Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Shutdown Circus

The crisis du jour is of course the threat to shut down the government barring the passage of a continued funding resolution.  This is the new “fiscal cliff” and makes for a nice distraction in the corporate-state media but in reality is nothing more than . With yesterday’s GOP House vote to attach conditions that will effectively be the dagger in the heart for Obamacare, the grotesque excuse for healthcare/insurance reform that primarily benefits the parasitic insurance industry the countdown clock continued ticking. The coming media swarm will be similar to the Syrian dead children propaganda onslaught or any standard sort of a sordid sex scandal or missing white teenage girl story. But it won’t come to pass, at least in any meaningful form because the corrupt vermin in congress will be sure that any shut down doesn’t affect the crusading military or the fascist police state programs that are the real problems, not Barry’s half-assed corporate giveaway program. I am all for a government shutdown because it is way past time to reign in this out of control monster and end the war on civil liberties, nail shut the revolving door between Wall Street and Washington and send a good many career bureaucrats of our bloated government packing and force them to get real jobs rather than suckling at the taxpayer teat but this is phony baloney.

The ongoing Republican jihad against Obamacare simply is good politics for a base that has been fed shovels of bloody red meat straight out of the John Birch Society Blue Book ever since the run up to the 2010 mid-terms and next year is an election year.  The so-called tea party, originally a libertarian movement was hijacked by GOP high-rollers back in 2009, cleansed of the Ron Paul supporters in a purge similar to the night of the long knives and then used as an exoskeleton for a rebranded post-Bush GOP establishment. The political shock troops who were bussed into town hall meetings was comprised largely of the religious right party base, kooks, racists and bluehairs whose sheer gullibility was exploited by a cynical political party. This latest staged attack on Obamacare is just more rabble rousing because quite frankly the law is in the books and it is not going to be defunded or repealed after the penultimate corporate stooge, Chief Justice John Roberts provided the  big business seal of approval with last summer’s SCOTUS verdict to uphold the program. Greedy corporations are already drooling at the prospect of soon jettisoning dependents and employees from those costly employer subsidized insurance programs and into the feeding troughs of the insurance industry.  The GOP is just taking advantage of people whose support can only be ensured by continued lying and demagoguery. The term "socialism" which is most often used to mobilize the masses to agitate against Obamacare is ridiculous nonsense given that there seems to be no such objections to real socialist programs such as Medicaid, Medicare, Social Security, the military, the police and fire departments, those who build the roads and keep the water running etc. But it sells well with the rubes.

Republican senator Ted Cruz, a slicker than spit on a griddle McCarthyist type is the flavor of the day with the easily duped who are always looking for the man on the white horse.  The Harvard educated former Supreme Court clerk is a dyed in the wool elitist with an ambitious streak who has mined the cultural populism for all that it is worth. Cruz is a freshman senator from Texas whose remember the Alamo style of belligerent rhetoric has earned him a following while he engages in the sort of relentless self-promotion that means only one thing – that he has eyes on assuming the keys to the war machine from Barry in January 2017. His staged 21 hour pseudo filibuster last week where he railed against Obamacare was a publicity stunt but one that endeared him to the always scummy David Gregory to the degree that he was the guest of honor on Press the Meet this morning.  Cruz has that potential star power that the Sabbath morning mental masturbation fests just adore, he may even be able to dislodge McCain and Graham if he continues to parlay his shtick. But Cruz also represents something very special to that certain twenty percent or so of the populace who have an authoritarian bent. As Eric Hoffer wrote in The True Believer:

No matter how vital we think the role of leadership in the rise of a mass movement, there is no doubt that the leader cannot create the conditions which make the rise of a movement possible. He cannot conjure a movement out of the void. There has to be an eagerness to follow and obey, and an intense dissatisfaction with things as they are, before movement and leader can make their appearance.

