The late Steve Gillard.
A friend of mine is currently entangled in a debate over NPR funding with, among other people and believe it or not, good 'ol Box Turtle Ben "The Plagiarist" Domenech who, being a reliable Conservative tool, will inevitably keep cropping up over and over again no matter how many times he shits himself in public.
My friend is under the misapprehension that if one is sufficiently measured and factual with Conservatives, eventually the light of collegial citizenry will spark to life in their dead Golem eyes at which point we can all sit and reason together as the heirs, stewards and infinitely lucky beneficiaries of this fine democracy of ours.
My friend is, of course, mistaken.
Consider that it has been almost a full year since "American Dad" (Russell King) opened the bomb-bay doors and cut loose with the single greatest post of 2010 --
An open letter to conservatives-- and ask yourself a question: do you know of any Conservative/Republican anywhere who has changed their minds on any substantive issue one iota? And, no, going the wrong way twice as fast by wading from knee-deep to chin-deep into the Randite/Libertarian/corporatist sewer doesn't count as "changing your mind" any more than switching from a fifth of gin a day to a fifth of vodka and a fat sack of crank a day constitutes "changing your drinking habits".
March 22, 2010, 3:16PM
Dear Conservative Americans,
The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now. You've lost me and you've lost most of America. Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I'd like to give you some advice and an invitation.
First, the invitation: Come back to us.
Now the advice. You're going to have to come up with a platform that isn't built on a foundation of cowardice: fear of people with colors, religions, cultures and sex lives that differ from your own; fear of reform in banking, health care, energy; fantasy fears of America being transformed into an Islamic nation, into social/commun/fasc-ism, into a disarmed populace put in internment camps; and more. But you have work to do even before you take on that task.
Your party -- the GOP -- and the conservative end of the American political spectrum have become irresponsible and irrational. Worse, it's tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred. Let me provide some examples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.
Read though the 1000s of comments on the original American Dad post...or any of the sites that mirrored or linked to it...or any of the hundreds of posts on dozens of Liberal sites that make the same point on a smaller scale every day, and you know what you will hear from Conservatives?
1. Yadda yadda yadda...Liberal press.
2. I have no time to waste on this Liberal claptrap.
3. This post is so mean and rude I cannot read it.
4. Al Gore is fat...and some Liberal once said "fuck... which means that all Liberal critiques are invalid forever.
5. I am absolutely certain that equally bad examples of Liberal excesses of equal political/cultural significance can be found in equal numbers (this is invariably stated as a universally known fact which requires no supporting evidence whatsoever...and is inevitably followed by Liberals literally begging the commenter to prove it...which is inevitably followed by Excuse #2.)
Debate and reason do not work, because Conservatism is no longer operationally a political philosophy, and the GOP is no longer a political party. They are cults, and no self-respecting cult junior assistant copy-boy who is gunning for a promotion to the Cult Home Office ever made it into cult middle management by saying, "Whoopsie! Looks like we got this one wrong! Maybe the infidels are right this time and we need to rethink the Glorious and Infallible words of our Foundational Dogma."
Never, ever gonna happen, which is why most of us on the Left gave up trying to reason with crazy people long ago and instead adopted what has come to be known as the Gilliard Doctrine (from the late Steven Gilliard in January, 2005):
...There's a tendency for liberals to try and be fair, to consider other viewpoints, so we get baited by them in debates on terms that they set. I'm going to act on the following: I don't care what conservatives think. The NRO Corner thinks I'm a racist, I don't care, their opinions on race are meaningless.
Instacracker doesn't like what I say?
That's the purpose of the exercise.
I want conservatives to read this site and come away steaming. I don't want them to think they will like a word I will say here. I don't want them to think I will consider their opinions or viewpoints. I want them to think: boy he doesn't like conservatives and really, really doesn't care what we say.
I'm tired of people acting like these people can be reasoned with or talked to. They don't want to talk, they want to drive us away into a corner and ridicule our ideas.
I'm not writing to make conservatives happy. I want them to hate my opinions.
I'm not interested in debating them.
I want to stop them.
I am not interested in the opinions of Conservatives.
I am interested in seeing how far into the political desert they and their Centrist enablers can be driven.
More like this please:
UPDATE: Welcome Vanity Fair readers and many thanks to prose chef James "The Hitman" Wolcott for pointing you in my direction.