Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Politics, Vitriol and Idiots


by Daddy X

Yep, not much distinction these days, but lets get this over with.  Sorry, I took the bait and swallowed the hook. :>)

Suz- Thanks so much for your post yesterday. I won’t be alone in this. Much obliged.

Republicans have been betting on idiots for decades. Even their sainted Reagan reflected only a theatrical figment, shaped by his handlers. A cardboard cutout. Just a second-rate actor posing as president for eight years. Couldn’t rub two IQ’s together. Suffering with Alzheimer’s during the final years of his term, though nobody wanted to notice. That says something in itself. Heaven forbid they’d retire their buffed-to-shining figurehead just to put someone competent in office.

Speaking of idiots, it’s a pattern with these guys. This year’s not that much different than their tactics in the past. 1988 brought Dan Quayle within a heartbeat, without any sense of Republican kickback. (Rumor has it that Bush veeped Quayle so nobody would take a pot-shot at ‘his truly,’ figuring any assassin with half a brain would need to bag Quayle at the same time) 

Republicans stand by their mistakes; never apologizing for the shit they might roll the country in. Imagine—Palin as their best VP choice in 2008. (Dodged a bullet there.) Not to mention enabling the other disastrous buffoon—W.—to steal an election. Twice. He instigated a mid-east domino effect by attacking an ostensibly secular country that had not lifted a finger against us. That error in judgment set off religious and ethnic strife that the world is still dealing with. Let’s not forget that Bush presided over the biggest decline in our economy since the Great Depression. Where TF do they get the rep for fiscal responsibility?

Embarrassment just rolls off right-wing backs. Culpability morphs to bluster, blaming others for the breakdown. Like the economy didn’t get in the shit as the result of chipping away at banking regulations for decades. Just another mainstay of Republican theory. Theory without benefit of fact. Ignore the results. Theory sounds good enough. Sheep will never put cause and effect together; they just vote as told.

Money doesn’t trickle down. It percolates up. Consider how much of your monthly expenses go to someone less well off than you. Virtually every bill we pay goes to a larger, better-funded entity.

Trickle down indeed.  If you take enough from the bottom, nothing percolates to the top.

Rules and regulations originally set into place during the 1930’s functioned to ensure that an economic downturn on the magnitude of the Great Depression could never happen again.  As children in the 50’s and 60’s, we lived with that comfort and security. Then right wing greed began chipping away at those regs.

We got to see what happened in 2007-8 when deregulated US banks’ greed brought us perilously close to end-stage capitalism, something predicted as far back as Alexis de Tocqueville in the 19th century. Writing counterpoint to Marx, Tocqueville absolutely loved capitalism, but he also recognized the need for strict oversight. If not regulated properly, the system would predictably eat itself. Witness gluttony now at its worst, either discarding or consuming our own spending class.

The classic Monopoly game quite efficiently illustrates how a pure capitalist system works. At the logical and inescapable end, one player wins. Everybody else loses. The game then gets packed away because even the winner can gain no more.

How can a party continue to be relevant with all the obvious mistakes stacked up behind this one?

Since the 1960’s, Republicans have not embraced any coherent platform beyond opposing taxes and economic regulations, while enacting voter suppression and whittling away at women’s rights. All this relying on a system perfected by a couple of their anti-saints, Grover Norquist and Newt Gingrich. Together, back in the 90’s, they established a culture of “No tax, No facts, No compromise.” Theory without benefit of fact.

They ignore obvious results such as the devastated economies of Kansas and Louisiana, states which have adopted ‘trickle-down’ policies discredited decades ago. Compare them to the booming economy of California, which raised taxes for the rich and got rid of practically every Republican at the state level.

In a state of shock and awe over losing the election to Bill Clinton in ’92, Republicans began throwing a tantrum that hasn’t let up since. Within a week, the scuttlebutt had it that Clinton was done. Imagine! His wife wanted to address health care.

So it’s no wonder Republicans, by choosing the golden elephant in the room, have invited a soul mate into their midst, if not by direct invitation, by supplying the obvious home for his hateful theories. Add to that, ignorant voters who understand (and respond) to nothing but anger and bluster.

Not much of what Trump has proposed is contrary to basic Republican theory. He just says it with less thought and more vitriol. That’s what the base expects.  It doesn’t have to make sense. Just say it loud. Just be insulting.  If you repeat something outrageous often enough, that’s good enough.

The right wing has captured the Republican Party and holds it hostage. An increasingly irrelevant party has courted every fringe group and whacked single-issue voter in an effort to be competitive. Be it abortion nuts, gun nuts, religious nuts, flat-earthers, birthers, racists, the disillusioned, deluded or the ignorant. The right wing needs anyone they can bamboozle into voting, by hook or by crook.

I once heard a retired Republican operative candidly explain why they don’t play fair.

He said: “Of course we don’t play fair. There aren’t enough voters who think like we do to win fair and square. We’re forced to use tricks and subterfuge to win. We certainly can’t tell voters what we’re actually about. Nobody would vote for us. After all, it is about winning. We don’t have the luxury to play fair.”

Hear the Donald’s comments on the undereducated: “The poorly educated love me. I love the poorly educated.”

What a fucked statement!

Republicans haven’t shown an interest in education for years except to discourage funding. They’ve cut resources while diverting federal dollars to local agencies to enable private charter schools (whether competent or questionable) siphoning existing resources from public systems. Dumbing down the citizenry who depend on strong public schools and leaving education of our kids to for-profit entities.

A candidate of Trump’s ilk wouldn’t have come this far, even considering the extraordinary field of laughable losers Republican primary voters had to choose from. It would be comical, unless you considered any of them as our actual president. One worse than the next, and the worst of the bunch is now the presumptive nominee. Go figure.

