Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Lawrence O'Donnell Goes Full Driftglass -- UPDATE

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It was a sight to see. 

And thanks to embeddable video -- one of the myriad casual miracles of modern life -- you can see it too.


Quite apart from the sheer exuberant pleasure that comes from watching an artfully executed demolition, Mr. O'Donnell has also explained fully and clearly and for the first time on teevee in living memory exactly why both Moderates/Centrists and Conservatives are terrified of the past.  Why they will not, under any circumstances, set one foot outside of the unholy fortresses of their own frauds and fabulisms and debate the true nature and history of American Conservatism in any arena that is not rigged in their favor.

I admit, I am tickled by the thought that what we dirty fucking hippies have been saying for years to a few hundred readers -- 

From Sarah Palin to Andrew Sullivan, it is the lamentation of every Conservative with a megaphone and financial stake in the Right: that all those other clowns out there who keep pretending to be Conservatives are all wrong. 

For example, Dubya was a Conservative, re-elected and celebrated ...right up until the consequences of his stupid, criminal, treasonous policies started cutting into the profits of the carnival barkers of the Right.  Then, almost overnight, all mention of George W. Bush -- the Greatest Fucking Hero in History -- ceased and Dubya became just another UnConservative to be denounced by Republican Party base voters from behind illiterate signs and beneath sassy, tri-corner hats. 
It was mass political self-lobotomy on a scale that was genuinely shocking to find anywhere outside of "1984", and would have failed instantly and been laughed into the ash heap of marketing history had it not been abetted every step of the way by the greatest act of mass-journalistic malpractice since the Iraq war. 

This is, at its core, the most damning critique of the Reasonable Conservative or the Centrist Neoconservative or Gay Tory Catholic Conservative or whatever other group has recently been perp-walked to the door of American Conservatism: that despite the overwhelming evidence that they have been wrong for most of their adult lives, they continue to maintain that this is all just a merry mix-up, and once the real Conservatives take over and start running the show, everything will sort itself out.

But the Real American Conservatives are already here, Mr. Sullivan, and always have been.  They were here long before you were born -- before your parents, grandparents and great-grandparents were born.  They were here before you chose to make a living by lending your time and talent to their depraved cause.  They were here before it began to dimly dawn on you that American Right is run by scumbags and monsters (a fact that Liberals have been trying to get through your thick head for 30 years.) They were here when their madness finally bucked you off their gravy train and onto the next gravy train.  They were here when you took up your new career -- whining that they had gotten Conservatism all wrong.

And they will be here long after you and I shuffle off our respective mortal coils. 

So since it is painfully obvious that Mr. Sullivan does not understand American Conservatism at all, I will explain his movement to him slowly and clearly -- as one would do with a small child -- by momentarily setting aside transient, "shiny object" issues and distractors (like contraception or Barack Obama's birth certificate) and instead simply focusing on the basic definition of what the word "conservatism" actually means.

From Wikipedia:
Conservatism (Latin: conservare, "to preserve")[1] is a political and social philosophy that promotes the maintenance of traditional institutions and supports at the most, minimal and gradual change in society.
So any discussion about "Whither Conservatism?" or debate about real Conservatives vs. fake Conservatives is meaningless without first addressing this question:  What exactly are the "traditional institutions" and ways of life its adherents trying to maintain and defend?

Again, the answer for American Conservatives is both incredibly obvious and well-documented, and so painfully embarrassing to its elite defenders that they lie constantly to avoid accidentally mentioning it:
  • American Conservatism is dedicated to the preservation of the absolute hegemony of straight, white fundamentalist Christian men within a social hierarchy based on the supremacy of the white race.
  • This social hierarchy is ordained by Almighty God and therefor beyond debate.
  • Every problem American society faces is caused by some deviation from this divine social hierarchy and can only be corrected by the restoration of this divine social hierarchy.
To preserve these "traditional institutions" and ways of life, American Conservatism's adherents have waged one hot war against the government of the United States and several cold ones.  They have attempted to seceded from the country.  They have closed down school systems.  They have fled cities.  They have embraced domestic terrorism.  They have murdered and legislated and prayed with equal fervor and righteousness.  They have formed new political parties and taken over old ones. They have spent centuries -- centuries! -- doing the the most basic work of Conservatism:  fighting the encroachment of change with every ounce of their strength.

-- Mr. O'Donnell is now saying to a few hundred thousand viewers.


ScarabusRedivivus said...

Yeah. I saw this and loved it. Seeing it again, in light of your "take," I was struck by a new thought: namely, the "cognitive dissonance" that's an integral part of contemporary conservatism.

Think about it. The essence of conservatism is to "conserve" the past (among other things). But they insist on rejecting the past in respect to what Lincoln said and Reagan both said and did.

Well, maybe what they want is to conserve a past they continually reinvent to buttress their evolving emotional needs. (Yeah. Evolving.

dinthebeast said...

"Conservatives have always been wrong about these things"


It seems to me that the thing conservatives want to conserve most is their privilege.

Can it really be "full Driftglass" without a high profile science fiction reference?

-Doug in Oakland

Bukko Boomeranger said...

makes you wonder if he's been reading you, eh? Actually,, (not to insult you) I think O'Donnell, or the people who write for him, might have been reading Charles Pierce. I see hints here and there that Pierce is getting traction as an opinion leader, such as references to "granny starving" in other publications and podcasts. If Pierce and Taibbi become better-known by the people with TV media megaphones, the popular imagination might start being influenced for the good, instead of so much by the Lim-bad.

Kevin Holsinger said...

Good morning, Mr. Glass.

Full Driftglass. That's not the one where the guys take off their clothes, is it? :)

Anyway, since I'm stuck on a dial-up modem for the moment, I'll have to wait until somebody gets a transcript of this thing.

But for now, enjoy your victory.

Anonymous said...

Great to see even a glimmer of vindication for your tireless work in the trenches, Driftglass. Never had much hope of it catching fire; now i sorta do. In fact, I fairly felt like singing...

I know, it's only NBC but i like it!

my apologies to Mick and Keef...

that damn gaijin said...

Thank god! Going full Driftglass is becoming a common occurrence. Something I saw today from Huffington Post is the same stuff you and BG has been saying for years. Here is the link.

Someone is ahead of the curve and now the rest of the media is catching up. Thanks for staying ahead.

that damn gaijin said...

Thank god! Going full Driftglass is becoming a common occurrence. Something I saw today from Huffington Post is the same stuff you and BG has been saying for years. Here is the link.

Someone is ahead of the curve and now the rest of the media is catching up. Thanks for staying ahead.

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