Thursday, November 12, 2009

A party by any other name....

....would whither and die. As Gomez Adams would say, "Capitol idea, Tish!"

So, this is the Republican Party of Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt, huh? That is (to be polite) a bit of a stretch, wouldn't you say so? To imply as much is like saying that Beach Blanket Bingo was a remake of Battleship Potemkin; or that Wayne's World was an adaptation of Tolstoy's The Death of Ivan Ilyich - a silly proposition any way you slice it or dice it. Why don't they just rename it "The Tea Party" and be done with it? Or how about (in homage to Monty Python) "The Silly Party"? Anything but the Republican party. It only soils the memory of two great Presidents.

Then again, what's in a name? The damage has already been done and it may very well be irreparable. This was proven yet again on Tuesday in the so-called "New York 23" election, when the extremists from all over the country stormed into town to defeat a woman who was deemed "too moderate" for the half-witted hardliners. They ended up handing a congressional seat over to a Democrat in a district that has not gone Democratic since the nineteenth century. Way to go, assholes!

Who the hell is leading that worthless party anyway? Michael Steele? Please. Mitch McConnell?? Have another sip. Their "leadership" (such as it is) may be found in the form of Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann. Is it the goal of these clowns to destroy the GOP in order that it may be rebuilt in their own, hideous image? If that is the case they're in for quite a surprise. That nutty party is already "in their image". Are they serious when they imply that they wish to move it even further to the right? How "far right" can one move before one falls off of the face of the earth? Are they serious? Here's the good news: They are.

When the grand old party was handed over to the lunatic fringe of American politics at their convention in the summer of 1964, it was only a matter of time before it was destroyed from within. Who would have thought it would take forty-five years for that to happen? Better late than ever, I suppose - but DAMN! Did they have to take the rest of us down with them?

In his column in Monday's New York Times, the usually astute Paul Krugman ended that morning's piece with this extremely rare (for him) clunker:

"The point is that the takeover of the Republican Party by the irrational right is no laughing matter. Something unprecedented is happening here - and it's very bad for America."

No, Paul! BAD PAUL! What is happening here is very good for America! Can't you see? The Republican Party - the party of Strom Thurmond, Jerry Fallwell, Jesse Helms, Spiro Agnew and Ronald Reagan (all mercifully dead) - IS IN THE PROCESS OF COMMITTING SUICIDE! There is no other way to describe what is now happening to them! Professor Krugman, I admire you as much as any writer I can think of - but you must understand that this will not be "very bad for America". Trust me on this one, okay? Good Paul!

All over the print and electronic media this week, the poobahs and pundits are predicting major Republican gains in next year's elections. What is their basis for so bold a prediction? Historically, the party of a sitting president always loses in the midterm elections. It is as natural as autumn following summer. However, they fail to take into consideration one crucial factor: this is no ordinary time.

Given their weird behavior in the last year or so - and given the fact that they will only continue to self destruct in coming twelve months - I cannot foresee them gaining any serious ground in either the House or the Senate on Election Day next. In fact I can only see their numbers diminishing even further. By this time next year, Michele Bachmann will be yesterday's news - count on it.

We can only hope that out of the carnage of the GOP's destruction will come a third party that is a tad more moderate and thoughtful - and I must emphasize the word "Hope". That ain't never gonna happen, baby! It's easy to predict that the Democrats will be running things for a long time into the future. The problem with that little scenario is, as Lord Acton said, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" - and the Democrats already have more-than-their-share of corrupt political hacks. For every Russ Feingold there are about ten Max Baucuses. If the Democratic Party is going to be taken seriously in their self-proclaimed roll as the "the party of the people" (and that's getting harder to believe by the day) they need to be purged of their dead weight.

Real reform is needed. And it's not just the GOP of which I speak. The overwhelming majority of our elected representatives - from both parties - need to be challenged in the primaries by reformers intent on taking our country back. That might also mean a challenge to the President in the primary of 2012. It is too early in this administration to give Barack Obama anything but the benefit of the doubt. We'll see where we stand a year or two from now. I want to believe in this guy - and I do believe in him - but the sad and painful truth is that I am starting to become disillusioned with my president.

In case you haven't noticed it, the entire American legislative branch has been taken over by organized criminals. But I'm preaching to the choir here. You have noticed, haven't you! Good for you! The most glaring comparison I can come up with is the mafia. Everybody knows what those worthless sons-of-bitches are all about. Everybody knows they make their living off society as parasites - and yet they operate right out in the open. How much of a no-brainer is it to conclude that lobbying is nothing more than legalized bribery? It's not free speech - it's organized crime! Why is it allowed to fester? Why are you and I allowing it to fester? What the hell is wrong with this picture? Any ideas? Any answers? HELLO, AMERICA???

