Feb
19

The sheer awesomeness of the modern conservative movement




Posted at 19:03 by Brad

Wingnut apostate Mickey Edwards lays out the ugly truth:

Today there are few things that set a “conservative’s” teeth on edge more than a defense of “civil liberties;” yet that is what American conservatism was all about–protecting the liberties of the people. It was a system designed to protect the people from an over-reaching government, not to protect the government from the people. American constitutionalism was a historical high-point in recognizing individual worth. Stop at CPAC today and you will find rooms full of ardent, zealous, fervent young men and women who believe the government should be allowed to torture (we condemned people at Nuremberg for doing that), who believe the government should be able to lock people up without charges and hold them indefinitely (something Henry VIII agreed was a proper exercise of government authority). Who believe the government should be able to read a citizen’s mail and listen in on a citizen’s phone calls, all without a warrant (the Constitution of course prohibits searches without a warrant, but nobody cares less about the Constitution than some of today’s ersatz conservatives).

Most “conservatives” today don’t dislike big government. In fact, they absolutely love big government if it is used in the service of further empowering America’s economic elite. Witnesseth Rich Lowry’s hilarious defense of Enron buying off government officials:

LOWRY: Well, no one can point to specifically anything they got that they shouldn’t have gotten. And, you know, the fact is, Enron backed Chuck Schumer, the Democrat in the 1998 New York Senate race. Why? Because Chuck Schumer agreed with Enron on deregulation. Companies that support deregulation are going to give money to candidates who support deregulation. There’s nothing inherently corrupt about that…

And of course, they also love using the government to start unjustified wars and to torture people. It’s a pretty sick ideology, but hey, if people want to vote it back into power, be my guest — after all, I’m a white heterosexual male, I’m supposed to benefit from this shit. I think this country needs to get wingnuttery out of its system once and for all, and Dr. Paul Ryan’s plan to throw old people off of Medicare might finally do the trick. It’s sad that we’ll have to have bankrupt elders dying in the streets to make this happen, but if that’s what it takes, so be it.


UPDATE: As many of you in the comments have pointed out, I’ve been acting like a childish jerk about issues like this. All the same, it’s hard not to be cynical when you read stuff like this:

Okay, I’ve got some more info for you on what the health care compromise proposal that Obama will bring to the summit next week is going to look like.

Bottom line: It’s all but certain to have the Cadillac tax in it, even though House Dems oppose it, and no public option, aides say.

OK, so no public option AND a tax that will screw over union members. Hot damn, that’ll get the Democratic base to turn out in droves!

I think what we actually need is a genuine populist politics in this country, and not the fake sort of Rich Lowry and Sarah Palin. Because the policy makers we’ve elected just aren’t cutting it.

114 Comments »

  1. Pere Ubu said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:06

    Stop at CPAC today and you will find rooms full of ardent, zealous, fervent young men and women who believe the government should be allowed to torture (we condemned people at Nuremberg for doing that), who believe the government should be able to lock people up without charges and hold them indefinitely (something Henry VIII agreed was a proper exercise of government authority). Who believe the government should be able to read a citizen’s mail and listen in on a citizen’s phone calls, all without a warrant (the Constitution of course prohibits searches without a warrant, but nobody cares less about the Constitution than some of today’s ersatz conservatives).

    BUT – only if it’s a nominally conservative White House doing those things.

    DemocRATS need not apply, since they’re all stinky socialist fascist anti-freedom Progressives.

  2. actor212 said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:06

    Watch Mickey Edwards suddenly get “Balloon Juice’d” by the right wing anger management crew.

  3. Lisa said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:17

    True. I absolutely agree. As a woman and black person, I will be FUCKED if we go Full Wingnut. But we really need to to get it out of our system once and for all. We have been fetishizing being stupid, authoritarian, peasant-minded, and corporate worshipping for far too long. We should embrace it full bore and let them fuck us so hard up the ass that we will stop embracing and stroking that kind of ideology as somehow “authentic” and “legitimate”.

  4. gocart mozart said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:17

    When conservative talk about “restoring the constitution” I think they mean the constitution of Chile’s Pinochet government. See, now it all makes perfect sense.

  5. Wyatt Watts III said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:21

    Stop at CPAC today…

    No, thank you.

  6. histrogeek said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:24

    Pere Ubu,
    Well of course Demoncrats can’t be trusted to follow the Constitution, which has most know was designed to protect the interests of the rich and powerful. Demoncrats have occasionally acted in such a way that the lesser orders might think that the Constitution also applied to them. So by definition they will ALWAYS act unconstitutionally.
    Funny how what liberals and leftists all see as a flaw in the Constitution, that it was made by rich, white guys with their interests in mind, is seen as its main benefit. Conversely, the thing about the Constitution that progressives see as its greatest strength, its flexibility to change to reflect the needs of a changing society, is seen by rightists as its worst flaw.

  7. Esteev said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:29

    There’s nothing inherently corrupt about that…

    hahah is that a Serious comment or Satire? I would imagine that is the freaking definition of corrupt. If I ever run into Lowry, I’m gonna kick his @$$ just to show him a)he’s a pansy and b) that he’s a moran and maybe a few blows to the head will help him think straight; a medicinal @$$ beating if you will.

  8. mmy said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:31

    It’s sad that we’ll have to have bankrupt elders dying in the streets to make this happen, but if that’s what it takes, so be it.

    Shorter conservatards: Torturing Arabs will make this country a better place 20 years down the road.

    Shorter Brad: Torturing the elderly will make this country a better place 20 years down the road.

    I know Brad is being a little tongue-in-cheek here, but I despise the “might as well allow the country to go to hell under conservatism, because then we’ll get a REAL progressivism!” argument. When in history has any government worked that way?

  9. Lurking Canadian said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:32

    I periodically have thoughts like the quote from Edwards, but then I stop, because it is too depressing. There is a part of my brain that simply will not accept the fact that “We do not torture our prisoners” is now a radical, leftist position.

    I was reading elsewhere on the web something that stayed with me. “I have to keep reminding myself that we’re the Nazis in this picture.” That’s it exactly. We’re the Nazis in this picture. How could we have let that happen?

  10. shabadoo said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:32

    We’ll always have asshole right-wingers – letting them do their worst will not make them go away. That’s ridiculous.

  11. gocart mozart said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:38

    “When in history has any government worked that way?”

    Well the Great Depression brought about the New Deal reforms although in Germany it brought about the Third Reich so I guess you never know how it will turn out.

