...'Cause he knows it's all worthwhile
-- David Bowie, Star Man
Last night, President Obama gave one of the most thoughtful and consequential State of the Union addresses in living memory. So it should come as no surprise that it was instantly panned and reflexively hated by all the same tin-pot demagogues --
The State Of The Union speech was one of the most boring, rambling and non-substantive I have heard in a long time. New leadership fast!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2016
-- seditious myrmidons, rambling bigots and unhinged wretches who have panned everything this President has said and done since he put his hand on the Bible seven years ago and began the hard work of trying to clean up the wreckage left behind by the worst President in history.
Arnold Toynebee once said that history is "just once damn thing after another". History doesn't slow down or take a day off for drought or meteors or the fall of kings. It just keeps on going, and I find comfort in the knowledge that while President Obama will go down in history as one of our great presidents, the loud and bitter claques of scheming wingnuts and squabbling Beltway twats with which we are currently afflicted will either be paved over by history entirely or remembered only as Obama's Rufus Griswolds -- a pack of petty hacks and malformed losers who made their sordid wages and reputations by trying to take a bite out of their betters.
But the judgments of history are slow in coming, and in the here-and-now the braying of America's bitter squabbling Beltway twats is still loud and continuous as they try to push back their inexorable march into irrelevance and oblivion. For example, in the here-and-now you can watch in amazement as post-SOTU Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier correctly identifies (from quite a long way away) the toxic disease that has killed his party:
Haley Faces Conservative Backlash After GOP Response to Obama https://t.co/eum3RPmIXr— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) January 13, 2016
And then pivot immediately to the important business of allocating responsibility for the genesis and virulence of that toxic disease. Take a wild guess where the Blame Stick lands in 3...2...1...These people seemed determined to divide and destroy the party. I think they will succeed. https://t.co/DjsCoqsSkL— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) January 13, 2016
Who's at fault for the mess in DC -- Obama or GOP? He failed. They failed. We failed. https://t.co/vDSINEZNLJ— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) January 13, 2016
In his shitty column in the National Review, Mr. Fournier goes on to declare that President Obama has "No Hope for Greatness" because of his unforgivable failure to break the back of the mob of bigots and lunatics that was once known as the Republican Party. Or, as Mr. Fournier puts it:
In a rare embrace of failure and humility, Barack Obama said Tuesday night that “one of the few regrets of my presidency” is the fact that partisan rancor has worsened under his watch. The president seems to finally realize that breaking the founding promise of his political career will hurt him in the eyes of history.In his final State of the Union address, Obama called for “a better politics,” saying the nation’s large and lingering problems can only be solved if Americans “can have rational, constructive debates.”
Had it been delivered by a presidential candidate, the speech would have been tremendous. But in the hands of a time-worn leader seven years into a presidency that began with such promise, Obama’s sentiments were sadly familiar, almost hollow: well-written and well-intentioned but, like the balance of his presidency, a disappointment...
It is a fact that the Republican party passed from lingering coma into death long ago.
It is also a fact that the GOP has been replaced by a loose confederacy of oligarchs, mollusks and stink bugs who are so far gone that they won't even applaud American enterprise or digging out from the Great Recession for fear of getting Kenyan Kooties and being primaried from the Right in the next election by the reanimated corpse of Curtis LeMay.
It is also a fact that this American Fascist Party has no greater ally in the mainstream media that skulking Both Siderist parasites like Ron Fournier, whose entire career now consists of blunting and dismissing every criticism of overt, drooling Conservative madness with the same magic, never-fail conjure words over and over again -- "But the Democrats..."
And given those facts, I am not naive enough to believe that this witchbag of true-believing thugs and calculating opportunists have never and will never give President Obama fair shake. After all, we have all seen these same goof and swindlers conspire to make the seven years of Clinton-era Republican show trials and witch-hunts and all the pious words about holding presidents to the highest possible standards just....vanish once Dubya was handed the White House by five of his daddy's friends. They rebranded a bottom-feeding pervert like Newt Gingrich into a respectable sage, and a blood-drunk sociopath like Bill Kristol into a "brilliant thinker" fit for a seat at the head table.
And for their greatest trick, they made the entire Bush Administration disappear right before our eyes, and transformed tens of millions of committed, preening Bush Regime dead enders into born-again political virgins, sporting adorable tri-corner hats and swearing on the lives of their children that they had never even heard of George Walker Bush or Richard Bruce Cheney.
In other words -- and not to sound too self-serving -- they did exactly what I predicted they would do a decade ago:
In five years, having voted for Bush will have become the parachute pants of this decade.
It will become the “Oh my GOD. What the fuck was I thinking?” shameful secret people will occasionally and elliptically allude to by piping up with, “well, he did good after 9/11”...
But however hard they may try to deface the record of the Obama Administration, it's never gonna happen. President Obama was not cast out of office after one term and is not limping out of office after a series of witch-hunts and a large, self-inflicted scandal left him politically damaged. He will still be a relatively young man when he closes out his eight years as our 44th president: a relatively young man with a great mind and a powerful voice who will also be the best possible spokesman for his own legacy.
Unlike Bush, Obama does not leave behind shattered cities, a collapsed economy, a broken army, a looted treasury and a record of incompetence, shame, belligerent failure and outright treason stretching endlessly in all directions. Instead, President Obama will leave behind a solid record of real, institutional changes which have materially improved the lives of millions of our fellow citizens and which will be all but impossible to undo. A solid record...which future historians will regard as fucking miraculous when they factor in the lockstep and fanatical opposition he faced from his first day in office until his last.
And what of that opposition?
In the short term, they will continue to remain defiantly ignorant (for freedom!), torching everything they can lay their sticky little paws on (because that's what Baby Jebus would do) and blaming imaginary hippies under the bed for the fact that they're as dumb as a bag of hammers and that their world is on fire. And, of course, America's crackpot wingnut billionaires will continue to throw bales of money at them because they're the only game in town. But let's face it, any political party whose front-runners are Ted Cruz and Donald Trump? Whose one Big Idea is stripping health care from millions of Americans? Who needs round-the-clock support from ghouls like Ann Coulter and Beltway hacks like Ron Fournier just to prop it up, rouge its cheeks and give it some some semblance of animate life?
That has a Reince Priebus behind the wheel fer chrissake?
That's not a party in trouble. That's a party which is as dead as Ronald Reagan. Not a party at all, any more, but a tribe of moochers and con men who have stashed Reagan's corpse in the basement and who take his name and forge his signature because they want to continue sponging off of his pension.
And that tribe of moochers and con men no longer represent a force capable of summoning anything like the strength or discipline it would take to unmake the Obama Legacy. Instead, as time inexorably drags them kicking and screaming from the stage, history will record them for what they were: a gang of parasites, bigots and demagogues who tried and failed to make America small enough and weak enough and dumb enough and scared enough for them to rule it.
Instead history will consign them to the same grave as Rufus Griswold -- a grave which they have dug for themselves and which will entomb their reputations forever:
...Ann S. Stephens called him two-faced and "constitutionally incapable of speaking the truth". Even his friends knew him as a consummate liar and had a saying: "Is that a Griswold or a fact?" Another friend once called him "one of the most irritable and vindictive men I ever met". Author Cornelius Mathews wrote in 1847 that Griswold fished for writers to exploit, warning "the poor little innocent fishes" to avoid his "Griswold Hook". A review of one of Griswold's anthologies, published anonymously in the Philadelphia Saturday Museum on January 28, 1843, but believed to have been written by Poe, asked: "What will be [Griswold's] fate? Forgotten, save only by those whom he has injured and insulted, he will sink into oblivion, without leaving a landmark to tell that he once existed; or if he is spoken of hereafter, he will be quoted as the unfaithful servant who abused his trust."