Monday, September 04, 2017

The Parthian Shot

You wound, like Parthians*, while you fly,
And kill with a retreating eye.

-- Samuel Butler, An Heroical Epistle of Hudibras to His Lady

Once again, the fairy tale of a Reasonable Republican Party crumbles to dust right in front of us.

Once again, the true, mad fascist heart of the party that so many of us have been warning about for so long stands reveled as clear and "plain as way to parish church" (as a writer of my acquaintance  once said.)

And so, once again the collaborators and co-conspirators whose job it has been to lie about the GOP's basic nature and deflect all criticism of the Right qua Right into impotent hand-wringing about "Both Sides" find themselves right back in the same perilous position they were in during the last days of the Failed Bush Administration -- like hermit crabs caught between residences, once again America's professional Both Siderist are scrambling to simultaneously retreat from and memory-hole their previously held shitty opinions, while at the same time redoubling their efforts maintain Both Siderism as a defensible position.

This fundamentally absurd proposition would be impossible were it not or the fact that maintaining the Both Siderist lie at any cost is clearly the Prime Directive of the powerful, vested interests who own the microphones and cameras and newspapers through which this lie is daily transmitted to the American public.

As I wrote way back in 2012: is this gargantuan gap between the Actual Left and the Imaginary Left -- between reality and the Big Lie of Centrism -- that terrifies our Beltway Media.  Scares them so bad that none of them will debate or even discuss the matter in a public forum, or within shouting distance of a Beltway camera and microphone.

The Big Lie of Centrism is the Magic Lie.  The Philosopher's Stone of lies which has  transmuted dozens of mediocre hacks into Very Wealthy and Serious Persons, and hundreds of the smaller lies our political media tells every day into the common wisdom of our Imperial Media.

The Big Lie of Centrism is also incredibly fragile, which is why so much effort must be devoted to its constant maintenance and protection.

The Maginot Line of the Beltway Media can withstand any assault as long the Big Lie of Centrism remains intact.

But once it falls, the world will change.
So how is can the Big Lie of Centrism -- of Both Sides Do It Uber Alles -- possibly survive in the Age of Trump?

The same way it has always survived: by constant, ubiquitous, corporate-funded and unrebutted repetition. 

For example, how can America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Public Intellectual possibly explain how his Republican Party's position on climate change went from this --

-- to this --

-- in just ten years?

Was it perhaps due to the concerted effort and billions of dollars spent by the moguls of oil and coal to set up a vast web of climate denial front groups and think tanks?  To buy political campaigns?  To underwrite right wing hacks on radio and teevee?

Of course not.  It was all Al Gore's fault!

From The News Hour (with emphasis added):

DAVID BROOKS: Climate change, in the way it wasn’t 20 years ago, it’s a total partisan issue now.

MILES O’BRIEN: Is that because Al Gore ran for… That’s the moment, isn’t it? Yes.

DAVID BROOKS: I happen to think he had some positive effects with the movement. I think he had a very negative effect.  You used to have John McCain and a lot of Republicans with climate change legislation.


DAVID BROOKS: And once it became a Democratic issue, the Republicans had to go on the other side. And there was perverse effect of what Al Gore did.
And there it is.  An excuse so casually ridiculous that you wouldn't buy it from a four-year-old -- Republicans can't help being evil because Democrats keep trying to do good -- being proffered by on national teevee Mr. David Brooks of The New York Times.

And speaking of venerable new organizations, while Mr. Brooks was pooping what may be the most depraved defense of Both Siderism I have ever heard into The New Hour's perennially weak tea, over at The Washington Post Mr. David Von Drehle was being handed a national media platform to urp out this drivel:
Liberals and conservatives must stand together against the extremes

Charlottesville. Berkeley. Houston. Three dots that lead to something urgent about our politics.

Let’s connect them.

Wanna-be Nazis parading by torchlight through Charlottesville was a radical moment. Masked leftists marauding through Berkeley was another radical moment. Radical politics are the most dangerous kind, whether they arise from the right or the left...

Today’s parties are accustomed to placating their radical elements with gestures and dog-whistles. But converging forces — including niche media, social networks and partisan gerrymandering — have tipped power from the center to the extremes, where radicals will no longer be placated.

These forces gave us perhaps the most radical presidential election in American history last year. The ostensibly conservative Republican Party was taken over by a man who stands against core conservative values such as prudence, order, tradition and free markets. Meanwhile, the ostensibly liberal Democratic Party was nearly hijacked by a socialist...
Events have proven beyond dispute that Republicans really are the monsters we on the Left have always said they were.  And within one or two election cycles their party could be all-but extinct were it not for the fact that well-funded and well-connected Both Siderists in and out of the media are dedicated to driving that monster's getaway car every time it gets in trouble.

