Gut Rumbles

August 16, 2003

a fisking

I haven't done a good fisking in a while, but I found this editorial richly deserving, so I decided to shed the "kindler, gentler" image of Acidman that I have been trying to cultivate lately. The gloves come off here.

Hollywood loves to satirize the fifties. Michael J. Fox couldn't wait to ditch the monochromatic decade and get "Back to the Future."Julianne Moore was almost driven to suicide by her suburban Zenith. And Joan Allen and Reese Witherspoon felt so bound up in corsets of femininity that "Pleasantville" might as well have been called "Repressionville."

Washington, on the other hand, loves to love the fifties. Politicians promise us old-fashioned values and old-fashioned communities. They laud old-fashioned families and trot out lots of old-fashioned wives. They want to get back to a safer America, an America filled with scrubbed-up, God-fearing, nuclear families.

I have no idea what point this asshole is attempting to make. I was born in 1952. I remember living in a place where nobody locked their doors. I grew up with a mama and a daddy, in a god-respecting nuclear family. This prick writes about that kind of life as if it is soooo uncool. Fuck you, Kara. I suppose you believe that drive-by shootings, latchkey children and a society of whiners is a vast improvement over the bad old days.

Enter Karl Rove's master plan. If Republicans can successfully wrangle the nostalgia vote, they'll be able to stretch their current majority into a long-term reign over all three branches of government. Scrawny, chicken-neck Democrats better get ready to roll over. And over. And over. Because fear has done for the Republicans what spinach does for Popeye; the party is bigger and buffer and ready to rumble.

Republicans are using FEAR as a political weapon? Which party does political cartoons of the President shoving old people in a wheelchair down a stairwell? Which party says a vote for Bush equals another black church burned? Which party says that the water will be undrinkable, the air will be unbreathable and the elderly will die in the streets if you don't vote for THEM? Somebody is using FEAR as a political weapon?

Hint: It ain't the Republicans.

In the post-September 11th era, the GOP has carefully cultivated a Cold War mentality, marketing itself as the keeper of the flame, the steward of Grand Old Values. Though "duck and cover" may seem dated, Republicans are nevertheless encouraging American families to elect leaders who will protect them from scary, unknowable threats. The amorphous, ubiquitous al Qaeda has the potential to justify all sorts of military muscle flexing. And, of course, it already has.

After 9/11, we're not talking about "scary, unknowable" threats anymore. A lot of maniac Islamists really want to kill us. They DID kill a lot of us already. I call that a legitimate threat. It scares me a lot more than "Bush is going to take away your Social Security," which is the fear-club the Democrats wave. And I don't hear a single Democrat out there saying how we should do a better job than Bush is doing to protect our country. They all would just rather piss and moan, which is what Democrats do best.

At a recent appearance at St. Anselm College in New Hampshire, Rove scoffed at the notion that deposing Saddam Hussein amounted to much more than an anti-terrorism measure. "First of all," Rove corrected a questioner who had asked about the Iraq war, "it's the battle of Iraq, not the war. This is part of the war on terrorism."

Clearly, Republicans are focused on marketing the "war on terrorism" as a "war without end." When Sen. Bob Graham accused the administration of focusing on Iraq rather than on "Osama bin Forgotten," Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison (taking a page from the Rove playbook) conflated Osama with Saddam and explained the invasion of Iraq by telling Graham that Bush "had just been through 9/11... The President is saying: 'Am I going to have another 9/11?"'

What absolute bullshit. If we have a President who IS NOT wondering about the next 9/11, we need to get rid of him and reload. Just listen to the crap the Donks spout about the War on Terror and thank your lucky stars that Bush "stole" the election. And anybody who believes that the entire Middle East isn't a feastering boil that needs to be lanced is a complete dumbass. Osama, Saddam, Yasser and the House of Saud are all connected. You want a dose of fear? Do nothing about that.

Act first, ask questions later. It's a good motto for a no-nonsense president who, after wandering around the Ivory Tower for a while in the mid-60s, ended up eschewing colorful, modern ideas and embracing a black-and-white, them-and-us, bad-and-good world view.

What the hell kind of "colorful, modern ideas" do YOU suggest? Make friends with our enemies? Asswit. NOT having a bad-and-good world view is delusional. And IT IS us versus them today. You are the one wandering around the Ivory Tower.

And, no surprise, Bush's success in 2004 will depend on how thoroughly he can scare Americans with talk of evildoers, evil plots, evil weapons, and evil ways. Already, the President has made substantial inroads. While young, single people tend to look askance at Bush's brash, uncompromising stances, suburbanites living in Levittown-style ranches and McMansion colonials crave some of that old-time religion. This election year, personal safety and national security seem inextricably linked. How about a Hummer in every garage and a base in every rogue state?

