Sunday, December 3, 2017

"A Republic, if you can keep it"

We have not.

A tax measure that provides a road map to increased inequality in one of the already-most-unequal industrial democracies and shreds the social safety net woven in the depth of the Depression to prevent a hard turn to fascist or communist revolution, and that is "supported" by, at most, a quarter of the citizens of the affected polity (and that in the midst of a relentless, unashamedly vicious barrage of lies from the ruling party that suggests that at least a portion of that 25% would fall away if they understood how nakedly plutocratic this legislation is) is as close to the definition of "taxation without representation" as I can think of short of a genuine occupation government.

If our political system has devolved to the point where a coterie of neo-Gilded Age fantasists can impose their Sharia Law on three-quarters of the populace, then we have put a wrap on the American Experiment.

In a truly republican nation this would decorate Pennsylvania Avenue with a festive holiday display of heads on pikes.

It has not and will not.
And, as such, we have no one to blame for our failure to keep our own republic but ourselves.

Update 12/6: And a reminder that, as vilely oligarchic as the GOP has become domestically, it, and it's current Chief Executive, are aggressively moronic internationally, as well.

I suspect that the derp behind this reflects the degree to which 1) the Fraudulency Administration is chock-full of people whose understanding of geopolitics ends with the Little Golden Book version of the New American Century, and 2) Trump "foreign policy" is really not about foreign policy but providing red meat for the base. The Right has been jonesing for going all-in on Israel for some time now, but previous administrations (largely with functioning hindbrains, even if as evil as that living inside the carapace of Darth Cheney) punted on the Jerusalem move for the very reasons pointed out in the linked article; it provides no real geopolitical advantage for U.S. interests in return for one more brick in the wall of Arab ire.

I know that several here have taken me to task for being "angry" about all this.

But, frankly, what else is there? I live in Blue Oregon. Outside of helping defenstrate the reptile Walden there is no more I can do to make Oregon a force for the 20th Century in D.C. And yet, here I am, like Smokey the Bear watching these vandals burn the forest of the America I grew up in down around me in hopes that a tangle of Gilded Age weeds will grow in its place. And that briar patch will be what my kids have to grow up in, an America more like the sort of America that drove men into the streets of Homestead to be shot down by formed troops.

I don't want that, and I don't understand how anyone not in the American aristocracy would.

And yet, here we are.


  1. "The occupation,separation and annexation were, from the inception of the movement to its final consumation, a conspiracy to acquire territory out of which slave states might be formed for the American Union...

    It is to the credit of the American nation, however, that after conquering Mexico, and while practically holding the country in our possession, so that we could have retained the whole of it, or made any terms that we chose, we paid a round sum for the additional territory taken; more than it was worth, or was likely to be, to Mexico. To us it was an empire and of incalculable value, but it might have been obtained by other means. The Southern rebellion was largely the outgrowth of the Mexican war. Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions. We got our punishment in the most sanguinary and expensive war of modern times."

    U.S. Grant, Memoirs, pg 19-20

    1. StoneMason - He also said of that war:

      "Generally, the officers of the army were indifferent whether the annexation was consummated or not; but not so all of them. For myself, I was bitterly opposed to the measure, and to this day, regard the war, which resulted, as one of the most unjust ever waged by a stronger against a weaker nation. It was an instance of a republic following the bad example of European monarchies, in not considering justice in their desire to acquire additional territory."

      Personal Memoirs of General U. S. Grant (1885), p. 16.

      I wonder what would Grant think of the Trumpanzee?

  2. It's worth noting that the U.S. can function perfectly well as open oligarchy; it was more or less that from about 1870 to well into the 1900s. It sucked if you weren't an oligarch, but that just meant you were a taker, not a maker so too bad for you.

    The history of the U.S. has always been one of struggle between the wealthy few - by and for whom the system was set up - and the disenfranchised who read the aspirational texts of the Framers, largely meant for their fellow wealthy white male pals, and interpreted those texts as including those not wealthy, not white, and/or not male.

    It has become brutally obvious that the GOP in its current incarnation is "originalist" in it's reading of those texts in at least one critical sense; they agree with the Framers that the nation should belong to those that own it; those wealthy enough to deserve the franchise and their allies and their entourage.

    Everyone else can go pound sand.

  3. FDChief -

    This current band of bloodsuckers are a million times worse. They are looting the treasury, something the Framers never imagined.

