Monday, December 21, 2015

On the Breaking of Records

It was a weekend for the breaking of records.

The latest addition to the Great Franchise -- Star Wars: The Force Awakens -- beat everything in sight by echoing and supersizing everything you liked about the original.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens beat every box office record

In the end, even the dinosaurs were no match for a universe far, far away.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens is officially a record-breaking hit, raking in at least $247 million in its opening weekend. To put that in perspective, The Force Awakens crushed Jurassic World's record-breaking $208.8 million opening weekend from this summer, and set a December opening record by tripling The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey's December 2012 opening of $84.6 million, according to Variety...
And the front-runner for the nomination of the Grand Old Party -- Donald J. Trump -- so dominated the race for Lie of the Year that the good people at PolitiFact awarded his campaign both ears and a tail for belligerently doubling down on one debunked wingnut fairy tale after another:
Trump has "perfected the outrageous untruth as a campaign tool," said Michael LaBossiere, a philosophy professor at Florida A&M University who studies theories of knowledge. "He makes a clearly false or even absurdly false claim, which draws the attention of the media. He then rides that wave until it comes time to call up another one."

PolitiFact has been documenting Trump’s statements on our Truth-O-Meter, where we’ve rated 76 percent of them Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire, out of 77 statements checked. No other politician has as many statements rated so far down on the dial.

In considering our annual Lie of the Year, we found our only real contenders were Trump’s -- his various statements also led our Readers’ Poll. But it was hard to single one out from the others. So we have rolled them into one big trophy...

You might recall that way back in June, while all the Beltway's most respectable Very Serious People were have a good ol' respectable larf over the sudden-but-nothing-to-worry-about ascendancy of The-Breitbart-Comment-Section-That-Walks-Like-A-Man, down in democracy's steerage section, a few of America's remaining disreputable, vituperative, foul-mouthed bloggers of the Left were taking Mr. Trump very seriously:
In case you missed it, Squint and the Meat Puppet handed the MSNBC camera over to Donald Trump this morning for a relaxing, 30-minute handjob. While Trump rambled lazily from one pinnacle of bullshit and narcissism to the next, Morning Joe crack house regulars Mark Halperin (Glenn Beck's favorite mainstream media enabler) and the pickled remains of Mike Barnacle looked on, smirking and giggling. All that it lacked to complete the creepy, peep-show effect were trench-coats and bad lighting. 

But of course, the story of the Trump candidacy has very little to do with Donald Trump. 

As I wrote a few years ago,the brain-caste of the GOP spent a 40 years and billions of dollars carefully breeding an army of reliably angry, paranoid, racists chumps. And they have been so successful at completely re-engineering the Right's ideological digestive system that they can no longer process any information which does not come to them in the form of Fox-approved Benghaaaazi goo.  

In other words, in order to win elections and rake in vast fortunes, the Conservative brain caste has painstakingly created the perfect feeding-ground for con men and demagogues like Trump, the louder and more bombastic the better. And from David Brooks and the Wall Street Journal and "Meet the Press", to Ann Coulter and the Washington Free Beacon and the Breitbart Collective, in one way or another, virtually everyone in the media makes bank by flattering Conservative meatheads and pandering to their delusions. 

They are the GOP's premium leads, but however abundant and renewable a resource the Conservative meatheads may be, come Presidential election time, there is never enough room at the trough for every rapacious Republican hog.  This is why every few years we have these Little Red State Fundy moments; that delicate time when the knives come out and the various species of Conservative con men start cutting each other's balls over who gets to pluck the wingnut pigeons... 

...while trying desperately not to call attention to the fact that their entire political system depends on pandering to the army of reliably angry, paranoid, racists chumps which the GOP has worked so long and hard to cultivate. 

Fortunately for the Right, now that the "respectable" media has as much to lose by cracking out of turn as Hate Radio and Fox News, we can all look forward to another campaign season of the American mainstream media looking stoically the other way. 
And ever since, the Fight on the Right has gone exactly where I predicted it would go -- a knife fight atop Wingnut Olympus over who will get control over Conservatism's greatest and most toxic asset: those millions and millions of paranoid, hate-fed chumps upon whose shoulders rests the fate and fortunes of the oligarchs and fascists at the top.


trgahan said...

