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Rahm & Schumer, LLC, Cosmetic Surgery

By Owen Paine on Saturday September 16, 2006 04:11 PM

Reconsider if you will an earlier post of Father Smiff's. In it, the reverend father pastes up passages from an article in The Nation by some eager ambitious elf. I point it out because I think it answers an important musical question: "how is the donk party preparing itself for the day half power is restored?"

It's answered with one nice phrase turn, and I suggest you notice it with care: the phrase "the Democratic Party's renewal."

I claim that sez all -- renewal as in not reformation, not resurgence, not even quest, let alone transformation -- just... "renewal".

Back a while ago I read somewhere a soc sci piece that divided midnight America into two very distinct Weberian types -- those who salivated to the cry "social justice," and those who did the same to the call "social renewal." I'm sure I needn't bore you all by explicating the fairly obvious implied content of this distinction -- not for you lot. But lets call 'em blue-lighters vs. red-lighters. Now, we may have the two lights and two types out there among the people, but we got only one kinda party -- and it's not a blend; it's not purple party politics. We got a pair of me-too grapplers trying to square the circle, or at least circle the square.

Nope, the big two have drifted so far right, they're both red-lighters now -- social renew-ers, and social justice be damned.

So if your a renew-er you got nothin' to do but look like a fresher breath of renewal. Hence the TV makeover show treatment, as applied to the look of the party. Yes, the war mules and the mommy dearests, fresh blood, but also the goose-up of the old guard too, as in an all-surfaces rejuvenation. Boytox and girltox too. This is really all there is to today's donkery-do.

And then of course comes The Nation. Is it too turning into nothing other then a renew-er outlet, a Kosnik senior citizin circuit? Hackneyed images of rebottled old wine ought to be poisoning Katrina's pert head. How can she endorse this beggars' opera... and with teared eye too?

The Nation! Nursery of I.F. Stone and Alex Cockburn. Oh, as Fr. Smiff would say, quomodo ceciderunt potestates in proelio -- how are the mighty fallen.

But I'm sure the Nationistas are convinced they're being very courageous, and in a way it is. I mean, think a moment -- ain't it courageous to face the electorate like an aging gladiator facing a trio of hungry lions, and act spry and ready to rumble? Sacrifices have been made! Faces have gone under the knife! No more Teddy trusswork -- fat cells, real live fat cells have been vacuumed away, and by the tons.

What we are witnessing here is the major minor party of public repute under the care of doctors without mercy -- tough love doctors -- those crazed and sadistic surgeons of cosmetic politics, doctors Rhambo and Mushschooom.

"Let's get the look of victory added to this chin -- the look of frontier vigor -- nurse, get me the Tank Mcnamara implant!

"Dutch, for fuck sake, you're Lardass Incorporated -- how is this gonna look? Get the blubber sucker, Ms Pinch -- the industrial strength blubber sucker.

"What, she only has one limb gone? Jesus, do I have to do everything around here? Okay, it's way too late to find a three-off now. We'll just have to harvest the other leg. What are you waitin' for? Now, soldier, now!

"I said pimp pouch, asshole, not mouse pouch! Look at the decrepit old fucker -- shit, he looks like a tumbleweed. We gotta give him some soul-on-ice fury here. We need an Eldridge Cleaver body here, with a 65 year old white head on it. Make him mean and horny. Yes, the royal extra large pimp pouch."

No matter what they take off or add on, its the same old same-old under the hood. But no more the defeatist look! No more Tom Daschle and the castrato chorus, no more old college try.
"Listen up, you duffers. If we donks are coming back, it's gotta look like a hard charge. We can't stumble up the hill. We can't play it for nostalgia. This is not an oldtimers' game. It's gotta look like we're new, we're mad, and we're takin' no prisoners."
Imagine the Herculean task that must be, trying to pass off these retreads, these sour-patch kids, as a stem-to-stern party transformed. A single look at the lineup of faces (and behinds) shows they're just a juiced-up, steam-bathed, rouged-over pack of casino clowns. But hey, they're ready to... ahh -- ready to what? Hobble, that's what -- hobble and heehaw. Put this string of sorefooted swaybacks (albeit with arrow-straight fiberglass spinal implants) under a full pack of legislation and they'll... founder. But then, imagine how just that one charge up the Capitol steps will task those old flaccid muscles.

Ah the pain of the aging glamour girl. Ronnie Reagan knew about it -- all about it. But potbellied, brew-breathed Tip O'Neill never did -- and ain't that the story of the early 80's? Lesson: when you plan on putting the country into neutral, look smart and gustoized while you're doing it. And give 'em a lot of twinkle, and snort some, too -- make fierce faces, fierce but kindhearted, like Ferdinand the Bull.

So we await the curtain rise this November, and do we dare hope Tip's party will now know the pain of looking good outside, when inside you're a senile fucking wreck?

"Paging Doctor Rahm...Doctor Rahm. Mr. Rangel is ready for his white soak."

Comments (9)

Paging Doctor..._Rahm_?

I was thinking more like:
"Doctor Howard, Doctor Fine, Doctor Howard!"


Awfully funny, Michael! Prety much unanswerable! But tell me the truth --don't you even a little bit relish the prospect of ridiculing the Dems when they IN power, instead of out? With Bush you merely have to point out that what he says is absurd; with the Dems you get to deconstruct concepts like "humanitarian intervention". It's so much more intellectually stimulating.

