Thursday, January 21, 2016

With Ross Douthat At A Dead Chimp's Funeral

It sure was a cozy set-up.  That bundle of raw nerves, and Max, and a dead monkey upstairs and the wind wheezing through that organ once in a while.  Later on, just for comedy relief, the real guy arrived with a baby coffin.  It was all done with great dignity. He must have been a very important chimp.  The great  grandson of King Kong, maybe.

-- Joe Gillis, "Sunset Boulevard"
Today Ross "Chunky Bobo" joined David Brooks and Mikey Gerson in slogging through the various stages of grief over the passing of their very important and completely imaginary chimp.

While Mr. Brooks (NYT) is currently working his way though the Bargaining phase...
...
So maybe it’s time for governing Republicans to actually do something. Yes, I’m talking to you state legislators, or local committeepersons, or members of Congress and all your networks of donors and supporters. If MoveOn can organize, if the Tea Party can organize, if Justin Bieber can build a gigantic social media movement, why are you incapable of any collective action at all?

What’s needed is a grass-roots movement that stands for governing conservatism, built both online and through rallies, and gets behind a single candidate sometime in mid- to late February...
..and Mr. Gerson (WaPo) is stalled out in Anger...
Trump’s nomination would rip the heart out of the Republican Party
...with a soupcon of Denial...
Liberals who claim that Trumpism is the natural outgrowth, or logical conclusion, of conservatism or Republicanism are simply wrong. Edmund Burke is not the grandfather of Nigel Farage. Lincoln is not even the distant relative of Trump.
...Mr. Douthat (NYT) has contented himself with setting up a little hammock in a shady copse of Depression
...
I would like to tell you that this is all the fault of the Republican leadership — that had they been more receptive to populist ideas in 2008 or 2012, they wouldn’t be facing a Trumpian revolt today.
...
A critique that stops with G.O.P. elites, though, might let the voting public off the hook. Because it’s also possible that Trumpism, in all its boastful, lord-of-misrule meretriciousness, is what many struggling Americans actually want...
...there to ruminate over the good old days when he was young and believed in shit...like the inerrant frontier wisdom of Sarah Plain and Crazy:
...
But in Alaska, there was a young, rising-star governor. She was pro-life, evangelical, a working mom. And her record way up north was reformist in a distinctly nonideological way: She was best known for fighting a corrupt nexus of politicians and the oil-and-gas industry, tackling crony capitalism on behalf of ordinary Alaskans.

And then, shockingly, McCain picked her as his running mate.

At which point the chattering classes went temporarily insane. Or maybe I went insane, who can say? But either way it seemed like everything I hated, a mix of sneering social liberalism, fecundophobia, anti-evangelical paranoia and class contempt, was being hurled at a candidate who seemed to fit exactly with the “Grand New Party” mold.

So I defended her. I assailed her critics. And then — well, you know what happened then...
Which means that in a certain way, Trump and Palin together on a stage is the closest American politics has come to offering the populist grand new party that Salam and I called for two presidential campaigns ago.

Except that it isn’t what we called for, because we wanted a populism with substance...
And I want baby back ribs to be heart-healthy, calorie-free and delicious.  But sometimes we don't get what we want, because what we want is ridiculous.  As ridiculous as the notion that the soulless Randites, paranoid xenophobes, gun fetishists, Dominionists and inbred bigots of Mr. Douthat's Republican Party were ever going to be on-board with a "populism with substance" designed to help the very people they had spent the last half a century learning to hate.

For a very long time, the spinners of the Myth of Reasonable Conservatism have made a fine living by relentlessly diverting and deflecting attention away from the actual, on-the-ground depravities of the real Republican Party. And for a very long time, the Myth of Reasonable Conservatism was the King Kong of political fairy tales: powerful, world-bestriding and seemingly unstoppable.  

But Reality is bigger, more patient and more ruthless than any propaganda and slowly, painfully, Reality carved the Beltway's favorite fairy tale down to it's proper proportions: a dead chimp in a tiny box surrounded by grown men who fucking well knew better, weeping and raging over the loss of their meal ticket.  
There was something else going on below: the last rites for that hairy old chimp, performed with the utmost seriousness -- as if she were laying to rest an only child.  Was her life really as empty as that?  It was all very queer, but queerer things were yet to come.

-- Joe Gillis, "Sunset Boulevard"
The Beltway's beloved imaginary chimp has died.

And we owe it to ourselves and to future generations to bust up its funeral and piss on its grave with all the hydraulic pressure we can muster.

8 comments:

keith gargus said...

Keep the 'shopped' pic of Cardinal Russ on file. It's the best.

Unknown said...

Not to worry. Whenever the Trump or Cruz fever passes (either in them imploding before the nomination or getting blown out in the general) the Reformicon fraud and poseur brigade will figure out how to animate their beloved imaginary chimp's corpse so that it can stagger along for another few years as if none of this unpleasantness ever happened.

It will be even less believable than the slop they've been flinging around for the past 3 decades, but has believability ever stopped them before?

bowtiejack said...

OK, I know I'm starting to sound like some kind of insane nut fan, but this is really good stuff.

Free Range Steve said...

Beautiful. And that last line was poetry.

Jerry B said...

I will content to see it dead and in the grave. Everything else is gravy.

Bruce.desertrat said...

Sadly, I've heard this dirge before, and I can hear the distant sounds of the Great Strategic Forgettery Machine groaning as it's hauled out of it's hangar by a great host of pundits straining on the ropes like slaves building the pyramids, soon to be coughing out great clouds of noxious smoke and mirrors as it's warmed up for the next round of Conservative Wankery.

Professor Fate said...

"tackling crony capitalism on behalf of ordinary Alaskans."
this may be the funniest thing Ross has ever written.

John Taylor said...

This is brilliant. Don't have much hydraulic pressure but I'll do my bit.