  12. purvis ames said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:39

    Where has Mickey Edwards been the last ten years? He’s just getting around to noticing that so-called conservatism has been co-opted by the sadistic, racist, xenophobic lunatic fringe? And what’s this bit about revering Reagan? He’s the sonuvabitch who got the whole thing rolling.

  13. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:39

    @mmy — not to be too misanthropic about things, but the final straw for me was seeing old people this summer screaming to “keep government hands off my Medicare!”

    My response is, OK, fine, here’s Dr. Paul Ryan. He’ll fix that for you.

    Is this nihilistic? Yes it is. But if it’s what people want, I’m not gonna stop ‘em.

  14. Pere Ubu said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:40

    I despise the “might as well allow the country to go to hell under conservatism, because then we’ll get a REAL progressivism!” argument. When in history has any government worked that way?

    Not to summon Teh Godwin, but that reminds me of how Bismarck let Hitler into power in Germany – the idea that being a part of the govenrment they could keep an eye on him, and once people saw how radical his ideas were he wouldn’t last.

    That worked out SO well.

  15. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:41

    letting them do their worst will not make them go away. That’s ridiculous.

    You might be right. I had thought that 8 years of Bush would have made people see the light. I guess we’ll have to give it one more push and see what takes!

  16. mmy said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:42

    @Brad: Yeah, people are stupid, you’ll get no argument from me.

    But you don’t fix it by putting people who are equally stupid and also dishonest in charge. That would be like the New York Times trying to fix its revenue problems by bringing in Rich Lowry to be publisher.

  17. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:43

    once people saw how radical his ideas were he wouldn’t last.

    It didn’t last, of course. Fascism is now wholly discredited except at CPAC. Too bad 12 million people had to die for it to be discredited, though.

    I guess there’s a lesson for me here :-)

  18. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:43

    We’ll always have asshole right-wingers – letting them do their worst will not make them go away.

    Too right, and this is the point that always makes me want to encourage Brad to do a flip when he’s up on that ledge.

    No matter how much we give, the right-wing will /never/ be satisfied with it, and will never give the fuck up when it becomes obvious their ideas are shit. They’ll always find a way to blame it on us, and just try to barrel through and be even more stupid and self-destructive.

    So when you say “well, maybe we’ll just let them do that, and then we’ll pick up the pieces afterward” ignores the fact that THEY WON’T FUCKING DIE OFF. They’ll still /be there/ after they’ve thrown us into a new Dark Age, and they won’t think it’s dark enough yet. And so they’ll take a shit on whatever we try to rebuild because that’s what the fuck they /do/.

  19. Pere Ubu said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:43

    My response is, OK, fine, here’s Dr. Paul Ryan. He’ll fix that for you.

    Is this nihilistic? Yes it is. But if it’s what people want, I’m not gonna stop ‘em.

    Unfortunately sometimes you just have to let the kid touch the hot stove so they know better next time.

    I know, I’d make a horrible father.

  20. D Johnston said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:46

    Is this nihilistic? Yes it is. But if it’s what people want, I’m not gonna stop ‘em.

    I’d reply to this, but I’m afraid you’ll take whatever I say out of context and imply that I agree with you again.

    In all seriousness, what you’re suggesting (indeed, what you’ve been suggesting for quite a while now) is not merely nihilistic, but also narcissistic. It’s sort of an inversion of the conservative mantra – Instead of “I got mine, screw you,” it’s “We’ll screw you to create my paradise.” There’s nothing funny about that.

  21. Jennifer said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:46

    I blogged about this just a couple of weeks ago over at my joint. Plus I’ve got a bonus new post, which is as far as I will blogwhore; read it if you like.

    But really, yeah. If there was any kind of coherent pushback message – or if there ever had been – we wouldn’t be as close to the edge as we are now, and I fear you’re correct. We will see old people dying in the streets so that Paris Hilton can afford to keep a private jet before this ever sorts out. And really, if only. We’re not talking about Paris Hilton getting to keep the jet – we’re talking about whether it’s fair to ask her to only have one, when if those greedy old people would just give up living indoors and going to doctors, she could afford one in each of her favorite colors, to match her outfits.

    A coherent pushback message should start at this point: Since we all know that there are limits on everything, why should we continue trying to pretend that wealth is the one thing that should be unlimited? It’s neither possible nor desirable so it seems rather foolish to enshrine it as the highest ideal of a representative democracy, which is supposed to reflect and act in the interests of all its citizens, not just in the interests of those who really don’t need the help.

  22. Esteev said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:46

    old people this summer screaming to “keep government hands off my Medicare!”

    I agree with you Brad. If there is something to blame here it is our priorities. We have a disproportionate amount of money allocated for defense and anti-everything-we’re-ascared-of as we simultaneously cut funding for schools and universities. Education in the country has become a joke and a nightmare. I’m all for that idea of a civics test prior to voting by was it Tancredo? That would certainly whittle down morans and those who think that Medicare is a private insurance agency. Ahh, I feel better. Rubber Cement Inhalation Time!

  23. gocart mozart said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:47

    Yes St. Trotsky, see government regulation caused the financial crisis and the stimulus is destroying our economy.

  24. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:47

    “We’ll screw you to create my paradise.”

    I’m not doing the screwing. I’m just saying if people are already itching to go back to Bush-style conservatism, I’m not gonna stop ‘em.

  25. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:49

    Fascism is now wholly discredited except at CPAC.

    Yes, and divine right is discredited except in all those countries that still have functioning monarchies.

    I’ll believe fascism is discredited when we (as the human race) stop producing and backing fascists in governments. I suspect that’ll happen right about the time Mme. Blavatsky’s theories of evolution are proven as true.

    (particularly since I can’t /wait/ to become a three-eyed hermaphroditic ball of energy.)

  26. Jennifer said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:50

    FYWP.

    I’m not gonna retype the whole damn thing. I blogged about this a couple of weeks ago; plus I have a bonus new post. Click my name if you wanna read it. And note this is a much less shameless blogwhore than most because it actually is related to the topic of the post.

  27. Esteev said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:50

    Instead of “I got mine, screw you,” it’s “We’ll screw you to create my paradise.” There’s nothing funny about that.

    I disagree, i think its more “You’re not going to listen to reason because you pockets are so well lined with cash so, Screw You. I Quit. It’s Not Worth My Sanity.”

  28. Esteev said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:52

    I’m not gonna retype the whole damn thing.

    The moon rules #1!

  29. tsam said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:53

    I had thought that 8 years of Bush would have made people see the light. I guess we’ll have to give it one more push and see what takes!

