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Sometimes I feel discouraged, and think my work's in vain...

By Michael J. Smith on Thursday January 7, 2010 09:04 PM

... but then I visit Daily Kos, and realize that though I am no General William Booth, shown below --

... nevertheless somebody needs to keep trying, however vainly, to rescue these poor souls, wandering in an intellectual and spiritual desert, and doing violence at every turn to the better angels of their nature. Here's an example:

In recent days, Dick Cheney and his Republican buddies have been claiming that President Obama not only refuses to say we are at war with terrorist networks like Al Qaeda, but won’t even talk about terrorism at all. Their claim, however, has no basis in reality. In fact, as this brief compilation of video clips from 27 different Presidential speeches shows, the exact opposite is true.
The clip is well worth watching. Our Kosnik is so eager to defend Obie that he makes the prez look like a man with a brain tumor, mechanically babbling some word or phrase at the unquenchable urging of a diseased misfiring neuron. Obie's weird annoying glottal barking tone becomes even more noticeable, and grating, than it usually is, in this lovingly chosen and carefully stitched-together sonic quilt. He's even started to syncopate the second syllable of "terr'rism" and "terr'rist" the way Bush did.

There's a probably unintentional family resemblance between the robotic talking points of the reactionary jerks who introduce the clip, and the stilted zombie-like terr-terr-terr gabble of "President Obama", as our Kosnik obsequiously calls him. What's strange is that the wingnuts at least get to speak full sentences, but the version of Obie we get from his admirer has boiled the discourse down to its essence: who can say the terr- word faster and more frequently, and with the fewest other words nearby to obscure its dark glory and hypnagogic power?

In this clip at least Obie wins hands down. Makes sense. That's the greatest triumph a Kosnik can conceive: to beat the Fascists at their own game.

Which is, of course... Fascism.

Comments (25)


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Har-de-har, the Cheney reflex produces pwog reflux, every time.

It seems that nothing has changed since 2004, when Kerry ran on the "disrupt-and-destroy-better-than-the-other-guys" platform. Oh wait, that's the "capture-and-kill-better-than-the-other-guys" platform that Obama himself ran on.

Not that it would make ANY difference, but if one were to grant the Kosniks any wee pardon, there has been little critical anti-imperialist reporting on what is REALLY going on (or might be going on) in Yemen. And of course the lapdog press remains the lapdog press as always, but there's even less of it for seekers to parse nowadays, amid the collapse of respectably bourgeois grey ladies, and the triumph of celebrity tweets.

As for fascism, I've always disliked prematurely crying wolf, but it DOES seem that the neo-con adventurists (for lack of a better term) are noisily baiting the liberal imperialists (for lack of a better term) in order to mount a public comeback, with the very real possibility that inchoate anger against the neo-liberals running things will allow them to do so. More nefariously, the neo-cons also seem to be resorting to quasi-rogue channels (including JSOC and contacts in the shadow world of mercenary, as opposed to ideological, Islamism) in order to embarrass Obama and Co. Payback for agreeing to only 90% of what the Pentagon wants in Af-Pak, maybe?

That the liberal imperialists are happily falling into line suggests something grave, although I'm not sure what to call it. "Fascism" implies the opportunistic crushing of an organized left, one that doesn't and hasn't meaningfully existed in the US for a long time.

Glue, despite their superior fidelity to the principles of their end of the spectrum, the Glenn Becks of the world serve nothing more than the Kosnik function. They are hooks to keep aging, middle-stratum white men from dropping off the Republican voting rolls. The minute these people get within a mile of actual power, they will be busy assuring people that Mitt Romney is the embodiment of "conservative values."

The coffee-shop wankers who follow these Know Nothings are purely fascists of the chair. They wouldn't (and usually couldn't) walk across the street to do anything beyond yelling for 15 seconds at a city council meeting.


MD, I agree and didn't mean to imply otherwise. The paleocon shock jocks are Nielsen whores first, principled ideologues second, and a meaningful political power bloc third. Rather, I was referring to the ultra-PNAC wing of the foreign policy spectrum trying to overthrow the Brzezinski center-right wing by means of a peaceful media and not-so-peaceful black ops coup. To the extent my "analysis" has any merit, I'm not arguing that the liberal imperialists, being the lesser evil and all, are something we have to grudgingly live with.

