Once again I have woken early on a rain dark morn while a distant train blares it’s horn across the plains as it hauls its hundreds of carloads of coal to the reactor for burning. This time I’m not pondering mortality but rather the depths of depravity that my political party has sunk to.
I watched bits and pieces of CPAC over the past few days in alternating bouts of despair and disgust. This is not the Republican party of the past, where people were pro capitalism, pro defense, and pro-liberty but generally minded their own business otherwise. This is the barking ugly underbelly – with Birchers invited openly, and even rumors that Nick Griffin of the openly Supremacist BNP was going to attend. (you can find reference to those unsubstantiated rumors at Stormfront, Amren, and in a press release from the newly formed “Sons of Liberty” at MSU – I refuse to link to those batshit sewers of hate and paranoia – if you don’t believe dig yourself, there are enough keywords in this parenthesized section to find what I’m referring to through Google easily enough.)
I’ve already spoken about what I think of politicians who would speak at this forum here , and here, but now it’s time to talk about the pudding head pundits who appeared. I watched Glen Beck play Kermit the doomsayer, and I watched him hearken back to one of our greatest presidents while trashing other great Republicans in direct opposition to Reagan’s dictum of never speaking ill of another Republican. Meanwhile Andrew Breitbart brayed in the lobby still fending off the accusations against him and his wannabe Alinksy-Right political operative, James O’Keefe. The Oil and Coal lobbies were certainly well represented on the Global warming panel, but reason and science were entirely absent as one courageous questioner from the audience had the temerity to point out.
Early on in the conference Michelle Malkin was congratulated over the sale of Hot Air to Salem, and now there’s few voices on the right who are not owned lock stock and barrel by the religious right. This is why you see Jerome Corsi and the whirled nuts daily crowd widely accepted while the other right wing blogs make faint disclaimers to the general press (wink wink, nudge nudge.) This is why you see the nativist Vdare and Birchers accepted with open arms, and this is why you saw Glen Beck skate along the edge of the New World Order conspiracy theory chasm at several points during his speech. The fundamentalist right loves that stuff. When you look at Beck you have to say “There but for the grace of a bigger microphone and a bit of polish goes Alex Jones…” Then when you look at one of the spokespeople for Young Americans for Freedom, Ryan Sorba, you have to say “WTF, is that a member of Westboro Baptist?” At some point you have to ask yourself “if Glen Beck, Ryan Sorba, and James O’Keefe represent the future of the Republican party, what kind of debacle are we headed for?”
I’ve lived through dim times for the Republicans before. It was a disheartening day when political operatives nick-named “The Plumbers” tarnished the whole party and caused the resignation of a sitting Republican President. It was dark times when the only widely heard voices on the right were populist piss and vinegar pundits like Joe Pyne, and his obverse, the overly erudite William F. Buckley who turned average Americans off. I fear we are headed to those days again as I look at the plumbers who are now widely embraced by the right, and the Tit for Tat tu quoque instead of direction and principle from the major outlets of the right. I see those days coming again as I watch Christians lie for the cause and throw principles and morals overboard in search of ends that justify their evil means.
It doesn’t phase me much, because I know that truth does win out over time and the American public will see through phonies like these eventually – for these hypocrite holy and culture warriors cannot help themselves from going many steps too far, and their support and funding will be drying up over the next few years since the fully fundamentalist loons are truly a dying demographic. At some point in the next decade or two the old curmudgeons will all be dead, and there’s going to be as many pundits on the right who wished they hadn’t destroyed all of their credibility during this period as there are people on the left regretting that tattoo they got. Personally although I choose neither, I’d rather have tattoo regret than to know my life was one big lie after another.
Update: More on Sorba the geek at The Atlantic