Is it just me, or is GOP giddiness about their chimerical but purportedly inevitable “sweep” in the next election leading them into near daily outbursts of unseemly candor? Those of us on the left know quite well that they hold their non-rich supporters in utter contempt, but they at least used to recognize that most of them are capable of understanding simple phrases. ”Personal Responsibility” certainly stood for a lot of punitive and harmful things, but until the Palin/Beck Cuckoo Crack-up of 2008-9, they didn’t actually come out and just say them. My, what a difference a year or two of teabagging makes.
When I look back at the cringe-inducing but disarmingly vague expressions of George Bush, like “armies of compassion,” I have to admit that Chris Matthews, for perhaps the fourth time in his career, might actually be correct about something; a little nostalgia for Bush is probably in order. After all, the horror of eight years of zero job growth, a ruined economy, two lost but continuing wars, and a soaring deficit “forcing” draconian social spending cuts are a little easier to tolerate when Bush at least had enough respect for the voters’ intelligence not to proudly sell such shockingly undesirable outcomes in advance. His ideological soulmates still in office, however, see no more need for such gauzy and effeminate euphemisms as they busily deflect blame and promise dreadful consequences for the catastrophe they themselves caused. They just come right out and say that poor people should be starved so they can’t breed, sick people deserve to die for their dissolute habits and poor planning, so-called “terrorists” should be locked up and tortured if not summarily executed without so much as a trial, and the millions of unemployed should be cut off without a cent so they get off their slovenly asses and fix the Servant Problem. Unlike the more politely imperious ruling classes of yore, this bunch proudly blurts this stuff out right in front of said servants in a way I find, at least tactically, a bit dumb, and that’s putting it mildly.
Just to make things even more blindingly obvious, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell gleefully exulted over the Republican-engineered Citizens United ruling, probably the least popular Supreme Court Decision of my lifetime, as though even the most spelling-challenged teabagger would fall for the idea that corporations ought to be “free” to, well, buy elections. Illinois Representative Paul Ryan one-upped him, though, when he came out and said that Medicare and Social Security, unfortunately, would have to go, too, because the rich are nervous about their portfolios again. Once such radical and obnoxious affronts to what remains of our status as a nominal democracy were greeted in the media with nodding approval, why wouldn’t Kentucky Sen. Jim Bunning say “tough shit” while singlehandedly dumping millions of the unemployed into destitution? Don’t like it? Talk to the finger. And why wouldn’t multiple right-wingers use the Chilean earthquake to set diligently to work on the murderous CIA-installed right-wing dictator Augusto Pinochet’s “legacy project?” Crazier things have worked before.
As I’ve said before and will again, a grim necessity for which I apologize in advance, the relentlessly uncritical parroting by the media of Republican “ideas” as their proponents continue to spin further into the vortex of their own vanity, greed, and risibly unwarranted delusions of superiority will leave them in an uncomfortable spot come November, unless they go back to lying, and pronto. You may be able to say what you really think on television, and have everyone on your side of the red light think it’s both wise and prescient (although even George Bush, for all his flaws, was usually smart enough not to do so), but it bodes ill when you forget that there are actually real people watching who have a lot more free time to watch, thanks to your brilliant stewardship of the economy.
My mother had a favorite expression about serial liars, “He’d lie when the truth would sound better,” which was at least a standard to which one could formerly hold Republicans. Now they’re telling the truth, and it isn’t pretty.