Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Talking to ourselves

What difference does a few years make?

A lot, and none at all.

3.4 years ago, when I wrote this:

Secret Republican Training Film revealed

Morse says those three little words at the heart of all that is black in the Republican soul:

“Deny, deny, deny.”

“But what if…?”
“But suppose she walks right in and finds…?”
“Right there. In her bed. Right in front of her…?”

Deny everything. As your wife stands over your marriage bed, deny that the woman she is staring at even exists. When your wife demanded to know who this woman is as she (and you) get hurriedly dressed two feet away, just repeat “What? What are you talking about? What woman?”

I had to put on a verbal puppet show because there was no YouTube available to pound the point home with a blacksmith maul.

But today…

...there is.

However, while technology keeps jackrabbiting forward, our political discourse "creeps in this petty pace from day to day" and from it we seem to learn our lessons only fitfully if at all.

Which is why, when I read this:

McCain Campaign Piles Up New Falsehoods On Bridge To Nowhere
By Greg Sargent and Eric Kleefeld - September 8, 2008, 6:23PM

McCain and his advisers are now conceding that, yes, Sarah Palin was for the Bridge to Nowhere before she was against it -- but they're casting this as more proof of her reform credentials.

In so doing, the McCain camp is piling new falsehoods atop the old ones.

McCain himself rolled out the new push-back on the campaign trail today, saying the following:
"The fact is that Gov. Palin learned that earmarks are bad and she did say, we don't need our bridge to nowhere, and we will pay for it ourselves if we need it. I mean, that is just a fact."

Meanwhile, McCain adviser Tucker Bounds appeared today on MSNBC, where he acknowledged that Palin used to favor the bridge, but said she turned against it for good reasons.

"But as it became more wasteful, the budget ballooned, it became a staple for wasteful spending, she said No," Bounds said. "And she was the one that drove the nail in the coffin that killed the bridge to nowhere."


It's bogus to say that Palin turned on the project because the costs ballooned. The real reason she came around to opposing it was not that the overall costs went up -- the project was always a boondoggle, and costs were always going up -- but that one particular element of the project's cost ballooned: The portion that Alaska would have to pay, instead of getting the money through federal pork.

In her statement finally ending the project, Palin explicitly lamented that fact. "Despite the work of our congressional delegation, we are about $329-million short of full funding for the bridge project," Palin said at the time, "and it's clear that Congress has little interest in spending any more money on a bridge between Ketchikan and Gravina Island."

I couldn’t help but think how simultaneously important it is to work carefully and persistently to demolish the lies the Right promulgates, and how ultimately "necessary but insufficient" that exercise is.

Because underpinning the effort is the idea that somehow, some way, if you just given them enough of the right facts in overwhelming numbers, some statistically significant number of Republicans will see the error of their ways and come some number of inches towards the light.

But if the last 30 years (and especially the last seven) have proven anything, it is that this proposition is ridiculous.

No reform will fix them and no remediation is possible, except of ourselves.

We must stop beginning sentences or thoughts with "They must be made to understand...", "When the people finally see..." or "When Americans wake up and realize..."

No such thing will ever happen, because there really is no monolithic entity called "America" to wake up.

Instead you have around 45% of the voting public who are either well-informed, or at least interested in issues and policies. They are anxious to fix the mess the GOP has created and will be voting Democratic in the Fall.

Then you have another 45% who are basically our own, homegrown Stalinists. Loyal, mentally-flatlining, cult-of-personality Bush-worshipping lemmings. These are the people have been calling you "traitor" for 30 years. Who gird the GOP with a solid ring of diamond-hard stupid.

A week ago they had no fucking idea who Sarah Palin was. A week later she is their Joan of Arc, and they stand ready to slit their own economic throats at her say-so and perish in ignorance, cursing some mythical "Liberals" who are somehow to blame.

It doesn't matter to them whether or not the "Bridge to Nowhere" turns out to be horseshit.

How many of their rationalizations for going to war in Iraq turned out to be horseshit?

Their rationalizations for torture?

Their rationalizations for suspending the rule of law in America? For domestic spying? For global warming? For the re-election of George W. Bush?

If you want a real education, take a pen and paper back to the 2003-2004 debates and note how many different times Bush, Cheney and the Republican machine flat-out lied to the American people.

What took our breath away in 2004 was not that the Democrats had lost an election. You win some; you lose some, and such is life.

No, what absolutely stopped us cold in our tracks was the "Why"

Why millions upon millions of Americans gleefully voted a simpering sadist and war criminal right back into office? Why did they brag about it?

Why? Because it was a fucking game to them.

