Crystal Balls

One of the most infuriating things about dealing with a cuckoo person is that they simply don’t have separate mental boxes for “real things” and “imagined things.”  Their anger, fear, and persecution fantasies are based on things that never happened, won’t happen, and certainly aren’t happening now, but if you try to explain this they’ll dismiss you as naive, or more typically, figure you’re just in on the plot, too, and thus maliciously lying to them like everyone else.  Having a rational discussion with such people is well nigh impossible for most of us, but  if you’re a right wing politician, it’s like taking candy from a baby, often literally.

As a case in point, I would point to today’s gun-totin’ teabagger hoedown in Virginia today.  Speaker after fire-breathing speaker toddled up to the stage to denounce something they ominously called socialism, totalitarianism, gummint comin’ to take your guns, children, money, Suburban, and what have you.  That there is zero chance of any of these things happening, of course, might make normal people feel a bit unwelcome, but you could hardly dismiss their enthusiasm, so why not?  It was Cuckoo Pride Day, and this time not just on FOX.  (Fortunately for all concerned, there appears to be no nudity at these events…) This exciting teabagger anger entranced the media for days, since they too don’t know the difference between facts and fantasy, and thus eagerly provide both equal time for both.

Worse, the same people who had airily dismissed anti-war protesters as irrelevant, hippie America-haters who ought to be lined up and shot are now giving voice to a bunch of overweight nitwits literally howling at the moon about utter nonsense.  That the former was large, global, and correct, and the latter is tiny, parochial, and completely out to lunch merited nary a mention in TelevisionLand.  Everyone who gets on TV shouting about something or other is the same, you know, whether they’re opposing real things or made-up ones: whether there are millions of them or a few thousand.  What matters, in the end, is which side serves the ruling elite; the only legitimate anger left in our political discourse is that aimed at the profound and urgent suffering of the rich and well-connected, so the teabaggers get the airtime, since they’re dumb enough to go along, and clearly would be laughed off American Idol.

Happily, the teabaggers seem to be the final scoop for the bottom of the barrel that goes too deep, even for Republicans.  More plausible threats and scenarios, like the Soviet Union taking over the world have been replaced by flat-out bonkers things like a worldwide caliphate of collectivism, and the quickly draining pool of “intellectuals” willing to propound such horseshit have gone from, say, Jeanne Kirkpatrick and Ronald Reagan to Jonah Goldberg and Erik Erickson.  And that fat lady that was on SNL a hundred years ago.

What we’re looking at is a political movement whose rejection of reality is so complete that it’s become its only defining characteristic.  Not just some facts, but any facts entering the picture go over like crabs in a whorehouse, and the mere act of stating that something actually happened, or didn’t, carries the mark of the beast.  (preferably from Kenya…)  A small but, when you think about it, disturbingly large quarter to a third of Americans simply will not believe that the sky is blue if Al Gore said so, and would go to their graves saying it was lime green paisley if that’s what Fox told them.

All this makes interesting theatre, but it makes democracy just about impossible.  The biggest and most destructive thing that all cuckoo people share in common is that:  1) they alone are always right; 2)  They have never lost except by others’ nefarious cheating, and if all evidence is against them, see rules one and two.  What’s happening on the right is that an irrational temper tantrum is being cynically encouraged by a lot of seasoned con-men rather than quelled, and as anyone who’s ever known a three-year-old, such foolhardy indulgence can only lead to bad things later on.  Sooner or later, reality has a way of rearing its head, something to which cuckoo people never take kindly, even when they aren’t packing heat.  Now they are.


  1. dirigo says:

    I’ve noticed the word “dixiecrat” here and there of late.

    A rather antique term that, associated as I recall with the Southern segregationist Democrats of the ’60s, who broke with the party and were folded into Nixon’s “southern strategy.”

    Do I have that right, Pat “Mr. Fifty-Percent-Plus-One” Buchanan?

    These people today are the dixiecrats, are they not? Only they’re ripping at the guts of the GOP.

    Saddens me, I’ll tell ya …

    • cocktailhag says:

      Me, too. Reminds me of the Wallace voters that Nixon (much more subtly) courted. Back in those days, I really used to think that racism and the wars it invariably produces at home and abroad were discredited anachronisms. No more.

  2. Jim White says:

    And, sadly, those “seasoned con-men” who are encouraging the temper tantrums often are Republican elected members of our government. How on earth could they believe that this would end well?

    • If you ask the question in German, the answer becomes obvious. It isn’t going to end well. Moreover, it isn’t going to end at all until they get a bellyful of what they imagine dishing out to others.

      Just don’t make the same mistake that some Germans did, i.e., don’t move to Belgium, or France, or Czechoslovakia — figuratively speaking, of course. Nowadays the parallel would be Canada, which is a lovely little social democratic paradise unless and until the U.S. decides to lean on it.

    • cocktailhag says:

      I honestly don’t think they care. In their little worlds, all this “grassroots” stuff is manna from heaven.

  3. nailheadtom says:

    “The amount of taxpayer money being funneled to a Dorchester shrine to the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy has ballooned to $38 million and could rise to at least $68 million this year, infuriating watchdog groups who insist the project should be privately funded.

    With $38.3 million in federal earmarks already secured for the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate, Sen. John F. Kerry and Rep. Edward J. Markey (D-Malden) have in recent days tapped the government for $30 million more in the next budget.

    The new taxpayer-funded total would cover the full $60 million estimated cost of building the project, adjacent to John F. Kennedy Presidential Library at Columbia Point. And it would put the public on the hook for nearly half the project’s $150 million target.”

    But objecting to this sort of genuine corruption is “cuckoo”.

  4. mikeinportc says:

    Tommy , there’s plenty to criticize, and get angry about,but how about some reality? For starters, why not call tings what they are, not their opposites? Might help the credibility of the Anger Movement. Our current main flavor of corruption is “crony capitalism”, bleeding into “facism” . But “capitalism, of any sort, is sacred, so we can’t call it that, or we’ll offend the Gods of the Free Market.

    Btw, if you haven’t already gotten your very own Kenyan birth certificate , here ya go :

    • The Heel says:

      A very accurate and to the point description of where and what we are. Add the theocracy component and you are there…
      BTW, Facism is compatible with Christianity, as we have seen. Hitler supposedly kept paying his “Church tax” until his end.