I suppose it’s old news now that the Republicans have let slip their inner (or in the case of Rich Iott, outer…) Nazis this election cycle; the “arrest” of a reporter by Joe Miller’s goons, the head-stomper at the Rand Paul “rally,” yesterday’s assault on a young, female protester at a Dino Rossi event show that these folks mean business. As a response, the reluctantly apologetic candidates invariably all condemn violence from “both sides,” although no lefty violence has emerged amid the dozens of right-wing examples. The fact is, the right is violent and does not believe in Democracy, and alarmingly, this disturbing trait is more often a feature than a bug.
Nixon, under whose tutelage Karl Rove learned his political ropes, reveled in the power of redneck anger, inviting the “hard hats” who beat up hippie war protesters to the White House and famously blaming the victims for the Kent State slaughter, shortly after then-California Governor Ronald Reagan tear-gassed protesters at Berkeley and intoned that the Vietnam problem could be solved by genocidal carpet-bombing, “… pave it, stripe it, and be home by Christmas.” Bloodlust is now just part of the DNA of the Republican Party; just ask America’s Worst President, George Bush, whose approval rating shot skyward as he babbled, “dead or alive,” and “smoke ‘em out,” to dazzled FOX watchers in nursing home dayrooms all across America. Republicans clearly got carried away with their initial electoral success at selling violent retribution for its own sake during those years, and now such final solutions have acquired quite a devoted and evidently insatiable following.
For these “folks,” as Bill O’Reilly calls them, once you have God, Blackwater, and the Koch brothers on your side, the Ten Commandments no longer apply to you, and it’s time to pull out the terrible swift sword, but good. For decades, as the wealthy benefactors of the Republicans sought to drown out rational discourse, which tended not to go their way, they chose to create an Axis of Thuggery, first by doing away with the Fairness Doctrine, which was rooted in the quaint notion of giving equal time to both sides, and then grabbing the public airwaves to spew right-wing hate radio from sea to shining sea. Rupert spent a half billion dollars to launch Fox News, to give Hate Radio and its social Darwinist, fact-free ethos a video companion. Over time, though, the act began to get old, and competitive forces made these propaganda arms more and more difficult to control even as they became ever more violent and apocalyptic in the wake of Bush’s many catastrophes and the election of a, you know, to the Presidency, but a desperate and demoralized party stung by two searing defeats had nowhere else to go. The craven corporatists stoking this fascistic know-nothingism couldn’t be bothered by the fates of any victims of the violent rhetoric they were sponsoring, for the simple reason that for the time being it seemed to be working. After all, in midterm elections they needn’t bother with the delicate sensibilities of of the so-called “independent” voter, they go for the guys with guns, missing teeth, and a trailer full of restraining orders, who lap this stuff up like it was spilled Budweiser. So some hippie chick got her head stomped…. Maybe it’ll teach her a lesson. It’s hard to believe that, on some level, even a grabby racketeer like Dick Armey or a fiendish parasite like Karl Rove isn’t made a tad uncomfortable by all this unseemly directness; they have spent years perfecting their Victorian fainting, followed by schoolmarmish finger-wagging, performance art over the slightest insult from the left, and now their guys are, pretty much daily, decorating the pavement with liberals. Worse, they do it so un-heroically… several larger Americans ganging up on a girl, or an old fat guy, is not the sort of television image Rove could easily pretty up with a sunset or codpiece, which probably explains his occasional, if mild, expressions of distaste.
Unsurprisingly, even as they fall into their unintentionally telling fake panic attack about “voter fraud” that besets them each November, the Republicans now have, or ought to have, twin fears; winning and losing. Win, and they’ll be saddled with a passel of loudmouth nitwits in Congress, making daily asses of themselves and dragging the brand down even further; lose, and they might realize that there is a bottom to how low one can go in politics, and they have no plan B. Either way, they will have a self-created, large and angry army of conspiracy-minded neanderthals breathing down their necks, or worse.
It couldn’t have happened to nicer guys.