They set the Constitution on fire, pissed on the ashes and sold their children’s futures to monsters for no other reason than Rush told them it would piss Liberals off.

They are barbarians, and in 2004 we finally had to confront the terrible, irrefutable fact that what is wrong with America is not the fault of a handful of DeLays and Bushes and Roves, but millions of our fellow citizens, who are soul-sick in a way that can never be cured because their tiny, angry, lizard brains simply do not work like ours.

They are not simply uninformed, but proudly, hatefully ignorant, and no matter what you or I say, no matter how many mountains of facts are laid out in front of them, they will go right back to the polls again this Fall, vote to sink another shiv into democracy's back, and go home thinking they've done God's work.

And in order to have any chance at winning, John McCain needed every last one of them. Needed them lit up with crazyfire and ready to put one more hollow point through Lady Liberty’s chest.

And so he gave them a WalMart soft-core porn sugar high.

So what?

This is a Party that impeach for blowjobs if you’re a Democrat and turn 180 degrees in a heartbeat to cheer itself hoarse for dry drunk traitors and illegal wars when they’re sold under Brand Republican.

Hell, if the election were between the Risen Christ (D) and Satan’s Fiery Cock (R), come election day polling would still peg it at “too close to call”: 45% Risen JC, 45% Lucifer’s Penis, 7% undecided (“My friend Laura says that Mr. Jesus is good on the economy, but I just trust that Fiery Cock fella a little bit more on keeping America safe. And his running mate is so feisty!”), 2% Ron Paul and 1% Ralph “Not a dime’s worth of difference between them!” Nader.

This election was, is and will continue to be over that oblivious 8%.

And it’s about the difference between an out-fighter and an alley brawler.

A out-fighter is methodical. Surgical. He climbs into the ring with a plan and works it relentlessly every round. He’d be delighted if Nevada Santa Claus gave him a magic moment where he can take his opponent down with one punch in the first round, but doesn’t pin his hopes on it.

The brawler, on the other hand, depends entirely on the Magic Punch. He’ll come at you wild, throwing haymakers and hoping that enough of them will connect to knock a superior fighter off his game. McSame is an aging, clay-footed brawler and “Palin” is a wild punch that drew a little blood.

“Experience” is one that hit nothing but air.

On the other hand, Senator Obama has managed to work the word “stupid” into at least three major speeches in the last three weeks, and probably more. Also he and his people have been relentless in not getting baited into talk about unwed mothers and small town virtues, whatever the fuck they are; every stray topic gets firmly rounded up and herded away from gossip and rage and plugged right back into the campaign’s twin power plants: “Issues not Personalities” and “Change”.

None of this is accidental, because the Obama team are out-fighters.

Rather, it is a hard-headed recognition that, two months from now, about 8% of the electorate is going to make what amounts to several million monstrously uninformed, impulse-buys, and as their whim goes, so goes the nation.

It is not a cheerful thought that the next two months are not about making me happy and screaming “Fucknozzle!” into the face of every Conservative under the sun.

But it also may just be how you win elections our sad, fractured nation in 2008.


Anonymous said...

Jeebus...I hope the Republicunts fail...and fail HARD. Hard like a locomotive smashing into a concrete barrier at 70 mph. Hard like a parachutist's chute not opening. Is that too f'ing much to ask of the American public?

Anonymous said...

Off-topic: the state of Georgia is preparing to execute a man whose guilt is highly dubious. Details at


Anonymous said...

"It is not a cheerful thought that the next two months are not about making me happy and screaming “Fucknozzle!” into the face of every Conservative under the sun.

But it also may just be how you win elections our sad, fractured nation in 2008."

Truer words were never written, I want to be happy, but if Obama can finally bring a gun to this ugly knife fight, I'll take.

Hubris Sonic said...

What Drifty said.

Anonymous said...

The entire premise of the Republican Party is based on the idea that "we don't want to be the equals of the brownskinned or blackskinned".We are the superiors of these furriners and we can lie about them if we want to and they do not count as our equals.

Anonymous said...

I've finally made my peace with the fact that there are people whose opinion will never, never, never, never change because they listen to only one master. For my dad, it's Bill O'Reilly. For my uncle, it's the Catholic church. You can fill in the blanks for everyone else -- Rush Limbaugh, FOX news, the Pentacostal preacher, AIPAC, whatever.

My job now is to move past all these intractable Bush/McCain voters and muster all the strength I can to help the Obama campaign create something better for this country. If we don't prevail, so be it. But we do have to fight.

VictoriaB said...

The power of the truth in your post is so loud my ears are ringing, drifty. I wish everyone eligible to vote in the US would read that post, or at least the last few paragraphs. Thanks for the "out-fighter" and "brawler" imagery, which is spot-on and very helpful. It's going to be a long two months, but YES WE CAN!

