Sunday, March 09, 2014

The New Reagan

Please, Sir. 
I don't want any more.
Because Freedumb!

The NeoConfederate Feudalist Party has always loved and needed it's Poverty Porn. Their tiny brains requir constant steeping in an open sewer of paranoia and rage at various imaginary Sekrit Commie Gummint plots to steal their stuff and hand it over to uppity Negroes, sneaky Mexicans and the ubiquitous Undeserving Poor.  They need to believe The Poors are poor because of moral defect:  it's the only way they can gleefully cheer on policies that kick the shit out of the poor Monday through Friday and still pretend to be Christian on Sunday.

Of course, by building an entire ideology on a foundation of fraud and fairy tales, then have made themselves hostage to every grifter and demagogue who promises to keep the party going.

30 years ago they had Reagan, dog-whistling about "young bucks" and "states rights" with a twinkle in his eye:
Righting Reagan’s Wrongs?

By BOB HERBERT Published: November 13, 2007
The murders were among the most notorious in American history. They constituted Neshoba County’s primary claim to fame when Reagan won the Republican Party’s nomination for president in 1980. The case was still a festering sore at that time. Some of the conspirators were still being protected by the local community. And white supremacy was still the order of the day. 
That was the atmosphere and that was the place that Reagan chose as the first stop in his general election campaign. The campaign debuted at the Neshoba County Fair in front of a white and, at times, raucous crowd of perhaps 10,000, chanting: “We want Reagan! We want Reagan!”

Reagan was the first presidential candidate ever to appear at the fair, and he knew exactly what he was doing when he told that crowd, “I believe in states’ rights.”

Reagan apologists have every right to be ashamed of that appearance by their hero, but they have no right to change the meaning of it, which was unmistakable. Commentators have been trying of late to put this appearance by Reagan into a racially benign context.

That won’t wash. Reagan may have been blessed with a Hollywood smile and an avuncular delivery, but he was elbow deep in the same old race-baiting Southern strategy of Goldwater and Nixon.

Everybody watching the 1980 campaign knew what Reagan was signaling at the fair. Whites and blacks, Democrats and Republicans — they all knew. The news media knew. The race haters and the people appalled by racial hatred knew. And Reagan knew.

He was tapping out the code. It was understood that when politicians started chirping about “states’ rights” to white people in places like Neshoba County they were saying that when it comes down to you and the blacks, we’re with you.

And Reagan meant it. He was opposed to the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was the same year that Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were slaughtered. As president, he actually tried to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965. He opposed a national holiday for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He tried to get rid of the federal ban on tax exemptions for private schools that practiced racial discrimination. And in 1988, he vetoed a bill to expand the reach of federal civil rights legislation.

Congress overrode the veto.

Reagan also vetoed the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. Congress overrode that veto, too.

Throughout his career, Reagan was wrong, insensitive and mean-spirited on civil rights and other issues important to black people. There is no way for the scribes of today to clean up that dismal record.
30 years later, Paul Ryan works the same meatheads with the same fairy tales around the same, lurid  Randite campfire:
Paul Ryan Lied About a Hungry Kid To Justify Killing School Lunch.
The Pig People will be with us always, so thirty years from now there'll be some other grifting wingnut goodhair shaking down another mob of inbred hill folk for their money or their votes.  But whether he is doing it in front of a global audience from the Oval Office or out of the back of a van in some God-forsaken jerkwater town depends entirely on how successful we are at burning down the Party of Jefferson Davis between now and then.


Monster from the Id said...

OK, Drifty, what do you think you can do to "burn down the Party of Jefferson Davis", other than wait for the inexorable, but slow, march of demographics to burn it down for you?

Kathleen said...

Bob Herbert's column was the perfect complement to your blistering prose, DG. What struck me about the column was that a NYT columnist was speaking the truth very eloquently. But of course Herbert is gone and squatters like Douchit, Brooks and Friedman now occupy the real estate. I remember certain liberal bloggers saying Herbert was "boring".
Oh, hell, my pissitivity level is back up to 12.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Good question, Id. I think the Birch Party cancer in our body politic has metastasized to such an extent, and so thoroughly strangled all the organs that we could have used to overcome it, that there's no solution that doesn't take the country with it. And I'm not sure the march of demographics will move fast enough, either, given the rate at which the Birchers continue to indoctrinate new Pig People.

Bukko Canukko said it better than I ever could or will way the fuck back in June of ought-twelve:

The lamescream corporate meeja can't implode fast enough. Neither can the United States. If it just falls apart quickly, and brings the rest of the current pollution-spewing pattern of civilization down with it, maybe there's a chance for the current evolution of life on Earth to survive. As long as the U.S. or Israel doesn't start throwing nukes. The human population is going to go through a severe bottleneck anyway due to Peak Oil eliminating most of the food supply that nourishes us Yeast People. The choice is between seeing 90% of us die prematurely, or 100%, along with 90% of all other species composed of more than a single cell.

My money's on global warming and undersea methane plumes causing the latter to win. Too bad there's no way to collect a winning bet from a paramecium...

n1ck said...

Ohh, I know, I know, monster!

The correct answer has to be: stop voting for the Democrats who are almost as bad as Republicans, and let the Republicans win, because then something something popular uprising, something something progressive utopia!

Anonymous said...

It used to be, in my very red neck of the woods, when I would bad mouth Ronnie (as I have been doing since the 70's) the locals would just kind of look embarrassed and say..."Oh he wasn't so bad" just like they were defending some racist grandpa barking at Christmas dinner.
Now days, when I bring up his very first shiny dog whistle, strategically unveiled in that town time forgot, where they butchered three young men and buried them in a levy; the locals look at me like I just pissed on the Jesus statute in the nativity in their front yard.
This demographic isn't dieing out, they are carefully teaching a new crop.
God I wish I could leave this shithole...

Monster from the Id said...

Actually, n1ck, I don't think there is a solution.

I'm just relieved that I will turn 51 in May; the system will probably hold together long enough that I will die of something else before it falls apart entirely. I have no descendants to consider.