Tuesday, May 22, 2018

The Grand Compendium Delusion

A couple of days ago I posted a call-and-response style post in which our humble narrator keeps interrupting Michael Gerson's latest, ludicrous whitewashing of Republican party history with significant events from the actual history of the Republican party which make Mr. Gerson look either remarkably stupid or like a pathological liar.

Anyway, a few of my more literal-minded readers responded to the final paragraphs of this post -- 
Excuse me, Mr. Gerson, but Jesus Christ on a UPS truck, you are not going to believe what happened!  

Funny story, actually.  

It seems that some Liberal asshole bundled together the record of your entire Republican party during the Obama Administration.  You know, long before Donald Trump ever oozed down the escalator and into the hearts of the reprogrammable meatbags who always have been the base of your party...
-- with a request for the link to which I was referring.

Well, see, there is no link.  There was nothing wrong in asking, but the the point I was attempting to make was that the actions of Mr. Gerson's Republican party every single day of the eight years of the Obama Administration all irrefutably damn Mr. Gerson's Republican party.  That the evidence of their sabotage and sedition was all so clear-cut, so right-out-in-the-open and of such recent vintage that no compendium of each of the hundreds of individual acts of betrayal should be necessary.

But it did get me to thinking about this.

See, over the years I have noticed a very specific form of wishful thinking among my fellow Libtards that it really is long past time that we outgrow.  And that is the fantasy that if we just had at our disposal some Grand Comendium of all modern Republican crimes against this country -- complete with tables of contents and footnotes and links and ibids and passims and vols -- that this would somehow begin to turn the tide.

That somehow, if we just had an exhaustively researched Indignity Gauntlet outfitted with all six Indignity Stones we would finally have a tool powerful enough to haul the Republican party down out of the Stupid Tree and force them to see reason.  Hell, maybe even just the Time Stone and with it the power to drag them back a day or a week or a month and watch themselves loudly swearing by the exact opposite of what they are swearing by today, and then jaunt them into the future so they can watch themselves swearing by the exact opposite of what they are swearing by today.

But the thing is, even if I had the luxury of taking off a year or so to compile such a thing, I wouldn't.  Because it is a fool's errand.  Because the problem is not that Republicans lack access to the same facts you and I and every other person with a computer has at our fingertips at all times.  Quite the opposite: they're drowning in humiliating, irrfutable rebuttals to everything they believe, which is why they have welded themselves inside the Hate Radio/Fox News bunker. 

They cannot be reached, because they have chosen not to be reachable.  They cannot be reasoned with because they reject reason itself.

Of course there will come a moment when the administration of President Stupid finally cracks down to the keel and slides beneath the waves, and in that moment these fuckers will try to flee down every available rat-line in their millions.  But don't expect them to acknowledge any personal responsibility for any of the madness they made possible.  Instead, expect to see a massive uptick in self-identified "independents" who will all swear that never really supported Donald  Trump at all with the same fervor that they now swear that all negative information about Trump is Fake News by the Deep State.

Expect to see them scurry around madly, loudly blaming Both Sides, to the delight of all the Beltway Both Siderists, who will be more than happy to tell these newly-minted "independents" the fanwing, flattering lies they wish to believe...

...even as they scan the horizon for the next lying Republican demagogue into whose arms they can fling themselves.

Why do I fully expect that, unless we on the Left mount a sustained and coordinated campaign to prevent this from happening, that this is what our future looks like?

Because we have been here before.  Several times.  And this is always how it goes.

For example, nine years ago -- long before Donald Trump oozed down the Escalator of Fate and into the hearts of the GOP's racist asshole base -- a guy named  Russell King compiled an abridged version of exactly the sort of Grand Compendium of Republican atrocities that way too many of my Liberals brothers and sisters still believe can be used to open Conservative minds.

It was a huge hit.  It went viral.  Bigly.  Traveled around and around Teh Internets a zillion times while many a good-hearted Liberal emailed it to their own Crazy Uncle Liberty with with "PLEASE READ" in the the subject line.

