The Widdershins

A perfect hamster wheel…

Posted on: June 3, 2014

Good afternoon Widdershins. By now you have grown tired of my vacuous ramblings, but today is the last you’ll hear from me until next week. According to applicable OSHA standards, there’s only so much “prolixitude” to which a body should be exposed in any five-day period.

hamster wheel

Last weekend was the Republican Leadership Conference in New Orleans. In a presidential year, as it will be next year, it is usually a cattle call for potential candidates. This year there was but a smattering of presidential “wannabes,” but the more virulent battle was one being fought just below the surface of the pasty-white attendees.

Was the battle for the soul of the conservative movement? Were the salvos for the balance between conviction and compromise? Was the hand-to-hand combat about purity and pragmatism?

Or were the real spoils of war capturing the lion’s share of donations to line the pockets of the provocateurs, faux martyrs, and plain old grifters? So much for Reince Priebus’ new and improved, more inclusive Republican Party.

It was an all-star lineup of political remixes: There was Donald Trump, the man whose hair could actually spell “birtherism,” there was Herman Cain, who is the new Sesame Street character for the number 9, there was Dinesh D’Souza, fresh off pleading guilty to a felony charge of campaign finance violations, defeated Allen West spouting his usual vitriol, quacking from the daddy duck, Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty, and Ted Cruz, the far-and-away winner of the straw poll conducted on the last day of the carnival coven.

This type of clown convention shouldn’t be a big deal — just annoying. In a world where the provocateurs get equal billing to serious policymaking, it wouldn’t be, but in the current climate where the real energy of the conservative movement is geared toward the shilling of the grifters and its just above flat-line thinking, it is a big deal.

Phil Robertson Quote 1Take for instance daddy duck, Phil Robertson — I am sure he is sincere in his beliefs and he was successful prior to being a reality teevee phenomenon, but his revisionist, relativism in terms of history, the Constitution, and most importantly, theocracy in government, is radically uninformed. But it is this radical misinformation that is the stuff from which this new brand of conservatism draws its energy. It is from this “jonesing” for revisionist history that the faux martyrs and grifters are finding their pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

The groups like DeMint’s Senate Conservatives Fund or Heritage Action are in the business of milking donations much more than affecting anything of political substance. They can gnaw around the edges, throw a few ads toward Tea Party obstructionists, but at the end of the day “administrative costs,” the word for obfuscation of salaries, take upwards of ninety cents on the dollar.

Of course there are those who say this is all relative because both parties have these grifters and scam artists. They can say it, but it simply isn‘t true. There are no failed Democrats out hawking book sales while auditioning for an hour on Fox. There are no “left” equivalents to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. There is no progressive infrastructure for pre-purchasing books to get a putative author like Matt Kibbe of FreedomWorks on the NYT’s best seller list one week and then disappearing the next.

This last scam of salting book sales is particularly insidious, but it is a shell game perfectly illustrating the big money to be made. Soliciting donations to “make a difference” means merely making a difference in the lives of the PAC’s employees by paying their salaries in order for them to write a book and then have the organization “prepurchase” the books again putting money in the pocket of the donation-fed author while offering the book as a “thank you” for further donations from the unsuspecting patsy donors. Great work if you can get it — only downside, selling your soul and dignity, that is, if you had ever experienced those traits.

This is important because it is the basis of the “do-nothing” Congress and the stagnation of any effective policy. Just hamster wheel for salelast week, John Boehner had to postpone a vote on a continuing resolution to fund government operations past September 30th. It failed because Boehner couldn’t muster the votes because the Tea Party Republicans want — wait for it, wait for it, Obamacare off the books — more repeal votes conveniently scheduled a month before the midterms. Yes, the possibility of another government shutdown and default in October — as crazy as it seems, it is a real possibility. The villains in thwarting Boehner:  Heritage Action, Club for Growth, FreedomWorks, and the Conservative Senate Fund.

For the time being this strategy is filling the coffers of these groups and the pockets of their minions. More visibility means more money. More money means more impetus for outrageousness and revisionism. More outrageousness means more visibility and so it begins again — all the essential elements for a perfect hamster wheel.

This is an open thread.




14 Responses to "A perfect hamster wheel…"

I bask in prolixitude.

@1, if the condition lasts more than 4 seconds, seek medical assistance immediately.

An image of what/who was there a this shindig. It is so telling because you don’t sustain a political party when this is what your avg. member looks like. It’s not that this is a picture of a woman, but rather an older woman. Their demographic is going to die off.

And don’t forget that lil booby was there and so was La Palin. Wonder what she charged for her appearance?

How’s this for a winning picture?

The redneck version of “Lord of the Rings”? e.g. “Lord of the Quacks”,

According to Politico, (meh) Hillary is going to be doing a Town Hall event on CNN.

Hillary Clinton will participate in a town hall event moderated by CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour, per Mike Allen. The special broadcast will air live on CNN at 5 p.m. ET on Tuesday, June 17, from the Newseum in Washington.

Clinton will take questions from Amanpour and members of the public “with no subjects off limits,” a press release states. “Leading up to the broadcast, Jake Tapper will anchor a special hour of The Lead live from the Newseum. Following the Town Hall, Wolf Blitzer will anchor The Situation Room from the Newseum, where he will speak to members of the audience.”

Interesting. I would have loved to have seen her on Fox, but Comcast was napping that evening.

chat said: but Comcast was napping that evening.

Was she on Fox recently? Didn’t know anything about that.

Sunday, I believe/ Or maybe they just discussed her. Unsure.

I saw that about Palin and the beard. Strange bedfellows.

Prolix, your posts are so wonderful. I don’t know where you get the energy!

annie@13: He’s a fantastic writer!

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