Unreasonable facsimiles

It seems as though, after having spent a generation creating cardboard cutouts to deceitfully sell that which could not be sold any other way, Republicans have entirely tossed out any slogan beyond the hallowed Caveat Emptor, and just started peddling the cardboard in place of the real thing.

I don’t want to pile on poor Bobby Jindal, since he’s more symptom than disease, but his speech was certainly, albeit unintentionally, telling.  They no longer care if anyone honestly believes, since those who do are too dumb and powerless to matter, but they are still banking on the dishonest to believe, and so far that’s working.  Consider the history.  No one with an IQ above room temperature believed Clinton, despite his unfortunate choice of floozies, was going to be driven from office for a blow job; enormous amounts of contemporaneous polling data showed this, but yet the media clicked its heels and said, “I believe,” for more than a year.  Republicans waxed rhapsodic about the rule of law, and everyone from the NYT to FOX, an ever narrower continuum,  chirped its approval.  But that was just the beginning.

Emboldened by the elimination of the Special Prosecutor law, and self-inoculated by the flagrantly political cheapening of the impeachment process, when the righties rolled out Bush, they planned on the media doing the lifting for them, airbrushing the Reagan/Bush record and turning its scorn on the wily Clinton, and boy howdy did that ever pay off.  Drug use and draft avoidance, endlessly decried when Clinton was a candidate, became “off limits” for a war-supporting, reborn abstainer like Bush.  Utterly false arithmetic, in the guise of Bush’s economic plan, was transformed, like the ugly duckling into a swan, into something “bold.”   Indeed, the adjectives alone used to describe Bush and his obviously doomed lunacy soared to new heights, even as the universe of those who could, or rather were allowed to, explain why this balderdash might not be so had been consigned into a black hole of irrelevance.  

As the economy teetered and Bush went off on another vacation, it seemed for a moment as those who had breathlessly promoted this cretin were as discredited as the cretin himself, and outside the beltway, nearly everyone heaved a sigh of relief that this regrettable one-termer would soon go the way of the Dodo.  Then, September 11 “happened,” and the media and the worthless President they’d saddled us with both looked up, and amid the crashing rubble of American hubris, saw a way out.  Too bad for everyone, as it turned out.

The media suddenly found its new hero, and some eyeball grabbing pyrotechnics…  War: The Video Game.  And Bush, Rove, Cheney et al took the ball and ran with it.

Sadly, things didn’t turn out so well.  No amount of wingnut welfare is enough to give these all worthies jobs in the ruined economy.  The “Legacy Project” has to keep moving out the exact year in which Bush will finally step out of the shadows of unmitigated disaster and into the flattering glow of a newly created History, and the media stars that swooned over Bush’s boldness, bravado, and Christ, basket, are understandably casting about for a new wagon upon which to hitch their rather dimmed star.  The results have been both embarrassing and predictable.

Sarah Palin was going to lasso the imaginary PUMAS; she may not have ever been abroad, but at least she was a broad, and even moreso when dressed up right.  Joe the Plumber may have been neither of those things, but at least he and Charlie Gibson agreed on the big questions, and he’d have to do.  The “surge” was a great success, and to prove it all we’d need to do was, basically, annex Iraq and stay there forever, but what the hell.  A little creative accounting, and it was still a winner.  Freedom, the cardboard version, was definitely on the march.

So, after all the garbage we’ve been fed, why wouldn’t a youthful, dusky-hued spokesmodel, which to the ever-projecting American Right is all Obama is, rather than the end product of a wholesale repudiation of their policies and tactics, be able to sell their woefully discredited hogwash one more time?  Well, because it’s hogwash.  Everyone has now figured this out, some of whom are even in the media.

Tune in tonight, and let Tom DeLay, Newt Gingrich, and Rush Limbaugh tell you otherwise.   Cardboard seems to be one thing we can still afford.


  1. timothy3 says:

    CH, there are times when, even now, I remain stupified that GWB was even nominated, never mind “elected.” That hard-core Republicans have a philosophy of sorts that they hold onto for dear life is easily understood; that they’d hitch their wagon to the star of GWB is another thing altogether. Yet now we are forced to put up with the likes of Palin and Jindal. I don’t know what’s worse–that these people exist to begin with or that there are significant numbers of Americans prepared to support them.

  2. cocktailhag says:

    Worse, T3, was when in 2000 I had hippie friends telling me I was a sellout to be voting for Gore. (and these weren’t even the ripest hippies, since I had a lot of furs even then….) Altemeyer is constantly referenced at UT, but if you haven’t read “The Authoritarians,” a closer look at his 25-30% would be an eye-opener. That number of people, relatively unchanging over time, loved Nixon MORE after Watergate, and weren’t really sure about Bush until he started torturing n’stuff. A lot of people are, frankly, happier in a dictatorship, as long as it’s their kind of one.
    Rove’s “genius” was getting another fifteen points on top of that. Thank heaven that’s failing, for now.

  3. Karen M says:

    CinH (curlers in hard hat) ;~)…

    I just finished watching “The State of the Union” a litle bit earlier tonight. Katharine Hepburn, Spencer Tracy, and Angela Lansbury. It speaks to a lot of what is in this post, and really resonated for me because of the past few election cycles.