Peace, V.

WereBear said...

An excellent addiction counselor once pointed out the secondary attraction to addiction is that it simplifies the addict's life.

All decisions come down to a basic cycle: get the drug, take the drug, get the drug, take the drug...

Whatever the drug may be.

Fran / Blue Gal said...

This one needs to go in the tree-killer Driftglass Omnibus. Print it out, folks.

Anonymous said...

If McCain is elected it will be like Hoover winning the 1932 election. In-fucking-credible.

The modern GOP, the party that wrecked America, is composed mainly of neo-con warmongers, bigots, fundamentalist nutcases, and greedy libertarian children. Hell, the majority of the GOP are either monarchists on theocrats.

Anonymous said...

"...if Obama can finally bring a gun to this ugly knife fight...."

Indeed. Watched Obermann interview Obama. Jeebus, Obama, you are NOT lecturing a law school seminar.

All things ultimately die, even republics.

Anonymous said...

How many ways can we masticate the fact that there may be more of teh stoopid that vote than the 45% that know what the fuck reality is. At least Driftglass can do it with more telling ferocity than anyone I read. But reality is relentless; we enfranchised stupidity, we have suffered, and still are suffering the consequences. What to do.

Recognize the culture war. Recognize we have been, and still are being predated by Republicans at the top of their food chain, and that they are entrenched in power and money. Fight back against the demented liars and usurpers of freedom. That 8% Drifty mentioned contains voters who can be awakened to their own self-interest, lifted out of the fog of cynicism and ignorance. Work your sphere of influence like you never have before. It takes transformed people to transform society. Gandhi said "Be the change you want to see in the world. You may never know what results come of your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result" [you'll want to live in.]

So— “Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”

lostnacfgop said...

You're absolutely right, Drifty.

Face it, the best line in the best speech from a Dem nominee in this writer's adult life (sorry, Al,Bill, Mike, Walter, and Jimmuh) was "they make big elections about small things." Sarah Pahlin, her baby, her pregnant daughter, her right to use "lipstick" and her corresponding right to cry Sexism when it's turned on her are all the smallest of the small. F*ck that stuff. Convincing the 8% un braindead but not sure (HOW could someone be unsure at this point?) that this confused and angry old guy with the aging beauty queen running mate are neither agents of change nor a remedy for the many ills of the country is the gargantuan gorilla in the room

Armadillo Hussein Joe said...

"gird the GOP with a solid ring of diamond-hard stupid"

Just about the best description I've ever read of how and why the GOP has been able to so effectively corrode and ultimately undermine this republic.

Driftglass, I have been a regular reader for months now. In some parts I would be called a lurker. This is my first time commenting and I want to say that I love your stuff. Funny, incisive, fiery and unapologetic, your writing makes me wonder why I even try to write anything at all. Keep it up and I'll keep reading.

Cirze said...

What Blue Gal said.

And, of course, as usual, WHAT DRIFTY (FINALLY) SAID!

Michael Hart and lostnacfgop,

As a mostly homeless person for several years now, victim of the depersonalized-nullification-by-qualifications syndrome that has run rampant in the last decade, I have had the chance to practice Gandhi's lifestyle fullbore (and being a well-educated deadbeat have had no real free choice about this decision (and I recommend it those who do)).

I lived with a long-time Republican aunt for a while, who under my constant tutelage and subtle probings of her better nature, is now an Obama supporter and she cannot be stopped from telling you about how much she likes Michelle! She says every time she speaks with me (about my new living conditions) that she dares not mention her political opinions to her friends who all are voting for McCain "come hell or high water" because "they don't care" about what the Rethuglicans have done to the country. (She does now after I've pointed out (again and again) that her treasured grandsons are surely going to be cannon fodder in the continuing Afghanistan/Iraq/Iran/Syria/Ga/? 100-years war.) They only know that they are voting against "libruls."

The good news is that she's one new voter for Obama. The rest are hopeless cases unless McCain/Palin does something so outrageous to their sensibilities that they may not vote at all as they certainly are not committed to McCain. You can quote me here.

I've been saying the following for a while and I may as well put it before this group for input and comment. As a past activist in many progressive knife fights, I remember the persuasive tactic (that many times was effective) of "Each one, teach one."

What if each one of us could adopt, before the election, one good-hearted but politically misguided/frightened/uninformed Rethuglican voter for conversion?

I'm not saying this lightly, but it sure surprised me how it worked on my aunt (who started out vociferously declaring her hatred of big-government Democrats among many other librul curses).