In the mean time the ship of state is only going to continue to sink. That's alright by me, though. As long as I've got material to write about, I am as happy as a clam at high tide, thank you very much. For someone like me who makes his name writing about the catastrophe that the American political system has become in the last thirty years, these hideous fools are the gift that keeps giving and giving and giving and giving and giving and giving....

As Frank Sinatra once sang, "Don't worry 'bout me, I'll get along."

Tom Degan


Capitol Crimes
From Bill Moyers' Journal
Available from PBS Video


Darlene Costner is a retired eighty-four year old woman living in Tuscon, Arizona. She writes a blog called Darlene's Hodgepodge that - in its sweet little way - kicks some serious butt. Highly recommended! Here's a link:

The gal takes no prisoners - again, in a very sweet and loving way. Happy reading, campers!


At 12:26 PM, Blogger Sue said...

Tom, yes the moderates are being tossed to the wind so the crazies can replace them with the rightwingnutfucks. But it does scare me, look at the Gallop poll just out, a generic polling shows rethugs 48% and dems 44%. Are independants so impatient with Obama that they will turn on him and vote rethugs next election(2010)??

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

This just proves what I have been saying all along.....the establishment is EVIL !!! Democrats, Republicans.... both are the establishment. For real change we need to put the hippie counter-culture in charge !! You are all welcome to support The Woodstock Nation Party ( WNP ) in all future elections !! Now if I can just figure out how to get on the ballots with limited resources.....any ideas out there ???

At 12:50 PM, Blogger Prairie Waif said...

I hope the move went well Tom. Did you move to the left of your previous location?

As a political refugee from Ronald Reagan's America (remember when he wanted to save money on the School Lunch Programs by declaring Ketchup a vegetable?), I have watched as Gingrich, Bennett and other clowns have declared themselves the "righteous," "ethical," "Christians," and "Caring Conservatives." Wow! These guys are in big time need of a dictionary with the definitions; they are relying on spell-check and not on the actual appropriate and correct usage of the English Language (that is if they actually are speaking it).

When my older sister sent me some crap email titled, "Do you want *this* as your First Lady?! complete with photoshopped image of Michelle Obama and then followed up a few days later with one on Sarah Palin exclaiming, "I have found the person I will vote for!" I gave up on ever returning to "the family." I think they probably have time-shares at C-Street.

I just cannot believe the fomentation of hatred by Faux Gnus Gnatwerks "pundits." What the hell has happened in America when it is "more American" to hate your public servants that were elected, fairly?

Today, the whack-jobs are all over Lindsey Graham because the man is a REAL Republican (more in keeping with Abraham Lincoln than others). They want him removed from his Senate seat. What next?

I see those "militias" that are part of the Second Amendment organizing; this time they are doing it in public, guns strapped onto their thighs and intimidating for political gain (I believe, for the rest of the world, we call that Terrorism.

Where is this all leading?

At 1:14 PM, Anonymous Billy Jingles said...

Tom, I live in rural America surrounded by rabid right-wing zealots who force feed each other the usual paranoid gibberish straight from the talk radio hate pundits. Mostly these crazies love to engage in a circle jerk with tales of socialist bogeymen, write disjointed letters to the editor about the evils of Obama , Christian doomsday tales, and how the H1N1 vaccine is a government plot to inject tracking numbers inside their bodies. Because many refuse the vaccine perhaps Darwin's Law will kick in decreasing the Republican Party by millions.

At 4:04 PM, Blogger charles moore said...

Billy Jingles, I have no idea where you live, but it sure does sound like my red necked cousins down in south Georgia.

And Tom, to your usual fine article, it does appear as if the GOP is like a pack of rabid dogs tearing one another apart;every fringe group trying to gain top dog position and everyone loosing in the process. And while the Democrats may be able to come together with a a little more unity, for the first time in my 60 + years, I am beginning to think that we really should be presented with a sane and reasonable third party option; one that actually cares about this country and it's people rather than themselves and their power.

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Ellis D., Esq. said...

Charles Moore.......a party that actually CARES about the people ?? My point exactly !! Vote WNP !!

At 4:27 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

You "Go", Tom. Well said. I am a bit more cynical though. If a third party emerged how long do you think it would take them to emulate the two corrupt parties in power now? As you quoted, absolute power corrupts absolutely. Politicians are what they are and, while the current bunch of 'no nothings' are more extreme, their types have always been with us. Think of the John Birch Society and Joe (help me out here - when you become older than dirt some words just won't come and Joe's last name is buried in some part of my aging brain. I will think of it the second I click on 'send'.) Anyhow, the Joe that saw a communist under every flower pot and ruined so many lives with his dishonest smears.

At 5:47 PM, Anonymous Infidel753 said...

Why don't they just rename it "The Tea Party" and be done with it?

Somebody's already started one for the people who don't think the Republican party is crazy enough (yes, they exist).

At 6:11 PM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Hello, Darlene....

It was Joe McCarthy. And your reluctance to remember his name has nothing to do with an "aging brain". The world has been trying to forget the name of Joe McCarthy since his death nearly fifty-three years ago. You have succeeded. Good for you. I'm sorry to remind you.


