Saturday, August 12, 2006


The right wing has learned a valuable lesson from the likes of Vladimir Lenin and Fidel Castro: The only way to stay in power is to claim that they are in perpetual danger of being overthrown by the government they overthrew. Therefore the Revolution, with all its rhetoric, stridency, and suppression of the populace, continues on...and on.

This permanent state of revolution ensures that the citizenry will always be reminded of who it was that saved them from their oppressors, all the while continuing the oppression; it justifies the "special circumstances" such as martial law and censorship. Long after the Tsar and his family have been slaughtered in a basement and long after Batista has fled to Spain, the Revolution must go on. Any sign of weakness or loss of resolve such as dissent or such luxuries as press freedom or opposition parties would only enable the enemies of the revolution. (In the case of Cuba, the United States has played the perfect foil for Castro's iron rule; the Yanquis are just over the horizon waiting to attack the moment they perceive that the Revolution has faltered. Therefore, all loyal Cubans must support Fidel and stay off the Internet.) Most importantly, it conveniently provides an excuse for never implementing the reforms or promises that they made when the Revolution began. The revolutionaries have become as embedded, corrupt, and oppressive as the rulers they overthrew. Pete Townshend was right: "Meet the new boss; same as the old boss."

The American conservative movement has followed the same revolutionary path. They overtook the Congress in 1994 and the White House in 2000. They proclaimed the death of Liberalism and triumphantly bestrode the capital like a Colossus, making the world safe for the unborn, the undead, and the ungay. Nothing could stop the march of the Right and the Righteous. But they spoke of dark conspiracies against them, casting suspicion on anyone who dared question them or their methods, and therefore demonized anyone who was not a True Believer as a traitor, a softie, a Liberal. They must be expunged.

The one difference between all the other Revolutions and this one was the tactics. It wasn't by guns or a long march; the conservative revolution began not with a bang but a whimper. As Thomas Frank notes in an op-ed in the New York Times, they did it by whining like spoiled children who can't believe that all the presents under the Christmas tree weren't meant for them. They instituted the world's first tantrumocarcy; if we don't get what we want, we'll throw a fit. And even when they had achieved all the power they could accumulate, they still act as if they are the insurgents in a perpetual struggle to win the hearts and minds of the citizens. They have no alternative because if they don't, they will actually have to produce results of such scale as to make the Revolution worth it, and that is an unachievable goal. It's a lot easier to chant a slogan and demonize your enemies than it is to actually do anything.

In the last few months we are seeing signs that the American people are getting tired of this childish behavior. They are tired of the excuses, the blaming, and the manipulation of reality that comes from the Bush administration and the GOP and they're ready for change. That's good news for Democrats...but only if they realize that once they win, they have to actually get to work.

Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Friday Blogaround 

If you're stuck in a long line trying to go through airport security, whip out the laptop or BlackBerry and check out The Liberal Coalition.
  • Coturnix suggests a way to reset your internal clock.
  • Natalie is on the air.
  • archy has some mammoth news -- and hopes you'll join the hit parade.
  • Bark Bark Woof Woof looks at the Senate primary in Rhode Island.
  • blogAmY takes a quiz.
  • bloggg with a skeptical take on the British bombers.
  • Collective Sigh is not amused.
  • NTodd on securing our body fluids.
  • Echidne's guest-posters have been lighting up the sky with bloggy goodness. Start here and enjoy.
  • Christy at FDL asks the question that measures all administrations.
  • First Draft on civilian soldiers in Israel.
  • Happy Furry Puppy has a chat with a straw man.
  • iddybud asks if you're sick of failure yet.
  • Left is Right quotes Wesley Clark.
  • Lefty drinks the Kool-Aid.
  • Liberty Street serves Darwin a Turkey sandwich.
  • Make Me a Commentator is creeped out by Cal Thomas (but who isn't?).
  • Michael gets off a fine rant on the manipulation of terror for political gain.
  • Pen-Elayne takes us inside the art, craft, and genius of the comic artist -- and their reviewers.
  • Rook has some terse advice for a certain Senator.
  • rubber hose continues his tour of Central Europe.
  • Scrutiny Hooligans meets congressional candidate Heath Shuler.
  • Sooner Thought says it'd be hard to miss a terrorist wearing Chanel #5.
  • Speedkill on the missing Egyptians.
  • Steve Gilliard says Osama is laughing at us.
  • Kenneth finds that 30% of Americans don't remember when the day we'll never forget happened.
  • The Countess has some advice for Newt Gingrich.
  • The Invisible Library reviews a piece of spam.
  • WTF Is It Now?? on waking the beast.
  • The Yellow Doggerel Democrat on the threat that Clairol Herbal Essence constitutes to national security.
  • ...You Are A Tree digs Abigail Washburn.
  • To quote the immortal Guy Marks: "Your red scarf matches your eyes."

    Cross-posted from Bark Bark Woof Woof.