This element, which is anathema to a functional free society should be shunned and exiled to the fringes because they are as dangerous as hell. Cruz represents that most important thing that those with a predisposition to fascism have lacked – a F├╝hrer.  As thoroughly rotten as the regime of the narcissist Obama has been do you really want to see the now fully constructed and integrated police/surveillance state placed in the hands of a demagogic fanatic? It is imperative that those better elements of the so-called tea party join with libertarians and principled progressives (NOT liberals) and lead a movement to restore civil liberties, the rule of law and truly free market principles to this country before conditions allow a calculating lunatic to seize the reins of power. Perhaps a man like Rand Paul could be one to rally around, at least he seems to have a somewhat consistent set of principles and is not afraid to buck the system.
Even a former New York Times employed liberal is showing signs of warming to Paul. In his latest column for New York Magazine entitled “It’s Hard to Hate Rand Paul” Rich writes the following:

What separates Paul from many of his tea-party peers is his meticulous insistence on blaming Republicans and Democrats alike for the outrages he finds in every tentacle of the federal Leviathan. He also takes a moderate rhetorical tone, far removed from that of the other right-wing politicians, Fox News talking heads, and radio bloviators who share his views. “I believe no one has the right to pollute another person’s property, and if it occurs the polluter should be made to pay for cleanup and damages,” he writes in one typical passage. “I am not against all regulation. I am against overzealous regulation.” There’s no “Don’t Tread on Me” overkill in his public preachments. He harbors no impeachment fantasies and not so much as a scintilla of Obama hatred even as he leads the charge against what he sees as the oppressive government nightmare of Obamacare. This has been the case from the start. When Paul began running for the Senate, it was during the red-hot tea-party year of 2009, with its tsunami of raucous town-hall meetings and death threats to the president. Paul gladly accepted Palin’s endorsement, but never succumbed to those swamp fevers. Though the liberal editorial page of the Louisville Courier-Journal was dismissive of his views during his Senate race, it went out of its way to observe that the man himself was “neither an angry nor resentful person” and was instead “thoughtful and witty in an elfin sort of way.”

While Rich’s piece could be said to be the damnation of faint praise given some of the other statements on Paul in reference to a  number of things but that this could be written previously was not that long ago unthinkable and perhaps it offers signs of a breakthrough given the exposure of the NSA Stasi and the permanent warfare state. While I have never really thought that much of Senator Rand Paul, I did admire his father a great deal for his courageous stance during the darkest years of the Bush-Cheney regime - especially when he whipped out a reading list at one of those debates for the benefit of Rudy "Mr. 9/11" Giuliani. I must admit that I am slowly warming to Rand Paul because the next president of this country needs to reign in decades of abuses and begin holding criminals accountable for their actions. Given the rotten array of choices to succeed Obama – Hillary, that loudmouthed fat slob from New Jersey and the Texas Zamboni it would seem that Rand Paul is the cream of the crop. He needs no stronger endorsement than this comment from the virulent neocon propagandist William Kristol, a coward who never served in the military yet whose blood lust to feed American men and women into the meat grinder of combat knows no bounds sneered that Paul was the “spokesman for the Code Pink faction of the Republican Party.”

While Cruz and the House GOP continue to milk this ridiculous shutdown threat for all it’s worth, one yahoo – a back bencher who goes by the name of John Culberson and is of course from Texas invoked the holiest of post-democracy American folklore in exclaiming “I said, like 9/11, ‘Let’s roll!’.  That there are idiots like this guy who are equating their silly little political snit to the event that has justified the ongoing fascist crackdown on civil liberties, NSA mass surveillance and wars without end is a perfect example of the authoritarian element that I spoke of a couple of paragraphs ago. When the whole thing blows up soon and the shutdown is exposed as a confidence game Culberson and his ilk will only become more embittered and hell bent at doing whatever possible to escalate our collapse.

Christ knows that Obama isn’t doing a good enough job of destroying the country without the help of useful idiots.