Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Not That I Needed Any Convincing, But...

In case you were wondering, and if you've got the time, Roger Morris, over at Tom Dispatch, has Part I of an analysis of Donald Rumsfeld and the Dick Cheney. Part II is scheduled to be released later this week.

Short version: Morris asks, how vicious, how evil, and for how long? Then, he answers: Very, unbelievably, and for a LONG TIME:

Across an age gap of almost a decade, despite the distance between charged and calm, North Shore and Casper, Princeton and Wyoming, country club Congressman and lumpen-proletarian repairman, they shared something rarely then so openly admitted on the right: an abhorrence of the liberations sweeping the 1960s, not just the right's pet scourges of bureaucracy, crime, drugs, social fragmentation, and (however suitably coded) racial integration, but the unsettling ferment of newfound freedoms and honesty, the defiance of cultural and institutional oppressions -- especially by minorities and women. They detested Lyndon Johnson's Great Society, the way it seemed to advance beyond the New Deal and Progressivism at the expense of settled money and power.

Altogether it was a moment of hurtling change that many saw as ominous weakness and laxity, of new public programs for the long-excluded, which the world of Rumsfeld and Cheney imagined as "socialism." For them, the balancing regulation of long-dominant business power was nothing short of "tyranny"; the new arrangements of race and class, the myriad threats of sheer liberty in a more equitable society and economy, were menacing.

Whatever their other ties, Rumsfeld and Cheney were two of the era's visceral reactionaries in the classic sense of the term. Musing with younger aides on one of his last days in the White House, Johnson came up with a telling term for their ilk. "The haters," he called them. "They hate what they can't run any more" was the way he put it. The calamity Rumsfeld and Cheney later wrought in American foreign policy traced not only to profound ignorance and immense, careless pretense about the world at large, but in some part to a four-decade-old kindred fear and loathing at home.

Geez, I wonder if Satan'll even take 'em in come their time. They're so fucking evil they might wind up running the goddamned place, pushing Lucifer aside (leaving him to commiserate with Herr Kissinger).

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