As you were, soldier...

Nick Hart:

"For those who seek to advance their aims by inducing terror and slaughtering innocents, we say to you now... we will defeat you!"

Awesome, the US government is going to defeat itself!

Save the Oocytes:

Nick, that's always the way of it.

It takes a long time though...


a nice
where are they now
on the kos kampf would interest me considerably

but i need to be pure consumer
i'm not about to gather
my own wool samples
nor spin it into yarn
and knit a nice warm sweater out of it
i leave that to more industrious hands
then mine

Actually, it was going on five years ago, that I created a similar mashup...


...shortly after the 2005 London subway bombing.

Interesting, how the Obots were doing this to show how tough-on-terrorism their man was, creating something unintentionally hilarious -- similar to comparable mashups of Bush and crew, except that what makes the Obots' piece funnier is that they composed theirs in dead earnest, with total sincerity, without a trace of irony or sarcasm.

I'm hoping there's some wise-ass out there with a copy of Garage Band or something and a little time on his hands who can do a dance-track mashup of our little Daily Kos movie, here.


An occasional strafing run by a rogue neocon helps to keep those with a deep emotional investment in the bogus Reps vs Dems thing scrambling for cover and offering any defense they can of His Oneness. It's a clever psychological ploy as it relies on the natural reluctance of most people to admit that their openly-expressed opinions may be wrong. Once you've got supposed liberals defending Obama's record on terror to protect him against gratuitous neocon assaults, it becomes difficult for them to later dissociate from those views and in fact, oppose Obama on this very basis.

It's kind of like how every time Hillary shows she's as self-serving, ruthless and psychopathic as any man, it's perceived as some sort of victory against those who believe women aren't tough enough to be president. The more the right attacks her and Obama, the stronger they become, and the more liberals ignore or embrace the very flaws that make Hillary and Obama such attractive darlings to the elite. Neocon attacks are the best way to legitimize neo-lib warmongers and psychopaths as well as energize the fascists. It's a win-win tactic all the way for them, as both sides serve their interests.


this bit from a recent tales of our latin
is for those watching for the fascist threat
here in norte amigo


it's by


before the coup ..."The Brazilian CP took a hard line against the left-liberal regime of Goulart, letting him feel the heat from both the much less powerful Left and the much more powerful Right-wing (including the oligarchy and the military)."

after the coup ..." In 1965, the Central Committee of the Brazilian CP conceded its errors..."

errors ???

the bcp cc's words ...

"the underestimation of the danger of a rightist coup, which was considered to be a mere scarecrow, intended to frighten the masses. ..Concentrating our fire on the government, we demanded more and more drastic measures while overlooking our own weaknesses and the shortcomings of the national-democratic movement, as well as the effective correlation of social forces that existed at that time."

now far be it from me to call for a united front HERE today

after all fascism per se is the chosen Rx
for defeated failed state systems
of the bourg-rep-lib-dem kind

yet we have been warned by Clio

let us not endlessly and recklessly
triumph in our clarity comrade sean


a liberal humanist looks at the internal fascist threat


"there are good reasons to pay close attention to the claims, complaints, values, and resentments of the American right today. As Mann discovered a coherent worldview and programme for the future in the rightist authoritarian movements he discusses, so we may find there is greater coherence, greater popular appeal, and greater danger in the rightist movements today. Conservative Christian values, hostility to government and to social welfare provisioning, hostility to unions, antipathy to immigrants, and hateful, inflammatory rhetoric give talk radio and cable television a worrisome coherence."

completely without a sound coherent model
that decisively seperates proto fascist
from other reactionary mass movements
upto and including ones
that take paramilitary forms
and are advocating ethnic and ideological cleansing and the siezure of state power

the old libertarian authoritarian
autocratic democratic
top down bottom up
get played in these chimera theories
of fascism
as if they by their discoverd or synthesized magic formulae/spells
can conjure a real discovery
about the direction and outcome
of contemporary social motions
when all they have is a collection
of fossilizations
and linean categories based on those fossils
and that is ...at best

applicable to the USA today ???

no !!!!


