The Beast is Red, Chapter 13: Getaway

Getaway day, that’s what they call it, and I need to get away more than I need to keep breathing air. For once, Dan Riehl was right: “forget waterboarding, just strap a liberal in a chair and make them sit through it all.” Spoken like someone who’s never been waterboarded, but if this hasn’t been torture with a capital T like that advocated by the vice-president (“Dick Cheney is an authoritarian bully and a personal coward”, says Charles Pierce; his res ipse loquitor moment is seen in the fact that his approval rating is at 100% at CPAC and 19% everywhere else in the country), it has at least been little-t torture to have to hear the endless tributes to an underhanded cadaver and his sham ideology, the slyly delivered racial slurs in the elevators and hallway (“Hissing you’re good at, you slimy snakes”, says Sgt. Groper to the madmen). Ann Coulter’s slander du jour has multiplied like cancer cells among the puerile youth strutting the outer boroughs of the Omni Shoreham: I’ve heard “Barack HUSSEIN Obama” more times today than I’ve heard the name of John McCain, and I keep thinking of a friend back in the greater world who says whenever he hears it said that way, he thinks of the upper-crust pseudo-fascists and pro-Nazi pornographers back in the ‘30s who talked about “Franklin Delano Rosenfeld”.

Yesterday, I stopped in to see the Conquering Mustache, John Bolton, for this trip’s hairiest disappointment. The crowd was full of no-hopers, dead-enders, hangers-on and toadies of every age and temperament, warmongers and fear-fuckers and other assorted dry-humpers of the American Nightmare. I sat barely a stone’s throw, and G-d save her that there were no stones to hand, from Pamela Oshry, battered bride of Jewish Christ, who gazed up raptly at Bolton with “the Look” Nancy Reagan practiced on her husband until everyone made fun of her so much that she had to stop. As he talked about the Islamic bomb, the threat of North Korea, and various other national security bugbears, you got an idea of what a puffed-up, third-rate intellect the guy really is, a complete nothing elevated to laughable prominence by a willingness to say yes. Following, as he always has, the dictates of the President of StupidTown, he offers a lukewarm bucket of spit by way of endorsing McCain: conjuring, in one of CPAC’s most bizarre rhetorical flourishes, the specter of V.I. Lenin, he says that conservatives must not sit out the election, because to do so would leave it in the hands of those who will not defend it. (This would, of course, refers to liberal Democrats, who apparently live their lives in a constant state of suicidal ideation. This earns the most arbitrary standing o to date, a more or less perfunctory round of applause to Bolton simply for existing and reminding the crowd of how darky-fear trumps all.

My pills are gone but the rearrangement of my synapses that was their charge hangs in my head, making me crazy sick and aching for a fight…my cover is blown, or forgotten, and I wander the meeting rooms of CPAC in a fur hoodie, chains and street kicks, stumbling like a wounded rhino, aching for a fight…my every encounter with anyone not employed by the hotel is a silent plea to be dragged away, not responsible for my actions, to be put on a handrail and dumped on some drug corner in Baltimore…the American Milk Solids Council has cancelled my expense account, and I don’t have the cash for a six-dollar Pepsi…the bottom-drawer delegates are arguing the virtues of McCainist happy warriorism vs. convention stonewalling in favor of some pocket Hitler to be named later; it’s all just larks…Mike Huckabee thunders from the Regency Ballroom: “I didn’t major in math,” he says to cheers from the same people who hooted for intelligent design last night, “I majored in miracles”…Ouichita Baptist University may well have such an option for their hillbilly hell-shouters, but none of them are likely to become president; Mike is staying in he race, he says to a surprising amount of applause – there are a few people in the house, at least, who think Romney took the cheapjack way out – but at this point, he’s running only for Vice-President…the latest Hillary hay being made is her allegedly manufactured offense (ambitious as she is, and ambition is a crime only in Democrats, she cannot possibly feel real hurt) at MSNBC reporter David Schuster’s claim that she was “pimping out” daughter Chelsea; this makes for many an hilarious pimp joke from the ceaselessly white kids in the hallways…Ron Paul, after his combative speech earlier in the week which drew more jeers than even McCain when he suggested that America could ill afford any more foreign adventurism, is effectively out of the race, but there are no lamentations from his legions as there was for Romney – they have all retreated back to their homes on the internet, leaving the few diehards in the Libertarian Party booth to dream their minarchist dreams…many of the other booths are closing up shop, some of the big bloggers are already heading home in advance of the 5:30 ceremonial closing up shop, and the publishers are beginning to give away free books to save on transportation home. I pick out a handful, which will be my penance for having pretended that I belong here, for my repulsive pretense that I am one of them.

