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General Interest, Politics

ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN

Got to love those right wing people. Voted out, ridiculed, exposed for their greed and their indifference to their fellow human beings, they take refuge in the flag, and like all scoundrels, claim exclusive ownership of God and country. Beautiful! Running in packs, stirring up whatever feeble-minded anger addicts they can rally to their cause, they collectively pretend that they still matter. Well, isn’t that cute? Look at them frothing at the mouth as they denounce the opposition as unpatriotic usurpers of their rightful throne. How precious!

You have to admit, self-delusion makes for some grand theater, the more pompous and indignant, the better. Ask old Bill Shakespeare, who made a decent living lampooning the foibles of the once-high and mighty. Even though they are on the outside looking in, the right wing loonytoons are giving us quite a show. While they held power there wasn’t a more boring bunch of people this side of the Amish, all somber pronouncements and casual cruelty, cold as a snowman with about the same amount of personality.

But now that their power is gone, all of a sudden they’re a bunch of fire-breathing witch hunters, getting all huffy and red in the face, denouncing anything and everything and predicting that the satanic friends of transvestites that are running Washington these days are actively seeking to overthrow “my America” and rain hell fire down on truth, justice and the American way.

Which is pretty good stuff coming from the people who tried to repeal the Bill of Rights, spied on American citizens, traitorously exposed their own spy for political reasons, and threw New Orleans a cinderblock when it was drowning. These are the people who wanted us to believe they were defending America by making it less American. They never did get around to explaining that bit of pretzel logic before the American public voted their incompetent asses out of national office.

Instead, they named the most anti-American law ever The Patriot Act, figuring that we were all so full of the fear they were so earnestly spreading that no one would notice if they started dismantling the rights and liberties of American citizens bit by bit. It actually worked for years before most people started saying “Hey, wait a minute, what the hell do you guys think you’re trying to pull?” By the time America woke up the right wingers had transferred trillions of dollars from the pockets of the working classes to the the pockets of the very wealthy with a series of tax cuts designed to “stimulate the economy.”

That sure stimulated the wealthy people’s personal economies alright, leaving the rest of us to eat cake. America also found itself mired in a war against Iraq so that Big Oil could have access to their underground sea of petroleum. Other reasons were put forward for this war, none of them making a lick of sense, and none of them remotely true. The right wingers sacrificed the lives of almost 5,000 of our soldiers and 100,000 Iraqis for corporate interests. Again.

On the right wing’s watch federal regulation of industry was gutted, including the financial industry watch dogs, resulting in an orgy of greed and crime unprecedented in financial history, with the result being the financial collapse of 2008 and the destruction of 5 to 7 trillion dollars of wealth. These sad clowns built the same sort of political houses of cards and labeled them policies, unsustainable pyramid schemes designed to benefit a few people in the short term while the rest of the citizens were left stunned, broke and angry.

And so the elections of 2008 saw the end of the right wing’s time running this country, and not a moment too soon. About the only ones sorry to see them go was anyone connected with America’s comedy industry, the only sector of the economy that flourished during their time in power. But fear not, comics and joke writers! Just when we thought these people would go away, they have taken their act on the road and are making more noise than ever, and making even less sense that before, if that is possible.

They wave copies of the Constitution and The Declaration of Independence for their crowds as they liberally misquote both documents again and again. Right wing radio and cable TV hosts are even more entertaining than when they were the unofficial Ministers of Propaganda. Freed of the mandatory “talking points” handed to them by the previous government, they can let their imaginations soar as they fabricate statistics to suit their ideology, make crazy allegations about people and generally go batshit crazy for our entertainment. The right wing is going the extra yard for us.

Now we don’t want them to go away anymore. Their zany act is far more entertaining than “American Idol” or “The Osbournes.” We can’t wait to hear what outrageous fantasies have been conjured up by former court jesters Bull O’Really, Crush Limburger and their talented apprentice who can cry “real tears” just like that popular doll from the 1960s, Glen Bucks. Then there’s Sean Insanity, Blue Dobbs, Anne Coltish and Sarah Bailin out there doing their best to confuse and amuse.

It promises to be another Golden Age of Comedy, with no shortage of buffoons and, just as importantly, straight men who never leave character, the Bud Abbotts of politics. As any comic can attest, the straight man’s job is actually the more demanding role, to maintain their self-important image and never crack a smile, no matter how ridiculous the situation. The key to comedy is plausibility, not plausibility in terms of the real world, of course, but within the parameters of a comedy sketch. Let’s not ever confuse this with reality again.

With a good straight man, the comedy can go to completely ridiculous places as long as it is anchored by a dour-faced Bud Abbott. And like all great comedy, the best is performed by those on the outside looking in, making up tales of what they would do when they’re running the world. The only difference is, that these people very recently were running the world, and The Three Stooges could not have done worse.

So let’s enjoy their whacky antics and their over-the-top claims of adequacy and keep them for our national clowns, a treasured entertainment institution. Let’s just not take them at all seriously, since we know where that will lead. Thanks, but… And let’s not ever vote for Abbott and Costello to run the country again. Been there, done that, have the “What were we thinking?” T-shirts to prove it.

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