Sunday, January 16, 2005

Never Get Off The Boat or Hit the Brakes in the Carpool Lane

"I don't know if any of you are aware of this, but it's a federal offense to make lascivious remarks on a television network broadcast. The penalty for this disgusting, un-American behavior is one year in prison, or a ten thousand dollar fine. Or both! Anyone making a sick or subversive remark tonight will be arrested immediately. I then will personally escort the offender to federal prison for booking under edict number 364 of the Broadcasting Act of 1963. And it's a long drive to that prison, baby, just you and me. No witnesses."
- Peter Jenks from Confessions of a Dangerous Mind

As January blew into view I went into an involuntary seclusion with my computers and progressive trance CDs, and started to make plans to move to Spain if Dubya reached Inauguration Day. Friends called me paranoid and deranged, but their names do not appear on the U.S. Secret Service blotter of headcases, anarchists, addicts, dope fiends, freaks, terrorists or dedicated political enemies with enough resources to purchase firearms and bizarre personal histories, which often includes more than one documented case of uttering public dissent against a sitting - albeit embattled - President of the United States.

But that was my plan, and it made perfect sense, at the time. It was the last defiant act of an otherwise meaningless election cycle, and in the end that, too, seemed to be an aimless exercise with no sense of possibility or passion. The world has been divided up into easy-to-digest pieces, Sparky. Just like the GOP relief map says.

You don't have to be a serious political junkie to feel a thick and foreboding sense of doom at the prospect of another four years of the Dubya Comes Back from the Dead victory lap in 2005. It feels like a rerun of 1972: Just another vindicated, self-righteous, greed-energized, petty crook, dimwit, radical Rethug president just inches from criminal prosecution, once the people finally sit up and take notice.

Goddamn, I thought. Can't wait to see what happens next. Alas, a sick and twisted Dickie, he fell like a diseased Redwood in the forest, engulfed by his own personality disorder and how he would be remembered ...

Indeed. Easy come, doesn't necessarily mean easy go. And many important operatives still believe that the Rethug braintrust didn't really mind losing to Jimmy Carter anyways. It was good for the soul. The GOP, it was said then, was better off digging new trenches with a new set of strategists while the Watergate furor subsided, and by the time that enough people had their fill of the misery index - initiated by Chicago Economist Robert Barro in the 1970's in response to a phenomenon called stagflation, which implies a deterioration in economic performance by adding the inflation rate to the unemployment rate to the interest rate - even hardcore Teamsters and teachers' unions jumped on the vagarious movement known as the Reagan Revolution. And while it made the GOP the majority party for a generation, it also sparked an outbreak of mass political hysteria from which we have never returned.

That is precisely what Carl Jung, one of the great psychologists of the 20th Century, left as his warning, when he said, "The gigantic catastrophes that threaten us today are not elemental happenings of a physical or biological order, but psychic events. To a quite terrifying degree we are threatened by wars and revolutions which are nothing other than psychic epidemics. At any moment several millions of human beings may be smitten with a new madness, and then we shall have another world war or devastating revolution. Instead of being at the mercy of wild beasts, earthquakes, landslides, and inundations, modern man is battered by the elemental forces of his own psyche."

Termed malignant egophrenic disease, or ME disorder, by Paul Levy in his article, The Madness of George W. Bush: A Reflection of Our Collective Psychosis:
[Dubya] supporters are not merely disinterested in seeing that they are in denial of reality; on the contrary, they actively don’t want to look at this, which is to say they resist self-reflection at all costs. [The Preznut] and his supporters perversely interpret any feedback from the real world which reflects back their unconsciousness as itself evidence that proves the rightness of their viewpoint. All of [his] supporters mutually reinforce each other’s unconscious resistance to such a degree that a collective, interdependent field of impenetrability gets collectively conjured up by them that literally resists consciousness.

