Sunday, June 10, 2012

The American Plow

I have really resisted blogging about this year's political scene, or the loathsomely interminable election since January.

First because, frankly, there is too much being written, and said, about this despicable heap of ambition, distraction, uglification, and derision already. And, second, because the Himalayan massif of corporate cash has ensured that the interests of the U.S. public will be considered only when it is either in the interests of, or beneath the notice of, Monsanto, Exxon, Goldman Sachs, and Wal-Mart, and nothing this pathetic little blog can say or do will change that.

No, what forced me to go to the keyboard to talk about politics was pure hopeless outrage at my latest glimpse into the apparently bottomless well of American political ignorance.

I had the misfortune to be trapped out in the field on Friday without anything to read outside the World's Worst NewspaperTM and found this crap spewed all over the editorial page.

You can go read it, if your stomach is strong enough. But I will summarize it for you, if you'd rather. The editorial writer (Ruth Marcus, who I am otherwise unfamiliar with) believes that the American public just burns and yearns for...wait for it...compromise!
"Americans are more divided along partisan lines than ever." Marcus says, "They yearn, more than ever, for politicians willing to compromise to achieve results. This is the paradox at the heart of modern politics."
The problem is partisanship, the solution know it...compromise!

Marcus' centerpiece for her paean to compromise is some book called The Spirit of Compromise: Why Governing Demands It and Campaigning Undermines It by a couple of mooks named Amy Gutmann and Dennis Thompson. A perfect example of the sort of used food that these geniuses come up with is that after they cite the work of Mann and Ornstein (that the Republican Party has become "increasingly extreme in outlook and intransigent in behavior") they then conclude that
"...casting blame in Republicans' direction is distinctly unproductive. Rather, "if the problem, as almost everybody agrees ... is increased polarization, then the solution isn't going to be blaming one of the parties." and, instead call for reforming the filibuster, lengthening congressional terms, limiting the need for nonstop fundraising, and adopting open primaries that could mitigate the extremeness of candidates now produced by party primaries.
Apparently Marcus seems to agree, and believes that all this hot steaming compromise will return the U.S. to the broad, sunlit uplands of good governance and political accomodation.


This is the most sickening thing about our present political condition. The worst - as far as I'm concerned, about 98% of the GOP - are full of passionate intensity, while the best - those who want to preserve the social contract we've been living with since the Great Depression - are full of doubt. And Marcus and her ilk think that what the best need to do think...could it be...compromise! MORE with these worst, these oligarchs, Christopaths, charlatans, plutocrats, and imperial wannabes.

Let me be upfront; I have no issue with the GOP, other than the fact that they're bugshit crazy about returning my country to their idea of the Gilded Age, which is, ummm, the Gilded Age.

They want what they see as what they and their homies used to have; the Randian freedom to loot and fuck over the proles at their whim, a comfortable boot on the neck of the darkies and the bitches. They want all the money, and all the poon, and they want it when they want it and they don't want some goddamn bullshit human rights, or privacy, or environmental, or financial probity regulation harshing their buzz.

They're just the enemy. I don't have to hate them, just destroy them, erase them and their loathsome ideology, burn the edifice of their philosophy to the ground, smash the foundations, plow under the ruins, and sow the harrowed ground with salt so regardless of how much bullshit-fertilizer plops from the cakeholes of the Limbaughs, Coulters, Gingriches, Bachmanns, Romneys, and Princess Dumbass of the Northwoods their toxic ideals will never sprout again.

Don't get me wrong; they have a right to their opinions. There is a case to be made for oligarchy, for the economic fucktardry of the Gilded Age, for the right of White Men to Rule over the Dark and the Dickless; I believe that it's a foolish and dangerous argument, an argument that, if it succeeds, leads to misery for the many to produce pleasure for the few, a greedy, childish, shortsighted case that inevitably results in instability and revolution. But there's a case there, if you want to make it.

But there's no room to compromise with that case, Ruth, Amy, or Dennis.

You're either in the palace or in the slum. You're either one of the crony capitalists or one of their victims. You're either a Christian warrior, or spitted on his sword.

And if you're not one of the chosen wealthy white few these people have no interest in "compromising" with you. Their interest - and they've been honest about telling you this, Ruth - is in returning the rule of this country to the rich, the well-born, and the (mostly) white where they believe it belongs and where the uppity liberals, union workers, and dusky freedmen stole it back in the dark days of the Reconstruction and the Depression.

They've been straight up with you, Amy, that the "compromise" they pretend to accept is only a waypoint on their journey to the perfect Atlas Shrugged world where the "producers" and "job creators" are unfettered by the rules and regulations of the little people. They have no interest in your silly ideas of povertyless old age, Dennis, or widespread decent low-cost education, or bankruptcy-free illness. They consider you pussies for "compromising" and see it as any good jackboot sees your face; as something to step on the way to it's destination.

Given the present makeup and worldview of the Republican Party and the self-identified "conservatives" in the U.S. espousing the notion of "compromise" with them is simply cowardice and appeasement. Tyrants cannot be placated. They cannot be mollified, they cannot be deterred, with "compromise", or anything else. They can only be defeated. They can only be destroyed.

And to believe anything else is foolishness.

The Roman senator and orator Cato the Elder is still known today for his implacable enmity to the state of Carthage. It was his habit when addressing the Senate to end every oration, regardless of subject, with the phrase "Ceterum autem censeo Carthaginem esse delendam" ("Furthermore, I think Carthage must be destroyed.") It didn't matter if the topic was new lead pipe for the civic aqueduct or the fate of nations, old Cato had the same message at the end.

