The Government We Deserve
We came blessedly early to the insight that has defined our adult political life.
We can even date it: October 28, 1980. The Reagan-Carter debate. Our first presidential election as a voter.
Jimmy was flat that night — “Reagan-Kemp-Roth”? Really? — but his disappointing performance wasn’t notable. Instead, what caught our attention was Ronnie’s manufactured charm — “There you go again,” and all that — and with growing horror, we had the insight phrased before the debate was over:
Americans want to be lied to.
In that moment, we knew Reagan would win. And we knew why. Reagan wasn’t selling Americans anything they didn’t want to buy. Far from it: Americans wanted the Lie. They craved it. They weren’t being fooled — they were being satisfied.
So we’re having a hard time, almost thirty years on, getting worked up by Thursday’s Supreme Court decision granting corporations unlimited free-speech rights. We having a hard time taking seriously the cries that the ruling will undermine the sanctity of our government. We’re having a hard time accepting the notion that unrestrained corporate political spending makes a difference.
Nothing prevents Americans — or a decisive majority of Americans — from seeing things as they are. All the advertising in the world couldn’t sell New Coke. All the promotion in the world can’t stop Americans from abandoning television in general, and network television in particular, as they have over a generation. Have you heard about the latest iPhone-killer? No, the one after that. No, the other one.
Nothing forces Americans to watch Fox News. Or listen to Rush. Or read Palin. Or swallow their lies.
We as a nation, as a people, are willingly, happily, aggressively ignorant.
But go ahead, fight the good fight. Just don’t expect Americans to thank you for saving their sorry asses. They don’t want to know about it.
I just got done wathcing Ed Rollinsd and Lanny Davis commenting on the fallout and causes of the MA loss. Both agreed that the left of the Democratic party was the problem. David, the “Democrat” in the “debate” insisted that Democrats dropped the ball in failing to bring Republicans like Olympia Snowe, John McCain and Linday Graham in to the health care reform discussions.
Which is an astonishing claim, if you think about. Indeed, the bill was practically crafted by Olympia Snowe, who was the only Republican who even pretended to want to work with the Democrats in crafting a bill. Everyone else was raging on about “death panels” ans other such bullshit.
Let’s face it: we’ll never move forward when the people who are supposed to stand up for the Demcorats sound like GOP operatives thesmelves.
NB: Lanny Davis was pretty much the spokesman for the PUMAs even when the Hilsbot called it quits. The MSM don’t WANT any progressive Demrat on. They still want to try to frame the debate as the MSM gets a large chunk of its ad revenue from boner pills and “We try to care” Health Insurance ads and is increasingly desperate for ad revenue and thus is doing it’s bit to KEEP the STATUS QUO.
As for US Americans. I explained on io9.com (Gawker SF blog) about the teabaggers to another furriner like me–it was about the creepiness of Fantasy. I got two very long winded and pompous replies from teabaggers screaming about how I don’t understand and how TEABAGGERs are the only ones who actually understand. Part of me wanted to reply, but I realize that they won’t even attempt to listen so I’m not even going to waste my time.
It’s funny that the teabaggers are mad about the same things we are, but are actually in cahoots with the very people who are fucking them up the ass.
What’s even funnier to me is that these people actually think they’re smart and knowledgeable despite being proud of their ignorance at the same time. Despite my desire to really pop their worlds of delusion, I think it’s probably the best punishment for them (who said the universe wasn’t fair?)
Preznit Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho–my hero!
“I know shit’s bad right now with all that starvin’ bullshit. And the dust storms. And we runnin’ out of French Fries and burrito coverings…”
Welcome to the Gatorade Pizza Hut Taco Bell Supreme Court. Would you like Mexi-Fries with your ruling?
Notable American Myths (some) People Won’t Let Go (I’ll start):
The self-made man
The American Dream is attainable to all who work hard
Poverty is the fault of the poors
X, Y, Z happened so long ago that X, Y, Z has no bearing or influence on today or our future
We hold our futures in our own hands — no outside forces can change that
One US Americun is worth 10 furriners.
Furriners is stupid.
Why can’t Furriner nations be like Buttfuck Alabama?
BREAKING: Demonrats plan to save the
economy kleptoconomy by inspiring a massive boom in America’s nascent guillotine industry.
Dem Talking Points: It is mathematically impossible for Democrats to pass legislation on our own
also I am for anything that uses Idiocracy. the most prescient film of the 20 century
OK, people. I just lowered the boom and made a call to the White House. I think we’ll be seeing some action in 3.. 2.. 1…
Johnny Earle is in Haiti? He’s too wonderful for only one person to love. Sigh. Hey. And if his hair isn’t looking great all it needs is product. I am prepared to fly down there with samples.
(And no I am not making Haiti jokes. I am making Johnny Earle jokes.)
Terrorists hate our freedom.
Farm subsidies mostly help small family farms.
Reagan reduced the size of government and/or the deficit.
The 1950’s were just like on “Leave it to Beaver”, and therefore perfect.
