On the rag again

Owing to the rampant criminality now pervading the right that got its toehold a quite few years before Nixon felt the need to say, at Disney World no less, “I am not a crook,” Republicans have adopted a curiously paradoxical soft-on-crime strategy; turning its proven criminals, one and all, in to what might generously be called “elder statesmen,” through a rather unique system of  empathy, judicial activism, and even a bit of “reverse” affirmative action.  A nice, lengthy rap sheet is the only resume needed for a lush life of FOX appearances, executive appointments, and no bid contracts.  Welcome to Affirmative Action, Republican style.

Once the New York Times hired William Safire after (!) Watergate, the die was firmly cast.  Empathy was the new, uh, not black, something else.  Once the most transparently vile and disturbing criminals like Gordon Liddy and Chuck Colson were made fringe celebrities by their very un-American behavior, coupled with media consolidation that made their reach both profitable and inevitable, the path was opened for such lesser lights as Otto Reich, Elliott Abrams, and Cheney, Rumsfeld et al to reenter government and slaughter whoever lay in their path.  Often literally.

That’s what makes, for me anyway, this whole idea of “moving forward” so demented and insulting.  We’ve tried it, repeatedly, and the only result is more of the same, that is when the results aren’t even worse.  Unfortunately the dizzying implosion of the free press has both tracked and enabled this deplorable mess and shows no signs pointing to any solution even as it encourages the most dreadful criminals to monopolize the space on its ever-shrinking platform.  The honor of thieves comes into play here; both the cheerleading media and the cretins it promoted have just enough survivors’ guilt to sing, with Condi, “No One Could Have Predicted…”  And there you have it.

This is not turning out so well, all of a sudden.  All the bloviators stood on firm ground while they were calling the Dixie Chicks traitors, but danged if there weren’t a few faults detected when they said the same thing about Colin Powell.  And although it may be okay, particularly in righty circles (they’re kind of small, about like a hula hoop…) to run around calling Thurgood Marshall and such “racists,” that kind of talk doesn’t go over so big with normal people.  But the Republicans don’t know any of those, a fact which became embarrassingly apparent when they adopted without a trace of irony, “teabagging,” as their new cause. 

We’ll certainly be hearing more and more about the “Ricci” case in the days ahead, and more than we’d ever want about “empathy,” and as luck would have it, a lot of it will come from felons, who, if Gordon Liddy is any example will prefer to talk about Judge Sotomayor’s “menstruation, ” and its threat to the Republic.  I’m kind of looking forward to it.


  1. heru-ur says:


    I agree. But it is not just Republicans. I was so mad I could chew nails when the Dems said impeachment was “off the table” concerning Bush the Butcher of Baghdad. My wife was heard to say, “what the hell did I vote for every Democrat on the ballot for anyway”? (I wonder why she voted)

    Anyway, both sides are like pro wrestlers — it is all show to keep the rubes baffled.

    Side note: Odd, but I can not see the preview below today. Perhaps it is because I am trying Firefox 3.5 which is not yet even alpha stuff.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Admittedly the Dems have done a lot of, lame, unprincipled things, most often caving to Republicans on everything from War to FISA. But wingnut welfare, wherein disgraced right-wing politicians are given comfy sinecures and jobs they don’t deserve in the media is really a one-party phenomena. This does not happen to liberals, most likely because there are few moneyed interests that benefit from liberal policies, and the entities that might have a stake (unions, environmental groups) have far fewer dollars/media outlets to bring to the table.
    Sometimes comments work strangely if you are not logged in; and the site even makes the Hag re-log in periodically. I had to today. It’s all a mystery.

  3. sysprog says:

    C.P Snow wrote about “two cultures” and Michael Harrington wrote about “two Americas” but now, in the political realm, we’ve got something like two parallel universes, somehow occupying the same time-space coordinates but almost never interacting.

    There’s the wingnut universe, and then there’s the reality shared by the rest of us.

    In the wingnut universe, it’s utterly unremarkable to simultaneously have two-bit terrorists as “elder statesmen” and also to decry and denounce Obama for (as was said at Palin rallies) “palling around with terrorists who would target their own country.”

    As Carl Bernstein noted, last year,

    During the same period that Bill Ayers was a member of the Weather Underground, Gordon Liddy was making plans to firebomb a Washington think tank, assassinate a prominent journalist, undertake the Watergate burglary, break into the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist, and kidnap anti-war protesters at the 1972 Republican convention.
    If ATF agents attempt to curtail a citizen’s gun ownership, Liddy counseled [in 1994], “Well, if the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms comes to disarm you and they are bearing arms, resist them with arms. Go for a head shot; they’re going to be wearing bulletproof vests.”

    One might suppose there’d be hell to pay, for all that, but one would be wrong.

    If there were a left wing equivalent, Air America would have shows hosted by Fidel Castro and Ted Kaczynski, AND those shows would be happily sponsored by the corporations that sponsor (two-bit terrorist) Liddy’s show.

    Most of the Americans who pay attention to news only about sports and Hollywood (which is to say – - most Americans) have no memory of Liddy’s criminal history and no inkling of what the wingnut universe is like.

    So there’s no justice, no comeuppance, no karma.

    Well, except that Liddy’s wife and daughters must have had some wrath-of-the-she-wolf style of PMS.

  4. cocktailhag says:

    That’s apparent. Why is it that, almost to a man, those on the right are so bedeviled with pathologies around sex and gender? At the same time, they fantasize about all kinds of kooky, sadistic ways to “get” their “enemies?” Don’t forget that Liddy also burned his hand, severely, with a candle to impress a woman… unsuccessfully of course. It does seem to amount to a developmental issue; they just never got past Cops and Robbers, Cowboys and Indians, and No Girls Allowed.
    And no wonder; look at them. If you were John Poindexter, Karl Rove, Chuck Colson, Jonah Goldberg, or Tucker Carlson, your opportunities for social development would be naturally limited, especially with women.
    It goes a long way in explaining why they’re so angry all the time.
    I also felt the same way about Ayers; how many died in that seemingly unstoppable war he was protesting? And does it require more or less courage to commit crimes against innocent Americans in the service of a president than against the government for a cause one believes in?
    Only in America.

  5. Karen M says:

    It isn’t just the right, Hag. Note your title…

    You might have called this post “More of the worse…”


    I took a different route with this story, since I’d already commented on it on several other blogs. (click on sig)