Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Lost Patrol

The Republican Party is a myth. That’s right, it doesn’t exist. For the last four years, we’ve been treated to countless references to it, have seen more of its so-called members and former standard-bearers on the Sunday talking head circuit and have been fed the lie that we have a two party system of government. But the plain fact is, the Republican Party doesn’t really exist and is the political equivalent of Bigfoot or the Loch Ness Monster.

By this, I’m not making oft-iterated and reiterated assertions that the GOP is merely irrelevant and as bankrupt of fresh ideas as they are of morals. I’m not talking about their ever-shrinking majority in Congress and at how they’ve lost their once iron-clad grip on all three branches of government.

What I’m talking about is the GOP betraying every single cause and virtually every grassroots constituent that used to define their party back when they were a legitimate alternative to liberal ideology. And the bald-faced fact is that the latter day Republican Party exists merely in two ways: In name only and in a common hatred for Barack Obama. They have been reduced to, in the words of Frank Rich in today’s op-ed, “…an anger that’s curdled into self-martyrdom since Inauguration Day.”

They have disappointed, or should have disappointed long before now, their every core belief, their every constituency from neocon national security warhawks to pork busters to smaller government fetishists all the way down to evangelical snake charmers. In the end, the only ones they’ve made happy are several special interest groups and a cadre of corporate executives who had waited eight long torturous years of relative peace and prosperity for a boob like George W. Bush to come along.

Evangelicals had taken a beating these last several years when David Kuo’s book made it known that Bush’s promises to fund faith-based initiatives turned out to be a pack of empty promises and Karl Rove (however rightly) called them “wackos” behind their backs. In the last couple of weeks alone, two Bible-thumping Republicans, SC Gov. Mark Sanford and Nevada Senator John Ensign, were both caught with their pants down (the latter being more egregious because he was still living with his wife while coveting the wife of another man). Even without the evangelical angle, the dalliances of Republican lawmakers such as Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham, David Vitter and Lord knows how many Lotharios we’ve yet to learn about had chopped up their own family values and general morals mantras into so much cum-stained confetti.

On the national security front, one NIE and State Dept. terrorism report after another has informed us that due to bureaucratic mismanagement, restrictive secrecy and underfunding, our nation is still frighteningly vulnerable to terrorist attacks and the GOP is reduced to telling us that whatever luck we’ve had in not being attacked since 9/11 is due to torture thwarting terror plots that have never been proven to exist.

The smaller, less intrusive government mavens similarly have ignored the fact that the sheer size of the federal government ballooned well past the palmiest days of the Clinton administration and that the bailout plan first pushed by Bush in the waning hours of his squattage of the White House essentially co-opted through a top-heavy bailout plan virtually all of our major industries from banking and home lending to commodities traders.

But according to these self-same small government fetishists, the relatively smaller enfolding of the auto industry (GM emerged from bankruptcy after an astonishing 40 days) was an unforgivable evil and the 9.5% jobless rate and tanking economy is all the fault of Barack Obama less than six months into his administration.

And politics, when you get down to it, is a cyclical, never-ending saga that drives home one immutable point: That loyalty doesn’t exist when faced with the even more irresistible lure of well-buttered bread and common enemies. On both sides of the aisle, momentarily having a common bogey man is better than loyalty and friendship but this is especially true in Republican circles.

And what it comes down is no one wants to be the last of the Republicans. Yet, to foster the illusion that we have a workable two party democracy, the poster boys and girls of the political side show that is the GOP get trotted out more often than liberals and progressives because they’ve gotta talk to somebody to prove their relevance and who wants a one horse race, anyway?

But the God’s unflyblown truth is that the GOP doesn’t exist, never has existed over the past 8 ½ years except in a Phantom of the Opera sense. Sarah Palin is still the standard bearer for a “real America” that is also shrinking into irrelevance. Since giving her 23 days notice, a USA Today/Gallup poll shows that far from appealing to the embittered hard kernel 27 percenters, Palin would get 71% of Republican votes.

Because an aging but still pretty face, ossified sexuality and perkiness is still preferable to desperately-needed reform, competence and intelligence delivered by the Obama administration. Who cares that she’s contradicted herself and her so-called core conservative beliefs from fiscal conservatism to family values? Who cares that the woman is Dan Quayle in drag and a Dan Quayle on a perennial bad day, at that? Who cares that Newt Gingrich was a failed statesman whose Contract With America was a failure even with a Republican majority in the House and a philanderer? Who cares that Mitt Romney was a failed Governor and lacks the humor and charisma of a Ricoh printer or that Rudy Giuliani’s main claim to fame was being in the wrong place at the wrong time? Who cared that John McCain simply couldn't get even the most basic facts right even with Joe Lieberman at his hip playing Edgar Bergen to his Charlie McCarthy?

These people had all been considered (and, in Palin’s case, still being considered) legitimate and even leading contenders for the White House.

But, as Frank Rich warns us at the end of his op-ed, the very act of giving Palin so much ink and air time may give her just enough of the illusion of relevance to make her dangerous in three years. She may prove to be the Republican Party’s version of Walter Mondale minus the Midwestern blandness and dark circles under the eyes. But then again, maybe not. Her post-Alaskan political success for the moment seems to hinge on how much conservatives hate Obama regardless of his administration's efficacy. And gun sales did shoot up, pardon the phrase, after he was elected.

Just because the Republican Party no longer exists as a legitimate ideological and political entity doesn’t mean warhawks and snake charmers across the land can’t be fooled into thinking it still does. Don’t think for a minute that they wouldn’t be willing to risk forgoing affordable health care or their constitutional rights or national security for another generation. Yes, they are that stupid, they are that self-destructive, they are that misinformed, they are that hateful and they are that dangerous.