    I don’t think so. The more power they amass, the more entrenched they become. There is a threshold, somewhere between here and utter fascism, that this crew has such a grip on power that no peaceful means can remove it. It’s possible that we have already crossed that line.

    But dig a little deeper into what you’re saying. At this moment, the teabaggers are looking at 10% unemployment, an absolute train wreck of a banking industry, a shriveling standard of living, no future. Where are they pointing their fat, pasty, cheeto stained fingers? Socialists. They invented a socialist boogeyman. There is not a single socialist anywhere in our government, yet these people truly believe we are drowning in them. Imagine things actually getting worse than they are now (realistically, there is a lot of room between here and the bottom). Do you think that would cure them of their fear of the phantom socialists? It could, but I doubt that it would.

  30. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:53

    That would certainly whittle down morans and those who think that Medicare is a private insurance agency.

    Yes, because that worked so well to whittle down the morans in the 60s. Oh wait, no, it just kept an oppressed minority from voting while the idiots oppressing them went on fine and dandy.

  31. D Johnston said,

    February 19, 2010 at 19:59

    I’m not doing the screwing. I’m just saying if people are already itching to go back to Bush-style conservatism, I’m not gonna stop ‘em.

    Ah, so you’re not the person who set fire to the hospital, you’re the one who saw it catch fire and did nothing. Lovely set of moral standards you’ve got there.

    Let’s look at what you want to happen. Because a tiny group of senior citizens are idiots, you want all of them to suffer. That’s cruel on a level that I can’t fathom. I’d say that you didn’t realize what you were saying, but we’ve been pointing this out to you and you just don’t care. You are so intent on condemning the guilty that you’re willing to cruelly punish a lot of innocents, and for what? To salve you conscience? To fulfill your notions of purity and ideological rightness? It sure as shit ain’t about helping people. A person who wants to help people doesn’t condemn someone to hell to show everyone else how bad hell is.

    Your problem is that you’re so intent on destroying your enemies that you completely forget to aid the afflicted.

  32. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:03

    Or to put it in a ruder fashion:

    The politics of spite makes you look like an asshole.

  33. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:04

    Your problem is that you’re so intent on destroying your enemies that you completely forget to aid the afflicted.

    I totally agree, it’s absolutely disgusting how Brad refuses to let the magical make-old-bigoted-conservard-geezebags-much-more-enlightened ponies out of their cages.

  34. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:04

    Your problem is that you’re so intent on destroying your enemies that you completely forget to aid the afflicted.

    Yes, me and my all-mighty blog posts are condemning seniors to rot!

    Seriously, though, you’re right — my attitude sucks. Watching health care reform go down in flames AGAIN has made me even more bitter and jaded than I was before. I need to do something to refocus myself in a more positive direction.

    Anyway, you’re right. Thanks for slapping a bit of sense into me.

  35. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:05

    The politics of spite makes you look like an asshole.

    It works well for the GOP, though. I still can’t figure that out…

  36. D Johnston said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:06

    I disagree, i think its more “You’re not going to listen to reason because you pockets are so well lined with cash so, Screw You. I Quit. It’s Not Worth My Sanity.”

    What Brad is suggesting here isn’t letting the rich and stupid suffer. He’s suggesting letting everyone suffer so that we can get the rich and stupid.

    Admittedly, this isn’t all about Brad. I’m just getting sick of “liberals” who seem more concerned with their own self-righteous purity than the welfare of their fellow Americans. When I see large groups of left-wingers mirroring the right’s descent into madness, it disturbs me.

  37. tigrismus said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:07

    Unfortunately sometimes you just have to let the kid touch the hot stove so they know better next time.

    Touching the stove maybe, but no one lets them jump in front of a train. Some lessons can’t be learned that way.

  38. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:08

    When I see large groups of left-wingers mirroring the right’s descent into madness, it disturbs me.

    ‘kay. What’s your magical pony then – clap harder?

  39. You Can't Put Lipstick On A Repig said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:10

    It works well for the GOP, though. I still can’t figure that out…

    Tight, scripted media control by corporate interests. All it takes is a few percent of the voters sheep to be convinced that the guys torturing them are doing it so that someday the sheep will be as rich as the torturers.

  40. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:10

    It works well for the GOP, though.

    Well, it helps when all their policies are meant to gel with being an asshole. So there’s a synchronization between their behavior and their political goals.

    It’s harder to pull off ‘spite’ when your political goals are to, y’know, make the world less of a shithole occupied but nothing but assholes, jerkwads and motherfuckers that do nothing but beat the shit out of the weak and exult the strong and their remora-like symbionts.

  41. Jennifer said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:12

    D Johnston – If you haven’t noticed, pretty much everyone except the rich and stupid are suffering already. What Brad is saying is that if those who are suffering already are also stupid enough, in the majority, to believe that increasing their own suffering will alleviate their own suffering, there’s not a lot of hope for pulling it back.

    “Experience keeps a dear school, but fools will learn in no other.”

  42. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:17

    I totally agree, it’s absolutely disgusting how Brad refuses to let the magical make-old-bigoted-conservard-geezebags-much-more-enlightened ponies out of their cages.

    I have an idea. It’s crazy though.

    Learn to deal with the fact that you’re going to have old bigoted conservard geezebags, forever. Every day, geezebags are getting older and more crotchety and stupid. Every day, more bigoted conservards are becoming geezebags.

    They are going to be fucking up the world until our great-grandkids have great-grandkids. No way around it, even if we give them all they want.

    So ignore them and get to fucking work on some way to make everyone who isn’t an old conservatard geezebag comfortable while we wait for the latest batch to die and get replaced.

  43. Brandi said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:19

    Too right, and this is the point that always makes me want to encourage Brad to do a flip when he’s up on that ledge.

    I prefer more of a “down the road, not across the street” approach– after all, who knows who he might hit when he jumped.

  44. D Johnston said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:20

    ‘kay. What’s your magical pony then – clap harder?

    Fuck you sideways, DK. I’m not allowed to point out that someone’s acting like an asshole? That’s this site’s whole raison d’etre, pointing out the foibles and cruelty of largely powerless people. We’re not allowed to turn the jaundiced eye inwards now and again? I’m not even allowed to notice that all the people I used to like are behaving like goddamn lunatics?

    Every discussion here is theoretical, and there’s nothing wrong with that. We sit around and chat about what we should do, when it’s all just a fantasy. Well, the fantasy got pretty damn dark for a minute there, so I mentioned it. I’m terribly sorry. You can resume your party without mean ol’ D pointing out the turd in the punchbowl.

  45. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:24

    after all, who knows who he might hit when he jumped.

