from The Poor Man Institute:)

“You can support the troops but not the president”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

“President…is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He has yet to tell the Congress how much this operation will cost. And he has not informed our nation’s armed forces about how long they will be away from home. These strikes do not make for a sound foreign policy.”
-Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA)

“American foreign policy is now one huge big mystery. Simply put, the administration is trying to lead the world with a feel-good foreign policy.”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

“If we are going to commit American troops, we must be certain they have a clear mission, an achievable goal and an exit strategy.”
-Karen Hughes, speaking on behalf of George W. Bush

“I had doubts about the bombing campaign from the beginning…I didn’t think we had done enough in the diplomatic area.”
-Senator Trent Lott (R-MS)

“Well, I just think it’s a bad idea. What’s going to happen is they’re going to be over there for 10, 15, maybe 20 years”
-Joe Scarborough (R-FL)

“I cannot support a failed foreign policy. History teaches us that it is often easier to make war than peace. This administration is just learning that lesson right now. The President began this mission with very vague objectives and lots of unanswered questions. A month later, these questions are still unanswered. There are no clarified rules of engagement. There is no timetable. There is no legitimate definition of victory. There is no contingency plan for mission creep. There is no clear funding program. There is no agenda to bolster our overextended military. There is no explanation defining what vital national interests are at stake. There was no strategic plan for war when the President started this thing, and there still is no plan today”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

“Explain to the mothers and fathers of American servicemen that may come home in body bags why their son or daughter have to give up their life?”
-Sean Hannity, Fox News, 4/6/99

“Victory means exit strategy, and it’s important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.”
-Governor George W. Bush (R-TX)

“This is President Clinton’s war, and when he falls flat on his face, that’s his problem.”
-Senator Richard Lugar (R-IN)

“Bombing a sovereign nation for ill-defined reasons with vague objectives undermines the American stature in the world. The international respect and trust for America has diminished every time we casually let the bombs fly.”
-Representative Tom Delay (R-TX)

they left a documentary trail wide and bright enough to be visible from space.

Or from the next election cycle.

The public record meant that every frivolous Republican witch hunt and every syllable of hate and demagoguery gleefully poured out through public megaphones and megachurch pulpits to malign and demonize the Left could potentially represent a thick bar on the cage of any future Republican president's imperial ambitions.

Because, after all, should the tables ever turn -- should there ever be a Republican President whose election really was suspect, or who really did lie to the American public and flagrantly abuse his office, and did it in ways that cost the nation trillions of dollars and thousands of lives -- after spending eight years establishing a public record in such clear and unambiguous language what the Hell could the Right possibly say?

After conspiring to bring about two of the most destructive events in modern American history -- the impeachment of a US President over trivia, and the probable theft of the subsequent Presidential election -- to what God could Republicans possibly pray that their eight years of insanity, venom and violence "might be wholly blotted out?”

On 09/11/01, their dark miracle came winging its way out of a clear, blue sky.

Eight years ago, this is what we all saw.

All of us, all together across all political, cultural and religious spectra watched the worst thing many of us had ever seen.

Together.

But in what now seems like less time than it took to wipe away our tears, the same depraved thugs who sponsored eight years of "Clinton Murdered Vince Foster!" hysteria began hijacking of our pain and patriotism to serve their partisan interests right before our eyes.

The minute the Bush Administration began trying to stretch the war they got into an excuse for the war they wanted, 9/11 stopped being merely a national tragedy and started being the Bush Administration's bottomless political ATM machine.

The minute the Party of Personal Responsibility began using the mantra "9/11 changed everything" as the political equivalent of the Blood of Christ -- as a means to absolve themselves of their personal responsibility for eight years of malice and derangement -- for them September 11, 2001 stopped being a moment of shared, national anguish and started being a suit of cultural body-armor which magically deflected any criticism of their lies and their hypocrisy.

An impervious sniper's nest from which they could cynically escalate

their war on the Left.


