Monday, May 18, 2009

Elephant Tipping

By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari.

As a useful force in American politics, the Republicans have been dead for awhile now. But in the seven months since Sarah Palin's nomination, they have taken on an intriguing new role: providing much-needed comic relief during dark times, serving as the unofficial rodeo clowns of the Financial Crisis Era. - Matt Taibbi, "The Class Clowns."

Someone has been fatally tipping elephants and we all know who's to blame. It has been the elephants themselves.

It only makes eminent common sense that when finding a dead animal in a stream or any vital source of water to immediately remove it by any means necessary. We have found the dead animal time and again in the stream of the nation's political discourse and it is the metaphorical mascot of the Republican Party. Yet we keep drawing from the once purer waters without having the heart or the fortitude or the strength or even the inclination to remove the carcass before we're fatally stricken with intellectual cholera.

Dick Cheney, obviously, springs to mind. After having spent the last eight years as the torture aficionado's J. D. Salinger of Casper, Wyoming, suddenly Dick Cheney lifts his trunk and trumpets old pachyderm calls to arms ranging from embracing waterboarding as a legitimate interrogation tool to saying that Barack Obama is Mapquesting detailed directions to al Qaida terrorists as to where they can strike next if they so please.

Yet no one in the MSM has ever once thought of removing Cheney's ample political corpse from the stream bed or the tracks despite the fact that some members of his Republican Party at least see the political expediency of changing to stop the hemmorhaging of votes over the last two elections.

At least the Sunday talking head circuit has an excuse to keep trotting out John McCain in between tapioca feedings and naps: Technically, he's still in office and still alive. But they haven't a leg to stand on when they also keep McCain company with the likes of Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin and other superstars of Republican fuckuppery.

And where else but in our deeply-divided country can we be treated to tabloid news of a hitherto obscure Alaska teenager's out-of-wedlock birth that was almost as ubiquitous and endemic as any coverage of the new Obama administration? Who cares if our homes are being foreclosed on, who cares that we're bleeding out jobs by 650,000 every month? I want to know why Levi Johnston broke up his engagement to Bristol Palin, Goddamnit! They were the Rob and Amber of Alaska and looked like such a good couple!

The problem is that the puppet masters of the corporate mainstream media, as evidenced during their election coverage, are all too aware that people will not tune in to see a one horse race. It is vital and necessary in their minds (and indeed, for the sake of our two party system of government) that both parties be represented and that both make viable points.

The problem with this is, the tipping point on the elephant side was established long ago and despite the fact that the Democrats have run roughshod over the Republicans in the last two successive elections and we now have a young, exciting, articulate Democrat in the White House, nothing has changed. More often than not, when one tunes in to the political talk shows every Sunday morning you will still see at least a 2 to 1 if not 3 to 1 ratio of Republicans to Democrats or conservatives to liberals. And as more and more Republicans get hauled off to jail, the pickings get slimmer and slimmer until you see Dick Cheney on TV more often than an offseason Peyton Manning.

The main trouble with this is that no one in the MSM still has the cajones to tell these fucking maniacs that they're wrong, wrong, wrong, that their ruinous policies ought to not only be soundly, roundly and loudly ridiculed by every news person, every blogger, every good American but that said policies ought to be listed side by side with Adolph Hitler's and Nero's flaming legacies as to how not to run an empire.

Now we're seeing the elephants tipping eachother. We're seeing the 97 year-old Roberta McCain go on Leno to blast Rush Limbaugh after he'd blasted her son and granddaughter. We're seeing Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele denigrate and dismiss Limbaugh as a mere entertainer (only to take it back 52 minutes later when he realized he wasn't wearing his brown pants). We're seeing Arlen Specter fling his cancer-riddled body from one ship to another with the grace and skill of a bloated rat. We're seeing the Titanic orchestra of the remaining GOP playing jeering songs in Specter's dishonor.

And yet, the only time when they're all on the same page is when they unite during roll call votes to block key legislation that could help millions. They can't pass ruinous legislation like they used to but, by god, there's still a little Mitch McConnell in all of them and they can sure block progressive legislation.

Maybe three's the charm. Perhaps Senator Jim Bunning's tea leaves are correct and the GOP's presence in the Senate will further shrivel to 36 after the 2010 midterms. Perhaps it will take three consecutive elections of being told No, No, NO by the American voters who have said in countless individual ballots and in countless exit polls and other polls that they do not want more of the same.

But even though the vox populi has spoken, the pundits and power brokers on Capitol Hill are still not listening and as long they continue ignoring their constituency, readership and viewership, then I for one don't want to hear any shit from any of them about how unhinged bloggers are and why we need to be regulated if not hounded out of existence.

In the meantime, the pachyderm carcasses continue piling up on the railroad tracks and the streams while we pretend that we still have a two party democracy.

As a personal favor, please donate whatever you can to Pottersville considering my old pal JP's getting married to a great gal later on this year. The Paypal button's at the top right hand corner in case you missed it when you came in. TIA. - MF


At May 18, 2009 at 9:19 PM, Anonymous Blakenator said...

I share your bafflement. I know the DC establishment, which includes the political press, lives in an alternate universe from those of us outside the beltway and that explains part of their need to be "fair and balanced," whatever that is supposed to mean. However, as one of the unwashed masses, I'm seeing something else. The more exposure these clowns are given, the more they present themselves in varying combinations of insanity and ridiculousness. Sadly, these folks concept of the opposition party is more oriented towards comic relief than actually offering reasonable alternative ideas.

At May 19, 2009 at 2:50 AM, Blogger Bukko Boomeranger said...

Mike, for someone who's been in the media as long as you, I still don't reckon you're cynical enough.

Don't you think that the reason discredited wankers like Newt the Grinch and Dickless Cheney are given exposure is because the corporate owners of the media want to amplify their viewpoints? It's in the right-wing businesses' interest to make it seem like there's still a simmering opinion in favour of war, tax cuts for the rich and other anti-populist policies. All that's crap, and everyone except the brain-dead enders of the Bush cult reject them. But as long as corpo meeja keeps putting bastards out there to amplify it, they can pretend.

Maybe you don't get to see it up close, because you're not one of those bright-lights glamourpusses. You ever hang out with any of them? Did you find them to be rich poseurs?

At May 19, 2009 at 6:19 AM, Blogger jurassicpork said...

That's funny, Bukko. Mike's wife Doris keeps telling him he's too cynical.

Luckily, she's a fictional character and I shut her the fuck up any time I want.

At May 19, 2009 at 9:38 PM, Blogger Bukko Boomeranger said...

Luckily, she's a fictional character and I shut her the fuck up any time I want.Too bad it doesn't work that way in real life, eh? I wonder how Prick Santorum would feel about marriage between a man and a fictional character?

At May 21, 2009 at 12:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Marriage between a man and a fictional character is fine as long as that fictional character is a woman. Their fictional god said so!


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