“It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into”

Jonathan Swift
"The Democrats have moved to the right, and the right has moved into a mental hospital." - Bill Maher
"The city is crowded my friends are away and I'm on my own
It's too hot to handle so I gotta get up and go

It's a cruel ... cruel summer"

Monday, November 06, 2006

Good God, I'm A Cynical Bastard

(Updated below)

The Land of Reliable Republicans

I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you want to know what conservatism is and what it isn't you need only look at good ol' Amarillo. Sure, we have a lot of big-ass churches, but we also have plenty of liquor stores, strip clubs, divorce, adultery, drug abuse, theft, etc., etc., etc.... It isn't Amarillo's tiny liberal population that keeps all of that fueled. Never mind all that, the conservative authoritarian would say, the right is religious and the left is immoral. It would be nice to believe that recent revelations will do away with the nonsense that Republicans hold some kind of moral high ground, but I am not so optimistic. Why? Ron Suskind wrote in the New York Time Magazine on 10/17/2004:

In the summer of 2002, after I had written an article in Esquire that the White House didn't like about Bush's former communications director, Karen Hughes, I had a meeting with a senior adviser to Bush. He expressed the White House's displeasure, and then he told me something that at the time I didn't fully comprehend -- but which I now believe gets to the very heart of the Bush presidency.

The aide said that guys like me were ''in what we call the reality-based community,'' which he defined as people who ''believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.'' I nodded and murmured something about enlightenment principles and empiricism. He cut me off. ''That's not the way the world really works anymore,'' he continued. ''We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality -- judiciously, as you will -- we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors . . . and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.''
Bodacious, former authoritarian troll on this blog, once quipped, that the facts don't matter. (See below) Perhaps it was an inadvertent admission, but it opens a window into the mind of the right-wing ideologue. The facts, and reality, are irrelevant.

It doesn't matter to the authoritarians that Rush Limbaugh is a thrice divorced pill popper who travels with a bottle of Viagra, but without a wife, to the Dominican Republic. It's the old-timey family values type he pretends to be that matters.
It doesn't matter that the Republican Party protected a gay child sex predator among their ranks. It only matters that they publicly bash gays at every opportunity.
It doesn't matter that the RNC takes money from porn distrubtors or that a porn star bought her way into the White House. It's their constant sermonizing against sexual immorality that matters.
It doesn't matter that Bush recklessly made public detailed plans for building atomic weapons. He talks tough and acts like a cowboy, so only the Republicans can keep us safe.
It doesn't matter that the economy really isn't doing all that great. Bush is the CEO president and he's going to run government like a business, even if that business was Enron.

And on, and on, and on...facts don't matter to the ideologues. They are all about style over substance, words over action, illusion over reality. Spacedark commented in an earlier post about looking to literature to help make sense of the world around us. For the most part I don't disagree with him, but I do have to point out one thing: had Oedipus been a Republican he simply would have denied Jocasta was either his lover or his mother, smeared anyone who said she was and cooked any intelligence that pointed to the truth.

I'm happy for this country to experience a sea-change on Tuesday. Hopefully, the optimism surging through the progressive movement will prove warranted, because I'm terrified of what might happen otherwise...

[Update 11/06/2006 9:25pm - Former Current authoritarian troll Bodacious has challenged me to provide a quote backing up my claim that he said the facts don't matter. Since I am unable to do so I will, with apologies, relieve him of the burden of responsibility for that statement and rephrase my assertion as such: I recall reading an exchange between a conservative blogger and one of his readers in which he said "the facts don't matter" or "I don't care about the facts." I am unable to provide a link however, so you will just have to take that with a grain of salt.]