Or don't you remember the day the Right robbed the graves of all those who perished on 9/11 to turn this


into their all-purpose

"Get Out of the 90s Free" card?

And the thing is, it worked.

By selling 9/11 for a mess of wingnut pottage, the Right bought itself an anti-Liberal free-fire zone and two Presidential terms-worth of blank checks. Two terms of an alternately supportive and supine media. Two terms of catastrophe, corruption and treason protected from scrutiny by an ablative shield made out of solid "Why do you hate America?", and a promise that they could go on bareback fucking diseased monsters in the alley all night long, every night, forever and wake up each morning miraculously clean, virginal and still beloved in the eyes of God.

But they forgot that tempus just keeps fugiting along. And as time passed, the Right got so accustomed to butt-scooting their depravity all over the public square and never being called on it they simply stopped noticing that they were amassing a whole new post-9/11 public record so despicable and overflowing with Conservative atrocities that it positively dwarfed their antics during the Clinton Years.

And that brutal, meth-addict level of dependence on never being brought to book for anything they say or do left the Right completely unprepared for the one thing their leaders promised would never happen again.

Losing.

And losing has driven them a special kind of crazy; that screaming-incoherently-and-lashing-out-in-every-direction kind of cold-turkey junkie withdrawal crazy.

In the few, short months since they lost, they have emptied out their entire store of raving invective and delusion.

Losing has left them insisting that that the legally elected President of the United States somehow isn't really the President. That he is a secret enemy. A Communist. A Hitler. A Muslim sleeper cell. A Chicago gangster.

Has left them swearing that "their country" has been stolen and that somewhere hidden in secret code in a 1,000 page health care bill is a plan to murder senior citizens.

To understand how deep and relentless their addiction goes, you need only consider the recent example of Mrs. Katy Abram, who leaped into microcelebrity and the wingnut pantheon a month ago with her Clown Hall rant of “I don’t want my county to become Russia!” speech.

Mrs. Katy Abram wants the world to believe that, like some pure, down-home, liberty-lovin' Sleeping Beauty, she somehow slept through 9/11.

Slept through two wars and the two trillion dollar bill they racked up.

Slept through tax cuts for the wealthy that added another few trillion to our debt.

Slept through Katrina.

Slept through Terri Schiavo.

Slept through the screams of the Constitution as the Bush Administration fed it an inch at a time through the wood chipper (the same Constitution she is now so deeply concerned about that she has somehow become, virtually overnight, an “original intent” quote-spewing expert) only to be awakened in a sudden, patriotic fury by the sound of a Black Democrat taking the oath of office.

I’m sure in Mrs. Abram’s mind – and in the tiny little minds of tens of millions of Americans just like her – she sees absolutely no contradiction between explaining that she never paid any attention to a single fucking thing prior to January of 2009....and saying that she started paying attention in 1991 "when we first went to the Gulf War" and that she has debated politics with friends at the opposite end of the political spectrum “a million times over”.

It is, in fact, a sign of the depth and effectiveness of their brainwashing that people like Mrs. Abram see no conflict between saying in one breath “I have never been interested in politics” and "I always seem to have faith in the government“ in the next.

Because during the Bush years, people like Mrs. Abram never saw their love of their Dear Leader and their fealty to his Administration as something "political". They saw it normal. As the Universe being at its proper, wingnut default setting: White, male, fundamentalist Christian, Conservative, flight-suit clad and killing scary brown people. And as long as that remained true, all was right with the world and people like Mrs. Abram were absolved by their "Don't Worry, Go Shopping" leaders of any responsibility for paying attention to anything their government was actually doing.

And once the Dear Leader's reign ended, as far as people like Mrs. Abram were concerned, the natural order of mindless obedience in exchange for a smug and blissful ignorance collapsed. "Their country" was suddenly broke and fucked up for reasons that they dared not think about too much. "Their country" was suddenly awash in dirty fucking hippies, who for some reason were no longer satisfied with being cultural punching bags. "Their country"suddenly had politicians and activists who said mean things about the Dear Leader and the Republican Party...and got away with it!

