Worst Decade Ever

Time Cover So I got Time in the mail yesterday. (Stop: before we go any further, I realize that Time still employs Joke Line. I only got it because I was too mushy to tell the adorable clerk at FYE not to sign me up for fourteen thousand not-so-free offers that I’m still paying for.) Anyway, the cover story is about how awful the Aughts or the Naughties or whateverthehell we’re calling it was.

I’m a little reluctant to call truly awful solely because it’s the decade in which I got married, and despite the hostilidays video I posted, Mr. BuggyQ is really quite divine. But I totally understand Time’s point of view–it also was the decade of George Dubya Bush, which should really just end the argument. And that’s without bringing up 9/11 (shut up, Rudy).

Whatever you may think about the decade, however, there is one group that will, I think, rue this decade for a long, long time: the Republican Party. I remember when the Republican Party was awful, but not insane. When 9/11 happened, however, America had a collective panic attack. (For me, it had as much to do with who was in charge as with what had happened, but the point stands.) We all went a little nuts for a while, and Dubya was able to ram through Iraq and rendition and wiretapping, etc…

But here’s the thing: the Republican Party hasn’t gotten over it. While the rest of us realized that yes, there was a terrorist attack and yes, it was awful and horrific, we’re still here, and we’re still pretty much okay, and maybe we don’t really need to kill all the brown people, the Republicans are still looking for the boogeyman in the closet [insert self-hating gay Republican joke here…] This is why people like Michelle Bachmann are the stars of the Republican Party today, where in 1993, she’d have been an obscure, ranting backbencher if she got elected at all. Keep in mind that whileAthenae is right that the Republican Party always accepted Pat Buchanan, he never was able to finish more than a distant third as a presidential candidate in the Republican primaries. Yet through most ofthis decade, Extreme Loony Pattm (watch for the action figure–the hair pops off when Rachel Maddow talks) was actuallya voice of reason in the Republican Party. Yeah, think about that one for a minute. Athenae said Pat “hasn’t gotten any nuttier the past couple of years, just louder about it.” And that’s true–but why did he have to be so quiet about it before? Part of what made him unsuccessful in the presidential races was that his more extreme views were known, and wereunpopular. The Republicans always had the nutty uncles, but in this decade, they let the nutty uncles out of the attic and put themon the floor of the House. Hell, even Rush Limbaugh and Bill O’Reilly aren’t as loony as Glenn Beck, and look who’s winning the ratings these days! They may have set the stage for the craziness that is the teabagger movement, but I don’t think they expected it to get quite this crazy.

I’m not a fan of prognosticating the end of the Republican Party, and I’m sure there’ll be a resurgence for them. After all, there are a lot of still-panicking Americans out there. The election next year will probably bring in more Republicans, just because there are a lot of contrarian independents out there who’d vote against the party in power no matter who it was. But methinks the sane independents aren’t going to be running back into the arms of the Republicans any time soon. At least not as long as Michelle Bachmann and Virginia Foxx and Glenn Beck are running the show.

So there’s a silver lining to the Worst Decade Ever. Remember, that which does not kill us…

17 thoughts on “Worst Decade Ever

  1. Buggy, I got married a few months before 9/11 and had my son in 2002. There are indeed some redeeming qualities to these times, but overall, we were better off ten years ago before the election from hell kicked it all off.
    And as far as the GOP goes…you think they will really feel what you’re saying at this point? I wish they would, but I’m not holding my breath.

  2. Liprap, my great hope is that the Republican Party will keep getting hammered in elections, and keep saying, “Why don’t they love us anymore?” in despair. As you say, I’m not holding my breath. But that’s kinda what I mean by rueing this decade.
    As for the married and kids thing, if I hadn’t had Mr. BuggyQ, this decade would have *really* sucked. 🙂

  3. Yes, the Aughts sucked, even if that was the decade I got married, even if that was the decade i found my activist voice, even if that was the decade I moved into my wonderful house, even if that was the decade that saw me take two trips to Italy and three trips to Costa Rica and another one to Scandinavia. Yes some wonderful things happened for me personally, but it’s NOT ABOUT ME and the world as a whole suffered. And yes I’d love to blame the Republican Party but Jesus Christ there’s so much blame to go around I don’t know where to start. The Democrats have been just as bad in so very many ways, we’ve witnessed the death of our “liberal” media, and really the worst part about the entire decade was how the people just basically gave up all sorts of control to big multi-national corporations and said: “here, you run the show for a while.”
    And we will be regretting that move for a long, long, long time.

  4. yes, the oughts sucked. sure, i did fall in love, but since he died instead of marriage, it completely sucks. and other reasons made it suck even more and georgee just was the rancid turd in the middle.
    the suckiest part is we are gonna pay for the turd longer and the republikkklan have gone from being mean, to crazee barbarian mean.

  5. “…the Aughts or the Naughties or whateverthehell we’re calling it…”
    Back when it started, I read the suggestion of “the Pre-Teens”, which is still my favorite.