I have one final stop to make. My own flight time grows nearer, and I doubt I’ll have time to savor the fluffed-up diarrhea of Newt Gingrich, so if he positions himself as the new savior of the conservative movement, blowjob-free and ready to run, you won’t hear it from me. But I must stop by and gaze into the most abysmal bits of the abyss, into the Heart of Dumbness: I must see Mike Adams and Doug Giles, the one a scrawny, self-impressed misogynist and the other a beefy, self-flattering fanatic, and between them both not enough brains to spark a stuffed owl. Since most of the bigwigs have gone home by now, there’s a longish like to have books signs by both of these moronic hunks of right-wing meat on the hoof, and it’s a bracing tonic for the long trip home ot the dead city center of San Antonio to hear their bovine bleatings prior to hopping on a cab. In, but not of, thank whatever weird god holds this thing together: I am in, but not of, and now it’s time to get out. I’m tired of all this hazy hatred and self-satisfaction, of all these princes of privilege giving each other high-fives for having been born 90 feet from home plate. I’m ready to pick up my Mister at the coat-check and report to American Milk Solids Council HQ that my mission was a failure. My quiet little outpost of sanity on the edge of Texas-style legislative craziness ain’t much, but goddamn it, it’s mine, for as long as I can hold on to it. These people have real power, but being here, watching them claw at their cages when they don’t get everything they want, is a reminder that they’re not always in charge, and if nothing else, it’s been salutary to watch them squeak like bitched-up rats when they get Swiss instead of Camembert.

Holding a purloined copy of Adams’ latest worthless book, Feminists Say the Darndest Things: A Politically Incorrect Professor Confronts ‘Womyn’ on Campus, I ask him how it feels to know that the vast majority of the people he works with hate his guts. His answer is stock and predictable: when that many of those people think he’s wrong, he says, he knows he must be right.

You and me both, you bullying shitstain. Time to go home.


Comments: 58


We thank you for your service, MLP.


Yeah dude, thanks for doing that. Go home, take a bath, get a massage, watch good movies. You’ve earned it.


But- but- what about D’oughboy and his book? Did you get an autographed copy to auction of here at S,N?


I think when you get home you should get into therapy, STAT!

The background level of hate and stupid you have experienced experienced over the past few days far exceeds even the lax standards of the Bush EPA/FERC. Not all wounds inflicted on the battlefield are immediately apparent…PBSD (post-bullshit stress disorder) may still be laying in wait.


Good point Jennifer. Ultra-concentrated paranoia, hatred, and stupidity can be a slow poison.

Tim (the other one)

Thanks for all that MLP.

Smiling Mortician

I stand in awe, MLP. I do not know how you manage to bring the funny (yes, yes, it’s the angry-funny) after, what, three? four? days in that cesspool? I have a vicarious tension headache just from imagining . . .

Go home, take a bath, get a massage, watch good movies. You’ve earned it.

And don’t forget to have an excellent meal or three — which I sincerely hope someone you love will cook for you.


This guy took a CPAC conference for us. A moment of silence, please.


Back in the day, when I was young and stupid enough to still be, in essence, a libertarian, I took it upon myself to infiltrate a group of hippies on campus. They managed to convert me.

You, sir, have kiwis of solid titanium to stand up to all the concentrated evil you just endured and come out sane.

I, for one, would love to see this fleshed out into a novella. I think, were you to do so and put up for sale on Lulu as The Editors have done with their paean to teh stupid, I would feel compelled to buy a copy.


For once, Dan Riehl was right: “forget waterboarding, just strap a liberal in a chair and make them sit through it all.”

hey, if it was Dan Riehl being waterboarded… ok, not waterboarded but threatened with waterboarding… ok not threatened with waterboarding but being served with a draft notice to serve in Iraq, I’d happily sit in a chair for that.


Kudos to you, MLP. You’ve done a great service to us (seriously, yes), and you deserve several days of maxxin’ and relaxxin’ at home. May you have to speak to absolutely no freakshow hatemongers for the rest of the year.


