Saturday, October 18, 2008

Understanding the Right #1

Junkie logic.

The last lie a junkie tells himself isn't "I’m not an addict."

The last lie a junkie tells himself is "My being a addict doesn't matter."

And in the Conservative Crack House of Many Doors, Ronald Reagan was that first cocktail. The first line of coke. The first needle. The first "Holy Mother of God!” WOWGASM that shotguns right through the blood/brain barrier, reformats your entire ethical hard drive, and scrimshaws a brand new Prime Directive on the inside of your skull.

Listen to any aging wingnut sighing and jerking sadly off to a tattered photo of Saint Ronnie -- despite the fact that the catastrophes we are now reaping were sown by his ruinous ideology -- and you can hear every addict who ever lived pining for that first Perfect High. The one they spend the rest of their days chasing, regardless of the size of the debts they run up or the ruined lives they leave in their wake.

Clinton? Objectively, Clinton qualifies as the greatest Center/Right President in history, and with balanced budgets, GATT, welfare reform, NAFTA, DOMA, record surpluses, foreign and domestic terrorists brought to book, and an actual military victory, he arguably delivered to the wingnuts more of everything they ever said they wanted than anyone else.

And they hated him for it.


Because Clinton was mere addiction maintenance delivered in measured doses under adult supervision: all policy-wonk that wasn’t cut with that industrial-waste-grade bigoted, psychotic bloodlust that gives Conservatism its wild, freebasing edge. Clinton was methadone, and for the hardcore lifestyle junkie, that shit is for babies.

And Dubya? Dubya was meth with a ketamine chaser delivered hammer-and-anvil directly to the lizard brain.

Dubya was 40 million Pig People tired of the hard, fussy job of being a tolerant, powerful democracy finally once-and-for-all blowing America’s family inheritance on an eight-year, blood-drunk bender.

Dubya was the United States crawling through dumpsters at our national soul’s midnight, killing anything that moves, licking out the contents of random baggies, hoping the little white flakes clinging to the plastic is crank and not rat poison, and waking up the next day -- that horrible, horrible sun-also-rises morning after -- broke and twitchy, arguing over what more they can sell off to keep the party going and who they can blame for their gone-to-shit lives.

So what is the last lie a Conservative tells himself? The last lie that the junkies and their suppliers both fight like hell to keep alive and twitching?

That, whether or not their ideology is depraved or deluded, it doesn’t matter because:
“Both side are always equally wrong about everything all the time.”
Doesn’t matter the who or what. The when or how. Doesn’t matter who was driving the bus towards the cliff and who was waving the red flags, throwing their bodies in front of it, trying to make it stop. Doesn’t matter who was trying to douse the conflagration with hoses shredded by 20 year of Reaganism, and who was lobbing milk cartons full of jellied gasoline onto the bonfire.

It is the lie the hagged-out Cokie Roberts pushes week after week after week on “This Week…”

It is the lie that David Fucking Brooks pushes in the pages of the New York Times.

It is the lie that made David Broder the “Dean” of the Villagers; the lie on which the quarterly profits of the entire Murdoch media empire now rests.

Because these people and thousands more like them are not journalists or “pundits” or expert who offer facts or interpretation or a philosophical framework for illuminating and contextualizing the events of the world.

They are pushers, selling that last, nihilistic lie to the junkies on the Right who will pay any price and cut any throat to escape the fact that they are personally and specifically responsible for the destruction of the country they claimed to love in the name of a God they claim to believe in.

Which is why November 4th is so much more than an election.

November 4th is an Intervention, because the junkie-pusher spiral of the Republican rank-and-file and their leaders has finally hit bottom: we need to heal this country or lose it, and arguing -- "reasoning" -- with wingnuts and their enabling shills and hacks is as pointless as trying to reason with addicts and dealers.

The only way this country is going to be saved is by taking it away from them, school board by school board, city council by city council, congressional district by congressional district, state by state, election by election until they are driven back into the political sewers from whence they came.


Anonymous said...


I am in awe. This is brilliant. Compulsive Centrist Disorder as an addiction.