I think the "Fight on the Right" is kabuki theater largely playing out for the cocktail party vanity of people-who-should-know-better and to hide the bigger long con: Conservative oligarchs really don't need the White House anymore.

As the policy window and non-Presidential elections have gone since 2000, a President Clinton/Sanders would be no real threat to their power or fortunes. In fact, Democratic Presidents would just bring them MORE money as the Pig People needs increase for a daily validation. A GOP Presidential win would shut those wallets and bring expectations requiring someone to pay for.

Neo Tuxedo said...

What DG doesn't mention is that Politifact quotes a fellow outcast making basically the same point he did:

Norman Ornstein, a scholar at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, sees a couple of forces that have been at play for years when it comes to Trump: the desensitization to inflammatory rhetoric, the assault on science and expertise, and the increasing reliance on partisan media.

"Trump came into an environment that was ripe for bombastic, inflammatory, outrageous statements without having to suffer the consequences," Ornstein said.

And pace trgahan, President Clinton 2.0 might "be no real threat to their power or fortunes", but a President Sanders would constitute a threat without even having to do anything. Just by making it to the top spot, he'd show that large numbers of people fully realize that the system is rigged.

In 1960 with the publication of Minutes to Go, Martin's stale movie was greeted by an unprecedented chorus of boos and a concerted walkout -- "We seen this five times already and not standing still for another twilight of your tired gods."
-- William S. Burroughs, Nova Express

"What's the matter, Doctor? Don't you like this line of questioning? Am I starting to make you feel uncomfortable?"
-- Doug Roth, Nova Express magazine, live Q&A with Dr. Jon Osterman on the Benny Anger Show, October 19, 1985 (once removed)

Yastreblyansky said...

This award is so unfair to the hardworking Republican candidates who have put so much effort into polishing and pointing their complex and effective lies, where Trump just spits his out by the dozen, without creativity or care, seemingly not even interested in whether anyone believes it or not. I think Fiorina and Rubio should protest.

Jim from MN said...

I say there won't be any "GOP fight." The same people who thought the tea party would help them out-run the Bush/neocon stink are now pushing Trump to the top of the GOP shit pile . . . and the only place to go once you have clawed your way to the top of the GOP shit pile is down.

keith gargus said...

Agree with Yasterbylanski, Fiorina deserves some sort of participation ribbon just for being on the team. She's never getting in the game, but deserves some recognition for some of her whoppers. Screw Rubio, just punch his lights out and steal his lunch money.

John Taylor said...

Trump has perfected the art of lying: if you lie, make it a whopper and repeat it often.

Anonymous said...

Fiorina certainly has perfected the art of doubling and even quadrupling, down on her lies when necessary with not the slightest effort, just tossing off a sneer to the camera as she does it. I would seriously award her a participation ribbon for this.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

Please tell me the Democrats at least fired whoever thought to schedule their debate on the same weekend as the Star Wars premiere.

Be seeing you.

proverbialleadballoon said...

Dead center bullseye. The appeal of Trump, to the Right, goes beyond the fact that's he's the biggest blowhard in the room full of blowhards. The Right also has the sense that they've been lied to, big time. But they can't blame the Republican politicians because that's admitting that they've been wrong about everything. So they blame 'politicians' in general. Yet, they still have to pick a candidate, while not allowing themselves to admit that their politicians are a big pack of liars. In swoops Trump. Carson had his shot, and he blew it, Fiorina too, non-politician-wise. Trump is in it for the long-haul now, baby, and only the used car salesman Cruz, or son of a bartender, maybe if I was feeling generous, I'd let him sweep the floors for a couple bucks, but give him a real job, hell no Rubio stand between him and the nomination.

Picture an elephant, with its head so far up its own ass that its like a bowling ball with stumpy legs, summersaulting, rolling down a slope, and off of a cliff. That's the republican party, circa late December 2015.