    I suppose so. I just always felt that wrist-slashing wound up wrecking perfectly good bathtubs.

  46. tsam said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:27

    Brad,

    Please keep in mind that the true victims of wingnuttery are the poor, disenfranchised, minorities, etc… I’m a white heterosexual male, and have a good job that would be one of the last to go if things got truly miserable. But I cannot stand by and watch my countrymen be destroyed by this revival of feudalism. I just can’t do it. You shouldn’t either. You are ceding your moral high ground to the wingnuts. A common argument among wingnuts is that we should let screw-ups go ahead and screw up–social darwinism of sorts. That is essentially what you’re advocating here. Let the kid put his hand on the red hot stove. He won’t do it again.

  47. Spaghetti Lee said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:27

    Look, again, I don’t want to sound like Pollyanna here, but…http://savethepublicoption.com

    It’ll take 30 seconds of your life, and you’ll be on board with at least 18 senators who have agreed to put the P.O. back in through reconciliation. Go ahead and cry foul, false alarm, boy who cried wolf, if that’s what makes you happy. Not the best way to succeed politically, though.

  48. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:30

    Please keep in mind that the true victims of wingnuttery are the poor, disenfranchised, minorities, etc

    Sigh. Guys! I admitted you were right and I said I was sorry! Feel free to stop hammering me with the same points over and over!

  49. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:31

    Fuck you sideways, DK

    Your mom’s already done that.

    You are more than entitled to point out when someone’s acting like a dickwad, just like the rest of us are too.

    As for the dark fantasies (something your mom is quite good at), I suppose you’re chiding us about the tone of the discussion. Before you leave, you may want to have a look at the graphic at the top of this post.

  50. tigrismus said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:31

    *hides hammer* So, s’up?

  51. tigrismus said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:32

    SL’s linky

  52. Spaghetti Lee said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:36

    Re: Update, Obama’s also said that he’ll get behind a senate bill with a public option if Reid gets it back in through reconciliation, so make of those two self-contradictory statements what you will. The last two times he’s had an opportunity to embarrass the Republicans (SoTU and speech at Republican convention in Balitmore) he’s done it with gusto. Sometimes you guys seem to forget that part of a politician’s job, and particularly a president’s, is to smile and act nice and dangle carrots that will eventually be withdrawn.

  53. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:38

    Re: Update, Obama’s also said that he’ll get behind a senate bill with a public option if Reid gets it back in through reconciliation,

    As in, “I’m on board if someone else does it first.” That’s awesome leadership.

  54. Spaghetti Lee said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:40

    Well, Brad, seeing as how he’s not a legislator, and can’t put it in himself, I don’t know exactly what you’re complaining about.

  55. Brad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 20:43

    Well, Brad, seeing as how he’s not a legislator, and can’t put it in himself, I don’t know exactly what you’re complaining about.

    It’s not just this one thing. He could have done a much better job selling the public option. He could have talked less about bending cost curves.

  56. Jennifer said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:12

    It’s not just this one thing. He could have done a much better job selling the public option. He could have talked less about bending cost curves.

    You know, I think I part company on this point. I think it was really smart to talk as much as he did about cost curves…since he knew he could count on the asshole insurers to underline his point before all was said and done.

  57. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:12

    How dark is this discussion? We’re talking about letting the Republicans have their way with Medicare and Social Security so that them geezebags can get a taste of Libertarian paradise. Is that going to suck all sorts of shit for all sorts of people, a lot of whom have little responsibility for the popularity of teabaggers? Yes. Innocent people are going to suffer, and everyone here not named Ruppert thinks that’s wrong. Well except for them folks who don’t like seniors ’cause they smell bad – a small but not insignificant fraction of the commentariat.

    Hell, some of the bleeding hearts here probably think that even the teabaggers themselves don’t deserve a taste of what they are standing-up-and-shouting-down for.

    And despite all the “let them eat scrotum teabag” nihilism that’s going round, can anyone name a single regular that is probably in the hateful spite “small but not insignificant fraction” I mentioned before? Let alone lumping Brad into that group?

    Okay, there’s Dragon-King Wangchuck, who’s an age-ist jerkwad – but other than him.

  58. tigrismus said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:20

    who’s an age-ist jerkwad

    That’s what my Mom said. Wait, what?

  59. mysticdog said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:33

    I’m with you Brad. This is not a case of The Perfect Preventing the Good, or whatever claptrap version of that phrase we are on. The senate bill is BAD for the country, regardless whether it gives a few million more people (really crappy and expensive) insurance. It will send hundreds of billions of dollars into insurance companies hands through the federal government, and gives us no control over their actions or policies. The few “concessions” from insurance companies have giant loopholes in them that will allow the insurers to screw people with prexisting conditions just as much as now, AND get paid for it, AND claim that there is no problem at all.

    Unfortunately, I don’t no that there is time for things to become more horrible under republicans and then await a populist savior to appear in 2016 or whatever. We just got through 8 years of hell, and the best we got was a centrist who considered Lieberman a mentor in the senate. I see no reason to believe that bad conditions will give us better leaders… Germany got Hitler at its lowest point, after all. People in horrible conditions are even easier to rile up with the tactics of the right wing.

    We progressives are going to need to get out and push, and maybe one of us will become the populist leader we need.

  60. Monkey Child of the Dragon King said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:34

    Jennifer – yeah, I’ve been wondering the same thing. Insurance corporations thought it was safe to get all cocky and raise premiums thirty-nine percent??!?

    Step into that one much?

  61. Monkey Child of the Dragon King said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:36

    no, no, mysticdog – Germany got Hitler and then rolled off the cliff to the basement of Hell.

  62. Nymstradamus said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:37

    Pere Ubu:

    Not to summon Teh Godwin, but that reminds me of how Bismarck let Hitler into power in Germany.

    Not to get all pedantic and shit, but it was Paul von Hindenburg, the WWI general, Weimar Republic president and later a flaming dirigible, who gave the keys of the Chancellor’s office to Schicklgruber. Bismarck had been worm food for quite sometime when all that went down.

    It’s all central to somebody’s point, so no worries.

  63. MrToad said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:41

    I think I see where you made your mistake, Brad: you’re assuming that “we” can have any control over the process. Mass movements are like avalanches IMO; they appear inevitable in retrospect because they really are inevitable. And a ‘mass movement’ really only takes somewhere about 10-15% of a nation’s population to drive it, with a handful of loud, determined Leaders to direct it. Since nobody is going to call them out, other than those big, cheery circle-jerks in blog comment sections, the avalanch will rumble on its merry philanthropic way, distributing law and order to all those who don’t know what’s good for them. Luckily, I’m planning to be dead soon, so I’m OK; the rest of you are on your own.

