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Winning Ugly

8:11 pm in Uncategorized by cocktailhag

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.

Obamabots Heading for the Cliff

5:18 pm in Uncategorized by cocktailhag

When dear ol’ Rahm, future Mayor of Chicago, called liberals “fucking retarded,” he was, in fact, half right. Some of them are, and they still slavishly pour adulation on, (and heap recriminations on the detractors of) our mediocre President, against all evidence. This self-defeating practice is most popular at places like DailyKos, but you can find it anywhere you look on the lefty blogosphere. It makes dreary reading, hearing how labor should be smitten despite the scuttling of EFCA, gays should be grateful despite the fact that on their issues, Glenn Beck of all people far outshines our Commander in Chief, women should shut up and be grateful for some high-level appointments while their reproductive freedom has been repeatedly tossed out the window, peace advocates must now acquiesce to Permanent War, seniors ought to meekly accept the heartless and cynical dictates of the stacked Catfood Commission, and civil libertarians must get used to the Bush Surveillance/Torture/Secrecy regime to not only not shrink, but blossom as never before. Granted, these prim, scolding thought police never spoil their arguments by assembling them all together as I have, for that would be kind of humiliating for them, so they prefer to take them one at a time.

Interestingly, the “pragmatic” acceptance of right-wing policies as one’s own is accompanied by an adoption of the right-wing sales tactics that went with them, since, well, what else is there? Liberals, nominal or otherwise, have never had to practice pitching such horrors; generally, in the old days, we lamented them. But as far as setting up straw men, misdirecting anger, and victim-blaming, we really ought to return to our core competencies and leave that field to the right, if the astonishingly unconvincing crap I’m reading is any indication. No, Kossack, Firedoglake’s candid and accurate assessment of the “enthusiasm gap” isn’t “stupid,” but rather a wake-up call to a compromised and languishing party whose craven leaders somehow thought couldn’t lose, even if it fucked up royally, which it did. And no, No More Mister, Glenn Greenwald and Jane Hamsher aren’t “Firebaggers,” when they criticize Bush-grade Democratic sellouts to corporations; they’re literate. It makes a difference.

Now, the Obamabots are marveling at the mojo our Leader showed when he belatedly and inadequately fired up and, although with undue politeness, actually called out Republicans for the reprehensible behavior they’ve been exhibiting since before he was sworn in, which back then might have been a good idea, but now, after his serial capitulations, seems to all concerned to be the empty political gesture it clearly is. Bush may have relied on media appearances rather than reality on many occasions to bolster his image, but he did deliver, for his particular slice of the electorate, on the bread and circuses part, too, that is if tax cuts are your bread and war is your circus… Obama, for all his vaunted smarts, still doesn’t get this, and is going to pay dearly at the polls for it, deservedly.

Sadly, there is no group more likely to reinforce the meme that the reason for the Democrats’ utter failure to make use of their two-election mandate was Obama’s undetectable, but nevertheless disqualifying, “leftism,” than the Obamabots. Each time they join Mitch McConnell and Dick Armey in decrying the “moonbats” within their own ranks, another Fox host gets her highlights, or maybe boob job. Inevitable Democratic losses in November can be interpreted by the media in several ways: 1) They were due to a bad economy and Republican intransigence, which is only partly true but at least less damaging to the liberal cause over time; or 2) They were due to Obama’s capitulation to the right that caused his policies to fail and made him look like a vacillating, principle-free wimp; or 3) America is a center-right nation and only Republican-approved policies are ever acceptable, no matter how crazy and no matter how Americans vote. This bunch, which calls itself liberal, seems to be gunning for #3, and they’re calling me stupid. Sheesh.

Like many of the other publicly disaffected Democrats subject to serial, rote abuse from the left (ish) thought police, I would never dream of not voting in November, nor, I imagine, would any of the rest of us hippies White House spokesman Robert Gibbs thinks are in need of a drug test: no election is without consequences, and we’ll drag our pot and patchouli-scented selves to the voting booth regardless. My question is… Who else do you expect to do so?