Sunday, April 12, 2015

10 Years After: 2012 -- Guys Like Us, We Had It Made

The 10th blogiversary fundraiser continues with the Presidential Election year of 2012.

As is true today, in 2012, America's funniest Google and roving ambassador from the Vatican Office of Special Inquiry was running for President.  No one one Earth took him seriously...

...except America's Most Ubiquitous Conservative Big Thinker.

Also I used the phrase, "go to town like an industrial stump grinder set to puree" which I believe is a string of words which has not been assembled in that order before or since.

Guys Like Us, We Had It Made

Those were the days.

As any Monty Python fan can tell you, nobody ever expects the Spanish Inquisition.

And as every professional pundit knew before Iowa, not even a grange-hall full of ethanol-lobotomized cow tippers could ever get themselves sufficiently shellacked to vote for the America's roving ambassador from the Vatican Office of Special Inquiry in an meaningful numbers.

And yet Iowa Republican caucus-goers did exactly that, and having been blindsided by Rick Fucking Santorum's rounding-error-tie for first place with the Romney Simulacra in Iowa, suddenly cobbling together a column's-worth of Yodi-like pronouncements on what the candidacy of Rick Fucking Santorum's means for the future of Western Civilization has suddenly become the new, must-have accessory for the top-tier pundit on-the-go.

One time-tested method of formulating an assessment favored by honest journalists is known as "journalism", which in this case would it the tedious, time-consuming task of "researching" Candidate Santorum's wholly awful, medieval opinions and then holding them up to the light in a way that is both informative and entertaining.

Rachel Maddow shows how that is done here: 

At the absolute opposite end of that continuum is a lazy, sloppy and fundamentally dishonest method known as "Being David Brooks".

Being David Brooks means barely glancing at the actual, carcinomic horror show that your crazy-as-a-Betsy-bug Party long ago devolved into before deciding to fuck all that unhappiness.

Being David Brooks means your work week consists of sticking a period at the end of the first 800 words of vapid homilies, Hippie punching and assorted claptrap about American Moral Decay you pull out of your ass.

Being David Brooks means dutifully sucking the dick of whoever you perceive as being "in" at the moment, daintily dabbing the corners of you mouth after you are done, and humbly thanking whatever God you worship that Arthur Ochs Sulzberger, Jr. still believes in Wingnut Welfare.

Being David Brooks means that after your brief, ritual disclaimer that the nude, full-contact political lap dance you are about to witness is not nearly as much fun for the dancer as you might think --
A New Social Agenda


Published: January 5, 2012

I’m to Rick Santorum’s left on most social issues, like same-sex marriage and abortion. I’m also put off by his Manichaean political rhetoric. ...

you then get your fanny right in there and go to town like an industrial stump grinder set to puree:
But having said all that, I’m delighted that Santorum is making a splash in this presidential campaign. He is far closer to developing a new 21st-century philosophy of government than most leaders out there.

One of Santorum’s strengths is that he understands that a nation isn’t just an agglomeration of individuals; it’s a fabric of social relationships. ...

Communities breed character. Santorum argues that government cannot be agnostic about the character of its citizens...

His political philosophy is built around the Catholic concept of subsidiarity — that everything should be done at the lowest possible level. That produces a limited role for Washington, but still an important one.

Over the years, Santorum has sought to use the federal government to nurture healthy communities....

..teach manners to children.

...he seems to understand that simply cutting is not enough to build a healthy society. To avert decline, America has to restore its values.

Santorum understands that we have to fuse economics talk and values talk. ...

If you believe in the dignity of labor...

If you believe in personal responsibility...

If you believe in the centrality of family...

If you believe social trust is the precondition for a healthy society...

And so forth.

Mr. Brooks has made a very good living championing economic, political and ideological causes which have all pretty much fallen apart right before his eyes -- and right in front of the rest of the world.

In almost any other profession, shitting oneself as badly, repeatedly and publicly as Mr. Brooks has done would be permanently disqualifying.  No tenure at barber college for you, Sweeney Todd!  But in Mr. Brooks' profession it only means that he has to change his product line around slightly; shifting slowly away from economics, foreign policy, history and all of those other irritatingly quantifiable subjects and onto much safer hobby horses like morality, values and nostalgia.

And thus does the real, despicable Rick Santorum disappear completely from Our Mr. Brooks' column and becomes just another empty vehicle for Our Mr. Brooks' to trick out with maudlin drivel; just another Christmas tree to decorate with his lazy, mendacious prose.

And why not? As patriotism has always been the last refuge of scoundrels, so has saccharine bathos always been the the last refuge of the failed Conservative pundit and politician.  I mean, why go through all the trouble of dusting the American crime scene for the fingerprints of 40 years of Conservative avarice and bigotry when you can just prop your feet up on top of the body you yourself helped to decapitate and whine about the good old days before America's moral compass was stolen by Dirty Hippies and made into a bong.

There will never be an end to the lying because there will never be any accountability for it: like Ricky Perry's Spandex jogging suit, the "America-hating Liberals ruined America" lie is so pliable that it can stretched to cover every imaginable calamity, tragedy or misshapen freak of Conservative nature.

A lie so pliable that every other line in every Republican stump speech can assert unchallenged that America wouldn't be in the mess we are in if only Liberals hadn't messed everything up.

A lie so pliable that Newt Gingrich can blame Liberals for things like Susan Smith drowning her children and Columbine and not be run out of town on a fucking rail.

A lie so pliable that David Brooks can state as fact that that there never would have been a child rape cult at the top of the Penn State football program if it hadn't been for those damn Liberals and not be fired instantly.

And slowly, by such constant, ritual repetition, the lie takes on a life and a momentum of its own, becoming a kind of cultural irredentism which asserts that all of the loss of our Former Glory was caused by degenerates who annexed and debased our Noble Values, and that to restore our Former Glory all we have to do is take our Noble Values back from the bastards and traitors who stole them.

Didn't need no welfare state. 
Everybody pulled his weight. 
 Gee, our old LaSalle ran great. 
 Those were the days.

Mussolini came to power in Italy on less.

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