You, of course, knew that I was right all along about Guccifer 2.0.
— WASHINGTON (AP) … [Guccifer 2.0] appeared particularly excited to hear on June 24 that his leaks had sparked a lawsuit against the DNC by disgruntled supporters of Clinton rival Bernie Sanders. “Can it influence the election in any how?” he asked a journalist with Russia’s Sputnik News, in uneven English.
Later that month Guccifer 2.0 began directing reporters to the newly launched DCLeaks site, which was also dribbling out stolen material on Democrats. When WikiLeaks joined the fray on July 22 with its own disclosures the leaks metastasized into a crisis, triggering intraparty feuding that forced the resignation of the DNC’s chairwoman and drew angry protests at the Democratic National Convention. Guccifer 2.0, WikiLeaks and DCLeaks ultimately published more than 150,000 emails stolen from more than a dozen Democrats, according to an AP count.
I am writing to you because you know that I’ve been trying to fight this divorce of realities — quaintly termed “polarization” — in print since the early 1990s when I was a columnist for the Santa Fe Sun. I tried to warn about the neoconfederates. About the resurgent “Ayn Rand” Me-First! politics that was slowly infecting the Republican Party. I was old enough to remember William F. Buckley’s withering denunciation of Ayn Rand (and by extension the entire libertarian cult) and have since watched our society lose any sense of how government worked of how governance worked and how spelling worked.
I tried to warn them about Foster Friess, long before he was spotted behind Rick Santorum in the Iowa Primary in 2012. Warn them about the toxic new “Christianity” that idolatrously enshrines a book as unerring and infallible, and recites a new, NON-Nicene Creed as their Oath of Allegiance. And about the Biggest Charity You Never Heard Of, funneling investment portfolios into Right wing foundations and politicking “charities.” Tried (successfully) to warn them about Manhattan Millionaires bankrolling Frankenstein legislation (ballot measures, initiatives, questions) in states from coast to coast. Then to attempting to bribe an entire state election cycle. (Which has cropped up in the news again this week).
I tried to warn against the creation of false narratives using false facts, the creation of “first impression” conditioning that is nearly impossible to eradicate. The manner in which politics was more and more about Pavlovian Conditioning and less and less about issues and self-governance. How we were slowly becoming the imitation of “democracy” but that when, increasingly, the party with the most votes LOSES, there is zero doubt that someone’s cheating.
I tried to warn them about Robert Mercer and his daughters back in 2010, and how he made his zillions with Renaissance Technologies: as leeches that contribute nothing to the actual stock market (which is about obtaining CAPITAL to invest in new facilities, etc. to “grow” the business) when all his company does is use little advantages in information scanning technology (Mercer and his uber-liberal co-chair came by invitation of the founder because they were speech recognition experts, do the math) and gazillions of fast trades to make pennies on stock transactions but do it thousands, hundreds of thousands, millions of times a day.
As far as Society goes, they are pure parasites. Using their tech skills to game the system without contributing a thing? Funny thing for an Ayn Rand “maker” to be doing.
And I tried that he was an Ayn Rand freak who was bankrolling political operations–more than just the congressional race Rachel Maddow covered — my congressman. I tried to warn that he was joining the Koch Brothers’ Millionaires’ Union.
Oh hell, I tried to warn them about the Koch Brothers.
I might as well have been shouting to the deaf. Painting for the blind. Cooking steak for a vegetarian. Giving macramé lessons to sea-dwelling invertebrates.
But the reason that I’m writing to you, Posterity, is because I had read about this sort of thing, but could not believe it. You know: the Antebellum, where the frog boiled for ten years in “Bleeding Kansas” and with an elderly Senator caned on the floor of Congress so badly that he was maimed for life, and the Southern Congressman who did the deed never paid any price for it.
How, ultimately, an entire middle class of white men who, by and large, could not afford to own slaves, went to war and died for a made-up cause that was, in fact, slavery. How the Owner class created an entire mythology and narrative that seduced a class who were actually being held DOWN by slavery. Can’t begin the union movements when you can be replaced by scabs who do the job as property. Can’t raise your price for your basic services if your price can be negated by slave labor.
But they went ahead and fought and died AGAINST their own self-interest, for a cause that was actually antithetical to them. But the con was laid down SO WELL that their ancestors still hold out the “lost cause” (a mythology invented retroactively around 1900).
How could such things happen? I wondered.
And that’s why I wanted to write to you, posterity, to let you know that I finally understand it. I guess you have to live in it to realize it. And I wanted to tell you what it feels like, so that you have a sense of the zeitgeist.
It’s really been the story of the boiling frog. It’s crept up on us by degrees until chaos seems the only constant and the “normalcy” of long ago seems entirely a myth.
