Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Outstripped by Reality

posted by Armadillo Joe

PhotobucketI have been struggling to compose a post about the oncoming implosion of the Rethugli-twit Party and the self-induced death spiral they just can't seem to pull out of, but the Specter defection yesterday seems to me to be that threatened implosion made extant. James Wolcott at Vanity Fair quotes from a very glum David Frum:
The Specter defection is too severe a catastrophe to qualify as a “wake-up call.” His defection is the thing we needed the wake-up call to warn us against
About which Wolcott opines:
The iron-girder he-men of the conservative blogosphere have greeted former Republican Senator from Pennsylvania Arlen Specter's defection to the Democrats with whiskery hoots of "good riddance/get lost/don't let the door hit your withered buttocks on the way out" and similar pleasantries. Many of them appear defiantly resigned to the Republican Party becoming a regional bastion of true believers, the Branch Davidian compound of the Confederate Jesus. To those, however, who still share the same sky as those in the real world and think that the best escape route out of minority status and possible extinction is to win elections (crazy, I know), the Specter defection is a disaster.
But Lance Mannion is pretty sure that Specter switching labels is something of a collapse (caused by the inhabitants) of the last pole holding up the GOP's decaying tent:
Everything the Republicans and their paid propagandists in the Media have been doing and saying since November 5 has had one goal.

Holding the Party together.

It's always fun to remind them who won the last election, but they really don't need the reminding. They know the results. And they know what the results suggest about what's in store for them. They can read the polls. Barack Obama is wildly popular. Independents have abandoned them. The demographic trends are against them. If things continue this way in less than a generation it will be easier to find a person under forty who identifies as Zoroastrian or philatelist than one who identifies as Republican.

Under these circumstances, the sensible thing to do is fall back and re-group. Gather the most loyal and reliable and determined troops together and do everything you can to keep up their morale and ready to fight back when the time to fight back arrives.

The smart thing to do, then, would seem to rally the base, keep them happy and energized, and donating, and get them out there working for the next election.

The trouble with this for the Republicans is that their base is their problem.

The base is insane.
And Maha sez that such a spin out of control and off into Kukoo-Land is too long a trip from which to walk back:
the Republican Party is acting like an apocalyptic cult — a small number of true believers waiting for some Big Cataclysmic Event that’s going to change everything, to their advantage. For that reason, present reality doesn’t interest them, because present reality is just a temporary aberration (which it may be, but not in the way they think). Thus, movement conservatives brush off opinion polls that show their positions to be wildly unpopular. They don’t need to worry about election losses, shrinking party membership, an aging political base, or senior senators who jump ship. They don’t need to change with the times. They’ll be vindicated when the Mother Ship arrives.
Frankly, I say it couldn't happen to a finer bunch of assholes. They and their fellow travellers have spent the better part of fifty years (to say nothing of kicking it into high gear over the last ten or so) calling me and all my friends traitors and ni**er-lovers and slutty wimmins and faggoty perverts and terrorist-pal-around-ers and otherwise generally spewing eliminationist rhetoric directed at us, yet only thinly disguised as "satire" to avoid being arrested for incitement. They have been inviting this circular feeding frenzy for decades.

But we need to be cautious. The end of the GOP as an effective political party is not the end of the fight. Not hardly.

The Rethugli-puke Party does not circumscribe The Reich Wing or conservatism in toto or the Ruling Class or any other group of those self-identified classes of toxic political actors who are collectively and as individuals all a deep, mortal and existenstial threat to the free and just America that those tending-toward-blueishness among us revere. The GOP has merely been the political wing of that movement since all those dirty fucking hippies and promiscuous wimmin-folk and uppity negroes scared the bejebus out of Ma and Pa Goober back in the 1960's and they decided that war-mongering plutocratic corporate overlords were better political allies than anything to be found in the ranks of LBJ's ni**er-lovin' party. Ever since, the GOP has been acting as the political expression of a particularly nasty, fearful, racist, violent, authoritarian strain of American nativism. The Rethugli-goon Party has been their political wing just as Sinn Fein acts as the political organ of the IRA.

No, the deranged GOP clown car of liars, degenerates and reprobates, with their socially corrosive tax codes and hostility to the public sphere, with their racism, sexism, authoritarianism and bigotry, with their love of War and Jesus as the Answer for Everything and their brittle, tinny jingoism, with their haughty sanctimony and sadistic, mean-spirited glee at the sight or even the thought of others suffering in pursuit of their petty aims have all been begging to be blasted into oblivion for decades. Any chance we have now to chase these cockroaches, to pursue these scurrying, slithering hordes as they disguise themselves in women's clothing and shove onto the lifeboats or change into civilian clothes, burn their uniforms and try to blend into the general population ahead of the advancing army, any chance we have at all to chase them relentlessly, to shine a light on their true identities and expose them as liars and thieves, to ruin their chances of making a living anywhere but anonymously shoveling manure out of a barn in southern Patagonia, we must take and take without mercy. Because we didn't clear decks after W's grand-pappy tried to overthrow FDR and we didn't clear the decks after McCarthy and we didn't clear the decks after Watergate and we didn't clear the decks after Iran-Contra, because we failed to track down and destroy the bad actors back then we are at war in Iraq today, cheerlead the whole way by survivors and descendants of all those previous scandals.

The time to end this cycle is now.

Even as Specter's departure marks the likely historical end of the 20th Century Republican Party, the American political landscape left in its wake remains ravaged by the war they've waged, as de-forested as an Agent Orange'd jungle, as pock-marked and cratered as a World War One no-man's land, a smoldering remnant of one political party's scorched-earth march to hegemony, littered with political landmines and unexploded human ordnance, hiding and poised to maim and bedevil our peace-loving descendants for generations, no matter how many swords Obama inspires us convert into plowshares in the coming decades.


Matt Osborne said...

Damn straight! The GOP is busy collapsing down to an aging base of white people with offensive signs (what I call "the teabag terror"), but that is no cause for celebration. They are intent on holding their "last stand" in 2012, but even another two disastrous elections won't erase them from the political landscape. Indeed, the most zealous elements of the teabag terror are laying groundwork for future insurgency. When you see the Duggars getting another scintillating ABC interview, remember that these people actually believe the uterus is Jesus' own birth cannon for the culture wars.

Armadillo Hussein Joe said...

Absolutely, Matt.

And you better believe that these people will be strengthened in many essential ways by this time in the wilderness. When people advocate for letting bygones be bygones (whether Watergate or torture or Iran-Contra, etc...) the implied meaning is that we need to move on so as to not provoke the screeching, poo-flinging monkey chorus of Reich-wingers out there who have their persecution complex so thoroughly hard-wired into their brains that even as they have come controlled every single branch of government at almost every level, they could still imagine themselves a persecuted minority.

Now that they are an actual minority and me (& people like me) are advocating actual persecution, who knows what will happen. But holding back and giving them a chance to keep their powder dry for some imagined future slugfest isn't an option. This movement needs to be euthanized now.

The internet and we bloggers are a crucial part of that fight because this is where the grassroots thinking gets done and those minds get changed one by painful one.