The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore: Not That Scott Walker
by Jim Washburn
I’m beginning to think there’s something not quite right with Moammar Kadafi. I don’t mean the fact that he looks like he was drawn by Ted Rall, or that he’s friends with Italy’s teen-toting Silvio Berlusconi, or that his name is also spelled Qaddafi, el-Qaddafi, Qadhafi, Gaddafi, Gadhafi, Gadafi, Kadhafi and Mr. Mxyzptlk. I am worried about his mind.
He’s always imagined himself as a pan-Arabic messiah, foreseeing the Arab and African worlds converging under his banner, though, with that hair of his, hot-oil wresting his Ukranian nurse would seem a more likely vocation. He’s always said silly things, and dressed like a fashion martyr. And, when those things just weren’t nuts enough, he’d have an airplane bombed out of the sky. Oh that Moammar. You know him, he’s just that way.
This week, beset on all sides, he was finally forced to realize that his people do not exactly adore him from his sandals on up. That seems to have driven him to a whole new level of crazy, one where he appears intent, as Hitler was, on taking his nation down with him if he goes. He’s having peaceful protesters slaughtered with machine guns and mortars, while proclaiming them rats and mice, vowing to exterminate them all; these few students who he claims had been fed hallucinogens by foreign agents (read, Americans and Israelis) and deluded into hooliganism.
But it gets nuttier. Cut to Glenn Beck, ensconced in the Fox bathysphere several leagues beneath the sea where the sunlight never reaches. I’m flipping channels the other day, and there Beck is, glistening like an aspic, in near hysterics because the perfect storm he’s warned against for years is nigh, the latest harbinger being the consolidation of communist and radical Islamist forces, including al Qaeda, into a revolutionary force in the Middle East, inflamed by their overriding common goal of hating America.
I can understand him thinking that down in the bathysphere, where they don’t have to take into account things like, say, the fact that the world is filled with individuals with their own thoughts and problems, but that something we all share is a hatred of seeing ourselves, our family, friends and countrymen mistreated, bullied, cheated and beaten. In the Middle East, they want some of that freedom stuff they’re heard about. That’s why they’re out fighting in the streets, Glenn, not because George Soros told them to.
But goddamn if someone of stature isn’t agreeing with Beck. It’s Moammar to the rescue! On Thursday of last week, Kadafi switched scapegoats in his declamations, to now echo Beck that it is Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda who are leading the kids astray with their nutty hallucinogens.
Here’s a transcript, translated into calypso:
It’s me, it’s Moammar who say,
Osama’s leading the minions astray,
He feed LSD to de mice today,
An’ dey give me de finger instead o’ accolades,
That’s right, they’re led by Osama,
That’s right, they’re led by Osama.
Curiously, some of the people who have interviewed Kadafi had the impression he was on hallucinogens himself. They also say he’s a keen follower of Western news sources, so maybe he sees a kindred spirit in Beck, who also gives the impression he’s on something.
I don’t check out Beck’s show much. If I did, I think I would buy gold—big ingoty bars of it—with which I would pound my head flat rather than have to watch him any more. Even five minutes of his show gives me a queasy sensation, as if America is this careening Rambler station wagon, and Beck is a jar of pickled pig lips on the front seat, threatening to burst asunder on the floorboards at any second.
I rather doubt Kadafi’s going to last out the week (Enjoy him while you can, since he’s one of the few thugs on the global stage who’s not one of our thugs. It’s nice to see the Europeans look venal and self-serving for a change.), but Beck will maybe always be with us, keeping the angry masses worked up about socialists and Sharia law, while the rich quietly improve their stranglehold on America.
Did you listen to the recording of the phone conversation between the real Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and the fake David Koch? Here’s a guy who took his state from a surplus to a huge deficit by instituting tax cuts that largely benefitted the rich. Then he used the deficit as the reason to squeeze hearty concessions from state workers, to which, being good citizens, they acceded. But Walker also used his self-created crisis to try to force the unions to give up their half-century-old collective bargaining rights, without which a union is little more than a social club. Collective bargaining has nothing to do with mending his state’s immediate budget woes, but everything to do with the agenda of the union-hating Koch brothers and with the future of the Democratic Party in the US.
Remember the Supreme Court decision last year, where the conservative majority of “anti-activist” judges made perhaps the most activist decision of the court’s history, overturning a century of settled law to determine that corporations had an unfettered right to pour money into elections, with damn little transparency? The putative equalizer in their decision was that unions would also have that right.
