Thursday, October 10, 2013

We ate the monkey brains

This is from Charles P. Pierce. I'm going to re-blog most of it here, because there's really nothing more I can add:
In the year of our Lord 2010, the voters of the United States elected the worst Congress in the history of the Republic. There have been Congresses more dilatory. There have been Congresses more irresponsible, though not many of them. There have been lazier Congresses, more vicious Congresses, and Congresses less capable of seeing forests for trees. But there has never been in a single Congress -- or, more precisely, in a single House of the Congress -- a more lethal combination of political ambition, political stupidity, and political vainglory than exists in this one, which has arranged to shut down the federal government because it disapproves of a law passed by a previous Congress, signed by the president, and upheld by the Supreme Court, a law that does nothing more than extend the possibility of health insurance to the millions of Americans who do not presently have it, a law based on a proposal from a conservative think-tank and taken out on the test track in Massachusetts by a Republican governor who also happens to have been the party's 2012 nominee for president of the United States. That is why the government of the United States is, in large measure, closed this morning.

We have elected the people sitting on hold, waiting for their moment on an evening drive-time radio talk show.

We have elected an ungovernable collection of snake-handlers, Bible-bangers, ignorami, bagmen and outright frauds, a collection so ungovernable that it insists the nation be ungovernable, too. We have elected people to govern us who do not believe in government.

We have elected a national legislature in which Louie Gohmert and Michele Bachmann have more power than does the Speaker of the House of Representatives, who has been made a piteous spectacle in the eyes of the country and doesn't seem to mind that at all. We have elected a national legislature in which the true power resides in a cabal of vandals, a nihilistic brigade that believes that its opposition to a bill directing millions of new customers to the nation's insurance companies is the equivalent of standing up to the Nazis in 1938, to the bravery of the passengers on Flight 93 on September 11, 2001, and to Mel Gibson's account of the Scottish Wars of Independence in the 13th Century. We have elected a national legislature that looks into the mirror and sees itself already cast in marble.

We did this. We looked at our great legacy of self-government and we handed ourselves over to the reign of morons.

This is what they came to Washington to do -- to break the government of the United States. It doesn't matter any more whether they're doing it out of pure crackpot ideology, or at the behest of the various sugar daddies that back their campaigns, or at the instigation of their party's mouthbreathing base. It may be any one of those reasons. It may be all of them. The government of the United States, in the first three words of its founding charter, belongs to all of us, and these people have broken it deliberately. The true hell of it, though, is that you could see this coming down through the years, all the way from Ronald Reagan's First Inaugural Address in which government "was" the problem, through Bill Clinton's ameliorative nonsense about the era of big government being "over," through the attempts to make a charlatan like Newt Gingrich into a scholar and an ambitious hack like Paul Ryan into a budget genius, and through all the endless attempts to find "common ground" and a "Third Way." Ultimately, as we all wrapped ourselves in good intentions, a prion disease was eating away at the country's higher functions. One of the ways you can acquire a prion disease is to eat right out of its skull the brains of an infected monkey. We are now seeing the country reeling and jabbering from the effects of the prion disease, but it was during the time of Reagan that the country ate the monkey brains.

What is there to be done? The first and most important thing is to recognize how we came to this pass. Both sides did not do this. Both sides are not to blame. There is no compromise to be had here that will leave the current structure of the government intact. There can be no reward for this behavior. I am less sanguine than are many people that this whole thing will redound to the credit of the Democratic party. For that to happen, the country would have to make a nuanced judgment over who is to blame that, I believe, will be discouraged by the courtier press of the Beltway and that, in any case, the country has not shown itself capable of making. For that to happen, the Democratic party would have to be demonstrably ruthless enough to risk its own political standing to make the point, which the Democratic party never has shown itself capable of doing. With the vandals tucked away in safe, gerrymandered districts, and their control over state governments probably unshaken by events in Washington, there will be no great wave election that sweeps them out of power. I do not see profound political consequences for enough of them to change the character of a Congress gone delusional. The only real consequences will be felt by the millions of people affected by what this Congress has forced upon the nation, which was the whole point all along.



m1nks said...

Oh I like that.

I like this as well, a blog post I stumbled over the other day. He left out pissing off women which I thought was a bit weird - maybe it was because he was male? I don't think a female blogger would ever have that slip her mind while she was compiling a grant list of Republican offences.

WCG said...

Gee, I wish I'd written it then, m1nks. :(

Thanks for the link. I agree with you, although it looked like he did mention women's issues, at least briefly. But maybe he added that part after your(?) comment?

m1nks said...

Hah, yes he did. I've just gone and looked. That's better :-)

m1nks said...

And don't worry 1. I know you would never have omitted the utterly shittey and patronising way the Republicans treat half of the American electorate and 2. I don't think it's a big sign of liberal male bloggers being uncaring of women in general, just that I can't imagine a woman blogger 'not' mentioning it whereas maybe a guy doesn't think about it as much as we would.

I don't need any abortions, I look after my own birth control and I don't live in a country where the government or my employer shows any direct interest in this part of my health (actually I can just see the look of horror on my bosses face if I tried discussing it with him - being a typical man and not a bloody pervert he would rather not be confronted with all the gory details I am sure!). Notwithstanding that fact I personally don't need it though I still get all hot under the collar at the sheer patronizing arrogance of these b******d's!

And as a complete aside (to further digress) did you like Jon Stewarts (?) comment on the picture of the male Republican's sitting down at a table 'waiting for the Democrats to show up and talk to them?

He said it looked like the Republican Committee on Woman's Health. Got to love that black humour....

WCG said...

Yes, I did like that, m1nks. I thought it was great - funny and accurate. :)