The Party of Chicken Little

For as long as I can remember, Republicans of various stripes have been telling me and the world that the sky was falling, and yet, so far it hasn’t…  Oughtn’t they catch a clue by now that, well, they’ve been so wrong before, and so often, that to believe anything they say requires a suspension of disbelief unavailable to the non-Fox addled public?  The answer is no, of course, because part of being a righty is never having to own up to past errors.  Existential threats, be they from communist infiltrators in the State Department, dominoes falling in Asia, fluoride in the water, taking God out of our schools, the Homosexual Agenda (whatever that is); you name it, can be picked up, trumpeted to the skies, and then suddenly dropped at will, depending on the current political climate and narrative du jour.  Considering the number of times America has survived such looming cataclysms, you could properly call us the Wile E. Coyote of nations, crawling out from under another dropped boulder to dust ourselves off and eagerly order some new gizmo from ACME.  To children watching cartoons, such a dynamic gets rather obvious over time, which lessens the suspense somewhat, but for grown-up conservatives, however, each peril seems even more scary and real than the last.

I remember my frustration in arguing with my older brother about politics in the late 80′s.  Every discussion would begin with his solemn announcement that “the basic policy of the Soviet Union is to take over the world.”  Never mind that as far as I could see, the very idea that a poor, frozen, breadline-ridden country spottily populated by surly, fur-hatted proletarians and lumpy, androgynous women was really poised to conquer the Free World seemed about as likely as Maggie Thatcher and Jeanne Kirkpatrick jointly winning a wet t-shirt contest, the bullying nature inherent in forcing others to believe such nonsense made the entire endeavor of arguing with him an utter waste of time.

All these years later, nothing has changed.  Why tell the truth when a lie sounds better, and of course more apocalyptic, on TV?  In the 90′s, Clinton was going to confiscate all guns, put right-thinking Americans in prison camps, pay reparations to the descendants of slaves, and he had, in addition to all the tarts, a little murder operation on the side, and of course he was going to destroy the economy, to boot.  When none of that panned out (except for the tarts, of course), you’d expect a little humility, but none was forthcoming.  By the time they had thoroughly trashed Gore without having to resort to such demented and discredited soothsaying, the right took a conveniently brief break from worrying about the dire future ahead when they found their Leader in George W. Bush.

Of course, being the fully captured cheerleaders for an administration that was busily bankrupting and trashing America as no administration ever had before, the righties had to find something to talk about, so they turned, quite effortlessly, to racism.  Since the Bush Administration had loudly and unambiguously denounced Islamophobia even as they showed they couldn’t tell one Habib from the next when picking out their wars, illegal immigrants were the preferred scapegoats of the Bush era, and, typically unable to confine their “arguments” to actual facts, the loudmouths of the right thundered about the imminent threat of “Reconquista,” or, you guessed it, brownies taking over.  The threat of the brown menace loomed so large in the eyes of this delusional but devoted bunch, that they actually dealt Bush one of his few defeats; scuttling the immigration reform his agribusiness and union-busting buddies had coveted for decades.  As Bush’s fortunes continued to decline, his faux “tolerance” for the Muslims he was gleefully bombing lost whatever sway it once had, and led to yet another startling defeat on the Dubai Ports deal.  Republicans had learned at least one thing from Bush’s many debacles, Katrina not least among them; when the going gets tough, the tough get racist, and racism is the little black dress of Republican politics; it goes with everything.

Obama’s election finally knit together every thread of Republican obsessions into a glorious Christmas sweater of white angst; the flowering of white supremacy we are seeing now was all but inevitable, and as usual, it is growing in the soil of preposterous predictions: in addition to the usual overheated fears of the Clinton era, Obama is, also, as Sarah Palin might say, a communist/fascist, Muslim/liberation theologist, community organizer/elitist, who plans to enforce “Sharia Law” even as he commits sodomistic acts on white Americans such law forbids.  You see, it doesn’t have to be logical nor subject to the slightest bit of internal consistency; if it’s bad, use it, and let God (or Newt Gingrich) sort it out during the Rapture, carried live on Fox with Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin moderating.

