Wednesday, December 29, 2021

It's The Sensible Center Charlie Brown!

Of all the stupid, dangerous cults that litter our rubble-strewn political landscape, arguably the most subtly toxic and dangerous of all has been the Cult of the Sensible Center which is also known around these parts as the High and Holy Church of Both Sides Do It.  

For the record, if anything like an actual, policy-based Center exists anywhere, it's at the heart of the Democratic party, somewhere between Dick Durbin and Bernie Sanders.  But out there among the hoi polloi there is no Sensible Center stewing in disgruntled silence outside of the two major parties.  Instead, in the population at large there are a tiny number of flighty, timorous goofs who float around between the two parties via some kind ideological Brownian motion because they want to tell themselves that they are bold independents.  But they're not.  They're just cowards and mopes who, rather than plant their feet and take a stand, would travel 1,000 miles to find a fence to straddle.  

You know the type and you know that type never changes.

On the other hand, the reason that the Cult of the Sensible Center is so poisonous is directly related to their massive overrepresentation in the media.  Which has, over the course of decades, enabled the second most dangerous political cult in America -- the Republican party -- to continually ratchet further and further into outright fascism without any appreciable consequences.

While miniscule compared to the size of Republican Party, the Sensible Center cultists in the media wield hugely outsized influence relative to their numbers because the tenets of their cult exactly comports with the business model of virtually every America media corporation, and because those media corporations control the cameras.

Which is why, even though decade after decade they have show themselves over and over to be grotesquely wrong about pretty much everything, we find these same well-remunerated goofs still gainfully employed and still confidently predicting a Great Centrist Uprising which will rise out of the Sensible Centrism patch and fly through the air with its bag of sensible, Centrist policy solution for all the children.  For example, I wrote this +16 years ago in reaction to a typically obnoxious Thomas Friedman in which he scornfully Both Sidesed Bush's Iraqi Debacle.  And upon re-reading it +16 years later, I see no reason to change a word of it...

...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!

But in the Sensible Centrism patch, there are no Sally's who wait all night, finally figure out they've been scammed and then bail, furious that they had been taken in by such foolishness..

You kept me up all night waiting for the Great Pumpkin...and all that came was a beagle!  I didn't get a chance to go out for tricks or treats.  And it was all your fault. I'll sue! What a fool I was! I could have had candy apples and gum...and cookies and money and all sorts of things...but no, I had to listen to you. You blockhead. What a fool I was.

No, in the Sensible Centrist patch it's Linuses all the way down.  And no matter how many times the Sensible Center fails to rise from the Centrism patch and fly around the country boosting David French or Bill Weld or Howard Schultz into high offices, they remain faithful.  

Just wait till next year, Charlie Brown! You'll see, next year at this same time I'll find a pumpkin patch that is real sincere. And I'll sit in that pumpkin patch until the Great Pumpkin appears.  He'll rise out of that pumpkin patch and he'll fly through the air with his bag of toys...

But faith alone will not suffice, because in this cult all the Linuses think of themselves as savvy and wise and logical and pragmatic despite the fact that they spent decades laughing at Liberal warnings that the the Republican party was was building a Doomsday Machine with no "off" switch .  Laughing and mocking and sneering at us crackpot alarmists...right up until the day the monster they swore did not exist rose up and punched them in the balls hard enough to knock them straight into a...

[checks notes]

...contributor contract with MSNBC.  And/or a book contract.  And/or a regular opinion column in a national publication.


Even so, to maintain their status, cult leaders of the Sensible Center still need to bulwark their faith by continually inventing "evidence" out of whole cloth that their faith is grounded in fact, and that everyone but them and their fellow cultists are morons.  Whether it's Tom Nichols mocking us "science lovers" as being mere virtue signaling fops because of [checks notes again] a bunch of stuff that he's just wrong about propped up by handwaving in the direction of "many of you" or it's Tom Nichols scolding us Liberals -- who have been right about the Right all along -- for not taking the threat from the Right seriously enough based on the thinnest, pettiest, most made-up-because-I-needed-a-reason-to-bitch-about-the-Left-today pretext --

Fight Like Adults
The Republicans are a threat to democracy. Stow the juvenile theatrics and take them seriously.

By Tom Nichols...

 --  the Sensible Center continues spending an inordinate amount of it's time and energy making up silly bullshit about the alleged transgressions of the Left so they can justify heroically bestriding some imaginary midpoint between the Extremes on Both Sides.  

Which would be extremely pitiful and hilarious were it not for the enormous damage this tiny clique of Both Siderist cultists have done to out politics.  Thanks to their almost complete colonization of the American political media, the myth of the Sensible Center has become very much like our very own little Matrix.  It's not as slick or subtle and requires constant maintenance performed by cult leaders right out on the open, but it is, in a very real sense everywhere.  

All around us. 

And you can definitely see it when you read a newspaper.

Or when you turn on your television. 

Update:  Now with 72% fewer typos.

Burn the Lifeboats

1 comment:

Robt said...

When McCain voted against a GOP lock step moment as he did with Obamacare. They did not call him a Maverick. I was there. I remember.

Other McCain votes against his party lockstep were few and those (in the past) were dismissed as being a Maverick). Not having an independent position, not voting for his constituents. Not being moderate..

And then there is Joe Manchin. He says he is a conservatives Democrat and the GOP say they really love them some Joe Manchin who is a democrat.

Thing is, there used to be Joe Manchin types in the Republican party and they were mercilessly purged from the party for the likes of Rand Paul and Ted Cruz.

maverick does not define as moderate.