Thursday, September 24, 2015

The Unicornstitution


Josh Marshall at TPM explains the Unicornstitution:
Seeing so many stories like this one I've become increasingly convinced of the existence and the importance of what I will call the Unicornstitution. Related but by no means synonymous with the US constitution, the Unicornstitution exists as a sort of ersatz Platonic ideal form of the Constitution which exists in the ether and is ready at hand to give a big thumbs up and attaboy and 'you go girl' to whatever crazy bullshit thing you already decided to do, especially if you're really angry and stupid and fundamentally see life in America as as matter of other undeserving people taking away your stuff and your not being able to do anything about it.

This is related to a point I made earlier this year ("No. Sorry. You're not a constitutional conservative.") But it goes a bit beyond that - the desire to wrap every completely nutball idea you have onto the Constitution. Because generally because ...

Ritzheimer is a somewhat extreme example, I grant you, but the Unicornstitution has become increasingly prevalent among high-ranking elected leaders who for instance really really think Obamacare is socialism and Kenyan and therefore unconstitutional. You just have to look hard enough to find out how. But you don't need to look all that hard because the Unicornstitution is always right there at hand waiting, sort of like an imaginary friend.

Take a look at that first link. In an America where crazy bullshit is common - indeed, where it's basically the Republican Party - that's still shocking in just how crazy and just how big a pile of bullshit it really is.

But in a land where crazy bullshit is so widely accepted (just look at the GOP presidential primary), there really is no limit. If you're OK with crazy bullshit, how can you say that anything is too insane or stinks too badly?

You either care about reality or you don't. If you don't, you're faith-based. If you don't, you believe whatever crap you want to believe. That's why most Republicans think that Barack Obama is a Muslim (and most of the rest are "unsure").

That's crazy, sure, but it's not the craziest. In fact, there is no 'craziest.' There's just what's the biggest pile of bullshit so far. Once you no longer care about reality - or you have a financial/political reason to push crazy, and no ethical qualms about it whatsoever - there's no limit.

Limits exist in reality, but not in fantasy, not in batshit crazy. That's the problem with faith-based thinking. No matter how crazy you get, someone can always out-crazy you. If crazy bullshit is acceptable at all, it will just get crazier and crazier.

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