Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crush Them Back, Harder

Posted by on Tue, Nov 6, 2012 at 10:28 AM

(With all due respect to Michael Walsh at National Review.)

Liberals have a rare opportunity today to do something they signally started in the landslide election of 2008: finish the job. Bill Clinton’s victory was vitiated by the inclusion of Dick Morris and quickly revenged by Kenneth Starr, leading to his replacement in 2000 by George W. Bush, a man who exactly nobody thought was qualified to be president of the United States, probably including Bush himself.

In retrospect, of course, George W. Bush was Pericles of Athens compared to Mitt Romney, who far more than Bush has revealed the true face of contemporary American right-conservatism in all its coercive ugliness: a blizzard of shifting policies; the deployment of ignoramuses to spread disinformation and discontent on cable airwaves; and the naked Randian appeals to race and class hatred. The most anti-American of American presidential candidates has run the most un-American of campaigns.

And that, by rights, should be it. Romney’s campaign has been so ugly, so founded on lies and nothingness, that nobody should want to vote for the man. But somehow, it’s a close race. From Day One of the Romney campaign, real conservatives pretended there was an explicit threat from Obama’s “fundamental change.” They imbue whole conspiracies into Obama’s offhand “voting is the best revenge” remark, when for the Right, “revenge” is precisely what this election is all about. For them and their constituents, it’s payback time: payback for the thought that taxes should be fairer; payback for the death of Osama bin Laden; payback for the policies of FDR; payback for America’s changing demographics. They’ve long used the civil-rights movement — which after all was directed precisely against bigots– and the Vietnam-era “pro-war” movement — which arose in opposition to the foreign policy of the Democrats led by George McGovern— as wedges with which to crack the larger social structure and now, so close to realizing the ultimate expression of their “critical theory” — that everything about un-wealthy America stinks — they and their media allies are doing their best to swing an last election for Romney.

Barack Obama is an imperfect standard bearer—there really can be no such thing as an perfect standard bearer—but today we are proud to vote for him. Morons who have no credentials have predicted either a Romney or Obama victory. Some idiots have even predicted a Republican retake of the Senate, despite the breathtaking tactical stupidity of Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, both of whom needlessly stated the Republican platform in public, with cameras recording them. But, should Romney win, he won’t simply assume the vote was a mandate for putting America back to work, and then do his corporate-turnaround thing. (Part of the reason for that is that it is unconstitutional to outsource the entire United States army to China.) If Romney wins, if his victory is within the margin of Ohio Republicans to cheat, Mitt understands that a considerable portion of his vote was not only anti-Obama but anti-Obamaism, that it was a repudiation of everything Americans stand for. And, most important, that going forward, it’s a call to substantially reduce Americans’ influence on the body politic.

The duel between “conservatism” — which is really just anti-Americanism — and patriotic loyalty to the Republic as founded has been going on for a century. And the record of the “conservatives” has been a disgrace, from Herbert Hoover’s deregulation and careless fiscal policies which led to the Great Depression all the way to George W. Bush’s deregulation and careless fiscal policies which led to the biggest financial collapse since the Great Depression. A political philosophy that mocks compassion and the alleviation of misery is intended to create a permanent underclass of disenfranchised voters (Karl Rove developed the template more than a decade ago), and the modern GOP establishment has signally failed to make that happen. But through the miracle of media jiu-jitsu, all these enormities have been rolled off of the GOP, a neat trick that allows Republicans to effectively run against themselves and still blame it on the other guy.

A vote for Romney today is a vote for all that. It’s not just a vote for president; it’s a vote in favor of reformation of the America in which every citizen gets a vote and the scales lean toward fairness, a system of which Barack Obama so clearly approves. It’s a vote to roll the clock back by a hundred or two hundred years— the Left calls it “repression” — in our popular culture, for the fusion of church and state, for the rollback of the federal safety net and its protection of the lives of American citizens.

The modern Right — the unholy spawn of ’20s deregulation and 1700s witch hunts— must be forced to its knees in surrender.

There’s a honored place in our political system for a rightist party, one that pushes for consideration in areas that need improving, but not one devoted to revolutionary “Objectivism.” A vote for Romney today is a vote against the kinder, more Christian America that seized control of FDR’s Democratic party in 1933, and has worked for America’s best interests ever since. A vote for Romney today is a vote for a restoration of the younger Bush— George W, that is — Republican party, a true corporatist party shorn of its reasonable accretions that is every bit as un-American as you remember. If this doesn’t happen today, though, the modern teabaggers will continue their war on the poor disguised as a war for the Constitution, convinced they are on the side of the angels, and taking solace in the late Gerald Ford’s words, “if Abraham Lincoln were alive today, he’d be turning over in his grave.”

