Arguments I’ve sent in to the Planning Commission:
2011 August 10: Sarah Palin: “State fairs hold a special place in our nation’s history and heritage, so my family is honored to highlight one of them on one stop along the One Nation Tour route — America’s historic Iowa State Fair!”
2011 August 13: Stage collapse at Indiana State Fair kills at least 4.
(Reference is to Hillary Clinton adviser compares internet to Che Guevara.)
04.04.11, time for a big hello to Hate Week! This year’s cutting-edge plusgood slogan:
Irradiation is Healthful.
04.04.10, and another Hate Week begins! This year’s fresh-coined new slogan:
Contradiction Is Discussion.
So President Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize! And all of a sudden, I can’t swing a dead cat without hitting someone singing
I’ll tell you what Obama’s done for me lately: deflected my country away from a beeline course towards a multi-front hot war against every Muslim state on the planet. That he’s also been reversing the thunderingly stupid Bush policies when and as he accumulates enough political capital to do so is a bonus– but that’s mostly just for us. On a global scale, he was halfway to the Nobel just by defeating John McCain– and, God help us, the party that looked at Sarah Palin and thought, “Looks qualified to be the Vice President to me!”
Allow me to expand on that. You know the teabagger neocons who are whining about birth certificates and raving about “Death Panels”? The guys doing their best to make the rest of us wonder how many cases of paranoid schizophrenia are going undiagnosed every year? These chuckleheads used to have the ear of executive reactionary thugs with NUCLEAR LAUNCH CODES. People thought this was BUSINESS AS USUAL.
What’s Obama done for Peace? Turned the whole damn country around. What’s he doing now? Maintaining sanity. Collaring the hawks, ignoring the doctrinaire, and laughing when the absurd stumble onto the political stage– so that once again, we’re a force for good in the world.
From Chapter One, “Laying Plans”, of Sun Tzu’s The Art of War:
18. All warfare is based on deception. 19. Hence, when able to attack, we must seem unable; when using our forces, we must seem inactive; when we are near, we must make the enemy believe we are far away; when far away, we must make him believe we are near. 20. Hold out baits to entice the enemy. Feign disorder, and crush him.
For the last ten years or so, the reactionaries– the xenophobic and anti-rationalist segment of the USAen population– have organized under the banner of the the Republican party. As I type this, the Republicans are now little more than a joke. I fear many are concluding from this that the reactionaries are thus now little more than a joke.
Listen to Sun Tzu. A specific political party being reduced to irrelevance is not the same as a movement being reduced to irrelevance– just as one must not conclude from the sight of a platoon in disarray that the army is in disarray. That the Republican party as such is now apparently comprised of dolts running in circles and bonking into each other should be considered nothing more than a distraction. The effective reactionaries have not disappeared; they’re just not as inclined to wear a straw hat decorated with an elephant.
45.7% of the votes in the 2008 Presidential election went for McCain and Palin. These people have not vanished. We cannot afford a repeat of what happened during the Clinton administration; we must not dismiss the reactionaries as mere clowns no longer relevant to the political process.
I’m all for Schadenfreude– more so than most, perhaps, because I’m not a nice guy. But the correct reaction to seeing the Republicans thrashing like gaffed tuna is not, “The reactionaries’ organization is broken, hooray”– it is, “Given the Republicans are no longer an effective right-wing organization, where have the reactionaries’ organizers gone, and what are they doing?”
22. If your opponent is of choleric temper, seek to irritate him. Pretend to be weak, that he may grow arrogant. 23. If he is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them. 24. Attack him where he is unprepared, appear where you are not expected.
In honor of Hate Week—during which, as Orwell notes, new slogans are introduced—I would like to offer the following. It may not be destined to become a classic, but it does honor the work the current “loyal opposition” is doing on the national scene:
Obstruction is Construction.
Your attention, please: a newsflash has this moment arrived from Airstrip One. Here is the newsflash:
Surveilance is Privacy.
I have faith in the American people. When presented with a situation that is clearly and obviously precedented, we will learn from history—spending years less time dithering before doing what needs to be done.
“Years” is a vague term, of course. Its minimum is “two.” Given that the current administration appears incapable of perceiving reality, let alone reacting appropriately to it, we’d better stick with the minimum.
The Tonkin Gulf Resolution was August 7, 1964. The Fall of Saigon was April 30, 1975. Ten years, eight months, and 23 days. The Joint Resolution to Authorize the Use of United States Armed Forces Against Iraq was October 11, 2002. If we assume that we can learn from history as described above, we add eight years, eight months, and 23 days. This yields my prediction for the Fall of Baghdad: July 4, 2011.
That works out nicely. It’s a Monday—perfect for the Monday morning quarterbacking claims that we could have “won” if only we’d followed whatever idiot scheme the speaker favored. Better still, the war apologists will be able to stay in their back yards setting off firecrackers to drown out the media coverage of our final squalid retreat.