Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's Still Over.

posted by Armadillo Joe

In response to my rather gloomy post from yesterday, vyccan wrote:
Joe, why the early funeral when the patient is still alive? Your burying the reform this early is very depressing; it is the first time I've not been able to finish one of your posts since coming to this site a few months back. Now is not the time, IMO, to discourage - after all, there is still the opportunity to write, call, visit senators/senator's office - but to make an extra push to have one's voice heard. It is just as well that the President can't hear all the doom and gloom predictions, criticisms, etc because if he were anything like me it would be enough to make him just 'give up'. Do re-release your 'positivity', Joe, so that the positive vibes can contribute to the more favourable outcome we would like to see.
And the following was my response, which I also decided could be its own post:
As I told Carl last night, I have been wrong about Obama many times before and I will be happy to be wrong about him now.

As much as I would like to dismiss the teabagging town-hell deathers as "the fringiest of the fringe" they are not just a gaggle cornpone fringe racists acting out against an uppity, citified Yankee Nee-gro and the n**ger-lovers who voted for him. That IS what they are, but that isn't ONLY what they are. They are acting on behalf of Big Medicine (insurance, pharma, AMA, etc...) who want this bill killed, or at least fatally wounded, by any means necessary.

That's why I call them Brownshirts. Like their historical antecedents who brought down the Weimar Republic, they are not a thing in-and-of themselves to be worried about because as dangerous as any one individual may be with a gun and a sign, as a group they are a loud, loutish, unruly mob standing at street corners shouting at car windows and the camera lenses of intrepid bloggers. Under normal circumstances, left to their own devices, they would disperse at sunset to go trawling for Cheetos and PBR.

But they have corporate backing. And they are egged on by powerful, monied forces who see their interests temporarily align with those of the rabble. The wealthy have no qualms about leveraging that overlap in opposition to the Dirty Fucking Hippies to get what they need. That's what makes the "deathers" Brownshirts.

Thus, vyccan, the gloom. I've seen this play out before. In fact, my whole life. So much of the ugliness and willful stupidity in our public discourse the rest of the country has seen for the last ten or fifteen years is just the way things are done in Texas and The South. Of course it failed, "government is bad" is not an effective governing strategy. Dixie itself is something of a failed state within our own borders, but rather than grow and change and catch up to the rest of the nation in the latter half of the 20th Century -- since Brown v. Board of Education, frankly -- they found a way (via Goldwater, Nixon, Saint Ronnie & Bush43 and their congressional coalitions) to instead Dixie-fy the rest of America. To those of a certain class and social milieu in the Northeast, the Upper Midwest and the Left Coast, it all seems alien and hokey. Surely, I keep hearing people say, the American people will see these ruffians for what they are and recoil in horror, they will reject these people for their motives and tactics and truth and light will prevail, forever and ever amen.

The opportunity to recoil in horror and reject the deranged Konfederate Klown Kar of the modern GOP was ten years ago, twenty years ago, thirty even forty years ago. But it was too much fun bashing hippies and slandering uppity negroes and wimmin-folk who didn't want to be barefoot and pregnant -- a tendency of violence the money-changers in the GOP temple had no qualms about turning a blind eye to because it got all those meddling kids out of the way of their nefarious plans.

These people are for real and deadly serious. Even out of power they are dangerous because their ideological devotion to The Cause gives them the political wherewithal to maim any legislation they can't outright kill.

They are still arguing about the Civil War and are still polluting our discourse with their toxic mythologies 140+ years after the fact. Don't expect them to give up on killing "Obamacare" and join the 20th Century any time soon.


vyccan said...

Not yet, it isn't, Joe!

"These people are for real and deadly serious. Even out of power they are dangerous because their ideological devotion to The Cause gives them the political wherewithal to maim any legislation they can't outright kill."

I do agree with you in your assessment of the teabaggers, as well as of (their masters)those referred to in the quote above. However, to roll over and die before I'm really dead goes against the grain, AND easily HANDS OVER VICTORY to these types. At least, currently(it's only August), they still have to work a little to obtain their victory - and I still don't believe they will get it. The times they are a-changing.

