The increasingly surreal reality show that is the Republican Convention is rapidly shaping up to be one of the most offensive displays of mendacity, racism, and bloodlust the Republicans have yet performed, as evidenced in the “color” stories coming out of it. From a black CNN camera operator pelted with nuts by some slack-jawed cracker slurring, “this is how we feed animals,” and a Puerto Rican billionairess speaker shouted down by the mob chanting, “USA,” Ann Romney waxing lyrical about her “real” marriage, to a bloated and surly Chris Christie bragging about union-busting in his laughable fake Sopranos style, the whole undeniably engrossing spectacle, harried by a hurricane, is just a few midgets shy of a Fellini movie.
Better yet, the whole theme of the convention, “We Built That,” is based on just another well-marketed lie, and yet takes place in a facility financed largely by taxpayer dollars. Seriously, I couldn’t make this up if I tried. Those who not inaccurately call this the first post-truth election might be missing the point; this election, fittingly being orchestrated behind the scenes with the help of Karl Rove, seems to no longer have much need to hide the truth. Post Citizens United, they no longer have to. What else could explain the 150 foot yacht emblazoned with the flag of the Cayman Islands? They just aren’t bothering anymore. They bought it, it’s theirs, and they’re coming to take possession.
Of course in the past sociopathic billionaires have always trotted out irrelevant cultural conflicts to distract the rubes while they empty the cash drawer, but this time they’re feeling so above it all that they don’t mind letting the rubes just have what they want already. Draconian laws against women or gays won’t ever affect anyone they know; laws, after all, are only for the little people. And the other disasters they are gleefully creating, like global warming, universal poverty, and a poisoned environment can surely be hedged by leaving their untaxed billions to their heirs. All that money will buy a hell of a lot of air conditioners, security guards, and bottled water.
In short, what Lincoln quaintly called the government for, of, and by the people is being bought, at fire sale prices, by a cabal of nut jobs who simply can’t sleep nights knowing that somewhere, someone on the planet isn’t living 13 to a room, working 16 hours for a bowl of rice each day from age 6 until they’re finally buried in a pauper’s grave. Remember the Servant Problem that briefly plagued the super rich in the middle of the last century? They’ve got that all solved. Worse, a disturbingly large number of exquisitely indoctrinated mouth-breathers are cheering them on, all the way to the sweatshop.
You have to hand it to them, really. Ideas that seem self-defeating on the surface, like scapegoating immigrants, turn out to have an elegant symmetry; any potentially costly labor shortages can be more than offset by forcing desperate young women into compulsive and profligate childbearing. (Newt Gingrich’s hearty endorsement of child labor let the cat out of the bag on that one…) Three decades of union-busting and monopolization has rendered what little domestic workforce is still required in their globalized Utopia beaten and resentful, while a relentless barrage of utter horseshit parroted by a bought-off media has fooled a critical mass of voters into mixing up the victims with the perpetrators.
As the convention unfolds, the only thing remarkable about it is that 2012 is, refreshingly openly, the year that a bunch of what Teddy Roosevelt called “malefactors of great wealth” decided to just go for the whole enchilada, for no other reason than because they can. And on that liberal media bastion, CNN, bankster spouse Erin Burnett shed tears of joy over the whole thing. If the scheme works, the rest of us will soon be shedding the more common kind of tears.