Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Fundraiser Day Three: Today In Both Sides Do It Except When They Don't, Mikey Gerson

The first tool in any Conservative revisionist's tool-box will always be, "It never happened".

Deny, Deny, Deny.

However, since the actual history of the modern GOP is written across the past 30 years in such an arrogant, bloody, mile-high Day-Glo font, it is getting harder and harder for anyone outside the Roger Ailes' freak show to get away with straight-up denial.

And thus was born the Both Siderism:  a Conservative invention to automatically offload at least 50% of every Republican atrocity onto the backs of Imaginary Liberals.  However, now that the Republican primary process has devolved into an switchblade-and-zip-gun riot at Arkham Asylum, even the the most stalwart professional Both Siderist liars are having trouble keeping this shit wired tight in public.

First it was David Brooks, having a nervous breakdown in public...which his fellow Beltway fraudsters helpfully ignored until he could pull it together and get back with the program.

Now it's PBS's Emergency Auxiliary David Brooks -- Michael Gerson -- who is going full Private William Hudson...

...on the op-ed page of a prominent America newspaper.

For context, first, have a look at Mr. Gerson just nine short months ago and in prime, Both Siderist form:
Washington’s parties can’t agree even on the meaning of an election

As the 114th Congress begins in earnest, there are a number of things — such as tax and immigration reform and trade agreements — that politically minded adults would like to get done for the good of the country. A commitment to incrementalism and compromise can be found, with sufficient diligence, among individual lawmakers in both parties.

But these scattered good intentions are as unlikely to cohere as dry sand. This is not just a function of policy disagreement. President Obama and congressional Republicans hold fundamentally different views of recent political history, particularly the outcome of the November midterm election.

The GOP is feeling the momentum of its best congressional performance since the New Deal, and Senate Republicans are enjoying the pleasing weight of committee gavels in their hands. Elected Republicans generally believe that Obama was humbled by voters and should act like it — that he should make concessions commensurate to his losses, as President Clinton did following his 1994 midterm defeat.

Obama, in contrast, seems to view the November outcome as his final liberation from a dirty political game characterized by complete Republican bad faith. He finds no repudiation in the verdict of an unrepresentative, midterm electorate. And he is no longer required to pretend that he cares about the political fate of the 4th District of Podunk. His reaction to the election has been to seek new avenues of executive action as an alternative to congressional dysfunction. So far, he has been politically rewarded.

This type of polarization seems more psychological than ideological. Obama and congressional Republicans are inhabiting alternative political realities, with no overlap in which compromise might take root. The two sides are not simply disagreeing about the proper path up the mountain; they see a different mountain in a different place.

...The 2012 election should have demonstrated to Republicans (among other lessons) that they need a seriously revised outreach to minorities, women and working-class voters. The 2014 election should have demonstrated to Democrats (among other lessons) that a reputation for unreconstructed liberalism seriously limits their geographic appeal.

Both parties could gain electoral advantages by realistically addressing their weaknesses, which would also open up the possibility of legislative progress. But everyone, unfortunately, seems to like what they see in the mirror.

This is the same Mr. Gerson writing about the same political parties operating under the same ideological and cultural conditions nine months later...
Why Trump and Carson want to bring about America’s apocalypse

... Republican rhetoric is often characterized by a (slightly) more secularized version of apocalyptic prophecy. “Our country is going to hell,” according to Donald Trump. America is headed for the “cliff to oblivion,” according to Ted Cruz. The United States is “very much like Nazi Germany,” according to Ben Carson. All are apparently running for president of a dystopia.

Some of this is rhetorical laziness — employing hyperbole as a cheap substitute for genuine passion. Carson seems particularly prone to this strategy. By comparing Obamacare to slavery, Carson means he really, really, REALLY doesn’t like Obamacare.

But there is a cost to using the apocalypse for emphasis. It hardly needs to be said (though apparently it does) that Trump, Cruz, and Carson are wrong about America. We are not like Nazi Germany, even a little bit. We are not teetering on the verge of national oblivion. And there are immigrants who risk everything to reach the country Trump consigns to hell.

Apocalyptic rhetoric is more than the evidence of historical ignorance and bad speechwriting...

...Only in a crisis of institutional legitimacy does the outsider become the savior. This means Trump, Carson and other apocalyptic politicians must encourage a mental state of emergency among Republicans. Lacking any relevant qualifications in the current political system, these candidates must bring that system into complete disrepute. Since the politicians have made such a hash of things, they insist, a businessman or a neurosurgeon couldn’t possibly do worse.

Oh, yes they could.

It may be possible to convince a good portion of the Republican primary electorate that American institutions have gone to hell. If so, during the general election, the institution in crisis would be the Republican Party.
No Mr. Gerson.  The institutional crisis within the Republican Party cannot happen during this year's general election because it happened about 20 years before you took a job helping George W. Bush lie more smoothly and effectively to the American people.  

It happened when your party looked at an uncertain tomorrow and decided that the very best way to win elections was not just to throw in with the worst, most paranoid, most bigoted people in America but to spend the next three decades actively cultivating their paranoia, bigotry, ignorance and rage.

It happened when you outsourced the future of the Party of Lincoln to Roger Ailes and Rush Limbaugh who built you a Procrustean Bed into which only demagogues, con men, imbeciles and lunatics can now fit.

Maybe you can bother to remember that the next time you are moved to open your pie hole and rail about the horrors of the "unreconstructed liberalism" of the Democrats.

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Frank McCormick said...

Did you notice that the YouTube comments for "Deny, Deny, Deny" mostly accused Democrats of that behavior? Doubleplusungood.

Chan Kobun said...

Frank, I noticed - it's not surprising. Cons are desperate to cover their prolific fewmets so they simply spam their own little version of history everywhere. They figure if it works for the guys on Teevee, then by god it'll work for them!

trgahan said...

I assume, given the qualifications outlined by Mr. Gerson, fascist conservative apocalyptic political speech is ok when it is a “qualified” political representative like Perry, Paul, Ryan, Jindal, Issa, King, the Freedom Caucus, the “Tea Party” freshman, and so on.

If so, I can only assume Mr. Gerson, like Brooks et al., is a guy whose only selling point is being a “D.C. insider” and is probably more concerned with the likely whole sale regime change an outsider presidency like Trump or Carson would bring to D.C. Such a change would leave him with an empty rolodex, no social event invites, and no access. Not even a loosely 6 figure undersecretary post. Then it would be matter of time before their editor/oligarch benefactor would take them to lunch to tell them “We’re going a different direction. We need to fresh voice in touch with the new D.C.”

Robt said...

This phenomenon Id not limited to Carson and the T- rump.

Gov. kasich recently espoused,
"Hey, what the fuck happened to our republican conservative party".

Something about deporting people, killing Social Security and Medicare, Oh and repealing ObamaCare and leaving people to the freedom of anarchy.
Everything he called on the GOP to stand for when he was in congress.

After his bonus from Bear Sterns after it bellied up. He turned Governor and to hold that that stairwell hand rail to run for the GOP nomination, he had to
do some yucky governing. He all of a sudden acts like he does not recognize his own political Idealogy and its brain hungry walking dead.

This is a variance of , DENY-deny-deny.
For Gov. John, it evolved into, WTF; WTF-WTF.....!

He wants us to disbelieve as he says he does. But does he really?

Neo Tuxedo said...

Dammit, Gerson still looks to me like he just got off the phone with Linton Barwick (looking like an order version of Sledge Hammer), who proceeded to bitch him out for allowing I ♥ Huckabees on the troops' DVD roster.