Monday, December 19, 2011

Without Jim

Huck Finn grows up to be Lee Atwater.

With no humanizing attachment to anyone or anything outside of the vile white supremacist culture that saturates his world -- with no solid plank of personal experience and fact to nail up against the constant onslaught of the silky lies on which his society is built -- be becomes a monster.

The willing dupe for the depraved schemes of Roger Ailes and Rush Limbaugh, willing to fight for slavery or against the Kenyan Usurper for exactly the same reason.

Because a world constructed from the ground up out of one lie bolted to another is a zero-gravity world of mere data -- where particles of information swirl undifferentiated and unpolarized by truth or falsity like snow flakes in a snow globe.  It is terrifying place of chaos and eternal falling, and so to orient themselves as they float adrift inside it, adherents desperately crouch on the flimsy deckplates of demagoguery, and the purer the demagogue, the more kinetic energy their arguments pack, precisely because those argument have been stripped of any need to pay any attention to the truth.

This is why both Newt Gingrich's steady stream of napalm-slathered crackpottery and Michele Bachmann's fact-free steamrolling monotone comfort the base of the GOP, and why Mitt Romney's endless public rewriting of his source code scares the hell out of them.   Because what the Base believes has nothing to do with whether they are right or wrong as normal human being understand those terms: all that matters is that their bigotry and paranoia is regurgitated back to them in simple, declarative sentences by someone in a suit packing an enormous Bible.

This is the entire idea behind Fox News, Regnery Press and the rest of the Conservative media complex; an idea which has relentlessly distilled the Party of God down to its pure essence -- a mob of ignorant, angry Authoritarians who want to follow a loud, bloody-minded Dear Leader into glorious (and cost-free) crusade against hippies and Negroes and...well...whoever. And Mitt -- a demagogue by awkward rote and script, not by nature -- represents exactly the kind of weak-kneed, nuance-loving, fact-Nancy that could lose his nerve at some crucial moment and bring the whole House of Atwater down around their ears.

This was all baked into American Conservatism decades ago.

In the 1990s, for example, "being right" on the Right meant the catechistic acceptance of every scurrilous rumor about Bill Clinton as gospel. It meant to exist in a state pf perpetual outrage over the imaginary sins and crimes of "Slick Willie" and perpetual contempt of the "Liberal media" for not sufficiently reporting their every paranoid delusion as established fact.

All of which came swaddled in a layers and layers of pious claptrap about respecting the rule of law, "even appearance of impropriety",  and the dignity of the office of the Presidency, and all of  was instantly inverted 180 degrees once George Bush was appointed president by a 5-4 vote.

Because that's how a party-line change happens in closed societies like Soviet Russia or the GOP.

The million words of pious claptrap all when straight down the memory how, and "being right" quickly came to mean "shutting up and obeying the Commander in Chief" no matter what the facts said.  Seven long years of endless obstruction, investigation and impeachment were obliterated in one, massive EMP (Electoral/Mnemonic Pulse) of Strategic Forgettery, and, as usual, the Beltway press -- ever terrified of being called "liberal" -- went right along with the program.

Crimes that would have gotten Clinton impeached were shrugged off and crimes that would have gotten Clinton lynched were laughed off by the Ministry of Truth and their brainwashed, idiot followers.

Eight years of it: all well-documented and on the public record, and now airbrushed into oblivion by the inconvenient election of Barack Obama.

Because that's how a party-line change happens in a totalizing cult like North Korea or the GOP.

And so after another flash of Conservative EMP-powered doublethink and flurry of tri-corner hats, birth certificates and fakes ACORN videos, the  Bush years ceased to exist.  Turns out, by golly, that nobody liked George Bush. Not one little bit.  Nobody voted for him or agreed with him (apparently not even when they were on the payroll.)

And so once again the party's leading hustlers and lunatics scramble up another, dangerously-teetering mountain of lies and pious claptrap to compete for the right to lead an army of bitter morons into another round of Conservative failure and catastrophe.


chrome agnomen said...

rumor is that the last administration even removed all the Ws from the keyboards when they left in 2008.

KWillow said...

When our country was attacked on 9/11, our President RAN AWAY.

I wanted him to be impeached, and Cheney too.