  6. BuggyQ, you leave out the role that Lewinsky played in the GOP’s upending. The GOP was the latest incarnation of the Fearmonger Society, a strain of American-ism we’ve had since Europeans first stank the joint up. Any hoo, for several decades, GOP’ers were telling the country that only they could see the dangers hidden from ordinary folks. Things like Communist infiltration, flouridization of the water supply, etc. And when Bill Clinton got in, they assured America that we had been duped by this “slick” guy who was secretly a criminal. They began investigating him Day One, and never stopped. They looked like they always used to: hysterical paranoids, deluded into panic.
    But one day…
    That’s right: when the evidence emerged that Clinton had in fact lied about his sexual affairs, every GOP’er for a thousand yards came forward with a great big gigantic “I told you so.” Sweet vindication! Sanctimony validated! All those years of telling you everyone was out to get us, and they finally got proven right.
    When 9/11 happened, they did what they always do: use it as proof that there were dangerous people in the world who wanted to hurt us. They hopped aboard their favorite train, the “Self-Righteousness Express,” and rode it for all it was worth.
    Telling Americans that we were over-reacting was tantamount to saying that 9/11 didn’t happen. 9/11 proved, for once and for all, that the GOP was right: there are scary things afoot. Conspiracy theories were true (at least GOP ones)!
    Of course, at the end of the day, the fault lies primarily with those who have been too weak and timid to stand up to these fools. Whether misguided or venal, people like the GOP will always be with us. The only way to address the threat is to fight it as hard as you can — a lesson we seem to forget with each passing generation.

  7. I know for sure — particularly as I stare down one of my last birthdays before the half-century mark — that I was a heck of a lot younger before this decade started…

  8. How about the 1930?
    or the 1860’s
    Civil War
    Death of hundreds of thousands of americans
    or the 1910’s
    Trench Warfare
    Influenza Pandemic
    the two combined killed millions
    Do we have no sense of perspective?

  9. How about the 1930’s?
    or the 1860’s
    Civil War
    Death of hundreds of thousands of Americans
    or the 1910’s
    Trench Warfare
    Influenza Pandemic
    the two combined killed millions
    Do we have no sense of perspective?

  10. One word, Andy: narcissism.
    I do think, however, that you can make a case for the Pre-Teens being in the top 10.

  11. About “that which does not kill us” …
    That was NOT written on one of Friedrich Nietzsche’s good days. Because it’s just plain horsecrap.
    If the force applied isn’t enough to kill you, it can still put you in a bad enough case that just cutting your hairwould be enough to kill you.
    Since I’ve seen this sequence of events unfold right before my eyes, and since I paid the piper with a decent chunk of my own life into the bargain, it’s fair to say this isn’t a position I’m going to back down on.

  12. Aw, Stormcrow, don’t be such a literalist. (I keed…)
    But I will say this–in this particular case, I do think what we went through *did* make us stronger (us meaning the progressives in this country). We learned that we do have power when we work together, that we can turn things around if we get off our asses and *do* something about it (after all, whatever you may think about Obama, you absolutely have to agree that he’s better than McMavericky Maverickdude), and that there are ways to fight back against the right wing noise machine that *work*. Those same things can be applied against wavering faux Democrats, too, btw.
    I’m not saying things are hunky-dory–not by a long shot. But ten years ago, you and I wouldn’t have been having this conversation at all. The hell of the last ten years pushed people like us into the blogosphere, and I think that’s a good thing.

  13. I wasn’t alive during the 30s, the 10s, or the 1860s.
    That said, I didn’t think it was possible for a decade to suck as bad as the 80s. This one did and then some.

  14. Despite all of the loony teabaggers in the GOP, the impotent centrism of the current Dems still could lead to voter apathy on our side in the upcoming elections, enabling the insane to somehow again run the asylum.

  15. I’m with Stormcrow. That which does not kill you tends to leave you with permanent damage, and probably a disability besides. Or, to make it into a pithy thentiment — That which does not kill you still hastens your death.
    I’ve had enough of that crap. Suffering isn’t ennobling, and if, as the privileged love to remind us, it actually is character-building (which I doubt highly), a lot of us must be at least three productions of aparticular play by Luigi Pirandello to the good by now.
    I’ve had a long, long 15 years or so, because the latter half of the ’90s wasn’t particularly great for Ontarians, either, thanks to Brian Baloney, NAFTA, and Mike Fucking Harris. I’m tired. I’m in the best place in my life I’ve ever been, and I still feel besieged.

  16. Thanks youz, BlakeNo1. Reagan/bush was so bad it is hard to find anyone who can remember it anymore. But having said that, it didn’t shake a stick to George Bush. Perhaps they had intended to have us in Iraq by the end of that decade, but didn’t expect Clinton to win. That seemed to set the machine back 8 years. But it could certainly be argued that then is when they started gearing up the Neo-War Machine with Central America, Granada and Panama.
    I remember Dick Chaney as Secretary of Defense.
    Think about that.
    Still, at the time we thought we’d seen it all.
    But we had No Idea how Bad It Could Get.
    And then along comes George, 9/11, the War, then 8/29 Bagdhad on da’Bayou…The Looting of the Treasury…
    I mean, these Oughts have been pretty fucking bad, because it won’t be over into the Teens I fear. I just don’t see these Thugs walking away. They put too many decades into giving us the Decade from Hell.
    I think we are in for much more Confusion.
    Thanks Buggy. Nice post if yer’into existential quantifiers like Death.

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