Anonymous said...

Hey drifty-- you wanna trade muses? There's just one catch-- you're not getting yours back, ever. Do we have a deal?

Also-- there are two last lies? Is this is some novel use of the word "last"?

Nan said...

Wow. Once again, I'm in awe. You do have a way with words.

Anonymous said...

Dude, this is another one of your pieces that just makes me want to shut down my motherfucking blog and replace it with a link to here.

Rehctaw said...

Almost perfect. Absolutely close enough for government work.

You've nailed it on everything except why, given the Clinton record, they hated him with such unbridled passion.

Why they hated him was that his success did not ONLY benefit the right and those who are on the right's list of primary, mainline beneficiaries.

In the grand scheme, it was mere crumbs, but those crumbs caused them loss of sleep. Shared prosperity is complete anathema to the pig people.

In the need to be the be all; end all. The source from which all flows. Un-repudiated, untainted success and talent, not fully, unconditionally under their complete control was totally unacceptable.

Anonymous said...


Once again....



Anonymous said...

DG- you just keep raising the bar on yourself, then you hop over it as if it is laying on the ground.

Dubya was meth with a ketamine chaser delivered hammer-and-anvil directly to the lizard brain.

The whole post is utterly brilliant.

Larry Hamelin said...

Addiction indeed. But if the Republican right are the addicts, the Democratic left are just the codependents

To extend the metaphor, Obama offers nothing more than a celebrity's stint in rehab to take the edge off the worst downside without making the fundamental changes, without scrimshawing yet another Prime Directive on the inside of our skulls.

"Methadone capitalism" just puts the problem off for four or eight years, it won't solve anything.

Anonymous said...

I think moral equivalence isn't quite right (Having a man-crush on Gordon Liddy or suggesting your 54 year old wife pose topless for motorcycle gangs is trivial, not equivalent, when compared to living in the same city with Ayers.)

In my experience the most toxic lie junkies tell themselves is that everybody else is stupid. This means the only way they can explain why they are wearing an orange jumpsuit is that they were stabbed in the back (Illegal aliens took my swell job...)

I've always felt there was less to Colin Powell than met the eye, but he will become the archetypical 'back-stabber' to the right wing. Rich Clarke will be just a tune-up for the fatwah that is about to be unleasehed on Colin and his family by Nixon-Wallace-Reagan junkies and their mutant offspring.

driftglass said...

Best commenters in town. I can't often slip past the warden, get over the wall, and converse as I'd like, but I read them all and they always blow me away.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! This isn't glass, it's another gem.

While Obama may not bring sobriety, it would be preferable to the crash-landing that McCain/Palin promises.

"Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good."

Drifty... you're good! I'm in awe.

Anonymous said...

Hunter S. Thompson would be proud of you my friend. Fucking proud.

lostnacfgop said...

Lawdy how I loved "Clinton was methadone."

Anonymous said...

Great analysis Driftglass, and I agree with lostnacfgop, the "Clinton was methadone" analogy was spot on. But I believe that Reagan was the first big dose purchased after a Carter intervention that followed eight years of Nixon/Ford. It was Nixon who's CIA overthrew four legitimate South American governments (Chile, Argentina, Uruguay and Brazil) to implement a Milton Friedman style economy. I would recommend Naomi Klein's book "Shock Doctrine" for more on this topic, but that's exactly the model we have in place now.

The Minstrel Boy said...

all that's goddamned holy sweet chocolate mary mother of fuck on a skateboard!

that's some sweet invective. damned straight to boot yo.

as an old junkie (sober 16 years now), your analysis is brilliant. and absolutely true. i can still remember some of the times where i fucking hit it all just right.

i can still taste some of that shit in the back of my mouth.

once, at the great american music hall in san francisco i took the stage late. i came out with blood running down my arm, the tourniquet still on. i walked over to the amp, cranked every knob, plugged in my shit and pulled the hose with my teeth. then i started rocking. it all hit me, the music, the dope (speedball), the crowd, the moment. fucking crystallized.

i can still remember that shit. i chased it for years, fuck that, decades.

understanding how the republican pissants feel does not come close to excusing them.

maybe they could start their own twelve step program.

