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Shit Lit

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?


  1. Jorpho

    So why not ride that atom bomb all the way down, hats a-swingin’, with Gingrich?

    Wow, man. That’s beautiful.

    Really, it’s hard not to see this just like 2004, when every Democrat seemed utterly convinced that Dubya was going to be the Ruin of All Everything, and yet they somehow ended up with Kerry, and people voted for him anyway out of desperation. (What was it, “johnkerryisadouchebagbutimvotingforhimanyway.com” ?) Then again, I can’t recall the Democrat primaries of 2004 having even a fraction of this absurdity.

  2. peepants

    How fucking hilarious would it be for the GOP to go through all this only for Obama not to run for re-election?

  3. jammit

    One quick comment before I go. With the way the Republicans are choosing their candidates, it almost seems like they want Obama to win a second term.

  4. punx

    Jorpho: I’ve been calling Romney the 2012 version of Kerry for a while…a candidate who looks great on paper, but in the real world, FAIL :)

    peepants: He’s already announced LOL

    Jammit: Kinda feel that way too…

  5. KiZeR

    You really should have posted this rant during the 15 minutes when Newt was the front runner, not now with his poll numbers neck and neck with Ron Paul for the bottom.

  6. Sven DiMilo

    All of this politics and opining is all well and good but COME ON! You’re, like, reading Gingrich instead of inking Brown strips?


  7. H-M

    The first step is admitting you need help, Jason :/ Anger at incompetent leaders/ potential dictators is an addiciton like any other.

  8. NeuroManson

    A point I tried to point out, and was laughably laughed out about, was what I called the “Hall 9000 Syndrome”. The bulk of the Republicans are, in fact, totally racist. They don’t want to admit to it, in fact the very concept literally makes them insane, because admitting it would lead to their admitting that they are actually lying about it. And as this runs into a constant logic loop, it breaks down the very process of their thinking, where they’re making up every possible excuse for it, even when it’s false. Such as the whole contraceptive issue that’s making them shit their pants today, to the point that they’re basically now trying to run on the basis of wanting a real world version of The Hand Maiden’s Tale, and actually finding like ill minded people to side with it. Even though, for the last 40+ years, the idea of using a rubber wasn’t, you know, an issue to anyone other than the Catholic Church.

    And there’s some irony there too, that fundy christians are actually siding with the catholics, when just 50 years ago, Kennedy had to practically swear to them that he wouldn’t let the catholic church influence American politics.

    Poor. Dumb. Fucks.

  9. KarlMonster

    Newt never stood a chance. He’s fairly smart, and he has been burnishing his credentials with some Yellow (Red) Journalism over the past few years. But the Comm… er… Republican Party bosses have been against him from the start of this feeding frenzy. McCain the Chameleon and some other guy rolled out on Meet the Press one Sunday and said “We don’t want to say anything bad about Newt, but…”. Then they systematically proceeded to pick him apart.

    Remember how they threw Michael Steel off the friggin’ PLANET when they were done with him? Newt has too much public exposure for that level of treatment. – But he won’t be buying much fancy jewelry after this.

  10. KarlMonster

    And if NeuroManson failed to convince anyone, it does resonate with a significant number of the commenters following this article:


    Also: my bad, apparently Mr Steele is now(?) an ‘analyst’ on MSNBC. That’s not quite obscurity. It is one of hundreds of channels that I do not watch

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