Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Mighty Wurlitzer

by Armadillo Joe

I'm a big fan of our president and our first lady for a great many reasons that I assume don't require enumeration to this erudite and urbane crowd. The most succinct way I can describe why and how much I love B. Hussein Obama and his wife Michelle is to imagine all the reasons the Rethugli-bots, Rethugli-goons, glibertarians and conserva-tards all hate him and then imagine the opposite.

I largely felt the same way about Bill Clinton for the same reasons ten years ago. I even once said to my father, when he and I were in yet another one of those blood-shot eyes and spittle-flecked screaming matches about politics, that I judge a man even more by the enemies he gathers than his friends and when you can count among your enemies Rush Limbaugh, Newt Gingrich and Jesse Helms, you must be doing something right.

And so it is now. But different.

Back then, the American Right was still in ascendence and The Left -- apart from the old, liberal establishment, squirreled away in corners of Congress and a few university campuses -- had no way of organizing itself or of even knowing how large its numbers were. Back then, the economy was booming and the nearest thing The Left had to a standard-bearer was a centrist sell-out like William Jefferson Clinton -- the best Republican president ever -- so no one would or even could attack the failures of Grover "Bathtub" Norquist's smaller government crowd. Back then, Faux News was in its infancy, no real power to speak of, no media stars, no following and all The Left really had as a counter-measure to a power-worshipping MSM and the very loud bullhorn of right-wing hate-talk radio was a disorganized smattering of free weekly newspapers, headed by The Village Voice.

Which is why the rash of shootings in recent weeks (the death toll is up to 53 people in just 25 days!) scares the bejebus out of me. It isn't just some minor uptick happening in a vacuum. Over the last several decades, the Right-Wing Media Machine, also called "The Mighty Wurlitzer" -- even as it loses power now -- has still done a bang-up job of pulling the center of gravity of public discourse in this country to the right, hard to the right, such that issues like opposition to the War in Iraq were simply off-the-table for any serious political candidate even just a few years ago. Just like gun control is off-the-table now for any serious political candidate. Since the NRA has so perfectly executed (pun intended) its role in the The Mighty Wurlitzer, it now has to resort to simply making shit up to continue to have any relevance in the current debate:
The NRA is circulating printed material and running TV ads making unsubstantiated claims that Obama plans to ban use of firearms for home defense, ban possession and manufacture of handguns, close 90 percent of gun shops and ban hunting ammunition.

Much of what the NRA passes off as Obama's "10 Point Plan to 'Change' the Second Amendment" is actually contrary to what he has said throughout his campaign: that he "respects the constitutional rights of Americans to bear arms" and "will protect the rights of hunters and other law-abiding Americans to purchase, own, transport, and use guns."

The NRA, however, simply dismisses Obama's stated position as "rhetoric" and substitutes its own interpretation of his record as a secret "plan." Said an NRA spokesman: "We believe our facts."
And it is crap like that which drives the fringes of the Right Wing movement to act. Their "Base" has the guns, the authoritarian personalities, the simmering hatreds of all things "different," the paranoid persecution-complexes, the chip-on-the-shoulder political beliefs and the history of violence to enforce them. As we slide into a likely Depression, leading that base are The Right's "intellectuals" who have been discredited in the marketplace of ideas and who now know the jig is up (though they keep dancing that jig to a tune nobody wants to hear anymore), their dim-witted accomplises in Congress and elsewhere in government (looking at you Michelle Bachmann), their media meat puppets who need ratings (especially as they lose market share to lefty media outlets), and all of it financed by those oligarchical cockroaches who wrecked the world's economy as they imagined themselves Masters of the Universe astride Wall Street & The Whole World, greedily hoarding the money they fully believe they've "earned" simply because they already posses it, the logic of the thief.

When they impeached Bill Clinton for getting a blowjob in the White House, the winds of history were at their back as they imagined they were one disgraced president away from dominating the globe in perpetuity.
"There will be no curiosity, no enjoyment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always— do not forget this, Winston— always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless.

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face— forever."
George Orwell
Now, the world crumbles about them and everyone knows it is their fault -- which will only feed the psycho persecution complexes of The paranoid Base. They actually have no political power, as opposed to their paranoia of no political power even when they ran every branch of government -- which will only feed their resurrected, Clinton-era delusions of black helicopters and jack-booted thugs marching in to seize their Bibles and their guns, and otherwise embarking on a nation-wide campaign of forced abortions, anti-"white" racial suppression and forced gay-marriages. The last time we found ourselves in such a social predicament, a federal office building in Oklahoma City went up in smoke. Yet none dare call it terrorism, then or now (don't want to upset "The Base").

I am scared for the health of our president and for the soul of this nation.


Annette said...

I agree, Joe.. I agree.. I fear for our President more every day with these wing nuts shouting and giving the crazies room to grow. It really is criminal and should be stopped. That's why I too blog about it all the time.

Anonymous said...

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Matt Osborne said...

The wingnuts feel more threatened than ever because the mere election of Barack Obama threatens their theology. He declared an end to the culture wars in his inaugural, which they see as a signal to increase their rate of fire. Literally.