So there you sit with a bomb in your head.
It's a bomb which will detonate if you ever admit -- even for a moment, even to yourself -- that the Evil Libruls have ever been right about anything.
If detonated, this bomb will not only annihilate your identity, your ideals and your faith...not only destroy your standing in the community, the esteem of your friends, the respect of your spouse and children and, potentially, your livelihood...but it will also utterly humiliate you.
Should that bomb ever go off you would be forced to admit that have gotten really, really important things terribly wrong for the last 10...20...30...40 years.
That you trusted liars and hucksters with lives of your country and family -- liars and hucksters whose bullshit was painfully obvious to others but to which you were happily, willfully oblivious. That you gave these liars and hucksters your votes, your money, your irreplaceable time, your country and your heart even as they were pissing in your cow-dumb face and laughing at you behind your back.
Should that bomb ever go off you would be forced to admit that you not only loudly cheered on the destroyers of your country -- that you actually paid for the privilege --
but actively worked to cripple the efforts of those who first tried to warn you and then tried to save you.
Forced to eat all of your bile-soaked tirades.
Forced to admit before the whole world that you have a chump and a moron of the First Water
It does not matter how many charts Erza Klein generates or how loud the pleas for compromise from the imbecile Center, there is no possibility that our political system will get healthy anytime soon as long as 1/3 of our political ecosystem -- the American Conservative portion -- is stocked from floor to ceiling with people with this bomb in their heads.
As I wrote three years ago, I would be fucking delighted if this were not true...
I would be delighted if the GOP were to transubstantiate itself into something humane, pragmatic, data-drive and debate-worthy, because God knows we need all hands on deck these days.
But they won't -- they can't -- and so you now have the spectacle of a party/movement/cult that, on the one hand, clearly has no fucking idea what its core values even are anymore, but on the other hand is sprinting from camera to camera reassuring themselves that all they need do rebrand their atrocious ideology instead of rethinking it.
And if all this sounds a trifle familiar, it is because it is a shot-for-shot remake of the same incandescently brilliant strategy they trotted out after getting their milkshakes chugged in 2006.
Because ignorance and racism yoked to the service of plutocracy is not some weird, leftover ornament from the Very Very White Christmas
To be an American Conservative means that every day terrifying reality impinges a little more; every day history conspires a little harder to flick sparks at the detonation cord which will obliterate you. And since all compromise is surrender, and surrender sets off the bomb, rather than sue Reality for peace, they have left themselves no choice but to scrape together anything that might ignite the fuse -- all of their bigotries, all of their paranoid delusions, all of their crackpot notions of good and God and government -- into one, big pile, defend it all collectively as a Holy Cause.
of an age gone by.
Or as Ripley over at Whiskey Fire eloquently put it:
Reformers. But… but, they just can’t help themselves. Like well-dressed junkies, they go back to get their fix; like spoiled children, they break down and cry and demand attention; like washed up athletes and Little Misses, they can’t stop talking about their Glory Days, when what they did mattered, at least to them.
And they expect America to sit quietly, smile politely and listen, once again, to how they could throw that football over that mountain. How, if things were different, they would have won. But always, always, revisiting whatever scene makes the best excuse and gets the most sympathy. And for Republicans, it’s always 9/11/2001. Always.
Ignoring both the slowly suffocating voices of their own consciences as well as the advice of party stalwarts like Barry “Every good Christian should line up and kick Jerry Falwell's ass" Goldwater, the GOP spent the last 30 years wallowing luxuriously in the electoral mudhole that Richard Nixon clawed into the soft, red clay of Lester Maddox’s Georgia and George Wallace’s Alabama.
Simple.Because it fucking worked.
Because coaxing every miscreant, homophobe, gun nut, blood-and-soil Aryan nationalist, garden variety bigot and Christopath out from under every rock and rotting log in the Confederacy, down a rose-petal-strewn red carpet and into the Party of Lincoln won elections.
And never look back.
Being bigoted, atavistic assholes is the hill they have decided to die on
And nothing is ever going to turn them around.