Monday, August 31, 2015

A Mighty Windbag

When I heard that 'murka's Favorite Dingbat was going to "interview" 'murka's Favorite Gaping Asshole, my mind unfortunately went all Fifty Shades of Lame for a too-long instant, and concocted the outline of a porn parody script in which Palin unleashes Li'l Donald (yes, all two-and-an-eighth inches) right from the start, then spends the entire time trying vainly to coax him to his full four inches, alternating between generous questions and even more generous slobbers on Trump's thumb-sized pecker, pretending that it's the biggest she's ever seen, ignoring the taste of tanning lotion and old-man ball-sweat and Trump's increasing Viagra-fueled desperation at not being quite able to close this particular deal. Master negotiator indeed. Whatever nut he breaks is probably powdered milk.

(Sorry, I'll give you a few minutes to bleach your brain of that visual. I find that Coke and Bacardi 151 can be a pretty effective mind eraser.)

But fuck those two, and fuck the handful of maroons who actually watched that shit. The "One America News" thing is pretty choice, as far as arrogant punchlines masquerading as unifying names go. Look, you fucking mouth-breathers, you are the fucking minority. Bokay? No matter how many times you lose, no matter how badly, you keep coming back with this Nixonian "silent majority" horseshit, thinking that everyone agrees with your delusions.

Who the fuck is "everyone," your Facebook friends and the chuckle-headed mutants you share a break room with at your dead-end job? No, assholes, "we" are not silently waiting to be unified under a couple of fuckwits like Trump and Palin. Just because most people of any political persuasion agree that our political system is a broken, corrupt joke, doesn't mean we remotely agree on the value of these two hucksters.

It's like finding out you have cancer, say a year left to live, and hate the chemo and radiation treatments, but disagree on where to go from there. Some may want to stick with what they know for just a little longer, as awful as it is. Some may want to go to Mexico and see what experimental drugs they can try. Some folks may have the means to cash in their savings and assets, and use that money and remaining time to travel as much as possible. Some may choose to go home and pass more peacefully, without being poked and prodded and tortured every minute of the remainder.

Making jokers like Trump and Palin even part of the discussion, much less part of the solution, is more like deciding that you're going to fuck cancer over by jumping feet first into a wood-chipper. Yeah, that'll show 'em! Jesus H. Christ, who are these fuckin' people?

Well, I'll tell ya who at least some of them are -- the good ol' eeeev(il)angelicals, the god-bothering twits and twats who have beaten the rest of us over the head for several generations about how much more principled and moral they are than the rest of us worldly degenerates. These sanctimonious motherfuckers stand for nothing, they are hypocrites, loudmouthed bozos who think that volume makes you accurate and a majority.

The most recent concrete proof of all this is how quickly deity-pesterers have jumped ship on genuinely (however misguidedly) evangelical politicians, such as Mike Huckabee, for a quick thrill ride on the hype train to nowhere. Let me jump in on the choir and agree with Steve and Maha on this one, that it is a complete waste of time to expect even basic conviction of principles from these shitheads, much less any sort of philosophical consistency.

This is an important point to make and realize, not just about the pharisaic douchebags who insist on cluttering up the political process with their childish lies, but also about self-styled "conservatives" and such like. They don't really care about any religious or philosophical tenets, not nearly as much as they care about pissing off (or on) the librul caricatures living rent-free for eternity in their fevered brains.

That's what this is all about; that's why people who swear fealty to an imaginary bible (I don't mean this from an atheist standpoint, but that the document these idiots claim to live by and love doesn't say what they think it says) can leave it behind without a second thought. That's why they can root for a proven dumbass like Trump, who says the bible is his favorite book, but cannot cite a favorite verse. (Even I, a loser atheist, can tell you my favorite bible verse.) They would rather have someone who they think will shit on the people they truly hate, than someone who actually believes the things they purport (but again, don't actually) to believe.

The joke will be on them; the joke is always and forever on them. They condition their lives around things they do not believe in enough to actually abide by, yet expect the rest of us to cater to; they insist that their politicians repeat these rote, tiresome incantations as if there were some actual effect on anything.

Their love of softly spoken magic spells explains their love for a decadent, thrice-married playboy with a vulgarian's flair for self-aggrandizement and obscenely tacky decorations. It's all a pose, or as Maha says, a uniform, a banner, a cheap symbol that means something only to them. The attempt to explain the nonsense of racists and paranoids is, while well-meaning, again a waste of everyone's time. I don't want to know what some white-power asshole, who claims to be a web developer and drinks his coffee out of a cup with a swastika, thinks about anything. I couldn't care less what a fence-hopping dingbat like Stephanie DeVolder think about Serious Issues. Look, lady, if you seriously "educated" yourself on your presidential vote by binge-watching the fucking Apprentice, then kindly do us all a favor and stay home on Election Day, and every Election Day to come.

The neo-nazis and race-baiters are bad enough, but at least you know what they stand for. I don't know what the fuck is wrong with people like DeVolder, who started off by endorsing Trump because of his (empty) stands on border security and treatment of veterans, and ultimately punted after the Megyn Kelly kerfuffle, when DeVolder suddenly realized that -- get this -- Trump is a rude prick.