There really is no such thing, however, as paranoia in presidential politics. Anything that the administration fears or suspects will often turn out to be true - feeding the disease and the expanse of the enemies' list - and the hardline fix is always at work in the shadows, someplace, and the enemy of shared enemies doesn't always equate to friends of convenience. And for that one reason - the bright, shining truth of it all - the serious political fiend, such as I, will always find the raunchy pursuit of wielding power fun ... only because the fine endeavor of ruling the planet is not for the faint of heart or simple in intellect. One mistake, and it's like stomping on the brakes in the carpool lane. Just close your eyes and wait for the grim reaper. The devil is not always in the details, and the reaction never speaks for itself, especially when your preznut is sick and in dire need of psychiatric review.
Hysterical self-deceivers, and ordinary ones too, have at all times understood the art of misusing everything so as to avoid the demands and duties of life, and above all to shirk the duty of confronting themselves. They pretend to be seekers after God in order not to have to face the truth that they are ordinary egoists.
- Carl Jung

So there has been nothing weird or strange in the feeling - which came to mind once the final November tally came in - that whatever would become the GOP brain trust after Karl Rove in 2004 might indeed go into the tank by 2005, once the reality of Iraq and the collapse of the country's institutions finally kicked into high gear. After all, it looks like a pretty good year for retribution now that the Democrats are picking sides and taking names - and if Dubya has a problem with going down in U.S. history as its most colossal failure, who really cares? He certainly doesn't. Because in his own little delusion he imagines that he is divinely guided; and therefore, his miserable constituency is co-dependently feeding an unconscious narcissistic need by fostering a truly pathological and - ultimately - self-destructive relationship. It has also been an open invitation to participate in what has been the most gigantic political scam since Boss Tweed - a high-stakes, low-rent orgy of greed, organized demogoguery, voter fraud, treachery and double-dealing that would cancel the need for elections in most countries on Planet Earth and leave the military free to choose their own preznut at the barrel of a gun. In places like Argentina, Romania and Mozambique the chance to seize power would have been so completely irresistible had they had a Dubya to call their own.

In any event, the logic is compelling and in the shadows of the military-industrial complex there has to be a small gathering of warlike minds digging deep into that warrior spirit. The last thing any administration needs to consider is that the Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines are plotting your demise before the real war has ended. That really takes the fun out of conducting a rebuilding operation.

It is also what makes 2005 so interesting, at least for steady observers like me. With Dubya stumbling into everything he now touches and the GOP congressional leadership constantly tripping over their bloated tongues, a small and disciplined nonconformist effort could whip up enough outrage and "anti-Dubya-bloodlust" frenzy, preventing anything from getting past the Senate screen doors. And when that begins to happen, the administration will start to unravel at light speed. Not unless Dubya finds some humility - quick - and sprinkles his morning Wheaties with a little less ignorance.

Almost any fool can lead his country to war when his supporters are committed to the same mindless bloodletting, but slowing the bastard down to a diminishing cycle of violence and eventual withdrawal is an entirely different gig. Especially when you've just spent four years banging the drums for revenge - by constantly embedding yourself with the military with Goebbels-like festivities and making endless references to God when you refer to America's "victory" in Iraq, as if God has personally endorsed this wretched murder spree. And the blood lust doesn't stop at the Iraqi border. He has given the CIA authority to assassinate those deemed a threat to U.S. national interests - however vague they might be - treating the world's diplomatic institutions like he was still Governor of Texas, where he mocked the condemned and presided over a record-setting 152 executions, including the 1998 execution of fellow born-again Christian Karla Faye Tucker, a convicted murderer who later led a prison ministry. He has virtually suspended Executive Orders 11905 (Gerald Ford), 12306 (Jimmy Carter), and 12333 (Ronald Reagan) which prohibit the assassination of foreign leaders.

To quote Carl Jung, once again, a limited human being in a position of power who has become as far dissociated from his actions as Dubya “even runs the grave risk of believing he has a Messianic mission, and forces tyrannous doctrines upon his fellow-beings.” He believes that any action he takes is justified in the name of God, as he can rationalize it as being God's will. Unable to reflect beyond the carvernous shadow of narcissism surrounding him, he is convinced of the righteousness of his mission, which he considers a non-negotiable event, like death and taxes and ultimate salvation. In fact, this inability to see anything beyond this pursuit is the best means of making him an instrument of evil.

Welcome to Apocalypse Dubya Redux, Sparky. Any way you slice it - quite literally - Ted Bundy has taken over the White House.


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