Dude, the ten bucks I sent you to help bankroll the junket was money well spent!!


I’m in awe. You’re an inspiration. Seriously. Very, very nicely done.


Fozzetti — As I mentioned in the first installment, Jonah Goldberg was not in attendance.

Smiling Mortician

Jonah Goldberg was not in attendance

So that would be the shard of silver lining in an otherwise bulbous shitstorm of a cloud, eh?


Sorry! I guess I missed it. What a shame. I wonder where he was?


[…] Taibbi, aka the poor man’s Leonard Pierce, has a powerful article in Rolling Stone attacking the anti-war movement’s embrace of […]


Long time, first time…. This was an excellent series. Thank you. Now go home and be well.


I think we need to go mobhanded next year. Although by “we” I probably mean people younger and less easily frightened than me.


As your lawyer, LP, I advise you to drink heavily.

(While I’m not actually a lawyer, it’s still good advice.)


Very enjoyable read. Brought to mind HST sans the Bi-polar disorder. Thanks for suffering to bring in the goods.


Let the legend begin!

Seriously, man, this was a classic example of the virtue in aiming high (by aiming low, in this case.)



MLP: “I’m ready to pick up my Mister at the coat-check and report to American Milk Solids Council HQ that my mission was a failure.”

Don’t despair, MLP. You’ve done more to advance the interests of the American Milk Solids Council than you’ll ever know. I would venture to guess that at the next Milk Solids Conference, you will be treated with Reaganesque reverence.


This guy took a CPAC conference for us. A moment of silence, please.

I’d offer him a purple heart, but the shitscum conservatives have even devalued that award.


I think I know how you feel. As your cab rolls away from the torn, bloodstained earth where you left so much of your youth, innocence and optimism, the silence ringing defiantly in your ears, you lean back and for the first time in days, the muscles in your back and shoulders start to relax. Your eyes focus on infinity, and your brain refuses to cling even for a moment on a single subject, a single thought.

Don’t be freaked out if, as you relax and begin to adjust to the realization it’s over, a couple tears leak out and run down your cheeks. Don’t try yet to process what you’ve been through. Don’t even start to think about the things you shoulda said, the stuff you coulda done. And while you may think it can’t be done, explore your own senses and enjoy the blessed peace of logic, reason and humanity.

Thank you for your service, sir. Debrief will come soon enough. For now it’s enough to know you held the line, you did your job, you DID NOT break, you did not run, and to a man and a woman, we are grateful for your sacrifice…



What Mikey said. Plus, though, this:

In retrospect, is there any moment you regret not dropping out of character, and replying when more-than-provoked, “OH YOU FUCKING PEOPLE ARE THE ABSOLUTE WORST AMERICA HAS TO OFFER”?

Any esprit-du (?)-escalier regrets?

nyarlathotep the crawling chaos

BRAVO. Encore!


what Mikey said too.


Many thanks, sir.

Liberal Masochist (BJS)

Ditto Mikey. Next year, a team should be sent. At least half a dozen. I could only imagine what this conference will be like if a Democrat is in the White House.

Smiling Mortician

Y’know, it’s not that I tire of saying “What Mikey said.” I don’t. I truly don’t. Because as we all know, so often we would like to echo precisely what . . . well, what Mikey said.

It’s just that I tire of my own inability, either through lack of experience (for which I am largely grateful) or through lack of perspective (for which I am not) to say such things on my own.

But what the hell. I feel the same way about Walt Whitman, so there you go.


You persevered, you survived, you clued us in to a dark dark world which most of us are too chicken to contemplate. It was a pure distillation of the Sadly, No! ethos. Mister Leonard Pierce, I join the crew in offering my thanks.

Would you consider putting these together on this site or your own?

Oh, Lord, I don’t know if the detox exists for what you’ve been through.

Qetesh the Qaveat Qat

I’ll add my awed congrats to the multitude, MLP, and hope that you’ve got a crisis team waiting at home.

Just one quibble about this:
You, sir, have kiwis of solid titanium

Titanium kiwis? Really? Isn’t that kind of cruelty to endangered critters, or something?


Please say you will combine your “The Beast is Red” entries into one document and forever enshrine it in the side-bar.

Think of the future generations. When my nephew asks why Uncle Arky took part in the great Conservative Purge of ’09, I want to make sure he understands.


