I’ve watched the whole Jade Helm clusterfuck with appalled fascination. It is genuinely astonishing to see how hatred of President Obama has turned the right wing lunatic fringe against the military. It amazes me to write such a sentence.
Previous generations of wingnuts *revered* unreverable sorts like Douglas MacArthur, and General worship can be seen in cities and towns across the country. It’s *one* reason for all the Lee monuments. SARCASM ALERT: I’m still working on finding a statue of General Sherman to replace the one here in New Orleans…
Charlie Pierce has been on vacation but he’s back with some thoughts about how allegedly mainstream pols such as Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Texas Governor Greg Abbot have aided and abetted the Alex Jones’ of the world:
There is a real wildness at the edge of our politics, and the far frontier of political respectability is not as distant as it once was. It would have been politically perilous for Abbott, Cruz, and Paul simply to have dismissed the Jade Helm truther theories as the unfortunate product of sad and angry minds. For all the talk about how Donald Trump has tapped into some general dissatisfaction with government and some ill-defined populist moment, the energy behind his campaign comes mainly from these sad and angry places, deep in the tangled underbrush of fear, hate, and profitable ignorance, where it’s all funny until somebody builds a bomb.
The manliest of manly man politicians are actually craven cowards who are afraid to stand up to extremist lunkheads like those in North Carolina. It’s gotten hard even for me to laugh off these cretinous thugs and their “respectable” enablers.
Repeat after me: These are annual exercises. There is no military plot to take over the government. The Alex Jones worshippers should buy a few cases of Bud, go out in the middle of nowhere, and shoot the empties as a way of taking out their frustrations. Leave the rest of us the hell alone.
The whole thing conjures up images of a certain Talking Heads song that was inspired by the paranoid militia survivalist types in the late 1970’s. Our second quote comes from Life During Wartime:
Heard of a van that is loaded with weapons,
Packed up and ready to go
Heard of some grave sites, out by the highway,
A place where nobody knows
The sound of gunfire, off in the distance,
I’m getting used to it now
Lived in a brownstone, lived in a ghetto,
I’ve lived all over this town
This ain’t no party, this ain’t no disco,
This ain’t no fooling around
No time for dancing, or lovey dovey,
I ain’t got time for that now
There’s a significant difference between now and then: even the wackiest elected officials didn’t pander to the militia thugs. Those creeps were paranoid about the FBI, DEA, IRS, and ATF but NOT the military. We are well and truly through the looking glass and it gets curiouser and curiouser every day.
There’s a wildness in the air now and many GOPers are gleefully whipping it up for short-term political advantage. It’s time for our final quote of the day:
For they have sown the wind, and they shall reap the whirlwind: it hath no stalk: the bud shall yield no meal: if so be it yield, the strangers shall swallow it up.
I have never quoted the Bible before whilst blogging but that passage of Hosea 8:7 seemed appropriate. There you have it: an atheist quoting scripture to criticize so-called Christians. There’s a first time for everything.
Back to our regularly scheduled programming. I’ll give Talking Heads the last word: