Monday, March 16, 2009

Jackals and Jackasses

Frank Rich (photo left) is my favorite columnist. Early every Sunday morning - before I even brush my teeth - the first thing I do after I open my eyes is run to my computer to read what the Frankster, a former Broadway critic turned political commentator, has to say about the abysmal state of the nation. Yesterday's column, entitled "The Culture Warriors Get Laid Off" was a typical gem of an exceedingly frank Richism from which I quote:

"What has happened between 2001 and 2009 to so radically change the cultural climate? Here, at last, is one piece of good news in our global economic meltdown: Americans have less and less patience for the intrusive and divisive moral scolds who thrived in the bubbles of the Clinton and Bush years. Culture wars are a luxury the country — the G.O.P. included — can no longer afford".

The nicest thing about Mr. Frank's very nice column is that he encourages his on-line readers to become part of the dialogue and offers a forum where they - we - can post our own opinions. Occasionally (if I behave myself and refrain from the naughty invective for which I am not unknown) he'll even allow the likes of me to become part of the discussion. So it was yesterday:

"The morality police - the bloviating gas bags of the religious right - have fallen lower than the stock market. I agree with Frank Rich that this can only be a good thing....It has truly been an amazing (and amusing) thing to watch these so-called "spokesmen of Christ" defending the morally indefensible these past thirty years. And now - finally - they're going away. It seems an answer to a prayer. Thank you, Lord."

"Blessed are the peace makers,
For they shall be called sons [and daughters] of God.
Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth."

From the Gospel According to Matthew

As Rich pointed out, one of the first casualties of the stock market crash of 1929 were the holier-than-thou fools who, ten years before, had forced the Eighteenth Amendment down the throats of the American people. That stupid law, which banned the use and sale of alcohol nationwide, guaranteed the rise of the organized crime syndicates that are still a parasite on our social fabric ninety years later. After 1929, the jackals and jackasses who made that situation possible ("The Drys" they were called, damned near all of them Republicans - Surprise! Surprise!) became political pariahs; forever exiled from serious participation in America's national conversation. "The Wets", those who favored repealing the Eighteenth Amendment, won the day.

This week, the ideological heirs of The Drys, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter - that crowd - seem to be in a state of maniacal panic. They can see the proverbial writing on the wall. The American people, after thirty years of blissful slumber deep in their sweet little Right Wing Coma, have awaken to the nasty reality of the social and economic carnage of the Reagan/Bush/Clinton/Bush years. On Election Day last, they wisely decided to take a turn to the left.

Watching the Conservative spin machine go into overdrive this week was a truly funny thing to behold. God bless 'em! They were all right on message with their pathetic little talking points! From Limbaugh telling an audience of wild-eyed sycophantic robots that he wanted to see our new president fail - to Mitch McConnell standing up on the floor of the senate saying that the New Deal was a total failure - it was the kind of moment where one is truly torn between two competing desires: To vomit - or not to vomit. That is the question.

But my particular favorite moment was yesterday morning watching Dick Cheney being interviewed by CNN's John King. I have to give a tip of the hat to Cheney. When he was (quite literally) wheeled out of the White House on Inauguration Day, I was a little overcome with emotion. I really was going to miss the gales of accidental comedy which he so effortlessly and generously provided me during the previous eight, long years. Not to worry, Degan! The hideous old pervert just refuses to go away. I'm so utterly consumed with happiness, I could weep with joy. In fact, I think I will - Excuse me....


I'm back....I'm sorry. Where was I? Oh yeah!....

