Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Strange Myths and Arguments from A Loser's Den


"It's an important concept for our fellow citizens to understand: That no one in need will ever be forced to choose a faith-based provider. That's an important concept for people to understand. What that means is if you're the Methodist church and you sponsor an alcohol treatment center, they can't say only Methodists, only Methodists who drink too much can come to our program. 'All Drunks Are Welcome' is what the sign ought to say."
- Dubya's uplifting Tony Robbins moment in Washington, D.C., March 1, 2005

Some stories in the naked city are terribly messy, and this one could take a very long time to tell if I ventured to describe all the sordid particulars and reasons for all the blame and bizarreness and freakishness that surfaced along the journey and rationalized all the blood on the walls. It's a pretty vain time to be American - and it's getting more and more dangerous, but we'll get back to that point later.

The last thing I did before taking that tragic leap of faith that kept me free from an unrelenting depression over the current state of political affairs these days was to tune into Hardball for another menagerie of despair, speculation and provocateurism, alternating between moments of low-grade cosmic precision and a suicidal tendency that reared its ugly head in the forms of Marie Cocco, columnist for The Washington Post, and Tony Blankely of the Moonie Times, another bastion of journalistic mendacity.

Such scandalous bastards! These freakazoids pundits are the same retreads who played the lead role of organized lap dogs for the last biggest deception of an administration, known in the criminally insane wing of the Rethug party as the "Reagan Revolution," a grotesque collection of down-low misfits and cranky ideologues and high-stakes racketeers so befuddled with psychosis and esurience that Baby Doc Duvalier was their Ricardo Montalban and Imelda Marcos became a pin-up gal.

And the nation had fallen for the Gipper's cruel hoax. But so what? Americans love hucksters and carneys and fairy tales, as they say in Hollywood back lots, and we are easily inspired by the sleight of hand in front of a circus tent and the big lie from our desperate politicians constantly in re-election mode, which explains why pinheads like Billy Mays can get rich with mind-numbing infomercials hawking truck loads of Kaboom and OxiClean, while good men are forced to die like dogs in the street ... I am not exactly sure if I should fork over the credit card or pop a cap in my temple from hearing, "Woooooood Driiiiiiiiiies Oooooouuuut," a thousand freaking times a day. Call now and get a "reusable" cleaning bucket as long as you can handle the noise pollution ... or a win a date with Ron Popeil - inventor of " The Pocket Fisherman" and "Inside-the-Shell Egg Scrambler" and "GLH-9 Hair in Can Spray" - with an orange glow coated gopher grabber shoved down your piehole to muffle the shrieks of boredom during an all-expenses paid trip on a deserted island to make ass-children.

Ha, ha, ha, Sparky. How's that one for a funhouse mirror? There is no worse agony in life than to realize that in the course of every thirty seconds no less than a thousand Americans could be inspired to dial Billy Mays' toll free number, which probably gets answered in places like Bangalore and Manila, shifting the American trade deficit another fifty cents each time you grapple with the Gator grip.

Ah, but never mind this fruitless dive into the shadowy realm of infomercials. They are no more appropriate than the nightly post-mortem on the American Century that seems to ooze from the White House like a giant blob of liquified Kobe beef with the Jesus H. Christ five-alarm hot sauce - and, in fact, it may be a harsh reminder that at least 51% of our lost nation hasn't evolved much past the simple cause-and-effect that fire does indeed burn.

So is it any surprise that Dubya, still clutching to the twisted belief that he has this huge and all-encompassing mandate, is officially changing his name to "God's Preznut."

"He has already remarked that God wanted him to be President," a top cabinet official says. "By changing his name to 'God,' he's just making it official." Dubya feels this will solidify his authority, says the aide. "He can't wait to send a bill to Congress and say, 'Pass it. It's God's will.'

"He told me, 'Whenever liberals raise an objection to my plan to privatize Social Security, I'll just point to our currency where it says 'In God We Trust' and say, 'Lookie over here? It says In ME we trust.' And when the moonbats say I must be impeached for lying about the war in Iraq, I'll remind them that the Pledge of Allegiance says that 'Murika is 'one nation, under ME.'"

Dubya also feels changing his name will give him more clout on issues like teaching creationism in schools, faith-based social programs and abortion. The preznut also thinks it will help win the war on terror. "When I say to the radical Muslims, 'This is the voice of God. Surrender!' they'll stop attacking us," he once told a counter-intelligence advisor.

Many Democrats are going ballistic, but admit there isn't anything they can do. Said a top Democratic senator, "We can't come out against God. We'll get killed."

