Thursday, May 02, 2013

He's Your Vehicle Baby

He'll take you a-ny-where you wanna go.
He's your Libertarian vehicle baby.
And by now I'm sure you know
That he loves ya
Needs ya
Wants ya,
Got to have you child,
By Great Galt and Taggart you know he looooooooves you.

There is a large and loosely-affiliated tribe of people for whom it is not enough -- not nearly enough -- to take arms (figuratively) against a Sea of all the perennial troubles of democratic governance (malfeasance, abuse of power, wrongheadedness, incompetence, criminality, nepotism, etc.) and by opposing, end them -- or at least momentarily abate some of them (as if, for the average citizen, that weren't work enough to take up nine lifetimes' worth of available attention and energy.)

For them, the world makes only makes sense as a Philip Dick novel

in which everything the government does at virtually every level is suffused with monstrous intentions and dark designs. For them, the world is The Matrix: a massive scam built on top of a web of far-reaching and apparently infinite number of conspiracies in which everyone who is not 100% on their side is either a co-conspirator or a somnolent dupe. 

Of course, when the mundane realities of the business of government -- even government during a crisis -- falls short of proving their specific brand of vast and terrible plots, they have to back-fill or pave over all bits that don't fit -- all the chuckholes and logic-chasms and tire-shredding facts -- with, well, bullshit. 

As with all cult members, they are imperviously convinced that everyone else is the cultist. 

As with all fools, they sleep smug in the knowledge that everyone else is the fool.

And as has been true for all of human history, there will never be a shortage of con men who are more than happy to flatter them, court them and take them anywhere they want to go:

So, do you still Stand With Rand?


Howard Bannister said...

The Pauls, Ron and Rand, are such bullshit.


That's the short version of my comment. Here comes my TL;DR version.


DG, a word about your feud with Glenn Greenwald: He's right, and he's wrong, and you're right, and you're wrong.


Obama listens to David Brooks, and does fake-centrist bullshit like trying to cut Social Security.

Obama listens to David Brooks, and does fake-centrist bullshit like bombing the hell out of countries which have never attacked us and antagonizing them into attacking us.

Obama listens to David Brooks and sidles to the center, by which I mean firmly into Republican territory, and takes the Public Option off the table before even offering Obamacare to the Republicans for critique, making it all entirely their own creation.

Your work is utterly valuable, because we need to confront the utter wrongness of the fake centrism.

We need somebody like GG to stand up and scream when Obama continues the utterly stupid drone campaign that the CIA has said IS THE BIGGEST CAUSE OF ANTI-AMERICAN SENTIMENT IN THE MIDDLE EAST. (no, really)

GG is utterly wrong that Obama is as bad as the Republicans. He's not, not yet. And it just feeds the fake centrism of David Brooks when he says stuff like that.

DG; to really effectively take a shot at Glenn, you need to really dig deep and see how Obama has merrily followed the David Brooks model of fake centrism. I would love to see you really grapple with this.

Because David Brooks isn't just winning in the sense that he's still allowed on the air after all his lies. He's winning in the sense that powerful Democrats believe his rancid lies.

Anonymous said...

DG with his worship of Obama's war policies has definitively joined that tribe of people who rub shit in their hair...

Not only that; he has become yet another guardian of the 'false equivalent' - with Glen Greenwald serving as his counterweight to David Brooks.

Not only that; his politics are now distinctly closer to Brooks than Greenwald.

The mystery is... unlike those sinecured Sunday talking heads, HE'S NOT GETTING PAD FOR IT!!!

Unsalted Sinner said...

I enjoyed this bit in Jonathan Chait's piece on Bobo's latest bowel movement:

Guard against more than one kind of bias. This is my general, omnibus intellectual advice for everybody on how to think about the world, and I’ve been preparing it to offer anybody who asks me, except that nobody has ever asked. Some questions are black and white. Others are shades of gray. The whole trick is to be able to recognize both. Reflexive black-and-white moralism is one kind of bias. Reflexive equivocation is another.

You can recognize the people who fall for these fallacies because they only warn against one of them. (And, in keeping with rule No. 2, I will name one such influential person in each category: Glenn Greenwald, whose every opponent is pure evil, and David Brooks, who defines politics as a “competition between partial truths.”)

Lawrence said...

Rand Paul is a fraud, as are almost (not all) who identify as libertarian. The honest ones are merely annoying and usually wrong. I say fraud because the outcomes of their policies nearly always align with the familiar conservative projects of patriarchy, white supremacy, plutocracy, homophobia, and even religious fundamentalism. They have invented an alternate theory of conservatism that is not simply an appeal to tradition and authority.

Tengrain said...

Drifty -

I get such a kick out the conspiracy theorists who somehow manage to reconcile that the government is the most clever and diabolical of all plotters and at the same time maintain that the government is fundamentally full on numbskulls and people who couldn't find their way out of a paperbag.



Anonymous said...

anonymous said "DG with his worship of Obama's war policies..."

Seriously. Stop.


the OTHER anonymous

Pinkamena Panic said...

Shades of gray? What is that, some kind of war-loving Obot concept?

Rehctaw said...

One of the accepted tenets of science fiction is limited shared resources. Limited air, water,food, accommodations, fuel and other necessities allow/encourage a healthy limited tolerance for both ignorance and arrogance.

The combination of the two is usually fatal. Yet, here on our opposite world these traits are rewarded. Finger pointing, moralizing pundshits with a seemingly endless supply of bad ideas and wrong answers are squatting on our lifelines, with no rescue within reach.

Their track record points to Munchausen-by-proxy.
In space, Air locks are a two-way control. We could certainly use a few down here.

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

@Anon @ 9:32 am:

I largely agree with you. Drifty seems unable to condemn the murderous foreign policy of the United States of Fubarica when the current Caesar has a (D) after his name. If the current Caesar had an (R) after his name instead, I don't doubt that Drifty would condemn that hypothetical Caesar's murderous foreign policy as roundly (and justly) as he condemned the murderous foreign policy of Caesar Bush the Lesser.

I can't blame Drifty for this, because I'm guessing it's just the Chicago in him. Ya don't go against the Donkey Party in the Windy City (city motto: "A More Wretched Hive Of Scum And Villainy You Will Never Find--And Damn Proud Of It!!!") It's so deeply ingrained in that culture that it might as well be genetic. :P

anonymous III said...

"Drifty seems unable to condemn the murderous foreign policy of the United States of Fubarica when the current Caesar has a (D) after his name." - hamfest yada

Ignorant and mouthy is no way to go through life. Especially when you can so easily be shut up.

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

@ Anon III:

"Especially when you can so easily be shut up."

If you're referring to the fact that Drifty could choose not to allow my comments through, well, DUH. One reason I retain hope for him is that he does still allow criticism of the Dinocratic wing of the Property Party on his blog.

If you meant that as a threat, you dawn't frighten me, M'sieur EEN-ternet Tough Guy! Go and boil your bottom, son of a silly person! I fart in your general direction! Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries! Now go away or I will taunt you a sec-AWWN time!

"Fechez la vache". ^__^

jim said...

Secret conspiracies are SEXY ergo there'll always be people pimping them to folks who need to pass the buck & feel like they know the score, unlike us sleepwalkers who dare to disagree.

The trick is realizing that none of the worst conspiracies are secret at all.

They're the predicates that everyone has been convinced are eternal & unchangeable, so opposing them is childish & unserious - predicates like an infinite Earth & perpetual growth, whose ultimate output, left unchecked, is lethal.