November 13, 2006

Strakon Lights Up

The Big Election

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Nazi-Commies, come on down! Tough luck, Commie-Nazis!

When the telescreen announced that the Democrats had captured the House, I did something I'd never done before upon hearing similar dreadful news. I applauded. Loudly. I mean as in CLAP! – CLAP! – CLAP! Hearing that, my fellow TLDer who was junk-feeding with me on election night had some trouble keeping the cheese on his cracker.

I hope I don't have to reassure you, at this late stage, that I despise the Nazi-Commies and everything they stand for. In fact I despise almost everything they pretend to stand for. But Bush's Commie-Nazis needed some bad punishing, they needed it bad, and I was happy to see them get it. Bad and hard.

I didn't applaud, though, upon hearing the next day that the Democrats had taken the Senate as well. I figured that was a bit much. The Democracy's seizing the House would have been sufficient to create gridlock, which was the best state of affairs we could hope for, assuming we were not to suffer an unusually hideous and sustained plague of collusion, otherwise known as bipartisanship. The Democrats' controlling the Senate certainly will not prevent collusion. Republicans in particular are skilled at transforming themselves from junkyard dogs to whipped curs at the mere clink of a leash, and they'll continue to be just as nimble as the Democrat mutts in gobbling sandwiches off the table every time our back is turned.

It will be interesting to see whether the Dems can possibly spend as much Central Government loot as the Republicans did. Assisted by their corruptionist and totalitarian comrades in Congress, the Bushites set a high bar, but I'm confident the Democrats will be able to soar over it if Bush allows them to do so. Some of what the Democrats pass, if they're able and willing to pass anything, will send loot in directions the Bushites don't want, so Bush's keepers will probably want to remind him of his veto power. While we're on the subject, we should keep in mind one difference between the Commie-Nazis and the Nazi-Commies that is relevant, if uninspiring. The Republicans normally prefer to soak us subjects through fraud and through distortion of the investment markets instead of through openly higher taxes, while the Democrats love higher taxes so much they're actually willing to talk in the exotic tongues of fiscal responsibility in order to sell them.

As another result of the Glorious Ceremony of November 7, the Nazi-Commies have seized more statehouses than they had before. While I sometimes denigrate the states by calling them provinces, the question of who manages their apparatus locally is still important. The states can still decide how to spend considerable monies, and they can still decide the incidence of local taxation. They decide also, within certain limits, how best to execute the many Central Government mandates and other intimidations imposed on them. In addition, state and local governments continue to provide most of the boots on the ground for the eternal war against users of officially disapproved drugs.

Furthermore, state and local regimes remain capable of coming up with their own new tyrannical and wealth-destroying regulations. Subsidies, too. And let's not forget property seizures. After all, as schoolchildren used to learn back in the days when they learned civics, the states are "laboratories of federalism." Statehouses themselves serve as another kind of lab, out of which have lurched most of the scary, stitched-together pols who have gotten themselves installed in the Presidential Palace in recent times. (Maybe Commissar Hillary or Field Marshal Wide Neck will be able to put a stop to that.)

Naturally, we dare not expect an outbreak of peace. Peace as people used to understand it is becoming structurally impossible under the American system.

Over the past couple of years, more and more literate and semi-literate Americans have heard the word "neocon," and more and more seem now to be inclined to employ it as a term of abuse. Everyone has to take care not to connect the neocons to Israel too directly, of course, but otherwise, neocon-bashing is becoming almost popular. We heard some of it in the campaign gabble, and now we hear various anti-Bushites declaring that the war-crazy neocons have been rebuked and defeated.

Even if that's so, the Democracy still includes many War Liberals, and though most of them now decry the Iraq War as it has been run by the Bushites, they will remain Zionist to one degree or another. Moreover, next time around they'll all want to be able to continue boasting to their duped or amoral constituents about the new "defense" jobs they've brought home. My guess is that, insofar as the Democrat congressional majorities are able or willing to influence the Bushite imperial policy, they will push a kind of pro-Israel intervention in the Middle East that is not as flagrantly expensive, humiliating, or risky for American state interests as they perceive them. However, so as not to expect too much, we may wish to recall that this kind of "moderate" or "restrained" imperialism was quite sufficient to provoke the attacks of 9/11.