And worst of all, "their country" suddenly had a Scary Black Man living in their Dear Leader's pretty White House, probably having dirty, Muslim sex in the Dear Leader's sacred, Christian bed and putting his filthy, Kenyan hands all over "their county's" pure, white Constitution.

So, for example, when you hear the same people who fanatically supported President George W. Bush when he famously told Iraq war critics to fuck off --
"Well, we had an accountability moment, and that's called the 2004 election."
"...scrap the current grandiose plans and to start over."
or when you see the mobs on the Right being whipped by talk of secession or revolution or spilling the "blood of tyrants" into a nearly-pornographic frenzy, understand that what you are witnessing are the echoes of political decisions made in the wake of September 11, 2001.

Political decisions that trained the Right to believe, on a visceral level, that a sufficiently bloody and horrifying disruption to the life of the country can -- if properly exploited -- wash away their eight otherwise-unforgivable years of sin and restore "their country" to its proper, wingnut default setting.

That if the right sacrifices are made to the right Gods in just the right way, then they can be virgins again.


NOTE: Yes, I know the comment section looks squirrelly in Firefox. It's the effing template. I tried paying the HTML drywall guys in California State IOU scrip

and they walked off the job.

33 comments:

chines said...

This.

I did not want this piece to end. It was that good. A better summation of the repubes vicious, psychopathic, hypocritical, illegal, immoral, & treasonous behavior of the past 17 years cannot be found.

mymatedave said...

Wow. That's powerful stuff man. Good on you and keep it up as long as your bloodpressure holds.

Rehctaw said...

Duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuude!

And when they writ it all down for mass consumption, they left all of this out of the written record.

Using weapons of mass distraction, but mostly wagging their fickle finger of blame at the demons they conjured, they fooled enough of the people just long enough to pull off the biggest heist in history.

Thank you for adding to and extending your remarks, but remember that they committed all of these evils out of a pure love that us DFHs just can't understand.

Biblical blowholes using biblical justifications for the power and glory of their deity? Nah, just opportunistic thieves and dime-store cowboys.

Suzan said...

Dammmmmmmmmmmmmmmmn, Dg!

Everyone else should just give up.

You have no competition.

Rock on, brother.

S

CapD said...

"In the few, short months since they lost, they have emptied out their entire store of raving invective and delusion."
My one small point of disagreement w/ your otherwise excellent-as-usual essay, sir.
The Rightwing Crazy Store of Invective and Delusion (at the Tri-State Mall, next to the Scotch Tape Store) has endless supplier chains, a Wal-Mart level distribution network, new shipments coming in every day, and absolutely devoted customers.

AArdvarker said...

Yes, excellent post....You nailed it.

AArdvarker said...

Oh, and here is a small nugget of news you may not have heard. Saw the quote from Karen Hughes.

Karen Hughes is now acting as "adviser" for the Tx. Speaker of the House, Joe Straus, to help him with his campaign. Just needing to consolidate a bit more power. Houston went blue in the last election.

Anonymous said...

....amidst all the horror and fear of the day, the thing that really scared me the most was when someone said: "The bastards just gave Bush a blank check...."
I had no idea it would be the most expensive check ever written.

victory said...

Wow. This is great. So many things I have wanted to say but could not articulate.

darkblack said...

If this post was a Louisville Slugger, there'd be a whole bunch of carpetbagging malfeasant jingo-janglers laying tits up on the carpet.

Bang bang, Mr. D.

;>)

tata said...

I love a good truth-telling.

It smells like napalm.

Myrtle June said...

I could never actually articulate the horror as I watched the eight years of crazy abnormal become the "norm" after absolute knowing that the hijack was occuring in front of our eyes. I lacked the context but you just put it all neatly in place for me. I didn't find out until Katrina that there were sooooooo many others aware of the hijack in those terms. It makes what we see today all the crazier and scarier the more it is pounded home in the news, even the news calling them crazy promotes their lies as they attempt another go at a D President with the same people using the same techniques. It is a war indeed.

