Sunday, February 14, 2016

Sunday Morning Comin' Down: The Roof, The Roof, The Roof Is On Fire

On "Meet the Press", for one brief moment, Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier expressed indignation that, within minutes of the announcement of Antonin Scalia's death, Republicans had already stitched his remains into a political football:
RON FOURNIER: I think it's even worse than this. Within 20 minutes of the announcement that he was dead, I got an email from a very prominent Republican consultant, all of you know, saying, "We are not going to allow even a hearing." The man's body, a good man's body was not even dead yet, and politics was already in play.
The Republicans are not going to let this happen. It's totally irresponsible. It's a sign again of our democracy, of our system not functioning...
And then, inevitably, the Both Siderist chip in his skull kicked in and:
RON FOURNIER: And I have no reason to believe that if a Republican leads the White House, why would the Democrats not--
And I have no reason to believe that if Ron Fournier were dropped from a very high place he would not float to the ground, unharmed, like Glinda the Good Witch, but I do believe it is a proposition well worth testing!

However for me, the signature moment of the Sunday Gasbag Cavalcade came when the still-inexplicably-employed neocon hobgoblin, Bill Kristol, pronounced on "This Week...With Whoever The Host Is" (for the 17th time) that this time That Man Trump Has Gone Too Far!

Specifically (and despite a track record of being 100% wrong) Kristol is nearly positive that Trump has doomed himself by daring the mention that Dubya lied this country into the wrong war.

So let's talk about that for a minute.

We must being with the fact that, on the Right, the sanctity of Imaginary Reagan is absolute. One Reagan, holy, Conservative, and unapologetic. Period.

Of course, the faithful are permitted to mention his Humble Origins as a dirty liberal, but only in a voice tinged with breathless wonderment as they tell the children of his Inevitable Ascension to becoming our Greatest Imaginary President of all. The man who single-handedly brought down the Soviet Union. The man who who invented the wheel and built the Eiffel Tower out of metal and brawn. This is settled doctrine, and those who speak of dark heresies -- who whisper of Reagan's sedition, his backroom deals with terrorists to fund illegal wars, his cutting and running from Lebanon after getting 241 Marines killed, his many tax increases, his often dangerously addled and hostile relationship with reality, the not-at-all subtle racism of his 1980 campaign, and so forth -- are cast forever out of the company of the Elect and into the wilderness with the dirty hippies, the uppity Negroes, the mouthy feminists all other manner of unclean persons.

One Reagan, holy, Conservative, and unapologetic. Period.

But the legacy of George W. Bush is not settled.  Not at all.

Oh sure, for the first six years of his regime the Pig People worshiped him as a living god.  Perhaps even,,,the Second Coming of Reagan!

But a funny thing happened on the way to the beatification.  Dubya started to lose.  And lose badly. He lost two wars,  He lost the economy,  He lost a major American city,  He lost the Congress.  And he lost all those things and so many more in a way that showed the world that the Dirty Hippies had been right about Dubya all along  He really was a criminally incompetent dry-drunk halfwit.  He really did appoint politically-connected idiots to run vitally important parts of the government.   He really was in the thrall of genuinely evil men who operated him like a marionette and made themselves fabulously wealthy thereby.  The base of his party really were raving lunatics, bigots and imbeciles.

And as I wrote back in 2009:
...that brutal, meth-addict level of dependence on never being brought to book for anything they say or do left the Right completely unprepared for the one thing their leaders promised would never happen again.


And losing has driven them a special kind of crazy; that screaming-incoherently-and-lashing-out-in-every-direction kind of cold-turkey junkie withdrawal crazy.

In the few, short months since they lost, they have emptied out their entire store of raving invective and delusion.

Losing has left them insisting that that the legally elected President of the United States somehow isn't really the President. That he is a secret enemy. A Communist. A Hitler. A Muslim sleeper cell. A Chicago gangster... 
And how did they react to Bush humiliating them like that in front of God and the dirty hippies and everyone?   To shitting the bed they shared so violently and publicly?    As I wrote back in 2009:
Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fuckpit their leaders and their policies have made of their live and futures.

Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms...
Yes, millions of these heroes of the Party of Personal Responsibility immediately cut and ran from the multiple catastrophes they had spent the Bush Administration loudly cheering.  They eagerly queued right up for Dick Armey's Fabulous, Tea-Baggulous Bush-Off Machine, emerging from the other side wearing funny little hats, waving funny little flags, bitching about deficits and swearing that they had never even heard of George W. Bush.

And there's the problem.

When I write about a rampant outbreak of "Republican Detachment Disorder" sweeping the Right, I'm not kidding.  The Republican Party is dead, dead, dead and it's various factions have Balkanized into a clutch of squabbling tribes each with its own code of conduct, elaborate rituals and taboos, each laying claim to be the One True Conservative and ransacking the rubble of the Party of Lincoln for the Reagan Arkenstone, and each denying any knowledge of or responsibility for That Which Came Before.

It is true that, being warmongering, bloodthirsty ghouls, the Neocon Kristol Faction (and it's current favorite fingerpuppet Marco Rubio) still hold Dubya in great regard.  And the Bush Family Retainer Faction still thing Dubya is the bees-knees because that's what loyal family retainers are for.

But it is also true that John Kasich spoke similarly Forbidden Words --
Kasich, who concluded a long day of campaigning by speaking to a crowd of about 800 people at an outdoor pavilion near Hilton Head, told a business gathering earlier Friday in Columbia that a “ Republican House, a Republican Senate and a Republican president blew” in 2001 what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office at the time had projected as a $5.6 trillion surplus between 2002 and 2011.
-- and was not turned into a pillar of salt.

The Bush Regime Dead-Enders like Kristol are the puffed-up Romanovs-in-Exile of the Beltway. Despite the fact that their empire has collapsed, and despite the fact that they are always spectacularly wrong about everything, they still swagger around the place as if they still ruled the world, occupying positions of prestige and influence within the Beltway media ecosystem thanks to god-only-knows what corrupt bargains they struck with their fellow travelers inside the media business, and always on the make for the next bandwagon that will sweep them back to power.

But most members of the late GOP were not Dowager Empresses or Grand Dukes of the Party. They're working stiffs who watched everything turn to shit under George Bush and who held their tongues because the thought of looking that colossally stupid and wrong in front of Liberals yet again -- of Dirty Hippies doing "We Told You So" dances on the lawn of the White House -- was too much for their bent little souls to bear.  And so while they may hate the Kenyan Usurper with the heat of 1,000 suns, they also have who have no particular loyalty to the Bush family, nor any interest in continuing to let the stinking albatross of the Worst President in Modern History hang around their necks.

And with their jaunty little Tea Party costumes and a brand new Authorized Conservative Mantra that tells them that nothing that happened before 2009 counts anyway, they now have the perfect excuse for dumping the Bush family, bag and baggage, once and for all.


bowtiejack said...

"The Bush Regime Dead-Enders like Kristol are the puffed-up Romanovs-in-Exile of the Beltway. "

Just perfect writing. Just perfect. I bow again before your awesomeness.

Batocchio said...

"Here's actual evidence of Republicans behaving badly."
"Well, theoretically, the Democrats would be just as bad."

I'm really sick of all "both-sides" bullshit, but this particular brand is more annoying because it's so weak.

waldo said...

Awesomeness acknowledged also too...

...they now have the perfect excuse for dumping the Bush family, bag and baggage, once and for all.

...and guess who's waiting to dwy their wittle tears and give them back some self-esteem with a job, health care and education....

Remonster said...

Are you aware that there is profanity in the music you posted? I am reporting you to Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice STAT

Redhand said...

The Republican Party is dead, dead, dead and it's various factions have Balkanized into a clutch of squabbling tribes each with its own code of conduct, elaborate rituals and taboos, each laying claim to be the One True Conservative and ransacking the rubble of the Party of Lincoln for the Reagan Arkenstone, and each denying any knowledge of or responsibility for That Which Came Before.