We lost the constant fear and paranoia cloud of the Cold War and for a while it seemed truly amazing. The internet opened up. The world unclenched a little. We were able, in the short time we had access to the old KGB files, to answer the question of “Were the Rosenbergs REALLY guilty” and “Did Alger Hiss do it in the Pumpkin Patch?” The world looked on a glide path to a more peaceful and safe future.
And then we had Nine-lebbin and the endless war. The USA went BF crazeee and overreacted in the manner Osama bin Laden hoped, and we are STILL in that long, “Br’er Rabbit and the Tar Baby” war, and still in Afghanistan, after HAVING WATCHED THE USSR DIE IN AFGHANISTAN.
Santayana would weep. Not only do we not learn from history, we want to repeat its mistakes bigger and yuger. (sic)
By that time, we’d endured twelve years of Reagan-Bush and then eight years (minus the first two, when GOPs successfully stymied the Clinton Administration) of Witch Hunts ultimately leading to an impeachment by a House of Representatives whose Speaker was banging his secretary while the House impeached and then the Senate tried the President of the United States of America over a blow job. Even now it sounds nuts. Even after having endured it, it seems ridiculous to even say.
As you know, Posterity, history gets away with plot twists that no professional writer would ever suggest and no editor would ever accept. As a matter of course.
Then we had the stolen election of 2000 — which turned out, when all the Florida ballots were recounted by a media consortium, to have been won by Gore under all chad scenarios, hanging and un but the news was consigned to page 17 because we’d just had NINE-LEBBIN and patriotism HAD to trump truth.
And it felt surreal to me. And for eight straight years, every time I saw Bush and/or Cheney, the hackles stood up on the back of my neck, and I hissed the full enunciated acronym S.O.B.
And then eight years of Obama cleaning up THEIR mess, while Tea Partiers screamed that we were being A) taxed to death and B) accessories to the murder of our grandchildren because of the DEFICIT and HUGE NATIONAL DEBT! And, just like the Newt’s Contract on America days, the Republicans scored big wins, taking over the House of Representatives and doing NOTHING for the remainder of the Obama Administration.
Then the “miracle” of the last stolen election, again with the losing party and national candidate getting significantly MORE votes than the winning party and candidate Mirable dictu! Zut Alors!
Let me put it this way. The last time I was up the Santa Fe Trail, in the mid 90s, heading East from New Mexico and the Oklahoma panhandle on US 56, you come to Dodge City, eventually. On the East Side, there was a section of the WalMart parking lot cordoned off for Dunker buggies and their horse teams. It’s gone now, and there’s a SUPERCenter, five times bigger in a slightly different place.
On the West side, a couple miles out of town there used to be a smell. It was deep and rich and overpowering in its stench. It was the Dodge City feed lot. If you go there today, there’s even a pullout on US 56/283 marked “Feed Yard Scenic Overlook.”
It may be “scenic” — if you stretch the notion of “scenic” to include just about anything — but it isn’t the SIGHT that’s making your eyes water.
The lost continent of Moo
Every morning of my life since November 8th of last year has been like waking up next to that Dodge City feed lot. The psychic stench is bad and it won’t go away. I have noticed a frightening tendency to tune it out, but that’s the whole feeling of this time: everyone is in denial, is happy to listen to the steady drip drip drip both of the unreconstructed evil of this Maladministration and of the revelations of collusion, conspiracy and criminality brought out, revelation by revelation, day by day.
And it is relentless, this stockyard stench of the Malevolent Cheeto®. A steady drumbeat of insanity that hearkens to the old voodoo drums of bad movies and bad movie clichés. Our politics is ever changed. The seat of reason is dethroned. In its place, the amygdala, the reptile brain now rules supreme.
Whosoever shall stimulate the reptile brain the most wins. Zowie!
The Book of Schmucks, 3:12
I have watched my nation split in two as a cynical class has bought up all media, and promulgated a propaganda campaign within the wagons-in-a-circle of fear, paranoia and perceived victimhood that dehumanizes US, who are not within that circle, into the classic enemy. The Kraut. The Jap. The Wop. The Libtard. The Snowflake.
And I have watched record gun sales and record ammo sales year after year, even as the incidence of gun violence and MASS SHOOTINGS has ramped up to the point that they’re not good for more than a few news cycles. The Las Vegas Massacre was about one month ago. We’re too busy dealing with the latest madness.
And the secretary Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich was banging on the Speaker’s desk is now the United States Ambassador to the Vatican.
I will not lie to you, Posterity. It is just weird beyond words.
And the real weirdness is how everyone is doing their best to act normal, to live normal lives and pretend that it’s not weird, which is even WEIRDER still.
I just thought you might like to know what it feels like to be in one of these strange places in history.
You don’t have to write back.