You are browsing the archive for war.

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.

Throwing Sh*t at the Wall, and Seeing What Sticks

5:10 pm in Uncategorized by cocktailhag

What we’re seeing of late plopping out of the rear end of the American Right would, to a normal person, appear to be a Tourette’s-fueled tirade of utter nonsense, and rightly dismissed as such. Michael Steele, Liz Cheney, Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin: even the spokesmen are so risibly unqualified and dunderheaded that you’d think the whole party had all just given up and gone home to count the rather substantial winnings of three decades of robbing America blind and polluting its discourse with discredited, counterfactual blather. Their “arguments,” using the term generously, are so transparently fear-based, reality-deprived, and false, that you’d also think they’d be rightly banished from the discussion. But, as anyone who watches television can see, you’d be wrong.

Unfortunately, no one is so invested in the idea that the Right and its ideas simply can’t be as wrong as they’ve demonstrably turned out to be as our pathetic media that lionized them even as they drove the country off a cliff. They were the cheerleaders, just like their most recent hero, George Bush once was, and they continue to wave their pom-poms and jump around long after their uninterrupted string of humiliating defeats in the real world. The disastrous rah-rah-ing that accompanied every bizarre and stupid idea, from the Reagan tax cuts to the wars hither and yon, the eager acquiescence to the disastrous New World Order of Free Trade and carpet bombing, and the respectful airing of crackpot theories that denied everything from evolution to environmental catastrophe, the ridiculous notion that making the rich richer through no-bid contracts and deregulation of the always rapacious financial “industry” would lead to a land of milk and honey…. these things are now part of the historical record, and must be, if not swept under the rug, backdated, massaged, and otherwise erased, but fast. ”No one could have predicted,” as Condi used to say, the entirely predictable collapse of the middle class, the multiple military defeats, and the economy circling the drain.

Luckily for them, many of these absurd policies left what was left of the legitimate media so wilted and impotent, thanks to consolidation and deregulation, that if you squint your eyes and lie as loudly and proudly as your guests, the dumbest members of you audience might still fall for it, at least until they can no longer afford to pay the cable bill. When that fails, just change the subject. This strategy is the only possible explanation for the media’s obsessions of late and the lying nincompoops they bring on to talk about them.

Faced with a health care system that has clearly bought Congress lock, stock, and barrel, and with it the bloated costs and unconscionable results that flowed from that in the name of the “free market,” why not defer to the sagacious wisdom of Sarah Palin and her ilk to muddy the waters with talk of “death panels” and “government takeovers,” when mentioning, even in passing, that no civilized country spends more and gets less for health care than ours would make you look like just another elitist liberal? Reality, and the experience of every other industrial democracy, have a liberal bias, but luckily, we don’t have to face such things here, because we have Jim DeMint and David Gregory.

When the astronomical deficits brought on by essentially ending taxation of the rich and spending more than the rest of the world, combined, on the instruments of death now threaten our future, who better to place before the cameras than Liz “fifth deferment” Cheney to impatiently explain, like Daddy did, that “deficits don’t matter,” even as a chunk of them are still stuffed in her designer purse? And since Bill Kristol has proven himself to be such a prescient predictor of the efficacy of war without end (much less “victory”), why not give him a column or two to wax lyrical about the glory of the next wars? That is, if Tom “Suck. On. This.” Friedman is too busy hawking unreadable books for such a worthy endeavor.

And, in the unlikely event that Rand-addled Alan Greenspan has to attend a (currently quite urgent, as luck would have it…) charity event with his mendacious cocktailhag of a wife, Andrea Mitchell, maybe some golden-parachuted banking CEO will pinch-hit for him to darkly warn that the rich are this close to decamping for parts unknown (not Britain, it seems here lately) if they can’t continue hauling in 500 times what normal people make for their special “talents.” Think of the thousands of maids, chauffers, and fancy hookers who might end up on the dole if that were to happen.

Basically, what we have here is a hideous mess, and the people who are, in a Democracy, supposed to tell us about it are even more compromised than the malefactors themselves, and the result, though predictable, is still pretty offensive. Back in the last Bush recession in the early 90’s, some journalists (now fired, I’m sure) wrote a book about how political discourse in America had turned itself on its head, comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted. The title was “Who Will Tell the People?” The answer, in the new century, is, “Nobody, if we can help it.”