If the last year taught us anything -- any two things -- it is this. Or these.
First, as I have noted several thousand times on this blog over the years, because decades of pathological Beltway Media Both Siderism created a permission structure and all-purpose alibi machine which allowed Republicans to get away with atrocities over and over again, this one, Big Lie has done more to damage this country than any other Big Lie in recent memory.
And second, the Beltway is definitely going to keep doing it.
And in that spirit, let us note for the history books this week was a nearly flawless example of Karma finally so fucking sick of Both Siderists shitting up everything they touch that Karma pulled the car over, dragged them out and gave them a sound, bare-assed whippin' by the side of the road. I mean, how else do you explain that the same week when Democrats (in disarray!) rose up across the country to begin to claw the Land of the Free back from forces of Il Douche...
...and the same week when the forces of Il Douche found out that they had not just nominated a racist, lawless, homophobic crackpot to carry its party's banner in Alabama, but a racist, lawless, homophobic pedophile crackpot...
...turned out to be the same week when the No Labels brain wizards decided to re-re-re-relaunch the worst and most cartoonishly dishonest money pit in American politics?
I have been fascinated and appalled by the nekkid ridiculousness of the No Labels scam since the week it was dropped like a sack of rotting meat into the middle of our political conversation back in December of 2010 ("Dead Center: Political Cowardice Now Has Its Own "Movement"!")
/history lesson comin'. bail out now!/
You seen, back in the day, America was being offered a choice between two political alternatives -- the calm, caring, compassionate, competent, scandal-free administration of Barack Obama, and a racist, lawless band of saboteurs, imbeciles, fascists, theocrats and assorted crackpots called the Republican Party -- a party which had openly sworn a blood-oath to not only refuse to compromise with the Kenyan Usurper ever, but to actively obstruct and destroy the Kenyan Usurper by any means necessary.
And so, into this open warfare between Good Governance and Malignant Nihilism came the inevitable parade of the Usual Beltway Suspects -- Jon Huntsman, Joe Lieberman, David Brooks, Charlie Christ, David Frum, John Avlon, Mark McKinnon, Nancy Jacobson (aka. Mrs. Mark Penn) and Joey Joe Joe Junior Scarborough flying the flag of Both Sides Do It. As I wrote the week this scam was originally launched:
But nothing we did not expect, right?I mean, ever since the Republican Base ducked out on paying the tab for a generation of being loudly and catastrophically wrong about everything by putting on funny hats, screaming about liberty and calling themselves "The Tea Party", their sleazy Centrist enablers have been seething with jealously. Quite suddenly the monster they built didn't need them anymore and the skeevy hustlers who had helped create the Racist/Corporatist/Dominionist Confederacy on the bones of the New Deal and the grave of the American Dream found themselves cast out and looking for their next meal ticket.Preferably a meal ticket under a banner that -- like "Tea Party -- wouldn't keep bringing up their horribly inconvenient past as the sleazy, enabling hustlers.Hey, kids! I have an idea! Lets peel those the icky, damning labels off of everything and -- presto! -- there is magically no longer any difference between rat poison and apple sauce!Can I haz my million dollars now?...
But the election of President Stupid one year ago made the lives and strategies of every thug and parasite in American politics orders of magnitude more complicated, because the plan was that Hillary Clinton would win, take on the sins of the political world, and every wingnut meatbag and Both Siderist con man would grow vastly richer thereby.
Under President Hillary the Right would continue being free from any pretense of doing the one thing they loathe above all else: governing. They could gleefully go right on to doing the only things they knows how to do: obstruct, lie, witch-hunt, lie, sabotage and lie...and blame President Hillary every time they broke the government or burned something down.
Under President Hillary Fox News would continue to make enormous profits being the only thing it knows how to be -- a 24/7 Impeach
The Kenyan Usurper The Castrating Bitch freakshow.
Under President Hillary Both Siderists could go right on inventing imaginary fences to straddle and then blaming Both Sides every time the Right burned something down.
And under President Hillary, America's precious Independents, Steiniacs, and every other species of Purity Angel could rely on political herd immunity get Hillary elected so that they wouldn't have to personally soil their dainty souls by voting for anyone who was not 110% perfect. They could go right on telling themselves that Emails were just as awful as Pussy Grabbing Racism and that it really didn't matter who won because that teddible, teddible K'rupt Duopoly was the real problem.
They would be free, free, free to go right on being Righteous and Unsullied because they would never have to actually live under the rule of Il Douche.
Never need to lose sleep, or fight their way through panic attacks and crying jags because their children were about to be stripped of their health insurance.
