Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rush Limbaugh is: Anthony Zerbe, Omega Man's "Mathius"

CPAC--If you don't have to shave your knuckles (or wear gloves on them since you drag them when you "walk"), you know that the Republican Party has no solution to the current economic crisis and that they're now going to have to settle for White Supremacists, market extremists, the intellectually challenged, and worse, for their political base.

But enough about America's ruling class and trailer trash: This was a self-inflicted wound, like all the rest.

With no real leadership or vision within their party, they're degenerating--it's hard to believe they could fall lower, I know--but they are. The best indicator of their imminent collapse? Rush Limbaugh's ascendency as leader of the GOP. When you have a nationally syndicated conservative radio commentater running your party, and when you have a scab plumber advising you on your national strategy as a party, you're basically fucked, you have no future staying the same and acting the same. Their solution? The aforementioned.

Logically, this can only be a good thing for Americans and the world, but the GOP are still going to be a big problem that has to be taken care of, and they're being very open about their intentions to derail the process again. Luckily, this is a self-correcting process--voters will continue to rebel and leave the Republican Party in-droves as it becomes clearer that they have no vision for the future and no solutions to problems that are largely their own creation. They will continue to lose seats in Congress without actually changing with the times.

That they won't change, and that they're making the same mistakes that they did in the 1930s makes them the world's largest Civil War reenactment outside of punk rock, that other Shibboleth of the right. This means that--once again--truth is out the window for them, it's messy and inconvenient, so out it goes from the chamber pot.

Do we give them what they want? Of course not, that's why we're in the current economic crisis, an ongoing constitutional crisis (the reason investigations and convictions are necessary), and two worthless wars. If President Obama doesn't address these and many other problems forcefully and directly, we may never recover as a nation. Does the GOP really want to own the fact that they created an economic crisis, then made it terminal? Apparently, the answer is a positive one: "YES!" Isn't it nice to say "yes"? In the backdrop, behind the curtain, Rush Limbaugh keeps declaiming that he's "not the leader" of the Republican Party.

Yet, from watching even just a sliver of the coverage from CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference, begun during the Watergate hearings), it's clear that Limbaugh really is the de facto leader of the Republican Party, not that one guy...uh, what's his name? Black guy. Anyone? Right, Michael Steele. Why wouldn't Rahm Emanuel (aka "Dutch Schultz") want to go to the trouble in pointing out the obvious last week? Like the Bolsheviks, Limbaugh saw a power vacuum and he's exploiting it, even abusing it in publicly flexing that power and forcing the de jure leader of the GOP into recanting his criticisms? That Steele recanted today is just underscoring the obvious.

A few Limbaugh highlights from CPAC that aren't getting much attention:

..."I learned that Fox, God love them, is televising this speech on the Fox News Channel, which means, ladies and gentleman, this is my first ever address to the nation. [Applause] Now, I have someone in back taking phone numbers. In fact, I would like to introduce to you my security chief, a man who runs all of my security. His name is Joseph Stalin. Joseph, would you please --

[Laughter ] I am safe from any liberal attack, in public, because they would be afraid of offending Stalin. [Laughter]..."

And: ..."But don't make the mistake at the same time of feeling liberated as thinking we're better and we can do better as a minority. Because we're not a minority. And if you start thinking of yourselves as a minority, you're going to be defensive. And you'll allow the majority to set the agenda and the premise and you're responding to it. The American people may not all vote the way we wish them to, but more Americans than you now live their lives as conservatives in one degree or another. And they are waiting for leadership. We need conservative leadership. We can take this country back. All we need is to nominate the right candidate. It's no more complicated than that. [Applause]"...

And, very tellingly:

..."There are certain realities. We don't have the votes in Capitol Hill to stop what's going to happen. What we can do is slow it down, procedure, parliamentary procedures, slow it down and do the best we can to inform the American people of what's really on the horizon. I know it's going to be tough. At some points, I don't think it can happen even right now."...

And, ..."So what is so strange about being honest to say that I want Barack Obama to fail if his mission is to restructure and reform this country so that capitalism and individual liberty are not its foundation? Why would I want that to succeed? [Applause]"...

And, thankfully, there is no economic crisis, the Democrats are lying that there is one, and the GOP had nothing to do with it at all, so move on: "

..."President Obama is so busy trying to foment and create anger in a created atmosphere of crisis, he is so busy fueling the emotions of class envy that he's forgotten it's not his money that he's spending. [Applause]"...

As you can tell, there were a lot of "crowd pleasers" (jokes for the humor-impaired) in there for what's becoming a smaller and smaller voting base for the Republican Party. Limbaugh's comments aren't going to go anywhere in making that base any larger, and his exhortations for congressional GOP incumbents (for now) to slow down the process has extraordinary risks, especially when that obstructionism is found to be an incontrovertible truth as to why the crisis has deepened. That's enough to kill any political party, fragmenting it in a constellation of third parties, if not a new and singular one.

And up on that stage, speaking at the very end of the CPAC sing-along ("Tie Me Kangaroo Down, Sport!"), Limbaugh just looked and sounded weirder than he ever has. It's not just that he's totally out-of-step with reality or how the history of ideas and their rejection or acceptance works (see Fukuyama piece below), it's that he's disconnected from the very idea of causality itself. Hey, don't go changin', it has the rest of us elated at the prospects.

No, what CPAC and Limbaugh all appear to be are the mutants from the Omega Man, suggesting pathetically and nihilistically that, "There is no solution!!" just as actor Anthony Zerbe tells Charleton Heston towards the end of the story, another permutation of Richard Matheson's apocalyptic story, "I Am Legend." Conversely--conversely?!--the words coming from Limbaugh's mouth could almost have been voiced at CBGB's in 1976, or any number of heroin "shooting-galleries" over the last 75 years. That's the GOP: so punk you can taste it, and the taste is as bad as you imagined it would be. According to them, it's capitalism or death for the human species, just reminding us that they have their cause and effect mixed-up again.

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