M.A. (motherfuckers anonymous)

Anonymous said...

It's an interesting question: Why did the knuckle draggers hate Clinton so much? As Drifty points out, he was essentially a moderate Republican who did everything they could have possibly wanted. Whenever they screeched "Jump!" at him, his only response was to ask "How high?" And the hate wasn't faked, either; they truly despised him with a passion that can only be accurately described as psychotic, especially when you consider how demonstrably conservative the man was.

Unknown said...

Drifty, I think I love you.

That was uheffingmazing.

Anonymous said...

Excellent...well spoken. I will enjoy coming back for more.

Michael Hart said...

Hmm. Drifty is adding vision to his vernacular; (see the last two paragraphs again, and again).
There have always been enough duplicitous democrat enablers to make the "both sides are always equally wrong" lie, a murderous floater in the fetid water of the Congressional shitbox.

Oh, it's academic, they say, whose shit actually caused the effluent to overflow; besides; now we're all neck deep in their shit, anyway. But they will keep dumping in the backed-up marble-walled bus until their privileges are taken away. Hence, Drifty's vision: We must take it away from them. A victory on November 4th is only a beginning.

No, they wont go willingly back to the sewer, and our prisons can't hold them all. Some may come around. Some, seeing their world of unreality, will suffer the inevitable crash of ultimate disillusionment. But most will rot back into the void of spirit life wasted; and ugly end to the age of materialism, once, and for all.

Melina said...

Ah Drifty, again I'm breathless...
What a spectacular post.

I am of the school of thought that this thing started way before Reagan, but for dramatic purposes, as I was working in the club business in NYC during Reagan and people were living on the streets, AIDS was denied even as thousands were sick and dying, and drugs were huge...for dramatic purposes, even tho the shock doctrine would date it all much earlier, you've got it spot on....

the pleasure centers of the brain respond to power and control like any narcotic, which brings us back to our heroes in this sickness...(certain parts of my family are a testament to that for sure.)
OCD, addiction, psychosis, narcissism, cognitive dissonance (my favorite of them all,)...self medication... pluck that string that never quite resonates the same way again after that first time....

but what of the rest of us? Learned helplessness? so afraid of the shock that we are curled in the corner sure that our vote means nothing and that both sides are as bad as the other.

youve hit it right on, as usual!
Thanks for the words are absolutely inspiring.

Anonymous said...

*snorts blog post*



Bora Zivkovic said...


Anonymous said...

Dag, drifty. When's part 2?

Faded said...

Brilliant. Truth, eloquence and rising bitter bile in the back of my throat that we are surrounded by so many of these fucked-out-of-their-mind republicans...

يوسف زكريا ابن أحد said...

Clinton was methadone, and for the hardcore lifestyle junkie, that shit is for babies.

i just laughed so hard i farted

"Orange Mike" Lowrey said...

Youser-wowzer, this is so accurate and heartbreakingly vivid!

I think they hated Clinton because he was a white Southerner who wasn't a racist cracker; he was a "race traitor" "America's first black president" etc. If the Southern poor whites abandon the party of their lords and masters, the right wing is screwed and progressives have a chance. That's why cultivating culture wars on religious issues is so central to the modern-day right, even though it's clearly run by a bunch of secularist corporate suits: it's their only mass appeal!

Beuaregard Bottomley said...

The post has changed the way I look at the world. It was the good.

Now, I no what the right wing will be doing on a constant basis. "The other side is just as bad".

I thought the David Frum saying that on "The Rachel Maddow Show" was illustrative of that. But, now I know that is there only strategy going forward.

Cokie Roberts is the center of the universe. Hullabaloo put the pieces together in this post from August,

Anonymous said...

Wow. I'm sending this around. It's really, really good. Like primo stuff. Uncut. You know where I can get more? I mean, just a little bump to get me over, you know?

My "I Promise Not To Give Your Money To Rupert Murdoch" Fundraiser.

I am given to understand that the Lincoln Lads are trying to raise one million dollars to create content that would "mess wit...