Fewer things get Republicans more excited than a righteous believer standing tall against the dissipated, careening left. Vigorous black-haired patriots horrified by impotent nattering and intellectual feminization jump to the foreground and drag the country back to its muscled roots. That’s how it goes.
They’d have you believe that. They’d have you believe Republicans are just sooo principled and, yet, reserved with such civic and moral nuclear power. All rigid spines and unwavering essence, they’re American Salt from American Earth, and they’ll straighten you and everybody else out when the time comes.
The towering religious stalwart Ted Haggard spent his time straightening people out, and his flock spent their savings gilding that rigidity. Ted’s New Life Church started with 22 people in his basement, but it grew to 14,000 gratefully chastened followers. They were happy to get this ‘straight’ from him:
Off stage, Ted was paying a whore to score him methamphetamine and ream his ass.
So, though ‘reality’ can’t be staged forever, fallible Republicans are still tantalized by the prospect of beating their enemies with righteousness. Forget its obliterating the concept of righteousness, just fire away, Teddy.
So, in this explosive political environment where ‘deficits are destroying the nation’, Republican-ly speaking, they feel great to hold high ground. Their positions have been clear — we must do the right thing, fiscally speaking, for this beloved country. We must always pay for the work of the government:
VOINOVICH: I just don’t understand how we can continue to go this way. We’re living in a dream world. This deficit continues to grow.
COLLINS: [PAYGO is] much-needed restraint for members of Congress as we wrestle with fiscal decisions.
SNOWE: I believe now is the time for both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to commit to pay-as-you-go rules for both revenues and spending.
Thursday, Senate Democrats re-instituted ‘PAY/GO‘ spending rules in a bill, which passed. But every single Republican voted against it, including the three above who once grandstanded for it.
What in the world were they thinking? It was this: what’s the point if it’s not our righteousness? And it it’s not their demise? Politics isn’t about service, it’s about victories. Republicans need a reason to strike, not act. Forget about getting ‘wins’ for everybody else, heck, they probably aren’t even Conservatives.
On Monday, Republican twenty-something icon and undercover videographer James O’Keefe went to Mary Landrieu’s Hale Boggs Federal Building office, accompanied by three co-conspirators, to pull some sort of ‘sting’ operation on the Senator. Two of his three accomplices, dressed as telephone repairmen, were found out when they couldn’t produce utility IDs. They were all arrested.
Why would he, and they, do this, be so unbelievably pathetic and dumb? And criminal? Because the young James probably thought it was what he was supposed to do. Hell, he’d been the toast of Conservatives from coast to coast for ‘exposing’ the despised community organizers, ACORN. He’d brought the ‘sins’ the right-wing were so sure of into the light of day.
The actual ‘evil’? Some of ACORN’s employees had been receptive of O’Keefe’s fantasy rap that he’d prostitute teens. To wit: they were too tolerant of his balsa pimp’s jive.
But now, in return? O’Keefe and his buddies face up to 10 years in prison for serious crimes. Wonder what the junior Watergaters’ folks are thinking of all this? Hang out in court and ask one: Robert Flanagan’s father is a United States Attorney for Louisiana, one of 93 top law enforcement officials in the nation, right under the Attorney General. Yes, Dad’s job is to bury criminals that show up in Federal workspaces, like his son.
The totally reversed polarity must have Robbie’s and Jimmie’s heads spinning (to say nothing of a US Attorney’s). Ending up on the wrong side of justice and righteousness must be confusing, a violent shock. Hard to contemplate they’re in jail when everybody swore Senator Landrieu deserved such shame. Oh well.
Some right-wingers are more violently shocked than others: attorney John Farren was arraigned a couple of weeks ago on charges of the attempted murder of his wife, Mary. John is a long time Republican heavy hitter, a former campaign manager for President George H. W. Bush, and, most recently, a deputy legal counsel to President George W. Bush.
Mary Farren had had enough and served him with divorce papers. Over the next two days, you can imagine what the Big Capital Conservative was thinking: “You’re going to try to shame me? Embarrass me, expose me as a criminal, a domestic batterer? And take my kids, my house and my retirement? You think you can pull this ‘righteous’ crap on me?”
So Farren tackled her in a bedroom at their New Canaan, Connecticut home and ripped out a clump of her hair. Then he beat her with a metal flashlight until Mary lost consciousness. When she woke up, he was still pounding away.
He began to strangle her as she was again losing consciousness. Despite barely being able to see, she managed to trigger the home’s alarm system.
Farren started beating her again and threatened to slit his wrists. He grabbed a large knife and went to the bathroom, coaxing his wife to follow. But Mary instead ran to her daughter’s bedroom yelling “Daddy’s trying to kill me!” according to a police report.
Mary managed to escape with her 7-year-old daughter and the couple’s baby. She fled in a BMW before stopping at a home to call police.
Obviously, John Farren the lawyer was keenly aware he’d been a scumbag, a criminal. O’Keefe was a con man, Haggard certainly knew that he’d been depraved and a sinner, he enjoyed it. These make for desperate lives, wallpapered with black doom, for the revolutionaries of hyper-vigilance. Why bother? Why drag people to the guillotine when you can’t be sure where your own head is?
How about this: when they can’t stand that others don’t bother to meet the beloved standards they obsessively fail at, Conservatives get furious. Their inglorious reality is to work like wet mules in the hot sun, repeatedly carrying heavy sacks of shame in circles while liberals lie sleeping in the shade. It invites the want to kill the stupid, lazy fuckers. And that’s when these people choose to carry on not as the victims but as the wielders of America’s crushing moral burden.
And there begins the Dream of the Poor, Vulnerable Rat.
He dreams of slinking out into the desert and surprising a rattlesnake. He jumps on the back of the murderous thing and buries his vicious rat-fangs deep in its neck, crushing it with every ounce of power in his jaws. The snake’s windpipe constricts, and its bones begin to snap and crack. The snake is dying, and it thrashes and it thrashes and it thrashes, but it dies right there, with the victorious rat locked on its back. And it just doesn’t get any better than that.