Right now that getaway car is falling apart -- rolling on four flats, belching black smoke and bleeding oil.  With enough focused attention and effort we could crack it's engine block, stop it in its tracks and finally force the media to do the one thing it is desperate to avoid: start having real conversations about the real difference between our two major political parties as they really are.

But "with enough focused attention and effort" is always the issue, isn't it?

Behold, a Tip Jar!

* The Parthian shot (from Wikipedia) is a light horse military tactic made famous in the West by the Parthians, an ancient Iranian people. While in real or feigned retreat their horse archers would turn their bodies back in full gallop to shoot at the pursuing enemy.


JDM said...

So if someone who is a Democrat educates people on it, Republicans have to be against it. They're forced to. Even a mavericky maverick guy. If only Al Gore had never mentioned it, the Republican party would have championed effective climate change policies via legislation and treaties.

Oh, I absolutely believe that.

Jeff Olson said...

"Radical politics are the most dangerous kind, whether they arise from the right or the left"

Two points, just quickly:
1) The KKK wears masks for shame. Anti-fascists wear masks to protect against police teargas. That they wear masks makes them the same.
2) Radical politics that are promoted through shouting = dangerous. Radical politics that are written in back rooms and passed in midnight votes on party lines in a gerrymandered House, well that is just the legislative sausage the infallible Founders intended.

As Tengrain so often says - we are so fucked in the dark.

Robt said...

Both sides meets Flip-flopper.

When John Kerry put his house up for sale for K with a bottom line of $470K (not advertised. He has an initial offer for $300K. He stood firm on a low of $470 low bid.
Then, another offer came in at $490K and he accepted the bid and sold it.

For this, he was a Flip-Flopper. Something the right wing media in concert with the GOP convinced in tantamount to it's audience. This was worse than being a commie, Gay or a child molester.
-The republican base had no idea of what to hang their pride, patriotism and honor, family values and religion on.
Yet, making the decision of turning down a deal only to accept another is unforgivable heresy.

On the other hand,
GW Changing course after publicly and repeatedly stating like a Gen George Patton, Stay the course". "Changing his mindoozed to change the course and denying he ever said stay the course.

GW, who chiseled in stone free markets and government out of the way. When his (unregulated free markets collapsed),. Bailed out Wall Street leaving Free market survival to everyone else. Shoveling government socialism in it's purest unadulterated form to the wealthy and corporate titans of conservative unbending principals.

No Flip-Flopper condemnation from his Ayn Rand family.

It took time. But after the election and the Democratic (other sider) entered office. within 2 months, he was to blame for the economic collapse.
He was to blame for the economic showering of other peoples money on Wall Street/ the bail t.

It is well documented how the republicans indulged bipartisanship to work with the Democratic president.
This is why the disdain outcry for Democrats in the minority vote blindly in bi partisanship with the GOP majorities.
So when the GOP policies fail. And they will! Both sides are easier to blame. This means less effort (for the same salary) by the masters of the universe as David Brooks can be accomplished with less effort and disseminated to their gullible patsy requiring "need of an issue to hate the enemy" more than those that harm them the most..

.While the right wing media decided not to discuss it and pass out marching orders. The so called left media undertook the moderate tone to continue hoping they right would come around for the country.

What do we hear now, The left is blocking progress. Like Confirming Gorsuch? Unitary presidency's dictatorial Executive orders. And so much more fun filled jelly doughnuts for all.

Unknown said...

Driftglass are you suggesting people like Chuck Todd and Joe Scarborough should be destroyed? Hmm, well let me tell you this buddy. COUNT ME IN.Don't make me ask you again I'm really riled up these days and I'm ready to blow my stack, so watch it.
Don't play. I'm warning you.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good evening, Mr. Glass.

"The ostensibly conservative Republican Party was taken over by a man who stands against core conservative values such as prudence, order, tradition and free markets."

Missing from this sentence...the people who voted for him. He didn't "take over" anything.

Be seeing you.

dinthebeast said...

What leftists "marauding through Berkeley"? Have you ever been to fucking Berkeley? Every time some Nazi creep shows up, or threatens to show up, the media goes into a frenzy to capture the ratings gold of *Actual! *Live! *Conflict! as if it's some new threat to the stability of democracy or some horse shit, when what really happens is *People! *Protest! in *Berkeley! over *Whatever! *There! is to *Protest! *About!
And have been doing so for far longer than the 33 years I have lived in the East Bay.
I'd suggest getting a grip, but why bother?

-Doug in Oakland

trgahan said...

As I keep saying, to our news media 68 million voters disappeared in November.

Since his low turn out inauguration followed by the Women's March embarrassed Republicans, put Trump on the defensive, and evaporated any possible momentum the news media has been under orders to NEVER talk to anyone identifying themselves as part of the Resistance.....which isn't getting the same billions in free air time the Tea Party got.

..instead they just keep the Trump voter focus groups coming cause we need to keep groveling at their feet in order "understand" why they need to punish us.