Monday, February 10, 2014

Michael Tomasky Goes Full Driftglass

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty

From The Daily Beast today:
When an alcoholic is destroying a family, it’s his drinking, self-denial and lies that are creating the problem. But a lot of the time, the family contributes, too. It’s in, perhaps, its own state of denial. “Oh it’s not so bad, really. Oh he’s under lots of pressure. I think he can stop, I really do. Maybe not just yet. As soon as he gets through this (intense time at work/family illness/etc.).”

This is what the larger Washington establishment has become: The enabling spouse of the drunk. “They’ll change. I just know it. This time, I really don’t see how they can’t. I mean, supporting immigration reform is so clearly in their own self-interest!” And certainly, it is. But laying off the sauce is certainly in the alcoholic’s self-interest, too. In that case, we all understand why the alkie doesn’t stop. It has nothing to do with self-interest. He knows his own self-interest. But he can’t change until his shame and disgust with himself is such that he’s ready to try.

With the GOP, it’s more complicated, because this isn’t just one person’s conscience. It’s an entire machinery of ideology-fueled delusion and rage. In fact, now that I think about it, our two examples above are perfect, because each describes the two huge problems with the GOP extremely well. They also explain why they’re not going to be putting down the bottle anytime soon.
I won't bore readers with the number of times I have gone to the analogy well for a drunk-father/junkie/dysfunctional-family an essay on Conservatism and/or the GOP well in the last nine years.

But I did check my archives and it's, um, a lot.  At this point I supposed I'm just glad someone outside of the Liberal Blogger Coventry is adopting it, because it does fit depressingly well (this from 2006 still made me chuckle):
Reminded me of nothing so much as the most brutal Dysfunctional Family Thanksgiving you've ever seen or been at.

George Will, the ossified, thin-lipped Angry Dad who is forever ranting out his charmingly rustic ideas about Dirty Liberals, and Ayrabs and Fem’nists and The Coloreds, and Katrina vanden Heuvel as the smart, emotionally-healthy daughter who left the neighborhood, stopped sopping up her worldview solely from local boneheads repeating what they heard on Rush last night, went to college, learned about the wider world, grew tough and beautiful and has now finally Had It with Idiot Dad spouting his Idiot Drivel.

And then, one holiday over turkey, she just unloads on his dumb, hateful ass with a forcefulness that Bad Dad is completely unprepared for.

Every time he tries to run yet another one of his hoary, ridiculous Conservative clichés at her as some kind of rebuttal, she drops him in his tracks like Cheney bringing down a 78-year-old Liberal Texas Trophy Buck.

And finally Will can do nothing but sit there and seethe. Absolutely unmanned, spidery hands furiously steepled, glaring passive-aggressive “I Hate You and the Air You Breathe” daggers at Katrina with all the impotent irk a little man can muster without blowing a header gasket at this awful, awful girl who dared to stomp the Truth all over his stupid fussy dogma.

And Cokie Roberts was perfectly cast as Terrified Enabler Mom. Positively leaping into her role as Evil Edith Bunker, defending her stupid, ignorant spouse and trying with that desperate rictus that passes for a smile pasted to her face to keep peace at the dinner table.

Oh, Lawdy! Why oh why can’t we just talk of happy things? Why can’t just laugh and stuff ourselves with cranberry sauce and dispense with all of this unpleasantness.

George Stephanopoulos has to break up the fight, with “well, this debate could go on forever, but now…”.
Elsewhere, Esquire Magazine continues to cover the Sunday Morning beat.


Anonymous said...

Years ago, when I first stopped subjecting myself to the horror of Sunday morning gassbaggery, I would occasionally comment here and other places documenting the weekly absurdity: "Thank you for watching so I don't have to."
At this point, to do so would feel like thanking someone who had just witnessed a horrific, fatal multi-car pileup for permanently scarring their soul for my benefit.
I like you too much to do such a thing.
Just look away, leave the carnage to others....
If you take note of the ratings, apparently most are taking that advice.

Mego said...

Absolutely perfect. Thanks!