Thursday, January 20, 2005

Good Luck, Suckers
On this morning when we will make official and irrevocable the worst failure of popular will and critical thinking in American history, the pessimism about our future is thick enough to drown the strongest political swimmer. (One example: Rick Perlstein in the Village Voice, "The Eve of Destruction.") First, a ceremony of investiture, then the bacchanal: a parade of military might that would do the Soviet Union proud--one in which marchers have been instructed not to look directly into the face of the king--followed by a series of inaugural balls as obscenely lavish as anything a Roman emperor ever threw for himself. And then, at least two and probably four years of scorched-earth government by a man and a party accountable to no one and utterly without shame. More soldiers to be slaughtered; more citizens to be pushed into poverty; more rights to be trampled upon.

Despite the headline on our local reactionary rag about how Bush is looking for unity in a divided nation, despite the stories on how his inaugural address will stress themes of hope and freedom, no one not already drunk on the Kool-Aid thinks that a word he will say or a promise he will make today is anything other than bullshit. This man and his party are all about tearing down, not building up; about limits and control, not freedom and opportunity; about war and death, not peace and life. They couch it all in rich religious language, but the values upon which is it is built are so far from Christian that even a hellbound atheist puke can smell them.

Irrevocable proof that there is no God will come when Bush isn't struck dead by lightning the moment he takes the oath; a just God, if he existed, could do nothing else.

Web Note: At Spinsanity, Ben Fritz, Bryan Keefer, and Brendan Nyhan have spent nearly four years monitoring political-speak by politicians of all stripes and by the media, looking for bias and spin. Now they are riding off into the sunset, saying that the process of fact-checking is alive and well in the mainstream media. Thus, they feel they can shut down their site and continue with other projects. Theirs was one of the first political sites I read regularly, and I have been grateful for their work over the years.

Of course, on this pessimistic morning, the thought occurs to me that they could just as easily have said, "We give up. The thought of four more years of calling this pack of dipsticks on their lies is just too much to bear. Good luck, suckers--we'll be at the bar."

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