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The Perils of Being Right and Wrong

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opednews.com Headlined to H3 3/12/09

If I wasn’t quite so busy thoroughly enjoying it, the prospect of one of the two major political parties of the world’s only superpower self-destructing so buffoonishly might otherwise give me pause.

As it is, however, few things could delight me more, and one of my major disappointments in life remains that I live in country where crackers like those in the GOP aren’t considered absolutely certifiable, and sent off to some Abu Ghraib for the ideologically criminal insane, right next to the rapists, child molesters and treasonous conspirators.

I like to have some fun with this stuff, you know, but only some of my words are meant for entertainment purposes. If you think ‘crackers’ and ‘certifiable’ are unfair potshots, have a gander at Alexandra Pelosi’s new film, “Right America: Feeling Wronged”, charting the discontents of McCain-Palin supporters from last year’s campaign. I defy anyone to make a meaningful distinction between these people and the ones at Jonestown.

Heck, for that matter, just take a look at the crazies who are supposed to be the responsible leaders of the conservative movement, and at its marionettes in the GOP. They’ve been putting on quite a show lately, and the timing is especially bad from their perspective. Not only is the country in no mood for such tomfoolery now, but the current contrast to regressive idiocy is no longer the adamant insistence of insisting on nothing, courtesy of Harry Reid’s and Nancy Pelosi’s Democratic Party. Now there’s a guy in the White House who’s confident, articulate, popular and sometimes even bold.

I couldn’t help thinking of that contrast watching Rush Limbaugh perform at the CPAC religious revival the other week. He is the antithesis to Obama, and I don’t just mean in terms of body-type. So much bluster (not to mention blubber) covering so much transparent insecurity and neediness. The guy is the ultimate Napoleon or Hitler who got shoved around on the grade school playground and is now seeking revenge on a global scale. But, of course, there will always be clowns like that. The real question is what sickness pervades the mind of those who empower such mountebanks by giving them positions of power, even if only giant soapboxes? More frightening than Limbaugh was the room full of Moonie-like acolytes hanging on his every word, most of them quite young in age. No one should follow anybody quite so religiously, let alone a sick crank, but these folks sure did. Limbaugh told a little ha-ha joke toward the beginning of his speech, in which he half-kiddingly referred to this being his maiden address to the nation, given that Fox Lies was carrying the entire rant (I’m sure they’ll pay equal attention to Noam Chomsky’s next speech as well). Everybody laughed. Okay, no problem – it was slightly humorous if you discount the delusions of grandeur he was pretending to self-mock. What blew me away, though, was how he repeated the same line – I’m not exaggerating here – another ten times over the next hour, and how all the disciples laughed each time, right on cue.

Scary, but in some ways not as much as watching the nominal leaders of the GOP prostrate themselves at the feet of this Jabba the Hut of the airwaves. Prodded into doing so by a politically adroit White House, four or five of them have gotten their backs up and said a ridiculously truthful unkind word or two about Mount Rushmore lately. No sooner did that happen then that he was giving them just the on-air whipping errant sons should get from the angry and disappointed paterfamilias, and no sooner did that happen then that they were crawling back to him – also sometimes on air – begging his forgiveness. The issue was whether Limbaugh was the de facto leader of the Republican Party. The nominal leaders of the party, their manhood insulted and their masculinity in question, sought to show who was the real boss. They did, too, but it turned out, um, shall we say, a bit different than the way they intended.


That seems like bad news over on that side of the aisle, but in fact, cavemen everywhere should be reassured. I mean, do they want Bobby Jindal instead, doing his impression of Herbert Hoover, complete with the rigor mortis stage presence and embalming fluid circulatory system? Or how about Newt Gingrich, the guy who once impeached a president for marital infidelities, even while he was off having a bacchanal of his own? No worries, though. Newtie’s now apologized for how he dumped Wife #2 on her post-cancer surgery hospital bed to run off with the babe who would become Wife #3. Besides, he’s full of ideas! The only problem is that they literally involve stuff like space flight and reorganization of the military command structure. Ah, the man of the hour in America’s time of need! What voter couldn’t be smitten by that? Or do you prefer Mitch McConnell, instead? He may not be as slimy as Newt, but he is slimier than a newt, and less appealing than a three-toed tree sloth.