  64. Mark D said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:42

    He’s suggesting letting everyone suffer so that we can get the rich and stupid.

    I have to admit that I didn’t see it that way at all, but I may be too charitable in my reading. The way I saw it was:

    America had eight years of institutionalized, clinical, mind-blowing stupidity and mendacity that destroyed our economy, harmed our environment, and left literally hundreds of thousands of innocent people dead.

    And yet Americans are willing to go through it all again simply because Obama and Dems — who have been charge for a little more than a year … a single fucking year for fuck’s sake!! — haven’t snapped the fingers and magically given everyone a Starbursty Pony that pisses health care and shits six-figure-a-year jobs.

    It’s fucking asinine, and a sign of how goddamn motherfucking dumb our nation has become.

    So, it’s less about wanting the nation to go in the shitter, and more of a there’s nothing we can do will stop it from going in the shitter type of thing.

    IMHO, of course …

  65. SqueakyRat said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:43

    Wait, you’re a heterosexual?

  66. Mark D said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:46

    I love old people, especially ladies with removable dentures …

    Wait. What?

  67. Nymstradamus said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:49

    So, it’s less about wanting the nation to go in the shitter, and more of a there’s nothing we can do will stop it from going in the shitter type of thing.

    If it were only possible that some sort of methadone-style of treatment was available for the wingnut population that’s jonesin’ for the full-blown heroin of teabag-level stupidity.

  68. StringonaStick said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:53

    Dick Armey was at CPAC today, saying it is time to get serious about cutting Social Security and Medicare, a la Paul Ryan’s proposal. I say we let them get really serious about tying their party to such a proposal since I recall something about how popular that was the last time they brought that up.

  69. actor212 said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:57

    I love old people, especially ladies with removable dentures …

    I! W? N?

  70. actor212 said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:58

    I’ve taken to abbreviating the whole “interest, website, newsletter” thing.

  71. actor212 said,

    February 19, 2010 at 21:59

    Dick Armey was at CPAC today, saying it is time to get serious about cutting Social Security and Medicare

    I have to watch video tonight and see how many nervous uncomfortable coughs there were in the room on that one…

  72. Pryme said,

    February 19, 2010 at 22:02

    I don’t mind Brad’s assertion. For the entire Bush Era, I had moments where I felt that if we just gave in and stopped resisting, these guy would screw things up so bad that everyone else would finally see the light.

    Well, that actually happened. Twice (2006 midterms, 2008 general).

    Problem is, most people have short memories and a desire for instant gratification. That combination made enough people susceptible to this Teabagger/Tea Party/”Hey M’fer, where’s my iced tea?” nonesense. FoxNews has attacked this administration since election night. Conservatism has (once again) adopted a new moniker and (once again) promised that this time it’s the real thing and they’ll get it right.

    And the elected Democrats? As has been the case for the past 6 presidents or so, they continue to fear the opposition’s base more than their own.

    So no, I don’t admonish Brad for having his “Why the fuck am I trying to save Gotham City?” moment. What I do question is the belief that this time, the conservatives will screw things up so much America will rise up, fight back and banish them forever and forever. History says otherwise.

    (Personally, part of my suggestion to fight the madness is to separate the uneducated from the voluntarily stupid, and unplug them from the military-industrial-infortainment-Matrix. But that’s no easy task. The other part…well, no one will ever do it, so it’s not worth mentioning.)

  73. Dragon-King Wangchuck said,

    February 19, 2010 at 22:11

    History says otherwise.

    Yeah, that’s the real kick in the teeth. Back in the 80′s in the Great White North, we had a conservative party that was so dickish that after two majority governments, they managed to completely self-destruct and elect less than 1% of MP’s.

    What is essentially that same party is the current governing body of the country.

    Killing Medicare and Social Security may or may not be enough to kill the GOP as a political entity, but greedy selfish assholes with money access and power will find a way.

  74. Lurking Canadian said,

    February 19, 2010 at 22:25

    Dick Armey was at CPAC today, saying it is time to get serious about cutting Social Security and Medicare

    That should make the teabaggers happy, since they so wanted the government to change Medicare. Wait, what?

    What is essentially that same party is the current governing body of the country.

    I would argue that the CRAPs are way, way worse than the old PCs. No room for Red Tories in Canada’s Indefinitely New Government.

  75. tsam said,

    February 19, 2010 at 22:35

    Sigh. Guys! I admitted you were right and I said I was sorry! Feel free to stop hammering me with the same points over and over!

    We know you did, but I think most of us have felt the same way you do. As I said before, I have a very stable job and I’m a white, thin hetero of average looks and intelligence. I have every advantage in the job market. It would be easy for me to say “They bought their tickets, they knew what they were getting into, I say let ‘em crash”

    While I completely sympathize with your outrage, given that the teabaggers would be one of the first to go if their dreams of their own little fourth reich were realized, you and I must find the strength to soldier on–even on behalf of the idiots we try to refute here on a daily basis. It’s a strange, if not frustrating paradox.

  76. tsam said,

    February 19, 2010 at 22:36

    I hope that didn’t come out like further argument, I’m not trying to beat a dead horse. I know that every time you say that, you don’t really mean it.

  77. Big Bad Bald Bastard said,

    February 19, 2010 at 22:53

    And yet Americans are willing to go through it all again simply because Obama and Dems — who have been charge for a little more than a year … a single fucking year for fuck’s sake!! — haven’t snapped the fingers and magically given everyone a Starbursty Pony that pisses health care and shits six-figure-a-year jobs.

    They may only have another nine months- this does not look good.

    I still think we should work to create parallel structures, like insurance co-ops and credit unions. I really don’t want to slide down the shitter with the teabaggers. I occasionally enjoy foraging for wild foodstuffs, I don’t want to have to do it to survive.

  78. tsam said,

    February 19, 2010 at 23:44

    So no, I don’t admonish Brad for having his “Why the fuck am I trying to save Gotham City?” moment. What I do question is the belief that this time, the conservatives will screw things up so much America will rise up, fight back and banish them forever and forever. History says otherwise.

    Very true. This outfit should have gone the way of the Confederacy in 1865. That should have been pretty much the last word from those dummies, aside from the mulletmen in their trucks prophesying the return of the South. But yet, here they are, dominating our culture. It has gotten so bad that the idea of single-payer health care is not even a distant dream.

