The midterm elections are here. This is the opportunity Americans have every four years to realize something less than the full psychosexual effect of the national democratic process while still having a token wank at it, kind of like the Winter Olympics. In the spirit of what the political landscape has become—a place beshitted by fat, white drug addicts and drunks posing as knowledgeable sources of information and intellectually shortchanged “politicians of the people” whose chief credentials are dabbing in witchcraft, attending four colleges in five years, and dispatching pornography by office e-mail—they now get to say “fuck y’all” in a significant if not complete respect.
Both chambers of Congress nominally fell into the hands of the Democrat Party four years ago, and a Democrat president was elected two years ago. More than anything else, it seems clear, Barack Obama owes his election to the fact that people were tired of the same bullshit they had seen for a long time: the same ineffectual wars and stateside machinations surrounding same, the same reckless spending, the same shameless kowtowing to lobbyists and banks, and as much as anything else, the American public growing tired of seeing the same babbling faces on television every day. Bush and company had eight years to fulfill a number of promises and didn’t come close to achieving any of the major ones. Moreover, people’s lives hadn’t become perfect, so with Bush no longer electable even had he remained anything of a commodity, there arose a collective desire to see something completely different. What could be better than a charismatic and affable African-American commander-in-chief? Obama’s time had come.
That the 2008 presidential race was not even more lopsided than it was, however, served notice of a phenomenon that has exploded in recent months. As plainly unfit for any sort of meaningful leadership position vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin was, as painfully blinkered and incoherent and inarticulate no matter what the tableau, the race was relatively close in terms of the popular vote if not the electoral one; closer than it should have been, anyway, even allowing for the fact that a fair segment of the population quietly refused—and still refuses—to stomach the idea of a black president, and would have voted for McCain had his running mate been a pile of talking sawdust, which in effect it was.
It appears very likely that one or both chambers will fall into the hands of Republicans today. If this happens it would mimic what occurred the last time Americans elected a Democrat to the White House; in 1994, two years into Bill Clinton’s first presidency, Americans voted to overturn Democrat majorities in both the House in the Senate and launched the 104th Congress, marked by luminary douchebags such as Trent Lott, Tom DeLay and Newt Gingrich. Congress would feature a bicameral Republican majority for the next fourteen years, excluding a transient burp in the Senate during Bush’s first term (2001-2001). This might indicate that whatever happens today hardly heralds the end of any chance of Obama winning the next election.
However, things don’t feel the same to this observer as they did sixteen years ago. Perhaps it’s the explosion of cable networks and radio shows and Internet sites all boasting tottering heaps of partisan bullshit that has, as a consequence of ratings-chasing of not by outright design, polarized the populace to a heretofore unprecedented degree, or maybe it’s some new and untraceable idea that things ought to be a hell of a lot better than they are for a great many people. Perhaps there is a greater element of racism involved than anyone wants to acknowledge. Whatever the case, the intellectual underclass, mobilized and galvanized by an unlikely yet inevitable influx of untrammeled fuckups afforded the misnomer “Tea Partiers” into the political arena, is making a colossal amount of noise about the supposed failure of the current administration, and have been doing so since the day Obama was sworn in and many cases even before.
I don’t really have the patience or the stomach to get into many details about the teabaggers. (“Tea Partier,” whatever images it’s meant to invoke, is an undeserved title because if my history is no less shaky then it’s ever been, the original Tea Party was thrown as a result of taxation in the face of no representation, not rallies staged by functional illiterates in places funded by tax dollars such as parks complaining merely of representation they happen to not like). If you know anything about Christine O’Donnell, Sharron Angle, Carl Paladino, and others, you know that they are walking, talking disasters. They are so calamitously ill-prepared to do anything useful as members of Congress that they have gained an almost paradoxical popularity, as in the old cartoon saw from my youth: so crazy it just might work! And this is right in line with the fact that teabaggers are happy to yammer and screech to no end about financial policies that would only benefit them. These are people who as a group cannot write in complete sentences or keep track of more than two related concepts at a time, and are not typically suspected of pulling in salaries over $200,000 or $250,000. Evidently, though, they dream big.
|On the subject of cartoons, most of you are familiar with the Warner Brothers character Elmer Fudd. Elmer is the arch-nemesis of Bugs Bunny, or would be if the perennially carefree and sleepily grinning Bugs could be moved to be concerned with the bald, diminutive would-be threat to his safety. Elmer’s sole weapons are banal and repetitive bluster, a scowl, a shotgun, and a manner of speech hearkening to an education truncated well before it could reach its zenith in some backwater swamp where the sheriff-cum-town barber patrols burgs unreachable by cell phone with an open can of Schlitz resting against his crotch as he drives. Like the more savvy but equally hapless Wile E. Coyote, Elmer has had many, many chances to dispatch Bugs into the Great Carrot Patch Beyond; though he has failed every time, his determination has never wavered.|
Thus three things about Elmer Fudd stand out above all of his other traits: He is angry, single-minded, and not very bright. He has big dreams and a minuscule attention span. He is occasionally depicted as fat and even as unaccountably wealthy. Sound familiar?