Tom Degan

At 7:17 PM, Blogger Bucko (a.k.a., Ken) said...

There was an article in Time last week about how in the fringe of both parties, the newbies (i.e., Bachmann) are going overboard to gain recognition and are raking in the fund raising.

At 7:36 PM, Blogger Beth said...

I enjoyed the Krugman piece, too, Tom, and even wrote about that Hofstadter essay back in September. I find his writing of 40 years ago very pertinent to what is happening today.

Like you, I took exception to Krugman's statement that what is happening is bad for America. I feel that this is a weeding out of extremists in the party. If they perhaps become a splinter party, they will realize that they don't have as much power as they seem to think they do now. They greatly overestimate their influence.

Another great piece!

At 3:59 PM, Blogger Mario M. said...

I am one of those whom you consider "fringe." For eight years the left was complaining about the potential for violations of our liberties because of the Patriot Act. Today the left is completely silent as a sixth of our economy is about to be taken over by the government.

Democrat representatives are voting for bills thousand of pages long without reading them, and the cowards in the media are afraid to ask questions.

Political correctness is permitting a Muslim fanatic to become a major in the US Army. The president surrounds himself with radicals and we are the fanatics.

Finally, I am touched by how concerned left-wingers who have never voted for a Republican are suddenly concerned about the takeover of the Republican Party.

At 4:01 PM, Blogger Dave Dubya said...

Tea Parties and their mad hatters, tea baggers, Reich wing politicians, and our wide-eyed guardians of conformity and corporatism make a splendid sight. Better to see them out in the open. As long as the hold onto the myth that most of rest of the country agrees with them we can keep an eye on them.

And they do put on such a show of ignorance and stupidity, I have to say I am mildly entertained. When they go underground I worry.

At 6:20 PM, Blogger PCS said...

I have to agree with Sue. Krugman might be right. I'm old, not older than dirt...but old enough to have learned to never overestimate the intelligence of the American people.

At 1:08 AM, Blogger Dearest Friend said...

I found it very strange that an add for Ann Coulter's blog is the first thing you see when one comes to read yours!

In the words of that annoying Geico commercial...and that "great" 80s hit, "I always feel like somebody's watching me."

No real comment on the blog - what could I possibly add? I like the name change idea - please let's not soil the good names of Abe and Teddy any longer...(and the more or less found of this party...if you go back far enough)...John.


At 11:19 AM, Anonymous David Schlecht said...

Ah, but the Whigs have come and gone and come back as the Republican party. As long as there is corruption in politics there will be a Republican party, by one name or another.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Darlene said...

How can I thank thee? Let me count the ways. You say such nice things about me. Your satire is a joy to read.

Thank you so much, Tom, for the kind plug for my blog. I deeply appreciate it and feel humbled.

A caveat: my blog is not named a hodgepodge accidentally. I write about many things beside politics and that includes my family. It may bore you, but it pleases my kin. ;-)

At 7:26 AM, Anonymous Tommy said...

Hey Tom - absolutely love your blog!

Seems like the same kind of scary stuff is happening on your side of the pond as on mine - we're facing the prospects of a political coup over how we fund our universities.

Tommy x

At 7:59 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

Love your site, Tommy! I almost feel reassured (in a weird and unexplainable sort of way) that meerie old England is also having problems with its lunatic fringe. They will fall of their own weight, though. They always do.


Tom Degan

At 8:54 PM, Blogger Alan Evil said...

Am I the only one that feels a parliamentary system works better? Our two party system has left us with a disjointed centrist party and a far-right bunch of wingnuts. How about a moderate right party? How about a truly liberal party? Sure we've got a token number of Green and Libertarian candidates out there but not anywhere near the number that would be represented in a better, more egalitarian system.

At 9:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was very interesting for me to read this blog. Thanks for it. I like such topics and anything that is connected to this matter. I definitely want to read a bit more on that blog soon.

At 4:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm beginning to worry that the country may never wake up from it's morbid stupidity.

At 12:42 AM, Blogger swordfish1543 said...

"And you know the surest way to go broke? Keep getting an increasing share of a shrinking market. Down the tubes. Slow but sure. You know, at one time there must've been dozens of companies making buggy whips. And I'll bet the last company around was the one that made the best goddamn buggy whip you ever saw. Now how would you have liked to have been a stockholder in that company?"
[Lawrence Garfield - the Danny DeVito character - in Other People's Money]

Me? - I'm delighted that the GOP has decided to turn itself into the buggy whip party!

At 8:37 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

To be picky on an excellent blog - wasn't it Lord Acton who said "All power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely" ?

At 10:49 AM, Blogger Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

I looked it up and you're are absolutely right. It was Lord Acton and not Machiavelli. The correction has been made. Thanks for keeping me on my toes!

All the best,

Tom Degan


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