Blog Credo

The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.

H.L. Mencken

Friday, April 4, 2014

Betty Cracker Lays The Wood

Modern conservatism in the US is predicated on a bizarre, ongoing inversion of reality. Item: an addled B-movie actorexplodes the national debt and is lionized as a champion of small government. A cowardly, none-too-bright male cheerleader from a patrician clan is packaged and sold as a brush-clearin,’ neo-Churchillian, genius cowpoke.
The party that bankrupted the country through ruinous, pointless warmongering and Wall Street wilding markets itself as the fiscally responsible foreign policy grownups. The party that lets a gun manufacturer flak organization intimidate it into allowing terrorists and the floridly insane to purchase unlimited semiautomatic weapons bills itself as tough on crime. Etc.
So it shouldn’t be surprising that conservatives’ perception of their ongoing defeat in the culture wars is exactly the opposite of reality on every level too. But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at the ahistorical ranting. Cue thePowertools, lamenting the resignation of erstwhile Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich:
So the liberals claim another scalp. This is something new in our history, as far as I know. Until now, private citizens could hold whatever political beliefs they wanted, and support political causes as they chose.
Ever heard of the McCarthy hearings? Where a wingnut senator persecuted private citizens and destroyed their livelihoods because of their political beliefs? See, when the party of free markets decides to regulate political beliefs,it does so via the government.
What happened to Eich is a free market phenomenon. You can make the argument that the companies and developers who balked at the prospect of working with a CEO who thinks gays are icky should have given Eich a chance. But the companies and developers are independent agents who are free to vote with their feet because freedom.
I would add that perhaps the best tool progressives and generally sane people have right now is the power of the purse.  Given the evisceration of campaign finance laws by the Free Market Five on the Supreme Court, we can expect to see more hollowing out of reform at the state level.  (I would guess that national elections won't be nearly as influenced by the tide of dark money as local elections.)
So, if you're as disgusted by Florida's "Stand Your Ground and Kill A Colored" laws, the only thing to do is not to go to Florida.

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