Saturday, February 19, 2005

....And The Horse They Rode In On

Flying below the media radar of Michael Jackson effluvia and "Jeff Gannon" scamboogery, we have the CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference. This is the meeting of crypto-fascist wingnuts that makes people with three-digit IQ's wonder what the hell might be in the wingnuts' DNA.

The thing about the CPAC is that you can learn so many interesting facts. For instance, did you know:

"America's Operation Iraqi Freedom is still producing shock and awe, this time among the blame-America-first crowd," he crowed. Then he said, "We continue to discover biological and chemical weapons and facilities to make them inside Iraq."

The "he" in question is a member of the United States Congress, the aptly-named Rep. Chris Cox. Isn't it inspiring how Rep. Cox has overcome severe mental retardation to represent his district? Let's give him a hand, because at CPAC, everyone's a winner!

More seriously, what do you think the odds are that anyone in the liberal media will call Cox on this nonsense? At what point did the US citizenry decide that lying about blowjobs was an impeachable offense, but it's perfectly fine to flat-out lie about something that has cost us enormous amounts of blood and treasure, and has no definable end in sight?

Ah, but these miserable humps aren't done yet. They haven't just drunk the proverbial Kool-Aid, they're surfing on an ocean of it.

Like comrades celebrating the success of Mao's Great Leap Forward, attendees at CPAC, the oldest and largest right-wing conference in the country, invest their leaders with the power to defy mere reality through force of insistent rhetoric. The triumphant recent election is all the proof they need that everything George W. Bush says is true. Sure, there's skepticism of the president's wonder-working power among some of the old movement hands -- including the leaders of the American Conservative Union, which puts CPAC on. For much of the rank and file, though, the thousands of blue-blazered students and local activists who come to CPAC each year to celebrate the völkisch virtues of nationalism, capitalism and heterosexuality, Bush is truth.

This is where it's gotten creepy quite some time ago. Principled conservatives -- and there are such creatures, there really are, they just aren't allowed to speak for the party anymore -- have been overwhelmed by these neo-con jackals, who have tethered their disaffected liberal idealism to a cult of personality. Strangely, the object of that cult -- the "wampeter", as Kurt Vonnegut might call it -- is as unintelligent, uncharismatic, and uninspiring as they come, as far as I've ever been able to tell. One can only figure that these people have a need for someone or something in their lives, and Bush has filled that void that might otherwise be filled by heroin or self-mutilation -- or worse yet, Billy Ray Cyrus.

There is an important distinction to make here. Again, a principled conservative will argue ideas. He really doesn't care who's putting them forth, so long as they remain true to First Principles. Whether you agree with said principles and their specific implementation is another story, but you can at least respect the fact that the principled conservative will always hew to principle, rather than personality.

But the breed of mouth-breather that is so un-self-aware, so lacking in self-reflection and contemplation, that they will hitch their wagon to someone just because they've heard of them -- well, that's just pathetic. They have cast their lot entirely with one man, because they do not operate from a place of principle, but rather from an irrational hatred of the Other. They are only interested in the perpetuation of their power, insofar as it emphasizes their projected hang-ups about masculinity and the appearance thereof.

If they were true to principled conservatism, they would take issue with the callous disregard for facts that everyone within this administration has displayed in regards to waging war and foreign policy; the fact that the Republicans are blowing far more money than the Democrats ever did -- and lying about the amounts; and that the neo-cons are in thrall to their Straussian sensibilities, where they seriously think everyone will just roll over for their hollow promises of democracy-whiskey-sexy.

Arnold Schwarzenegger is another example of the neo-con wampeter. There's a lot to respect about Arnold: here's a guy who came to America with nothing, and he's had the world by the balls for about 20 years now, in terms of the American ideals of wealth, power, and prestige. And aside from the first two Terminator movies, everything he's done has been total crap. So he's really made something out of nothing, when you think about it.

But when Arnold was making his run for the CA recall election, virtually everyone I'd talked to knew nothing about Schwarzenegger's politics. They knew that they didn't like the fastidious and corrupt Gray Davis, which was entirely understandable, but after that, they just knew the guy they saw in Commando and Junior. In a rational universe, movies like that would have been reasons to not vote for Arnold, no matter how great his ideas were. (Which they're not. Arnold is just a better fund-raiser than Davis. That's the only practical difference. Everything else has been fluff and Gonad-the-Bavarian boilerplate.)

Anyway, moderate Republicans like Schwarzenegger and Giuliani were not in attendance. Their Lord God King Bufu W was, though, in spirit if not in body:

They don rhinestone W brooches and buy mouse pads, posters and T-shirts showing the president as a kind of beefcake Uncle Sam, with flowing white hair and bulging muscles threatening to rend his red, white and blue garments.

Where to begin with such people, and their pathetic little projections? This is the apotheosis of the personal being made political -- all the insecurities and psychological hangups of these weirdos have been projected on to their wampeter, their fantasy object of desire. Not sexually, of course, unless W were to take the form of a bull and rampage the countryside impregnating the daughters of mortal man with his divine seed. That would be okey-doke with this crowd.

And they're nothing if not hypocritical about it, whining as they did about Bill Clinton's popularity and putative magnetism, and lampooning the painful earnestness of "Hillary!" every chance they get, while they put on their "W" cuff-links and masturbate to their He-Man Uncle W poster. One waits for Chairman Mao to swim the Potomac at this point. At least we'll never have to worry about Bush actually writing a book enumerating his principles. He has people to do that shit for him.

Lest we delude ourselves into thinking that this is a fringe group and nothing more, keep in mind that Cheney gave the keynote address, Rove also gave a speech, and tonight will feature a speech by none other than Zell Miller. I assume any self-respecting Democrat has long since excommunicated Miller, who is not a "good man", who is not a person of principle, but rather a toxic loon. Henceforth he's to be known by his former colleagues as "Fredo", as in "you're dead to me".

Anyway, they got Fredo speakin' tonight. Should be plenty of banjo playin', cousin-marryin', and hopefully some duellin'.

The most important element of the much-derided Bill Moyers article from a week or so ago is his point that what was once considered delusional and marginal by sensible people has long since become de rigueur. This is no accident; the hard right of the Republican party has mobilized their troops and taken over significant aspects of policy formation. Many people ascribe this to a manifestation of post-9/11 hysteria, but this has been building for years, off and on. 9/11 just served as a useful catalyst to these crackpots.

We used to hope that their delusions would wither as their heroes' feet of clay became more obvious, or as time goes on and they fade from public life. But through the miracle of transference, the iconodules simply move their hang-ups and projected anxieties to another icon. And strangely, inexplicably, their numbers keep growing, the ranks keep swelling.

They can no longer simply be dismissed as a few dozen self-hating latent homosexuals ranting about white power from their Elohim City compound. They have managed to sanitize their message just enough so that the auslanders get the picture, and they traded in their usual fascist symbols for a man who has neither the drive nor the intelligence to use these things to their full capacity, thank the God they pretend to worship.

Unfortunately, many of the speakers at CPAC, who were literally paid to lie about the facts at hand even as they gin up hatred and resentment for everyone else, do have the drive and intelligence to drag the rest of us down for the next couple generations. Here they come. Stand and fight, or grab your ankles and grit your teeth.


RedTory said...

Holy shit that was fun to read!

Heywood J. said...

Glad you liked it. These guys give me a hell of a lot of material to work with....

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