    How did the Republican Party of men like Grant, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Ike turn into such a band of leeches? Ryan and McConnell make Boss Tweed look like Mother Teresa.

  4. Well, is Ranger regretting his Clinton derangement syndrome and wishing that Clinton had won?

    1. So far as I can tell from the content over at RAW, neither Jim's nor Lisa's hair is on fire about the ongoing trainwreck in the federal government. Their recent posts have addressed guns, the media, confederate statues, the evils of antifa, and football players kneeling.

      So far as I can tell, Jim and Lisa loathed Hitlery Klintoon to the point of madness, to the point where "anyone but Hillary" was preferable to putting the pantsuited she-devil in the Oval Office, and I didn't expect them to change their minds on that.

      But I AM disappointed that they don't seem to mind what the GOP is doing. Hollywood's hypocrisy on firearms and the nefarious doin's of antifa seem pretty weak sauce compared to what amounts to a "conservative" occupation government in D.C.

      I kept banging the drum last summer that as useless and corporate as the DLC/Clinton Dems were they were as different from the lunatic wingnuts of the GOP as a nippy schnauzer is from a rabid bull mastiff, and I never got the sense that either Jim or Lisa took me seriously, and, based on their recent posts, they still don't seem to take me, or the current situation, seriously.

      But I think that's a huge part of our current problem.

      I seem to recall that a study done back in the Oughts presented random Americans with official GOP policy positions; the usual mess of vile, plutocratic, punitive, anti-democratic, theocratic pottage. And the response was typically "Well...they'd never actually DO that!" The people confronted with the stated beliefs of one of the two political parties we've allowed ourselves just flat-out didn't let themselves believe that the people who said they believed these awful things would DO the awful things if they had the power to do so.

      Because to do that would be to admit that there is no "center". That there is no "compromise", no "common sense". That there is one side...and an abyss, a howling wilderness of reactionary nutballs who would rather dynamite the bridge and send the entire structure hurtling into the void rather than accept anything but every facet of their worldview.

      To admit that would be to accept that the people who hold these views aren't "our fellow citizens" with a little different outlook on life, but monsters who, to preserve the polity, must be mercilessly driven from the public square.

      And I can understand why they wouldn't want to accept that.

      I can't forgive it. But I can understand it.

  5. I would bet Ranger knows the foot pounds of force of a 9mm at ten, fifteen or twentyfive yards. I kind of miss Ranger Jim. He is against war. For that alone I can overlook his political leanings.

    1. I think a big part of his Hillary-hate was predicated on her rep as a "liberal interventionist" who was all in on Libya. And that's fine.

      But believing Trump's obvious lies is not. Jim is usually a smart guy politically. I'm still baffled at why he'd let personal anger overrule his political smarts. But he did, and so did many others, and here we are.

    2. And while we're on the subject, y'know who I miss the hell out of? Al. And JD. And Seydlitz. And Publius. Those guys always brought life to this joint.

      And at least Jim is no further away than RAW; if we want to talk he's a mouse-click away.

      But I haven't the slightest idea how to reach out to anyone else, which is a sort of painful reminder of the ephemeral nature of the epistolary friendship we share...

    3. I hope all is well with them.

    4. I've been visiting this site for several years and was always pleased when there was a post from Aviator47 (Al?). I have been wondering why there were no comments from him for these past many months. I stumbled around the internet and found this. You folks may already know but it came as sad news to me.

      Jay in N.C.

    5. Oh, no...

      A sad thank you to Jay because, no, I hadn't heard this.

      My heart goes out to Ardy, his widow, and his family. I am heartsick. I'd hoped that Al was just sick of the endless fight and had retired to his island to enjoy the sun and the sea.

      My world is a little bit darker tonight because a world without big Al the Hook Driver is a smaller, meaner, darker place.

  6. In case you were wondering, here's a direct quote from the man the GOP wants to install in the senior chamber of the U.S. legislature.

    "In response to a question from one of the only African Americans in the audience — who asked when Moore thought America was last "great" -- Moore acknowledged the nation's history of racial divisions, but said: "I think it was great at the time when families were united — even though we had slavery — they cared for one another…. Our families were strong, our country had a direction."

    At the same event, Moore referred to Native Americans and Asian Americans as "reds and yellows," and earlier this year he suggested the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks were divine punishment."

    There it is, ladies and gentlemen. Your GOP, circa 2017.

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