Friday, May 01, 2009

The "Anarchists' Convention" Republican

I never was a lefty, so I couldn't make much sense of the various schisms and divisions and splits and feuds that grew within lefty movements. John Sayle's short story "The Anarchists' Convention" [collected in the book of the same name] captured the idiocy of it all: the fights over trivial issues, doctrinal tussles that seemed medieval, personal slights that grew into great battles with no discernable external effect, and the long-burning feuds that are rarely referred to openly but which twist a petty vendetta machine into an "ideology."

I suspect this process is why Mickey Kaus is now unreadable by few besides Glenn Reynolds. Someone pissed Kaus off in the eighties and he can't get over it-- but he also can't explain it or even understand he's caught up in it any more than the people in the Sayle's story can.

Such a grand movement! A glorious impulse (real or imagined) that splintered into petty and irreconcilable shards of supposedly similarly intentioned do-gooders, each of which had, to others in the movement, an unseen despicable purpose. To outsiders it was all so labrynthine, so boring, so idiotic, and so utterly without purpose. However, if you're a villager, it all makes senese.

I said I wasn't a lefty, so I never bought into this kind of cannibalism. I've long been a Democrat, so I saw tough times but not nihilism like the lefties and anarchists see daily -- and not what the Republicans see now.

The GOP seems to be approaching that territory now. [With the understanding that Republicans will always have a large set of Big Money Boys to fill a trough in which all can abide.] The Teabag Parties are a good sign of this already -- God help us if the capital L Lefties had a Pacifica Radio that was as large and as well-funded as Fox News. The Teabag Parties would have hyper-caffeinated all US soil and all its territorial waters.

As I said, the Big Money Boys won't let this go on for long. They'll have a few "thinktanks" and some astroturf to salvage what will become a pretty strong braindead group from all this detritus of their movement. And facts on the ground will make things easier for them, I'm sure (things will get better, which they will exploit; or things will get worse, which they will exploit).

But it's fun to watch for now, because it's a spectacular flameout.

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