Friday, July 02, 2010

You Get What They Paid For

Paris Bush

'She had to be stopped, or she'd leave him forever'

Think Progress:

Presidential scholars: Bush is the worst president of the modern era, bottom five of all time.
Today, just one year after leaving office, (George W. Bush) has
found himself in the bottom five at 39th rated especially poorly in handling the economy, communication, ability to compromise, foreign policy accomplishments and intelligence. Rounding out the bottom five are four presidents that have held that dubious distinction each time the survey has been conducted: Andrew Johnson, James Buchanan, Warren G. Harding, and Franklin Pierce.

He may well have been the worst president ever, but he was exactly what America deserved.
For decades now, the United States has suffered under the impediment of a self-declared 'American exceptionalism', this exceptionalism having its roots in a highly self-flattering reading of world history.
To wit, that having been the last major world power standing at the end of World War 2 with borders, military strength and industrial capacity intact...That America had a rightfully ordained destiny of permanent global pre-eminence.

The fact that fate could have just as easily upended this rosy paradigm in favor of her enemies had they fortune with them instead, or the enemies of those enemies who became temporary allies in a common cause (only to become nemeses again later) is often ignored or discounted by those with a vested interest in maintaining the mythology on behalf of those who write their checks.

In order to foster this fiction, massive amounts of propaganda (or reality conditioning, if one prefers) are required for constant injection into the public discourse, and in order for that propaganda to do its work the masses have to be rendered ignorant and complacent - Offering them the illusory baubles and trappings of minor life success within a purported 'middle class', and reducing the true development of their subjective and collective intellect through the dismantling of a dedicated education apparatus.
This allows for a successful indoctrination of the approved weltanschauung to be performed and for questions involving the logical inconsistencies of same to be marginalized.

Concurrently, certain expectations needed to be lowered or done away with altogether, and one of those expectations was quality levels of government service.

Government, or at least the model of a representative republic, has always been an impediment to those who wish to continue this myth of exceptionalism - In their ideal, capitalism runs utterly unchecked and government is the tightly scripted enforcement wing of its desires, keeping the little people in their place yet staying out of the way of growing ROIs.
Occasionally, some troublemaker might come along and threaten to upset the applecart (or even worse, actually hold the system to its stated values) but the machinery exists to curb that sort of impudence.

One of the fundamental tenets of modern conservative thinking is that government (usually but not always the large variant), along with taxation is irremediably bad - of course, as is usual with such ideologues their words and deeds don't exactly match up (see above regarding logical inconsistencies).
Over the years politicians of a certain stripe have made this sentiment a daily featured part of their rhetoric, and the complacently indoctrinated nod their uninformed heads and pull their levers accordingly. The rationale for someone deciding that electing a person or group who states they hate government to elected office is a good idea has always escaped me - Presumably no one 'likes' government in the affinitive sense, even a well-administered one, but nobody hired George Lincoln Rockwell to run a synagogue daycare, either.

And yet...this is exactly what happens.

The earlier model for the presidency of George W. Bush was his father's running mate and eventual vice-president, J. Danforth Quayle, and the similarities are striking. Most telling, however is that the American people accepted this individual as potentially Executive material.
In reality of course, he provided exactly what was needed for his masters in the situation - an incurious non-intellectual reactionary, one bought and paid for from birth who could be trusted with a dull pair of ribbon cutting scissors and very little else.

And in closing, that returns us to the 'star' of this screed...In the end, another ingrown toenail on the American Empire's feet of clay - now passed into history, yet leaving his legacy like a burning tire around the neck of the world.

It is unlikely that in my lifetime I will see a less competent American President...But never was one more appropriately groomed for the end of the American Dream.



Cleveland Bob said...

Great fuckin' post, db.

Having been born in the US, I have nearly always been furious, since I became a sentient youth, by the way we've been tricked into believing your very aqpt depiction of the US brand of self deception.

I often wonder if I only lived anywhere else but the US, if I'd be a "happier" person. Dunno. I'd certainly be filled with less self loathing.

The song I always play on Independence Day is CCR's Fortunate Son. It should be the replacement for the horrible current National Anthem of America.

microdot said...

Great post. Probably the longest piece of prose by you that I have ever read!
Somehow it was an essential part of my formative years, it all makes perfect sense, that I went to Warren G. Harding Jr. High.

darkblack said...

Thank you both. I try to avoid blathering on, but I am not always successful in the endeavor.

The next level in the trap is one of perceived universal complicity...For example, making the populace accept the 'conventional wisdom' that a person working for social justice, upholding the rule of law, and promoting higher American ideals is no better than a Cheeto-stuffed couch surfer shouting 'DEMO-NAZI!' at their spittle-spattered laptop screen while they forward emails containing pictorial impressions of Obama as a witch doctor, or suchlike.
Such a marginalization strategy can pay large dividends come election Kabuki time.