Cheney's interview on CNN yesterday was an absolute hoot and a half! For someone like me who spends his spare time siphoning the political streams for little golden nuggets of unintentional humor, it was a strike even I could not have anticipated. I stood up in my living room in front of the television and yelled out as loud as I possibly could:


Who (or what) do you think Dick Cheney held responsible for the utter implosion of the American economy? Could it have possibly been the result of thirty years of mindless deregulation and greed on the part of Republican (and more than a few Democratic) politicians and Wall Street operators? Might the blame lie with an administration that pissed away a trillion dollars of our country's treasure on an unnecessary, stupid war that never should have been fought in the first place? Might it have been the fact that while this incredibly expensive war was draining the economy, these assholes were giving a tax break to a class of people who already had more money than they knew what to do with? Or might it have something to do with the fact that for three long decades, they utterly neglected America's decimated infrastructure?

Nah! It was none of that!

So at whose doorstep did the former vice-president lay the blame for the cataclysmic meltdown that the American economy is now experiencing? Barack Obama. That's right! You heard me! Barack Obama. Honestly, I'm not makin this stuff up, folks!

Forget the undeniable fact that the market crashed on September 15, almost two months before Senator Obama was elected - over four months before President Obama was even inaugurated. Forget the fact that people who were paying attention have been predicting for years that what happened last September was an inevitability (People like me: I would refer you to the pieces I wrote on June 8, 2008 and December 30, 2007). Just forget all about that. It doesn't matter. It's immaterial. Barack Obama and the Democrats are responsible for all of our nations woes. To paraphrase that grand and immortal philosopher, the late and lamented Groucho Marx, "Who are you gonna believe - me or your own lying eyes?"

Yeah, I know what you're thinking; No, it really doesn't get any stupider than this. It really doesn't.

And then last week, like a desperate cry in the darkness came a voice of reason. The amazing thing is the fact that this voice didn't come from the offices of or Democracy Now; this voice came from an active, participating member of the Republican Party! And it wasn't the voice of some battle-scarred old sage with decades of political fights behind him; it was the voice of a girl - or, at the very least, a very young lady just barely removed from childhood. It was the voice of Meghan McCain, the daughter of the former GOP nominee, begging, pleading with her party - literally a voice in the wilderness - to come back to the principles her grand old party (such as it was) once stood for.

And how did the propagandists on the Right respond to this rare voice of reason from within an extremely unreasonable political organization? The only thing that shrill Conservatives like Laura Ingraham could come up with was to make a few snide cracks about her weight. How's that for reasoned discourse? And what was Meghan McCain's response to this?

"They can kiss my fat ass!"

FOR THE RECORD: She's a perfectly lovely young lady - if somewhat misguided (Remember, she did vote for her dad and Gidget von Braun!). If the so-called "party of Lincoln" (TOO FUNNY!) has any future (and that is highly doubtful at this stage) that future is personified in the image of Meghan McCain - not Michelle Malkin.

So sit back, folks, and enjoy the show. The next year or so is going to be very interesting and extremely entertaining. The philosophy of the Reagan Revolution has been pulverized to dust. The Far Right is imploding. Isn't it a beautiful thing to behold? Someone pinch me.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY


The Greatest Story Ever Sold
by Frank Rich


At 6:20 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Tom, it's important that Cheney and all his friends are brought to justice. Hell, I'm preachin' to the choir here, I know, but I can't emphasize enough that we're still in great danger from the marauding jackals who made a total mockery of our country, and are still trying to do so through their attempts to rewrite and revise what occurred the last eight years.

Please, Tom, if you haven't already, visit and do your part to make sure this type of executive privilege isn't overstayed. Our government wasn't designed to be a dictatorial monarchy where the committing of atrocities is condoned, or even a republic that favors or allows transgressions of our Bill of Rights. Please help put these imposters in prison, where they lawfully -- Constitutionally -- belong. They're "Jackals and Jackasses" -- for sure.

By the way, did you happen to catch the piece on Olbermann's show last week concerning some damning evidence claimed by Seymour Hersh that proves Bush & Company permitted death, or assassination squads, to infiltrate select countries to knock-off political opponents? As you know, this would be in direct violation of the Ford Administration's executive order that discontinued, and made illegal, such actions. I can't find any additional information on this. Does anyone have any information about this, or links you can direct me to?


