Friday, November 13, 2015

The Triumphant Return of the Friedman Unit


From pea coats to Humvees to camo-condoms to those crossed sabers hanging over your uncle's fireplace, it is an iron rule of human conflict that the uniforms and weapons of the warriors of the last war end up as the souvenirs and fashion choices of their children.

And so it is with the Gustav Gun of the Iraq War's 101st Chairborne Division -- the Friedman Unit:
The Friedman Unit, or simply Friedman,[1] is a tongue-in-cheek neologism. One Friedman Unit is equal to six months,[2] specifically the "next six months", a period repeatedly declared by New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman to be the most critical of the then-ongoing Iraq War [3] even though such pronouncements extended back over two and a half years.
Long since demilled, crated up and warehoused at the far end of the Beltway Media Memory Hole --

-- the Friedman Unit has been all but forgotten by just about everyone except those few who, like the old man in "To The Chicago Abyss", have taken as our vocation the act of defiantly remembering stuff that everyone else desperately wants to forget.

All but forgotten...until now.

Take it away, David Brooks (with emphasis added):
The G.O.P. at an Immigration Crossroads
NOV. 13, 2015

It’s no exaggeration to say that the next six months will determine the viability of the Republican Party. The demographics of this country are changing. This will be the last presidential election cycle in which the G.O.P., in its current form, has even a shot at winning the White House. And so the large question Republicans must ask themselves is: Are we as a party willing to champion the new America that is inexorably rising around us, or are we the receding roar of an old America that is never coming back?
You see, according to rules established during the fantasy-world-building phase of Mr. Brooks' Alternate History of Modern Conservatism, the wingnut Visigoths are always fringe kooks who are doing mischief some distance away from the sensible heart of the real Republican party.  A few bad actors who could be easily defeated if only Barack Obama would compromise with the Right a liiiiittle more -- if only he would "lead" a liiiiitle better -- harmony would be restored to the Beltway and we could all get back to punching hippies and playing Grand Bargain Texas Hold 'Em with other people's futures.

Yes, I’m a sap. I believed Obama when he said he wanted to move beyond the stale ideological debates that have paralyzed this country. I always believe that Obama is on the verge of breaking out of the conventional categories and embracing one of the many bipartisan reform packages that are floating around.

But remember, I’m a sap. The White House has clearly decided that in a town of intransigent Republicans and mean ideologues, it has to be mean and intransigent too. The president was stung by the liberal charge that he was outmaneuvered during the debt-ceiling fight. So the White House has moved away from the Reasonable Man approach or the centrist Clinton approach.
But of course, the wingnut horde was never going to be mollified by reasonable overtures from the Commie Muslim Kenyan N*gger in the White House, and the wingnut horde is not six months away.

They came over the seventh hill years ago, David, and the craven princelings of the Beltway have long since thrown open the gates and acceded to their demands.  This is why your friend Bill Kristol -- the Wrongest Man in the World -- has a job-for-life on network teevee. This is why Slab-of-Republican-Stoopid, Joe Scarborough, has an uninterrupted three hour block of time every day on MSNBC which he uses to pump raw, wingnut sewage into America's political groundwater.  This is why a long-time Hate Radio hack like Hugh Hewitt is now Chuck Todd's Meet the Press BFF, why every weekend MSNBC program now has a mandatory American Enterprise Institute/Heartland Institute/Latino Partnership for American Principles Project minder and why a creepy Conservative political leg-humper like Mark Halperin continues to prosper without end.

Your column might have been timely and provocative if you had written it in 1987.  Or in 1991.  Or 1995.  Or 2000.  Or 2003.  Or 2007.  Or 2010.  

But it's 2015, and the war for the future of the Party of Lincoln is over and it's lethal, Reaganite "The Government is The Problem" ordnance now decorates the walls of the victors.  And no amount of jerking off in the attic to your dog-eared copy "A Vindication of Natural Society" and crying into your Margaret Thatcher autographed throw-pillow is going to change that.


Unknown said...

BoBo's whining about the GOP should of course read that the GOP is the party "of an old America that never existed" since the 'Murica the teabagger dipshits want to "take back" is a figment of their Fox-fueled ignorance and not a real place.

...but in the pantheon of BoBo inaccuracies, this one is a trifle I suppose.

Soprano said...

The Republicans don't have to win the White House. They have most of the states.

trgahan said...

So Brooks is putting us all on notice that he and Beltway gang's already written "The Glorious Return of Reagan's Republican Party!" articles will be published AFTER Super Tuesday when the media pulls back into the beltway buddle and can return to pretending the Republican Party isn't full of Republicans because it doesn't have to cover fly-over state primaries any more?

Unsalted Sinner said...

This is where I jump in to note that Emperor Honorius couldn't see the Visigoths on the seven hills of Rome, as I believe he was in his palace in Ravenna at the time. Silly Captain Picard!

Kathleen O'Neill said...

Oh,and LGM featured this tasty morsel of Brooksian humility:

Matt Osborne said...

Brooks: "The Republican grassroots are revolting!"

Me: "Sooo what else is new?"

zombie rotten mcdonald said...

Matt, isn't the proper response to that "Yeah, they stink on ice!"

Redhand said...

On all these levels, the Republican Party faces a crossroads moment. Immigration is the key issue around which Republicans will determine the course of their party. It’ll be fascinating to see which way they go.

Right. "Steiner's assault will bring it [all] under control."