Saturday, August 06, 2011

The Power of Positive Thinking

Bury your treasure, burn your crop
Black water risin' and it ain't gonna stop." -- Clutch, (In the Wake of) The Swollen Goat

Like most of y'all out there in Blogoland, I've spent the last few weeks more or less observing the increasingly choreographed Debt Ceiling Debate (which, like Health Care Reform and the Holy Roman Empire, is none of those things -- discuss!) out of the corner of my eye, a slo-mo train wreck in peripheral vision.

And of course, like everything The One touches, the end result was saturated in epic fail. Wait till Monday, when Moody and Fitch follow S&P's lead, to get the full flavor of how well and truly fucked we are now. Nice work, guys. Can't wait for the SuperCongress, or the League of StuporFriends, or whatever slipshod claque of corporate butt-boys and dogsbodies they throw together, to find newer and better ways to make it even worse. Except for their donors, of course.

Between the brazen, barely-concealed contempt both sides have for each other and for the peons, and Obama's carefully crafted, constantly refined MO of non-existent negotiation skills, punting on first down, and giving the other side concessions they didn't even ask for, somewhat heretofore unconsidered thoughts about What We Can Do kept twirling in the firmament.

Fortunately, Monsieur IOZ has returned, for however long, with a vengeance, and per usual crystallized what I'd been thinking better than I could:

Yea verily, I have returned unto you to put it straight to yinz: there is no tea party; there are no Democrats; there is no America. There is only global capital. There is no keeping American competitive for the future against the Chinese children of the math-science learning gap to win tomorrow today with the power of innovation. There is a single transnational elite whose allegiance is to itself. They would've fucked you on Saturday; they'll fuck you next Wednesday instead. There was no debt crisis. THERE IS NO DEBT CEILING. You are like prisoners in a concentration camp, tearing each other apart over crusts of bread. The guards check their rifles. The kommandant shtups his mistress. The carrion birds circle against the concrete sky.

You must destroy the rich.

Fuckin' A. On the one hand, no one's calling for violent insurrection as such, mind you, but on the other, that's all these motherfuckers understand, other than the threat of losing their money. The American motto is no longer "E Pluribus Unum", nor even "In God We Trust", but rather "The Fuck You Gonna Do About It?". It actually changed to that during the Cheney regime, but was mostly directed at the rest of the world. Now it more explicitly applies inward.

Blog Day Afternoon

So Governor Goodhair (as the late great Molly Ivins generally referred to him), who now as ever looks and swaggers like an unholy cross between GeeDubya Bush and Josh Brolin, got his little stadium prayer circle jerk going today:

"Father, our heart breaks for America. We see discord at home. We see fear in the marketplace. We see anger in the halls of government and, as a nation, we have forgotten who made us, who protects us, who blesses us, and for that, we cry out for your forgiveness," said Perry, praying with hands clasped.

"Father, we pray for our president, that you would impart your wisdom upon him, that you would guard his family," the governor said. "You call us to repent, Lord, and this day is our response."

It should not take a map to get these chuckleheaded mutants to see that their problems are man-made, and thus need to be undone by the men who caused them in the first place. Assuming that their sky-buddy not only exists, but exists in their specific iteration (as opposed to the thousands of other iterations now and across history), why has he not helped them out before, what with their weekly benedictions and invocations? Why does he persist in refusing to pluck the beam of greed from the eyes of people like Lloyd Blankfein and Jamie Dimon? Why has he ignored Gov. Goodhair's earlier beseeching to smite the drought that's been killing Texas for the past several months, yea verily and forsooth?

'Course, Li'l Ricky's got his work cut out for him when it comes to ankle-biting god-bothering schtick, namely from the one and only Mary Tyler Moron, who has been peddling her snake oil across Iowa, patiently, diligently, Sunday after Sunday:

While Bachmann's stump speech and paid ads focus almost exclusively on her economic views, the social conservatism that launched her career is a strong undercurrent.

Isn't it, though? It takes some doing to take gubmint handouts and subsidies for your fambly farm, and for your closet-case gay-curing hubby to take gubmint dough to pay for his "treatments", and still get up there and decry the vicissitudes and intrusions of the nanny state, like butter wouldn't melt in her mouth.

Obama really needs to step up his game if he wants another four years to coddle Wall Street and kill off what's left of the middle class, because as spineless and incompetent as he is, he at least knows when he's full of it, where these guys don't even pretend to care, and they care even less when they're called on it.

From time to time I do make small attempts to be more tolerant of the obsessively religious, to understand the important role that ritualized comfort mechanisms play in the lives of many people. But dammit, these things are right in front of them, and if they were to devote half the energy and time focusing on the actual people causing the strife in their lives as they do on their futile exercises in public piety, they might actually get somewhere.

And the reflexively pseudo-objective (in the sense that only politicojournohacks can muster with any real skill) notion that Perry's and Bachmann's respective ministrations are apolitical is ridonkulous. They are inherently, overtly political. This is early-stage dog-whistle scamboogery at its most obvious. Wait six, nine, twelve months, however long it takes for the presumptive front-runner or second-stringer by that point in time to schlep out to Saddleback and genuflect before Rick "Hey, You Gonna Finish That?" Warren, corral larger swathes of mainstream rubes.

Of the seemingly infinite ways that American politics and participants find ways to be buffoonish and annoying, this may be one of the more irritating offenses, this incessant god-bothering schtick, redolent with its tribalist assumptions that everyone is just supposed to pretend that this "approach" to problem-solving has every bit the validity of, say, a more empirically, logically based approach.

Not that empiricism and logic have all that much impact on politics in any phase anyway, of course, but at least you can more accurately keep track of who's responsible for lawn-darting the country.