The Powers That Bleed

We’re having a hard time coming to terms with the obsessive cruelty of our nation’s leaders.

Which shouldn’t be that difficult, really. We were weaned on Vietnam and Watergate. We spent our early adult years under Reagan and Bush. Cynicism comes to us easily, because that has been the only rational conclusion throughout most of our life, given the evidence at hand.

But even cynicism fails us today.

It should be easy. Take our senator, Colorado’s Cory Gardner, one of the most venal members of that body, who typically flies under the national radar. He strives to keep his views hidden from his constituents, but he’s happy to suck at the Koch teat, and in his role as head of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, privately bemoans his party’s failure to pass any sham of Trumpcare because donors are unhappy.

We had to learn that from the New York Times. Cory’s certainly not going to tell his constituents about it.

So, y’know, follow the money. Just like old times.

But Cory voted for sham repeal the last time, and while he’s officially undecided this time, everyone knows where he’ll stand if it comes to a vote next week. Even though it will grievously harm millions of Americans. Even though every healthcare organization you can think of opposes it.

And the cynical explanation still works, as far as it goes: Cory was elected by 40,000 votes in a Republican wave during an off-year election. He’ll surely lose in 2020 when folks are paying attention — Colorado’s other senator, a Democrat, breezed through last year — but no matter, he’s just auditioning for a well-paid future as a Koch lackey. Cory will do fine.

No matter how many innocent Americans he has to crush to get there.

And that’s the part we’re struggling with: National Republicans are no longer even pretending to care. “Compassionate Conservatism” was a lie the moment it was uttered, and yet Shrub felt compelled to utter it, for fear folks would see his policies for cruel jokes they were. He had to do something to keep those suburban soccer moms from worrying they might not be nice people after all by voting for him.

But the cruelty today among national Republicans is so brazen, so manifest, that nobody’s even bothering to sugar-coat it. It’s just there, mocking your empathy for your fellow citizens. What are you going to do? Make more phone calls? How nice.

And maybe it’s better that way, the veneer ripped off, the pretense stripped, so we can see the evil that’s always been there. Because, like its cousin satire, cynicism is insufficient to address the state of our Republic. The evil that has always infested our politics no longer feels obligated to hide itself, to mask its cruelty as benevolence. It’s now in the open, plain as day, for anyone to see.

That is, if anyone cares to see it.

22 comments:

12:11 pm • Saturday • September 23, 2017

RepubliKKKans are treating Americans the same way that America has treated other countries for the last +60 years.

And I’d say that this is a positive development. No more coy denials of their sneering fascist, racist, sexist, greed and hate-crazed motivations.

To paraphrase an awesome quote: Everyone with a functioning brain stem can see that the RepubliKKKans have had their Sophie’s Choice moment, and they gleefully handed over both kids to the Nazis in exchange for tax cuts for the rich.

10:54 pm • Sunday • September 24, 2017

I have nothing left in the tank.

2:14 am • Tuesday • September 26, 2017

Goddess knows that Walnuts! McCain has driven me crazy for two decades, but fuck Texas Congresscritter Louie Gohmert who says Walnuts needs to be recalled because the brain tumor obviously caused him to vote against ripping health care away from 32 million Americans.

To quote Flying Chainsaw, “Shit in his mouth”

10:48 am • Tuesday • September 26, 2017

Whoa!

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

–Hawt ginger Dale Earnhardt Jr. quoting JFK

11:31 pm • Wednesday • September 27, 2017

Hugh Hefner is dead.

/Didn’t realize he was still alive

11:54 pm • Wednesday • September 27, 2017

@SanFranLefty: yeah – just posted it. An interesting life. There was good, there was bad, like all of us. Not clear what to think at this point.

7:54 am • Thursday • September 28, 2017

Orange is the New Trek

12:02 pm • Thursday • September 28, 2017

@¡Andrew!: And? It better be fucking awesome if I’m gonna shell out for CBS, and I really don’t want to shell out for CBS.

12:16 pm • Thursday • September 28, 2017

@nojo: I’d proudly proclaimed that I refuse to pay for yet another damn streaming service, and then I got home and my hubby announced “hey, I just signed us up for CBS All Access to watch the new Star Trek.” Soy crow eaten.

12:37 pm • Thursday • September 28, 2017

@nojo: We just finished the first two eps, and honestly my reaction is mixed.

