Friday, August 01, 2014

Both Siderism Remains The Last Refuge of The Morally Bankrupt

and the congenital liar.

Ted Cruz's true genius is not in his gift for oratory or his grasp of policy: it is his bone-deep understanding that America's political media are mostly spineless craven turds for whom any thought of straying from the Beltway Party Line -- any contemplation of honest assessment of blame -- is, for them, as financially and professionally impossible as a slug volunteering to bellyflop into a bucket of rock salt.

Which means that however far down into bedlam demagogues like Cruz lead the GOP, they knows as for an absolute fact that it is impossible for the media to call out the Republican party alone as the cause of the ruin they are inflicting on the rest of us.  That the media have become Renfields to the Republican party's Dracula:
He is an inmate at the lunatic asylum overseen by Dr. John Seward. He suffers from delusions which compel him to eat living creatures in the hope of obtaining their life-force for himself. He starts by consuming flies, then develops a scheme of feeding the flies to spiders, and the spiders to birds, in order to accumulate more and more life. When denied a cat to accommodate the birds, he eats the birds himself. He also changes his ideas to accommodate Mina Harker by quickly eating all flies and stating that it was an old habit. Doctor John Seward diagnoses him as a "zoophagous maniac", or carnivorous mad man.

During the course of the novel, he is revealed to be under the influence of Count Dracula. The vampire, whose abilities include control over animals such as rats, bats and spiders, comes to Renfield with an offer: if Renfield worships him, he will provide Renfield with an endless supply of food...
Once upon a time, the media could just snuggle up to the Bush Administration and be assured of being being kept well, but once the Bush Administration went tits up and a tidal wave of bloody reality made it impossible to continue to blame the bad news about Iraq on Bush-hating Dirty Hippies, the only coin of their realm became Both Siderism.

As I wrote all the way back in 2005 when I was a brand-new blogger:
The Universe is carefully divided into Conservatives – who are wrong – and Liberals – who are somehow, mysteriously and equally wrong all the time and in equal numbers on every issue. And only Captain Obvious, frolicking across the few lonely yards of sand on his Isle of Reasonableness, can see the truth.

It does not matter how many millions of miles the Shining Path Republicans drag the “middle ground” to the Right.

It doesn’t matter that the Party of Lincoln is now infested crotch-to-crown with maggoty Segregationists.

It doesn’t matter that Nixon looks like a fucking Socialist compared to the positions now being advocated by the GOP today.

However far into the Armageddonist Abyss the wingnuts charge, Captain Obvious will dutifully pace off half that distance back towards where the Left (the band formerly know as “Rockefeller Republicans”) happened to be that day, drive his little stake into that shifting ground and declare that THIS is where the treasure of Comity and Reasonableness is buried. And that everyone on either side of his little islet is equally and oppositely wrong.

And then stamp his chubby little feet and whine that No One Is Listening to Him!
Nearly 10 years later, guess who David Brooks is blaming for David Brooks' perceived inadequacies in antipoverty programs?
Most Democratic antipoverty programs consist of transferring money, providing jobs or otherwise addressing the material deprivation of the poor. Most Republican antipoverty programs likewise consist of adjusting the economic incentives or regulatory barriers faced by the disadvantaged.

As Richard Reeves of the Brookings Institution pointed out recently in National Affairs, both orthodox progressive and conservative approaches treat individuals as if they were abstractions — as if they were part of a species of “hollow man” whose destiny is shaped by economic structures alone, and not by character and behavior...
I will leave it to other, wiser people to spin learned white papers out of the simple observation that preventing children from starving and freezing to death in the winter, putting a roof over their heads and giving them a safe and decent school to attend are not as character-building-neutral as Mr. Brooks would like you to believe.

I will leave it to others to reach of any of thousands of handy examples which dramatically underscore the fact that if we lived in a world where character correlated to wealth any way, then David Brooks would be spending his cheerless middle age working at Taco Bell trying to upsell Big Beefy Cruncheesy Chaluparito Supremes to midnight stoners

and the Koch Brothers would have to sell their blood to buy the fortified wine that makes their miserable existence bearable. 

I will leave it to others to point out that the government could probably calmly debate and carefully enact a whole lot more, sensible, humane anti-poverty programs if it were not currently being held hostage by the same band of Republican lunatics and pipe-bombers for whom Mr. Brooks has been loyally shilling for the past 30 years.

And speaking of Republican lunatics, nearly 10 years my 2005 piece on the moral bankruptcy of Centrism, guess who Joe Scarborough is blaming for the House Republican open-mike free-for-all public Immigration clusterfuck? (The video is not available yet, but your groggy scrivener clearly heard the words "the dysfunction on both sides" something something "Harry Reid!" pour out of Joe's pie-hole.)

As I wrote even earlier in 2005 when I was an even brander-newer blogger:
In your weird fetish to be “objective”, the Republicans learned the little trick that makes [the media] dance like organ grinder monkeys. Whatever goofy-assed idea they came up with, you’d reflexively cede them half the distance between the truth and their goal.

There was a book I loved when I was a little driftglass called, “Half Magic” by Edgar Eager, about a talisman that granted the user exactly half of what they asked for. Wish to be ten times stronger that Lancelot, you’ll get five. Wish for a million in cash, you get 500K. In the Mainstream Media, the Right Wing of the Republican Party found their Half Magic Charm. And each time you met them halfway, they moved the goalposts another twenty yards again...and you jogged right on along behind them, ten yards at a time.
In the last 10 years, nothing has changed.

And until "Both Sides Do It" becomes widely recognized as the biggest and most pernicious lie in American politics -- and its promulgators are equally widely recognized as the most venal and dangerous liars in American politics -- nothing ever will.


Kathleen said...

You nailed the nihilism and evil of the GOP long before the "Tea Party" reared its serpent head. I'm sure there are a few old people besides me who have been saying this since 1968.

Neo Tuxedo said...

Actually, "Both Sides Do It" is already "widely recognized as the biggest and most pernicious lie in American politics -- and its promulgators are equally widely recognized as the most venal and dangerous liars in American politics". It's just that the fact has not become so obvious that even those promulgators are forced to acknowledge it, so people who aren't on the Internet don't realize how not-alone they are in seeing what's in front of their noses.