Wednesday, May 10, 2006

This most terrible price

I have watched the neoconservative popular movement since the mid 1990s. What began as an interesting sideshow in the form of the hyperventilating pundits like Rush eventually unfolded into a full blown pathology of angry white males numbering in the tens of millions. It took form also in the Congress, with a GOP delegation that can only be described as throwing a full blown tantrum – complete with showdowns, shutdowns, and endless self-absorbed witch hunts – but exacting its deepest costs in the more mundane aspects of social fabric and governmental infrastructure which were systematically (and not so systematically) deconstructed in gleeful rampages. The partisanship was all enveloping, as was Expand...the underlying anger and ungoverned vindictiveness.

The early waves of the movement rose on the backs of a small handful of legitimate gripes and necessary corrections due to the previous incumbency of an entrenched party. But this populism and idealism was quickly enveloped by a food fight of aggrieved white American males with some serious psychological issues regarding entitlement and victimology. All the while providing cover to some very high level piracy.

Many reactionary movements rise in periods of crisis, but this one rose initially in a period of peace of prosperity. Eventually, it created its own crisis's under which it consolidated power. Yet this remains a peculiar feature of the American right, it gains most of its legitimate widespread power when it has peace and prosperity to rally against.

The oddest and increasingly disturbing element of this movement was the insatiability of the adherent's anger. The more power they gained, the more intense their rage became. With every electoral victory, their complaints became louder, and also more generic. By generic I mean that the complaints stayed the essentially same, only the names and topics kept changing. Eventually, many complaints became ridiculous on their face and often self-contradictory. But the stridency increased with power.

With the election of George W Bush – the ultimate know-nothing post-post-modern media age President – the neoconservative movement arrived into full power. They were joined in a coalition of crony pirates and religious zealots in what is surely the most widespread episode of institutional regression in the nation's history.

This coalition is now in rapid decline. I have literally waited years for this moment; repeating to myself that all things indeed do pass. Good riddance to them.

Now the costs are becoming clear. Everyone one of them were predicted. Many by me right here in these pages.

Skipping over the backsliding in environmental quality. Skipping over the decline in education and public health. Skipping over stagnating middle class and an eviscerated economic engine for widespread prosperity and upward mobility. Skipping over declines in nearly every quality of life and health indicator. Skipping over the incarceration rate. Skipping over stripped off assets and infrastructure. Skipping over the dying main streets and small towns and disappearing family farms. Skipping over teetering, propped up facades where a robust and real diverse economy once stood. Skipping over the inept level of public discourse and problem solving. Skipping over the decline in public ethics and lawfulness. Skipping over the decline in honesty and integrity. Skipping over the twin deficits and teetering dollar and bubbling real estate. Skipping over consumer debt. Skipping over the divided and bickering nation. Skipping over the national malaise hiding behind shopping and obesity. Skipping over the decline in public and community spirit. Skipping over the bloated incompetent government. Skipping over the loss of a mature understanding of freedom and democracy and responsibility. Skipping over the fascism and the death of enshrined liberty in a million ways. Skipping over the castration of the media. Skipping over the lies and the lies and the lies.

Let's focus on just a couple things.

This strategic gamble has been the worst blunder in the history of the nation.

- Our nation is despised and cursed universally – we are hated by billions of people. We are a global pariah.
- Our allies don't trust us and are looking for ways to defy us and get by without us.
- We have driven our opponents into each others arms; into productive and dedicated partnership intent on unseating us.
- We have emboldened our enemies and challengers at all levels. From suicidal terrorists to democratic nationalists.
- We are bankrupt.
- We are over our heads in debt; and owned by our opponents.
- Our military is hamstrung for a generation.
- Our government is dysfunctional and inept and not trusted. And addicted to lies and corruption.
- We have endorsed torture. We have endorsed secrecy.

Worse yet, this effort failed even at its most basic goals
- oil is neither secure nor cheap nor necessarily dominated by the US
- our permanent bases in Iraq will not likely stand
- Iraq is a bloody mess
- Afghanistan remains a fertile ground for Islamic fundamentalism and drug production
- Terrorism is neither defeated nor necessarily "on the run"
- Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Indonesia are no closer to being security partners
- Osama is still on the loose
- Saddam tweaks our nose as the world jeers

In short, George Bush double-dog dared the world, and now he has our tongue stuck to the flagpole.

And with that trite movie quote, I hope to dampen the full tragic scope of this unprecedented carnage unleashed on the United States by a single administration and its pathological army of pundits and angry white male losers.

Sure, the pirates are happy.

That's about it.

Goodbye neocons. Good riddance.

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