    If you haven’t seen it recently, it’s worth a fresh look.

  4. bystander says:

    Speaking of legacy, the New York Times did an interesting layout of photos of Bush 43 described by the photo editors of the major wire services. The piece was called Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. There is a trio of photos whose images I cannot scrub out no matter how much brain bleach I use. So, in the interest of good misery loves company, if you click the link and then place the words I turned to one of my editors into the “find” function of your browser, it should take you to the last shot in the trio.

    And I turned to one of my editors — First I said, “Oh, my God.” And he said, “What?” And I said, “You’ve got to see this picture of Bush. This is really stunning.” And I flipped it over to him to process and his first reaction was, “Wow.” And I said, “If he wasn’t just back there behind that door crying, I don’t know what that look on his face is.” Because he just looks absolutely devastated as he comes through this door after essentially ending his eight year presidency. And it’s just really striking. He just looks absolutely devastated.

    We’re probably very lucky we actually got him out the door.

  5. Ronnie says:

    Jindal’s response was utterly pathetic and ridiculous in its obvious insincerity and lack of any basis in fact. What a touching story being the son of a convenience store owner, who’d have guessed?

    In response to the smartest and most charismatic president the country has had in generations being half black, the Steele and Jindal lineup is the most creative answer the republicans can come up with?

    Can these two mediocre shills and an obese racist oxycontin addict really appeal to a very wide audience?

    I think the GOP is doomed.

  6. Casual Observer says:

    Beautifully said, Ms. Hag.

  7. rmp says:

    I just found an article in Alternet that speaks to the conniving and deceit that Bush 41 used to get us into the first Gulf War and the tricks the Pentagon used to cover up the real war.

    Why the Dark Secrets of the First Gulf War Are Still Haunting Us

    Having just left the Air Force prior to the start of this war, there are valid reasons why it was hard for the M$M to cover the war and still the coverage by the M$M at that time was much better than for the Iraq invasion. It really hurts to keep learning how our nation’s leaders led me and so many dedicated warriors into conflicts that destroyed so many lives and weren’t even necessary and only served the interests of corporations and “Serious” foreign policy “experts” and the damn neocons. And to make it worse, I was a part of building the very effective Pentagon PR machine that aided these assholes.

    Just one less BJ could have prevented the horrors of the second Gulf War.

    • cocktailhag says:

      The largest anti-war rally in the country was here, against the first Iraq war, and I of course attended. It was on a weekday afternoon, and over a hundred thousand people quickly filled up the square and all the surrounding streets. That’s why we’re “Little Beirut,” of course, smearing dissent as anarchy was already being rolled out back then. I could see that it was a reelection ploy by Bush Sr., and I didn’t believe the stories about incubators and whatnot. Also, having grown up during Vietnam, I had already decided that wars like these were stupid and lost before they started. Furthermore, the supposed “Peace Dividend” had obviously upset the MIC, and the war was blatantly and obscenely marketed, culminating in Bush’s repulsive, triumphant gloating that the “Vietnam Syndrome was well and truly gone.
      Personally, I think that that “syndrome” is the best thing since sliced bread, and I do at least partially blame that first gulf war for both Sept. 11 and the next Gulf War.
      That’s miserable for you to have been caught up in the whole thing; you should be glad you got out when you did.

  8. timothy3 says:

    CH, I just looked through your pics. You’ve got a lovely place; colors are perfect, very relaxing and calming (and that’s based merely on the pictures alone!). So you can either marry or adopt me–I’m not particular about the legal arrangement.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Ah, that’s a trademark CH color, T3, currently Ace “Lenox Brown, but over the ten years or so I’ve been using it it’s been Ace “Congo,” Fuller O’Brien “Mod Moss,” and others. I keep using it because everybody loves it; including me. This is my second apartment entirely in that color.
      That’s another rule of Hagdom, after the looks run out, there’s the personality, and then it’s on to the apartment. Too bad I’m not an heiress; I’d have one more hole card to play.
      Although I don’t favor a whole lot of togetherness in the home, when it’s time for housework or bill-paying I do sometimes get a bit lonely…..

  9. timothy3 says:

    Ah well, CH, you lost me at housework and bill-paying. I was hoping for an easy, leech-like, gig. But it was fun while it lasted. And I will always throughly enjoy everything about you. It’s all good stuff.

    • cocktailhag says:

      Ah, I see, that’s how the adoption thing crept in. Everyone knows that children are notorious freeloaders. Husbands, if you play your cards right, somewhat less so.
      You’re always welcome, though, for a short-term freeload at Hotel Hag if you find yourself in Little Beirut.
      By the way, I do appreciate, a lot, your recommending my blog @ UT. Not everyone necessarily gets the Hag, uh, style, and you do, so I know your voice draws the right readers. (There’s kind of a lot of them, and I’ve been surprised and delighted….)
      You’re a wonderful addition at UT, and it’s great to have you here.

  10. timothy3 says:

    CH, you’re very gracious among your other many excellent attributes.
    Thank you.

    • cocktailhag says:

      My mother, rest her soul, would be very proud to hear that. She died just a few days shy of a year ago. She might have differed… I distinctly remember being flattered when she said, “Often a boor, but never a bore.” Well, that’s the way the cookie crumbles.