Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Crisis on Infinite Conservatisms: 
The Fall of the RetCon Men

Just days after Mr. Helms, a Republican from North Carolina, created a furor by saying that President Clinton was not up to the job of Commander in Chief, he told The News and Observer, a newspaper in Raleigh: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."

-- New York Times, November 23, 1994
From the DC Wiki:
A retcon is a turn of phrase used by comic readers and industry professionals to describe alterations in the existing internal history of a particular comic character or series of events. Short for retroactive continuity, the term can be applied as either an acting verb or a noun and is only recognized in the external environment of comic book creation...

Purposes of a Retcon
As a writing convention, a retcon serves the function of revising older material, which may be deemed unpalatable to modern readers by altering specific details...

Canon vs. Non-Canon
As a retcon basically recreates a comic book's internal reality, there is often great debate between which material should be considered authoritative (canon), and which material is outdated, and no longer part of the modern history (non-canon).

As I have documented to the point of tedium on this blog, one of the four characteristics common to all Conservatives from Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter to Michael Gerson and David Brooks, is a dependence on "a massive, ongoing and self-reinforcing regime of historical revisionism and 'doublethink'" for ideological and political cohesion.

And for the last 20 years or so (and picking up speed as the Bush Administration fell apart) they have all been retconning the shit out of the history of American Conservatism and their various roles within it.

Prominent Bush advisers and cheerleaders now make a living obliquely referring to the fallout from the administration they served so obediently as if they were describing the antics of Pepin the Short and the court of Carolingian monarchy in 754.  Nothing to do with them at all.

Column by column, America's Most Respected Conservative Public Intellectual has rewritten the entire history of American Conservatism as a fan fic novel of noble Whigs being led through dangerous hippie country in which most actual influential conservatives do not even exist.

And let's not forget how George Bush totally won the Iraq War (which was totally justified!) only to have his historic and unconditional victory snatched away by the Kenyan Usurper.

Of course the problem with the ongoing, real-time retconning of the GOP is not that it will make it impossible for the Pig People to follow the thread (after all, these are lobotomized idiots who will believe literally anything) or that somehow they might finally, accidentally make Liberals credible by getting "caught" in public doing exactly what Liberals have been accusing them of doing for 20 years (the Beltway would rather see their empire in rubble than ever admit Liberals have ever been right about anything.)

No, the real problem is now that the GOP is dead, no one is at the top is exercising overall editorial control of the direction and tactical value of the lies the Republican Party will tell the country on any given day.  No more "Party" means no more "Party Line", which means that all of the GOP's individual batshit Balkanized factions are now out there freestyling baby!

And by "freestyling" I mean pulling out of their individual asses whatever rando crazy seems like it might get them past today's catastrophe that yesterday's rando crazy got them into,  and hoping to Gish Gallop today's rando crazy to the end of the day's news cycle before it becomes tomorrow's catastrophe.  Which is how Crazy Uncle Liberty's brain already works every single day, which is why Crazy Uncle Liberty loves Donald J. Trump and will never, ever leave him.

But for professional Beltway sock-puppets on teevee whose audience is not 100% Crazy Uncle Liberty, the rise of Trump has turned their routine retconning of yesterday's bullshit into one, long, horrifying and hilarious I Love Lucy skit:

Which is why the single funniest damn thing on teevee today has to have been the Joey Joe Joe Junior Scarborough mercilessly chastising Donald J. Trump for lying about Trump's own very public remarks and then blaming "the media" for deliberately misrepresenting what he had said...

...which was followed immediately by Joe "Never Punch Down" Scarborough lying about Joe Scarborough's own very public support of Donald J. Trump and blaming "stupid people in political circles" for deliberately misrepresenting him:

It was...perfect.  I mean, Squint was already a shoo-in for the silver medal in Olympic Frantic Backpedaling, but did you see him stick that fucking landing?

This collision of fake indignation and failed retconning apparently caused some, tiny ember buried under the ashes and stumps and alley detritus in Mike Barnicle's brain to stir momentarily to life. Perhaps, Mr. Barnicle opined painfully, the, uh, media, has, uh, something to do with this,  Perhaps the media always trying to be, uh. "objective" and talk both sides, has, um, let Trump get away with stuff (video here.)

Aw, how adorable!  He thinks he's people!

And then he went back to sleep on the park bench they keep on set for when Mike exerts himself too much.  