Because, you see, there were some Senators who thought - like some editorial writers and some researchers think - that they could "compromise" with the sort of people who hated and despised them and their ideas, and wanted only to defeat them, to utterly destroy their society and the social contract that they lived under.

Well, I am not a senator. Or an orator. And I cannot truly influence anyone outside my own household.

So I can tell you this.

After every parental lecture, homily, and conversation my son and daughter will receive from me a copy of the Republican Party platform of 2012. The one that promises to revoke the New Deal, to open my country to the rapacity of their corporate masters, and to ensure that the women, and the gays, and the immigrants, and everyone else they despise receives all the rights that they would have gotten in 1889.

And they will get along with that pustular trash a tiny model plow.
And a small bag of salt.

And the constant reminder; Ceterum autem censeo fucking GOP esse delendam.

Because mercilessness, like charity, begins in the home.


Leon said...

Now tell us how you really feel about the Republican party Chief? I think you're holding back.

FDChief said...

Perhaps this, Leon; until the fucking organization that is modern "conservatism" is torn out root and branch from the American body politic, that noxious weed salted, poisoned, burned, the ashes soaked in lime, and buried in a dunghill at midnight we will continue to slide further and further into the slime-pit of oligarchy and crony-capitalism that so far characterizes the Second Gilded Age.

There is simply no alternative. The coalition that produced the magnificent stability and prosperity of the center of the 20th Century (for white men, at least) is gone. There is no one to replace them. And the modern GOP is a rough beast that has not a single grain of sense to recognize the disaster that it's making. As the French aristos of the Bourbon court, they have learned nothing from the panics and anarchism and labor wars of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, and they have forgotten nothing, of the gigantic erection of money and power they once sported before the Depression, FDR, and the New Dealers (and the Eisenhower Republicans) rapped them on the nuts and humbled them. They dream of that other Gilded Age without seeing the misery it brings to the rest of us.

They cannot be "reformed" - or compromised with. They can only be destroyed. And the ferocity for that fight is no longer in us, the liberal left, the heirs of the New Deal. The article Marcus quoted said that "In 1987, 66 percent of Republicans and 77 percent of Democrats said they favored political leaders willing to compromise. In 2012, nearly the same share of Republicans -- 68 percent -- took this view, while the proportion of pro-compromise Democrats had risen to 90 percent."

We have met the enemy, and he is people like Ruth Marcus and the 90%.

Stalin was a ruthless shitheel bastard sunofabitch, but he knew how to deal with fascist bastards.

"Ni shagu nazad"; not one step backwards.

Not one step.

Leon said...

Normally I'm for compromise, I recognize that it's not possible to in this world to impose your will on everyone.

However your comparison to the French Bourbons is valid for how distorted their worldview is. And how it's almost impossible to work with them. They'll never reform until come the revolution and then it will be too late.

FDChief said...

I really need to do a post on the raft of fucked-up shit that has become accepted wisdom in out country because of these jackholes, beginning with "Government is the problem."

It's a democracy, fuckpole; we ARE the government. If we're not - if we've let corporations and monied individuals and special interests hijack's OUR fault, and we need to reclaim it.

Ronnie Reagan said a lot of dumb shit before his jellybean-addled brain really went away to senility la-la-land, but his "government is the problem" has caused more problems and resulted in more ignorant idiocy than "Sure it's safe!" and "Trust me!" combined. Hopefully somewhere in hell barb'ed devils pan-fry his nuts forever for that weapons-grade moronity.

Trickle-down economics, tax cuts as a solution to everything, Islamophobia, hooking the Christopaths on abortion and homos, deregulating everything in sight, corporate personhood, Citizens United, voter suppression, prayers in public places (as long as they're good Jebus-loving Xtian prayers!), Terri Schaivo, Katrina, Iraq, Iran-Contra, the S&L debacle, drill-baby-drill, and Dan Quayle...

Is there ANYTHING that U.S. movement conservatism has spawned that isn't Satan's stool sample?

I can't think of anything; even the kleptobanks had to come up with the ATM. These fuckers?

They got nothin'.

I cannot think of a good reason that the entire Limbauch-Norquist-Malkin-Coulter-Beck-VDH-Lowry Axis wouldn't be more useful as goddamn Soylent Green.

Except for the high trans fat content in Limbaugh, of course.

Podunk Paul said...

Your readers share your sense of helplessness. The term “Gilded Age” does not do justice to the new reality, which includes religious, technological, surveillance and penal dimensions, as well as perennial, low-intensity warfare.

I would like to think that the array of forces against what one might call the will of the people is not as seamless as we have been told. All sorts of quiet revolts are underway. You, yourself, seem to be making an effort to collaborate and share with your community. That in itself is a revolutionary act, since the basic premise of modern capitalism and fundamentalist religion is that each of us is isolate and must cut our own deals for wealth and/or salvation. Others are returning to the land or learning trades rather than acquiring certifications for corporate-sponsored professions. Nearly all of us, either out of necessity are commitment, are buying less. And some have faced down the worst that power can inflict. One lady, a nuclear resistor, has just been released after spending 27 years of her life behind bars. Another, an 82-year-old Jesuit and visibly dying, unable to make up his bunk without resting, has recently been incarcerated for trespassing on military property.

I don’t think these actions will “solve” the problem or “win” victory. But that’s almost beside the point. For good or ill, some people are reclaiming the moment and, in the process, their souls. And that is the first requirement for social action, the immolated fruit seller in Tunisia demonstrated.