Conservatives Gone Wild
Another convention of pissed off and clueless white people blew into town last week. The Conservative Political Action Conference - CPAC to you and me - staged this silly photo-op for no other purpose than to flex some badly whithered muscles. And as far as anyone can tell, it was, in fact, an all white gathering. Some idiotic commentator at FOX Noise claimed that he had heard from a friend that there was an African American spotted on the peripherals of the crowd, chomping the life out of a hapless watermelon - but that has yet to be confirmed by any responsible news agency. Sarah Palin, for reasons no one can explain, did not show up.
They came to perform what (in a perfect world) would be dismissed as an impossible feat: convincing their fellow citizens that the failed economic and social policies advocated by the right wing for the last three decades should be advanced once again on Election Day 2010. But this is not a perfect world, and - given the American electorate's hideous track record in recent years - their chances of taking back the House and Senate this November is a pretty safe bet. Or is it?
Although concealed by a facade of respectability, this was a vicious crowd. Come to think of it, "crowd" is too polite a term. This was a mob. In normal circumstances, considering the eight years of damage they were able to inflict upon the country they profess to love so much, one might think that their cause would have been pronounced dead-as-a-doornail at this late stage. But these were a people united and reinvigorated, bought together by their utter contempt - their irrational hatred - for "that goddammed nigger socialist in the White House." That was their hideous, unspeakable and unspoken common denominator. I just spoke it for them.
These were a people with a renewed sense of mission.
"The sky's the limit here. I think 2010 is going to be a phenomenal year for the Conservative cause. And I think Barack Obama is a one-term president."
In a spontaneous display of twisted adulation, the crowd chanted in unison, "RUN, CHENEY, RUN!!!" The Dickster, to my bitter disappointment, assured them that he would not run. Pity. I've been wishing like Jiminy Cricket on a star for a Cheney/Palin ticket in 2012. Wouldn't that be the perfect farce? Sickie Dick and Fascist Barbie! Ah, the possibilities....
Cheney wasn't the only icon of the uber right to make himself known to the drooling throng. The Grand Old Party's rock stars showed up in half-witted droves for this show.
There was Michele Bachmann, waxing moronic as only Michele Bachmann can. Almost four weeks ago on this very site, I asked the musical question, "Can Michele Bachman possibly get any stupider?" The answer, apparently, is yes. She projected on a screen a giant slide of a billboard in her home state of Minnesota which displayed a photograph of George W. Bush. Underneath the moronically smiling Dubya was this caption:
"MISS ME YET?"
Not surprisingly, this ocean of assholes misses him terribly. So, too, does Michele Bachmann. It was quite touching really.
There was John Boehner, giving a speech that demonstrated the complete gullibility of his audience - given the fact that he wasn't laughed off the podium:
Ladies and gentlemen, if you help elect a Republican Congress this November, and I'm fortunate enough to be elected Speaker of the House, I pledge to you right here and now: we're going to run the House differently."
I wish I could have set up a concession stand outside that hall selling my new line of gas heaters made out of balsa wood. I'd have walked away with a small fortune.
There was former Congressman Dick Armey demonstrating yet again that he has spent the last ten years in a vacuum. I am not kidding you, he actually had this to say about the president: "You're intellectually shallow; you're a romantic; you're self-indulgent." He then went on to call Obama, "the most incompetent president perhaps in our lifetime."
QUESTION: Was someone hiding the newspapers from this silly bastard between the years 2001 and 2009?
There was Marco Rubio, the GOP's latest poster boy and candidate for senate. This guy also fancies himself something of a comedian. It was a good thing that Washington was shut down last week by the worst snow storm in its history. Why? Because "the president couldn't find anywhere to set up a teleprompter to announce new taxes." GUFFAW! THAT'S A KILLER! Here is what made this stupid remark so unintentionally funny: he was reading off of a teleprompter when he made it. That's what I love about these people - totally void of any sense of irony.
FOR THE HISTORICAL RECORD:
Every president since Dwight D. Eisenhower has made use of the teleprompter. How far do you think Reagan or either of the Bushes would have gotten without that invention? I find it interesting that in a half century, only the black guy got criticized for actually using it. I'm sure that's just a coincidence, though.
And then there was Glenn Beck with his tired old robo-message: Liberalism equals Communism. The fact that this nitwit was welcomed with open arm to this event should give you a fairly good idea where their heads are at.
So I guess the writing is on the wall; the Democrats are going to get hammered on Election Day, right? I wouldn't be too sure about that. There are far too many monkey wrenches that are ready to be thrown into this engine. The most amusing thing to observe during the CPAC festivities last Thursday was their subtle attempt to disassociate themselves from the so-called "Tea Party Movement" without flatly rejecting it. What is going on here?
Here's what's going on: The cooler heads within the Republican National Committee know damned well that the Tea Partiers are a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode. It's not merely the fact that most of these people are dumber than dog shit, it is also the ugly reality that so much of that movement is based on the nasty philosophy that has embodied the white supremacist movement for decades. You could hear it in the remarks made by the protesters at the September 12, "March on Washington". You could see it in the signs they carried. Most of these twits refuse to even acknowledge the fact that the president of the United States is an American citizen!
Like Neville Chamberlain appeasing der fuhrer at the Munich conference in 1938, the RNC is frantically searching for a "peace in our time" moment. They have quite a dilemma before them to be sure. On the one hand they need to keep these jackasses "inside the tent pissing out" - so to speak. On the other hand they have to avoid alienating the moderates. Like the demented uncle living in the attic, they must do everything humanly possible to make sure that any contact with the neighborhood kids is limited if you know what I mean.
The Tea Party people are already claiming credit for Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts a couple weeks ago. They are determined to steer the course of the GOP in November, come hell or high water. If they are allowed control of the party, their extremism will only turn off a huge segment of the voting population. If they are denied that opportunity, they will splinter off into third and even fourth party uprisings. Have you ever watched an elephant try to walk a tightrope? It's more fun than a barrel of donkeys!
In the final analysis, the CPAC convention last week was not the celebration of omnipotence they would have us believe. It was nothing more than an organization of desperate politicians trying to put a pretty face on a dead pig. They have no ideas. They have no vision. The only reason for the existence of the Republican party since the days of President Grant has been to serve as handmaidens to their only constituency - the plutocracy. This fact is becoming more and more obvious to even the casual observer - hence their desperation. Will Election Day prove to be the landslide for the Republicans that so many are predicting? Don't count on it. Their weird uncle is at this moment walking the streets wearing nothing but a tattered bathrobe.
"You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train"
A superb documentary on the life of the late, great Howard Zinn. It is available on DVD.
For more on this subject, expressed better than I could ever hope to, please read Frank Rich's excellent column in this morning's New York Times. Here is a link: