Sunday, December 30, 2007


In which Ché Pasa revises and extends his remarks

Digby has a provoctative rant up at her place that Glenn Greenwald is riffing on at his place. I, being a terminal cynic at times, made gentle mock of Glenn's post describing the widely approved lawlessness of our current Bushevik rulers, comme ça:

Re: Decay, Rot, Decadence, Disintegration, Downfall, Putrefaction

Glenn offers up a pretty good description of the lawless autocracy of Czarist Russia -- without Faberge and Tchaikovsky.

And in this version of a declining Palace Culture the roles of Marx, Lenin and Trotsky will be played by Norman Podhoretz, Rudy Giuliani, and William Kristol.

We're doomed.
-- Ché Pasa

Some readers mistook the intent of my coda "we're doomed." In blogspeak, "we're doomed" is generally a satiric comment, not something meant to be taken seriously.

Whether or not we ARE doomed is another question altogether. That question is not addressed by a blog comment stating, "We're doomed."

That said, there are some trenchant points being made by both Digby and Glenn regarding our plight (such as it is) and what can be done about it.

Digby quotes Richard Viguerie making the case for a Republican election loss in 2006:

Conservatives are, by nature, insurgents, and it’s hard to maintain an insurgency when your friends, or people you thought were your friends, are in power.


THEY are the Insurgents. Not us. And that's why they win.

I've been making that argument for years, mostly to deaf ears in Left Blogistan, where the "leftist" rebellions of previous eras are thought to be informing the current "rebellion" against Bushevism.

No, I argue, that's not what's happening. Not at all. There is no serious rebellion against Bushevism. There has never been one, and in some ways, there can't be. The Busheviks are the Rebels. Not us. And they are rebelling against the whole political and cultural superstructure of Progressivism, Liberalism, Secular Humanism, the Enlightenment Itself.

So while DeeCee is indeed like the rotting palaces of Tsarskoye Selo and Versailles and the culture within the Beltway is as thorogoing and decadent a Palace Culture as there has ever been, that culture is at bottom our own "Leftist", or "Progressive," or "Liberal" culture; and that is what the Marxes and Lenins and Trotskys of today (Podhoretz, Giuliani, Kristol, et al) are fighting to destroy.

They believe they haven't won yet. There are still liberals and progressives out and about, they continue to speak, to write, to draw attention to themselves. And the basic operating system of government in this country continues to be secular and progressive, despite the best efforts of these Rebels to overthrow that governing system and replace it with some Medieval or even pre-Medieval rule of Religiously Insane Autocrats and Oligarchs.

They are successful in part because they are radical and absolutely determined, whereas we are reasonable and determined to find a middle way, some sort of compromise, win-win. "Reason" doesn't work in this kind of situation, as Digby is at pains to point out in her post.

And yet, we can't become like them, can we? Reason is basically all we have left, and we can't let go of that, can we?

If we realize what the real roles are here -- after so many years of Republican rebellion and depredation, I'm not sure that realization will ever come -- that they are the insurgents and we represent the disintegrating status quo, we might figure out the "left" needs to approach the question of how to deal with Movement Conservatives from a far more original perspective.

But so long as we see ourselves as Teh Rebels and them as representing the Status Quo, we are not going to get anywhere.

No. The roles are reversed.

Now what?


  1. I was one of the responders to your doomed comment. But without stating so (mea culpa) I operate from the premise that Bush/Cheney have effected a silent coup, and that we really are the resisters at this point against their successful insurgency and takeover.

    I think that that basic governmental operations are no longer effective and competent. I can't think where the HHS, FDA, CDC, etc are providing oversight, unfettered science, policy free of detrimental partisanship and the like. The branches of government are now thoroughly operating based on gross partisanship to benefit party and corporate interests. the acts of elected officials has largely been uncoupled from the will of we the people.

    I don't even believe that government operates from an effective secular reference point. Xtianist doctrine permeates health policy and program development, operations and funding, just to name an example off the top of my head.

    I operate from the notion that all of my communications are surveilled, and that I am at the mercy of the whim of law enforcement and intelligence officers.

    To operate from a point of power would be terrific, but I don't believe that's the case. We don't have the deep pockets of the corporations and lobbying groups. We don't have the military might and weaponry of an organized militia, unlike the Blackwater, DynCorp and regular military at the beck and call of Bush/Cheney and a progressive and public-hostile Congress. we don't have the traditional media.

    We do have reason, logic, fidelity to the Constitution minus the destruction wrought during the past seven years. We have the internet and blogosphere. We have the majority of academics. We have most of the science and research community. We have an increasingly disenfranchized public. We have organized labor, or what's left of it.

    But organization we do not have.
    Nor do we have a carefully formed plan.

    And that's why I requested that Glenn write about the mechanics and feasibility of a second Constitutional convention.

    I very much am enjoying reading your blog. Your perspective is very thought-provoking. Thank you.

  2. I think Nequals! doesn't understand that "We" actually outnumber "Them."

    WE need to understand that. THEY are the Insurgents, the Radicals. THEY are not fabric of this country.

  3. It seems everyone is reading Glenn right now.

    I hope they come over here for more insightful thoughts.

  4. @ Asta:

    I understand about the numbers of citizens, but the resources are vastly larger and are being used already to efficiently control and oppress all citizens. And to clarify my own thinking, anyone who is not actively resisting is really aiding and abetting - sanctioning, if you will - those oppressing us. So I'm not at all sure about the "numbers" at this point. We may not be in the majority at all.

  5. N=1, I reread your post, and reread the articles, and I owe you an apology.

    What you stated last is pretty much true in my thinking. Yeah, sanctioning. Well said.

    I thought about what you wrote and what Felix wrote a lot today. Thought about it a lot and watched how people were interacting at the stores, the mall, on the streets, in traffic. Everyone seems capsulized, insulated, isolated. Except the elderly shoppers still seemed to have a sense of whose turn it is. I got the feeling that people are a bit panicky. Spooked may be the better adjective. Sheep-like.

    I don't have any hopes that 2008 is going to be a better year. Different, yeah, better, no.

  6. nequals1 and asta:

    Thanks for carrying this discussion on. I think it is an important one we need to have.

    I'm not convinced that more than a handful of Americans are currently in the Resistance, but when President Hillary is inaugurated (if), their numbers will skyrocket.

    The same would be true for any Democrat in the White House.

    I don't know anyone on Our Side who is actually resisting -- though there are plenty who are working their tails off in the political arena. They're getting tired. It's been a long slog already.

    If there is hope under these conditions -- and I think there is -- it is in the fact that there is a nearly universal "progressive" ethos among key professionals (as nequals1 points out), and it's not just confined to this country. It's global. It's such a strong unity of ideal and purpose, the Busheviks are really isolated outliers, not unlike the arthritic Politburo in Beijing or Havana.

    I maintain the Busheviks are the insurgents, the crypto-revolutionaries, and that's a big reason why they have been able to get away with their malevolence for so long. But they've had power for plenty of time to make a positive difference, and the spiral continues downward, and people are furious and disgusted with them.

    I don't think a Restoration is possible -- that's what Howard Dean was on about in 2004 -- but something else again, something relatively new, surely can come about.

    I don't think you'll ever hear Glenn advocate for or get into a Constitutional Convention (although I've called for it). It's a very scary thought. But staying on the same path we've been on ought to be far more frightening!

    Hope you all at least enjoy your New Years Eve, and have girded up your loins for next year!