From Mr. Pierce:
We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.This is what they came to Washington to do -- to break the government of the United States. It doesn't matter any more whether they're doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party's mouthbreathing base. It may be any one of those reasons. It may be all of them. The government of the United States, in the first three words of its founding charter, belongs to all of us, and these people have broken it deliberately. The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address in which government "was" the problem, through Bill Clinton's ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being "over," through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius, and through all the endless attempts to find "common ground" and a "Third Way." Ultimately, as we all wrapped ourselves in good intentions, a prion disease was eating away at the country's higher functions. One of the ways you can acquire a prion disease is to eat right out of its skull the brains of an infected monkey. We are now seeing the country reeling and jabbering from the effects of the prion disease, but it was during the time of Reagan that the country ate the monkey brains.
I prefer the term "Rovine Spongiform Encephalopathy" (tm, driftglass, 2006) but there isn't much to quibble with here.
Instead I get an uncanny sense of walking past a room with a teevee playing an old movie. A classic. Casablanca, maybe, or The Big Sleep. Something so familiar and well-constructed you can almost recite all the lines by heart.
And that's a problem.
I have been using this same color palette for almost a decade now, the only thing I am sure of this morning is that I am tired. Tired as Hell. I'm sure Mr. Pierce will understand that I am being complimentary when I say that this sounds so very much like everything I wrote on this blog in 2005.
And in 2006.
And in 2007.
And in 2008.
But now it's 2013.
More from Mr. Pierce:
The first and most important thing is to recognize how we came to this pass. Both sides did not do this. Both sides are not to blame. There is no compromise to be had here that will leave the current structure of the government intact. There can be no reward for this behavior. I am less sanguine than are many people that this whole thing will redound to the credit of the Democratic party. For that to happen, the country would have to make a nuanced judgment over who is to blame that, I believe, will be discouraged by the courtier press of the Beltway and that, in any case, the country has not shown itself capable of making.
Nearly 10 years ago, when this kind of writing was almost entirely the province of reviled Liberal bloggers, there was a sharp, minty slap of recognition to it.
We found ourselves staggering into Digby's or The News Blog or Talking Points Memo with the same palpable sense of relief and gratitude as one who had been shipwrecked alone on a hostile ocean and who washes up one day on the shore of a verdant island. There was a jug of clean water waiting for us there. There were sturdy lean-tos already built and ready. There was a mess of fish cooking over the firepit.
But most of all, there were people. People like us! People who spoke our weird language, shared our concerns, saw the world as we did. There was a shared vocabulary that put the events that were shredding our country into an understandable context.
And there were things we could do! Actions to take. Maps to help us navigate the lonely oceans and a means through which we could stay in touch with each other. Learn from each other. Share our victories and lessen the burden of our defeats. Finally, finally, we had the tools to begin to push comprehensively and comprehendingly back against the mudslide of arrogant ignorance and preening bigotry that was burying the country we loved.
But now it's almost a decade later, and the arms that sound the alarum bells are getting almighty stiff and sore. 10 years later, (Hell, 30 years later if you count all the warning flares Liberals were firing off during the era before blogging) and the riders who raced through every digital Middlesex village and farm warning that the enemy was at our gate have now retraced their midnight rides a thousand, thousand times on horses that are now gaunt and exhausted.
And those Middlesex villages and farms remain either asleep or heavily armed and pissed off at all the racket.
I fear we are mostly documenting the atrocities now: giving future generations something pick through when they get around to trying to figure out what went wrong, because it's sure as Hell the case that no one is listening here-and-now. We make little digital notes and put them in little digital bottles to be tossed out into an indifferent sea in the hopes that someone, somewhere will know we tried, but that in the end the concentrated might of Liberaldom could not make Rush Limbaugh or Fox News stop lying even a little, could not persuade the Great Wad stop shoving money and votes into the pockets of lunatics and bigots even though it was killing them, and could not prevent Beltway clowns like David Gregory from inviting obvious frauds and hucksters like Bill Kristol and Newt Gingrich over for Sunday brunch at the Wise Men's Table even once.
Now, I fear, like Josephus, it falls to us to write the history of a nation that is being slow-motion sacked before our eyes by an imbecile and carefully targeted mob -- a mob which will no doubt find a way to blame us Liberals for the ashes once the pretty fires they are setting finally gutter out and die.