Tuesday, 1 May 2012

May 1 -- All is not bleak

Without ignoring the thesis of this blog, that of the accelerating demise of the biped race, May 1st does seem to me a good moment to pause and consider any bright-ish signs peeking over the horizon, even if it requires a squint. Despite all, I find a number of encouraging developments.

Lest my friends become alarmed at any decadent optimism, let’s begin with a perverse celebration of the complete freak-out of the Republican-Murdochian-Teabaggarian reactionary camp. Their rhetoric and behavior is increasingly shocking even to their supposed peers, and they continue to move the goalposts of their own sanity. The messianic tone of their crusades and pronouncements indicates atrophy of their strategic faculties, and this is encouraging. Denouncing birth control, for example, already has generated a backlash among women like Sandra Flake and could even shift the centerpiece of the social issues war from abortion to gender equality—which is what it was about all along. If we were Egypt or Yemen, appealing to medieval views of women’s role might be a winning platform. In Oregon and Florida, not so much.

Similarly, I think it’s just great that the Romney campaign has been forced to bounce its openly gay staffer, and no doubt some people will think that’s just terrible of me to say. Too bad, queens who work against their own and others’ interests in the wacko Christian camp can piss off up a rope—I have no sympathy for them and hereby proclaim they should go get honest jobs.

Speaking of glee over other people’s bad luck, let’s have three cheers for the imminent defeat of crusty old Richard Lugar of Indiana at the hands of his own inflamed, nasty constituents. I covered Capitol Hill in the 1970s and ’80s when another so-called Republican ‘moderate’, Charles Percy of next-door Illinois, was a leading member and considered Very Serious by all the chin-stroking pundit crowd. I remember personally pursuing him for a comment about the peasants of El Salvador who were being rounded up and tortured by Ron Reagan’s favorite death squads. Needless to say, I got nowhere; he dismissed my questions with disdain, and his staffers told me to get lost. Business of State was being attended to—we need not hear irrelevant stories of commie-symp tortilla-eaters in an obscure backwater. So much for the marvy moderates. Apparently, Lugar had an independent streak, but his party doesn’t want to hear about it. He and his colleagues might have seen that tendency coming instead of pumping up their worst tendencies for short-term gain.

Another happy thought: Occupy is back! I couldn’t take the ‘general strike’ nonsense seriously, but it’s wonderful to see people marching against the 1%ers again, especially since greed is back and thriving like never before. It will be interesting to see if the movement is boxed into a dead-end, pro-Obama mode as certain forces would like. My sign—which I may yet paint and carry—will read “Democrats: Corrupt. Republicans: Corrupt and INSANE”.

ALEC’s troubled sleep: Color of Change and other Internet mobilizers have done a nice job exposing the evil minds at the American Legislative Exchange Council behind the Stand Your Ground law that contributed mightily to the death of Trayvon Martin. Now, that stealth-corporate shadow legislature dominating many state legislatures has been exposed to the uncomfortable glare of publicity. It will still be around but no longer as a closet lobbyist leaving no fingerprints. Good.

And the Trayvon Martin case itself is another positive development. His killer may still get off, but the facts are likely to come out at long last. It’s a sad commentary that it took a massive, national publicity campaign to get a homicide charge after a homicide, but hey, we’ll take it.

Finally, there is wonderful news of enormous potential import coming from merry old England, where the gargoyle Murdoch has just been declared a ‘person unfit’ to lead a major corporation. This is devastating and could have a ripple effect on his U.S. media empire, including the poison-spewing Fox. Could we be turning a corner on bile?

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