Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Idiocracy in the Desert

There was a sci fi/fantasy movie a couple of years ago called "Idiocracy," in which a really stupid person went into some kind of hibernation and woke up 500 years later, to find that society had been so thoroughly dumbed-down that he was now the smartest person on the planet. In a really depressing example of life imitating art, one can have a similar experience in Arizona and you don't even have to hibernate for five centuries. Usually five minutes will do it.

The midterm elections are history, and not a moment too soon. While such elections are typically hostile toward the party in power, these were particularly ugly. The American electorate can always be counted on to make a stunning variety of horrible choices at every turn, picking the most batshit-crazy, bigoted and ignorant candidates imaginable. It's almost like the Republicans or the Tea Partiers or whatever the hell they are calling themselves nowadays said, "Hey America! Check out this completely insane, repellent, moronic candidate we dredged up from under a giant pile of manure. Nobody in their right mind would vote for this mess, right?" And America says, "Are you kidding? Of course we'll vote for them! We can't wait to get to the polls to make sure all levels of government are overstuffed with the most incompetent, racist, prejudiced and paranoid-schizophrenic people available!" After all, we are Americans and that's what we do.

The US House of Representatives now has a Republican majority although the Senate still stays under Democratic control, albeit with less of a majority than before. There were a few bright spots on the national level, with the tragically mentally ill Sharron Angle losing to incumbent Senator Harry Reid in Nevada. Thank you so much, Nevada, you have restored my faith in you more than you can know. Thank you, Delaware, for soundly defeating and humiliating witch fetishist and secret masturbation addict (you know she is) Christine O'Donnell. Thank you, California, for electing Jerry Brown and retaining Barbara Boxer. I'm really not that excited about legalizing marijuana although I do support the idea. Thank you, West Virginia, for sending your Democratic governor to the Senate. And thank you, New York, for sending that pasty-faced tub of bacon grease Carl Paladino back to whatever mutant alien breeding farm he came from. I take tremendous satisfaction in all their failures, especially since it is a big slap in the face to the braying, grating Sarah Palin, who strongly backed a lot of the losers. It was a bad night for some other of her so-called "mama grizzlies" as Carly Fiorini, Linda McMahon and Meg Whitman very deservingly went down to defeat despite Palin's endorsements. The words "Sarah Palin" and "loser" go together so very well.

We were also subjected to the monumentally surreal, stomach-churning spectacle of the presumptive next Speaker of the House John Boner, I mean Boehner, blubbering and slobbering on national television at how he worked so hard overcoming so many obstacles in his life to get to where he is. If he worked one-tenth as hard on his legislative efforts as he does trying to look like a fluorescent carrot with his cheap skin bronzer, he might have something to talk about. His display last night was cringe-worthy to the extreme, and the ick factor was way off the scale. It's going to be really tough having to listen to his maudlin sentimentality and overwrought stupidity for the next two years.

But the really disgusting stuff was reserved for the state of Arizona (big surprise), the worst being that we will have to put up with the decaying, disgusting remains of Jan Brewer in the governor's office for the next four years. How this puckered, haggard, old sarcophagus even walks around by herself is a mystery, since corpses are usually not that ambulatory and she looks like she died a good 20 years ago. There are 3,000-year-old Egyptian mummies in the British museum that look much better than she does.

All this has to do with SB 1070, Arizona's anti-immigrant law. That is the sole basis for Brewer's success, since her blinding stupidity, overwhelming incompetence and all-around repulsiveness would normally scare away most people. SB 1070 was also the centerpiece of all the other Republican campaigns, as they loudly crowed their undying support for that misguided measure, and undoubtedly was a big factor in returning the bill's chief architect, the corpulent, sweaty Russell Pearce of Mesa, to office. Voters have figured out that if previous governor Janet Napolitano (i.e. any Democrat) had still been in office that bill would never have been signed. Brewer, as all Republicans do, found a way to appeal to the basest, most prejudiced and degenerate aspects of human nature and harness them for their benefit. You have to hand it to the Repugnantans, they sure know how to take an enormous pile of shit and build it into an empire.

The only good thing that happened here is that shockingly, Arizona voters were smart enough to reject an NRA-backed initiative, Proposition 109, which would have amended the state constitution to make hunting and fishing a right. I think what frightened most people is the prospect of the state legislature making wildlife management decisions, because it is well known that they can and will screw up absolutely everything they touch. Dear NRA: Eat shit and die. Love, Steve. But in fact Republicans have increased their stranglehold on the government of this wretched, benighted state by sweeping their candidates into most state-level offices.

It's baffling to me why so many middle-class people vote Republican, even though it is directly contrary to their own economic interests. Republicans have and always will be the puppet-party of the ultra-wealthy, seeking huge tax breaks for their rich donors at the expense of the lower classes at every possible turn. They've even taken to hiding behind the facade of "small businesses," seeking to keep Bush-era tax breaks for the upper-class in place because they say a lot of these so-called "upper-class taxpayers" are really small business owners. When in reality, small businesses make up a tiny minority of the over-$250,000 a year taxpayers. Just as they maintain the estate tax is a bad idea because it makes hard-working farm families pay taxes on the family farm when the owner dies, when in fact it just shields the wealthy from paying taxes on their vast accumulated money. They also say rich people should get tax breaks because they will invest that money in other businesses, which is probably true if you own a yacht showroom, ski resort or a Lexus dealership, but mostly this "trickle-down" theory of economics is a cruel, self-serving hoax.

Looking forward, the Republicans are now in charge of the House of Representatives, and they will be shouldering at least part of the responsibility for whatever happens next. They will no longer be able to blame the Democrats for everything that has happened since the dawn of history, because they now have some power. Power comes with accountability - a very painful lesson the Democrats have learned - and the Republicans may not like having to actually answer to voters for the bad stuff that will inevitably come down the pike. Also they may find out that getting in bed with the Tea Party might not be as wonderful an experience as they imagined, since a lot of the T.P.-ers have been just as hostile to Republicans as they are to Democrats. But I'm sure we haven't seen the last of Representative Boner, I mean Boehner, sniveling and blubbering on television about his wonderful life, while the rest of the country suffers. It's painfully obvious that "embarrassment" and "shame" are two concepts completely alien to Republicans.

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