  79. Chris said,

    February 20, 2010 at 0:57

    “Stop at CPAC today and you will find rooms full of ardent, zealous, fervent young men and women who believe the government should be allowed to torture (we condemned people at Nuremberg for doing that), who believe the government should be able to lock people up without charges and hold them indefinitely (something Henry VIII agreed was a proper exercise of government authority). Who believe the government should be able to read a citizen’s mail and listen in on a citizen’s phone calls, all without a warrant (the Constitution of course prohibits searches without a warrant, but nobody cares less about the Constitution than some of today’s ersatz conservatives).”

    God Almighty, don’t remind me. Guess what? CPAC is being hosted this year by the hotel literally one block down the road from my apartment! Them, and an anarchist-type with a bullhorn standing outside and yelling things like “Don’t go hunting with Dick Cheney!” in the general direction of the hotel.

    It’s been interesting watching the cohorts of young ideologues roaming the area for the last couple of days. Even more interesting to think that most of these guys hate government with the white-hot fury of a supernova, and yet they’re all here anyway for the opportunity to network their way into the Washington power circles where they’ll be wallowing for the rest of their lives. The hypocrisy of movement conservatism is alive and well.

    My plan of action? Pop in my copy of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade this evening and especially enjoy the scene where he and his dad are incognito at the Nazi rally. “My boy, we’re pilgrims in an unholy land.” (Except here it’s actually my land, and I can’t wait for the unholy pilgrims to pack up their shit and leave).

  80. Cargo said,

    February 20, 2010 at 0:59

    We could have full on Civil War II with nukes this time and it wouldn’t end wingnuttery – it’d just make life miserable for everyone. There is literally no way to fight stupidity.

  81. 59 Les Paul said,

    February 20, 2010 at 1:10

    Indeed, Cargo, you can’t fix stupid. I have a relative who just shouts “Fag!” at the TV every time Russ Feingold is shown, so trying to explain why the PO actually might leave some scratch in his pocket tends to fall on deaf ears. And tsam, I’m one o’ them middle-aged white males, too (at least until my band hits mega, then I’ll get younger and more swarthy), and I wouldn’t be at all worried, ‘cept I live in a zip code absolutey filled with really butch women. I smile and say hello, but I just know they got it in for me.

  82. kc said,

    February 20, 2010 at 1:36

    It’s sort of an inversion of the conservative mantra – Instead of “I got mine, screw you,” it’s “We’ll screw you to create my paradise.” There’s nothing funny about that.

    I empathize with Brad. I think it’s more like, “OK, if you want to screw yourselves that bad, go ahead, SCREW YOURSELVES.”

  83. kc said,

    February 20, 2010 at 1:38

    StringonaStick said,

    Dick Armey was at CPAC today, saying it is time to get serious about cutting Social Security and Medicare, a la Paul Ryan’s proposal. I say we let them get really serious about tying their party to such a proposal since I recall something about how popular that was the last time they brought that up.

    Obama may beat them to it.

  84. Jack Elam said,

    February 20, 2010 at 2:47

    It’s sad that we’ll have to have bankrupt elders dying in the streets to make this happen, but if that’s what it takes, so be it.

    Won’t work. They’ll sell it somehow.

  85. Spengler Dampniche remembered his nym said,

    February 20, 2010 at 4:51

    True. I absolutely agree. As a woman and black person, I will be FUCKED if we go Full Wingnut. But we really need to to get it out of our system once and for all. We have been fetishizing being stupid, authoritarian, peasant-minded, and corporate worshipping for far too long. We should embrace it full bore and let them fuck us so hard up the ass that we will stop embracing and stroking that kind of ideology as somehow “authentic” and “legitimate”.

    Lisa, if I can’t have you in this life, I’ll have you in the next.

  86. Spengler Dampniche remembered his nym said,

    February 20, 2010 at 4:55

    By the way, I concur 100% with Brad, and not just because we’re fuck buddies. I think it’s a misreading of the position to say we need old people to be made into Soylent Green in order to get the country on a progressive track. Rather, I think we have lost any right to collective happiness. We deserve the Dark Ages.

  87. fletch said,

    February 20, 2010 at 5:33

    Bring it on!

    If they pass a “public option” through ‘reconciliation’… I predict three more IRS offices are destroyed before election day.

    That’s after three or four Dem Congressperson’s offices have been firebombed.

    Pass the bill! And watch America explode.

    It’ll be 1968- but with “skillz”…

  88. Esther said,

    February 20, 2010 at 5:44

    Keep criticizing the Democrats and you’ll get President Palin.

  89. bklyn said,

    February 20, 2010 at 6:07

    Brad said,
    February 19, 2010 at 20:05

    The politics of spite makes you look like an asshole.

    It works well for the GOP, though. I still can’t figure that out…

    well duh. asshole is a feature not a bug in the GOP.
    name a non-asshole member of the GOP.

  90. Lesley said,

    February 20, 2010 at 8:56

    I knew wingnuts would declare Joe Stack their poster boy for fr33dom from tyr4nny.

  91. LittlePig said,

    February 20, 2010 at 15:30

    No, Goddammit, Brad is exactly right.

    The whole conservative sthick these days is to keep saying no until things get so bad a grownup has to step in and fix it, then blame the grownup. If enough American people cannot see through that obvious transparency, then fuck ‘em.

    No, throw the elderly off Medicare, and I say that as an old fart myself, and as someone who spent the best part of his professional career working for Medicare, a system with far less waste than a regular health insurance company (I’ve seen both sides).

    No, if people have got so Goddamned stupid they cannot see the benefits of government, fuck ‘em, give them what they want. Let the horrors come back. These whiny bastards probably have never encountered true poverty. Well I’m old and lived my whole life in a poor Southern state – I saw up close and personal when I was a kid. These people have no concept of what bad is, and they fucking well need to be reminded.

    No, mmy, you are wrong, and shame on you for being so self-righteous about it. We have to stop being the backstop for these game-playing motherfuckers. Let folks see what modern “conservativism”, a tag so totally without meaning in the English language, will wreak without some decent person stepping in at the last moment to bail them and then be crucified for having done so.

    No, turn them away from the emergency room, take out the laws that require hospitals to hide the costs of their happy horseshit. Rules like that let “conservatives” have their cake and eat it, too. Fuck ‘em. Walk away. If enough people are that stupid, by all means let’s be democratic and let them have the government they deserve. And spare me the tut-tutting, tsk-tsking and cluck-clucking, Mrs. Grundy.

  92. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 20, 2010 at 17:17

    Let folks see what modern “conservativism”, a tag so totally without meaning in the English language, will wreak without some decent person stepping in at the last moment to bail them and then be crucified for having done so.