But there is no President Hillary. And there never will be. And now, nearly a year into the catastrophic maladministration of President Stupid, one might think that the derelicts and mountebanks and cretins and dupes of Both Siderism could finally be pried loose of their repulsive creed.
However Both Siderists love their Both Siderism like a glutton loves his lunch. And so despite having to change the patter and the pacing of their lying to keep up with the bullet-train of flagrant, flaming bullshit and profoundly evil policies that issue from the Republican White House and Republican Congress every day, the cast of this confederacy of liars and the lies they tell remains completely unaltered by events.
For example, CNN pays the-tinnitus-that-walks-like-a-man, Michael Smerconish, to stay rooted in the Center like a stump and never budge a fucking inch no matter what. And so Mr. Smerconish has had to become ever more more banally and amorally Smerconishy just to stay in one place (From the redoubtable Heather at Crooks & Liars):
Smerconish Plays The Both Sides Card Over Awful Moore Allegations
For example, to keep his place at the trough, professional Republican goon and ratfucker Rick Wilson* has become, well, me. And rely on his dutiful colleagues to never, ever bring up the inconvenient fact that he eagerly helped build the monster he now gets paid a whole lotta lettuce to mock:
The Strange Pleasure of Seeing Carter Page Set Himself on FireIn any other administration, this awkward and silly man would be at the bottom of the barrel. In Trump world, he’s in the middle quintile.Watching Carter Page immolate himself and incriminate a half dozen of his colleagues from the Trump-Putin 2016 campaign has been a strange, almost guilty pleasure. Profoundly disconnected, socially awkward, and reeking of late-stage virginity, he gives off the creepy Uncanny Valley vibe of a rogue, possibly murderous android or of a man with a too-extensive knowledge of human taxidermy and a soundproofed van.
For example, Joe "Squint" Scarborough has adapted to the changing media ecosystem by becoming...
...David Fucking Brooks.
From the Washington Post, with a little emphasis added just for funsies:
Tuesday’s election proves it: American politics are a disasterIt might be comforting to believe that Tuesday’s election can be explained as a political primal scream aimed at President Trump and his dangerous excesses. Some may even conclude that a Democratic sweep of next year’s midterms will follow along with the speedy impeachment of Trump. Then, surely, reason and order will return to the business of running the United States. Unfortunately, that pipe dream ignores the more profound meaning of this week’s election results: The shellacking Republicans took proves again just how unmoored American politics has become in the 21st century....
Even if Tuesday’s election begins the long process of removing the president from office, Americans will be left with the same corrosive system that led voters to take a chance on Trump. The only way to escape that cycle is to break apart the hyperpartisan two-party duopoly that has kept Washington too divided, too dysfunctional and too directionless for too long.
Judges would also have accepted "Scarborough has adapted by becoming...Matthew Dowd" or "...Ron Fournier" or "...Michael Gerson" or "...Ross Douthat" or ...
But isn't that just fucking adorable?
Meanwhile, in the face of a national repudiation of the Republican Party led by pissed-off women and a reactivated Obama coalition, the actual David Brooks of The New York Times -- who boldly asserted just three years ago that his Republican Party had finally cleansed itself of malignant ignorance, racism and political thuggery (from 2014) --
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase.
-- warns the Democrats not to read to much into Tuesday's election results (from today) --
The stain Trump leaves on the G.O.P. will take some time to wash away. But this is bigger than Trump; it’s an alignment caused by the fundamental reality of the populist movement.
But does this mean Democratic dominance is baked in the cake? Here I would say, not so fast. It’s worth remembering that the Democrats don’t quite deserve this victory. It didn’t come about because of some masterly Democratic strategy. The Democrats won because the Republicans decided to shrink their coalition...
Because, well, you know how those Liberals are (with emphasis added):
And it’s worth looking around the world and noting that center-left parties are in decline across Europe and beyond. These parties have lost touch with working class voters and are finding they can’t simply replace them with a mixture of identity politics and faculty lounge populism...
However, according to Mr. Brooks, there is still hope that the Democratic Party can shape up and fly right if they can just cast off their, y'know, Democratic Partyness and become a tidy little phalanx of David Brooks clones.
Here’s how you can tell which way the Democrats are going. If they talk mostly about oligarchy and rich financiers, they are retreating to their base. But if they talk about mobility — geographic mobility, economic and social mobility, intellectual and spiritual mobility, they are talking the language of the suburbs. And if they have practical plans to enhance universal mobility, the age of Democratic dominance will be at hand.Fuck that.
Behold, a Tip Jar!
*Thanks to Neo T and RA for the catches!