Corollary to the above: taxes were lower during the “Golden Age”, so there was more prosperity.
The Founding Fathers wanted America to be a “Christian nation”.
Mutually Assured Destruction is a reasonable plan for dealing with the nuclear arms race.
A rising tide lifts all boats, even when it’s only apparently lifting the yachts and the fucking rowboats are filling up with water.
@ManchuCandidate: Yes, and I committed the Cardinal Sin of US Ammurrikuns:
America = The United States. Fuck Canadialand and all those points south of the border; they ain’t true Ammurrikuns.
We as a nation, as a people, are willingly, happily, aggressively ignorant.
I’m a uniter not a divider.
Benign neglect would be a progressive improvement at this point, but no000000, we the US American peeple demand active mendacity and malfeasance.
I think I will start a charity, Adopt an Oligarch, cutting out layers of middlemen and allowing proudly ignorant US American citizens to more directly support their overlords, while paying myself a handsome salary for “administering” the funds.
lifted from talkleft:
There was some talk among Senate leadership on Thursday of putting together a letter signed by 51 Democratic senators pledging to pass a cleanup bill if the House would pass the Senate bill. But that effort fizzled when support for it didn’t materialize, insiders said. “The Senate moderates’ viewpoint is, ‘We passed our bill. We’re not going to spend three weeks on some other bill,’” said a Democratic lobbyist who represents clients pushing for reform.
The Senate is the problem. First they let Max Baucus waste 3 months last summer on health care. Then they let Max Baucus insert the poison pill excise tax. Now they refuse to agree to fix the excise tax. The Senate has always been the problem on the health bill.
with the supreme court decision yesterday to allow corporations to literally throw all the money they want at elections it is even more critical that the unions are solidly on board to help the democrats.
if they dont fix this they will not be and who can blame them. for years and years they have negotiated away pay increases and other perks for health benefits. now they are going to penalize them for that.
it is insane.
our government is insane. it is profoundly broken. until recently I have been able to say its the same shit different day. but what is happening now is different shit. it is definitely different shit.
At this point a benign dictator would be an improvement.
It’s like our ruling e-leets are following a manual called How To Totally Destroy a Country Without Really Trying and we’re on Step 27.
if you need more good news, president Hopeychangie puts social security on the chopping block
@Capt Howdy: Well, I guess we’re getting change—which is all we’ll have to retire on. Tip the veal!
since I am a font of good news today, check out this veiled threat from corporate heads apparently emboldened by yesterdays SC decision:
Nearly four dozen of the nation’s leading health care luminaries [sent] a letter [to House leaders . . .] We have come further than we have ever come before. Only two steps remain. The House must adopt the Senate bill, and the President must sign it. [. . .] Some differences between the bills, such as the scope of the tax on high-cost plans and the allocation of premium subsidies, should be repaired through the reconciliation process[.]”
In a stark message to Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and her health care lieutenants–Reps. Charlie Rangel (D-NY), Henry Waxman (D-CA), and George Miller (D-CA)–the experts say it’s time for the House to act.
that is actually FOUR steps the fourth being the most important and most likely to be dropped
time for plan B. pot farm.
Trial lawyers know this. You tell the jury what they want to hear — you tell them stories that fit into the values and memes that they walk into the courthouse with. Reagan and his handlers worked this brilliantly. Facts are irrelevant.
One aspect of the ruling that hasn’t gathered much attention: as far as I can tell, the analysis doesn’t distinguish between domestic and foreign corporations….So the ruling allows Hugo Chavez to spend as much money as he wants to helping and harming American politicians. If the Russian, Saudi, and Chinese governments don’t currently have appropriate vehicles for doing so, you can count on it: they soon will.
….The United States has a $13 trillion GDP, and total annual campaign spending is on the order of $2 billion. Buying influence on the American government has to be the highest-leverage activity ever invented, and Justice Kennedy and his four accomplices just invited every oligarch and tyrant in the world to play. This is not just a threat to democracy; it’s a threat to sovereignty.
I think I’ve just worked out the solution: become a millionaire. So that’s my new game plan. Actually I’m aiming for 5 or 6M just to be on the safe side. Shouldn’t be too difficult. This is the land of opportunity, after all.
I have been seriously considering a life of crime
well, I mean the kind of crime that PAYS not the day to day stuff I do now.
@Capt Howdy: Yes, and most deliciously, a threat to civilization. Now corporations can provoke wars and work angles to clean up on them, full time, 24/7. In a few years, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon can just have their own representatives in Congress submitting war resolutions every day. Ha! Hahaha! Hahahahahahaha! A world in flames! Niagras of money flowing through the corridors of power like never before! Freedom!
Original Wonkette looking for a place to liveblog the State of the Union:
Ana Marie Cox Husband insists I get out of bed. Who’s interested in “available Cox” now? Also need to find someplace to liveblog the SOTU…
Who wants to extend the invitation?
