Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Republican Primary Dictionary

If nothing else, this blog is all about public service. You may think a major reason why I write Careless Whispers is to satisfy some deep-seated need in me for attention and an obsession-level quest for fame and media notoriety, and you would be pretty much correct. But mixed in with all that psychological stuff is my desire to bring clarity and enlightenment into a world so often choked and obfuscated with dullness and stupidity.

In my mind, nothing more clearly illustrates the innate tawdriness and runaway putrefaction of the American political system than the Republican presidential primaries. Rising like a rancid zombie out of a pile of garbage in a junior-high-school drama class reenactment of Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, the primaries or caucuses or "preference polls" or whatever the hell they call themselves reared up on their cloven hooves for about two seconds and then immediately started a headlong and inexorable plunge to the lower depths of Stupid Hell, trying to drag us all down with it.

But fret not, help is on the way. I have created this guide to the political language of the primaries, which I hope will allow the Gentle Reader to understand the hidden meaning behind all the lies, deliberate misstatements, and dog-whistle rhetoric which so often these days tries to pass as legitimate discourse. Consider this your political life preserver, and please, don't thank me. My reward is spreading around the awareness of what utter pieces of shit the Republican candidates are.

"Class Warfare" - This is one of the most patently hilarious things the Republicans have come up with yet, other than Sarah Palin running for anything other than Queen of the Inbred. Oh, those poor, sad, downtrodden billionaires - the Republicans would have you believe they are the most misunderstood and unfairly persecuted minority in this country . Imagine, they bleat out as they squeeze the crocodile tear or two from their rheumy old eyes, all the unwashed multitudes attacking the uppermost 0.5% of wage earners in this country solely because of their wealth and success! Yeah, you need to watch out for the middle class, they'll turn on you in a second. They start making 25, maybe 30 thousand bucks a year and all of a sudden they get uppity and bite the hand that feeds them. Why can't they just be satisfied sitting in their worthless, over-mortgaged homes watching Donald Trump's comb-over terrorize the mentally handicapped on "The Apprentice," or be happy with the crumbs that trickle down from the more fortunate? Never you mind the decades of tax cuts, offshore tax havens and specialized financial instruments you can access when you have a lot of money. Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain - just heap disdain upon the Democrats for daring to criticize the people who underwrite and benefit from every wasteful, deficit-expanding thing the Republicans do.

"Phony Theology" - This is a rather late entry to the Sweepstakes of Stupidity the Republicans are running, but it's pretty good. It seems that, according to the priggish, sanctimonious Rick Santorum, President Obama has some kind of "phony theology" going on with his energy policy. Yeah, it sounds stupid because it IS stupid; I don't know what he means, either, and who really cares? However let us savor for a little while the delicious irony of Rick Santorum opining that someone else has a "phony theology." Santorum should know all about phony theologies because fundamentalists like him are world-class experts in "pretending" to be Christians while "doing" the exact opposite. To wit: Fundamentalists believe that you should use any means necessary to keep a fetus from being aborted but the instant they're born you turn your back on them and they are on their own. Fundamentalists don't believe you should feed the hungry or provide medical care for those who can't afford it. Let's see, where have we heard that before? If I'm not mistaken someone named Jesus Christ thought that was a good idea. Fundamentalists, not so much. Santorum also believes gay marriage is an abomination and wants a constitutional amendment to outlaw it. It will destroy traditional marriage, he bellows. He misses the irony that the 50% divorce rate among traditional marriages is what's destroying it. I guess serial adulterer Newt Gingrich is also irony-resistant because because his cheating on two of his wives is doing so much to keep traditional marriage alive and well. Now I realize that for fundamentalists, irony is so much of their daily lives and belief systems that after a while they just become inured to it and don't even notice when it jumps up and slaps them in the face, but someone like Santorum preaching about "phony theology" is absolutely astounding. The fact that he doesn't get how stupid and hypocritical it makes him sound is really amusing.

"Secure the Border" - Here in Arizona we hear a lot about "securing the border," but what that really means is keep brown-skinned Spanish-speaking people out of our country unless they're picking our crops, tending to our lawns or cleaning our houses.

"Anti-religious Social Agenda" - Another one of those catch-all phrases that can be stretched and shaped to cover any number of perceived problems, from marriage equality to access to contraceptives. Any time you push back on the fundamentalists when they try to shove their religious biases on the general population, all of a sudden you're "anti-religious," and you "hate Christianity." While I gladly and proudly admit to both, a lot of people aren't, and they resist the fundamentalist urge to conflate "standing up for your rights" with "taking away their right to practice their religion". No one is taking away anyone's right to believe in the delusion of their choice, but I have a HUGE problem when they try to make everyone else defer to their beliefs, as if their beliefs are preeminent and trump everyone else's. I don't suppose it matters to most of them that the majority of people on this planet are either Hindu or Muslim, and that their beliefs are in the minority. As for contraceptives, conservatives are blanching at the fact that a church-affiliated employer might have to provide contraceptives to their employees, against their religious beliefs. Tell that to the 98% of Catholics who already use some form of contraceptive.

"Food Stamp President" - Newt Gingrich came up with that one, and it's only fitting because he looks like he really knows his way around a dinner table. Nothing like making a less-than-subtle racial comment because 1) Obama is black and 2) everyone knows the majority of people using food stamps are black. Except that they aren't. Only 22% of food stamp recipients are black; the rest are white, Hispanic, Asian, Native Americans, and others. But why let facts get in the way of a good racial slur?

These are only some of the interesting linguistic stunts the Republicans are pulling in this very bizarre primary season. One might have thought with the exit of the truly moronic wing of the candidate roster - Rick Perry, Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain - we could maybe get into a little more substantive discussion of the great challenges this country faces, and you know, actually talk about ideas and stuff, but that was wishful thinking. The Republicans are looking for someone who can get their ultra-conservative base all riled up and ready to hit those voting booths come November, so they know they have to appeal to the very lowest, basest nature of the obese, knuckle-dragging mouth-breathers who vote for them. It is truly a shame that, in their haste to get to the slimy muck at the bottom of the voter pool to find their support, they have to pull the rest of the country down with them.

1 comment:

  1. The only rational explanation for the truly pathetic characters of this round of Republican Presidential candidates ... the U.S. is being Punked. ... The most likely explanation for the bizarre acceptance of these characters by the American public ... Fox "News."