    They’ll never see it, and us just /existing/ will be all the proof they need to show that we undermined their ideas that would’ve totally worked if the “liberals” hadn’t been breathing in oxygen and expelling nitrogen dioxide.

    So pardon me if I’m not about to get on board with an idea that’s more rooted in going on a crying jag and quitting because 20% of the country is full of the same idiots it was back when you were experiencing true poverty (didn’t really affect them then, did it?)

    Personally, I’d say it’d be a harder fuck-you to give them all the government they never wanted. They’ll never fucking appreciate it of course, because they’re fucking idiots; but it’s better to keep them pissed off while the rest of the country stays alive then let them sit in their own feces, /still pissed off, mind you/, while the rest of the country dies in the streets.

  93. InsaneInTheCheneyBrain said,

    February 20, 2010 at 17:22

    What LittlePig said.

  94. InsaneInTheCheneyBrain said,

    February 20, 2010 at 17:24

    Since when do we expel nitrogen dioxide? Are you a lizard creature who just let his mask slip? :D

  95. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 20, 2010 at 17:28

    I was supposed to wear a mask? Fucking tourism board said nothing about masks.

  96. Monkey Child of the Dragon King said,

    February 20, 2010 at 18:34

    Thanks for the buck-me-uppo, St. Trotsky.

    Specifically, this:

    Personally, I’d say it’d be a harder fuck-you to give them all the government they never wanted. They’ll never fucking appreciate it of course, because they’re fucking idiots; but it’s better to keep them pissed off while the rest of the country stays alive then let them sit in their own feces, /still pissed off, mind you/, while the rest of the country dies in the streets.

    More government! And harder!

  97. smiling dog said,

    February 20, 2010 at 18:52

    We have already seen what happens when you try to get populist candidates. Remember the Green Party? The Democrats cry bloody murder and squash it. There are two parties. They are both bought off. That isn’t likely to change short of some sort of revolution, but most Americans are living the Orwellian dream and are too glued to their televisions to care. Here’s a nonviolent revolution:
    Turn off your televisions! Cancel your cable and use that money for something productive.
    If you can’t even do that, then there is certainly no chance for any real change in this country.

  98. jim said,

    February 20, 2010 at 19:48

    Uh oh!

    Looks to me like some serious fixx0r1ng is urgently needed around here!

    “The politics of spite makes you look like turn into an asshole.”

    “Unfortunately sometimes you just have to let the kid touch the hot stove jump head-first into the wood-chipper so they know better next time.”

    “Fuck ‘em. Walk away. If enough people are that stupid, by all means let’s be democratic self-righteously suicidal and let them all of us have the government descent into naked barbarism they we may or may not deserve.”

    The title is either a fantasy or an anachronism, by the way. Neocons strangled real conservatism in its sleep after slipping it a Mickey Finn, circa 1984. The perpetual misuse of the term ever since then would make Korzybski weep (or have an irrepressible urge to slap a bitch). If you seriously confuse that shambling hybrid abomination that’s now wearing its putrefying skin with actual conservatism, please consult your poli-sci optometrist &/or consider that maybe this is a good time to stop sniffing glue.

  99. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 20, 2010 at 20:45

    Turn off your televisions! Cancel your cable and use that money for something productive.

    Because no rant about the two-party oligarchy is complete with some tangential pet peeve being heralded as the magic bullet that’ll solve all the ills of our nation if we just stopped using it.

    After you turn off the TVs, turn off your radios. After the radios, burn the printing presses. After the printing presses, execute the town criers. And after that, everyone must have their mouths sewn shut and fingers chopped off.

    Surely if we just kill enough possible vectors for information infection, we’ll have the problem licked!

    Let me tell you what populist movements were in this country. The people looked up in the Palmer raids. The communist bogeymen they sent a drunk Wisconsin senator and the original Gay Patriot (Roy Cohn) to root out of the “government”. Fuck, even Wallace was a populist movement, if a magnificently ignorant one.

    Your Green Party wasn’t shit.

  100. Chris said,

    February 20, 2010 at 21:57

    “If enough people are that stupid, by all means let’s be democratic and let them have the government they deserve.”

    Too bad the rest of the world’ll pay with us.

    If so many Americans want to regress all the way to fourth-world country status (complete with state torture, government by hereditary elite, and law replaced by might makes right), then by all means, let us rot.

    But it’s never confined by borders. You may think conservative government is bad for Americans, and you’re not wrong, but it’s nothing compared to the sheer hell that people in the third world have to go through every time the right-wing is back in charge of America. The war in Iraq killed a million civilians, displaced millions more and completely destroyed the civilian infrastructure of the country; then there was the 2004 coup in Haiti, latest in a long line of attempts to steal governments from their people.

    If we go full wingnut, it’s the world outside of America that’ll pay the highest cost. Sadly, there’s no mechanism to prevent that.

  101. Smut Clyde said,

    February 21, 2010 at 8:55

    Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out…

  102. RobW said,

    February 21, 2010 at 11:22

    (Fascism) didn’t last, of course. Fascism is now wholly discredited except at CPAC. Too bad 12 million people had to die for it to be discredited, though.

    Fascism didn’t last after WW2? Tell it to the Spaniards, Brazilians, Iranians, Indonesians, Chileans, Argentines, Nicaraquans, et fucking cetera.

  103. Jack Elam said,

    February 21, 2010 at 14:37

    You forgot the Italians, who still have mainstream fascist parties running for election.

  104. LittlePig said,

    February 21, 2010 at 15:18

    “Fuck ‘em. Walk away. If enough people are that stupid, by all means let’s be democratic self-righteously suicidal and let them all of us have the government descent into naked barbarism they we may or may not deserve.”

    etc.etc., not gonna re-strike the whole wise-ass bit.

    Pretty big talk, Jimbo. Just how are you going to do that? How are you going to get the country back on a sane footing, now that the New Deal is 80% rolled back and the country rapidly devolves into corpocracy? What? You can’t do it, your elected representatives have to? So then you are talking fantasy.

    And bite me, Trotsky. Bobby Kennedy was touring the South and was actually getting some things done for people back then. My own representatives were John McClellan and J. William Fulbright, not Blanche “Blue-Cross” Lincoln and Mark “Crazy fuck nut fundy” Pryor. “It’s the same as it ever was” is horseshit.

