Saturday, February 12, 2022

Lewis Black, Charlie Pierce, and how Wisconsin and the US are "Off the Rails"

A friend scored free tickets to see a comic master last night, and my wife and I were glad to use them.

I'd seen Mr. Black a few times before, and much of his show dealt with how he dealt with COVID pandemic in 2020 while he was living alone in New York, and how it made him and many others crazy. In the act (fitting titled "Off the Rails"), Black remarked on how much of the country operates in two separate worlds with few shared experiences, and idiocy is allowed to run rampant without regard for masks or common respect.
As he says in his special: "We've done something with these two political parties that really is unbelievable. No other country has done it. No other country. We used to have parties that argued ideas. Not anymore. Now we have two separate political parties that actually exist in two totally different realities."

"It's like you go from one reality to another," Black said. "I left New York, and the 'OhMyGod virus,' as I call it, was hitting there. And people were masking up again, and they never had stopped masking. They were masking on the streets in New York City. They were not fooling around. Then I got to Florida. It was like, 'Woohoo, it's over!' You know, it was done there. And there is a real fight in this country. It's those two realities."
And the stupid and crazy seems to continue in RW Bubble World without any brakes or consequence. Today's "big political announcement" in Wisconsin is a great example.

These dopes wouldn't believe the sky is blue if AM 1130 and Faux News told them it wasn't. The level of weakness and self-absorption of these types is something I don't understand, likely because I evolved after age 15.

Along those lines, I wanted to excerpt the weekly column that Esquire's Charlie Pierce wrote this week (members only, so no real link to give). Pierce also sees the large number of self-appointed experts, conspiracy theorists and other morons running for public office as a sign of a country that has gone off the rails in many areas, because we allowed Trump trash and other hucksters to be put in positions of importance.
Remember Joe The Plumber, the guy who became widely (and briefly) famous for mouthing off against candidate Barack Obama? He was a bright little bauble to brighten up the dog days of a presidential campaign. He even got a book deal out of it. The problem is that, through the efforts of El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago and his supporters, we’re hip-deep in Joe The Plumbers these days, and worse, their fame is not fleeting. Many of them have deep pockets, like Lindell, which, in our cash-soaked political age, makes them players, no matter how bizarre their particular contributions to the political scene may be. Many of them are elected to political office, like Tina Peters, and there are more of them on the way. My favorite—which is to say, the one I’m dreading the most—is Mark Finchem, who’s running for secretary of state in Arizona. Finchem was in Washington on January 6 and brags about his friendship with the Oath Keepers. Then there’s Kristina Karamo in Michigan. From CNN:

"Based on the series of evidence and knowing how these situations work, how these anarchists operate, I believe this is completely Antifa posing as Trump supporters," Karamo said on an episode of her podcast the day after the January 6 insurrection. "I mean, anybody can buy a MAGA hat and put on T-shirt and buy a Trump flag.”

I wouldn’t buy an apple from this person, never mind let her run my state’s elections. Can we all just agree that, ideology aside, we should not let soapbox screamers and the like take on the job of governing the rest of us? Can we not at least agree on that?
And make no mistake, the Republicans WANT dimwits like this running our elections. Including here in Wisconsin. They want hacks and fascist looneys running the show, because they care more about being in charge and getting all the gains from that power than they do in having a functional, improving country/state that deals with and solves real problems. And never think otherwise. Pierce ends his column by noting that America in 2022 is so self-absorbed and without a sense of community that they've largely given up on
.....What I’ve been calling the prion disease for the past decade has now spread far beyond even the Republican Party. The entire nation is blindly staggering under its effects now. We have so thoroughly abandoned self-government in favor of self-indulgence that we are like the plague-stricken Athenians, of whom Thucydides wrote:

So they resolved to spend quickly and enjoy themselves, regarding their lives and riches as alike things of a day. Perseverance in what men called honor was popular with none, it was so uncertain whether they would be spared to attain the object; but it was settled that present enjoyment, and all that contributed to it, was both honorable and useful. Fear of gods or law of man there was none to restrain them.

As for the first, they judged it to be just the same whether they worshipped them or not, as they saw all alike perishing; and for the last, no one expected to live to be brought to trial for his offenses, but each felt that a far severer sentence had been already passed upon them all and hung ever over their heads, and before this fell it was only reasonable to enjoy life a little.
As both Lewis Black and Charlie Pierce recognize, post-COVID America is a traumatized nation that has become numbed to awfulness and idiocy, in no small part because there is no accountability for such awfulness and idiocy.

That lack of accountability from the cowardice of Merrick Garland and Robert Mueller for not dropping the hammer on crooked, powerful people when they flout the law, all the way down to state legislators and Faux News/AM radio outlets, who have gerrymandered themselves into a place where there is no statement too absurd or no law too hateful/regressive that it isn't immediately followed by people losing their jobs and lots of money. In fact, our political and media system is incentivized today to reward this garbage, which leads other opportunists and low-info bystanders to join in on the destructive idiocy.

This is only resolved through either:

1. Crushing the scumbags and the jagoffs, where they lose their jobs, livelihoods and/or freedom for what they've said and done, and making them non-factors in everyday and political life for several years. This goes for both the politicians and MAGAts in general, since they lack all empathy and only respond to direct punishments. Or:

2. Secession - Let the regressive, scared minority can continue to live out their 20th Century mentality in backwards places that don't attract talent. The rest of us will live in a 21st Century, multi-cultural society that values science and decency over gut and fee-fees, rewards work over wealth, and teaches real history instead of what we wished were true.

In our country just saying or feeling something doesn't make it true, and we will have the cultural senstivity and emotional intelligence to come up with better solutions in both business and politics. We also won't be scared of what the future will hold because we're not being held back by minority rule from the 20th Century dimwits who refuse to grow up or catch up.

I don't want secession, but I do know that we can't keep being dragged down by the freak shows. MAGA types may shoot their mouths off and get the media attention, but a whole of us in the Silent Majority are seething these days over the illness that keeps festering without it being mitigated and stopped by the people who could do so. And that virus isn't COVID.

EDIT- Here's a late addition, where the Chair of the Republican Party of Wisconsin says their fake elector scheme was totally cool. And the reason why he can say that, is because no one is getting sued/locked up for it.

1 comment:

  1. I have a bold prediction for the Wisconsin 2022 gubernatorial race. The Republican nominee will be...drum roll please...State Rep. Timothy Ramthun. Forget Kleefisch and Nicholson. As horrible as they both are, they are nowhere near the absolute delusional Trump worship of Ramthun. So much so that Trump himself has noticed and complimented him, and the “My Pillow Guy” enthusiastically attended Ramthun’s announcement rally.

    Not only is he a Trump worshipper, he’s a clone. Right down to the narcissism and the attacking of other Republicans whose butt-kissing is deemed insufficient. Primary rube voters will love this. And being inherently sexist, these voters will choose him over Kleefisch, among other reasons, because he’s a man. Nicholson will be derided as too Establishment because he actually served the Federal Government as a Marine.

    Mark my words. In November it’ll be Evers vs. Ramthun.