Friday, August 31, 2012
March of Folly
As it is now, so it ever was:
It's blatantly clear that the GOP has decided to double down on the Gilded Age this year.
There is no other "plan" there.
The Romney/Ryan agenda is the same goddamn thing we've been seeing from the U.S. Right since Goldwater; crony capitalism, corporate welfare (largely in the form of massive "investment" in weapons systems and military hardware), deregulation, tax cuts, deconstruction of the New Deal social safety net, and generally comforting the comfortable and afflicting the afflicted.
That's not surprising, and that's not unexpected.
What IS surprising to me is the number of Americans who seem to approve of all this.
Because the proposed GOP end-state is not a good thing for the non-two-yacht family.
Because outside the very wealthy - what used to be referred to in Kenya by the delightful term "wa-Benzi" ("the tribe of the Mercedes Benz") - the rest of us depend on a beneficent government for a decent shot at economic and social success, a level runup to the Pursuit of Happiness.
We depend on regulations to ensure us wholesome foods, and safe work and living places. (Those "onerous regulations"? They didn't happen because the Regulation Fairy decided to fuck over the Wealth Producers. They happened because the Producers gave us this
We depend on government to repair our roads and bridges. To pay judges and policemen and home inspectors and engineers enough that they will be relatively honest and impartial.
We depend on government to do all the things we can't do by ourselves - try being your own freeway or armored division or weather service and see how well that works.
And the GOP has no intention of doing any of this. Okay, well, they seem to like the armored division thing. But otherwise, no, and not well.
But they can't SAY that. Because generally Americans like their water drinkable, their air clean, their jobs safe, and their plumbers well-trained.
Like Lee Atwater said all those years ago; you have to say "forced busing" or "excessive regulation" instead of what you mean, which is that Evil Gummint is taking your money and giving it to lazy black people and pettifogging bureaucrats.
Mind you, the modern Left has lost it's nerve, it's integrity, and it's vision. I cannot see anyone on what passes for the liberal side of the U.S. aisle who possesses any shred of interest in fighting, genuinely fighting, for the interests of those not wealthy enough to buy a Congressman or two. Sure, they'll talk a good talk, but the Democratic Party - all that passes for "liberal" in this country - is more than willing to sit on their hands and watch the return of neofeudalism and a second Gilded Age. I have nothing but contempt for them, whining naethings that they are.
But the GOP and its intellectual siderunners the libertarians have utterly lost their collective minds, and that is what is largely driving this hellbound bus.
My friend seydlitz likes to propose elegant, academic rationales for what he sees as this unprecedented recent collapse of the U.S. middle and working class and the return of the elites. He's a hell of a smart guy and it shows; he writes and (I suspect) thinks like an officer, and a damn good one.
But I'm an old sergeant, and I think like a sergeant.
And sergeants know; most people are and always have been fucking fuckwits who would gleefully slam their own dicks in a door if they thought there was a nickel or a bag of candy for them in it.
So here I am again standing on the curb, watching the Great Parade of American Stupid pass by, waving flags, cheering and chanting for their own future destitution and desuetude, and I cannot seem to make them see or understand the inevitable horrific end of their March of Folly.