Thursday, July 10, 2014

When Conservatives Fight, We All Win


I envy future historians who have dug up the tax records and the archived internal memoranda and text messages of the major media outlets of this era, because they will have pieced together the answer to a the most important, unanswered cultural question of our time: Who the fuck keeps giving Conservative assholes large media platforms from which to speak?

Because to any objective outsider, headlines like these (for example) -- 
Wolfowitz Sees Chalabi as Viable Iraq Leader Even With Iran Ties

By Nicole Gaouette  Jul 3, 2014 11:00 PM CT  

Ahmed Chalabi, the Iraqi who helped spur the U.S. invasion of his country, would be viable as its next prime minister though close ties he established with Iran pose an impediment, said Paul Wolfowitz, a top American national security official when the war launched...
-- don't make a damn bit of sense.  

By now history has demonstrated conclusively that American Conservatism has been every bit as fundamentally wrong-headed (heh-heh) as phrenology, phlogiston chemistry and Hollow Earth theory.  By now history has shown the pronouncements of American Conservatives to be as grandiose and ludicrous as drunk bum fight trash talk.  And yet every year during their meaningless annual lemming-like ritual of "reform" -- when the Conservative People's Front and the People's Front of Conservatism square off and shout at each other about how many Reagan's can dance on Sean Hannity's head and who gets to hold the conch this time -- large publications with prestigious names and multi-billion dollar teevee networks with millions of viewers go right ahead and hand them very large bullhorns, after which they spend an inordinate amount of air time and column inches ponderously sifting the entrails.

What is even more touchingly demented, the one thing that might possibly save these goobers from shitting the bed again and again -- actual, factual history -- is the one thing they all make absolutely sure never gets without a hundred miles of their charivari, which means that at no point are the opinions of those awful curve-breaking smart-asses who have not been horribly wrong about everything since before Laugh In went on the air ever factored into their discussion.

Instead, everyone to the Left of Barry Goldwater and everything prior to January 2009 is summarily airbrushed out of history and replaced with whatever Dirty Hippie boogie man is required to prop up whatever ridiculous argument that day's Serious Conservative Conch-Holder is making.  For example, you might not have known that infanticide was the official policy position of the family-and-marriage-hating Democratic Party, but here comes Pascal-Emmanuel Gobry (who make a living doing at Forbes what David Brooks used to get paid to do at The Weekly Standard: slandering Liberals and making up fairy tales about noble Conservatives) to let his readers know that, no, killing babies is really what gets up Liberals up and moving in the morning.

And here's the thing: Mr. Gobry's drive-by idiocy is not even directed at us god-hatin', baby-killin' Liberals like me.  Because after decades of relentless Skinnerian conditioning, shitting on Liberals has become a phoneme in the fundamental, internal language of Conservatives: a basic mental building block which is now so automatic and integral to their identity that they are no more aware that they are doing it than a Kennedy is aware that "Cuba" ain't spelled with an "r".

Instead, Mr. Gobry drops the most hateful nuke he can lay his hands on into the middle of his column for the sole purpose of revoking the Conservative credentials of True Conservatism counter-claimant Andrew Sullivan by hoping to catch him in the dirty-Liberal-baby-killer blast wave (emphasis added):
But Sullivan has a (predictable) concern about reform conservatism: that it is, well, conservative.

Sullivan writes that he has “some pretty basic concerns about the current GOP on cultural issues”, such as “its open hostility to my own civil marriage, its absolutism on abortion, its panic at immigration, its tone-deafness on racial injustice” which “push me, and many others, into leaning Democrat.” Leaving aside the tendentiousness of some of these formulations (if there is one absolutist party on abortion in America, for example, it is the Democratic Party, which believes in abortion on demand at any point in the pregnancy (and even, perhaps, infanticide) as a constitutional right paid for in full by the taxpayer, whereas the main institutional goal of the GOP with regard to abortion is to return the issue to the democratic process at the state level, an inherently moderate position which would almost certainly leave the majority of Americans with access to abortion), Sullivan is certainly right: the GOP’s cultural populism turns off voters like him.
But, well, the reform conservative disposition says that the GOP should not court voters like him (by which I mean highly educated, urban, coastal).
As a member of that politically irrelevant caste knows as "Liberals" who is also living in the furthest exurbs of permanent unemployment, I'm a cheap date.  And one of the cheapest forms of pure entertainment these days is watching Conservative Big-Endians and Little-Endians tear into each other, like two knee-walking drunks in an alley, cussing incoherently and swinging away at each other, completely oblivious to the

But it won't last.