It’s up to the electorate today to show Republicans that their dream is really a nightmare, from which it’s time to awake, that the cause of America always endures, and the work of restoring our founding principles begins anew today.


Comments (22) RSS

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Nicely done. Walsh is writing SO HARD it's hilarious. Well done sir.
Posted by gloomy gus on November 6, 2012 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Oh, jeez. After tonight, the Ghost of Ayn Rand controls one house of Congress, most federal courts, a number of federal regulatory agencies, numerous statehouses, and just under 50% of American hearts and minds.

My eyes were rolling so hard I couldn't read most of this, but JEEZ LOUEEZ!
Posted by RonK, Seattle on November 6, 2012 at 10:44 AM · Report this
johnnie 3
Save the histrionics, Paul. I think people can understand why it's important to vote without you making it out to be the final great battle between Air Strip One and Eastasia,
Posted by johnnie on November 6, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
"Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women. "
Posted by MLM on November 6, 2012 at 10:47 AM · Report this
johnnie 5
Oh I get it.
Posted by johnnie on November 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Was really concerned about your health and sanity for a minute there... context is key.
Posted by Nitidiuscula on November 6, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
Hover Dog 7
You forgot to switch Romney and Obama's names in the sixth paragraph. Confused the hell out of me until I read the original and realized this was a flipped argument.

Also, glad to see that the outlandish writing is something other than Paul losing his grip on the English language, which was my original impression.
Posted by Hover Dog on November 6, 2012 at 10:52 AM · Report this
bleedingheartlibertarian 8
Ah, I see what you did there.
Posted by bleedingheartlibertarian on November 6, 2012 at 10:55 AM · Report this
People really buy into this shit? What's going on up there in Seattle?
Posted by Spindles on November 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Matt the Engineer 10
I did not. Only read half and was going to comment on how terrible piece this is. Glad I read the comments first.
Posted by Matt the Engineer on November 6, 2012 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Paul, look up corporatism before you label the Republican party "corporatist." There are many different types of corporatism and none of them seem to apply closely to the economic policies of the Republican Party. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporatism
Posted by mhulot on November 6, 2012 at 11:36 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 13
Um, you gloss over the fact that the deregulation most directly responsible for the 2007-8 crash, the Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999, was written and signed in the Clinton White House. Mother-fucking Third Way DINOs have shadowed the Repugs every rightward chasse'.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 6, 2012 at 11:55 AM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 14
Oops, I meant The Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000. Just a typo :-P
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 15
^ Didn't read the comments first, or click Paul's link before posting.

Not that either was necessary. The whole thing is completely uncharacteristic of Paul's writing style. "Crush Them Back, Harder" sounds like terrible fan lit. (I don't know what Paul's fiction is like, but I bet that it's at least free of such terrible hyperbole.)
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 6, 2012 at 11:58 AM · Report this
blip 16
@9 Dear, sweet irony, promise me you'll never die.
Posted by blip on November 6, 2012 at 12:14 PM · Report this
The only way we have any shot of crushing them back harder is to win today and win again 4 years from today.
Posted by j-lon on November 6, 2012 at 12:18 PM · Report this
Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In 19
There are two kinds of people in this world, my friend. Those who click on the provided links & read them, and those who take to the comments section after glossing over a few paragraphs.
Posted by Some Old Nobodaddy Logged In on November 6, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on November 6, 2012 at 1:12 PM · Report this
Am I allowed to actually agree with this post, out of context? Because aside from the strained writing, I agree with pretty much all of it. They are the anti-liberty party.
Posted by Hanoumatoi on November 6, 2012 at 2:02 PM · Report this
This post really doesn't work very well. A lot of your word and phrase replacements are awkward and/or inaccurate, and the whole thing comes across as as intellectually lazy. I read most every political post on Slog, but I couldn't finish this one.
Posted by I have always been... east coaster on November 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 23
@ 22, did you click the link?
Posted by Matt from Denver on November 6, 2012 at 2:21 PM · Report this
Voted and donated all I could. Hopefully, we will crush Rethugs by Midnight.

Will not miss Romneybot or his "you people are not seeing our tax returns" wife. Buh bye now.
Posted by Patricia Kayden on November 6, 2012 at 2:22 PM · Report this

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