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The Heretik

History, government, and the history of government are replete with tales of power, thieves, and hubris. In the short term, perhaps we are screwed. If the filibuster gets broken, our children will be screwed as well. But the truth is, however foolish we may be as a group, however unwise we are as individuals, in time either of two things happens.

If you subscribe to a theory that humanity ever progresses, we will eventually step over this moral cesspool of our time. Looking back, we will see it for what it was: a small but very stinky puddle that ruined a great pair of shoes.

If you subscribe to a theory of immutable eternal truths, in time the falseness of the current age will be seen for what it is. At that time the demonic dark mirror our seeming masters have had us narcissically gazing into will be broken and a proper, better vision of humanity will return.

But in the short term we may be screwed. An ironic outlook may yet save us. Who we may now not yet hang anything on will someday hang themselves.

How? Hubris. You said it yourself.

They don't beleive they will ever get caught. They think that the way things are going is the way they will always go.

It is but matter of time. The clock ticks. See you at midnight.

Linkmeister

Is it permissible to sort of, you know, help them self-destruct?

burritoboy

"Some hotshot Republican prosecutor is going to see that his or her best way to fame and fortune is nailing one of these guys."

Ah, I see we have a Machiavellian in the house.

Jack (CommonSenseDesk)

Lance,

On the question of stealing elections ~ a long standing tradition in Hudson County, NJ and in the home of its star pupil, Chicago, IL.

Also on point, have you read the Lampley post at Huffington yet? You can find it at http://www.commonsensedesk.com/2005/05/sportscaster_as.html. You should take a look. Gutsy move by Lampley.

Stu

Lance, if you were in this room right now, I would hug you. Because you just expressed much better than I did exactly why I'm not quite as worried as other say I should be.

Thank you.

Cate

Well, thank you. You just made being awake at 3:59 to catch up on reading completely not a dumb thing to do. Yeah, I used to churn bile until I cozied up with some documents on 1790 to 1820 politicking and pamphleteering. The lying and the cheating and the backstabbing and the, well, you know. These clowns we have today? Not so original. Except I must admit, that this Intelligent Design stuff, boy does that scream for a Shouts & Murmurs piece in the New Yorker. Raw material that good is so hard to come by. Thank god for Kansas, and I don't mean the band.

denisdekat

The Masses are stupid, but they are our brethren. The masses are stupid, but you are not. Your tone is constructive, not a fabricated happiness, so no worries there...

I know that democracy has been undermined in America, especially when the so called debates are 3 staged prefabricated theatre events where the puppet is wired to see! The Media is a zombie, a corpse! However, there are folks like you who do a good job at fighting the good fight, I still have some optimism for the more educated Americans, it is only they who can save this great Country from the hungry fangs of the multi national corporations who want to rob the wealth that our families have built over the years through hard and honest work...

Shakespeare's Sister

I'm a the glass is dirty and the milk in it has curdled and came from sick cows anway-er.

My friend Andy describes me as a "the glass is empty and smashed to bits on the floor"-er, and yet I've been asked how I manage to stay in such a good mood all the time, too.

The only way I can explain it is that the one thing I always have faith in is that there are other people like me around, even if they might be few and far between, who really do want to be nice, and good, for no other reason than for its own reward, and have a little fun along the way, too. So even if my larger outlook is grim, I read this blog, or other blogs I like, and I feel happy, because I simply can't help myself. :-)

syntallic

Absolutely delightful! I have been exploring the End of the American Century for months now, and it all comes down to a sense of reverse entitlement with a sociopathic chaser to kill the bitter taste. The "reverse" in this bizarre Rethug elixir is that we have been bending over for people in need for so long - insert tape of brown people getting foreign aid and welfare queens having buck-toothed kids on the public dole - that who cares if the rich get richer for a little while at least, even though the largest welfare program known to mankind has gone to the defense, petroleum and corporate agriculture lobbys for decades now.

Not to come out here as too much of a socialist here, but perhaps Marx knew something when he said, "The rich will do anything for the poor but get off their backs." It's all a big reallocation of wealth and the media pressing down with the rubber stamp. And like you, I have not been entirely pessimistic about these last few years, nor will I shed a tear when it all comes crashing down - because these events are entirely predictable - and that in the end even the serfs can come armed with pitchforks and lanterns and take them out one by one.

Wonderful piece!

Rook

Ya, you do stink. But not because you are people. It's because you don't have me linked. Well, that's really just an empty attempt at shameless link whoring. Hey, I am just trying to live up to your opinion of us people. Though, personally, I think Agent K said it better: A person is smart-people are stupid.

However, I really must say this is one first class post. And congrats on the link from Wolcott. That's huge. Huge!

worldserious

I have been saying the same thing since Bush was first elected and he showed his real "compassionate conservitism". That he and ALL his theiving followers are just plain MEAN. All that meanness takes to much negative energy to continue to exist and will one day implode. I was most disappointed that the implosion did not occur before his re-election but the clock is ticking- ENTROPY RULES.

grishaxxx

Great gnashing, LM! That damn glass, though - I've never understood the empty/full thing (arguments could be easily made for flipping either conventional reading of the test) - the point to me is that it's only half a glass, and if it's as foul as the one you see, then let's throw the shit down the drain and wash it! Nothing like a clean glass - full of possibility!