To commemorate 9/11 as only he could, ol’ Newt  has now released (on 9/11, natch…), an unintentionally hilarious “documentary,” America At Risk, available for $19.95, in which he and his robot-Barbie third wife darkly intone that Muslim hordes are about to, you guessed again, take over, making lavish use of scary 9/11 footage and a parade of nutjobs babbling, but all of it has a desperate, warmed-over feel, like the loser gas-pump jockey waxing drunkenly lyrical about his high school football days.  The sky may indeed be falling, but I’ll make this humble suggestion to Newt and his ilk:  just pull out your umbrella, Newtie; it worked for Wile E. Coyote, and it’ll work for you, too.

26 Comments

  1. dirigo says:

    Thanks again, hag, for reminding your readers, as you reference chicken little, what an empty suit Gingrich is in warrior terms. A perfect compliment to his department store dummy wife.

    Thus speaks a type of American leadership to the world.

    What might be the world’s response, except to change the channel?

    Maybe to sports.

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/09/12/the_sportification_of_america/

    ~~~

    “To understand tragic myth we must see it as Dionysiac wisdom made concrete through Apollonian artifice. In the myth the world of appearance is pushed to its limits, where it denies itself and seeks to escape back into the world of primordial reality. There, with Isolde, it seems to sing its metaphorical swan song:

    – In the sea of pleasure’s
    – Billowing roll,
    – In the ether waves’
    – Knelling and toll,
    – In the world-breath’s
    – Wavering whole -
    – To drown in, go down in -
    – Lost swoon – greatest boon!

    “In thus retracing the experiences of the truly responsive listener we gain an understanding of the tragic artist, of how, like a prodigal deity of individuation, he creates his characters – a far cry from mere imitation of nature – and how his mighty Dionysiac desire then engulfs this entire world of phenomena, in order to reveal behind it a sublime esthetic joy in the heart of original Oneness. Our estheticians have nothing to say about this grand return, about the fraternal union in tragedy of the two deities, or about the alternation of Apollonian and Dionysiac excitation in the spectator. But they never tire of telling us about the hero’s struggle with destiny, about the triumph of the moral order, and about the purging of the emotions through tragedy. Such doggedness makes me wonder whether these men are at all responsive to esthetic values, whether they do not respond to tragedy merely as moralists. No one, not even Aristotle, has analyzed the effect of tragedy in terms of its esthetic conditions and the esthetic activity of the audience. At one moment we are told of the release of pity and terror through the serious events of the action, at another we are asked to be elevated by the victory of noble principles and the hero’s sacrifice to the sublime moral norm. I am sure that the effect of tragedy for many people resides in precisely this, but I am equally sure that these people, and those who interpret to them, have not the slightest inkling of tragedy as a supreme form of art. Aristotle’s catharsis, that pathological release of which philologists are unsure whether to place it among medical or moral phenomena, reminds me of a curious perception of Goethe’s. ‘Without a lively pathological interest,’ Goethe writes, ‘ I have never been able to manage a tragic situation, and for that reason I have rather avoided them than sought them out. Can it have been one of the virtues of the ancients that, for them the highest pathos was but a form of esthetic play, while for us there is need of versimilitude in the production of such a work?’ We may now answer this profound question in the affirmative, having seen, to our amazement, how in the case of musical tragedy the highest pathos was, indeed, but a sublime esthetic play. Only in in these terms can the radical tragic phenomenon be described with some degree of success. Whoever, after this, goes on talking about those vicarious pathological and moral effects may as well despair altogether of his esthetic sensibility.”

    … from “The Birth of Tragedy”
    … Friedrich Nietzsche

    What’s the score?

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Ah, Neitzche again. Read him I must, now that I’m not required to.

    • dirigo says:

      Well I don’t know if it’s too ponderous or pretentious to post lengthy quotes from someone like Nietzsche, but I do know I am personally rendered speechless by the trap of the binary political speech in the country, aggravated by sportspeak, faux news, and reality tee vee.

      There’s no place to go because it’s all unhinged now.

      I guess I’ll quit the Nietzsche stuff. He wouldn’t be booked on the Judge Napolitano show anyway (more than likely because he’s not an American, can’t punt, and is dead). No, not in a million years, when you look at who they have booked and will continue to book.

      http://tpmcafe.talkingpointsmemo.com/2010/09/12/do_arab_muslim_lives_matter/?ref=fpblg

      • cocktailhag says:

        Pretty disgusting… Even David (!) Frum is decrying these sorts of comments, which are topped all over by Dinesh (two-inch) D’Souza and his “Kenya” discussion with ol’ Newtie.