    And both of you come off as Marie Antoinette. Obama got as big a political push as came out in years, and while things are better, they damn sure ain’t all that good, and good ol’ mass media will ensure we get more dumbass GOP folks this fall. You speak as if ,”well, just tighten your belt a little bit, boy” will get us to the mountaintop. I submit based on the empirical evidence to date that you both are Pollyanna. As it stands, we are looking at a long slide into a morass of decay. I’m with Jennifer – let it go smash now. This “gradual turn”, “slow and steady wins the race” stuff may sound good and make you look like little angels, but your remedy is not turning the prognosis around so far.

  105. LittlePig said,

    February 21, 2010 at 15:21

    “The politics of spite makes you look like turn into an asshole.”

    And by the way, just out of curiosity, jim, if it wasn’t the politics of spite, just what did do it for you?

  106. Tuxedo Slack said,

    February 21, 2010 at 15:30

    Pryme skrev:

    (Personally, part of my suggestion to fight the madness is to separate the uneducated from the voluntarily stupid, and unplug them from the military-industrial-infortainment-Matrix. But that’s no easy task.

    It can only be done by having them bump up against something the blue pill can’t soothe away.

    The other part…well, no one will ever do it, so it’s not worth mentioning.)

    That doesn’t follow. Maybe the reason it stays only an amusing dream is because you don’t tell people about it. And it probably makes more sense than my dream this morning. (A wall of complaints about the left in a gardening store, of all damn places, including that political correctness now stopped us from referring to the hearts of vegetables as white, as seen in Hearts of Darkness. I picked up a green magic marker, which had turned into a pencil by the time I was using it, to scribble “What the gigantic FUCK?” on this list, which was now a single hang-tag, but the store manager, a small-town sheriff played by Glenn Beck, smilingly announced that he was now going to bust me for vandalism… and then I woke up to find Beck on the cover of USA WEEKEND, which my conscious mind had forgotten was going to happen.)

  107. LittlePig said,

    February 21, 2010 at 15:50

    quitting because 20% of the country is full of the same idiots it was back when you were experiencing true poverty

    The problem with that, Trotsky old boy, is back then information flow was still slow enough that the Founder’s trick was still working – the real power was only among the plugged-in and politically active. Sure there was vote-buying with whiskey and chicken on election day, and businesses would try to get a leg up, but by-and-large only those interested in politics per se were actually involved on an on-going basis. And part of it was just that the country was extremely lucky to have a period framed by the noblesse oblige likes of FDR and JFK. It’s probably a mistake to expect anything like those days to repeat.

    But now with a much more compact infosphere, and corporations with budgets bigger than many nations, the idiots are banding together and the legislators can be completely bought off by a single business entity. I don’t think the paradigm works anymore. Yes, a reboot may leave things worse, but then again it might not – given that civilization still seems to be on an upward curve overall makes me hopeful.

    Yeah yeah, I know, “look what Weimar Germany got”. Well, take a look at what Rome got by keep on, keepin’ on – that didn’t work out so well either.

  108. Lish said,

    February 21, 2010 at 23:15

    Chris said:

    “You may think conservative government is bad for Americans, and you’re not wrong, but it’s nothing compared to the sheer hell that people in the third world have to go through every time the right-wing is back in charge of America.”

    Absolutely right. Our moral responsibility is not to save the USSA from the reich-wing, regardless of whether we collectively deserve it or not. What matters long-term is neutralizing the fascist war-mongers and bankrupting the corporate vultures to minimize the global carnage they will inflict as the country grinds itself into Third-World dust.

  109. fish said,

    February 21, 2010 at 23:58

    I think what we actually need is a genuine populist politics in this country, and not the fake sort of Rich Lowry and Sarah Palin. Because the policy makers we’ve elected just aren’t cutting it..

    Keep bagging on the Naderites though. That is some internal consistency…

  110. fish said,

    February 22, 2010 at 0:10

    “You may think conservative government is bad for Americans, and you’re not wrong, but it’s nothing compared to the sheer hell that people in the third world have to go through every time the right-wing is back in charge of America.”

    Yeah, I love the way Obamabombs tickle and hug the Afghans, unlike those mean old conservative Bushbombs.

  111. Pinko Punko said,

    February 22, 2010 at 0:16

    FISH!!!!!!!!!!!

    Next come the painful, wounding Medium Lobster quotes. They do sting.

  112. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 22, 2010 at 2:50

    Yes, a reboot may leave things worse, but then again it might not – given that civilization still seems to be on an upward curve overall makes me hopeful.

    And you want to call me and jim Pollyanna with that hope? Bite me, Pig. We’re not the ones shouting about “bring on the collapse of the American society!” because we think maybe it won’t be as awful as everyone suspects.

    But yeah, let’s try a reboot, because goodness knows, it’s not like the same exact problem you blame the failure of American democracy on wouldn’t repeat itself as soon as we rebuild ourselves to a somewhat close approximation of where we are now.

    And then your great-great-grandchildren can go “RESET THE WORLD!” because nothing will have changed for all the Dark Age we traveled through. It’ll still have produced the same conservative psychopaths, the same corporate fuckups, the same compact infosphere disrupting democracy.

    Hey, maybe /they’ll/ have hope that the upward curve overall will save them. Personally, I kind of doubt it.

  113. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 22, 2010 at 2:53

    And yes, on a long enough timeline, entropy is going to kill us all. From the day the first stone was set on the Palatine Hills, Rome was destined to fall. America will collapse one day, and we’ll be covered in dung and burning cats to keep out the plague and ward off the Devil.

    This is not a good enough reason to shoot ourselves in the head right now.

  114. St. Trotsky, Pope-in-Avignon said,

    February 22, 2010 at 3:05

    And as a final note.

    Obama got as big a political push as came out in years, and while things are better

    This is the precise statement of “slow and steady”. Things are better. Are they outright good yet? No, of course not. But they’re better. And next year, things will be better. Still not outright good, but better.

    And the year after that, the year after that, the year after that (maybe?). It’ll never reach outright good because that’s fucking impossible. There’ll always be small concessions and shitty ideas and fuck-ups that we’ll want to crucify our leaders for.

    This ties into the entropy thing. We’re always going to be on a long slow morass of decay. We’re always going to be fighting it, because otherwise it’s not a long slow morass of decay, it’s just a sudden fast plummet of decay.

    We’re never going to win, we’re basically set up to lose, and we still need to keep fighting it or we might as well just exterminate the entire human race and join up with Glenn Reynolds’ quest for robot-dongs.

    Of course, even then, the robot-dongs will be subject to entropy, and a minority of the robots will have stupid ideas that’re dragging us down, and the corporations that build our robot-dongs will want concessions from our robot-donged government, bringing us down further.

    So, it’s always going to be a fight.

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