@Benedick: Make sure that’s denominated in a mix of currencies. Even if there is short-term volatility, once Cannibal Anarchy breaks out, you should be able to pick up a lot of stuff cheap when the dollar completely collapses to laughable worthlessness, maybe an abandoned estate, which you can protect with your own mercenary army.
Americas Gayest city?
probably not the one you were thinking of.
@redmanlaw: You or Chainsaw should.
actually I think Lockheed Martin and Raytheon etc have had their own represenatives for while.
but I take your point.
@SanFranLefty: Not me – but do tell her I said hi.
@FlyingChainSaw: The Chinese can form “We Own Your Ass Inc.” and take over quietly. One thing in favor: the food would be better.
its been quite a week:
1. The Democrats lost Ted Kennedy’s seat, sending their health-care takeover efforts into a tailspin.
2. The Supreme Court wiped out the central feature of McCain-Feingold, in a victory for free speech.
3. Air America declared bankruptcy.
UPDATE: A reader notes the arrival of this anniversary:
Sec. 3. Closure of Detention Facilities at Guantánamo. The detention facilities at Guantánamo for individuals covered by this order shall be closed as soon as practicable, and no later than 1 year from the date of this order. …
THE WHITE HOUSE,
January 22, 2009.
The timetable to reach a global deal to tackle climate change lay in tatters on Wednesday after the United Nations waived the first deadline of the process laid out at last month’s fractious Copenhagen summit.
@FlyingChainSaw: FCS, whats new? I thought the energy and defense industry installed their puppets, Cheney and Bush, in 2001, and then deliberately went after the Taliban/Al Queada, threatening war if they would not allow Unocal’s pipeline from the ‘Stans to India to go through Afghanistan, and when Al Queada hit back on 9-11, they used this as a pretense to, in the words of Don Rumsfeld “draw in things related and unrelated” and go into Iraq for its oil. Hell, Unocal’s Afghan consultant is now still president of Afghanistan, and the US oil companies are happily sucking oil out of the ground in Iraq.
@SanFranLefty: I sent her an email just now. What the hell – all she can do is say no.
@redmanlaw: I have been madly infatuated with AMC since first I saw her. The red hair, the tattoos, the red hair, the red hair, and since my name Edit: whoooooaaaa, forgot myself there, nevermind.
@Prommie: What did the doctor say about your back?
America has a manifest destiny to transform other countries into democracies.
We had something to do with the fall of the Soviet Empire.
Our foreign policy is dominated by enlightened self-interest.
Ryan Seacrest is attractive.
@Tommmcatt Say Relax: That last one is the greatest lie of all.
@flippin eck: How these television execs sleep at night I will never know.
I would piss myself in excitement if the Original Wonkette graced us, her humble acolytes, with her holy presence.
@Tommmcatt Say Relax: I am sure she would count it as her finest hour.
@Original Andrew: At this point a benign dictator would be an improvement.
We already had one.
Oh, wait. He wasn’t benign.
Nah, that cancer spread, baby.
Thinking I was taking out a Graham Greene novel from the library, I ended up with a book called Man With One Talent by Josiah E. Greene, published in 1951.
Way back then Josiah recognized Republicans for what they are — fascists, who prey on discontent to destroy any challenge to their financial and political control.
They have been successful so far, and I see no indication that will change.
Who’s arranging the boat?
about 300 ft 40 cabins
only a bit over 150 mil
Cool, I’ll chip in $12.00.
@Tommmcatt Say Relax: @Dodgerblue:
we have 36 bucks
@Capt Howdy: I’ll chip in to bring it up to an even $50. Think they’ll take an IOU for the rest?
@Mistress Cynica: Where is Citibank when you need them?
I’m sure I could sell some of my stuff for another $50.
Hey Nojo, you’ve caused me to put Idiocracy at the top of my Netflix queue.
@The Captain,Karen,Tommy,Dodger, Cynica: I’m in for at least 20 bucks. The rest I’ll finance via Citibank.
SANFRANLEFTY • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @ManchuCandidate: Bitch, March Madness is ON! xoxo
MELLBELL • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @nojo: I mooch Disney+ from my sister and HBO Max from my ex. Still need a Hulu hookup though!
MELLBELL • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @ManchuCandidate: As a veteran of last year's tournament, you were re-invited with one click, so…
MELLBELL • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @nojo: I'm just late, as ever. The play-in games started Tuesday, but we've got until tomorrow.…
NOJO • Software Update of the Year @bruce.desertrat: I have failed to get any work done since that dropped.
BRUCE.DESERTRAT • Software Update of the Year Disturbing my cow-orkers laughing at this....
NOJO • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @¡Andrew!: I tried RRR a few times at Benedick’s insistence, just couldn’t last. And now…
¡ANDREW! • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @nojo: I watched the clips on YouTube. Lady Gaga’s performance was extraordinarily honest and…
NOJO • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @ManchuCandidate: Oh gee, that starts tomorrow? Haven’t heard from Mellbell, so guess not.
MANCHUCANDIDATE • Quentin Tarantino presents Action Joe and Mister Z @¡Andrew!: I passed on the Oscars. Enjoyed the movie.