Certainly this is correct but, while they are incapable of governing, they still are capable of preventing the Democrats from doing so while, Zombie-like, they chew away at the bones of government itself. And, we cannot dismiss the possibility that the GOP "working stiffs" you describe could usher in a Trump victory. In such a case we would have genuine attempt to create a regime of Know-Nothing fascism under the guise of "making America great again." I honestly don't know how well our federal institutions could survive another Republican regime dedicated to attacking the structure of national government itself, "unitary executive" style. Consider the impact of the "Freedom Caucus," and the right wing Supreme Court, even without Scalia.

We may mock these people as yahoos and cretins, which many certainly are, but we dismiss their capacity to do evil (there, I said it) at our considerable peril.

Patrice Mitsos said...

Absolutely!!!!! Bernie is the next POTUS.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

I don't loathe Sanders the way Uppity Woman does, but I agree with her that he is a GOP opposition researcher's dream opponent.

Also, before I take the possibility of a Sanders nomination seriously, I need to see him win some states which are not low-population Paleface Bantustans.

Ladies and germs, the Establishment has not survived this long by not being able either to deflect the winds of change, or else to catch them in its sails, to go where it wishes to go. An example of the latter would be the New Deal, which actually saved capitalism in the USA, despite the indignant quacking of some of the less intelligent McDucks of that period.

"Rome wasn't built in a day". Neither did it fall in one day. I doubt our "Rome" will fall in this year, and probably not in my lifetime. (I complete my 53rd solar orbit in May, barring the unlikely event of my meeting Miss Ankh first.)

Jimbo said...

Whether or not Bernie or Hilz is elected President and even if the Senate flips back to Democratic hands, which is a distinct possibility, not much will change legislatively. This is because the state-level Democratic parties in the red states are generally in very poor shape. Bu, even if they weren't, gerrymandering by state legislatures ensures a GOP HOR for decades to come. So, we will see a gradual but steady disintegration of the Federal Government, like Alice's Cheshire Cat. OTOH, this will only lead to an increased use of executive orders for vital programs and services. None of this is sustainable, of course. But, the Conservative base has shown a remarkable ability to not give a damn about what happens to this country. If they ever do realize they've been manipulated for the benefit of the .001%, the backlash may be brutal. But I fear we are a long way from that point.

squatlo said...

Beautifully written piece, sir. I found myself saying "Why the fuck didn't I write that? I've been thinking it (although in much less eloquent prose) for seven years!"

Well done.

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

Jimbo, if the non-elite conservatives were capable of recognizing that they were (and are) being manipulated, could they have been manipulated to begin with?

Ivory Bill Woodpecker said...

If a President Sanders could actually get a large portion of his proposals enacted by an intransigent GOP Congress--an even harder task than getting elected--I expect that it would actually help capitalism, just like the New Deal.

However, just as in the 1930s, a majority of our modern McDucks are too dense to see that social democracy would actually be good for them, so they'll command their political minions to block it, or even the more centrist version that a President Clinton would offer.

I'm using the USA's definition of centrist, of course; Sanders is hard-leftist only on the USA's right-skewed political grid.

Donald Walsh said...

"The Republican Party is dead, dead, dead."

Brand names have value. When New Coke bombed, the corporate parent didn't die, it just rebooted the old product. The Republican coalition may be broken, but the brand has considerable punch. It owns tons of gerrymandered Congressional districts and whole state governments, as Jumbo points out. It has the unquestioned loyalty of millions of voters.

Sure it may be having a schism now between the paymasters and the unwashed, but those paymasters still hold the patents, the machinery, and most of the infrastructure. A return to old Coke is already on the drawing boards. The story of the decade for the 2020's will be what they are building in their garages right this minute.

Unknown said...

I can't put into words my satisfaction that my nickname Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier has gained such a prestigious fan. Cheers!

Unknown said...

Since no one else has said it yet, I will: you win the internetz this week for not only the comment bowtiejack mentioned re: "The Bush Regime Dead-Enders...." but then combining that with Rock Master Scott...?! That's some pull-it-out-of-the-old-vacuum-tubes genius right there. Well done, DG. Spot on analysis, and entertaining as hell. I'm an old punk rock guy but I loved then and still do love old 1st gen beatbox hiphop. This post hits all the right notes.