Well, if you had even the slightest shred of integrity, you’d apologize, fix your politics, and start all over again.
Of course, regressives in America don’t quite meet that latter test. So maybe I better rephrase. What do you do when your politics suck, your politicians have been repudiated and thrown out of office, all your ideas have proved disastrous, the public hates you, AND you don’t have even the slightest shred of integrity?
Ah, well that’s easy. You just start fabricating reality.
And that is precisely what regressives are now doing.
Of course, this is not exactly a news flash. Remember how Ronald Reagan defeated the Soviets and won the Cold War? Remember how "the adults were back in charge" when George W. Bush came to Washington?
Without deceit, about seventy percent of the content of right-wing politics would immediately disappear. (The other thirty percent is just pure bullying.)
Just the same, it’s remarkable the degree to which regressives have gone completely off the deep-end lately, and are now absolutely just making it up as they go.
As usual, Dick Cheney sets the gold standard. In this case, not only for telling tall tales, but also just for being such a completely tacky (alleged) human being. Cheney is even making George W. Bush look good by comparison, as the latter has had the decency (or is it fear?) not to attack the new administration in its first months. I guess Cheney, who went out of office with single-digit approval ratings, is seeking to determine just how utterly despised a politician can be (hint: Mussolini was shot, hung upside-down on meathooks, and then stoned by an angry public). Are negative numbers a possibility here? Can more people hate you than there are people? If anyone can do it, it would certainly be the Dick.Nowadays the guy is running all over creation telling anyone who’ll listen that Barack Obama’s foreign and defense policies constitute a threat to American national security. The great irony here is that Obama is basically running the same set of ugly policies that the Bush administration employed, and sometimes even going them one better when it comes to shredding the Bill of Rights. True, Obama has said that he will close down Guantánamo – not that he is setting those prisoners free to go party in Vegas, mind you – but otherwise just about the only significant change I can see between the two administrations on security policy is that the current one seems to want to fight actual enemies of the United States, rather than fabricated ones sitting on top of oceans of oil.
Good grace dictates that Cheney should just shut up. More to the point for this discussion, however, when it comes to the substance of his assertions, he’s just making it up as he goes.
So is the latest right wing media freak du jour, Glenn Beck, who has been on a tirade of late telling his audience that Obama has a secret plan to take away their guns. Let’s leave aside for the moment the fact that we actually live in a country where it’s legal to buy assault rifles. And let’s leave aside for the moment the fact that even George W. Bush claimed he was opposed to that policy. All that aside, I am completely unaware of any actual evidence that the Obama administration has any plans to mess with gun control in America. Much to my chagrin, in fact, it seems pretty transparent that he has absolutely no interest in spending the enormous political capital that would be required to go after this issue, even if it was something that interested him, for which there is also absolutely no evidence that I’m aware of. This is even more embarrassingly stupid than the notion that Bill Clinton killed Vince Foster. There isn’t even a dead body to explain.
But it actually gets a whole lot weirder from here. Ralph Peters is a columnist for the New York Post and is described as a "strategic analyst" for Fox "News". That’s pretty much all you need to know about the guy’s level of expertise. But his latest column provides an astonishing tour de force lesson in how to fabricate hysterically when the facts inconveniently don’t fit your politics.
Did you know that Barack Obama’s recent European and Middle Eastern tour was a complete disaster, and that he apologized for America everywhere he went? Did you know that Obama went to Turkey "on his knees" and "gave his seal of approval to a pungently anti-American Islamist government"? You know, the same government of the same country that has been a key US NATO ally for decades, and is one of Israel’s best friends? Did you know that Obama made "disdainful remarks" about George W. Bush? Did you know that "he told the Europeans that the global economic crisis is all our fault"? Did you know "He gave the Russians yet another blank check, too. (Meanwhile, in Moscow, Putin's thugs beat an aging pro-democracy dissident to a pulp.)"?
Did you? Personally, I didn’t know any of this stuff! Possibly because it is completely untrue. When Peters refers to the dissident-beating thugs of this "Putin" guy, does he mean the same Putin whose eyes George W. Bush looked into and saw a good-hearted soul? That Putin? Now that was some tough, skilled diplomacy right there, babe.
All in all, this is really remarkable stuff. If Peters argued that Obama had actually gone to the Gamma Quadrant, rather than Europe, and apologized to American-hating, socialist aliens, his tirade couldn’t be any more hallucinatory than it is. It’s really quite astonishing. These guys are clearly starting out with the conclusion that President Obama is badly failing, and then scrambling to fabricate ‘facts’ out of whole cloth in order to support that assertion, since reality is inconveniently spitting in their faces. And they’re doing it on national television, no less.
Another wonderful example comes from some lunatic named William Murchison. He’s real unhappy that gay marriage is on the march in America. So unhappy, in fact, that he’s decided to simply fabricate it out of existence. He writes: "You really can't have ‘gay marriage,’ you know, irrespective of what a court or a legislature may say. ... The human race – sorry ladies, sorry gents – understands marriage as a compact reinforcing social survival and projection. It has always been so. It will always be so, even if every state Supreme Court pretended to declare that what isn't suddenly is. Life does not work in this manner."
Believe it or not, it actually gets more bizarre from there. Fundamentally, Murchison argues that gay marriage cannot exist because it doesn’t serve the purpose of procreation, and he therefore even goes on to take shots at married heterosexuals who fail to reproduce, calling that "so odd a thing, to put the matter as generously as possible".