Another day, another quote from Charlie Pierce. This time about the rampant mendacity, fabulism, and truthiness that is depressingly ubiquitous on the American Right:
As with so many things, this all began with Ronald Reagan. Those people who claim that Donald Trump is sui generis in this regard are very much the same as those people who find him a unique political phenomenon, instead of the logical end product of almost 40 years of conservative politics. Reagan was as full of crap as the Christmas goose, and in the same way that Trump and Carson are. Trump has dancing Muslims. Reagan had the fictitious welfare queen in Chicago. Carson had his attempt to stab a classmate. Reagan had his march into Auschwitz to liberate the death camp there. The difference is that Reagan slung his hooey with a smile and a wink. Trump has weaponized Reagan’s fabulism and that seems to make a difference to some people. But nothing that has happened in this campaign, up to and including the latest spasm of outright bigotry and fear-mongering, is new in the recent history of Republican politics. It always is the person who tells the best ghost stories who wins.
Word, Charlie. The best contemporaneous account of Reagan’s bullshittery is Garry Wills’ 1987 book, Reagan’s America. He digs deep into some of the Gipper’s whoppers and mines some gold. I cannot believe I used that analogy. My only excuse is that it’s Monday and I’ve seen The Treasure of the Sierra Madre too many times as opposed to the fool’s gold dispensed by Reagan and his uncharming inheritors.
I don’t think the Insult Comedian, Dr. Sleepy, or Tailgunner Ted would care for the message of that 1948 cinematic classic: greed is bad and money is the root of all evil. They might, however, like the way Walter Huston danced. I bet Ronnie did:
I’ll be back later with the Malaka of the Week.