Saturday, June 18, 2022

Recently-Former Republicans Can't Stop Lying About The Past

This is not a column about David Brooks even though I'm going to lead in with this from an old blog post of mine.  One of many where I discuss Mr. Brooks' Great Project: 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.

And odds are he'll get away with it too.

[Spoiler:  He did get away with it and he continues to get away with it.]  

This is also not a column about David Brooks' old boss, Bloody Bill Kristol, even though I'm going to use this as the freshest available example of the pathological denial of the past that is symptomatic of virtually all recently-former Republicans:

Except this fairy tale of a mighty bulwark that stood fast against perfidy for 40 years until Trump is not how history unfolded at all.

Let's start with what the pardoning of Nixon by Ford actually taught Republicans.

Shit, even Red Forman knew that letting Nixon skate was wrong.

And since Watergate?

Well, the Iran/Contra scandal was even bigger and more consequential that Watergate, and yet most of the Iran/Contra traitors went unpunished, and the rest were pardoned by George H. W. Bush with no political repercussions.  And the media?  As brother Charlie Pierce reports, for the most part the media took a dive:

[Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee's] legacy is not without its obvious flaws. He was far too close to John F. Kennedy for my comfort. He admitted to author Mark Hertsgaard that the Post ultimately took a dive on Iran-Contra, not because it wasn't a great story, a story perhaps bigger than Watergate in its fundamental constitutional implications, but because the national press didn't want to be seen as bringing down another popular Republican president, which is certainly not a consideration that ought to be relevant to a powerful newspaper's mission... 

Then there are the architects and cheerleaders of Dubya's Iraqi Clusterfuck and torture policy, all of whom are walking free, and many of whom, just like Bloody Bill Kristol, have secure gigs in the mainstream media or sinecures on boards and universities and have suffered zero political/professional repercussions.  Hell, you can't swing a dead cat on "liberal" MSNBC without hitting some Bush regime dead-ender lecturing Democrats on how they should be running their party.

And of course in between the Bushes, Bill Kristol's party waged a non-stop, all-out war on Bill Clinton: a war in which the GOP made it clear it had no compunctions about using every lever of power at its command to fuck over the Clintons.  They threw everything from full-blown congressional investigations into nothing-burgers like Clinton's Christmas card list to the awesome power of presidential impeachment to bring Clinton for shits and giggles and to pay Dems back for Nixon.  And the media ?  They didn't give a damn about the merits of any of it.  Instead they sopped up every filthy lie and salacious tidbit the GOP tossed out about the Clintons and begged for seconds.  

Then came the Fake Tea Party: millions of die-hard Republicans ducking out of responsibility for their unstinting support of Bush by put on stupid hats, calling themselves "independents" and swearing they'd never even heard of Bush.  And all aided & abetted by the mainstream media. A few of us Liberal bloggers wrote extensively about the Fake Tea Party, pointing out over and over again that it was obviously a massive Republican rebranding scam, but nobody wanted to hear that.  Until, several years later, once the Dubya administration had been safely memory-holed and the damage had been done, both Joe Scarborough and David Brooks suddenly noticed that, hey! Guess what?  That Tea Party thingie was really just a bunch of Republicans all along.  

And they all had a big laugh over it.  

Then there was Republican party's non-stop, eight-year, block-everything racist primal scream in reaction to Democrats electing exactly the kind of moderate, compromising Centrist that Kristol always swore his party could work with.

And then Bill Kristol's party party's nominated and elected the King of the Birthers.

So the truth of the matter is plain and clear:  Republicans actually learned all of their most important political lessons from Watergate.  And those lessons are:

  • Always attack.
  • Always blame the Left.
  • Never stop trashing media.
  • Never apologize.
  • Never stop lying.
  • When in doubt, escalate. 
  • Seize and hold power by any means necessary.  

This is the political doomsday machine which every recently-former Republican spent their entire adult lives building, which is why recently-former Republican can't stop lying about the past.  

I Am The Liberal Media


Mr XD said...

My corollary to the "never stop lying" lesson-if someone questions the initial lie, invent another, more grandiose lie. If that lie fails to convince, you can always depend on the old "It's just a joke-you libs got no sense of humor" ploy.

Lee said...

There was a NatGeo doc from many many years ago. It profiled a New Guinea tribe of former headhunters. They used a system of "payback" for every perceived grievance. The GQP reminds me of that tribe, minus the headhunting part, of course,for now.

Robt said...

So if you think Bill Kristol lies about the past.

Then I not sure what to call it when he talks about the present and future.

Unless, He could be lying about them all?

Joseph Max said...

"And the whole Bush family, from Texas, should be boiled in poisoned oil." - Hunter S. Thompson

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