June 15, 2008

Can't You at Least Not Be So Goddamned Predictable and Boring?

Margaret Kimberley is one of only a handful of bloggers entirely exempt from the condemnation that follows. Not only is she, together with Chris Floyd, exempt: if I had the power to bestow medals of honor that genuinely recognized what the word "honor" is intended to convey, she and Floyd would be the first two recipients.

I must clarify that point, because it was at Kimberley's blog (in others' posts that she linked and excerpted) that I came across one of the latest examples of the continuing stupidities and/or deceptions and/or self-deceptions and/or major pieces of propaganda and/or...hmm, or what? oh, Christ, just stupidity, for crap's sake...that cause my patience to be utterly exhausted and my ire to bubble and boil over. See here and here. The subject is the Great FISA Betrayal of Oh-Eight. How totally unexpected! How utterly impossible to have predicted! Not and not.

I did a search at this here blog o' mine on "telecom immunity." Here are the posts that come up. You could do considerably worse than to read or reread all those articles. No, no false modesty at the moment. So assuming that perhaps one out of 500 of you will actually read one of those pieces (I'm in a foolishly generous, overoptimistic mood, sue my magnificent ass), I'll confine myself to a few brief points.

First and most importantly, let's assume that everyone forgets all about this retroactive immunity stuff, okie doke? So we'll go back to the FISA regime as it existed before -- which is absolutely fine with all the Democrats, and with all the liberal and pergessive bloggers. It's not just fine with them: they loves them that old system! That old system protects your rights, and mine, and the person in the moon's. It's fantabulously magnificent! (Not as magnificent as my ass, but hey, this is the gummint we're talking about.)

Wrong, El Schmuckaroonies. In discussing the riotously laughable fact that Atrios approvingly cited a letter from Silvestre Reyes about exactly why we all ought to be happy sappy wappy about going back to that old system, I very helpfully translated Reyes's letter on the subject into what it actually means. I know, such a rotten dirty trick.

So here's how the old FISA system works, schmuckaroonies:
We can already spy on everyone. Everyone! Got that, you schmucks? And we don't even need a warrant a lot of the time! Every once in a while, we kinda think we should get a warrant. No reason for that actually. But it looks better, you know? Keeps the stupidly annoying civil liberties crowd happy. But those idiots at the FISA court will give us one nearly every time! [See here again.] And since FISA is a secret court, none of those peons (otherwise known as "citizens") will ever know a damned thing about what's actually going on anyway. It's good to be an Empire!
That's the old system that almost everyone, save for a couple of us pot-smoking, dangerous weirdos, just can't wait to get back to! Liberty is so like yesterday's news, baby.

Second, the reason this immunity crap keeps coming back and back and back is very simple: it's what the Democrats want, too. Oh, nooooes!!! As I went on to say in that earlier post:
As I discussed yesterday, I'm not aware that any progressive has suggested that the FISA regime should be eliminated completely. Now the reasons are clearer. As Atrios's approving post setting forth Reyes's letter makes obvious: It is absolutely fine with the Democrats and with the progressive online community that the government has these fully comprehensive -- indeed, omnipotent -- spying powers.

It's fine with them. Ponder the fact. Ponder my argument that both parties have long desired and worked toward the complete, unchallengeable establishment of an authoritarian-corporatist state. If we have both a Democratic president and Congress next year, you will never hear another word about this subject -- except possibly for calls to expand the government's powers still more. I can't imagine exactly how they could be further expanded, but I'm certain the Democrats will find a way -- just as the Republicans do at every opportunity. (Similarly, you will rarely hear from the Democrats or progressives now or in the future about the InfraGard program, which was so helpfully begun under the Clinton Administration.)
And third, my fine friends and widdle peeps, consider the conclusion offered by Pam Martens (and which follows some lengthy excerpts from two articles by her):
Why do Wall Street and the corporate law firms think they will find a President Obama to be accommodating? As the Black Agenda Report notes, "Evidently, the giant insurance companies, the airlines, oil companies, Wall Street, military contractors and others had closely examined and vetted Barack Obama and found him pleasing."
And one final point: for the reasons detailed in this essay, in light of the steady, now irreversible movement toward an authoritarian-corporatist domestic state, a state empowered with a vast and growing surveillance apparatus and a movement that has gone on for over a century and only continues to gather speed, whether retroactive immunity is granted will make no substantial difference in any event. None. See the earlier article for my reasons.

And some of you are still gonna tell me that Obama is a "transformative" figure who is "changing the very nature of politics"? Ha. Ha. And ha. And numerous vomitous effusions unto the morrow.

I'll tell you what The Divine One is going to transform: he and a supine, happily compliant Democratic Congress (like the one we have now, but even better!) will take every major policy initiative begun by the Bush administration that pertains to "national security" and foreign policy -- from the Patriot Act, FISA and telecom immunity, to the Iraq occupation, the growing likelihood of an attack on Iran, and everything else -- and put the full Democratic brand on them. You don't need to guess what happens at that point: all these policies, which the liberals and pergessives have told us and told us and told us and told us they deeply loathe and detest on principle -- oh yes, they do, they do, they do! -- will vanish in large part from public debate and critical analysis, at least insofar as the liberals and pergessives themselves are concerned. No more loathing, no more detestation, no more endless blog posts, no more nothing.

They'll be Democratic policies at that point. Maybe a few liberal bloggers won't like that too much, but if they know what's good for them, they'll shut the hell up about it. If they're very good, perhaps they'll get a special dispensation for a critical post once every six months or so. The liberals and progressives barely say a word now about ending the occupation of Iraq -- you know, in the near future, like before you retire if you're 35 or 40 at present -- although the Democrats could have acted to end it beginning in early 2007. If FISA immunity is finally passed, that subject too will quickly be consigned to the bloggy World of Eternal Forgetfulness.

My next to last word on this subject, one which I've offered before:
I must correct part of what I said in that earlier post. It's not just that a lot of you will eat shit until the day you die. A lot of you enthusiastically manufacture new shit daily -- and you ceaselessly encourage others to eat it, as you gulp it down yourselves.

I would say that many of you should have more respect for yourselves, and for your readers as well. But I doubt such an appeal would be understood, much less seriously considered.

History teaches us that people will swallow anything, even disgusting, nauseating, vomit-inducing shit. The twentieth century was an almost nonstop train of horrors. As unendingly horrifying as it was, we learned absolutely nothing from it. We're determined to repeat it all again.

Eat well, my friends -- and my foes. There's a lot of shit coming your way.

And some of you -- far, far too many of you -- will love every mouthful.
And that, my friends and foes, is that.

I still do wish that, as vile and disgustingly loathsome as the ideas and policies advanced by most writers and bloggers are, they were not all so entirely predictable. I sometimes think that the very worst aspect of our slow descent into hell is that it is so goddamned fucking boring.

For that, I will never forgive most of you.