Sunday, February 18, 2007
or, "I'm not Spartacus!"
Maybe it’s just me but it seems that even before last November’s midterm elections, when it looked as if the American public was going to drag the Republican party into the Gitmo/Bagram/Abu Ghraib interrogation rooms, aka the polls, there’s been a spike in Republican rage, outrage and hysteria.
Some of it’s as manufactured as the late Jack Parr’s crocodile tears. It’s the quick, slick rage whipped up on a moment’s notice from behind keyboards at Michelle Malkin’s comfortable den in Georgetown and basements in the middle states. It’s the reactionary kind of rage that pops up as effortlessly as a float in a filling toilet tank when conservative and neoconservative ideologies are merely called into question. That’s not the kind of rage that worries me, even though that, too, has been on the rise since last fall.
No, the kind of rising gorge that sends my own temper to towering, spiraling heights is right proper, legitimate Republican rage, the kind where lives are passively threatened and patriotic dissent gets metamorphosed into treason and sedition.
Such people, the Coulters, the Malkins, the Gaffneys, the Hal Turners, the Pat Robertsons, the Glenn Becks of America, need more than just a hug. They need a canvas I Love Me Navy pea coat stat, complete with a ball gag coated with Krazy Glu and boxing gloves in case they ever escape their rubber rooms and get near a keyboard.
However, these people who would’ve been prime candidates for such sympathy and therapy up until 50-70 years ago have been given the keys to the national discourse because they can be trusted upon to drive the fucking thing over a cliff Thelma and Louise-style. They’ve been given the honor and privilege of being listened to because they can be counted upon to never, ever tell the nasty liberal truth to the American people.
So, when we raise questions, doubts, criticisms and condemnations of Bush’s Iraq policy and begin voting out some of the most insane neocons in Congress, they can only resort to making drive by character shootings, rehashing stale talking points and long, long discredited lies (especially the rehashed meme that Saddam had WMD’s).
Motivating this murderous hatred is a sincere belief that this what George Bush is.
It’s one thing to remain doggedly faithful to an ideology that unquestioningly assumes that George W. Bush is actually competent. It’s commendable, in a way. Pathetic and risible but commendable.
But people like Don Young, Frank Gaffney, Hal Turner and the like actually believe in an ideology that has made Dear Leader, literally, a laughingstock the world over. They believe it with such snake-handling devotion that they actually threaten lives and get away with it, are put on television and on radio and have their columns syndicated again and again and again.
And how these homicidal thugs are able to retain such power over the national discourse is not only disheartening but also inexplicable since over two thirds of the country have turned against Bush and many of his policies.
In the space of a month, we’ve heard Hal Turner say on the radio that he’d have to assassinate any members of Congress who vote for amnesty on an upcoming immigration bill, we’ve read Frank Gaffney make overt threats that if Senators vote to oppose Bush’s surge, which is in itself proof positive of all the misunderestimations made by the Decider in Iraq, then they ought to be executed, even dragging a fictional version of Abraham Lincoln into the debate. Then, when confronted with his lies and impotent threats by Glenn Greenwald on Alan Colmes’s radio show, he had to be cut off by his host when he could only resort, as do so many other neocons, with curse words aimed at Greenwald.
Two bloggers attached to a major presidential campaign were hounded out when both women had suffered the nightmare of death and rape threats from mostly anonymous red state cowards who ordinarily wouldn’t give a flying fuck what anyone said about the Catholics.
Dick Cheney snarled at Wolf Blitzer on national TV and kept telling him he was “out of line” by asking pointed, long-overdue questions that Cheney must’ve known he was going to ask.
We’re seeing a level of nastiness from the far right that makes the 1992 Republican National Convention look like Lilith Fair. No wonder they’re getting nasty; They’re losing traction, the mainstream media is slowly stirring itself from its Koolaid coma and asking questions that should’ve been asked over four years ago, neocons are finally being dragged into the light of day kicking and screaming and farting fire and brimstone and asked for an accounting of their death threats and outrageous fabrications.
And the lies from these self-appointed and corporate-anointed pundits aren’t even novel and clever because the administration hasn’t given them any new talking points that are novel and clever. At best, the administration is playing Mad Libs at press conferences, with “Iraq” deleted and replaced with “Iran“, “WMD’s” replaced with “tin cans“, “al Qaeda” substituted for “Shi’ite insurgency.” The Pentagon is saying one thing, Joint Chiefs Chairman General Peter Pace is saying something else (because he was pointedly not invited to the “anonymous conference” in which the airtight, slam-dunk case against Iran, using unnamed sources, was being made), Bush is revealed to be a liar during all this and even Tony Snow couldn’t reconcile the differing stories.
No wonder the far right is getting increasingly hysterical and has to resort to death threats. The Titanic’s hit the iceberg, too many deck chairs have already been reshuffled and they realize that their brave voyage toward 1000 years of red white and blue cock-wanding imperialism has been all for naught. Money, access and reputations are at stake here, not American credibility or security.
It’s kind of like the military’s enduring belief that we’re achieving something noble in Iraq and the Middle East in general because the idea that over 3100 of their own having been killed and almost 24,000 injured and/or maimed, also all for nothing is likewise too unendurable to contemplate.
Just try to remember, people, that these punks are cowardly toadies, stereotypes of schoolyard bullies, really. They know they’re outnumbered by a growing majority and can resort with nothing but bluster. Their Dear Leader’s gotten punched in the nose and is practically down for the count and they don’t know what to do when he’s too busy trying to stanch the flow of blood to give them their new marching orders. Put these wet-legged fucks on national radio, on national TV and they fold faster than a dropped accordion.
Glenn Greenwald proved that on Alan Colmes’s show on the 15th when he’d confronted Frank Gaffney. While remaining civil and factual, Greenwald was able to get Gaffney to lose his cool when he kept hammering home the cold, hard facts that most of us already take for granted. All Gaffney could respond with, besides curse words, was the mantra, “Debate has consequences”, while mealy-mouthing qualifications such as, “Everyone has the right to their opinion, but… ” and “Of course we should be free to dissent, but…”
Of course, what Gaffney was saying in his Moonie Times article was, Of course, we can debate and dissent in a time of war but we ought to shadow box and never take the gloves off. If not, you run the risk of winding up like Saddam because Abe Lincoln said we can hang you. But Gaffney was such a fucking coward about it on national radio that he rather would’ve gotten a blowjob by a piranha than defend his insane propositions.
We stand by our convictions, we stand by our own. We believe in collective and personal responsibility and not disavowing our own when they say incendiary things. Of course, we usually don’t arouse passions by threatening the lives of others, so it’s easier for us to circle the wagons.
Neoconservatives? After inviting and inciting violence and threats, they back away from their own readers and viewers and never once does any one of them ever say, “I’m Spartacus!”