That's just the point, op. We on the left need to be united. But it is not the right that keeps us divided, but the Democratic party. The right is a threat but also a goad to organizing. The DP is just a threat, and keeps what organization there is working against itself. So long as there is this giant sponge out there soaking up liberal energy and using it to power the machine, we will get nowhere.

I have no special insight as to how we are supposed to alert our fellow leftists to the error of their ways, but I should think a little reality therapy is part of the prescription.

I'm all ears for anyone who has any meaningful advice as to how we should reach out to our fellows, but let's also face the fact we currently have no viable alternative to offer.

Michael Hureaux:

Actually, I think the liberal imperialists, of the two factions in power, will most likely be the creators of the new fascism. It won't resemble classic fascism in form, because it won't be led by shouting Beck-its in redneck regalia, which, as someone else pointed out here, requires too much energy. It will be closer akin to Jello Biafra's suede denim secret police, new age benign jerks who know what's best for us all, people with a smiling demeanor who, in the words of those great poets the Situationists, will distribute equitably distributed needle jabs. White supremist to the core, but aligned with the reactionary elements of black, feminist and other culti-mulchural leadership (Obama, Sharpton, Jackson) and other reservation cops who will create the rationalization for the separation of the elect and the damned, merit class style. More "Brave New World" than Orwellian, a population with their faces down in the I phones, laughing because someone told them they should, to cite Neil Postman, not because they can remember why they're laughing.

The ovens will operate on the other side of the world, and in quiet corners of the ghetto here at home. Homelessness will be the new debtor's prison.

That is, until we've had enough, and stomp on them so hard they'll wish to their stupid deaf gods they'd never started this mess. But it will take awhile.

Sean writes:

An occasional strafing run by a rogue neocon helps to keep those with a deep emotional investment in the bogus Reps vs Dems thing scrambling for cover and offering any defense they can of His Oneness...

...or, in the case of those of us who know the score, scrambling for popcorn, beer and a lawn chair. In fact, I enjoy watching Democrats and Liberals shit themselves on these occasions even more as a Leftist -- knowing what the real deal is -- than I would as your garden-variety Teabagger. Hell, I'm actually bored doing cartoons about the Rightists these days; everybody knocks on them, like shooting fish in a barrel. The real thrill for me these days is coming up with cartoons about the Democrats and Liberals -- because, as a previous comment says, they're the real threat to the Left in this country.

Still, while we're on the subject of "rogues" -- while it's certainly a drag to not have as many large, serious Left-wing actions to cover for DC IMC, I can't begin to tell you what a hoot it's been covering the Tea Party/Town Hall scene. They've been a virtual cornucopia of cheap laffs. Same with Sarah Palin. I don't know why my DW is so goddamn' spooked by those people; they're just a goddamn' freak show. They're fucking comical, not scary, or certainly not worth the effort to be scared of, and it totally infuriates the DW to see me not only refusing to join in her fear of Palin and the Teabaggers, but actually delighting in watching the DP and mainline Liberal establishment types taking one in the nuts... from a reclining lawn chair on the left, of course.


I don't think we should underestimate the threat posed by the right, op. That seems to be the mistake your Brazilian friends made in addition to the infighting. But yeah, the idea that the right has a monopoly on authoritarianism is laughable. You have only to enter a roomful of campus political correctnoids to realize that. There is nothing wrong with the working class that couldn't be cured by 3 years in a reeducation camp run by Gloria Steinem.

Mike, I agree the Teabaggers are largely a "tempest in a teapot," and more a source of comic relief than anything. But then, they said the same thing about the Nazis, so I don't think it remiss to keep an eye or two on them. Remember it was an ass clown whose comic antics couldn't have landed him a bit part in Pagliacci who brought us the first regime to be labeled "fascist."


MH: Good God, I think you've just described Bloomberg's NYC.