And in the end it simply faded away, having made little or no difference whatsoever.

Here, for the benefit of future generations, is Mr. King's epic work from nine years ago reposted in its entirety.  And no, I have not checked to make sure each individual like is still active.  And no, I do not intend to.

An open letter to conservatives

March 22, 2010, 3:16PM

Dear Conservative Americans,

The years have not been kind to you. I grew up in a profoundly Republican home, so I can remember when you wore a very different face than the one we see now. You've lost me and you've lost most of America. Because I believe having responsible choices is important to democracy, I'd like to give you some advice and an invitation.

First, the invitation: Come back to us.

Now the advice. You're going to have to come up with a platform that isn't built on a foundation of cowardice: fear of people with colors, religions, cultures and sex lives that differ from your own; fear of reform in banking, health care, energy; fantasy fears of America being transformed into an Islamic nation, into social/commun/fasc-ism, into a disarmed populace put in internment camps; and more. But you have work to do even before you take on that task.

Your party -- the GOP -- and the conservative end of the American political spectrum have become irresponsible and irrational. Worse, it's tolerating, promoting and celebrating prejudice and hatred. Let me provide some examples -- by no means an exhaustive list -- of where the Right as gotten itself stuck in a swamp of hypocrisy, hyperbole, historical inaccuracy and hatred.

If you're going to regain your stature as a party of rational, responsible people, you'll have to start by draining this swamp:


You can't flip out -- and threaten impeachment - when Dems use a parliamentary procedure (deem and pass) that you used repeatedly (more than 35 times in just one session and more than 100 times in all!), that's centuries old and which the courts have supported. Especially when your leaders admit it all.

You can't vote and scream against the stimulus package and then take credit for the good it's done in your own district (happily handing out enormous checks representing money that you voted against, is especially ugly) -- 114 of you (at last count) did just that -- and it's even worse when you secretly beg for more.

You can't fight against your own ideas just because the Dem president endorses your proposal.

You can't call for a pay-as-you-go policy, and then vote against your own ideas.

Are they "unlawful enemy combatants" or are they "prisoners of war" at Gitmo? You can't have it both ways.

You can't carry on about the evils of government spending when your family has accepted more than a quarter-million dollars in government handouts.

You can't refuse to go to a scheduled meeting, to which you were invited, and then blame the Dems because they didn't meet with you.

You can't rail against using teleprompters while using teleprompters. Repeatedly.

You can't rail against the bank bailouts when you supported them as they were happening.

You can't be for immigration reform, then against it .

You can't enjoy socialized medicine while condemning it.

You can't flip out when the black president puts his feet on the presidential desk when you were silent about white presidents doing the same. Bush. Ford.

You can't complain that the president hasn't closed Gitmo yet when you've campaigned to keep Gitmo open.

You can't flip out when the black president bows to foreign dignitaries, as appropriate for their culture, when you were silent when the white presidents did the same. Bush. Nixon. Ike. You didn't even make a peep when Bush held hands and kissed (on the mouth) leaders of countries that are not on "kissing terms" with the US.

You can't complain that the undies bomber was read his Miranda rights under Obama when the shoe bomber was read his Miranda rights under Bush and you remained silent. (And, no, Newt -- the shoe bomber was not a US citizen either, so there is no difference.)

You can't attack the Dem president for not personally* publicly condemning a terrorist event for 72 hours when you said nothing about the Rep president waiting 6 days in an eerily similar incident (and, even then, he didn't issue any condemnation). *Obama administration did the day of the event.

You can't throw a hissy fit, sound alarms and cry that Obama freed Gitmo prisoners who later helped plan the Christmas Day undie bombing, when -- in fact -- only one former Gitmo detainee, released by Dick Cheney and George W. Bush, helped to plan the failed attack.

You can't condemn blaming the Republican president for an attempted terror attack on his watch, then blame the Dem president for an attempted terror attack on his.

You can't mount a boycott against singers who say they're ashamed of the president for starting a war, but remain silent when another singer says he's ashamed of the president and falsely calls him a Maoist who makes him want to throw up and says he ought to be in jail.

