Wednesday, November 08, 2006

POSITIVELY THE LAST POST-ELECTION POST. I should have stopped long since, but couldn't help myself. I'm not gloating, mind -- all the Democrats won is a chance: they have the potential to score big or whiff disastrously. On that score, knowing the Party's checkered history, I am more anxious than smug.

(Though I will enjoy the early days of ritual humiliation, when Speaker Pelosi begins each session by spitting and trampling on a flag, and we ram through a bill to make all the preachers get gay-married and declare December 25th National Sodomy Day.)

But the right-wings blogs have been hard to ignore. A lot of them have been hilariously maudlin -- take this genius, who imagines that both the American People and the Democrats will be sorry they fucked with George W. Bush. "It is not like the president NEEDS the job OR the headaches," he grouses. "He has nothing to gain personally and has gotten nothing but criticism for trying to keep our country safer." A man with his talents, he could have been anything he wanted to -- business developerer, philophosist, choreologist -- but somehow he wound up running this crummy country, and we don't even appreciate it! Why, next election, George W. Bush might not run at all.

Even more instructive, in a way, have been the bloggers who suggest that, when the Republicans remove from themselves all taint of scandal, they will once again be worthy champions of the American electorate. To hear them tell it, this will be accomplished in something like a trip to the shop, where the weirdos and perverts will be scraped from the undercarriage and anti-sleaze poured into the radiator and the Party rolled out shiny and good's new.

They seem not to know -- or maybe they're just pretending not to know -- that our Parties are throughly scandalized, not by steamroom or macaca, but by money, and by the pressing need for unimaginable buttloads of it to get anywhere near public office in this country today. They start by raising buttloads of private wealth to get into office, and wind up managing buttloads of public funds as the people's servants. Then their contributors come around and suggest that some of that public money might best be invested in their own goods and services...

Both parties are susceptible to this kind of thing. However, there is a small but significant difference between them. Unions are heavily invested in Democrats -- therefore, Democrats wind up greasing unions, which plows some of their graft back into the public sphere, at least. The Republicans are mostly beholden to banks, telcoms, and various corporate scumbag outfits, who take their money from Republican legislation and fuck off with it -- and manage to get the Republicans to reduce their own tax burdens, too, which means We the People get double-fucked.

So while both Parties have to cheat and dissemble, the Democrats need merely to be corrupt, while the Republicans have to be downright evil. What was visibly hanging off the Republican Party during the late campaign was often called corruption, but it was nothing so simple or relatively benign as that.

The page-sniffing Foley, the mistress-strangling Sherwood -- and all those Republicans regularly chronicled in Roger Ailes' Grand Old Police Blotter posts -- were not like Clinton getting a blowjob. You expected Clinton to get a blowjob. What you didn't expect was Republicans engaged in dime-novel kink. Clinton was being Clinton; who the hell were these guys being?

And, once that question was out, you could ask it about Republicans who were not actual miscreants, but just plain weird: who was George Allen? What did he stand for besides a belligerent attitude and a thoroughly unearned sense of entitlement? Who was Rick Santorum, saying that the pursuit of happiness "harms America" -- what made him think he could get away with saying something so crazy?

Getting away with it, in general, was their problem. The Republicans had been getting away with crazy, off-the-wall shit for a long time, too long to fake it even when the voters started to get wise. They were as helpless in their passion as Peter Lorre in M. Corruption has its own problems, but these guys had gone beyond corruption, and into the realm of depravity.

Now they can screen their candidates from here to doomsday, but there are only two things that can help them. One is for the Democrats to screw up really bad -- never a slim chance. The other is time -- time enough for America to forget what freaks they are. Fortunately for them, our attention spans shrink by the minute. But I would say that, barring a Dem debacle, 2008 will probably be too soon.

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