Even polls today still reflect that rove statement in that people feel repubs can keep us "safer". Just insane that is given whose watch it happened on.... but that's never the focus of the conversation. Never held accountable for that.

It makes me sick when they rerun the 9/11 events to trigger the national ptsd as they did yesterday. Hour by hour is drags whatever progress we've made back to the reliving of that day and for so many back to being under the spell of the crazy. And, I can see no other reason they are rerunning the entire episode, moment by moment. It serves no other purpose than to re-experience the terror and trigger the national ptsd. I think the change to "day of service" was great to get people to do good works in memory of those people but the replaying of the entire day is not necessary for appropriate memorial. Every year a re-hijack.

Best ever. I mean that, driftglass. BEST EVER.

Anonymous said...

Cogent and succinct review of eons of incomprehensible f*ck-tard-ary by the right-wing Pig People. Brilliant, as usual. Kudos to Driftglass.

Now. Does anyone out there have any thoughts or insider poop on why or when Team Obama stops negotiating with these unreasonable f*cktardos??

WE GET IT. WE'VE BEEN GETTING IT FOR DECADES. We are NOT Batshit, Guano-Brain Americans.

I heard Rahm Emmanuel, Obama's chief of staff, was a classic Chicago Knee-Cracker. As a 1/2 Sicilian, I say: Great. When does he start? Does he need a Louiville Slugger? A nuclear weapon?

Are they still really, really believing in Ersatz Bi-Partisanship with these GOP, Fundie, Half-Wit Everyday Fascists? Or is it part of a master plan?

When does Rahm ... or Michelle ... or SOMEBODY cut off Max Baucus' danglies?? He The Self-Important Poobah of the More-Cow-Flops-Than-People late state of Montana?

Any ideas here? Cuz I am well aware of what's been done to me since Retardo Ronnie Ray-gun and his Brownshirt Thugs ... compadres to the Bush-Cheney-Rove Mafiosa. But I need to know why the current Main Man Theatre Troupe is still talking to these DNA defects.

Puh-leeese tell me It's All Part of the Plan. Please?

???

brobob said...

brilliant! you channel the Muses to bring me the visceral truth. everyone should have the opportunity to see this post.

Grung_e_Gene said...

Excellent summation and reminder of evil Pro Human Pain and suffering Chicken Hawk Party of REMFpublicans who now seek to have one of their ilk assassinate Obama and are working feverishly to ensure the anger over wild profligate spending, war crimes, murders are transfered from Bush and Cheney onto Obama.

Bill said...

you blow me away, drifty!

Chris Dashiell said...

Another masterpiece. I am forwarding this to everyone I can.

WomanforPeaceSanity said...

Fantastic little feast of fact that does a great job of spelling out the total descent of the Right Wing fanatics of the Republican Party into complete lunacy and despair. Thank you!

If only these people were not so DANGEROUS, literally calling for the failure and ultimately the destruction of our first black president. They have too much assistance with FOX News and these crazy organizations whose names sound so America friendly, that are actually groups of fanatical thugs trying to bring down our Democracy. God help us!

jurassicpork said...

Let it not be said that you don't inspire me, Sir Drifty, as my last post attests. I'm often inspired by other people. But it's not very often that I read a post, gnash my teeth and punch a wall while screaming, "You idiot! Why didn't you write that?"

This is one of those rare times.

Utah Savage said...

GREAT JOB!

Shan Lee Cook said...

Dude, your comments section is fucked. They're all overlapping each other.

memzilla said...

Let us call them the Tea Klux Klan.

Their spiritual founder is Lee Atwater, engineer of Nixon's Southern Strategy and a graduate of a small college in (of course) South Carolina.

Who died of brain cancer, which confirmed my faith in G-d's Infinite Sense of Humor and Irony.

Anonymous said...

And, once again, this is exactly why these crazy people should not be allowed to have ANY say over legislation which will affect our lives.