Meanwhile. seeing that Abusive Asshole Dad Joe Scarborough was apparently not handing out beatings for uttering heresies today, Morning Joe's most expendable subaltern, Willie Geist, took some of that action (from Media Matters):
WILLIE GEIST (CO-HOST): Everyone, including members of the press, have to stop falling to the trap of [Donald Trump] made a speech about the economy, he read off a teleprompter, he said somethings that made sense if you're a Republican, he fed some red meat to those people, and thinking that this means it's a new day, that he's changed. We know who Donald Trump is. There are a lot of people who like this guy. A lot of people who voted for him, but this is who he is. It's not -- there is no pivot, there's no change.

Yes!  Yes!  "Members of the press " failed us, says member-of-the-press Willie Giest.  "They" need to stop falling for Trump's Jedi mind-tricks says a jumped-up haircut who never, ever finds the 'droids he is looking for.  

Finally, I would be derelict in my duties as the outcast, broke-ass Liberal Josephus-with-dick-jokes chronicler of the collapse of our political media if I did not mention that the moment when Squint firmly remind his Meat Puppet that her place is at the foot of his fucking bed was also super-special:


tony in san diego said...

Watching Mika trying not to crack up while he is talking!

RUKidding said...

“You're a Democrat (translation: Woman), Mika, you’re a Democrat (aka Woman),” he said. “Let me say this. Let me say this, because it means nothing coming from you. You’re a Democrat (eg,female).”

“Excuse me?” a perturbed Brzezinski interjected.

“It means nothing coming from a Democrat (IOW, a Woman) to these Republicans,” Scarborough said... "or to ME, as a MAN and your clear SUPERIOR, Meat Puppet. STFU. Know your place, bitch."

Translation of heinous Squint's "masterful" punching DOWN of his present alleged adultrous paramour.

I have never watched this program and never will. I had no clue - really - that Mika's meant to be a "Democrat." I guess that's what the TeaTardz mean when they spout off about the insanely LIEbrul media that's ruining their pecious entitled lives?? Mika, Meat Puppet, Brzezinski? The things one learns.

Ed Cooper said...

Actually I think the meat puppet was a little pissed at Squint, but since I have never watched this, it might just be acting. One of the advantages of not having cable is not having my coffee ruined by Joe Scarboro.

Robt said...

Ratcon, rebranding, a conservative vs a true conservative. Republican vs a God fearing republican. Party of Lincoln?? Treedom patriots, Tea Party, John Birchers.

It gets to the many names of the evil one has taken to disguise himself.

Or something like that.

Yet I remain left with no confirmation that Joey is a conservative, republican, T-potter, conservative value Pastor, political hack or what?

Joey needs to be more clear in his principals. That I may be convince he is what he portrays.

bowtiejack said...

But Willie Geist said it was "analysis and explanation not support", besides "Mom ran into Dad's fist, Dad didn't hit her".

This crap would be no more interesting than the sophistry of playground arguments but for their pretensions -it's the pretensions that raise it to the level of classic farce.

trgahan said...

I am still undecided on whether this crisis is really within the GOP (which has proven during the last 8 years it can control the nation's political agenda without the White House or even a functioning federal government. Adding there is no GOP civil war either. Crazy Uncle Liberty will continue to deliver the state houses, governor's mansions, and so on for the foreseeable future.)

OR just employees within the conservative media infotainment complex working angles in hopes of either not getting fired or to get a fired person's job when by mid-November they hear from the board room "Well, DAMN IT! Then get me someone who CAN!"

Kevin Holsinger said...

A "Crisis on Infinite Earths" reference, eh?

Let's see. Comic book terminology you might want to store for future reference:

"All New, All Different Marvel" (it's not a reboot, but...)

"One More Day" (Spider-Man makes a deal with Mephisto in one of the biggest blunders in modern, Marvel history)

"Red Lantern Corps" (like Larfleeze, but driven by anger rather than greed)

All I got for now. I've been trying to think of some sort of mythologem for the Political Right in general...but it isn't going well. All I keep seeing in my head is, "Imagine a group of 'superheroes' whose idea of superheroism is stopping the other superheroes from doing their jobs."

Be seeing you.

proverbialleadballoon said...

What a great title, so fitting, and I don't think that Batman, Wonder Woman, and Superman are going to come help the gop put their story line back together again. They'll try to make Trump the sacrificial goat (Barry Allen?), and probably they will succeed at doing that, at least somewhat.