Monday, December 19, 2011
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.