The concern moved by the current preoccupation is that very soon an electorate should be engaged. And how! – that is, precisely how the electorate should engage itself, as well as precisely how it should not. This might illuminate the image of masses who would seem perfectly able to rise up and sever the heads of several snakes but cannot otherwise agree on anything.
The question “if not now, when?” is often spun right round into “if not then, why now?” This employs relativism, but that cuts both ways. Nowadays it is often mocked as “whataboutery”, which relates a fair observation in general but too oft misses the point that the latter question is as rhetorical as the original lament, and bringing up then compared to now — or someone else’s misdeed compared to someone’s — does not mean that someone should be spoken free of guilt; it is intended to bring an additional charge that would encompass a greater number of breaches and establish a stricter threshold, lest a precedent be set that continually allows the tendentious crossing of lines.
Given that that pernicious precedent has pretty well been set, long already indeed, wedged de facto & deeply woven into our political nervous system, we have a situation where well-meaning people would like to know where the threshold is, yet are always concerned about the timing of the drawing of a line at some point prior to wondering why a line is not being drawn. Meditate on that a moment and I think you’ll find that it applies to either side of this particular style of discussion. Take it back far enough and you could replace the donkey and the elephant with a chicken and an egg, even if you think the egg is most demonstrably wrong.
Is someone right and someone else wrong here? Is there anything new under the Sun? Is it more a question of degree over style or the other way around? Have the frogs in the cauldron failed to acknowledge how blessed they are by those of the kingdom, if not of their class, who wield a superior sense memory that tells them when now is the time to jump?
Well, what an oversimplification that would be! However, rather than abandon the metaphor I’ll extend it just a smidge to make it more material to my point of departure: The brilliant — or perhaps only organic — design of rule by division has employed a nice little procedure whereby the ostensible dialing back of the water temperature only allows for a deep breath of relief, not for a group effort to keep bringing down the heat enough to make it survivable for everyone, let alone to turn off the damn stove. And that’s just among those of like mind who, twist as the mind might, can never be taken for chickens and are hardly ever only eggs.
Never forget that when the occasion presents itself, which is at a minimum annually, each plays the other on television. And never attribute to stupidity that which is adequately explained by malice of a more machiavellian nature — even if the mockery is more fun. And always follow the money. That’s an imperative unfortunately conflated with a philosophy of resignation. Nevertheless, once you follow the money you pretty well know where they stand.
This bipartisan brotherhood brews over into mistrust the moment members don’t behave as their counterpart had hoped. This, too, is rooted in soundness, and is quite quaint. Naturally when someone who’d been friendly to you suddenly smacks you in the face you’re gonna change your opinion of them. But not least of which based on the unpredictability of the actions of others, I say these party affiliations are irrelevant.
I allude here not to the question of the discrepancies between the iterated party ideologies and their actual differences. I rather refer to the irrelevancy of the Biggest Sideshow on Earth. Warning, I’m fixin’ to make the oft fallacious “the same people who…” argument, which as a matter of course should be viewed as question begging. So don’t beg it, that is, don’t take my word for it, but seriously consider whether or not this statement is true: The same people who are salivating at every tidbit coming downwind of Robert Mueller and consequently see him as a man of integrity today would view him as a treasonous party hack the moment he were to complete his investigation without either fingering the president or prosecuting someone in his inner circle. And of course the same people who are currently calling for the president to fire Robert Mueller for abuse of power or whatever will cite in perpetuity his investigation should the president escape scot-free.
Not that every selfsame amateur constitution wonk, who learns of some new arcane statute with every related “actually” tweet from their fave professional DC policy wonk, are not willing to hold that nothing is certain and will admit in advance to whichever special investigator’s being treacherous unless he gets fired first. This is also part of the quaintness quagmire that makes up the self-image of this moment’s American. It constitutes just the latest act in the sideshow.
