Wednesday, June 15, 2016

A Confederacy of Dunces

I watched as he opened the sixth seal.

There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red.

And it looked a little something like this...

Erick Erickson lauding Ron Fournier...

While Matthew Dowd cheers from the sidelines.

There is a valley where a bustling town is in the process of being destroyed by flood waters from a dam that has burst. From a distance you can still see the steeple of the church. the tops of the tallest trees, the roofs of some houses and the upper floors of a few office buildings, all of which are crowded with survivors hanging on for dear life.

But the thing is, the dam that held back the floodwaters did not collapse from natural causes. Far from it. In fact, for decades a group of committed and well-funded lunatics have been hard at work every day trying to weaken, undermine and destroy the dam.

Their catchy motto: "The Dam Isn't The Solution To Our Problem. The Dam Is The Problem".

For decades, another. much smaller and much-less-well-funded group of citizens have tried to stop the fanatics from blowing up the dam. This groups has used a variety of tactics, but since they're few in number and poor in resources, much of their effort was devoted to trying to get the residents of the town and the local newspaper to wake the fuck up to the problem of the saboteurs who were trying to smash the dam and level the town.

But no one listened or cared very much. 

The dam blower-uppers paid really well, and had lots of think tanks and white papers "proving" that the dam wasn't really all that important. Besides, at a very basic level the townspeople simply could not imagine that the dam would ever really be at risk, no matter how tirelessly the fanatics worked. And anyway, the fanatics couldn't really be serious, right?  I mean, as a theoretical construct -- as an abstract governing model -- what they said about the river water gently "trickling down" and making everyone in town as rich as pirates once the dam was blown up sounded kind of an abstract way...but these fuckers couldn't possibly, really mean it, right? 

So since the threat wasn't real, why worry about a few Liberal lefty alarmists who no one of importance took seriously anyway?

On a high hilltop nearby there is a tony little members-only tavern with a commanding view of the flooding valley below.

At one of the cafe's tables, three idiots are toasting each other's sagacity and insight. 

One of them has been militating for blowing up the dam his whole professional life, and is basically just pissed off that some other madman got to plant the final charge. 

Another of these three idiots actually worked for the dam blower-uppers most of his life but recently quit to become an "Independent" and take a lucrative job writing about how dam-blower-uppers and anti-dam-blower-uppers were both equally terrible. 

 And for years, the last of these idiots has been not-so-secretly hoping that some devastating aquatic force (hint!hint!hint!) would come sweeping in (hint!hint!hint!) and "disrupt" the "corrupt duopoly" (hint!hint!hint!) of the dam-blower-uppers and the anti-dam-blower-uppers.

Now the three idiots look down at the shattered dam, the drowning town, the ordinary folks clinging for  to tree limbs and rooftops, the raving orange manic who finally, really blew it up and his cheering mob of dam-blower-uppers.

They look down and shake their heads and -- loud enough so that everyone can hear -- very dramatically make like Charleton Heston at the end of Plant of the Apes --

-- and wonder how in the world did this terrible situation ever come to be.


n1ck said...


Unknown said...

Fucking awesome.

In a sane world, this would be the piece the Atlantic ran as a feature article, while Ron "Severe Dementia" Fournier would be flipping burgers in some squalid fast food joint in some dying coal town in Appalachia, making sure BOTH SIDES of those fucking burgers are EQUALLY COOKED.

And Erick "Goat Fucking Child Molestor" Erickson would be spending his days in a padded cell, not allowed beyond his wing of the nut house without armed adult supervision.

And no one would give two flying shits who Matthew Dowd is, because President Gore would have served two successful terms and driven the braindead dolt wingnuts so mad that they board a bunch of leaky rowboats and head off to Siberia, leaving the rest of us the fuck alone to not start wars of American aggression in the Middle East, provide health care to those who need it a decade sooner, and regulate Wall Street BEFORE it almost destroys the world economy. Among a few thousand other things.

Although of course, if the three Stooges had met the fates I describe for them above, there would be no need for this particular piece. Fucking time travel paradoxes.

Robt said...

They are the, political party creators....

Yeah, they did build that voter base.

Yeah, the
Tea Potter caucus in the House are Koch owned and operated.

They are a big tent party of selfish, bigoted, Greedy, paranoid, haters.

ERickson and fournier, dowd and others seem to be concerned about their careers in the wake of Trump's grand finale.
The GOP base won't trust them or want them and the establishment corporate GOP will have no use for them if they can'assimilated the base.

The Trump Ying is causing a big Yang.

ChicagoPat said...

Here's some schadenfreude courtesy of Balloon Juice:

I particularly like the part where, in the midst of castigating the Trump supporters, he manages to take a swipe at the "left-wing media", and accuse Hillary of irrational hatred of the people who have made it their life's work to destroy her.

Not quite out of the bubble, but maybe getting closer to the edge.

trgahan said...

I would add:

A few times, the damn cracked. Part of town was destroyed and people briefly remembered why the damn was there in the first place. The towns people turned to that smaller and much-less-well-funded group of citizens to fix the problem. Which, actually believing in the town and its people, this group attempted to do. But in that brief moment (and they are always brief) the smaller group could only get a few coats of spackle on before losing support among the towns people.

Once the breech was (mostly) fixed and wealthier parts of the town repaired, the dam blower-uppers renewed their tirade claiming no one could have foreseen this crack; the towns people were being deceived by the smaller group; dams only crack because another group of towns people don't "know their place;" the dam cracked itself because that is what dams always do; etc.

The dam was fixed, the "right" parts of town repaired, to a towns person, who could know why the dam cracked, why cracks lead to flood, or if it would crack again. It was hard to remember things before the small crack. Besides, it cost the towns people $0.05 a piece just to spackle the thing, if they let the smaller group do everything they wanted to would cost upwards of $0.08 per person per year. As the Dam Blower Uppers had always been saying that was an outrageous theft and waste of the towns peoples hard earned money. The dam blower upper's friend Joe of Joe's Private Dam Maintenance Corp. said he'd do it for $0.07 per person per year (plus town tax breaks and a $100 per year subsidy).

Unknown said...

Nazi Germany really was the trial run. Lesson: Don't try it with the smartest Westerners--start with the dumbest ones instead.

Paul Donahue said...

A Confederacy of Dunces, one of my favorites. It's too bad that the author will never know to how well a use his efforts were put.

dinthebeast said...

Speaking of the three stooges, you gotta check this guy out. He's fucking hilarious, reminds me of Tom Lehrer a little:

-Doug in Oakland

Tom Shefchik said...

"The Dam Isn't The Solution To Our Problem. The Dam Is The Problem". Brilliant. You are the best.