It's also a better fight. Wait until they're a little puffed up, rather than the frightened fools they are now.

js paine:

i sense the eyes
my personal rep
barnyard barney frank
are upon us here

if so
u use the phrase:

"the legitimate functioning of financial intermediaries in a responsible capitalist system"

got me to think
vis a vis the house

how 'bout
the functioning of political intermediaries
in a responsible republic

where do you and the late buddy hackett
stand on
the clash
between jj rouseau and jim madison
over the prescriptive vs descriptive
laws of motion
of an intermediary elected body
operating to transmute
the people as

a gaggle of special interests (mad)
special wills (rou)


the people as

a general interest (mad)
vs a general will (rou)

are you with me barney ole boy ????

if not
consider this:

the difference between rouseau's notion
of a will
and madison's of an interest
is the difference between
an implicit destiny
and an equilibrium

maybe thats where you run afoul of yourself
you like balancing err juggling golden apples

when you ought to be after
the new jerusalem


JS, what is all that about? Neither Madison nor Rousseau say anything relevant to contemporary US mass democracy. Unless you take "interest" to mean corporate, financial interest. Then, yes, government can be said to balance interests, by auctioning its services to the highest bidders.

But what in the world can you mean by "implicit destiny" and "golden apples"?

Why not just say, with Michael Parenti, our venerable system of checks and balances is intended to frustrate any popular movement from gaining power?

J. Alva Scruggs:

There's a Golden Egg dilemma to the elite dilalectic. To keep harvesting the labor, some concessions to the geese must be made. Waterboarding them does it have its short term benefits, but they tend to sicken. Those that can, leave the mainstream economy to the greatest extent possible, and take their labor with them. Soros gets it, to a certain extent. A compleat frustration of aspirations and imprisoned industry would hurt his fortunes and the fortunes of his class. He cherishes the noble ideal of a free range flock. The control class gets all sphinctery at the thought letting labor self-manage. They wouldn't be labor if they had any managerial aptitude.


J Alva, you make a good point. But Golden Eggs isnt Golden Apples, and what does either have to do with New Jerusalem?
JS also makes good points, but his madcap "vers libre" obscures more than it reveals. Why is this site so obscurantist at times? What is it trying to hide?

js paine:


why comrade i have nothing to hide...

of course the spider

said that to the fly didn't he

as to general interests versus general wills
my view on general interests translated
into todays traffic ???

i'd guess you say it well enough
"... take 'interest' to mean corporate, financial interest" and these are weighed in the balance
and sufficient body wide tilt to one side often gets a bill passed
ie the rep in the middle
doing the "mediating "
juggles these golden apples

but then you go and spoil it all
by this flat liner

"government (here the house)
can be said to balance interests, by auctioning its services to the highest bidders"

if it were that bald faced
the prices would spiral up
eating all the rents
the corporations realizing
two party competition and diversity of voting
would paradoxically
lower vote costs

and seeing this
would end the practice in one election cycle
by financing a reform movement

recall akim tamiroff as the boss in the great mcginty

"i ammmmm theeee reform party"

no the reps are bought first
as candidates in quest of money
but the rules of the game
require they not stay bought
and so they prove contrary
or slippery
once elected
and require further negotiations
make excuses
and end up retailing votes
behind a vast cloud of twinkling hooey

for election money off budget perks
and appointment spoils
all the while
the body remaining a plurality
divided by party buteach member at heart
loyal only to themselves

this is far from
a monolith auctioning itself
as a whole then crafting the narrow
majority as individual brands require

at best we can rescue your formulation
by saying each rep sells his vote
or group of related votes
to the higher of the no yes factions
and not all reps
are for sale to the same set
of higher bidders
only enough of them enough of the time
to make fighting for votes worth while

this watering down and these internal complexities like party whips and funding
log rolling cunctation etc etc
plus the popular vote competition
so easily over valued as a long run
on open vote salesgiven our deep dish
mono partisan pro incumbancy district structure

at least all this fluff and feathers
jim's conception from total ass status

but then in higher spirit
you're surely right
todays body is closer to a guilded age body
then madison's own
federal period body

as to general will
re-lire jjr
let this hold you till then
the general wiill is neither selfish or altruistic

its more like the result of social science

the laws of motion
only with a buried final state
pre figured heruistically
in the minds of us all as more freedom
and articulated thru history
as stages from freedom to bondage
from bondage to liberation
the new jerusalem

my point above
el barn hen
has not the strength of character
to follow
his natural born freedom heuristic

that is
outside his bedroom

his progressive veneer is one issue deep
only familly back ground
his district and
the rigors
of log rolling make it seem like more

scratch herr frank open a few inches
and 10 to 1 u'll find the late roy cohn underneath


Fair enough, JS. I accept all of your emendations and corrections to my one-liner. As a visitor I feel I have to keep it short.

Interesting that you refer to JJR. I was just reading about Fichte, whose views of freedom embodied in history are somewhat like JJ's implicit will. The ideal state Fichte envisioned at the end of his career sounds pretty totalitarian to a modern.

js paine:

"The ideal state Fichte envisioned at the end of his career sounds pretty totalitarian to a modern"

so does mine bobw

nobody expects ...the cultural revolution

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on Saturday September 16, 2006 04:11 PM.

The previous post in this blog was Get out while the gettin's good.

The next post in this blog is Offenses against human dignity, Chapter XXXVII.

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