At 6:30 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Frank, I'll be sure to check out that site.

Regarding the Olbermann program, not only did I watch it live, I engraved it onto DVD when it was repeated later in the evening.

You always have great postings here, Frankie. Seriously, you should start your own blog! You would kick ass!

Still, I love the fact that you post all of these little gems here. Thanks, pal and keep stirring the pot!


At 8:30 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Thanks, Tom, for the vote of confidence. Maybe I will, in time, but for right now I have other priorities. I'm not sure I could do it justice. You've set a high standard, my man, which would be very tough to meet.

Back to the Seymour Hersh piece for a second. Do you think this thing has legs, or has it fizzled and been relegated to the electronic equivalent of the circular file? I didn't catch the whole thing, so I'm at a loss as to everything that was said. I can't find a thing about it...anywhere.

Have a good one, Tom, and thanks again. If I do begin my own "rant", you can be sure it'll be about the one topic I'm particularly passionate about. Nobody's really talking about it -- in specifics, but everyone's tugging at it along the edges. We'll see.

At 11:25 AM, Blogger charles moore said...

Hi Tom,

The sad thing about the Bush administration is that there are simply layers upon layers of criminal activities that will probably never be brought to light. Granted, a lot of them were simply stupid, but they were not all so totally stupid as not to cover their collective asses and there is just no way of knowing what has been covered up or what incriminating evidence destroyed.

Cheney is unfortunately the absolute incarnation of evil and I find it interesting that while he was in office, there would be weeks when he would not be heard from, and now he is simply all over the place.

With regards to Coulter and Limbaugh, the pathetic thing is that these people are not elected to any office; they are not official spokespersons for the GOP, yet by default - meaning a complete lack of leadership within the GOP - they have become the mouthpiece for the stupid, bigoted, narrow minded, intolerant, homophobic, racist, red necked, Bible thumping members of the party. (Did I miss anyone?)

From what I keep reading, it appears that the very few Republicans who might have a brain are leaving the party. The GOP is sinking to the lowest common denominator of the hate driven.

At 12:17 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Great posting, Mr. Charlie!

And, yes, you're right; a lot of people are abandoning that silly party.The first piece I ever wrote on this site nearly three years ago was called, "George Bush: The Last Republican President". At the time I thought that the title was mere wishful thinking on my part. Now, I am not so sure.

Keep 'em coming, pal!

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 6:00 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Oh, Happy Saint Paddy's Day, you, your family, and all the loyal readers of The Rant.

Peace to all...

...while swilling my second green beers...

At 6:40 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Sorry, it should have read "swilling my second green beer..." (singular)

...instead of "beer(s)"... (not plural)

I'm not slurring my words.


At 6:54 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

May ya be in Heaven a half an hour befar the devil knows you're dead, Frank.

And a happy Saint Patty's day to ya all.

For the record, I am DEFINITELY slurring my words.

Tommy Degan

It's a great day for the Irish!

At 2:55 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

Hey Tom...I'm not even Irish, and Saint Paddy's day is still a great day.

There's a bit o' the Irish in all us wee people...

At 8:55 AM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

This is sort of off-topic, but it's not. It's pertinent and it's timely...

It's too bad we don't have a president who will stare-down and confront Wall Street -- much as a former president did when confronted with similar arrogance and unwillingness to work together. This current president, unlike the one he has sometimes been compared to, doesn't carry the bravado, or have the moxy, to force the issue. I suspect it's because this president, like so many in recent past, was selected way before election day, and carries the torch, and flies the banner, of the corporatist state he truly represents.

This isn't the country of my father's, or even remotely that of my childhood. It's a changed country, alright, one that's been stolen right from under our noses. When are people going to wake-up to this fact?

At 11:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Frank, I don't know that we've come that far. We were born in the cold-war era. That was pretty weird. I think it was a wet dream of the previous administration to restart it. Even those freaks couldn't come up with an explanation as to why you might need 11 of what you have 10 times too much of.