They are incapable of acting in our behest, they can only try and screw the country up for their own profit.

Leave them behind, push health care through. Make it the best health care possible and IGNORE THE NUTS.

Let the tiny minority of whack-jobs froth on, they only matter if we give them power.

Glen Tomkins said...

The easy part, and the hard part

Not to denigrate this well-thought out and eloquently expressed argument that the Republicans have discovered that fear and loathing of the other is their ticket to continued electoral success, but that insight really is the easy part of the task we face. In fact, the insight is old news, as using a war as a political ATM machine was basic to the Nixon game plan. Nixon didn't create the Vietnam War, any more than Dubya ordered the 9/11 attacks, but both sure as Hell recognized and ruthlessly exploited the political value of keeping the electorate terrorized with the ongoing threat of enemies of their continuing nurture, if not creation.

What do we do about it is the harder question. It's not enough to just recognize that the Right uses war and terrorism (oh, and blacks, and gays, and brown people too -- they're a big tent party when it comes to the acceptable objects of fear and loathing) to terrorize the electorate. They did it before, they were defeated for their excesses, but -- and this is key to survivors of the 70s like myself who just took for granted that their defeat meant that the very idea of using wars as political ATM machines had refuted itself, and the electorate had shown that they wouldn't fall for that again -- here's the ATM machine back in operation. The harder question is, how do we stop the cycle?

The hard answer is, we get rid of our standing armed forces in between wars. This is not some radical solution. It's what we did after every war in this nation's long history, right up until the aftermath of WWII. The presence of a standing army in peacetime is the necessary pre-condition for the use of war as an ATM machine to work. Had we not had, on 9/12, forces capable of anything beyond defending our own shores, we would have had to have an actual debate, a knee-jerk reaction would not have been practical even in the minds of the most chauvinist among us, about what sort of forces to raise to respond to 9/11. Maybe we wouldn't even have decided to invade even Afghanistan. Yes, al Qaeda had training camps there, but no, they weren't used to train the 9/11 hijackers. The training camps in Afghanistan trained in squad tactics, perfectly useless in terrorist operations against the US like 9/11, but just the thing to use against an occupying army, such as we ended up sending there on a knee-jerk basis, because we could, without even thinking it through. Maybe, had we been forced to actually have a public debate, the consensus at the end of it would not have included the circular reasoning occupation of Afghanistan we're stuck in now -- we can't leave, or al Qaeda would be free to reopen the training camps that would allow an even more effective insurgency against the troops we have in that country fighting the insurgency.

So now we reach the really hard part -- selling that solution to the electorate. This really hard part is why we rarely see an analysis of the situation as clear and cogent as this one by driftglass. It's true, but what are you going to do about it? Really, what are we going to do about it?

Monster from the Id said...

An irony of this situation is that the Elephascists are going bonkers over yet another Centrist Republican president, who, by flukes of circumstance, happens to have a "(D)" after his name.

I wish Obama were HALF the radical, small-d democratic socialist the teabaggers think he is.

Batocchio said...

Well done, DG.

Mommybrain said...

Once again, Drifty, you've fucking nailed it to the public square wall. I'm sending this to everyone I know, just for so.

You rock.

And you can read the commments fine in haloscan.

Jason said...

This is the best thing I have read in probably 6 months, minimum.

Serving Patriot said...

Mister DG.

Bravo, sir. BRAVO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

SP

Anonymous said...

Dear Driftglass,

History will judge Mr. Clinton well. Hopefully the Texas Textbook shitheads won't contort his legacy for future generations. Although, I can see it now: Clinton was guided by the spirit of Moses, descended from Abraham and inspired by Elvis.

Anon.

Anonymous said...

"There is no good and evil, there is only power...and those too weak to seek it." -- Lord Voldemort or the GOP?

Jill said...

I have so little time to read my favorite blogs these days. But you, sir, are Still. The. Best.

gruaud said...

Awesome.

Just fucking awesome.