  3. Comparing Newt Gingrich to Wile E. Coyote is so wrong. Wile doesn’t deserve this. Please consider apologizing for this statement.

    • cocktailhag says:

      You’re right. Wile E. is cuter, thinner, and much more lovable. I think it’s those eyes; they’re not beady and duplicitous like Newt’s.

      • Newt, as you know, is insane. I saw him speak a while back in Phoenix. He was so wrapped up in himself, and his wild vision of “kicking fucking hippies” that I thought his head was going to explode.

        Actually, he’s not the problem. The problem is the mind-numbing idiots who applauded every time he came up with one of his insane comments. We live in a nation of Fox News brainwashed idiots

        • cocktailhag says:

          It’s chicken vs. egg question, really. Did teh stoopid make Newt or did Newt make teh stoopid? Centuries from now historians will still be pondering that question, assuming there are any.

  4. michlib says:

    Got a chuckle hearing Callista ( did they meet at a cabaret ? ) channel Karen Carpenter – ” we’ve only just begun …”.
    Certainly clusterfox ( we incite, you hyperventilate ) will give wide and free airtime for Newtered to sell the latest product. And that’s really all it is folks, the latest product rolled out ( I’m sure Andy Card would approve ) in September. The paranoid style of American politics is innovative, and the gullible will fatten Newts’ ever widening bottom line.
    We used to call this by its’ proper name : bloodlust.

  5. retzilian says:

    Wyle E. Coyote – Genius.

    Newt wouldn’t even have qualified for Advanced Placement classes in my high school.

    Anyhoo – I’m just a little curious about the production values of that video. I suspect they suck. It really is kind of hilarious that the Right Wing has absolutely no artistic talent available to them, no excellent musicians, no exceptional stars, nuttin.

    Regardless of the braindead and brainwashed right (and their minions), we still have bragging rights to all the talent in the pool. Three minutes of any random Robert Greenwald video is more creative, more truthful and better produced than the entire ouvre of RW productions.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’m always amazed at the lameness of Republican, well, art. You see, irony escapes these people, as do aesthetics (look at those rallies and puke appropriately…), and humor, all of which require the honest look in the mirror these types would never tolerate. That plays hell on entertainment value. Remember Fox News’ brief but excruciating attempts at making a”comedy” show? That lasted about as long as cow piss on a hot rock, which was too long, regardless.

      • retzilian says:

        Never mind the atrocious magenta (whatever horrid shade of eye killing pink) dress that dyed-blonde Clarissa is wearing. What kind of taste does she have? Oh, wait. Duh. None. She’s Newt’s #3 wife.

        Tasteless, tacky and tawdry. And that’s just the Ts I can think of right now.

  6. I coulda done without that wet-Tshirt scenario.

  7. Where I live, we have actual honest-to-God road runners. (One of them comes to eat the grasshoppers in my back yard every November.) I can tell you from first-hand experience that

    a) they don’t go beep-beep,

    and

    b) they’re a helluva lot smarter than Newt Gingrich.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I’ve seen them. I was only disappointed that they weren’t purple. The leg movement is pretty accurate.

      • When you see them close up, they have iridescent green flecks in their feathers — they’re really quite beautiful. Good flyers, too. The call they sometimes make, which to me sounds something like a wooden mallet striking a hollow piece of bamboo, is really startling — especially if you’re expecting beep-beep.

        • cocktailhag says:

          I’ve never heard one say something; I think I saw them from a speeding car. (Not so much the outdoorsy type…) But I immediately knew what they were, as they sped along like little hovercraft on those blurred legs, and some of the rock formations looked vaguely familiar, too.

  8. And if we’re gonna talk about Nietzsche again, here’s a question for Dirigo:

    Are Newton and Sarah really America’s answer to Tristan and Isolde? If so, could somebody tell me which is which? I’m confused….

  9. mikeinportc says:

    “…. racism is the little black dress of Republican politics; it goes with everything.” :) / :(

    Re the Menacing Brown Horde from the South,I saw last week that illegal immigration has dropped to slightly more than 1/3 what it was 5-10 years ago. The total # present has dropped too. Down to <11M, from 12+M. I guess a risng tide wake from the USS Oligarch lifts swamps everybody else.