From MARK MORFORD
And now, hot on the heels of our recent letter to whiny young Democrats, a loving shout-out to all those moderates and independents, confused conservatives and hard-line Repubs who went just a little more than slightly insane this past election.
To all of you who either flip-flopped your wishy-washy ideals and switched your vote from bluish to reddish this past election because Obama and the lukewarm Dems failed to solve all world problems in 700 days, or because you got yourself so emotionally riled up/mentally watered down by the sexy caveman grunts of the Tea Party that you actually bought the BS line about being “mad as hell” about nothing even remotely coherent.
Here is your grand message: You are hereby wonderfully, thoroughly screwed.
Oh darling, it’s so very true. The fun-filled news is, despite all the bluster and rhetoric, thinly veiled racism and rampant Islamophobia on display, the new army of jittery, anti-everything GOP bobbleheads that you just voted into office doesn’t care a single iota about you, or your haphazard values, or what you sometimes occasionally stand for. And what’s more, deep down, you secretly know it.
Are you slightly offended? Are you scowling and mistrustful of the notion? I’m delighted to hear it. Also: It doesn’t really matter.
You don’t have to believe me. Just wait until nothing at all is done to service the Tea Party non-agenda, because it’s ridiculous and impossible to service. Just wait until you note how there is no actual shrinking of government, no restoring some bogus sepia-toned idealism that never existed, no saving of your job. There is, of course, but one GOP agenda: furthering their personal stranglehold on all things powermad and avaricious.
That’s not to say they won’t try to tackle some issues. Boehner & Co care very much about nailing down enormous tax cuts for wealthy people, preventing education reform, gridlocking Congress at every turn, denying the fact that seven billion rapacious humans have an effect on climate change, and blocking as much newly available health care for 30 million Americans as possible. And so on.
But truly, the issues themselves don’t matter. For what Boehner & Co value most is not so much making any sort of significant change in American culture, but rather, in keeping the anger, the dread, the paranoia alive.
In other words, they care most about keeping you in the lower, plebian castes all riled and blind as long as possible. This way, power lies. This way we find war and military expenditure and all manner of misprision, torture, environmental rape, WMD and homophobia, you name it. Just ask Karl Rove. Hey, it’s a platform. It worked for Dubya. Well, sort of.
Perhaps you secretly agree with this assessment, understanding that the Repubs are indeed mostly shmucks, but at least they’re shmucks fighting in your corner. Maybe you think the Dems are no better, and it’s all a matter of lesser-of-two-evils, a needful balancing of power, that the nation’s new rightward tilt serves Obama right for — what was it again? “Overreaching”? For daring to accomplish in two short years more than any president in six decades? Right.
One thing’s certain: the populace remains angry and scared about, well, what we’ve always been angry and scared about: jobs, a massive deficit, war and terrorism, taxes and drugs, gangs and goons, evil bumps in the night.
But these days, one source of anger trumps all others. We are perhaps most furious about our dysfunctional political system, one that cherishes acrimony over cohesion, backstabbing over unity, bickering over a calm and respectful, unified vision. (Which is a little strange, considering how much Pelosi and the Dems accomplished in two years. It might have been acerbic, but the output was actually sort of stunning. But never mind that now).
Are both parties to blame for this hateful, acerbic tone? Are they equally responsible for the ongoing divisiveness? Sure. To some degree. Then again, no. Not really. Not by a long shot.
Let’s be perfectly clear: The modern Republican party has one masterful, godlike skill unmatched by any other org in this century: Its leaders are geniuses at deceit, at leading throngs of blind believers into rabbit holes of war and fear and factual inaccuracy, often using an aggressively dumbed-down form of Christianity as a trump card. Sexual dread, mistrust of youth, of women, of gays, foreigners, of the ever-changing cultural landscape? It’s in the DNA. And the Tea Party chugged it like Coors-flavored heroin.
And the Dems? The Dems wish they could be that masterful. Progressives are just terribly weak in fearmongering. There is something about the liberal spirit that values independent thought and self-determination, that defies screaming eye-glazed megachurch groupthink dread. This makes it tough to hold power for very long. It’s so much easier to rally around sameness, conformity, institution, fear of the Other. Right, Karl?
Proof? Look no further than the GOP’s leaders and mouthpieces: Limbaugh and Glenn Beck, O’Reilly and Fox News and even newly minted Senate demigod Mitch McConnell, et al. There are almost no liberal equivalents to these professional liars, warmongers, kingmakers and overlords. In the category of media and message manipulation, the libs have proven disastrous.
I take it back. Not all red-leaning voters this election are hereby screwed. If you’re tremendously wealthy and/or run a very large corporation, you’re feeling damn good right about now. Wall Street is giddy like Charlie Sheen in a Bangkok brothel, eager for more deregulation, bigger bonuses, less oversight. The CEOs of every oil company in the world are positively orgasmic knowing that their GOP breathren will now asphyxiate all attempts at new environmental legislation and regulation. And so on.
But if you are a lower to middle-class Republican, Tea Partier or flip-flopping indie voter, you are now in the most delightfully ironic position of all — you think you just voted yourself more voice, when in fact you voted for far less. You think yourself a lion; you’re actually the meat. You actually just voted yourself an even lower position on the food chain. Congratulations.
But don’t worry. There is a bright spot ahead. 2012 is nigh, and a dramatic new vote simmers and looms, as it always does. Soon enough, it will shift and mutate all over again, and we can kickstart the eternal debate once more. Something to look forward to, no?