Yes, you have lived through similar WARS[more than one, I know], but if you don't believe that there is the possiblilty of victory why go into battle at all? Why not just surrender BEFORE the battle starts?

Personally I don't expect the types you described to give up at all, but I don't expect 'our side' to give up either. I NEED to believe that Obama might be able to succeed with a slingshot, or failing him, some other leader sometime soon will. There is an old saying 'Every day bucket go a well, one day the bottom will drop out' - I am waiting for the GOPS and Big Medicine buckets' bottom to drop out or spring a leak. I want to believe that the fact that 140 years later America has not yet 'recoiled in horror'does not mean that she never will.

PS (as an aside)
I also feel that those who are hoping, wishing and waiting need encouragement, and that the burden of waiting gets heavier if spirits are repeatedly being told success is unlikely. (Isn't there some scientific argument that a positive spirit can aid one's physical recovery?) Given the fact that the President has pulled out of tricky corners before, we shouldn't now be trying to turn off the carlights and turning our back on him during this stretch. We shouldn't be turning off the lights on each other either - IMO.

Armadillo Hussein Joe said...

vyccan -

I have no intention of handing victory over to these people or of rolling over before dead or of surrendering before the battle starts. I think many people misdiagnose where this battle is actually happening. If you think simply passing some legislation will vanquish our opponents is to misunderstand the location & nature of the battlefield.

The main problem with speaking in metaphors is that some people either forget it is a metaphor or take it literally from day one.

The teabagging wingnuts really do think we are engaged in combat with each other and are eager to employ violence if other methods fail -- this is the implication behind the shouting and noise at the town-hells and the reality of the gun violence we've seen in Pittsburgh, Wichita and D.C. since the election. The wealthy and corporate interests who employ these goobers as their brownshirt brigades understand that legislation and laws are only as effective as their enforcement and the breadth of their public support. The more they can erode that public support through intimidation, making it not worth the trouble, the better it works for them.

Even if this legislation passes, this "battle" will simply move to a different venue, with the high-flying corporate Masters of the Universe working the levers of power in the federal government and their dim-witted ruffian goons playing the role of brownshirt in the streets. The last time the Dixie-fied American Right Wing was this thoroughly discredited was after the Civil War and the upswing in racial and political violence following the end of Reconstruction ground on for almost a half-century, from the 1880's until FDR started improving the Southern standard of living in the 1930's. We know what happened after that, through the 1950's and 60's.

In short, we have been largely spared widespread right-wing violence since the 1970's because the leaders of the rightwing have been able to siphon off the rage into political action. As long as they were in ascension, violence was kept at a minimum. The brief period where we had a Democrat in charge in the 1990's (despite the GOP running Congress) gave us rise in the militia movement and the Oklahoma City bombing, and Clinton was a white guy with a southern drawl.

Now, they have nothing left to look forward to. George W Bush and his compliant Congress from 2001 to 2005 gave them everything they ever wanted, the apotheosis of The Movement, and we now live in the wreckage of their dream realized. Throughout the last century, health-care was the one thing our side hadn't been able to bring into the modern age and for them it has stood as a badge of honor -- a small, enduring and symbolic victory against that commie, the race-and-class-traitor FDR -- going all the way back to Saint Ronnie speaking out against socialized medicine way back in the early 1960's.

Just passing this legislation won't make them go away. In fact, it will make them spin out of control. And they have guns.

Fasten your seatbelt.

vyccan said...

"Fasten your seatbelt."

Ah, Joe! I hear you, and I admit to the truth in what you are saying. I do get the same sense that their actions are uncontrolled because they really have 'nothing left' to lose.

My hope (simplistic, yes, but hopeful) is that they will eventually so marginalize themselves or die out, they'll give the rest of us more liberal minded folk a chance. And maybe you can admit that the dying-out seems more (remotely) likely now than it did previously.

[I didn't mean to go on again - but I truly appreciated your taking the time to share your views with me.]

Have a good week!