And that's where I am with Shakespeare's Sister; the fact of you and other heroes and heroines of sanity gives me hope, makes me grin in the face of a vile present and it's dark army of villains. Really stupid villains.
I also think that only about 30% of the populace (and that's a max value) is, at any one time, completely batshit crazy; more may be hoodwinked, but you don't have to be a genius to be shrewd, or pissed off when you discover you have been fooled, and the excesses of this current bunch of evil clowns just will not be hidden forever.
It will be a godawful mess to clean up, of course - I cannot remember a worse period, and that includes Nixon - but it will crash, and some faith in our compatriots may come in handy then.

Publius

This post, it-- how do you say in your country?-- it fucking rules.

Exactly. Stupidity undoes itself eventually. And never ascribe to conspiracy or even to malice what can adequately be explained by basic human vices like greed, stupidity, or vanity.

I'm mindful of Robert Anton Wilson's assessment: there are tons of conspiracies out there, but they last on average about 10 years, at which point the stupidity and greed metastasises to the point where the conspirators start double-crossing each other or fall victim to law enforcement or to rival conspiracies, and they fall apart.

I'll also mention Frank Zappa's great insight: "Scientists believe that hydrogen is the basic building block of the universe, because it is so plentiful. I disagree. Stupidity is far more plentiful than hydrogen, therefore it is the basic building block of the universe."

Finally, one more quote from the late great Bill Hicks: "People suck, and I can prove it, I can give you the fact the factorum, I'll show my work, case closed."

Indeed.

CheeseMoose

"Always merry and bright." That was Henry Miller's motto. Wallow in the shit and smile smile smile.

Til we get a paper trail, elections are a farce. The tragic events of 11-2? You ain't seen nothin' yet!

Bubba's_barber

Great Post. I too subscribe to the notion.
Except, I have always believed this country "worked" precisely because there were a lot of stupid people (good/bad), and a handful of good and very smart people. The trouble is, I am having trouble believing they still make the latter.

Avedon

Er, who says the Republicans are doing anything in secret? I thought they were pretty overt about how they were trying to fix the vote.

That's the thing about it. Democrats, if they were doing the same, would have been really secretive about it, and have been genuinely ashamed at getting found out.

Donna

I hear ya, only I don't have a sunny outlook on it. Remember the Wall Street crooks? They kept most of the money and didn't get much prison time if any. How about the inept United execs now? They don't have to pay workers pensions and don't have to pay back their fat "compensation packages" that they collected while driving United into the dirt. This gang of thieves and their pals at Enron, Halliburton, Bechtel, you get the idea...they see this history, no wonder they think they can get away with it. Hell, nuthin' happened to Jeb Bush for his part in the S&L scandal, maybe they think they'll get Jeb's punishment for their misdeeds.

Iran Contra? Was Reagan or Bush I behind that? Nah...Ollie, he's the one at fault. Abu Ghraib? Ya think the blowback will get Bush II, Rummy, or even Sanchez or Miller? Nah...England, she's the mastermind of this evil.

Sure they'll keep stealing votes and elections as long as they can. If there is a day of reckoning, they've already got the money, power, policy, etc. And they've got other little thieves to take the fall.

"Whatever outrageous behavior they accuse Democrats of doing, they are doing themselves."

Uh huh, and you can bet they will say that all their transgressions were the Democrats fault and the media will go right along with that.

Republicans are children. They want what they want NOW! It doesn't matter that eating a box of cookies, bag of chips, and 50 candy bars will give them a stomach ache in an hour, or make them into fat lil shits in a month. Tax cuts for the wealthy, Iraq, environmental destruction, so many things can be explained by their childish behavior. They want their payday now, and who gives a hoot if they and the rest of us have to pay the cost in the future. Democrats are the grown ups, which is why we're considered boring with a stick up our ass. We're planners for the future, but the stupid public is more like the Republicans, they want that immediate gratification. There wouldn't be any Soc Sec "crisis" if we had Bill Clinton's surplus now, but you think these idiots notice that or who squandered that money? Joe Republican got his extra $50 in his tax rebate, he doesn't connect the dots that it will cost him his Soc Sec check down the road.

loret

Sometime half a glass of water is just half a glass of water.

Brad Turner

I am also hopefull that these stupid, evil buttwipes will shoot themselves in the foot, but I remain skeptical about the reality of this happening. It seems that the idiot masses have disconnected from reality. They don't give a shit about anything beyond their immediate concerns, which might be as important as where they are going to eat, and what that might be. Life for most of them resembles a soap opera. These stupid people usually don't vote, either. But there is stupid, and there is evil. Most of the truly stupid are not really evil, but they don't vote. The one's who do vote stupidly are simply evil. Shit on 'em.

big dave

Conservatism must inevitably fail because it defies logic, common sense, goodness, and the immutable laws of progress. It's decline and destruction will come much quicker if Democrats would start talking forcibly about its evils. Then, what will happen is that since Conservatives are nothing more than 20-25% of America, they will be marginalized and then the progressives, liberals, and moderates can fight it out as to how best to move the world forward. But before we have that debate we must destroy conservatism and all its vestiges once and for all.

