Friday, February 19, 2021


For years I abjured this kind of 70s rock but I'm kinda getting back into it.
Special kudos to Dee Murray; sometimes hyperactive bass is actually cool.

Not only have we had a good laugh about Ted Cruz's Cancun Adventure, it seems the whole world has.  Even conservatives seem to realize it's too perfectly on-brand, for Cruz and their own movement, to defend, and dummies like Dinesh D'Souza and Ben Shapiro have been reduced to bizarre, "Hey, it's not like Ted Cruz is any use at all in a crisis anyway" arguments -- as usual not likely to convince anyone but, unusually, not apparently designed to appease the yahoos who bay at their troughs either, just pro-forma ass-covering bullshit. 

Hell, some rightwing talking heads like Meagan McCain have denounced Cruz, and the Murdoch New York Post is covering him like he's Andrew Cuomo.

I'm not starry-eyed about this apparent consensus on Cruz. First, no one actually likes him; Texans are simply unable to vote for Democrats, lest they question the unreasoning belligerence that passes for manhood there. Cruz was so unloved by national Republicans in 2016 that, despite his muscling to the front of the line, they nominated an ignorant New York grifter rather than let themselves be represented by him. Genital warts aren't a "bipartisan issue" just because no one wants them. And the Cancun story plays to the simplest kind of American resentments -- people who were unmoved by Cruz's many political outrages, including his support for a fascist insurrection, are pissed that he left his poodle home in the cold.   

Also, in the bigger picture, Americans seem unsure about what to do with the Republican conservative creed that Cruz and his contempt for the needful embodies now that they've shaken off Tubby. It's not that I'm optimistic -- if America could turn back to the GOP after Bush Jr., it could do so after Trump, too. But the coup attempt seems to have shaken most of them, and they may have noticed not only that Republicans are largely OK with an attempt to murder their elected officials for Trump, but that the hardcore Republicans are busily trying to minimize the attempt, and even suggesting that the mob didn't actually kill Officer Sicknick and were generally just having a bit of a lark and that Nancy Pelosi was actually to blame for it -- an impression anyone who saw the impeachment insurrection footage would find obscene. 

This tracks with when I'm seeing in the Rush Limbaugh death coverage. I had my say about that at Roy Edroso Breaks It Down, and I do believe he'll remain a totem of the rancid misogyny and racism of conservatism, and be honored as such by rancid misogynists and racists. But the brethren aren't exactly mobbing his cortege as if he were some meathead Verdi and singing "Barack the Magic Negro." In fact while they all claim to have loved his "humor," few of them are actually publicly saying, "Remember when he called Chelsea Clinton a dog? Hah? Come on lady, I laughed when you came in!" 

Apart from the outright apparatchiks blubbering over his catafalque, have you noticed how many credentialed conservatives like Michael Brendan Dougherty seem to either want to get past the subject quickly or feel obliged to admit that yes, much of what El Rushbo said went a bit too far? Peggy Noonan today, after briefly praising Limbaugh's influence ("There was a joy to it. His patriotism was real"), said this:

To have a show such as his you had to be The Guy With the View, and knock down others’ views. In the past 15 years my views on important issues diverged from his; he came to see me as an apostate and attacked me for my criticisms of Iraq policy, Sarah Palin, George W. Bush and Donald Trump. His attacks turned personal: I was an elite fancy person, an establishment character of rarefied background who looked down on honest people like him and his listeners. His criticisms were at odds with the facts of our lives, and he knew it; for one thing he was damning me from his vast Palm Beach, Fla., estate. Like many male conservative media figures he made a game of pretending to class sensitivity and implying he’d had to scrap his way up. The radio station where he got his start was co-owned by his father.

Now, Noonan remains utter shit, and her complaint is of course animated by personal grievance. But this is one of those cases where "the personal is the political" really applies: How many American women, or men for that matter, noticed over the years with what cold contempt the yahoos for whom Limbaugh spoke had come to regard them? For a moment at least Noonan grasped that her years of service to The Cause counted for nothing if some other Reaganite goon, one whom she doubtless considered less talented that she, condemned her as a rich bitch, accent on the bitch, and got over with it because he had a penis. (It apparently shook her no much she no longer believes repealing the Fairness Doctrine was a good idea!) 

It's like they all had been insisting since childhood that Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In was the height of sophisticated comedy and then someone made them watch it again.

But do enjoy that Limbaugh bit, as well as my other Roy Edroso Breaks It Down freebie from the week, "A Message from the John Bitch Society." We could all use the laffs. 

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