I’m a moody guy. Good for poetry but not so much for the metabolism. Grousing at my home team brings out projective empathy for red state other. Let in the news monster and sometimes it’s bye bye empathy.
There was a broad-based media rave this week celebrating the extraordinary heroism of Senators Jeff Flake, Bob Corker and John McCain. They wielded the sacred sword of freedom of speech to say what only two thirds of Americans think and say out loud every day. Ah, but those three said it in front of a mic. I think the focus is on the wrong Congressional gutter. Why aren’t all those other GOP scardy cats not grabbing their mics to say what they say in whisper?
What is that rare gut balast that gave these three heroes such courage? Here’s a hint: skin. No, not white skin. No skin. These three have no skin in the game. Neither are running for re-election. In the case of the loudest and most explicit in his expression of outrage over the current state of the GOP and the psycho in chief was Mr. Flake who is currently promoting a book. McCain’s extra-credit heroism – his non-re-election jolt of integrity – was his refusal to deny health insurance to the most needy of his constituency. Where was he when his skin was still in the game? Sorry, no medal this time.
In an era of militarized GOP party unity the maverick John McCain disagreeed a few times. Then he slipped right back in line to fortify the cesspool the party truly is today. Trump didn’t do it. The Right did Trump.
Because of his need for campaign arm-candy during the 2008 election he injected an unvetted germ into the American bloodstream. These days Sarah Palin pops up only now and then to do her e.e. cummings style speechifyng as a campaign prop for the Bannon Brigades. But back in ’08 she was the Beyoncé of bonzo. She played her fans, who are barely enduring an extended period of existential crisis; using them as a mirror for her prancing and posing. It’s now the defining GOP MO. She became a celeb on the campaign trail by referring to all those of a certain genetic and ideological persuasion – real Americans.
By the time my grandparents could say in English, “Holy shit! the Cossacks let us go to Coney Island!” they we already –Yiddish accent and all – more authentically American than Sarah Palin. And unlike her, they didn’t walk away from their businesses and jobs. For them inconvenience was not a mission-killer. Their generation was at home within the fabric of the American spirit that Palin and her comrades laughingly claim as their own. And unlike the ideological forebearers of Palin and the Three Stooges of courageous speechifying, many of those who came over were instrumental in organizing workers for decent pay and working conditions.
Palin is a supporter of God’s law man, Ray Moore, who interprets the First Amendment as a mandate to establish Christianiy as the nation’s official religion. Pulls his little gun out in front of the crowd as a cheap applause grabber in lieu of a useful policy vision. His personal GI Joe doll, Jesus, would have pimped the piece solely for the cause of getting foreign Roman invaders out of the Temple and the homeland. But Jesus had a whole other way of addressing his rallies. I wouldn’t know, but a lot of people talk about it.
The Left’s only caveat in its praise of Flake is that if he really cared so much he would have stayed in the upcoming Senate race. RIght. And if he won there would still be a far right winger in the Senate named Flake. My peeve is that he could’ve taken the floor while he still had skin in the game and no book to promote. And his bold literary plea for sanity on the right – he just noticed it in the past couple of years?
I’m completely at a loss to figure out how much of the current GOP ethic is truly believed or merely strategic. Yeah, refusing to vote on a Supreme Court nominee, to even meet with him, is strategically sound but absolutely unAmerican and counter to the three-branch layout the Constitution set up. Do these assholes actually read that thing they claim to keep in their pocket at all times? It’s nothing more than a gun to be used as a campaign prop.
God bless the real America.
— Polar Levine, News Goo Dissection, October 28, 2017
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