Why They Fight

Life must be bleak for Andrew Sullivan these days.

One thing has struck me these past few years about the right in America. As it has slowly abandoned its own principles – limited government, individual freedom, balanced budgets, federalism – it has been forced to resort to three fundamental issues to keep itself alive. The first was the war on terror, the second fundamentalist Christianity, and the third, hatred of the left. The first has waned somewhat, not because we aren’t still at war and in great peril, but because it is manifestly obvious that this administration is stunningly incompetent in its execution of the war. There’s only so much you can do to defend it at this point. The evangelical base whose support for Bush is entirely for religious rather than political reasons – the theocratic heart of the GOP – will never stop believing, as long as the Supreme Leader refuses to show any doubt and keeps preventing vaccines from being developed, puts pro-lifers on the Court, and keeps up the pressure on gays. But the rest – and they’re critical – are motivated entirely by being anti-left.

The most depressing aspect of this was the vile “Swift Boat” attack on John Kerry in the last election campaign. But you only have to watch O’Reilly or read Powerline or listen to Sean Hannity or David Horowitz to know that the only thing that really gets them fired up any more is loathing of liberals.

This has been obvious for a long time, at least to everyone but the Right. Righties like to think they’re the ones with the “ideas.” Can anyone remember what those “ideas” might be? Oh, yeah … cut taxes, shrink government, cut taxes, promote corporate welfare, cut taxes, cut social programs, cut taxes, praise Jesus. And cut taxes. The same zombie ideas they’ve been dragging around since Goldwater. Even neoconservative foreign policies are leftovers from the Cold War.

From yesterday’s Liberal Oasis:

Republicans Have No Ideas

Only Enemies

According to top Republicans, what agenda item will motivate their supporters to the polls this year?

More tax cuts for the rich? More drilling in environmentally sensitive areas? Less help for the poor?

Trick question.

Since Republicans in Washington aren’t really into passing legislation anymore (when was the last time they passed something?), there’s no issue for their supporters to get excited about.

So what do Republicans have left? From the NY Times:

    “Impeachment, coming your way if there are changes in who controls the House eight months from now,” Paul Weyrich, a veteran conservative organizer, declared last month in an e-mail newsletter.

    The threat of impeachment, Mr. Weyrich suggested, was one of the only factors that could inspire the Republican Party’s demoralized base to go to the polls.

    With “impeachment on the horizon,” he wrote, “maybe, just maybe, conservatives would not stay at home after all.”

Tim Grieve at Salon:

We’re hearing a lot about Democrats these days — from Republicans. Democrats are going to run Hillary Clinton as their presidential nominee in 2008. Democrats are going to try to impeach George W. Bush if they win control of Congress in 2006. It’s enough to send the Republican base into panic — which is, of course, exactly the point.

For the last four years, the Bush White House has kept the American public in line by warning that the terrorists are everywhere and fixing to “hit us” again at any minute. That argument isn’t working anymore, at least not to the president’s benefit. The public has begun to disapprove of the way that George W. Bush is handling national security; only 30 percent still think that Bush’s “central front” in the war on terror — the war of choice he launched in Iraq — is actually making Americans safer.

But when all you’ve got is fear, you’d better hope that everything looks like a monster: So if Osama bin Laden isn’t scaring Americans into the president’s camp these days, the Republicans have to hope that Russ Feingold will.

Got that? We’re the new Osama.

9 thoughts on “Why They Fight

  1. Weyrich and others are implicitly stating that there are legitimate grounds for impeachment.

    Impeachment isn’t some frivolous idea of the extreme left, which if raised will be smacked down–they know there are multiple grounds for impeachment.

    And this isn’t merely about perjury in a civil trial; we are talking about falsely leading the nation into war, violating the 4th Amendment, establishing a regime of torture in violation of international laws and basic human decency.

    This is how dishonest this bunch of shitheels are–they know their boy has violated his Constitutional duties in ways that Nixon only dared dream about, and yet they continue to support him.