We live in an era where false equivalences are as prevalent as weeds in an abandoned yard.
IMO, there is no one group with a monopoly on objective truth - but there are several groups for whom deliberate distortion of that objective truth is an imperative necessity for maintenance of their power over the sheep.


Distributorcap said...

bush is the worst human ever -- well maybe palin or boner or eric cantor or beck or limbaugh

Rehctaw said...

Not reflected in the evaluation of Presidential scholars is that The Shrub is hands down the worst TWO-TERM president ever, (unless you want to count Pierce and Buchanan as a single presidency since its issue, slavery, drove both)

Harding was only president for 27 months. Johnson was fighting impeachment from day ONE.

This puts Chimpy in a league of his own; for now. The longer view might expand his company to include RWR who prepared the meal that Chimpy delivered, but who has time for long views?

Your indictment of Americans is a bit harsh. Cheated, lied to and snookered does not make them party to the deliberate schemes of our opportunistic representatives or the deep pockets that have funded the takeover.

A hierarchy assembled, in essence, to wage war and protect profit is ill-equipped to promote peace. U.S. peacemakers were and are systematically marginalized and dismissed. Those that cannot be co-opted are eliminated leaving no standing for discourse, debate or alternatives.

The worst case against the American people is that they've been had, but unless/until more than 50% actually vote on more than lies and rhetoric, the rest remain merely dis-served.

darkblack said...

Harsh? Perhaps, Rehctaw - but proportionately so.

In my opinion, a certain degree of subjective responsibility for maintaining America's representative republic that is incumbent upon its citizens, a set of duties that corresponds to and nourishes the freedoms inherent within the construct has been absconded from by the majority of those same citizens, whether through ignorance, self-satisfied laziness or some other cause.

These leaves the field open to oligarchies and cabals in search of profit and power who then become free to predate upon the unwitting society using its own tools and institutions against itself, whilst waving the flag and mouthing patriotic slogans that are empty of meaning to them but necessary for playacting purposes.

One, and by extension the mass, becomes party to the scheme when it is repeated again and again - 'Fool me once`, etc. Whether this state is one of willing accomplice or perpetual dupe is irrelevant to the final outcome.
None of what the Bush administration did was unpredictable - An observer merely needed to look at the cast of characters and connections (Nixon, Iran-Contra, and so forth) being put into place and the planned outcome became all too clear.


Rehctaw said...

Mostly agreed, except "ignorance or laziness" as the reason. Nor do I perceive apathy, but rather futility as the determinant.

We are victims of the Great Compromise predicated on false choices, broken pledges and LIES.
Why anyone would expect other from the entrenched self-interests?

The dis-represented cannot all be ex-patriots. Love it or leave it just isn't viable. We are currently the ultimate faith-based exercise with only two possible outcomes, neither of which hold much promise for what comes after.

Whether consciously or not, most are hoping to slide by long enough to come out somewhere better.

darkblack said...

'futility'...Hmmm. That certainly is the apt word to describe the current objective state for many given the Tofflerian aspect of affairs, but don't discount ignorance (as a result of de facto dismantling of public education and lowering of collegiate standards) or laziness (a statistically average prisoner of flesh having obtained whatever low-hanging fruit was made available - the house, the car, the putatively middle-class income offered for a job of little consequence or responsibility - all on easy credit and reasonable terms until the trap door is sprung) as sources for initial behaviors against one's own self-interests.

My concerns are predicated on several fronts. Obviously, as our largest trading partner America has a ripple effect upon Canada - thus, politics cease to be exclusively local.
There is also a deep respect bordering on but perhaps not fulfilling a definition of latent patriotism, based on personal heritage and affinity for the ideals of your nation.
Someday I would like to live in America again, and take up that atavistic romance where it was left off long ago...'Before they make me run', as it were. Thus, I have very little truck with those who wish to surrender to the Abyss on the conquerors terms.


Rehctaw said...

Ahh, but it's not surrender. It's an uneasy patience. Coming to the realization that despite unavoidable and undeniable truths, enough skin sacks willingly prefer to be lied to and scammed makes the waiting somewhat entertaining.

Disengaging from an abusive relationship is a healing journey. Lurking and waiting for the teeming masses to come to grips with realities left out of the pricing strategies and marketing
offers interesting opportunities to dabble in affirming pursuits.

Strangely, most of the driving driven are not integral to the operation. Stripped of their conflated importance and indispensability removes only the clay feet.

Not rainbows and moonbeams. Just life as it has been lived beneath the edifice for centuries.

darkblack said...

Yes, 'same as it ever was', I suppose- it's not like humankind has evolved en masse in a gracious fashion toward some loftier plane of existence.

One need never go broke pandering to their baser instincts, hmmm?