You can't cry that the health care bill is too long, then cry that it's too short.

You can't support the individual mandate for health insurance, then call it unconstitutional when Dems propose it and campaign against your own ideas.

You can't demand television coverage, then whine about it when you get it. Repeatedly.

You can't praise criminal trials in US courts for terror suspects under a Rep president, then call it "treasonous" under a Dem president.

You can't propose ideas to create jobs, and then work against them when the Dems put your ideas in a bill.

You can't be both pro-choice and anti-choice.

You can't damn someone for failing to pay $900 in taxes when you've paid nearly $20,000 in IRS fines.

You can't condemn criticizing the president when US troops are in harms way, then attack the president when US troops are in harms way , the only difference being the president's party affiliation (and, by the way, armed conflict does NOT remove our right and our duty as Americans to speak up).

You can't be both for cap-and-trade policy and against it.

You can't vote to block debate on a bill, then bemoan the lack of 'open debate'.

If you push anti-gay legislation and make anti-gay speeches, you should probably take a pass on having gay sex, regardless of whether it's 2004 or 2010. This is true, too, if you're taking GOP money and giving anti-gay rants on CNN. Taking right-wing money and GOP favors to write anti-gay stories for news sites while working as a gay prostitute, doubles down on both the hypocrisy and the prostitution. This is especially true if you claim your anti-gay stand is God's stand, too.

When you chair the House Caucus on Missing and Exploited Children, you can't send sexy emails to 16-year-old boys (illegal anyway, but you made it hypocritical as well).

You can't criticize Dems for not doing something you didn't do while you held power over the past 16 years, especially when the Dems have done more in one year than you did in 16.

You can't decry "name calling" when you've been the most consistent and outrageous at it. And the most vile.

You can't spend more than 40 years hating, cutting and trying to kill Medicare, and then pretend to be the defenders of Medicare

You can't praise the Congressional Budget Office when it's analysis produces numbers that fit your political agenda, then claim it's unreliable when it comes up with numbers that don't.

You can't vote for X under a Republican president, then vote against X under a Democratic president. Either you support X or you don't. And it makes it worse when you change your position merely for the sake obstructionism.

You can't call a reconciliation out of bounds when you used it repeatedly.

You can't spend taxpayer money on ads against spending taxpayer money.

You can't condemn individual health insurance mandates in a Dem bill, when the mandates were your idea.

You can't demand everyone listen to the generals when they say what fits your agenda, and then ignore them when they don't.

You can't whine that it's unfair when people accuse you of exploiting racism for political gain, when your party's former leader admits you've been doing it for decades.

You can't portray yourself as fighting terrorists when you openly and passionately support terrorists.

You can't complain about a lack of bipartisanship when you've routinely obstructed for the sake of political gain -- threatening to filibuster at least 100 pieces of legislation in one session, far more than any other since the procedural tactic was invented -- and admitted it. Some admissions are unintentional, others are made proudly. This is especially true when the bill is the result of decades of compromise between the two parties and is filled with your own ideas.

You can't question the loyalty of Department of Justice lawyers when you didn't object when your own Republican president appointed them.

You can't preach and try to legislate "Family Values" when you: take nude hot tub dips with teenagers (and pay them hush money); cheat on your wife with a secret lover and lie about it to the world; cheat with a staffer's wife (and pay them off with a new job); pay hookers for sex while wearing a diaper and cheating on your wife; or just enjoying an old fashioned non-kinky cheating on your wife; try to have gay sex in a public toilet; authorize the rape of children in Iraqi prisons to coerce their parents into providing information; seek, look at or have sex with children; replace a guy who cheats on his wife with a guy who cheats on his pregnant wife with his wife's mother;


