Tuesday, September 26, 2017

The Amazing Disappearing Republican Party

So there you are, a visitor from a faraway world.  Perhaps you're a silicon-based life form from Betelgeuse, or perhaps you're a carbon-based "independent" who is only peripherally aware that the United States has elections and governments and political parties and such.  Either way, all of a sudden you're here, and via whatever clever plot device brought you to this place and time, you are just now noticing how gutted every public institution seems to be, and how pissed off everyone is, and how even ESPN is now Crossfire.

"Holy fuck, how did this happen?!"  you ask, whether you are a bleary newcomer from a nearby star or from a local La-Z-Boy.  "And who the fuck is responsible?" you ask because you are as innocent of American political history as a flatworm is of Fibonacci numbers.  

And being (as you now are) suddenly "woke" from a politically-oblivious existence vastly different from mine, you will probably seek out "experts" to answer your questions.  Probably you will look for experts who many other seemingly-not-crazy people also listen to.  Experts who speak clearly and with confidence, and whose expertise has won them influential positions at a Prominent Teevee Network or a Major Metropolitan Newspaper.  Experts who wear serious suits and are treated with deference by those around them and, ideally, who appear to have gone gray in their long years of service to their profession.

Unfortunately, dear traveler, most of those experts are going to lie to you.


They will lie right to your face, over and over again.  They will lie to you with a clear and confident voice.  They will lie to you from their influential positions on teevee or in the newspaper.  And they will do this because most of them had a hand in creating this fucked-up world of hobbled and hollowed-out institutions, screaming bigots and ESPN-as-Crossfire that you see all around you.

They do this because if these "experts" ever actually told you the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, they would no longer be "experts" and would no longer have their influential positions on teevee or in the newspaper.   Those "experts" would be upselling hot apple pies at McDonalds, or greeting you at WalMart or drinking themselves to death under a bridge.

So they won't tell you the truth, no matter how many times or from how many angles you ask them for it.  Instead, they will tell you the myths and fairy tales that they and their fellow "experts" and their financial underwriters find most comforting.  A woozy, boozy fantasy they all repeat as holy writ because they are all drunk off the same bottle.

It is a dream that they dream from inside their media bubble -- a dream they are all having and are all trying to keep up-and-running despite the fact that it is clearly absurd.

And like a lot of dreams, there's a monster at the end of it.

But in this particular dream only one species of monster is permitted.  Only one type of villain. And that villain has to be situated far, far away from these "experts".  Because, you see, in reality they are the monsters, and so their singular, overriding concern is that none of the agony and ruin we see all around us ever be pinned on them...or their friends...or their colleagues...or their political party...or their ideological movement.  And since much of this really is their fault and the fault of their friends and their colleagues and their political party and their ideological movement, they relentlessly use their influential positions in the media to try to relocate responsibility for our calamities as far away from themselves as possible.

Consider the Fuzzy Math of Mr. Steve Schmidt -- a respected Republican strategist who, in the space of 90 seconds, makes the entire Republican party completely disappear:

Did you catch that?

According to Mr. Schmidt, the Good Guys who think that Donald Trump is bigoted asshole who injects "toxins into the body politic for the purposes of [his] political transactional benefit" are "the overwhelming majority of the American people" They are "Republicans or Independents or Democrats [who are] are against this".

And the Bad Guys?  The ones who will gleefully and proudly stand with Il Douche no matter what?

Mr. Schmidt would have you believe that those people are some mysterious, politically unidentifiable and unaffiliated group who just so happen to make up "35%, 36% of the country."

You see, distant traveler, Mr. Schmidt is lying to you.  He fucking well knows down to nine significant digits exactly who these people are.  They are the base of his own fucking party:  a base which Mr. Schmidt fucking well knows has been methodically conditioned and programmed by 30 years of relentless, toxic political propaganda and racist dog-whistling from the leaders of his Republican party to behave just like this.

But Mr, Schmidt can't say that without implicating himself and every one of his friends and fellow travelers.  So he tells one of the biggest Beltway-approved lies of all -- that the fault for all of this belongs waaaaay over there with Donald Trump and some enigmatic group of people who are certainly not the base of the party for whom Mr. Schmidt has worked his entire adult life.

Which brings us around to Mr. David Fucking Brooks who today laced up his seven league pundit loafers, took a long running start and jumped completely over the last 50 years of American political history in order to absolve his Conservative movement, his Republican party and his Beltway media of any responsibility for the devolution of the GOP and the rise of President Stupid.

Yes.  He really did that. 