It would be a small (perhaps) personal victory for our side and one we each can work toward as a group with our increasingly vocal support for a vigorous campaign by Obama that will force them to admit who they are and what they want. This has to be one way we can win (and maybe the only way). Exposure. It sure worked on my 72-year-old ex-Republican aunt from South Carolina.

Carry on, Dg!


JamTheCat said...

Sickening, disgusting and terrifying...but sometimes the truth is all that and more. Thank you for putting it so eloquently.

I have friends and family who plan to vote for that senile old man and his crazy-assed bitch. They refuse to see that he's anything less than a maverick and she's anything less than perfect...and will not acknowledge that the real reason they're voting for them is they flat out refuse to put a black man in the White House.

I'm already looking into my options as to emigrating from the US if McCain and Palin win, because this country will die under them...and that is something I do not know how to stop.

Anonymous said...

Drifty, this is just about the best blog post I've ever seen, and I've seen more than, like, twenty. Just pin-sharp perfection, honestly. I don't know what your day job is, but Ihope they know what they have.

John in Cairo

Anonymous said...

Fiery Cock of Satan has huge upside - and great ads.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, but FCoS is tuff on crime!

We need Ted Kennedy, Michael Moore. Al Gore and the ACLU to launch a nationwide campaign against playing Russian Roulette with automatics.

Problem solved.

BadTux said...

Every time someone asks me who's going to win this election in November, I tell them "I don't know." We are talking about a nation that elected George W. Bush twice, after all, no matter that it wasn't by much.

H.L. Mencken once said, "Democracy is the notion that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard." Previously on my own blog I've posited that it will take nothing less than complete and utter national disaster on the level of the Great Depression, with 40% unemployment, food riots, massive Hoovervilles, etc., to wake Americans up to the notion that their current mean-spirited, short-sighted, brutal and selfish path is a dead end. Sadly, it appears that both Mencken and I are being vindicated by current events. Which is not something I wanted to have happen at all, it's like when the first U.S. troops entered Iraq and I said "oh my, this can't end well", but hoped beyond hope that it would because the result if it didn't... well, you know. I'm just wondering what books President Palin is going to ban, myself...

-- Badtux the Somber Penguin

Dave Dubya said...

Excellent rant.

"Ignorance is Strength" has become one of the three new national mottos.

Anonymous said...

They are barbarians, and in 2004 we finally had to confront the terrible, irrefutable fact that what is wrong with America is not the fault of a handful of DeLays and Bushes and Roves, but millions of our fellow citizens, who are soul-sick in a way that can never be cured because their tiny, angry, lizard brains simply do not work like ours.

Dude, you are so shrill and divisive. We need to build bridges across the aisle, to our fellow citizens, because we all want what is best for the nation.

Anonymous said...

I dont think we all want what is best for the nation when people can be blatantly LIED to, and still support those people for responsibility and powerful positions. Even after they find out the long list of lies, scandals, and incompetence.

Does morality mean nothing to what is best for our nation? How can the McCain camp justify the blatant lies? How can everyone just shrug it off when everyone except the target audience knows they are lying? Do the GOP, the party of values, know it is a sin to bear false witness?

If those in the GOP want what is best for our nation (instead of just making the 'liberals' mad) they would NOT TOLERATE this great sin of lies against American society.

Anyway, thanks Drifty, this is one of the best posts I have read this whole year on the political climate in this country.

blackdaug said...

The first time I watched the movie "Idiocracy" I was mildly impressed with Mike Judge's sledgehammer approach.
As time passes, I am beginning to see it as an epic, prescient, scholarly masterpiece.
When half (or maybe more than half) of this country now seems to be locked into a blind, subservient, ignorance worshiping cult of stupid….what hope is there really? If they don’t hold a huge edge now, they certainly will make up for by simply out breeding the rest of us.
I live in what may be the reddest county, of the reddest state in what is fast becoming a nation of proudly red….idiots.
An Obama sticker on my car would guarantee its immediate defacement or destruction. My vote in this election will carry as much weight as one cast in Baghdad or Paris. Life is becoming more and more like a Clockwork Orange scene, where my eyes are held open by clamps and I am forced to watch the national train wreck play itself out, in hi-def slow motion…day after day..and year after year.
You are absolutely correct. These people will not be converted. They will not be swayed by any argument, reason or reality. They will hold their fingers in their ears with their eyes closed, and only listen or see long enough to get their next affirmation fix from Bill, Rush or Lou.
I see mass migration in our future….not only out of the country but within. We will bravely huddle in our enclaves, until the barbarians overwhelm us in numbers: Wearing cowboy hats and chanting…..drill, drill….drill.

Professional Left Podcast #627

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