  2. I was reading a series about torture and the uses of violence and the cultivation of blind obedience. One section dealt with Vietnam and the resulting ptsd of the soldiers 30-40 years later because they had done monsterous things they could not reconcile. One of the tenants of people who engage in this and tell themselves the means justifies the ends, is that they are full of rage and will not admit that the ends were wrong to begin with.They internalize ideals and will not examine them. Anyway, it was postulated that that was why there was such rage against Kerry after so many years, because he broke the cardinal rule of denial. Soldiers are supposed to come home, swear fealty to the cause and keep quiet about the means. He related things told to him by vets, the winter soldiers etc and earned hatred that still thrives. I think a lot of conservatives hold onto ideals more dearly than liberals ever do. They have held onto their cause for my lifetime in hopes they would gain power. They have gained power but everytime they do their demons arise. Every republican administration seems to go off the track and produce felons, power grabbing etc. Not just a scandal but a group that we all know has transcended each administration for the past 40 years. Like Jason they keep coming back to rise and destroy the rule of law over and over.They have persisted so long that their ideas are dead, wooden vestiges of the past, never examined in the light of facts: like do their ideas really work? Well we’ve seen that government needs taxes, that borrow and spend doesn’t work, that preemptive war based on false assumptions and unrealistic outcomes does not work, that having a war to prop up your presidency may have helped Thatcher but not the US, etc . So now all they have is their rage and 3 albatrosses: Iraq,insatiable fundies, and a debt bomb. We will see which causes the fall. While I fear their rising fascism( Bush is not Hitler, Republicans are not Nazis but they are fascists), I know it is a house of cards that will fall.

  3. When you get rich and powerful by beating a dead horse why admit it is dead? just keep beating it. spin spin spin

  4. What do you mean they have no ideas… How about pre-emptive war? Or scrapping the Constitution, the Geneva convention or the United Nation declaration of Human rights? The righties got brilliant ideas and the Bush doctrine is definately thinking outside the box.

  5. One only need to listen to talk radio, where the 2 minutes of hate goes on ,, well..24/7….this has been the message there for the past several years.Micheal Weiner, otherwise known as “savage” has been flat out saying, for years now, that the left and not bin laden is this countries greatest danger..it was almost like they floated that jack ass like a trial balloon..He has been making the danger of the left his regular spew for as long as I can recall, and when there was no huge outcry over his words, those on the right just added more voices to deliver the same message , that being left equals evil(hmmm do I smell a preemptive strike coming to lefties?, or perhaps we just replaced Iraq in the Axis of evil in Bush’s head?)

    Which brings me to the current events of the day, that being the debt ceiling raised again.30,000 per person is each persons share of the debt I believe they said??Holy shit!Seems like a perfect time for a slap in the face/ wake up call for the righties,especially with tax time looming in the near future.It seems to me we lefties are SOOOOOOOO evil,, but they sure as hell need our tax dollars.Without the evil left , the right might as well stand in a puddle of piss in a storm holding a lightening rod..IF for even one year the evil left paid no taxes in ,,, the nation ….well just imagine.They couldn’t afford a bucket to piss in without the left….and as for the left? I just have to point out one thing: right now what we have is taxation without representation….30,000 …what did we get for the money?

  6. For some time I have been looking at human events through a specific ‘theory’ lens: My theory is that evil has no power unless it can ride on good energy. Image: a beautiful horse with all its power harnessed and directed by a rider.

    Looking through this lens, I see that evils like greed, fear, jealousy, avarice, hate, etc can ride atop and control vast amounts of good energy like patriotism, joie de vivre, love of one’s children, protectiveness of self, community and nation, faith and desire to serve God, etc. I try to focus into the scene to see if I can find those [often invisible] reins used by evil to ride and control that good energy.

    So far, what I see is: good energy becomes destructive [obedient to evil’s direction] because of small unexamined shifts in meaning, those shifts usually happening in moments of high emotion and action. So, a series of small twists of rhetoric at opportune moments, and voila, we might see evangelicals acting very unChristiam, we might see bush-fan patriots thumbing their noses at our Constitution, we might see some Democrats urging ‘lock-step’ messaging in order to beat lock-step repugs at the polls……

    The bad news is that much of my wonderful countrymen’s collective energy seems to be under the influence of forces I reject, and goes off in directions I do not wish to follow. The good news is that a spiral of ‘evil’ gets so contractive and absurd that it eventually defeats itself, freeing the original ‘good’ to once again expand.

  7. I’ve thought for a long time that Bush is the anti-Christ. Someone that would use religion to start a war for oil must be evil

  8. I saw V for Vendetta yesterday afternoon. The between the lines subtext about resistance to oppression, manipulation and control are marvelous. Anybody else seen it?

Comments are closed.