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 is...yes...wait...you 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 is...you 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.