At the age of 100, Nixon is finally, safely down the Republican Memory Hole: his Constitution-slashing crime spree across the political landscape reduced in the wingnut mind to the same, simple lie Ron Zeigler first floated 40 years ago; a "third-rate burglary" carried out by overzealous, patriotic flunkies. Scratch a Republican and nine times out of 10 what you will hear about the 2nd worst president in American history is either that he wasn't a "real" Conservative (and therefore doesn't count against their lifetime fuckuppery total), or that he was a great man hounded from office by the vile Librul Media and a scheming FBI rat (Peggy Noonan in 2005) --
...Is the Deep Throat story over? Yes, in the sense that it will no longer be treated as a mystery. In spite of the million questions we'll be hearing--and there are and will be many serious questions--the MSM will stick with the heroic narrative. Mr. Felt was Deep Throat. Deep Throat was a great man who helped a great newspaper put the stop to the lies and abuses of an out-of-control White House. End of story. Why? Because in celebrating this story in a certain way journalists of a certain age celebrate themselves. Because to bring unwelcome and unwanted skepticism to the narrative would be to deny 20th-century journalism--and 21st-century journalists--their great claim to glory. Because the MSM is still liberal, and the great Satan of all liberals, still, is Richard Nixon. And because, as Ben Bradlee might say, It's a goddamn good story.
Or as they put it in yet another John Ford masterpiece, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance," "When the legend becomes the fact, print the legend."
-- and anyway, whatever he was alleged to have done (who even knows?!) has since been dwarfed by the monstrous shadow of Bill Clinton's penis. Also too, Fast and Furious and, of course, Benghaaaaaaaaaaazi!
Reagan is down the Memory Hole as well, securely interred in the Republican pantheon between Lincoln and Jesus (One Term Bush Senior is down there too, but since "He raised taxes like some Librul!" is all the GOP collective mind can allow itself to remember, he gets jammed in there sideways, like a caraway seed stuck in a cracked molar. )
All of this is fixed and permanent now ; part of their firmware, averred dismissively and declaratively, thanks to the relentless propaganda catapulting of Fox News and Hate Radio, and the seemingly bottomless Conservative willingness to suspend disbelief.
But Dubya? Dubya is harder to disappear. Sure, in theory making a bunny vanish and making a battleship vanish both involve the application of the same set of stage-magic techniques and misdirections, but one is just so damn much bigger than the other. The top-hat alone would need be as big as Wrigley Field, and the false bottom would have to be able to hide the equivalent of the combined volume of every single Illinois elected official who has ever done time in the House of Many Doors.
A neat trick indeed.
Fortunately for the Beautiful Minds of the Right, they have been laying on second and third shifts down at the Ministry of Truth; positively truncheoning Dubya's existence down that ol' Memory Hole with as much gusto as the orcs at Fox News, Hate Radio and the manufactured "grass roots" movements like the Tea Party (There. Is. No. Tea. Party.) can muster.
Unfortunately there is still that pesky public record to contend with.
In this blog we have already pretty thoroughly documented the two ends of the timeline of our current Stupid Deficit Debate: the period before Dubya completely bankrupted America during which Conservatism's leading public intellectual explained that the economy was indestructible and would generate budget surpluses forever regardless of what Dubya did to it (and mocked people who thought otherwise as "stupid")...
...and the period after Dubya completely bankrupted America and left our indestructible economic in ruins during which the same leading Conservatism public intellectual effortlessly inverted himself into a fierce austerity pimp, excoriating "debt deniers" and selfish old people for not taking These Awful Deficits seriously.
But where is the crucial second act? The "Empire Strikes Back" of our thrilling Deficit trilogy? Where is that period of rising action and fateful decisions that took place after the period when Conservatives Very Loudly touted the Titanic as unsinkable and made great sport of stupid Liberals who said that, at the very least, we should have more and stouter lifeboats...
....but before the present time when the ship is going down fast and these same Conservatives are trying to commandeer the lifeboats and are telling the women, children, elderly, sick and unemployed that being plunged into the black, icy waters of the Atlantic miles from any possibility of rescue is the unfortunate but necessary consequence of being moochers and takers and welfare queens?
Turns out, our second act was hiding in plain sight all along.
It took place in 2004.
And there were 51.2 million witnesses.
From the final Bush/Kerry Presidential Debate, October 13, 2004:
John Kerry: This president has taken a $5.6 trillion surplus and turned it into deficits as far as the eye can see. Health-care costs for the average American have gone up 64 percent; tuitions have gone up 35 percent; gasoline prices up 30 percent; Medicare premiums went up 17 percent a few days ago; prescription drugs are up 12 percent a year.
But guess what, America? The wages of Americans have gone down. The jobs that are being created in Arizona right now are paying about $13,700 less than the jobs that we're losing.
And the president just walks on by this problem. The fact is that he's cut job-training money. $1 billion was cut. They only added a little bit back this year because it's an election year.
They've cut the Pell Grants and the Perkins loans to help kids be able to go to college.
They've cut the training money. They've wound up not even extending unemployment benefits and not even extending health care to those people who are unemployed....The president decided to give it to the wealthiest Americans in a tax cut. Now, Alan Greenspan, who I think has done a terrific job in monetary policy, supports the president's tax cut. I don't. I support it for the middle class, not that part of it that goes to people earning more than $200,000 a year.
And when I roll it back and we invest in the things that I have talked about to move our economy, we're going to grow sufficiently, it would begin to cut the deficit in half, and we get back to where we were at the end of the 1990s when we balanced the budget and paid down the debt of this country.
This was the stark choice laid out before the Party of Personal Responsibility in the Year of Our Lord, 2004: cast a vote to put an end to the looting of the American treasury (and myriad other failures and betrayals) by the worst President in American history, or cast a vote to endorse Dubya's profligate, incompetent and disastrous regime.
But, as those of us who do not work for the Ministry of Truth vividly recall, the Party of Personal Responsibility was far too busy staying the fuck out of the war they lied us into
waving their purple-heart bandaid patriotism in the air
and getting rage-drunk on their own righteous Christopathic awesomeness
Same-Sex Marriage Issue Key to Some G.O.P. RacesBy JAMES DAO
Published: November 4, 2004
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Nov. 3 - Proposed state constitutional amendments banning same-sex marriage increased the turnout of socially conservative voters in many of the 11 states where the measures appeared on the ballot on Tuesday, political analysts say, providing crucial assistance to Republican candidates including President Bush in Ohio and Senator Jim Bunning in Kentucky...
to pay any attention to reality or bother to notice that they had gone completely mad.
So when the votes were counted, this was the result: --
-- Party of Personal Responsibility and swept the most profligate, incompetent and treasonous administration in American history back into power.In favor of crippling deficits as far as the eye can see: 62,040,610
Opposed to crippling deficits as far as the eye can see: 59,028,444
And this is how things remained, until an African American Democrat named Barack Obama was elected President.
At which point the Party of Personal Responsibility immediately swapped one stupid hat
At which point the Party of Personal Responsibility immediately swapped one stupid hat
burned their "Bush/Cheney 04" bumper stickers and proceeded to loudly declaim from every public square that...
...They have always believed that deficits are Worse than Nine Hitlers.
...Deficits can only be solved by stomping the fuck out the poor, the weak, the sick, the elderly, the unemployed and various other moochers and takers.
...Anyone who disagrees that Deficits are Worse than Nine Hitlers and can only be solved by stomping the fuck out the poor, the weak, the sick, the elderly and the unemployed is Deeply Unserious.
...Absolutely nothing of what I just told you about the last eight years ever happened.
And now you know the rest of the story.