Why wasn't he impeached? He was warned of the attack and did nothing to stop it. When it occurred... he RAN AWAY.

Denny Smith said...

Why wasn't he impeached? Easy. Only 29% of the country has a college degree. Most of the rest (not all, but most) are ignorant beyond belief, with the heaviest concentration of stupidity east of the Mississippi and south of the Mason Dixon line, the GOP's base.
It's a miracle we have survived the onslaught of purposefully-induced ignorance--so far.

Anonymous said...

Has anyone else received a robo-call for draft-hilary-clinton? I just did and I'm in Brooklyn, NY. On Dec. 17, 2011???


Caoimhin Laochdha said...

". . .and all of this was instantly inverted 180 degrees once George Bush was appointed president by a 5-4 vote. . ."

I believe the Court "socially promoted" him. Dubya had several decades of experience taking that path.


Suzan said...

Hey, that hurts!

(Not really, it's par for the . . . .)

And the robo calls are beginning as Newt is now officially O U T !!!!

knowdoubt said...

"he RAN AWAY", not before finishing "MY Pet Goat" for the little ones. At least that's in his favor isn't it?

Anonymous said...

It's a drum that must be beaten. And whip those skins, sir, you do. But when it so often comes off like the intro to Benny Goodman's, "Sing, Sing, Sing"...the sort of ferocious, syncopated rhythm that forces even white people to bob their head and loosen up their those moments you make the internet worth its weight.
Great post. Great sentences.

Anonymous said...

"Turns out, by golly, that nobody liked George Bush. Not one little bit. Nobody voted for him or agreed with him (apparently not even when they were on the payroll.)"

Silly driftglass! Obviously *liberals* voted for him, because Dubya was a liberal prezdint!


Rev.Paperboy said...

"Turns out, by golly, that nobody liked George Bush. Not one little bit. Nobody voted for him or agreed with him (apparently not even when they were on the payroll.)"

Up herein Canuckistan, we had a similar strange incident. Lyin' Brian Mulroney and the Progressive Conservatives (no, really, they were called that for years, honest) were elected in 1984 with 211 or 300 seats in parliament - the largest electoral landslide in Canadian history. He won a second term in 1988.
By 1992 he was polling at 11% and in the 1993 federal election after his retirement, the Progressive Conservatives were reduced to a two seats in the Parliament and for several years were no longer recognized as an official political party. By then, you could not find anyone willing to admit they had ever voted for him - and believe me, some pollsters tried.
The defeat of the Progressive Conservatives was largely the result of them cutting their own throats. They screwed up the federal government's relationship with Quebec so badly that the separatist party sweep Quebec in the next federal election. They ignored their own base of social conservatives out west to extent that the Alberta based Reform Party (think Tea Party) rose up and took over the conservative movement in Canada. After ten years of Clinton-style corporatist government under the Liberals that saw the budget balanced and the country kept out of the Iraq war. The Randite Republican-lite Conservative Party of Canada, lead by former Reform party members, has now held the government for the last six years, mostly through following the Republican playbook of dividing the opposition, using wedge issues and throwing raw meat to the most regressive, ignorant and bigoted knuckle draggers among the electorate.
The resulting polarization has seen the centerist corporatist Liberal slaughtered at the polls, the formerly socialist New Democratic Party form the opposition, and the installation of an elected dictatorship under Stephen Harper.
The current government has run roughshod over democratic and parliamentary tradition and precedent and are making a mockery of democracy. Harper, taking yet another page from the Republican playbook, is doing his best to change the rules to cripple and defund opposition parties and politicize the civil service to ensure a permanent fascist majority.

the moral of the story?

Never take your boot off the fascists' throat. They won't fight fair, ever. And they won't stop, ever. And the only way to beat them is to keep pushing that Overton window back to the left until it get well to the left of where centre used to be.

Merry fucking Christmas, and keep your powder dry.

Tom Allen said...

"instantly inverted 180 degrees" -- rather like most of the Democrats who excoriated Bush's unitary executive theories right up until the point Barack Obama was inaugurated, at which point we had to Trust the Commander in Chief to protect us. Right?

"Because that's how a party-line change happens in a totalizing cult like" the Democratic Party.