At July 12, 2009 at 2:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's good you labeled the cartoon a parody. So many cartoons, notably Mallard Fillmore, should be parodies, but are actually the sad effluvia from rotting minds.

--Charles of MercuryRising

At July 12, 2009 at 4:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As much as the GOP has become the party of Infidels Given A Free Pass By The Most Stupid Among Us....I'm not quick to write them off just yet. There are way too many fair weather democrats, and Americans have been conditioned to invariably go along with the zietgiest of following a winning brand.

Having said that,the GOP is a strange animal. An animal whose tenets include protecting the wealthiest amongst us,and at any cost. Even if the cost is detrimental and criminal to the country and to themselves. It's a fucked up way of thinking. It amazes me how liberals have been labeled as effete when in fact,the GOP upper echelon are invariably made up of dainty ultra wealthy white guys whom have nothing but contempt for those underneath them. And, contempt for those ordinary folks that support them. Hell,they've become brazen with contempt as of late. It takes an extraordinary self loathing individual to support/vote for those that actually hate you -just for being yourself as a person.

I don't know if these people are stricken with syphilis...I don't know if the followers are former coke heads whose brains have diminished considerably and have now found God...And God has told them to follow the rich and to fuck over anyone/everyone and to most definitely fuck over the less fortunate as well......I just don't know how this ideology can appeal to anyone outside of a few well connected white trust fund babies.

I don't get it.

At July 12, 2009 at 5:06 PM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Anon: I could've written the same thing, myself, and probably have several times in my 2000+ blog posts. I will never obtain an insight into that mind and trying to explain their actions to other liberals and progressives is like trying to describe color to a blind man.

But my intuition is somewhat hampered by not being able to identify with someone who devotes enormous amounts of time every day to loathing and harming liberals, gays and people of color for no discernible reason. It's like dealing with an alien mindset of an organism that isn't even carbon-based, they're so bizarre and far from what is classically human.

At July 12, 2009 at 7:08 PM, Anonymous Antifascist said...

"...the dalliances of Republican lawmakers such as Larry Craig, Mark Foley, Duke Cunningham, David Vitter and Lord knows how many Lotharios we’ve yet to learn about had chopped up their own family values and general morals mantras into so much cum-stained confetti."

Ha! It's lines like this that keep me here.

At July 12, 2009 at 8:31 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

for me, it was your unfavorable comparison of Mitt Romney's warmth and charisma to a Ricoh printer. it takes a lot to make me laugh out loud at something i am reading. thanks very much.

At July 12, 2009 at 10:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really hope the GOP wanders in the desert much longer than the Children of Israel. They have earned it.


At July 13, 2009 at 10:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I will never obtain an insight into that mind..."

Your problem is in thinking that everyone is either a liberal like you or a far right conservative. Most people fall somewhere in between. Most people don't like that Republicans protect the rich. They also don't like the Democrats tendency to force states to follow federal mandates by attaching too many strings to funds that should be controlled by the state governments. Most people want to be able to have government work in the best interests of the people without taking more and more responsibility away from the people. And, obviously, most people don't choose to harm anyone for their political beliefs or sexual preferences, or it would be vastly more common than it is. Most people don't want to control the personal behavior of others. They also don't want that behavior shoved in their faces or to be forced to approve of that behavior.

At July 13, 2009 at 10:32 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

Obviously, you're not a regular reader of my blog. I don't think in terms of black and white like conservative tend to do. Of course, most people fall somewhere in the middle, although In suspect that's due more to apathy and willful ignorance than anything else.

Don't forget, you're accusing of this black and white mentality someone who'd once recently wrote in the comment section, "You're absolutely right, Anon. It's a fact of life that moderate voters will always outnumber liberal ones. Think of a bell curve. The majority of voters will be in the hump in the middle, or the bell curve, with the very conservative and very liberal voters tapering off on either side.

That's where this war of words and idea has been raging. Not between moderate conservatives and moderate liberals, but between firebrands on either side."

So please do your research before making reckless, sweeping pronouncements.

At July 13, 2009 at 12:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"So please do your research before making reckless, sweeping pronouncements."

I apologize if I've misread your views, but I was writing based on your stated inability to understand why people would vote for Republicans even though those Republicans might have disdain for the common man or support some policies that are counter to their best interests. If that candidate supports, or claims to support, more policies that you agree with or certain policies about which you feel strongly, you vote for them. If the Democratic candidate advocates policies that you believe go too far in trying to appease special interest groups, it pushes you that much more toward Republicans. There is a reason why the Democrats ruled for so long. They went too far and pushed people in the middle toward the Republicans. The Republican’s abuse of power, abandonment of conservative principals and failure to see the growing need for healthcare reform caused moderates to give the Democrats another try.

At July 13, 2009 at 12:39 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I don't think in terms of black and white like conservative [sic]tend to do."

Glad you cleared that up, JP.

At July 14, 2009 at 3:42 AM, Blogger glogrrl said...

Methinks Darling Sarah is a female version of Chance the Gardner in the movie Being There....blending into each situation in a way that the poor deluded souls who follow the Rethuglicans think is presidential. Lord knows, after Dubya and his Daddy, Rethuglicans today have no idea what a real leader looks like--and like most of the sheeple in their party, are afraid of change and just want to follow the pretty lady with the designer clothes,the sexy legs, and the FM shoes, who babbles platitudes and winks at them. You know those "compassionate conservatives---always gotta have an angle to keep the masses in their place.


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