The narrative and its symbolism could go on for hours from here, but what's the point? Which reminds me of an old saying - which states, in effect - that both the pragmatist and the true believer can be right, but not correct, at the same exact point on the curve. The outrage aimed at the Credit Industry lobby vis-a-vis the Bankruptcy Bill and the get-in-line-and-be-counted Rethugs and DLC-don't-rock-the-business-boat wannabees who voted their intentions for 2008, while righteous from an emotional and ideological standpoint, the crystal clear technical matter is this: a Democrat will be standing in the White House in 2008, and the fractures already appearing at the base of the party statue are crackling ... which means a fifty year trend of short term progressive thinking bordered by stretches of right wing domination will endure, at least until the deep thinkers on the left learn how to flip the script.

It goes a little like this, and it has been this way since Julius Caesar first considered that Brutus wanted him dead. Which was a solid gold bond, and he did. John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Brother Bobby and Rasputin and Martin Luther King each had a morbid fascination with the great beyond, and what the great darkness would do to their legacies. But it also recalls that the first order of politics is survival, and that the real leadership of the national Rethug party understands this object lesson with the clean and ruthless efficiency of a diamond-encrusted hacksaw.

Flashback to 1992, when they said, "It's the economy, stupid." And how James Baker III, then svengali to the first Bush decent into the abyss of ruination, took his marching orders and scuttled the re-election campaign before it ever caught steam. Not out of fear for destroying the planet or giving out fat checks to key contributors or waging bloody excursions into the Third World for commodities, but because the economy was so bad that it had to be dumped on Democrats. But Bubba threw them a huge curve ball by rolling dice on the powerful lobbies that put him there, and what should have been destroyed in a short four years took millions - your millions - in special prosecutors and eight years of built-up hate. What fears the Rethug party more than anything else, even today, is the general impression that they are perceived to be more in lock step with Herbert Hoover than Ronald Reagan, and that Dubya's failures could lead to another 20 year domination of populist Democrats who could pack the Supreme Court and build new public infrastructures in the name of Big Government and go to war with new emerging enemies of the state, further distancing the right wing base into a series of walled complexes filled with hate-crazed, bottom-line maniacs and survivalists.

It almost happened - twice - right at those moments in time when Dwight Eisenhower almost decided to run as a Democrat, as did Colin Powell many years later. It was the same thought process that delivered us Wesley Clark, because he brings with him, as it was rationalized in the backrooms of power at the time, a combat-driven economy kept in order by fascist thugs weined on the breast of the military thought process, where places like Texas and Georgia and Alabama and South Carolina produce the best meat for the grinder and just a fortunate few can land in Harvard and Yale to begin their lives as career gubment spooks.

Rewind the tape back to 2000, and once again it was Baker-cubed who pulled the strings in Florida when all the nuts were tossed into the vise, and the court system was left to turn the screws. Kennedy may have been an accident that took only one motorcade to solve, but the Democrats have made short order of themselves ever since; for every single step forward since Camelot - and it could be argued since the dawn of the Korean War - the party of FDR and Truman and Jefferson has taken four steps back either in disgrace or the perception of being out of touch. Al Gore became one symbol, paying for Bubba and the blue dress, and then Kerry became another, but the pattern goes a lot deeper than just that. It reaches into the pathetic boyish wonder known as Jimmy Carter, as panacea to Nixon's vileness and treachery, and LBJ - a tinpot and ignorant precursor to our child preznut Dubya - as a monument to national mourning and the unlearned lessons of Vietnam being played out in Iraq today and, perhaps, Iran and Syria in the future.

This is all part of the gameplan, Sparky, and this, too, shall pass - maybe with all the excruciating pain of a kidney stone, but we will endure. The question is: Can we survive? The Rethugs will end up passing the torch to some passionless senator or another party hack next in line, but they are going to drop the bad debt and the Middle East mess and the misery index on the Democrats to solve and become identified with for the next twenty years. Even Dubya, in all his wretched wonder, knows the bill is coming due, and comng soon. It works in cycles - whether a few DLC wonks want to appeal to the middle or still others want to play "class warfare" as an afternoon sport on MSNBC or Air America - but the truth of it all is pure politics, and James Baker III will be called in again to do the dirty work at the docks so the bad karma and blame can be dropped into the landfill that has become the American electorate. Bill Frist and John McCain and Newt Gingrich and the daily assemblage of right wing punditry will not be amused, but they will get in line and adapt. They will go quietly into the night, if they know what's good for them and their bank accounts.

It was good old Ronald Reagan who once told everyone who was listening that "this generation may be the one that will have to face the end of the world as we know it." Thus far we've made it to 2005 - barely - surrounded by scams and pimps and misinformation and political junkies left swollen from years of personal addiction. The Gipper warned us, and I still have no reason to think that he was lying at the time. Good luck with your debts, keep your powder dry and just survive.


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