Every spotlighted actor in this play is a study in treachery, but not of the disloyalty to the quaint American kind. It is a treachery toward whatever potential there is for earthy human decency. But not of the civility & decorum variety, quite the contrary. The most treacherous lay claim to that mantle with the backing of decorous fanfare — a quaint contradiction if there was one, which just might be a clue as to the expedient nature of that civility in all its historic duplicity.
Quaint Americans, much like the ugly ones, are selfish. If it’s found that the current monster in the White House has nada effect on their own real lives, they’ll point out how much they care about the effect it has, or will have, on others. Given the perpetual relativist application of the evidence of such effects depending on the timing of their cause, it’s difficult for me to sympathize.
Note that the list of the greatest threats to American democracy does not include whenever the Americans manipulated or destroyed someone else’s. “Two wrongs don’t make a right” is the quaint logic moving forward, but neither does a second wrong necessarily warrant the most urgent need for correction. This is true when there is wrongdoing of relative ubiquity, particularly so when that ubiquitous wrongness is of the official institutions tasked with the correction of wrong. That’s called institutionalized corruption. There has never been a greater assurance of the end of American democracy than the partisan embracement of those institutions when it suits one’s selective fancy.
“But I can criticize both,” or “We can’t do anything about the other thing,” are a common refrain of the quaint American, often in that the wrong in question lies in the distant past or is beyond the powers of democratic citizens and their apparently expediently powerless representatives charged with confirming those who sit in the institutions.
But the institutional wrongs are quantifiable. They are individual as well as collective actions taken in any of the institutions’ names, or under one or more of their auspices, sometimes in secret. Enough of those secrets have been officially revealed such that any special investigators and prosecutors worth their weight in honor-ability or well-qualified-ness would be able to air the grievances publicly and sentence any & all the wrong doers living & dead.
Before there can be a credible account of the election of 2016, there needs to be a credible account of both of their primaries. Still of greater urgency would be for international cooperation into the investigation of the murderous manipulation and/or overthrow of the Ukraine and Libya most recently, Iraq, Somalia, Honduras, Haiti, Venezuela, and again Libya more recently as well as historically, by all means Russia in the 90s, Afghanistan, Nicaragua, and Panama in the ’80s, Chile, Ghana, Zaire, Bolivia, the Congo— hell, just about anywhere in Africa and Latin America that ever attempted autonomous democracy, socialist-ist or otherwise, and throw in Fiji, Grenada, and Jamaica, and Cuba. Naturally Iran, Guatemala, and Indonesia— I know. Pure fantasy, right?
I submit that it is more important to the survival of democracy that those institutions face a reckoning regardless of how temporally afield their transgressions lie. By comparison, the current lawless executive facing even the slightest censure from any one of those same institutions would bolster their credibility of convenience with the quaint American. The removal of the latest symptom will make them happy and might lead to that infamous fanfare, but it ain’t gonna save no democracy.
Heute ließen wir uns beraten und haben die Entscheidung getroffen und dementsprechend überparteilich so durchgesetzt, damit das überparteiliche Gesetzschaffende Organ durch eine direktere, effizientere außerparlamentarische Zweckgesellschaft offiziell mit sofortiger Wirkung ersetzt zu verstehen ist.—das Organ a.D.
They used to dub the leaders Great. Not because they were good guys & gals, but because they achieved the extreme. On horses. Call that ancient history along with the mid-twentieth century, but it’s not just recently that words like “marvelous” have been taken for “wonderful” and almost never WTF?! Such simple choices, little turns of phrase, sound uttered self-consciously if you listen really closely, as if there’s an ambiguity-minimum dishonesty requirement set forth in The Really Real Book of the Law somewhere. At any rate, quality propaganda requires retail twisting of truth as well as wholesale dissemination of dubious modern mythology. It’s when words matter most.
Like lukewarm lies as licensing fees claimed to protect all of our rights, the fights aren’t for your freedom to move, but their freedom to buy and to move you out. Or someone else. If you benefit or’re even only just spared, there’s a secure chance you don’t mind any more than they do.
They do not care for the health of the sick and the working poor, but for the right of their clients to profit from each and every illness in the manner they alone deem passable.