That’s the GOP A-Team, folks. Newt, Mitch, Bobby and Sarah, all taking direction from Rush. It’s like some kind of emetic factory, or something.

Not to worry, though. They’ve brought in the big guns to save the day. Michael Steele is the new chairman of the GOP. One month into his new job, and most members of the party are already trying to figure out how to get rid of him (don’t be surprised if he has a tragic ‘accident’ soon). Like they really needed this freakin’ headache now, just as every imaginable disaster is already imploding on them at every imaginable turn.

It’s kinda hard to imagine why Steele is having so much trouble, though. I mean he seems so top notch.

True, he does have a record of massive failure. He couldn’t cut it as a priest, so he went into law, where he failed the Maryland bar exam. He passed the Pennsylvania one instead (Yo, PA: time to up your standards, fellas), and then proceeded to launch a consulting firm so successful that he nearly lost his home. He’s never won an election for public office, though he did manage to produce an ongoing federal corruption investigation into his 2006 smashing defeat in running for the Senate, because of a $40,000 payment he made to his sister’s company. For what, is still unclear. While running, he not only hid from being a Republican, but his campaign workers passed out sample ballots on election day that listed him as a Democrat. Just the kinda guy who should be the top Republican, eh?

But, you know, success can really be overrated. I guess that’s what Steele had in mind when he recently said “I always found it interesting that people would cast aspersions on failure, as if it were a bad thing”.

Um, ‘scuse me? Good god, is there a way to clone this man? Let’s get all his cousins and put them on the GOP payroll. Hey, that’s what he’s probably actually gonna do! You know, along with his sis.

Some people think that Steele is merely the most crass and buffoonish opportunist in the Glorified Opportunist Party, but it’s hard to see why. I mean, yes, he is a black man who was recruited to the GOP by Lee Atwater, the same guy who apologized on his deathbed for having run the racist Willie Horton ads back in 1988. But, so what? You know, Condoleeza Rice and Clarence Thomas are black Republicans! Uh, well, never mind about that...

Anyhow, the GOP decided, as the roof was falling in on them, that they really had to go with their varsity squad. True, Steele was elected on the sixth ballot. True, that was only after one candidate dropped out because he was a member of a racially exclusive country club. And, true, another guy also quit the race after the party actually debated whether it was okay for him to have distributed CDs to committee leaders complete with the happy tune, “Barack, The Magic Negro”, on them. (Remember that moment in “Spinal Tap” when the hapless metal band is told that the record label won’t let them have the S&M misogynist album cover they want for their new release, “Smell The Glove”, because it’s sexist? And they respond, “So what? Wot’s wrong with being sexy?” I think you get the idea here. Rob Reiner, time for “Neanderthal Tap”, wouldn’t you say?)

But, you know, the Democrats elected Barack Obama president, so I guess the GOP decided they were gonna go after the young, black, contemporary vote as well, and hence they picked Rapmaster Steele to carry their standard. And so The Notorious M.I.K.E. has promised to give the Republican Party a “hip-hop makeover”. You think I’m makin’ this sh*t up, don’t you? I wish I was capable of such malicious creativity.

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David Michael Green is a professor of political science at Hofstra University in New York.  He is delighted to receive readers' reactions to his articles (dmg@regressiveantidote.net), but regrets that time constraints do not always allow him to respond. His website is (more...)
 

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Liars and bullies,  Murdereres and thieves.... by John Hanks on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 12:02:57 PM
Great analysis and writing, David!.  I laughe... by Papá Kokopelli on Friday, Mar 13, 2009 at 9:47:48 PM