In any case, the War Liberals in Congress and the Mr. R.E. Sponsible-type imperialists are already getting reinforcements in the form of the James Baker commission, and it appears that Little Bush will soon be receiving the assistance of yet another Big Bush veteran, Robert Gates. (When, one wonders, did the Wee Emperor learn that he would be nominating Gates to replace Rumsfeld?) Gates is reported to be close to war opponent Brent Scowcroft, the Bush I national-security advisor who has been anathema to the White House since 2002. It looks as though any remaining neocon voices, inside the regime, will encounter some stiff competition on imperial and war policy over the next two years.

But the fact remains that the neocons are not about to go slinking back, humiliated, to their lavishly funded think tanks and journals. They may slither in various directions, but they won't have to slink. For they have won a great victory.

You'd never guess it by listening to them, of course. A whole squirmy nest of prominent neoconservatives are complaining right now about how the Bush regime, or Donald Rumsfeld in particular, goofed up the execution of the neocons' glitteringly perfect and sacredly humanitarian war aims. (I want to call Rumsfeld a scapegoat, but it's sort of like calling Himmler a scapegoat for Hitler.) William Kristol, for one, has been calling for Rumsfeld's ouster for many months; he thought Rummy was insufficiently ruthless and bloody in pressing the war.

I don't know whether chameleons slither or slink, but I'm pretty sure the neocons are adopting some protective coloration here. The shambles in Mesopotamia suits them just fine; it's what they planned for, and it's what they saw carried out. Only if we believe that they've really been aiming at a peaceful, stable, and "democratic" Iraq can we believe that they're showing their true colors now. But that's silly. To believe that would require making a clean break with the truth.

Hmm. "Clean break." Where have I heard that phrase before? Seems it was in close proximity to the phrase "securing the realm," but I can't quite place it.

Seriously, the neocons engineered and launched the Iraq War to destabilize the Muslim Middle East, intending that destabilization to benefit the most important country in the world, Israel, in the management of its mini-empire. I cannot do better than to cite the extensive writings of Dr. Stephen J. Sniegoski on this subject, right here at The Last Ditch.

Even if some neocons slither holeward, they will emerge again. Recently I've been reading the collection of writings by our late friend Sam Francis, Shots Fired, and many of his pre-9/11 pieces have reminded me how deeply the neocons had entrenched themselves in American political society before they turned their energies so exclusively and openly toward promoting Israeli interests. Sam was observing years ago that neoconservatism had replaced conservatism. If memory serves, Joe Sobran has been known to make one or two observations along those lines, too.

It is also the case that whatever tendency is identified with the eventual "solution" to the Iraq quagmire, it is likely to find itself covered and dripping with a very smelly substance. That's because any conceivable result is going to be just terrible, not only for the Iraqis but also for the prestige and material interests of the U.S. Empire. Given Americans' amnesia and lack of perspective, the Bush I tendency, if it does manage to shape events over the final two years of Bush II, had better invest in some powerful cologne. A few years from now the public nostrils, so to speak, may actually find the neocons to be the less-offensive breed of skunk.

Pols come, pols go. Parties surge, parties subside. And however loudly I may have clapped at the news of a new Nazi-Commie majority in the House, I did not forget that both of the big political parties have evolved alongside leviathan in order to serve it at the operational level; in that context the differences between them are minor. It is in their interest not just to serve but also to expand leviathan; the stronger and more invasive they can make the state (within certain limits imposed by the ruling class), the higher the price they can charge rent-seekers for state action or inaction.

The dance of the two parties may look awkward; it may even look more like a bruising contact sport than a dance. That is explained by the low-level competition for somewhat different flavors of tyranny that is permitted within the larger system of rule and also by the inherent defects of statish thinking, statish action, and statish actors: both parties, after all, are filled to the brim, as they must be filled, with clowns, idiots, felons, perverts, drunks, sociopaths, kleptocrats, and fanatics. But the very dance of these Stupid Partisans and Evil Partisans and Evil-and-Stupid Partisans is also something that has evolved over time, and generally it, too, serves its purpose well. When one of the ruling parties starts reeking too repulsively, there's always another smelly bunch over in the corner waving their grubby paws to attract the attention of the poor saps addicted to voting. It's too bad that folks can never smell all of what is in front of their nose.

November 13, 2006

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