But I think it has to be added that everything has turned to shit, even admitting it pretty much started that way, and I've only got one plunger.
This week a major New York Times opinion writer, one who is inexplicably David Brooks, wrote a column about how dull the 2012 Presidential campaign is because the candidates won't talk about the issues. The good news here is that he was not immediately struck down by a Vengeful God, so, pretty much anything goes from here on out.
Another, who is unfathomably Ross Douthat, said:
If you want to fine Catholic hospitals for following Catholic teaching, or prevent Jewish parents from circumcising their sons, or ban Chick-fil-A in Boston, then don’t tell religious people that you respect our freedoms. Say what you really think: that the exercise of our religion threatens all that’s good and decent, and that you’re going to use the levers of power to bend us to your will.
There, didn’t that feel better? Now we can get on with the fight.Sure, Ross. Just as soon as you admit that you're a racist, misogynistic homophobic, sex-adverse perpetual juvenile whose "religious" principles are nothing more than a glorification of his own bootlicking tendencies. Let the games begin!
Then after twenty-seven debates it turns out that the Republican party managed to nominate George Bush III. (Can we start calling Willard "Dubya" now?) And it did so, you may recall, because the Republican party, which is goddamned apodictically certain about everything, decided that no one who talked like a real Republican had any chance of winning.
I don't need to tell you that this is a party whose public intellectuals include George Eff Will, Chuckles Krauthammer, Charles Murray, and the aforementioned Mr. Brooks, and that, as a result, it has suffered from a serious overcompensation problem for the last thirty-five years. The job of "conservative" intellectual pays well enough that one can afford to overcome the habits that plague other intellectuals, like independent thought, open dialogue, and honesty.
We're going to give them a pass--today--on the Reagan Reverie, the Reagan Presidency having served for nerdy, unpopular, Model Airplane Club kids in the 80s what Hank Greenberg did for Jewish boys in the 30s. But you'd think even fake intellectuals might have noticed the general downhill trend their party has taken, even during that extended sugar buzz. It should have dawned on them, say, in 2000, when it turned out the last well-connected business genius they'd anointed as Our Best Bet couldn't read a speech or halfway convince an objective observer that he was marginally competent.
To be fair, this year they were focused more on derailing the nomination of any of a dozen Sara Palins, Jr. Then again, the mere fact of the original Half-Term is another object lesson they've studiously, and incomprehensibly, avoided when they knew the mic was on. You are the party of paste-eating morons and the Hopelessly Entrenched Privileged, who have effectively captured the steering mechanism whereby the Accumulated Wealth and Strength of Post-War America is being stolen, headlong and in haste, and right out in front'a God an' everbody. And the closest thing we get to a public acknowledgement is the occasional Brooks PBS smirk, or Eff Will objection that some 19th century principle he made up is being ignored by The Washington Establishment. If you honestly believed in the Reagan legacy (I mean the fake, positive one, not the real, disastrous one) you'd be screaming bloody murder about what his party, and yours, has "done" to it. Instead there's the aristocratic grabbing of handkerchiefs when Newt Gingrich or Michele Bachmann farts in an elevator again, or when Rick Perry turns out to be a complete moron despite your wife's best efforts.
Intellectuals would at least show some concern over how this looked. Although I am told that Dr. Merkwürdigeliebe criticized Ann Romney's dancing horse. But it's a funny thing about buckets: not only do most require more than one drop to be filled, you have to add those drops in excess of the evaporation rate.
Since the wildly successful two terms of the Affable Dim Bulb President in the 1980s, Republicans have nominated clueless Patricians five times, and Senatorial War Heroes Safely In The Pocket Of Big Money twice. The war heroes lost. The idiots won.
Look, fifty years ago your party fell under the spell of Western "movement" "conservatism", in an effort to halt the onrushing tide of the sixty-three-year-old 20th Century, and simultaneously adopted the idea that Bill Fuhbuckley was an intellectual, in an effort to cover your embarrassment. Neither worked; to survive, the party separated itself from the rest of the political spectrum, then from Reality Herself. Your elder statesmen now are people like Will and Dick Cheney, still pissed off that hippie girls wouldn't lay them in the 60s, and your middle-aged mouthpieces, when they aren't starkers, are toadies like Brooks, who bought the program when they were adolescents and still cling to it like Douthat clings to his St. Christopher medal, hoping Zombie Reagan will rematerialize if they just Believe. Of course Mitt Romney has no ideas. Your entire party has but one, and that one was disproved a generation ago.