I know I’ve muttered about the shutdown for the past few days, but that wasn’t out of laziness or busy-ness, just out of fatigue. I thought if I tried not to pay attention it would go away, and my country’s government would turn out not to have been nullified by a bunch of idiots having a tantrum.
Not only is that not the reality of the situation, I’ve realized the reality is much worse than the reality I was trying to avoid.
Here’s the new normal, folks. We’ve moved beyond the age of the auto-filibuster and into this nonsense, where the US will perpetually be on the brink of being closed down if some dipshit from South Carolina decides he hasn’t gotten enough attention in a while.
We’re already seeing the situation being normalized. There’s the infuriating narrative where “both sides” are to blame (because, since one side is somewhat inept and the other side is actively seeking to destroy the government, they’re pretty much equivalent) and the mostly-right-wing narrative that the shutdown isn’t any big deal, because it doesn’t personally affect the person who is speaking (since most single mothers trying to feed their children on WIC don’t happen to be right-wing pundits.)
The fact that the shutdown is mainly targeting things the GOP doesn’t like anyway is hard not to notice, especially when called attention to by how they shriek over something they didn’t realize their shotgun was targeting, like war memorials and military death benefits (whatever you do, don’t make it look like dying for the country isn’t a noble thing to do). And of course, all of this is in protest of the worst possible thing happening: poor people being able to get health care. This is what’s drawn the line and caused these folks to stand up and say, “no more!” Interesting that they haven’t found this kind of resolve in the name of abortion, which they believe is literally mass murder.
It was bad enough when the typical anti-intellectual — no, back that up, anti-firing-neurons-at-all — Republicans were in charge, but now the real lunatics are in control. Where are we that we’re hoping John Boehner will triumph because he’s the reasonable one? The only good thing about Ted Cruz being the alpha dumbshit of this moron pack is that the others see him as some genius savant, so at least they may not think, “well, if he can bring the government to a screeching halt, why can’t I do it too?” That’s what I tell myself, but the news that Ted Cruz regards himself as a giant among men is accompanied by the fact that they all regard themselves this way. That’s why they’re Republicans in the first place.
So, yes, we’re setting ourselves up for regular repeats of this particular clown show. There’s absolutely nothing to prevent it and everything to encourage it. Thanks to the House’s ability to create unholy Frankendistricts for itself, folks couldn’t vote the bums out even if there weren’t identical or worse bums waiting to replace them. From now on, all of America will get to dance or not dance to the tune of whichever one of 232 Dumbasses For Life is the current Lord of Misrule. It doesn’t matter that this is largely a fight among different GOP factions; you can’t enjoy watching a shit-storm and not get some shit in your mouth.
And if the idea of figuring out which of several feebleminded hacks will decide if the government gets to exist today doesn’t appeal to you, we can always go back to the old battle of who’s rich enough to run the show. In the upcoming debt crisis, which, it’s okay, the intellectual titans who think that “evolution is just a theory” assure is it’s not any big deal (then why threaten it?), the more-money-than-God portion, such as the Koch Brothers, are just fine with cratering the US economy, because they’ll still be A-Okay. Meanwhile, the merely wealthy CEOs who still have to do some kind of business here among the mortals are freaking out. They’re discovering that creating a mob that can’t empathize or be convinced by reason is fine until it’s acting against you.
There’s no point in acting surprised by any of this. It’s all the logical progression of where the nation’s been headed culturally for the last couple of decades. And it’s not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end. It’s not even the end of the beginning.