While it's important for political bloggerses and professional schmucks to keep in mind that the average 'murkin has very little knowledge (or even interest) in the comings and goings and intricacies of policy, and those who manufacture it, we have to take it as a given that the folks interviewed in the New Yorker are not reg'lar foke; they are, in fact, taking an extra interest in the political future of their nation. As such, it is entirely fair to expect at least a basic level of knowledge and engagement from them.

For years I have definitely been part of the "they're all alike" crowd in demonizing individuals from "both" parties. I do believe that the parties, in their mechanical and logistical operations, are more similar than different, and I do believe this is proven by the fact that most corporations donate to both parties. I believe that there is no "leftist" political party; you have center-right and far-right branches of The Privilege Party.

That said, of the nearly two dozen buffoons crowding the Republican short bus, none of them is worth a shit. I can't stand Hillary Clinton, and she'd be a damn sight better than any of 'em. There's not even a question. And while Democratic also-rans such as Martin O'Malley and Jim Webb might be little more than distractions, either of them would be better than a fucking chump like Ted Cruz, or any of the other halfwits.

And then, of course, you have Bernie Sanders, whose compelling message and rumpled sincerity have drawn crowds at least as large as Trump's, and have whittled away Clinton's lead to a mere seven points. Sanders is a throwback to what the Democratic Party used to aspire to be, before it got co-opted and triangulated by the Third Way douchebags who sold the working class down the river. Sanders is certainly doing and saying all the right things, but he's old and cranky and Jewish, and promises to make the wealthy pay their share of taxes, which sorta limits the number of those people who normally bankroll political candidates.

But at least the people supporting Sanders -- and even the people supporting Clinton -- are able to articulate their rationales. They can tell you, even if (as in Clinton's case) it's not always crystal clear where their candidate might stand on a particular issue, what their expectations are, and why. With Trump's supporters, it's the opposite -- since the few things Trump has articulated are either patently ridiculous or completely untrue, they have nothing to hang their hats on with him.

And frankly, they seem to prefer it that way. Certainly Trump prefers it that way, as it completely absolves him from having to even pretend he knows or cares what the hell he's talking about. This puts Trump in a direct lineage with other recent vintage conservative intemellectuals, such as Palin and Cruz, neither of whom have ever seemed to give much of a shit whether what they're saying at a given moment is true or realistic. It makes sense that Palin would attempt to pose as a journamalist, and lob puff questions at Trump. It's a natural progression for both of them, and for the idiots who hang on every fake word from either of them.

When nothing is real, everything's real; when you pick and choose your sincerely-held beliefs with all the intellectual honesty of a fourth-grader, challenging all doubters along the way, it becomes very easy to change horses as easily as most people might change their shorts. (Which, by the way, would be DA CLASSIEST SHORTS EVAH! Pure silk, and they're yooooge where it counts!)

Look. We can talk all we want about the value of inserting "chaos" and "disruption" into systems -- and there is some value to that, if it's the right thing at the right place and time -- but this is just a megalomaniac being true to his nature, and reaping predictable (if fleeting) benefits. What we're seeing is the American version of the resurgence in European right-wing nationalism, where populist assholes rise up and pick on the easy meat of immigrants and such like.

In the linked article, Kaplan sees globalization as a "mitigating" factor in the rise of populist European fascism. I like Kaplan's writing and thinking a great deal, but I would suggest alternatively that globalization is a contributing factor to this rise, both in Europe and now in the United States. The problem is that, while globalization looks and sounds great in theory, with its theses of peaceful, profitable interconnectivity, in practice it simply enables the elites of each of the interconnected entities to, well, interconnect, and thus become international merchant princes, beholden to no society or nationality, only to themselves.

So let's see if we have this straight -- if we make it easier for the owners to hook up with each other, avoid paying taxes, influence national politics, and drive down wages, benefits will naturally accrue to workers. You have to be (to put it kindly) really fucking stupid to not be able to at least envision a scenario in which the aforementioned benefactors might craft a world in which they are the sole beneficiaries of that outcome.

And that is precisely what has happened, therefore no one should be surprised that there are these inconvenient eructations of slobbering proles, blaming their inconvenient outcomes on the immigrant down the street, doing the job you wouldn't do in the first place, instead of the douchebag in the suit who literally sent your job to India or China.

This is hyper-capitalism wrought large, but with fewer and more powerful players, and as such, becomes a different dynamic in a different game. Europe's higher tax rates, traditions of social democracy, and shorter and less commercialized election processes do serve as mitigating factors, to the extent that right-wing populists can still scapegoat immigrant populations, and their presumed refusal to instantaneously assimilate.

But here in 'murka, a master salesman like Donald Trump understands that chaos is a ladder, and he is just the man to climb it. So he has chosen to stoke what are, in pure financial terms, essentially minimal issues compared to the wholesale gutting done by the moneyed class to the very selfsame rubes that have chosen to cling to Trump's mighty leg so tightly.

None of this is news to anyone who's paid attention to these miscreants and their manifest failures. If Trump weren't pretending to run for preznit, he'd have nothing to do with these useless rubes; he's part of the tribe that sent the rubes' jobs overseas. But the media need to step up their game, now that they've had their fun this summer. They need to challenge Trump when he asserts things, and they need to hold groups like evangelicals accountable when their sanctimonious bullshit inevitably turns out to be just that, nothing more.

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