The parallels between Elmer and the worst of the teabaggers reach beyond the simple inability to communicate in comprehensible English. Just as Elmer is wont to literally shoot himself in the foot in the course of trying to extinguish his quarry—often as a result of falling into Bugs’ various traps—Fudders or Fudd Partiers or Fuddbaggers or whatever they are for anyone keeping track are easily bamboozled into voting against their own best interests.
Understand that this is not a slight of a conservatives or a defense of the current administration or even an indictment of what the teabaggers are supposed to stand for. It’s merely a statement of what’s out there—at events like this, in the comments on newspaper sites, and on blogs with clever headers like this one.
Fudders are walking contradictions in every dimension, people who adopt usernames such as “JUST THE FACTS” on message boards and to whom facts mean nothing; who impugn the intelligence of liberals using spelling and grammar that would make a precocious fifth-grader cringe; who simultaneously blame a Democratic Congress for things they don’t like that happen during a Republican presidency and credit the same president with things that go well (and add in all of the appropriate inverses, converses and so on here). If bitching and moaning were (pundits aside) a paid profession, Fudders would be millionaires—and if bonuses were doled out to those evincing maximal hypocrisy, there would be no end to the riches. Their mental state is best encapsulated by Sarah Palin referring to Obama as teleprompter-dependent in a speech delivered using notes written on her own hand—and generating thundering, non-ironic applause in the process. If Palin can be likened to a main player in a Jackass movies, Fudders are the 14-year-old kids in Hicksville jubilantly imitating the film’s stunts shortly before trips to the emergency room. Almost no one is too stupid to have nobody to exploit.
“How’s that ‘Hope and Change’ workin’ out for ya?” Fudders are wont blare in their peculiar blend of rage and triumph, oblivious to the fact that very thing they plan to do today—vote not for candidates but against them in a “throw-the-bums-out” maneuver—is exactly that which they claim to have very recently proven a failure. They are hypocrites in the extreme both in the palpable and the speculative, denying that Bush was not just as carefree a spender as Obama while promising that “Obamacare” will be a dismal failure. The claim that government control is bad and individual freedom is paramount and champion “states’ rights,” but woe be to those states that contradict their Traditional Values when it comes to thinks such as same-sex marriage. They use WorldNet Daily as a credible source while simultaneously dismissing the New York Times as a liberal rag. They endlessly bemoan the leftward lean of the entire media while crowing about the superior ratings of Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. They use socialism, communism, Marxism, and even fascism interchangeably and as slurs, demonstrating all of the comprehension of a schoolchild who has just learned that Nazis are evidently not very nice people.
Economics can be a withering subject for anyone, and I generally avoid it. But Fudders speak with supreme confidence about it because they have all Heard Shit Somewhere, enough to identify the enemy. They think that Obama’s stimulus-and-bailout approach is radically different from Bush’s stimulus-and-bailout approach, as if either mimics that holy grail of “small government, low taxes and free market” that hasn’t existed since Fuddosaurs prowled the earth. They don’t understand that TARP is almost certainly going to net the government money, not exacerbate the deficit; they have heard that Obama was for it and so it has to be bad. They chalk up the booming deficit to excess spending when they should understand that in a tanked economy, the government doesn’t collect as much money from people. They seem oblivious to the fact that they are or purport to be, in the same middle class benefiting from the biggest tax cut ever afforded this hazily defined group. They bitch about death panels and the lack of private insurance options when it could not be clearer that these are myths.
Of course, the Left isn’t averse to spin. This post on Daily Kos a site I generally avoid for a host of reasons, is a good example of how anyone with half a brain can cook up deficit numbers to make them as palatable to Democrats as the ones crafted by GOP spin-docs look to Fudders. It’s probably disingenuous to hand the deficit in FY 2009 on Bush given that a Democratic Congress wrote that budget and Obama signed it. But this kind of thing is de rigueur, emblematic.
But I’m straying off the topic here. We are in an economy where unemployment is running at about 10% and plenty of people can remember when it was half of that; to expect any sitting Congress to successfully weather this is beyond the wettest dream of ever the cagiest political strategist. Big changes are surely in the offing—but in name only. No one claiming a vacated seat is likely to do anything more than add to worsening gridlock, which will grow even more severe when whatever teabaggers who manage to gain seats start fighting with “regular” Republicans (Boehner vs. DeMint—highlights at 11!).
Much of the foregoing is speculative, and because this is a blog and not a news site I do not care to meticulously research any of this or argue about it. What I do know for certain is that Gribbit is not the only Fudder bitching about government largesse who is or has been on public assistance. I will wake up tomorrow doing the same boring but satisfactory shit I’ve been doing for quite a while. I’ll also still be able to spell words of up to five letters. Fudders will go on blaming someone else for their personal woes because it is so. Damned. Easy. It can’t be their lack of education and dearth of applicable skills; it’s the Man keeping them down again. They will continue to vote for anyone who offers the easy promise that someone else, some Big Government Tax and Spend Liberal, intends to fuck them over. They will never learn from their mistakes, inasmuch as they can ever acknowledge them. They are angry people and I am glad that in my day-to-day life that I can avoid them. Truth be told, I don’t give much of a fuck about the federal deficit. As bad a symptom as it may be of other things, it’s an ongoing shell game. Let Ben Bernanke or the next target of a Fudderscope worry about it.
Be vewwy, vewwy quiet. We awe hunting Wibbewwaws.
Looney Tunes, indeed.