But America’s unions have been in decline for decades, and are no match for the corporations that have been pouring untold millions into the political process. As much as Republicans claim their wins in last year’s elections were a mandate from the people, they were largely a mandate from wealthy corporations, which devoted record amounts of cash to tilting the election.
One of the goals of that money was to put conservative politicians in place who would further weaken the unions, to choke off even the paltry amount they’re able to give Democrats to counter the Republicans’ corporate cornucopia.
The ultra-conservative, ultra-rich oilmen Koch brothers were at the forefront of that, and one of the beneficiaries of their largesse was Governor Walker. So Walker needlessly creates a situation that throws his state into a virtual shutdown, the consequences of which are so far reaching and dire that you’d think he’d want to work things out with the top Democrats in the state assembly, but he wouldn’t even take their calls, while it was no effort at all for a fake David Koch to get him to the phone.
O, the merry chat Walker and “Koch” (actually Ian Murphy, editor of the muckraking The Beast website) had. Among the things they discussed was the pros and cons of sneaking “troublemakers” into the protesters’ ranks; how Walker might lure state senate Democrats back to the capitol (they’d fled the state to prevent a quorum in the Senate) and then pass the legislation behind their back; and how Koch might coordinate ad allocations to build support for the union-busting vote in Republican representatives’ home districts. In suggesting the latter, Walker may just have been violating campaign laws.
At least Walker’s not as scary as Illinois Deputy Attorney General Jeffrey Cox, who tweeted his desire that state troopers in neighboring Wisconsin use live ammo to clear protesters out of the statehouse. “You’re damn right I advocate deadly force,” he added, in case anyone misunderstood him. (Cox has since left his job.)
Cox’ tweets echoed Kadafi’s contemporaneous statements about exterminating his enemies. The People are such an inconvenience when you’re trying to run a nice, tight oligarchy.
Cox is not the only conservative to want more bang for his bucks. Down in Georgia, Republican congressman Paul Braun was holding a town hall meeting last week when one of his constituents asked, “Who is going to shoot Obama?” Braun and his audience shared a warm laugh over that, after which Braun didn’t ask for volunteers, but neither did he come close to suggesting that shooting the President of the United States should be off the table. He just said something lame like maybe waiting to vote.
Three days later, after others, including the FBI, cast a questioning eye on the exchange, Braun scrambled to seem less seditious, suggesting that the question had been so outrageous that he’d just moved on to the next question, which he actually didn’t. He implied that of course they’d had a good old Southern laugh over the question because it’s ridiculous to imagine any American would ever attack their elected representative. Why, just ask Braun’s colleague Gabrielle Giffords, when she’s able to talk. And why should anyone in the room with Braun bear President Obama any ill will? Surely not because Braun himself had on previous occasions suggested Obama was a Marxist and had compared the President to Adolf Hitler, though he at least had the presence of mind back then to add, “I’m not comparing him to Adolf Hitler” right after he did.
So we’ve got people standing up for freedom in the Middle East, dying amid the date palms as our forefathers once did in the vineyards of Concord, and this is a bad thing to Glenn Beck, who instead is taking a courageous stand for monarchy, theocracy and military dictatorships.
We’ve got people standing up for their rights and dignity amid the cheese logs of Wisconsin, making conservative politicians wish they had the sort of lethal leeway Kadafi does.
We’ve got some of the richest people in America spending millions to foment a division between private sector and public sector employees. (A hell of an issue, I must admit; it’s all I can do to choke down anger and resentment when I hear about the cushy compensation, benefits and retirement packages enjoyed by my publicly employed friends. Can you imagine: it’s nearly as good as what our parents used to get! I hate to belabor the obvious, but the public sector is the last bastion of the American middle class we grew up with. We should be working to secure such a civilized life for all of us—like much of the industrialized world enjoys—not tearing our neighbors down. Who cares if I’m still working when I’m 83 and they’re fucking off on the golf course?)
And we’ve got clowns in Congress and on cable doing their damndest to make it seem that conservatism is under its most dangerous attack yet. They control two out of three branches of government, after having held all three a few years ago; they have all the money; the own the media; they have a “news network” filled with characters who, every time Obama opens his mouth, rage and cry like the Holy Spirit just shoved a ginger fig up their ass. Yet, to hear them talk, Lady Liberty is being worn away daily by the vast, evil seas of liberalism forever crashing against her skirts. Meanwhile, the Koch brothers are picking up some really good deals on previously public utilities.
I picked the wrong century to give up hallucinogens.
that Scott Walker (and one of his “brothers”)