You really need to disassociate with those among you who:

assert that people making a quarter-million dollars a year can barely make ends meet or that $1 million "isn't a lot of money";

say that "Comrade" Obama is a "Bolshevik" who is "taking cues from Lenin";

ignore the many times your buddies use a term that offends you and complain only when a Dem says it;

liken political opponents to murderers, rapists, and "this Muslim guy" that "offed his wife's head" or call then "un-American";

say Obama "wants his plan to fail...so that he can make the case for bank nationalization and vindicate his dream of a socialist economy";

equate putting the good of the people ahead of your personal fortunes with terrorism;
smear an entire major religion with the actions of a few fanatics;

say that the president wants to "annihilate us";

compare health care reform with the bombing of Pearl Harbor, a Bolshevik plot the attack on 9/11,or reviving the ghosts of communist dictators (update: it's also not Armageddon);

equate our disease-fighting stem cell research with "what the Nazis did";

call a bill passed by the majority of both houses of Congress, by members of Congress each elected by a majority in their districts, an unconscionable abuse of power, a violation of the presidential oath or "the end of representative government";

shout "baby killer" at a member of Congress on the floor of the House, especially one who so fought against abortion rights that he nearly killed health care reform (in fact, a little decorum, a little respect for our national institutions and the people and the values they represent, would be refreshing -- cut out the shouting, the swearing and the obscenities);

prove your machismo by claiming your going to "crash a party" to which you're officially invited
claim that Obama is pushing America's "submission to Shariah";

question the patriotism of people upholding cherished American values and the rule of law;

claim the president is making us less safe without a hint of evidence;

call a majority vote the "tyranny of the minority," even if you meant to call it tyranny of the majority -- it's democracy, not tyranny;

call the president's support of a criminal trial for a terror suspect "treasonous" (especially when you supported the same thing when the president shared your party);

call the Pope the anti-Christ;

assert that the constitutionally mandated census is an attempt to enslave us;

accuse opponents of being backed by Arab slave-drivers or of being drunk and suicidal;

equate family planning with eugenics or Nazism;

accuse the president of changing the missile defense program's logo to match his campaign logo and reflect what you say is his secret Muslim identity;

accuse political opponents of being totalitarians, socialists, communists, fascists, Marxists; terrorist sympathizers, McCarthy-like, Nazis or drug pushers; and

advocate a traitorous act like secession, violent revolution , military coup or civil war (just so we're clear: sedition is a bad thing).


If you're going to use words like socialism, communism and fascism, you must have at least a basic understanding of what those words mean (hint: they're NOT synonymous!)

You can't cut a leading Founding Father out the history books because you've decided you don't like his ideas.

You cant repeatedly assert that the president refuses to say the word "terrorism" or say we're at war with terror when we have an awful lot of videotape showing him repeatedly assailing terrorism and using those exact words.

If you're going to invoke the names of historical figures, it does not serve you well to whitewash them. Especially this one.

You can't just pretend historical events didn't happen in an effort to make a political opponent look dishonest or to make your side look better. Especially these events. (And, no, repeating it doesn't make it better.)

You can't say things that are simply and demonstrably false: health care reform will not push people out of their private insurance and into a government-run program ; health care reform (which contains a good many of your ideas and very few from the Left) is a long way from "socialist utopia"; health care reform is not "reparations"; nor does health care reform create "death panels".


You have to condemn those among you who:

call members of Congress n*gger and f*ggot;

elected leaders who say "I'm a proud racist";

state that America has been built by white people;

say that poor people are poor because they're rotten people, call them "parasitic garbage" or say they shouldn't be allowed to vote;

call women bitches and prostitutes just because you don't like their politics ( re - pea -ted - ly );

assert that the women who are serving our nation in uniform are hookers;

mock and celebrate the death of a grandmother because you disagree with her son's politics;

declare that those who disagree with you are shown by that disagreement to be not just "Marxist radicals" but also monsters and a deadly disease killing the nation (this would fit in the hyperbole and history categories, too);

joke about blindness;

advocate euthanizing the wife of your political opponent;

taunt people with incurable, life-threatening diseases -- especially if you do it on a syndicated broadcast;

equate gay love with bestiality -- involving horses or dogs or turtles or ducks -- or polygamy, child molestation, pedophilia;