MIchael Hureaux:

I'm not saying that the hard-liners among the neo-fascist right don't amount to beans. If anything can generate a brownshirt movement at this point, it's going to be some of the corporate media fuckers behind personalities like Glen Beck. But this would be far less likely if the so-called "liberals" and
"progressives" could get themselves to stop allowing the right to set the terms of the political reality. The Obamians had all the momentum a political faction could ask for a year ago, and they chose to squander it lending support to the banking bailout and the so-called war on terror. They've let the "democrats" lead them around by the short hairs since the day after election day. The Obamians whine that they have inadequate votes in the congress, the legislatures etc, when their real option should have been to mobilize the street strength they had a year ago, back before they went and pissed on the bonfire they asked everybody to build.

The Obamians have pissed away a lot of valuable opportunity, and instead of copping to their errors, they insist on everyone giving them a further vote of confidence, and when that fades, they place the blame on their disillusioned followers. They do not trust mass politics, even as they claim they want to take it to the streets. They may not be as rabid as the right, but they do virtually nothing to daylight the right's bullshit. They will be absolutely useless when things start to get really difficult for still more masses of people, and it won't be long now.


"...aligned with the reactionary elements of black, feminist... culti-mulchural leadership .... and other reservation cops who will create the rationalization for the separation of the elect and the damned,
merit class style."
lovely turbulance

"More "Brave New World" than Orwellian"

you bet

" a population with their faces down in the I phones, laughing because someone told them they should... not because they can remember why they're laughing."


"The ovens will operate on the other side of the world, and in quiet corners of the ghetto here at home. Homelessness will be the new debtor's prison. "

poetry beyond the mere situation

I like the comments by Hureaux, but they fuel my ongoing assertion that it's pointless to try and "turn" liberals and "progs." They are too frozen, too hidebound, too locked in their patterns. I think they genuinely enjoy feeling like shit nearly all the time, hence their common slam against, say, Nader-voters that all we care about is "feeling good about our votes." A gross oversimplification of how/why people stray off the compound and why some were never on it in the first place. But when have gross oversimplifications stopped them before?

Superficially, they have some beliefs in common with smelly old outcasts like us. But I've come to the conclusion that anything other than the most superficial political alliance is hopeless-- and even those only kick in when Republicans are in the Oval Office.

I like a great many of these folks, on a personal level, but we have no deep-rooted political kinship. When it comes to brass tacks, in fact, we are enemies. Their constant refrain of "It's a two-party system 4-evah," and their fingers-in-ears-la-la-la act when you try to point out reasonable people that refuse to think that way makes this abundantly clear. They're hooked on their drug and there's no form of rehab they care to seriously investigate. It's a waste of time to even ask them anymore.

Better to try and recruit amongst the ranks of ex-voters, non-voters, and the apolitical, if recruitment is the desired action. It might go better and it certainly couldn't go worse.

Michael Hureaux:

Hear, hear, Ms. X. To paraphrase Bukowski, if such a course contains death, then it at least seems to me a personal choice, rather than one dumped in my lap with the traditional paens to democracy, freedom, and all that other bullshit.

C F Oxtrot:

I like Michael Hureaux's and ms_xeno's take. They are a lot closer to what I see when I examine America, the "left" (as it were), and the Noble Democrats.

Aye, ms. xeno. Aye.

I lack any fondness for conflating the disembodied mutterings of anonymemes, posted in etheria, with real and actual persons, but it seems to me all the same that all those loyalists in Kosnikstan, the Duchy of Huff, BJ, Foldland and the like are really just lost causes of a nasty sort. They'll drag down the whole lot of us, before they ship out a single mea culpa, as if they'd ever have the capacity for introspection in the first.

You don't end up a liberal (or rage-doped liberal, otherwise known as a conservative) unless you want to rule little people and feel good about yourself in dong so.

They're liberals, and whether you agree with Stan Goff's new found Christian anarchism, Goff's 100% correct in assigning to them all the angst-less condemnation they're due.

I quite prefer Beckians, who at least don't have to feign their emotions, however sadly colonized their braincases...

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Stop Me Before I Vote Again- this is one hell of a title for a blog.

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