Shit Liton February 24, 2012 at 11:21 am
Matt Taibbi has posted a blog gleefully trumpeting the implosion of the Republican party, as signaled by Wednesday’s (allegedly) final Republican candidates’ debate in Arizona. “Implosion” may be too soft a word, though. Stellar collapse is more like it; the right wing devouring itself black hole-style, the laws of physics breaking down as the dregs of conservatism crush themselves into an infinitely dense knot of hate.
With Rick Santorum impossibly hogging the spotlight from Newt Gingrich (Mitt Romney’s other ersatz challenger) the Republicans’ must be wondering how they ever permitted themselves be led astray by issues such as birth certificates. They should have been trying to convince the independent voters who apparently control history that they actually have some sense of how to run government. The revanchist populism of the Tea Party, so promising in the beginning, has become like the spell Mickey Mouse cast in in The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. The GOP is now overrun with bitter, uncontrollable nincompoops who are willing to throw their weight behind anyone who A) is hated by the establishment and B) couldn’t get elected even with an endorsement from the ghost of Abe Lincoln.
Believe me, I’m as surprised as anyone by this turn from bad to worse. Before this latest round of footsie with Santorum I was ready to call it for Newt. I mean, I just can’t believe the Republicans are going to fall for this “electability” crap again. Romney isn’t electable! The GOP isn’t running an electable candidate this year! So why not ride that atom bomb all the way down, hats a-swingin’, with Gingrich?
I really do think Newt would give Obama the best run for his money, but it does say something for the Republicans that they sense what a tool he is. Just to be sure of this in my own heart, I borrowed Newt’s book To Save America from the library to see if his written words are any more educational than his campaign rhetoric.
Nope! If anything, he is less detailed and more pandering in print, and it is interesting to note that for all the complaints the conservative media has about not being able to tell what Mitt stands for, Newt’s real thoughts are even more garbed in shadow.
The book starts off on the right foot. The title, “To Save America” is pitch-perfect for conservatives, who are forever trying to reclaim some stolen American glory (see also the title of Mitt Romney’s campaign-kicker, No Apologies, referring to Obama’s alleged fawning before our enemies). The book then tries to beat the term “secular socialism” into the reader’s brain once every third sentence, as if any good conservative could forget that their sole purpose in life is to fear the left, as opposed to advancing a positive agenda that more than 50.16% of the electorate will support.
Newt pushes the paranoia button with the impatience of a man waiting for an elevator to arrive, often slathering on references to 1984, a book Newt loves to quote but has clearly never read. If he had, he would have come across the word “duckspeak”, a form of Party ultra-bullshit, which is heavily redolent of the way Gingrich expresses himself, like a sea cucumber turning itself inside out, revealing nothing but his stomach contents.
When To Save America does propose an agenda, it lards it up with regurgitated buzz words. A typical Newt paragraph is a micro-motivational seminar where words like “empowered”, “engaged”, “equipped” and “incentivized” pummel the reader into ignoring their vapidity. One cannot read about Newt’s plans for health care reform without sensing that the fix-it he is building towards is “the unstoppable power of the atom!!” (in fact, the fix is repealing the Affordable Care Act, and letting the insurance companies get back to business as usual.)
Another trick Newt has learned more from Big Brother himself than from Orwell is “doublethink”, the ability to hold two contradictory points of view at once. For instance, one chapter of his book resurrects “Climategate”, the scandal that revealed that UN scientists are capable of being (get ready for this, folks) political, but that ultimately did not change a single accepted fact about Global Warming, i.e., that it is fucking real and man made. Newt calls this issue a left wing power grab… then glides his thoughts into sheer paradox in a later chapter extolling “Green Conservatism”.
Green Conservatism, a capitalist approach to environmental issues, would put the right wing to work addressing “genuine” environmental problems, “many of them ignored due to the global warming obsession” (emphasis mine). In other words, private initiative, not public, will take the lead in tackling the catastrophes that private industry causes, requiring no intrusion by the government, despite the fact that public pressure is the only factor motivating the rich to do anything, while the one issue that has united the planet in alarm–the one wrapped up in the very word “green”– is dismissed with a wave of the hand.
Did Gozar the Gozarian summon Newt as an end times challenge to our common decency? His approach is worse than just grubbing for cheers from a stunted, anti-intellectual base of forever malcontents. It’s wrong. In To Save America, Newt does not engage once with the merits of an opposing argument and counter them with a factual riposte. How the fuck can anyone propose to “save America”, whose primary enemy is her politicians, when they are hostile towards anything approaching a dialectic?