John Ferguson

Leonard Woolf, who lived almost 89 vibrant years, was motivated by a principle which transcends the optimism/pessimism dichotomy. That principle was: Nothing matters.

John Ferguson
Garland, Texas

socialdemocracynow

Nah, I remain seriously depressed. These guys have shot themselves in the foot a hundred - no a thousand - times and IT HASN'T MADE A JOT OF DIFFERENCE. Nothing matters when the media is totally controlled.

The Divine Ms. Jimmi

I just hate some people.

afew

We're all hoping (outside America too, believe me) that these thugs will shoot themselves bigtime in the foot. But, as socialdemocracynow points out, they've done a fair amount of it already, and retribution is slow to come.

Your post shows a touching faith (for a stinker) in immanent justice. I mean, just because I drive like a dick doesn't automatically mean I'm going to have an accident. And the other examples of human misconduct you cite are not obligatorily followed by the meting out of justice. People do get away with murder -- and the more powerful they are, the less likely they are to be called to account.

What you say about stealing elections is very well put and seems to me exactly right. I don't think they've got an infallible master plan for rigging any and every election. The point about it is, though, that as long as they can keep the electoral difference marginal (ie the electorate almost evenly split), they can force the issue by cheating and/or legal bullying as in 2000.

Avedon and Digby (if I rightly remember posts of theirs) haven't only sourced their anxiety to election-stealing. There's a concerted effort by Repugs to make it difficult to undo what they're doing now. There's also a concerted effort to grab all the reins of power. They hold corporate power plus the executive and legislative branches. The "information" media is compliant -- no Fourth Estate (unless its the BlogEstate). The judicial branch isn't entirely in their hands, so they're using intimidation. They're having a go at bullying Hollywood and the education system (now it's not just lefties on campus, it's schoolteachers, we hear, who are all liberals, and so it's time to privatize public schools). And, by keeping their popular base all fired up with the culture wars, they're making bullying easy -- for them.

They may screw up in these attempts. They're probably not a huddle of evil geniuses plotting away. But who needs a conspiracy when there's such a convergence of powerful interests?

So OK, let's be optimistic and hope (as it seems to me some Dems do) that it's just a matter of waiting until the right smashes into the wall and America wakes up and smells the coffee and the world breathes a sigh of relief. Don't know if it's going to happen quite like that, though.

Otherwise (since I'm as no-damn-good as they come), I thoroughly enjoyed reading your no-damn-good post.

a fucking european weasel.

Randomizer

The Thieves and Thugs are counting on the Dems being "nice guys" and maybe even putting back the rules once they are in power.

They rationalize as if Lady Liberty is their battered spouse --

"So what if I might get arrested beating the crap out of her?" they ask --

"She won't testify and she'll take me back and forgive me ... and anyway, she asked for it by being so trusting."

People tend to stink and be stupid -- but they don't have to. Just ask Gary.


William Mahoney

The administration is doing exactly what the bumber sticker in "Orwell Rolls In His Grave" said---"Drive it like you stole it."--Which is how this adminstration is acting. By the way "Orwell" is a great documentary.

Regards

pap

Excellent post. I don't share the optimism though. Snarl Rove, and his sick gay cohorts are clever indeed. They stink, yes, worse than a well used latrine, but they are smart -- in a Machiavelian way. And they are in too deep to ever pull back from their grand fascist dreams (nightmares to us). If they falter, they go down, to prison or the gallows.

The only thing that can save American democracy, and horrendous repercussions for dissidents in this country is to take back the election system. Fortunately, and easy-sell program awaits: Paper Ballots Hand Counted. No $7000 vote-stealing machines rigged by ReThugliCons needed. Simply mark a paper ballot, put it in a locked box, count it with multiple witnesses, and post the results. Bingo, like most of the rest of the world, the votes are actually counted. Why do you think Chavez is actually president of Venezuela? Correct, they actually count the votes, and this neutralizes the outside sabotage (from the CIA) intending to crush the democracy movement in that country.

People, get active in demanding paper ballots hand counted; variations on the theme of vote-stealing machines -- the only options now being offered -- all have the vulnerability of being hacked or programmed to steal votes, and here's the kicker:
A RECOUNT IS ONLY DONE IF THE ELECTION WAS CLOSE ENOUGH!! Please reread that if my shouting wasn't sufficient to brand that on your memory banks. That's right, you could have all the paper receipts in the world, and if they are not ever counted, what good would they do. (I'll tell you what good: Rove laughing 'til his sides hurt because you thought your election system was secure.)

Paper Ballots, Hand Counted

inmediasres

Very good points. For example, I would love to see the Filibuster disappear under more auspicious circumstances. I'm not sure the damage in the mean time (eg. Judges appointed) is balanced by the payback on the Day of Reckoning. Obviously in the long run Republicans ARE digging their own graves while they are digging ours. Excuse the cliche, but as economists say, "in the long run, we are all dead." (I suppose you would have found some consolation in Germany in 1940 knowing that Hitler was digging his own grave?)

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