Mark Penn, President Clinton's former pollster, has sounded alarm bells about the Republican migration of so-called security moms and dads. At a meeting of the centrist Democratic Leadership Council, Penn laid out a distressing trend: when men and women get married and move to the suburbs, they basically turn Republican. Married people are 50 percent more likely to vote Republican than their single peers. "No Democrat will win the White House in 2004 without an agenda that speaks directly to middle-class parents with children," Penn said, emphasizing that the problem for Democrats only compounds when you ditch the condo fee and throw in a half-acre lawn.

Liberal twits are so accustomed to artificial, manufactured threats and the invented "crisis" of the week that they can't recognize the real thing when it knocks down the two tallest buildings in New York City. When they don't and people stop listening to their usual blather, it's all because of a ditched condo fee and a half-acre lawn. Who is out of touch here?

In the second wave of American suburbanization, the Republican party has found new life. Somehow, Tom DeLay's religious fervor and Bill Bennett's Ozzie-and-Harriet values translate better in a world turning in on itself than in a world at peace. Maureen Dowd pointed out in The New York Times this week that some conservatives refer to the post-Sept. 11th era as World War IV - World War III, they say, was the Cold War.

If you quote Maureen Dowd to bolster your argument, you already lost.

During the coming year, you can expect to hear a lot of shouting from Democrats about Republican efforts to stretch the Cold War metaphor as far as possible. If the mixing of politics and serious national issues seemed untoward during Bush's flight-suit photo op, expect the 2004 GOP convention in New York to be gag-inducing. Rove has insisted that the party of the big tent and the big guns did not purposely schedule its national convention 10 days before the third anniversary of the World Trade Center disaster, but somehow that claim rings hollow. While in Manhattan, Rove and his posse will undoubtedly be stirring together equal parts fear and patriotism, adding a splash of Beaver-Cleaver nostalgia, and garnishing with a wedge of values.

What would the Democrats do? Stir up racial division, throw in some environmental fright-monsters, promise free, but shitty, health care and attack the winners of "life's lottery." Then raise taxes. Terrorism? Well, we should be afraid of it, but we shouldn't do anything to make the terrorists hate us any more than they already do. I think doing nothing is a good idea.

Since September 11, the Republican party has sought to tap into the ethos of Sinclair Lewis' quintessential suburbanite, George F. Babbitt, who proudly told an audience: "Here's our kind of folks! Here's the specifications of the Standard American Citizen! Here's the new generation of Americans: fellows with hair on their chests and smiles in their eyes and adding-machines in their offices. We're not doing any boasting, but we like ourselves first-rate, and if you don't like us, look out -- better get under cover before the cyclone hits town!"

I couldn't have said that last part better myself. It's about time America behaved that way. The world's only superpower has been pussified long enough. The writer, just like the Democrats, thinks it's a bad thing for America to assert its power. I don't. That is the difference between George Bush and every Democrat rival. He doesn't think it's a bad thing, either.

I don't like a lot of things Bush has done in office. But I'll take him over a whining hand-wringer any day.


Boy, hippies get testy when they run out of granola. Someone buy that broad some more.

Posted by: Mr. Lion on August 16, 2003 03:09 PM

I poped open the comment window and am speachless---have nothing more to add to this great "Fisk".

Maybe she is the angry SUV driver who didn't like the bumper sticker on my truck.

"My grand child is the one who kicked your Honor Student's Ass !


Posted by: gmorin on August 16, 2003 04:40 PM

What kindler, gentler Acidman? Spot on, excellent fisk. Perfect, that's the Acidman we know and love.

Posted by: mog on August 16, 2003 10:33 PM

All I can do is bow and pay homage to Acidman!

Posted by: TexasGal on August 16, 2003 10:52 PM

If you quote Maureen Dowd to bolster your argument, you already lost.

Now that is as fine a corollary to Godwin's Law as I have EVER seen.

Posted by: ilyka on August 17, 2003 10:06 AM


I support your political philosophy, but if you are going to "fisk" a scrivening by an opponent, you have to lay of the one-line ad-hominems. That's not fisking. Fisking is where you dredge up the truth and use it to expose the lying liberal you are destroying.

I know you probably just had a weak moment, after all, who doesn't want to make Maureen Dowd kneel in her own shit, then push her face in it?

"Consider the source" is not proper fisking.


Posted by: Rivrdog on August 18, 2003 12:55 PM
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