Oh, brave warrior! You deserve the highest honors of this land for your noble service.

Or a drink. I can’t give you the medal, but I can buy you a drink. If you ever grace Los Angeles with your presence, please know that the beverage of your choices is yours, served at one of the finest local watering holes, overlooking the clear, blue Pacific Ocean.


When my nephew asks why Uncle Arky took part in the great Conservative Purge of ‘09, I want to make sure he understands.

Neiwert would be ashamed.


A great and powerful series, mr. Pierce. Thank you for putting your sanity (and more) on the line for us. I’d offer to buy you a drink, but I doubt you’re stopping by this nook of the planet any time soon.

Now where the hell is that tip jar?


kiwis of solid titanium
Damnit, Qetesh, it was supposed to be a state secret that we have flightless robotic Terminator bitds stomping around the New Zealand bush — our attempt to close the ’emu gap’ with Australia. Someone has blabbed. I blame Nicky Hagar.


Mister Pierce, your saga was a vicarious thrill, the quality of which I will probably never again have the opportunity to experience; and I thank you for it.

I echo g’s sentiments, and offer you libations to enjoy while facing our other great ocean.

I belatedly sent along $25.01 via the S,N! Amazon donation button. If you never see a penny, you should at least know that I sent it in your honor.

Now, put that kickass two tone jacket up for auction at eBay…


Okay, I’m really glad that I stuck with this series to the end. I started out slightly underwhelmed, but I finish a total convert. This last entry was absolutely brilliant. So many great lines that I don’t know where to begin to quote them.

Now that I’ve gotten the effusive praise out of the way, perhaps somebody can help me with the following passage:

there’s a longish like to have books signs by both of these moronic hunks of right-wing meat on the hoof, and it’s a bracing tonic for the long trip home ot the dead city center of San Antonio to hear their bovine bleatings prior to hopping on a cab. In, but not of, thank whatever weird god holds this thing together

I’ve labored over that SOB several times now, and I got nothin’. Anyone?


like=line (typo)

Me, I believe he’s saying it’s fitting to finish out the conference on the shittiest note possible.

more or less.

barbeara billingsley

Oh Stewardess! I speak Fried….

and signs = signed


I gotta tell ya – that was one of the finest series of reports I’ve ever read.

Well done!


Barbeara, I thought I spoke fried as well. Perhaps I’m not fried enough. But you as well as gbear have clarified things a great deal. Thanks.


Me needs to read it with the next sentence:
I am in, but not of <this gang of losers>, and now it’s time to get out.

Or so I read it anyway. The author, clinging to what scraps remain of his sanity, reminds himself of his true identity, that though he has walked among the freaks, trying to blend in, he is not one of them.


You have fought the good fight, just by refraining from a true Freak Out and running screaming naked across the room to strangle someone. By now your head must feel as though it’s full of hardened concrete and your stomach as if you’ve eaten nothing but pretzels and chips for 3 days.

You definitely deserve a vacation. (Hell, you deserve a medal.)

Thank you for going into the heart of darkness and reporting from the place.


Bravo and bis! And what Mikey said.


Well done, MLP! Go home, get some rest, socialize with the non-deranged, do some thinking, and I’ll bet you’ve got at least one more post on CPAC In Retrospect or something. I look forward to reading it.

Also: The jacket was smokin’.


…an authoritarian bully and a personal coward.

Has anyone ever met one of the former who wasn’t one of the latter?


Me, sorry, I wrote that (like I wrote all of these) under the influence and in a hurry, whenever I could find the time. I’ll flit in and edit them later, when I’ve had about 70 hours of sleep.

Thanks to all of you who enjoyed the stuff — it’s incredibly gratifying to hear. And especially, thanks to all y’all who sent me there.


MLP, let me add my own kudos to the chorus. That was a fine bit of writing, most enjoyable.

May you now find your way home, chill out, dry out, and know that you have done a great service for our little community.



If you are in Chicago, you will never lack for booze; you’ve earned it, sir.

Great series of reports. Now forget everything about it for a day or two…


Dude, that was awesome.


MLP, I salute you. Excellent work.


My friend, if you’re ever in Amsterdam, drinks are on me.


I salute you, you bold bastard. Get some sleep!


Top shelf stuff. The whole series was great.


Brilliant, just brilliant.


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