And while visitors from interstellar space or apathy's sofa may find it genuinely weird that the New York Times' Ace Conservative Public Intellectual would leap straight from Abbie Hoffman ("The Abbie Hoffman of the Right: Donald Trump") and the 1960s --
So in the late 1960s along came a group of provocateurs like Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin and the rest of the counterculture to upend the Protestant establishment. People like Hoffman were buffoons, but also masters of political theater.
-- to Donald J. Trump and 2016 --
So in 2016, members of the outraged working class elected their own Abbie Hoffman as president. Trump is not good at much, but he is wickedly good at sticking his thumb in the eye of the educated elites. He doesn’t have to build a new culture, or even attract a majority. He just has to tear down the old one.
-- without making any mention whatsoever of any of the incredibly significant political milestones of the intervening half-century, that is exactly what he did.

Yep.  For real.  Go look for yourself, and as you peruse Mr. Brooks' steaming pile of conventional Beltway wisdom, notice that nowhere does Mr. Brooks even mention Fox News.  Or Conservative Hate Radio. Or Regnery Press.  Or Conservative evangelicals.  Or Newt Gingrich.   Or Lee Atwater.  Or The Southern Strategy.  Or Brietbart.  Or the Bush Administration.   Or Karl Rove.   Or Birtherism.  Or...  Or... Or...

Nothing.  Bupkis.

And the thing is, this is not some one-off screw up or sloppy omission-by-intern.  Longtime readers know that, in virtually every column he writes about How Things Got This Way, Mr. Brooks always pointedly leaves out the entire history of his Republican party.  Except, of course, when he is predicting that Big Republican Renaissance which is always Right Around The Corner!
The big Republican accomplishment is that they have detoxified their brand. Four years ago they seemed scary and extreme to a lot of people. They no longer seem that way. The wins in purple states like North Carolina, Iowa and Colorado are clear indications that the party can at least gain a hearing among swing voters. And if the G.O.P. presents a reasonable candidate (and this year’s crop was very good), then Republicans can win anywhere. I think we’ve left the Sarah Palin phase and entered the Tom Cotton phase. 
--  David Brooks, November 5, 2014
This lie?  This gargantuan lie?  This is his signature move.  Which is why he is the undisputed heavyweight champion of this particular genre of Beltway bullshit.  Because lying about the past in this way, as one disreputable Liberal freebooter wrote many years ago, is Mr. Brooks' Great Project:
...it is now painfully clear that Mr. Brooks is engaged in a long-term project to completely rewrite the history of American Conservatism: to flense it of all of the Conservative social, political  economic and foreign policy debacles that make Mr. Brooks wince and repackage the whole era as a fairy tale of noble Whigs being led through treacherous hippie country by the humble David Brooks.
See, Mr. Brooks has been lying in just this way every week for decades.  He lies this way the radio, on the teevee and in print.  And he is paid a fortune by the corporations who own our media for doing so.  Which is really all you need to know about how debased our Fourth Estate has become and how an obvious, lying, racist con man could strut right through its front door.

And, just like Mr. Schmidt, in his column to day Mr. Brooks also conspicuously refuses to refer to the name of the political party which nominated and then elected President Stupid, and which stands by him as his loyal myrmidons to this day.  And so, instead of Republicans, Mr. Brooks writes that it was "members of the outraged working class" that brought us this debacle.

As to the rest of Mr. Brooks' wretched bullshit, I say why waste perfectly good adjectives vivisecting this corporate Quisling one more time when I can just job it out to Aaron Sorkin?

Behold, a Tip Jar!


TammyTalpas said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trgahan said...

On another podcast that will not be named the three former Obama staffers interviewed the co-founder of Axios who, in the same paragraph, explained the 36% floor as evidence of "people genuinely sick of the DC system and wanting change" but then said Trump will never get above 45% because "he's offended everyone but straight white Christian males."

In that in the same interview he then lectured the three former Obama staffers that "you liberals obsess too much over the media Both Siding everything! We don't intentionally think we have to even everything out when we write stories!"

This person is also someone who, in the Wall Street Journal, posited the Extraordinary Third Party of Benevolent Billionaires (one of whom we've recently learned sold his country out to the Russians for $100,000 in ad buys on his website, but I digress) as the solution to Both Sides! being so radical.

portlandmaxtrains said...

I see Bill O'Reilly is on tonight:


My quick google shows he was forced out April 19, 2017

So the penalty box was 5 months for him.

bowtiejack said...

