Saturday, February 25, 2017

A Study in Varlet

Who knew that the last 25 years of conflict about the nature and condition of American Conservatism could be summarized by two short, classic film clips?

And both by guys names Kevin!

Generally. over the last quarter of a century, Liberal commentary on state of American Conservatism has been this:

And the Conservative commentary on the condition its condition was in has been this:

Finally, Friday, there came a quiet concession of sorts from Mr. David Brooks.  Not regarding his own personal dishonesty or sanctimony, of course.  And not about the interlocking, toxic fairy tales and frauds that he has been peddling as public intellectualism for his entire adult life.

But now that the terrible hour about which Liberals have been sounding the alarm has come round at last -- now that the wingnut Rough Beast has slouched all the way to the White House to the sound of Mr. Brooks' Republican Party cheering wildly -- for a moment Mr. Brooks had no words left to hide behind.

MARK SHIELDS: ... We saw that at the CPAC convention, Judy. That was a total surrender of the Reagan era. Ronald Reagan is gone.


MARK SHIELDS: He is nothing but a distant memory.


MARK SHIELDS: Well, seeing that party today, I mean, he stood up and he said, you finally have a president, you finally have a president. I am the future.

And what did he get? Hosannas and huzzahs and genuflection. It was a total takeover of the conservative movement. Like, that’s what the conservative movement has become, is basically an annex of the Trump campaign.

DAVID BROOKS: I wish I could disagree.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Do you think the two are now one, that it’s the Trump and the conservative …

DAVID BROOKS: I don’t know if it will be forever, but, for this moment, yes, for sure.

Steve Bannon went to the CPAC this week and he said that there was a very important historical turning point, getting rid of the TPP. And the Republican Party has stood for that for as long as I have been alive.

And then Trump today, he — you know, buy American, buy American, anti-free trade, and got big cheers. They’re waving Russian flags, probably partly as a joke. But, still, the party has become an ethnic nationalist party.

And I don’t think it’s just because they, oh, that we agree with Trump on some things and not on others. I do think, over the last 10 years, a lot of Republicans have decided it’s not working, what the party believed in, free trade, global capitalism, open borders.

They looked at basically the failed wars and they said, oh, this, us being the policeman of the world, that is not working.

And so something really serious has shifted in the minds of Republicans and certainly others...
Of course Mr. Brooks' time-line is ridiculous and self-serving -- for example, anyone who saw the GOP gleefully toss the keys to Newt Gingrich and Rush Limbaugh back in 1994 knew this would all end in tears.  But no one who saw Il Douche basking in the adulation of the aspiring squires and baronets of the Conservative movement at CPAC can continue to pretend that the Party of Lincoln still exists.

So it turns out. the Kevin McCarthys have most definitely been right all along.  And the Kevin Bacons have been unequivocally wrong all along. Which brings us to this depressing question.

Going forward, which of the Kevins will be getting reserved seating on America's premier Sunday morning public interest talk shows?

Because we are fighting monsters now.

And in this war, there is no middle ground.


Karen Crosby said...

"There is no middle ground." Yes. Pick a side. White nationalism or democratic pluralism. Orders or law.

proverbialleadballoon said...

Seems to me, that Trump is speaking to nobody but Republicans. Do 'undecideds' look at the President shutting out the media and think "yes, this is normal/a good thing/nothing to worry about"? I don't even know anymore. Seems that people will believe anything. Everybody knows the press is bullshit. And yet, this is all hinging on the press.

knownuthingooroo said...

TL:DR, Sorry! But I gotta do it. Print it and take it to the potty.

Bannon runs his mouth while Sessions bats his eyes at private prisons. What's the common theme of all the Trump Monkeys besides their incompetence and toxicity? What does Tillerson want for national security? What does Mnuchin want for the economy? What does DeVos want for schools? What does Pruitt want for safe water and food? What does Price want for medicine? And now, what does Sessions want for law enforcement and the justice system?

Bannon says "deconstructing" America. What he means is, Trump and the Republicans are selling us.

They don't just want to break America. They want to break it into pieces and hawk the pieces like Canal Street cart vendors.

Think about decades Republican hostility to civil rights, labor rights, consumer protections, education, and accountability for stewardship of our public trust.

Here's another common theme on the right for the last 20 years: Trashing the plausible deniablity of the previous iteration of unhinged dogwhistling by being too incompetent, juvenile, and complacent in their impunity to keep it on the downlow.

We've never been anything but commodities to them, and they prey on our decency to get away with it. They escalate until there's no place in a civilized, functioning society for what it takes to make them stop.

In this escalation, they're going from discreetly selling us out to openly cashing us out. One golden egg a day is no longer good enough. They;re out to kill the goose.

It's good that most of the cabinet arguments have been along the lines of "prove to us you're something other than an amoral money grubber going for the Big Con." But it's not enough. Democrats also need to make the case that these people don't live in the same world everyone else does. They'll stay rich, privileged assholes whether America lives or dies. And as long as they get theirs, they don't give a fuck.

Hopefully these angry town halls will turn into recall movements. Not just for Republicans who won't defy Trump, but for Democrats who won't defy Republicans.

dinthebeast said...

This is a little depressing, but hopeful in it's own way>:

-Doug in Oakland

SamB said...

David Brooks almost said "White nationalist party"!

Jimbo said...

The "Other Kevin McCarthy" is currently GOP Majority Leader and was a big part of recruiting the so-called Freedom Caucus in the 2010 massacre. Quelle ironique, eh?

Peter Mikkelsen said...

The Democratic Party can no longer ignore the reality and continue to play compromise footsie with the gd Republicans.

The gd Republicans have sold themselves to the devil. The monstrosity of authoritarian, racist nationalism is in The White House and it ain't goin' away without a bare-knuckled, knock-down, drag-out fight.

The gd Dems must gird themselves and join the #Resistance, completely and absolutely.


Green Eagle said...

The original "Invasion of the Body Snatchers" is alleged to have been about Communism, it should be noted.

And I class myself as an expert, having made my only film appearance ever as an extra in the Donald Sutherland remake.

Robt said...

I am going rogue for a brief moment.

Malcolm Nance has been making many appearances on many a show.

It is remarkable what the networks are allowing him to speak. He has spoke and handled himself credibly. My opinion nance has clearly expressed many of the serious concerns over the Trump- Putin election influencing and connections between them. As an ex CIA he has said that, "many of the Trump Adm and campaign folks should get lawyers because the CIA definitely has recordings of the calls they had with Russians."
That is fairly pointed for a network to air Nance and continue to do so.

I am not saying Nance is some sort of hero. His positions observed and when placed up against Conservative hacks on a show. He has been astounding in calling the issues out.

On Sat AM Joy (jonathan covering for Joy_
malcolm Nance is on over the Russian election interference ties by the Trump campaign.
nance actually states that the republicans neglecting their duty. That "Republicans represent their Ideology, political party, their self gains and America comes somewhere after money. Much later after money".

here is Am Joy link,

It is something to watch. Trump nor the GOP has filed lawsuits on him yet.
Nor on the Networks that put him on it seems to say what he does.

With the reporting of Top GOP congressional committee people that would have a lot to say about investigations. Getting a call from White House to cal news media and suppress the Russian linked problems of Trump. Like Flynn is gone for doing what? Becoming a hammer and sickle lightening rod?

But the GOP agree to suppress the press?

The priebus maximus makes attempt to suppress FBI?

The lock her up crowd need to pronged in the ass with Satan's pitchfork.

I now return from the Rouge walk. Control of this blog comment space is now returned to its normal operation.