Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Fade to Small Dot

pResident Infomercial

Pathetic. Just plain pathetic. Today's follow-up to yesterday's abysmal performance in Cleveland (See Think Progress for a couple of lowlights) is, in the words of Jim the Liberal, "...like a teenager child who is trying to lie his way out of crashing Dad's car breaking a vase in the house while playing ball." Yep.

If Shrub was a rock band, he'd be on the county fair circuit--or billed just below the puppet show

For five plus years we've been "treated" to the grim spectacle of children running amok in the nation's capital (aside: Jim, and others, including myself, find Smirk-Chimp's attempts at humor--his "spending capital" remark--just plain creepy and, for me, indicative of some deep rooted psychosis)...anyway, the children in charge have manifest ignorance matched only by an equal dose of arrogance. Now it's pretty clear their whole program is burning like dried dung, but the nominal head of the slag heap is lost in a Caligula-like delusion, while the rats below are scurrying about searching for tow ropes and docks.

Digby's been posting about this, and I'll defer to his eloquence--but I'll note some of my own thoughts re: watching the mix and match of horror show, farce, Lord of the Flies (starring the Mayberry Machiavellis)--and the chorus of wingnuts (now, thankfully, a shrinking chorus of wingnuts) collectively braying praise while barking at political opponents...

There seems to be, among that crowd, an almost pathological insistance to turn every issue into a martial or military matter. Aside from the obvious irony of their leadership composed almost exclusively of chickenhawks, it's a disturbing trend and a significant misreading of how American power most effectively projects itself--a misreading that, for the wingnut crowd, has been a cornerstone of their political philosophy since...Vietnam, which just adds to the irony...

That's not to say that the US doesn't have a history of militarism--anyone with a passing familiarity of the history of the Western Hemisphere knows or should know of literally dozens of US military actions...but turning the entire globe into the theater of operations is a relatively recent phenomenon--our occupation and bloody, ugly war in the Philipines notwithstanding. Add to that the emergence of the modern, national security state (for me, that began with the publication of NSC 68 in 1950), the bomb, and the subsequent efforts to promote eternal conflict, and it's not all that surprising we've got a cadre of wingnuttery perpetually ready to...have poor people wage war for them. In doing so, they likewise demonstrate, along with their Smirk-Chimp in Chief, deep seated psychoses of various flavors...while managing to undercut the very power they profess to be exercising.

Again, I'm not implying that the United State lacks nor needs lethal military force as a necessary component of foreign relations...but I AM saying that military force should neither be an object of worship, i.e., the wingnut view...though, again, it's funny to see how they shirk or slink from actual service--not surprising, given that colonial war is "the new black," and I'd venture that most anyone with a brain has a decent enough awareness of how such warfare makes an individual soldier even less valued, but I digress...nor is it something the rest of the world finds particularly awe-inspiring...as we're finding out tragically in Iraq.

That said, I DO think the United States--or, maybe I should say, the people of the United States, as opposed to the GOVERNMENT of the United States (funny how the rest of the world is relatively comfortable with such nuance), anyway, the people of the United State still manage to inspire a degree of admiration across the globe...no thanks to Team Shrub and the wingnut minions, mind you. If you ask me, this admiration is due to the fact that this country still IS a land of opportunity, despite the VERY REAL elements of racism, xenophobia, ignorance, you name it...of course, there's a money element involved: "opportunity" is measured in dollars...but I also believe there's a certain appreciation of uniquely American attitudes--attitudes NOT manifest in wars of preemption, aggression, or whatever you call it.

Which is why the Team Bush program is SO maddening to witness. It's a perfect storm of aggressive, willful ignorance, and sneering contempt, starting at the top, of all that's below. Which is certainly an easy method for building a political base, as any student of Southern Democratic history would know...but is sheer disaster in a world that REQUIRES a measure of cooperation and nuance, two characteristics seemingly lost on the modern GOP. And that disaster could well wind up affecting us VERY badly, as I think the public is finally beginning to realize.

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