Judging from history, those guys rarely wind up in jail. Even if they just went through the motions (as done with Nixon) it would be a good thing for the country - particularly for the citizens.

As you pointed out, there is a continuing effort to reshape history. Unfortunately, there are far to many people with the mental integrity of modeling clay. One child left behind was neither new nor a failure - just another means to that end.

At 5:17 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

laura ingraham...f---ing c--t

At 12:40 PM, Blogger Jefferson's Guardian said...

RE: Seymour Hersh's claim of Executive Assassination Ring

Tom, here's some information that just came to my attention. Thought you'd be interested. Seems Tricky Dick 2.0 had some side dealings of his own. Not only has he been tryin' to rewrite history, he made an attempt to rewrite the Constitution.

As voiced by The Pen, "Is there no level of treason outrageous enough to get one of the other two branches of government to confront these crimes against the Constitution? The justice department must immediately appoint a special prosecutor. Failing that, Congress must launch its own investigation, as called for by the always heroic Dennis Kucinich, to get to the bottom of this."

Prosecute the bastards...then send 'em to prison.

At 7:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Something I said had a somewhat incorrect implication. Bush was doing a sales pitch for updating the nuclear arsenal including the kinder & gentler low yield warheads. Does anyone know of what became of that effort?

At 12:04 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

A little off topic but I see Eliot Spitzer feels his call in life now is to expose the Wall Street folks for the crooks they are !! Between Spitzer and Jon Stewart we might finally get somewhere on that one !! Go for it man, get those bastards !!

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Floyd M. Orr said...

This is one of your more outstanding posts, Tom. I certainly hope you are right about the diminishing power of the radio and cable TV hatemongers. You might enjoy this article I just posted to my Nonfiction in a Fictional Style blog:

At 7:57 AM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Thanks for the kind words, Floyd. and thank you for the link. The influence of these fools seems to be waning. We can only hope for the best.

At 3:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


You are just like the rest of the hypocritical people who call themselves as "liberals".

I love the United States, I believe it is the greatest institution ever created. I want to best for my country and the people in it. I am a LIBERTARIAN. Republicans, Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals all want the best for the United States. The only differences are the methods of achieving whats best for the United States.

Here is a quote from your posting in reference to republicans, "the stupid, bigoted, narrow minded, intolerant, homophobic, racist, red necked, Bible thumping members of the party. (Did I miss anyone?)"

You are the bigoted, narrow minded, intolerant person.

Whats wrong with being a Red Neck? So what if you like to drink beer and drive a pick-up truck?

Being against gay marriage does not make me homophobic. I have lived in Chelsea in New York City and have many gay friends. They know that I am against gay marriage and also know that I am not homophobic.

I go to church. I enjoy the time there where I can listen do someone else speak for a change and I can just sit there and think. I gather in the opinion of the priest giving the sermon. I don't always agree but I am listening to their opinion. Isnt that the opposite of being narrow minded, listening to others opinions and making a judgement for yourself?

Is Tom's blog any different from Hannity or Coulter? They are all practicing their first amendment rights.

Tom, I know you want the best for the United States, and disagree in approach of republicans, but this Charlie Moore piece of garbage is not whats best for the US. I dont appreciate you applauding is comments.


At 3:38 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

Dear Dan,

In defense of Charles, I don't think he was referring to people who drink beer and drive around in pick up trucks. I drink beer and, until recently, drove around in a pick up truck. I think all he is guilty of is a bit of a literary flourish which - Heaven knows - I am also guilty of.

Having said that, I must add that your posting was well written and you do make some very good points.

Keep 'em coming, pal.

All the best,

Tom Degan

At 3:46 PM, Blogger Tom Degan said...

One more thing about Charles Moore (and I don't think he will mind me saying this):

We have corresponded in the past and he has told me more than once that he is originally from rural Georgia and has a first hand knowledge of the culture of which he speaks




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