Saturday, December 08, 2007

Done Jumped The Shark, Them Republicans

JUMP THE SHARK: The precise moment when you know a program, band, actor, politician, or other public figure has taken a turn for the worse, gone downhill, become irreversibly bad, is unredeemable, etc.; the moment you realize decay has set in.

The radical right in this country has finally completed jumping the shark in my own mind. By that I mean how much respect and deference I could give their ideas and positions. They are irreversibly bad, unredeemable.

I understand how important it is to recognize other viewpoints; from a practical view and from an intellectual level. It goes without saying that a loyal opposition is a necessary balance to any thriving democracy.

For those reasons I say with honest sadness that they have completely and totally alienated me. As much as I hope for it(loyal opposition) and even thrive on it in some ways, the loyal opposition is neither loyal nor anything I could take seriously as intellectual or informed opposition. As a matter of fact they have caused me to abhor them and their unrepentant hypocrisy , bullying and pulling the wool over ones eyes so far that it has become threadbare. They are now little more than cult.

As described thusly:

Three ideas seem essential to the concept of a cult. One is thinking in terms of us versus them with total alienation from "them." The second is the intense, though often subtle, indoctrination techniques used to recruit and hold members. The third is the charismatic cult leader. Cultism usually involves some sort of belief that outside the cult all is evil and threatening; inside the cult is the special path to salvation through the cult leader and his teachings. The indoctrination techniques include

  1. Subjection to stress and fatigue
    2) Social disruption, isolation and pressure
    3) Self criticism and humiliation
    4) Fear, anxiety, and paranoia
    5) Control of information
    6) Escalating commitment
    7) Use of auto-hypnosis to induce "peak" experiences

Well, I'm not sure who the charismatic cult leader is and 6 and 7 are arguable but beyond that, here we are. And it's not just Bush and Cheney, watch a republican debate some night.

I'm not joining the cult. I just have no ability to take them seriously anymore. By take seriously I mean, tell me what they want to do and why they think it is the right thing to do. A little honesty would be nice but we must remember this is politics. Even with that caveat I can't take them seriously when they tell me what they want to do. The entire conservative movement has been reduced to a bunch of Rovian deflectors and dividers. Their secrecy is for your own good you know? Their reasons on why it is the right thing, whatever the issue, have been reduced to fear and guilt. In my mind their nonsense never evolved as the world did. By entertaining new ideas and thoughts they may have evolved their nonsense into something that was intellectually acceptable but as the evidence proves them wrong, or at least not the full answer they keep insisting on and on with the same old tired bullshit that most people walked through years ago.

The world is a different place than it was 10 years ago. That is not just because of 9/11 but just because the world is always a different place 10 years out. It's quite natural. Unfortunately,at any time, the most important thing for the authoritarians to have is huge threatening enemy. It gives the leaders an opportunity to play hero and and those that follow them to think they are following the hero, that they are among the chosen, be it spiritual or political. You are so lucky you aren't one of those liberals or communists or Islamists or Mexicans and on and on. Instead you are the only ones gifted with the true way as told by pastor Rush or Pastor Anne.

Now, the threats are everywhere, just like they have always been. We need to approach our problems with reason and with the attitude that will build the respect and admiration that we aspire to as a nation. Under those terms, which are admittedly my own, the radical republicans have turned the conservative ideal into a disgusting crime on the country and humanity in it's self.

I guess I should explain my understanding of the conservative ideal. Barry Goldwater. Today it would be far closer to Libertarian Ron Paul than it would nearly any Republican you can mention. I wouldn't vote for either one of them but I do respect them. At one time the Republicans supported Teddy Roosevelt. I would joyously vote for him before anyone on either side that is running.

We have actually lived through the radical rights plan and ideas and I think we are worse off for it. Far worse off. They had their chance and this is what they chose to do with it. Nope, not for me. I have no doubt. It's time to evolve ideas.

What is the last straw for me? Welcome to John(jumped the shark at birth) Bolton:

A few tasty tidbits:

U.S. intelligence services were seeking to influence political policy-making with their assessment Iran had halted its nuclear arms program in 2003, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton said.

Ok, their purpose is to provide intelligence for political decision making, right? How much influence it has is pretty much up to the politicians. We pay a lot of people a lot of tax dollars to do it. I am sure of that. The President appoints most or all of the directors or leaders of those agencies so how good or bad it is is largely influenced by the President. I guess John thinks the Presidents appointments suck.

"This is politics disguised as intelligence," Bolton was quoted as saying

Whatever John agrees with is intelligence. The rest is politics. Nothing else is a factor for radical righters like John. This is how it always is for them. Of course they will tell you the stakes couldn't be higher if we are wrong and the rightists are correct. While that may be true the stakes are just as high if they are wrong. Experience tells us as much.

On issue after issue they breed division and hate for the unaligned. It's odd to me that the rightists would talk about their opponents having bds(bush derangement syndrome for you neophytes) when it is actually the way they think.

The left and many thinking people who are not left hate Bushes policies. If they speak of Bush they speak of him as it relates to his role as decider or commander in chief.

Those in the radical right hate the people and have little desire to discuss policy. I could list example after example of how they are everything they pretend to hate. Recently: We can't waste time on unending hearings but we really need one to see what is wrong with our intelligence. This from people who would have fought any investigation tooth and nail if it adhered to their desired scenario. A mirror would be the scariest thing they could see. They mask personality politics as intelligent discussion. They pay lip service to an issue only long enough to smear and deride an individual or group associated with it. Anyone who has listened to Rush or watched Fox knows their shtick well. In the world that says negative politics works they have turned it into their entire public policy.

I guess us regulars are just not sophisticated enough to understand all that policy stuff. I don't know how sophisticated I am but I know that the radical right bores me to tears. You know, health care has more involved in it than Hillary Clinton. Global warming is bigger that Al Gore. It's the principals (values) involved that are important. Valerie Plame and Joe Wilson were not those values. They are purely symbols that are used to divide us.

There has never been a lack of things to fear. Terrorism has been around far longer than 9/11/2001, even in the United States. Battles and wars have been fought within our shores a number of times.

We as a country for many years advanced and grew at a rate the envy of the all of those except the ones afraid of the future. It's our choice. We'll either accept the people that prefer dumbing it down to crayons and pictures of bad guys for all those simpletons they see out there, or insist on those that are accepting the challenges of thinking broadly enough to make a rational decision that works for the greater good.

Monday, December 03, 2007


Senator John Edwards:"The new National Intelligence Estimate shows that George Bush and Dick Cheney's rush to war with Iran is, in fact, a rush to war.

Unknown: When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.