Because it can't last.

The Conservative grift is too profitable, its chumps too ripe and aging fast, its stakehorses too greedy and the aspirations of its demagogues too great for the tremendously entertaining spectacles of public tantrums by bigots and imbeciles to be allowed to clatter along forever.  As Peter Clemenza reminds us, in a profitable enterprise run by ambitious, amoral thugs, every now and then you have to go to the mattresses and clear out the bad blood:

Eventually, there will come a Grand Compromise -- and the Hollow Earthers and phrenologists will once again join hands, dance around a blazing pit of phlogiston, their differences overcome by the power of their belief that exactly 700 Reagans can dance on Sean Hannity's slabby head and that every one of Murrica's problems since the dawn of the Republic have been the fault of dirty-Liberal-baby-killers like me.

So enjoy the intermission clown show while you can.


BlindRobin said...

Have you ever had the feeling that you had dropped some acid and got lost in the fun house in the haunted carnival from a cheesy '70's scary movie.

Neo Tuxedo said...

1) you might not have known that infanticide was the official policy position of the family-and-marriage-hating Democrat Party

Fixed that for you. And for Gobry's editor.

2) And one of the cheapest forms of pure entertainment these days is watching Conservative Big-Endians and Little-Endians tear into each other, like two knee-walking drunks in an alley, cussing incoherently and swinging away at each other, completely oblivious to the

"Frieeeends can be veeery..."
"...Useful? Supportive? Purple? What?"
"You maaaade me lose my plaaaace."
(Tiffany Blum-Deckler and Daria Morgendorffer, "It Happened One Nut")

@BlindRobin, I find Robert Anton Wilson's line about "We are all living in a surrealist novel" works about as well.

n1ck said...

I'm not sure that the Republican party survives as the "conservative" party.

You know how incest can lead to normally-recessive traits becoming dominant in a population's genotype, expressed through the phenotype?

That is how "Conservatism" is being defined now. Because of their conservative bubble, recessive ideas that were idiotic and laughed at 50 years ago are now becoming the dominant ideas. Idea incest. Political incest. However you want to frame it.

What we're left with is "Conservative DNA" that from the get-go only results in damaged, mutated, non-functioning ideas. And the only reason that it continues to survive is because it has come under the protection of the very conservatives who committed political incest 50 years ago. The Kochs and the media enablers are spending LOTS OF MONEY and LOTS OF EFFORT in order to hide how damaged Conservative DNA has become. They have to, because ordinary decent people can see how toxic and damaging it is. And they don't want it mixed into their own political ideas (political DNA).

I honestly believe what we're seeing right now is the end of the Republican party as the conservative party. For true conservative incest to take place, the individuals must forego the "crossing over" stage of DNA replication, else it loses it's inbred purity.

Only conservatives could (can) kill the Republican party.

Anonymous said...

They are not "conservative" they are radical authoritarians. Please try to keep this in mind when choosing words.

n1ck said...

Anonymous@12:34 AM

Conservatism, Religiousness, and Authoritarianism are three traits that are closely related.

Conservatives are inherently authoritarian if they seek to retain traditional power structures. They may rebel against authority they don't deem legitimate, but they are assuredly authoritarian, otherwise tradition means nothing.

Here's a great article I read recently.

Dan said...

The son of Phyllis wing nut Schlaffly has been hard at work on a version ofthe Bible devoid of ssocial or economic justice because the King James version is communist.
Interesting that it doesn't get much play in the Foxosphere. I just can't imagine that sort of thing would really go well with the more traditional hey that's our goddamn Bible group.
I suspect more edits will happen and eventually the reptiles will turn on another

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

They describe themselves as conservatives, they determine the direction of Movement Conservatism. If that makes you sad, take it up with them, not with a bunch of snarky liberals.

The phrase "you built this" comes to mind.

Dan said...

Remember these Conservatives make their own reality so there's that

Davis Statton said...

Chalabi??? OK, Wolfowitz is just messin' with us, right? Next up: Curveball!