The post-modern dinosaur.
Ever wonder what it feels like to be a dinosaur? As an antediluvian former republican who somehow survived the mass extinction event that was Bish/Cheney, and emerged as a bemused
party-less wayfarer above the Iridium layer of toxic politics that era laid down, I can answer that. Weird. It feels weird to be a living fossil from a time so recently but irretrievably past. I can
remember republicans actually making sense at one time. They used to seem, at least, to be reasonably well fit to sustain their population numbers.
Then came the Great Winnowing–when Grover Norquist managed to avoid prison while Jack Abramoff went down, down, down, and ultimately, a new world (or republican party) order arose
where anyone with a loud voice, execrable manners and a sense of grievance with access to a printer made everyone sign pledges which, if adhered to, effectively precluded government from
functioning. Moderate republicans fell like sheaves beneath the scythe, and terrorized party folks clicked their heels and saluted anyone who’d give them an order.
It was like those History and Discovery Channel animations that show the old saurians after the asteroid hit, flopping to earth in dusty, bulky heaps. Instantly anachronized, so to speak. One era
everything’s fine, just fine, and then, boom, mass extinction of the moderate conservatives and conservative liberals. And just like that, to quote Gomer Pyle, “shazam!” in a “Dark Side of the
Moon” societal riff (or possibly rift,) lunatics were running the asylum. Visibly so, in fact, as the debt ceiling freak show played out, sorry images distributed helpfully by the international news
media outlets. Aghast onlookers must have been reaching en masse for their cell phones, telling their brokers to “divest, divest, divest!”. Ship of state? Put ‘er on automatic pilot boys–what
could go wrong?
When the tea party freshmen congressmen, in their version of “hey, what’s this button for?” decided to take mega scale extortion out for a road test, lots of people stood on the sidelines and
applauded. “Move that bus! Move that bus! Off the cliff! Off the cliff!”. After shedding 1600 points or so, the Dow finally attenuated the “irrational exuberance” of charmed onlookers and
frightened elected officials to a more rational level. During this little hiatus in the countdown to the Rapture, they may perhaps examine the viability of their anarchist premise that government is a non-essential for a nation of 310 million people. Yep, let’s use the honor system to run this country. Just eliminate the bureaucracy, everybody’ll automatically do the right thing and the
economy will repair itself. Who needs Paul Krugman anyway?
And while we’re contemplating the imminence of the ruination of the global economy, by the way, exactly what is the dollar value of our “we the rabble” jointly held assets, anyway? All the parks,
roads, bridges, dams, land, buildings, equipment, etc.? Just how much does it all add up to, say to the nearest $10 billion? Because it’s been most people’s experience that assets don’t just manage
themselves. There’s a lot of upkeep, administrative and physical. Can we just let that process manage itself through–what?–say, inertia? How is that supposed to happen in our brave new “no
government” world? Hmmm? Anybody thought of that?
Let me know, please because I seem to miss the memos a lot these days. Y’know, the ones explaining why up is down and black is white and utterly maladaptive behaviors are hailed as
collective “solutions”. Those memos. I think Frank Luntz writes them when he’s not manufacturing sound bites for his clients to mouth, but it could be Carl Rove. I’d sure like to get on the mailing list so I’d have a heads up on things that, otherwise, seem just
plain nuts. To a post-modern dinosaur, that is.