Next best vote-getter was Ted Cruz, of all people, the most hated member of the Senate. Not to mention he looks and acts like Elmer Gantry. Gives people the creeps just looking at him. How did he float (nearly) to the top of the heap? Who the fuck would he appeal to?

You couldn’t write a story like this. Nobody would swallow the bizarre concept.  

The situation is surreal in the face of its very existence. Makes the head fizz like a shook up 7-Up with the top popped. How much permanent damage can be done with a plethora of bluster coupled with a rejection of critical thinking?


Let’s hope we don’t find out.

13 comments:

  1. It's always a pleasure to read a balanced, non-partisan essay... ;^)

    Personally I can't stop marveling at the current state of affairs. It's like some novel. A novel that I'd label as ridiculously implausible and over-written.

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    1. Yes, it feels like the prologue to a dystopian novel.

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  2. Not to mention how much they have gone out of their way to show complete disrespect for their President, how mired in racism, anti-LGBT, anti-abortion they are - even their newly discussed platform for the next four years advocates gay conversion therapy for minors. They truly are dinosaurs. One can only hope that as flawed as Hillary is, she beats the shit outta Trump in November! Or it's Vancouver, here we come!

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    1. Hey! JP! Good to hear from you.

      They've been so damn flummoxed by their own irrelevance, they're grabbing at every straw to stay in the game. The hitch is those who swallow the incongruous package. What does this say about this country and its citizens? Seems like it's the self-appointed patriots who are trying to tear the country down. Hopefully, attrition will solve the problem soon enough. I don't think millennials have any use for those exclusionary traditions.

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  3. You're not alone in this, Daddy X. I took the easy way out and posted a story from the past that does relate, in a way, to the present, but I very nearly went with how prescient de Tocqueville was, two centuries ago, in his observations about the implications of capitalism and the meme of "rugged individualism".

    I know it sounds foolish to say "not all Republicans," but I do have some perspective on that. My 96-year-old father still considers himself a Republican, even though he hates what's going on in the party now, and admires President Obama. His opinions are fiscal rather than social, and rooted in having come of age during the Great Depression. He worries about saddling grandchildren and great-grandchildren with debt piled up today. I can't seem to to get though to him the way economics work today, and to tell the truth I'm not sure anybody understands it. He believes in raising taxes on the rich to pay for social services, but can't let go of his life-long attachment to being Republican.

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    1. Thanks Sacchi- The Republican party in many ways has done an about face when it comes to being an asset to the country. They ran out of planks for a platform long ago, instead busying themselves with obstruction rather than progress.
      Republicans were a completely different animal before say 1980. That's the year were I put the genesis of this yahoo stand against the obvious tide. I think conservatives saw that they had to either change or become irrelevant. So they dug in their heels, gathered up a bunch of intransigent jerks with extreme views and went with obstruction as a platform. I can almost see a kind of sadness in the eyes of some of the old guard who are truly fiscal conservatives, but true fiscal conservatives would have caught on by now, that these guys are neither fiscally responsible nor conservative. They are radicals in every sense of the word. Just look at the end of the last Republican presidency. And the one before that. Funny how Democrats had to pull the economy out of the weeds both times.

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  4. Daddy X, you've told it like it is. I can feel some (a little bit of) respect for fiscal conservatives whose world-view is consistent. What's crazy-making about the U.S. right wing (& its Canadian imitators) is the lack of reason or consistency. They want to abolish a mandatory minimum wage, and they hire nannies, farm workers and other staff from impoverished countries (or send work out to those countries), then vilify all the riffraff that sneaks into the U.S. to find jobs. They offer Christian faith as an alternative to a living wage that could provide the necessities of life or a network of social services (health care, housing, education). They create the perfect economic conditions for crime, then they fill the prisons and claim to promote law and order. And as you say, pointing all this out doesn't discourage the voters who vote for idiots. At least here you are preaching to the converted.

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    1. Thanks Jean- Yes, they do have it all bolloxed up, don't they? If only they were able to read cause and effect as it actually works, not as they would imagine it to be.

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  5. And why are we all the converted? Is it because writers of erotica are, by definition, more open to new ideas? Or more liberal in their thinking? Or more tolerant of differences, and more accepting of the idea that all people have the same equal rights, despite our nationality/skin/sexual/gender/transgender status differences?

    Or is it because as writers, we are presumably more educated than the average person. I brought my kids up telling them that they would be a part of a small minority in the world: people who use their brains for something other than keeping their ears separated. I told them that we all have to get old, but some choose not to get wiser. That some are happy, in fact determined, to stay as dumb as a rock, if that's what they were as youngsters. And that I would blame Matt Groenig for Bart Simpson, the quintessential proud underachiever, if not for the fact that his show uses more allusions to culture and literature than any kids' show ever, and that his humor is consistent and prescient.

    "The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant." Maximilien Robespierre

    Or is it because most writers are examples of "the starving artists," who work multiple other jobs to be able to afford to scribble/type words that few will pay to read? So we're too poor to be Conservatives?

    No matter, AMEN to your words, Daddy X!

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  6. And, even among scores of erotica writers and sites, OGG does stand out as operating somehow on a higher plane. Your informed comments contribute to that sense, Fiona.

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    1. Thanks, Daddy X! Sometimes I worry that I say too many personal things here, and I know for a fact that if my husband knew a lot of what I talk about, he'd, as my daughter says, "Flip his shit!" But this appears to be a non-judgmental site, and even though I probably will never meet any of you in reality for face-time, I feel accepted as one of the "regulars". That's good enough for me. Plus I enjoy thinking new thoughts, and many of the posts here have led me to do just that. I'm grateful.

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  7. You brilliantly stated everything I've thought about the GOP since 1992. Sharing on FB. Thanks!

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    1. Cool Suz- Thanks for passing it along!

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