You are the best.
I'm gonna go buy another lottery ticket.
If it hits, I'll be in touch.
If not, you're still the best.

TammyTalpas said...

This is absolutely fantastic, Sir Percy!

It's time to take your writing to the next level. You need to record this direct-to-camera with the clips as evidentiary exhibits, and everything. It will get views, and you will see that this is a brilliant idea.

It is rumored that Middle Child is a YouTube maven. Draft her into service, and have her edit the cideo and upload it onto ProLeftPod.com's YouTube page.

I totally respect that you want to keep your identity a secret, so go down to the once-a-year Halloween Shop (that will in mere weeks transform into a War on Christmas Shop) and buy a mask. Something sci-fi, maybe? You can do this. I am positive.

Anonymous said...

You’re right about the 30 years of relentless propaganda. I've been hearing Rightwing talk radio since the Reagan years, and all that time they've been describing a very specific worldview:

1. Those from the private sector are smart and good, and that people in the public sector are incompetent and evil.

2. Extremely wealthy people deserve what they have, because they have earned it by being strong and smart. Wealthy men are self-made men.

3. Offensive, playground-style speech carries great argumentative weight. If you can successfully ridicule political opponents, then you have proven the validity of your position.

4. Complex problems require simple solutions. To acknowledge nuance is weakness.

Notice how Donald Trump is the epitome of all of these points. For these past 30 years, Rightwing media has been carefully and methodically carving a throne - a throne with a seat that is the exact size and shape of Trump's ass. No one should have been surprised when he walked up and sat down on it.
Yes, Donald Trump is the man that the Republican base has been waiting for. Steve Schmidt shouldn't pretend that this is not the case.

Davis said...

Tristero at Hullabaloo just covered this. Working class my ass. It was white people of all classes. Brooks apparently doesn't believe that there's a black or Latino working class.

Ozsportsdude said...

I'm done with Crooked Media, it's too much middle class self-congratulation for my taste, they really badly need some working class accents on their (Including Black & Latino working class voices) it's just to much preaching to the choir and for all their talk about organising and getting involved I have not once heard them mention joining your union

Robt said...

On the Steve Schmidt.

Steve at the APEX again.
He is life ling GOP with conservative ideal blinders.

He finds it very traumatic to grasp what the boy scout in him all his life now faces.

He over looked Reagan dog whistling during his campaign (and presidency).
Never saw California Governor Reagan happy and a Bambi shooting cartoon . Turn into Governor gun control when the black panthers began carrying guns and marching in public with cammo outfits, black berets, and in lockstep.
That is exactly what caused pro gun Gov. Reagan to turn into gun control Gov. Reagan.
Back to Steve,
He saw and admitted his disgust from what he witnessed during McCain's presidential bid. Up close and ugly he admits of Palin's presence. He saw McCain take the mic away from the back of the lady's messed up hairdo to tell her Obama was an American and a decent family man.
That is what the Boy Scout blinders Schmidt will allow himself to admit At least publicly. he has been a life long GOPer and rationalized the recruiting of the blood sucking vampires and their "familiars".

Citizens United gave Steve and his GOP the Mercer family funding Bannon/ Brietbart and the Mercer family quest (whatever it is). The Kochs and their own Tea Potter party owning a secured prosition of the GOP House that is controlled by the Kochs. (to what diabolical end?). Devos family superiority spraying Americans like a threatened skunk. No democracy.
hell, all the crime families congregated.

He watched like me,
Every GOP Senator block every nominees of Obama. Some later they voted unanimously for . As the GOP outright spit disrespect for a 27 year veteran judge with a distinguished record. Not even sitting down and speaking to that nominee (Garland). After filibustering for 14 months. Their majority discards the filibuster rule to shove their ideology control of the SCOTUS.
Schmidt sees this. And NO, I do not think Steve (if having a say) would do it like his party. But his party does some very poor things. Which are now poor everything.
He watched the GOP give the people they dog whistle to a SCOTUS decision of gutting Section 5 of the Civil Rights ACt.
This is for all the republican racists. They demanded something for their support of republicans and got it.
Steve is well aware the voter suppression his GOP bashed over the heads of all Americans and for dominant long term power control. Even if the electorate chose otherwise.
Steve has a tough time admitting (at least publicly) many hard truths in front of us all.
It is the old Reagan enigma excuse,
"My head tells me, all the facts and evidence shows Iran contract sales of weapons to terrorist nations and all.
But my heart says otherwise...............

Steve Schmidt is simply having a lead up to his own, " come to Reagan moment".

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