Permit me if you will, Dear Reader, engage in a bit of blog remixing on behalf of my colleague Driftglass in order to worry an itch of mine:
“Well now Trump is here. And the sheer tonnage of the toxic stupid and fascistic crazy that comes belching out of the White House every single fucking day coupled with the sheer, unalloyed, amoral gutlessness of the Republican Party in the leering face of the unhinged lunatic it elected is putting a terrible strain on the rafters and load bearing walls of the High and Holy Church of Both Siderism. Huddled inside, terrified that their long-postponed Day of Judgment may finally be outside, huffing and puffing and getting ready to blow their Church down, the paid-in-full members of the faithful demand that someone step up and do, well, something. […]
And yet, as we stand at the very brink of realizing their dream of blowing it all up and enabling demented bigots to rule by decree on behalf of theocrats, plutocats and Mother Russia, suddenly some of the Republican's most loyal enablers are losing their nerve. It's too late to reverse the engines – to unbrainwash the +60M wingnut zombies that they programmed to Destroy!Destroy!Destroy! and tell them that it has all gone way too far, and there is no longer a Kenyan Communist Muslim Sleeper Cell Usurper on-hand to blame for their sins and crimes against democracy. Which is why the world is suddenly alive with the sound of their lifeboats hitting the water as hordes of newly-minted "independents" row frantically away from the listing hulk of the great ship they worked so hard to wreck.
And they'll probably get away with it. After all, thanks to a mountain of Koch money, relentless marketing by Fox News and the rest of the Hate Media ecosystem and, crucially, the complicity of the Beltway media, they pulled exactly the same stunt eight years ago, and there is no evidence that any of the meatheads and fascists and media quislings who conspired to get the GOP off the hook last time have grown a conscience in the last eight years.”
He’s right: they’ve done this before, and with spectacular fucking success. George W. Bush lied us into an illegal war that bankrupted the nation and set back our global reputation by decades, yet it wasn’t until Trump gave the reprogrammable meat puppets that make up the conservative base permission to forgive themselves for going along with such a massively stupid undertaking that they even deigned to speak Bush’s name aloud again with anything other than rank condescension. That’s how deep and how wide the Memory Hole was built by Bush’s cadre of fake pundits and goons and sycophants: they were able to shove the whole Tea Party into it.
|"Remember me? Heheh...they sure as hell don't!"|
The Memory Hole may be fucking massive, but even it has limits. Recent stress tests have demonstrated that cracks are forming along the edges, as the punditocracy continues to stuff more and more outrageous levels of abject bullshit down its gullet. It will crack eventually, and while everything may not come tumbling out, nothing will ever be able to be placed in it again, either. That will come as a major relief to those of us who, y’know, remember things, and have the audacity to recall those things in front of people who have spent a lifetime pretending to forget them.
What concerns me is how spending all this time (and money; don’t forget how many billions of dollars it costs for Memory Hole maintenance and upkeep) convincing millions of people that history ends after 1960 is continuing to calcify the notion of conservatism as a political religion that cannot fail, but can only be failed by those who fail to live up to its principles. With every failure of conservatism that is foisted onto others, fissures continue to develop within the party, skewing ever-rightward. And it’s happening already, as we speak.
“[T]he Republicans two brands to sell in 2018. The president* will keep the suckers in the tent, while the "responsible" Republicans in the formal party apparatus will convince Thought Leaders that Camp Runamuck is a self-generating freak show as detached from the party as it is from empirical reality. Given the nature of elite political reporting in this country, this might actually work. However, given the nature of the folks in that picture, and the president* at whose erratic pleasure they serve, the odds are that it won't. But there is one thing that will guarantee that it works, and that's the well-known ability of the Democratic Party to stare down the gullet of any gift horse that comes its way.”
It’s Keystone v. Coors Light: no matter who wins, the American public loses, and has to drink shitty beer with no health care.
But sooner or later, the lather/rinse/repeat of Republican chicanery and the complicity of the mainstream press in covering it up are going to create a permanent fissure between ultra-right-wing “establishment” conservatism and the proto-fascist fringe that is continuing to gain momentum in this country under Trump, one that the Republican Party is going to have to respond to in some fashion or another. But if conservatism can only be failed and the party tries to pass the buck, foisting blame onto the “libruls” as is their default setting will they be successful this time?
|Chaplin/Keaton 2020, anyone?|
This is what happens when what passes for “reasonable political discourse” is dragged kicking and screaming to the right for so long: ultra-right wing conservatism becomes centrism, neoliberalism becomes the new rallying point for the Enlightenment, and sheer nationalist lunacy becomes mainstream right-wing thought. In light of that, the question of a bona fide fascist party rising in this country isn’t a matter of if, but when.