They’re not speaking on behalf of she-born hes to shoulder arms sanctioned by their nation as much as they are framing that sanction as self-evidently just and egalitarian so they can keep packing the force with bodies.
They couldn’t care less about the subversion of democracy or they wouldn’t go on undermining it in every other convenient case you’re not likely to read about (unless you are genuinely interested, which they know you likely are not). At present they must only tactically balance their for-ness & against-ness regarding the current ostensible world leader’s sanction and/or regime change plans, such as they are, which I’m sure makes the art in the artifice a challenge, except that people aren’t really watching them. Or so it would seem.
(A rhetorical quiz for later: Which paragraph(s) in this entry allude(s) to a combined vote & recent passage in the houses that tallies 516-6 and how does this reality square and not square with the stated policies of the president (not stated as much by the president himself as his self-stated opposition about him)?)
And they certainly don’t give a shit about the “territorial integrity” of the Ukraine or Crimea beyond ultimately facilitating fracked gas-hawking on behalf of their preferred partners in crime at home. And if they are devastated about the Paris Accords like they say they are, where were they when their party was watering the deal down? Ditto immigration.
In yet another regard in which they adopt their scene partner’s specious rhetoric, increasingly when they fret about racist and sexist attitudes, they decry as racist accusations of American meddling in foreign affairs, as it’s apparent to them, so they’ll say, that it’s racist to suggest the oppressed abroad hadn’t had the agency to carry out their own awesome revolutions otherwise unremarkable. Unless of course they wanna make that claim themselves. Their next candidate for office will be a woman and/or person of color, which amounts to a dare for you to challenge them on such points, like their immediate re-rehabilitation of Goldman Sachs, who, as far as I can tell, are selectively bad right now. The trumpcard tags of these not-so distant future supporters could be something latently (& (un)ironically) racist with “#bros” in it, and #complex and #notIraq03 for the implied 2smart 4U science-y nature of war as wielded by the party of Bubya Jefferson. The cheekiest ‘d go with #notBenghazi after some snotty version of “leave it to the adults in the room”. Or the most stupidly vain who’re not with the other guy.
Two and three years from now, one more hashtag might be #NowIsNotTheTime. How about now now? If you were, say, a regular party voter, now could be the time to make clear they got nothing without you. Theoretically. Or, you could wait until #NowIsNotTheTime arrives. The ugly truth, however, is that now is never the time when bobble headed functionaries have no intention span: no intention of listening to anything but the sound of their interests beyond your distance.
Long live the sciendustry that’s made it possible for them to engage more intimately with the public in democratic dialog. Hardly less marvelous has been the capacity of sciendustry to ease the outsourcing of that dialog to their free-labor force of raving mad Twitter followers tweeting their religious lesser virulence, enabling lawmakers to put the masses on mute while the ten thousands strong bully brigade blame everyone else preemptively for their own abysmal failures.
They are not the weak-willed wimps who fail to stick up for their constituents at every turn who they play on TV, and just when you think their theater is all milquetoast & jelly, they’re reliable in leading the way when it comes to everything from beating down resistance within the party that belongs to them to authorizing death — giving them hell, as it were — something against which their loyals will not object; many will cheer them on. For these long for the days when the ministry of duplicitous bellicosity was helmed by someone they’d been trained to respect. Someone… presidential.
They’re no opposition. Theirs isn’t resistance. One might make the case that they play it well. Consider, however, that their mise en scène is underwritten by the fiercest force finance has known with all of the tricks of that trade, all of the media monopolies and all of their intelligence infiltrations with all of their manipulations and influence on entertainment as industry, and billionaire-backed philanthropy-branded NGOs to boot. All of us awash in what hijinks remain to make them adorable… for they are no opposition. And when there is no opposition, the result should be obviously painful. Acknowledge it, ignore it, or play right along, but be careful. Banzai.
And now a reprise of the above, with bonus bits about the achievement of science & industry under the will of the Army, each aspect more marvelous than the other.