casually assume that only white males look "like a real American";

assert presidential power to authorize torture, torture a child by having his testicles crushed in front of his parents to get them to talk, order the massacre of a civilian village and launch a nuclear attack without the consent of Congress;

attack children whose mothers have died;

call people racists without producing a shred of evidence that they've said or done something that would even smell like racism -- same for invoking racially charged "dog whistle" words (repeatedly);
condemn the one thing that every major religion agrees on;

complain that we no longer employ the tactics we once used to disenfranchise millions of Americans because of their race;

blame the victims of natural disasters and terrorist attacks for their suffering and losses;

celebrate violence , joke about violence, prepare for violence or use violent imagery, "fun" political violence, hints of violence, threats of violence (this one is rather explicit), suggestions of violence or actual violence (and, really, suggesting anal rape with a hot piece of metal is beyond the pale); and
incite insurrection telling people to get their guns ready for a "bloody battle" with the president of the United States.

Oh, and I'm not alone: One of your most respected and decorated leaders agrees with me.

So, dear conservatives, get to work. Drain the swamp of the conspiracy nuts, the bald-faced liars undeterred by demonstrable facts, the overt hypocrisy and the hatred. Then offer us a calm, responsible, grownup agenda based on your values and your vision for America. We may or may not agree with your values and vision, but we'll certainly welcome you back to the American mainstream with open arms. We need you.

(Anticipating your initial response: No there is nothing that even comes close to this level of wingnuttery on the American Left.)

Written by Russell King

Update: removed the mouth kissing reference and tried to clean up spelling

Behold, a Tip Jar!


Neo Tuxedo said...

the fantasy that if we just had at our disposal some Grand Comendium of all modern Republican crimes against this country -- complete with tables of contents and footnotes and links and ibids and passims and vols -- that this would somehow begin to turn the tide.

That somehow, if we just had an exhaustively researched Indignity Gauntlet outfitted with all six Indignity Stones we would finally have a tool powerful enough to haul the Republican party down out of the Stupid Tree and force them to see reason.

Speaking for myself, back when I still bothered writing letters to the editor on a regular basis, I never did it out of any belief that it'd convince the members of the Republican Party Death Cult to walk away. I knew, even then, that they weren't reachable by any argument I could give. I did it in hopes of keeping the innocent, the eager and the doomed from getting sucked into the Republican Party Death Cult in the first place.

a few of my more literal-minded readers

I'm reminded of [cuts long-winded ramble down to its essence] the 28th installment of Harlan Ellison's Watching, in which, en route to a review of Spaceballs, he discusses several encounters with just such literal-mindedness. (I suggest you Google the phrase "In the original Prometheus legend" for a quick shortcut.)

Denny Smith said...

Gawd dayum, that boy can write.

Fritz Strand said...

Wow! Driftglass' 'Cliff Notes' on Banana Republican's BS.

Robt said...

This is a fine undertaking. For those that would read it. Those that are open to comprehending what is cited. Possesses the ability to contemplate and consider that which may find critical of something or someone idolized by the reader.

"They cannot be reached, because they have chosen not to be reachable. They cannot be reasoned with because they reject reason itself."

* I can vouch for this statement from my experience doing 12th steps with A.A.

Alcoholics and drug addicted are in need of help automatically. Rarely can an intervention be worth while.
many fail miserably because the care so much, they want to intervene for everyone in need. Where the best help. The most successful help occurs went they "want' it. There are some acute character defected traits between the addicted problem and the extreme hateful political ideological addicted.
Neither can seem to admit their addiction , nor the harm they cause themselves and others because of lack of control of that addiction.

And this, " First, the invitation: Come back to us."

This is like Lincoln asking Gen. Robert E; Lee to to come back.

Where Lincoln was going was nowhere near where Robert E Lee was. he cannot return to the future. Only venture for the first time into it.
The money corruption is such an illness. They are selling us out for their own gain.
How does that go? For what does a man gain if..........................

I do recall there is something there that a person is required to have a soul to lose. Then again, there are good souls and rotten ones.