Plus+
1. Best special FX in a teevee series ever.
2. Great actors bringing it. Love Sonequa Martin Rainsford and Michelle Yeoh. “Wow” sums it up.
3. Cinematic directing and innovative storyline helps justify the subscription price.

Minus-
1. Oh for fux sake, why did they have to bring back the Klingons, aka RepubliKKKans in space??? Dumbest Trek villains ever.
2. Yet another prequel? They must’ve all gone Borg after Voyager, or the universe just self-destructed.
3. Gorgeous cinematography nearly killed by Star Trek: Lens Flare.

Overall: The first season of any Trek show is usually weak, and then the series improves over time. This one has major potential if you’re willing to forget everything that came before (and after), especially those gawd-awful JJ Abrams movies.

I grew up with Next Generation, so that’ll always be my Trek.

4:48 pm • Thursday • September 28, 2017

BTW, historical “what-ifs” have been a long-time interest of mine, and for the past year I’ve been playing the “what if the colonists had lost the Revolutionary War” game, given that the British Commonwealth countries seem to have had far better outcomes than our crackpot KKKountry.

Well, an historian with encyclopedic knowledge of our history wrote a novel exploring that topic called The DisUnited States of America (and no, that is *not* Nu Joyzee speak for This United States).

In the book, the colonists did succeed, however they’re unable to agree on a form of federal government, and North America fractures into balkanized, separate nations that are frequently at war with other countries and each other. As the novel opens, Ohio is arming the African American rebellion in Virginia and preparing to launch a brutal war using a biological weapon.

Long story short, this has effectively cured me of my desperate belief that history would’ve turned out better, just differently.

7:24 pm • Thursday • September 28, 2017

@¡Andrew!: Of course, the first-season curse only applied to the TNG era. Different management now.

Good point, however. I’m in no hurry. I’ll wait for the can’t-miss-this clamor. Didn’t have much interest in DS9 until a friend insisted, and now it’s my favorite.

9:05 pm • Thursday • September 28, 2017

@nojo: Actually, the first season curse applies to all of the series, lo siento mucho. (NERD FIGHT!1!)

10:14 pm • Thursday • September 28, 2017

@¡Andrew!: Third-season TOS curse, punk.

Although, as a practical matter, I only have a vague memory of seeing any primetime episode. (8:30 Thursday, followed by Dragnet. I remember TV schedules better than most things from my childhood.) My Star Trek was all jumbled and hacked reruns after school.

2:46 am • Friday • September 29, 2017

@nojo: if you don’t already listen, get TV Guidance Counselor podcast. He delves into old TV Guides. And old schedules.

And yes – I recall Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Time Tunnel first run and reruns. Unwatchable today. Star Trek was my lifeboat, and we also had Twilight Zone and Night Gallery reruns.

10:08 am • Friday • September 29, 2017

@blogenfreude: But Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had that bloop-bloop-bloop sound! Also, giant squid monsters.

12:04 pm • Friday • September 29, 2017

Today in Spam:

“Hi there, I was doing some research and ended up on one of your articles about retirement destinations, appreciate the info!”

Yeah, we’re all going straight to hell, man. Happy to help with that!

2:49 pm • Friday • September 29, 2017

Can’t remember who said this, but truer words have never been spoken:

“It’s telling that people angry with athletes for protesting racism and brutality think that they’re protesting against America.”

The Constitution-humpers and military diddlers love the flag, but they hate everything that it supposedly stands for. Just like Tdumbp, their outrage is really about their racist hatred and repulsive, fanatical white supremacy.

6:28 pm • Friday • September 29, 2017

The Price i$ Wrong.

9:19 pm • Friday • September 29, 2017

@¡Andrew!: There’s just no time to enjoy the lesser scandals these days.

9:39 pm • Friday • September 29, 2017

@nojo: As someone who’s always thinking about how to pay the mortgage AND my student loan AND the credit card in full each month, I just can’t fathom the mindset of these people that piss away a million bucks on private jet travel in five freakin’ months. It’s fairly minor grifting by Tdumbp Crime Family nation-ruining standards, yet still.

This is really payback for Price’s failure to Murder-Death-Kill tens of thousands of Americans by taking away their healthcare.

10:13 pm • Friday • September 29, 2017

@¡Andrew!: Yeah, that’s the part I wasn’t getting: Why would Trump even give a shit? It’s not like Price is an exception here. But Trump needs to blame others for his own failings, and that was a convenient excuse.

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