Iowa has failed itself. It needs a 12-step program for its politics.
As the tracks on the arms of all those involved in the Republican Iowa Caucus reveal, there is some bad stuff running through the veins of the American Heartland. Conservatism is like emotional methamphetamines to these people. It charges them up and makes them do and believe crazy things. And Ted Cruz is the leading character in Iowa’s version of Breaking Bad.
Donald Trump tried slipping his rich brand of opiates into the mix. But in the end, even his “I’m Your Hero” brand of heroinism could not satisfy the desires of conservative dope fiends high on bongs of pig shit, religion and hashpipes stuffed with layers of Right Wing ideology. Those are the drugs of choice in some parts of the Midwest, and can make farmers vote Republican even when corporate farming comes back around to steal their tractors, seed, crops and land. But the flow of monetary drugs known as agricultural welfare cannot be denied. And the Democrats are druglords and pushers as well.
Like most drug cultures, one can seldom tell the users from the sellers. They all feed off each other’s habits while denying they have a problem in the first place.
The stench of denialism out in Iowa got so bad this time around, even that religious druglord Mike Huckabee had to pack up his political Airstream and pull out of the presidential race. He’s been holed up at the Jellystone Park of American politics for just over a year now, and the camp fees from Fox News and other Right Wing Rangers were coming due.
But that’s not the real problem for the Huckster. There have been persistent rumblings from his neighbors that the rumblings and shaking come from that trailer were far from Holy Fare.
Some suggested the Devil himself had, by invitation it seems, taken up residence with Huckabee, and it makes sense. It’s quite clear the Huckster has proven willing to sell his soul all along if it will aggrandize him with his perceived church of political believers. His babblings prove the point, for they became so confusing a league of Angels could not sort them out, leading even true believers to consider whether the smoke of the Devils hot language was having hallucinatory effects on the man who can’t seem to sort fact from fiction. “I think people forget that bipartisanship is really the burden of the victor, not the loser,” Huckabee drooled. And that point, his trailer park neighbors slammed his Airstream door shut and sealed it with duct tape. And that seems to be the end of the Hucksters dream of becoming President of the United States.
His last words seem to be both a defense and an indictment of the Winner Take All philosophy that has taken over the conservative movement these days like a man with a coke and a spoon at a Studio 54 party. It’s a bad scene all around, and no one knows if the high strung whine of people with white powder on their noses shrieking about “patriotism” and “liberty” is ever going to end. it is clearly the chorus of the insane, only crazier.
Some of that noise is shrieks of fear. Because like those acts of genocide or ethnic cleansing in the Bible, everyone knows on the Right knows you take no prisoners whether you win or lose. Which means no one can afford to have political witnesses around anymore.
That explains the entire political career of men like Newt Gingrich, who sealed one of his wives into a cancer casket using her own divorce papers. That’s hardball stuff, and not every brain can take that level of stimulation and survive. But Gingrich rose again like a specte the last election cycle, and Right Wingers recognized his special brand of crazy right off. But alas for comedians and Democrats, even Gingrich could not hide the bulging veins in his political forehead, and he was cast into the opium den of irrelevance. At last.
These are the ways of the Breaking Bad men that have been running the Republican Party. Even Ronald Reagan had to deal with his rank of Right Wing Addicts in the end. They obfuscated with a trunk full of his money to deal in the arms trade with Iran to shunt money off to the Contras down South. This business of war is always ugly, and drugs often fuel the fun stuff done by mercenaries in the name of God. The only reason Ronnie Reagan himself didn’t get thrown in jail is that he was already too senile or drug-addled to realize what he’d allowed to be done in his own name. No one could bring themselves to blame Grandfather Ron for all that. Well, perhaps his own son. But that’s a different story for another day.
But speaking of Father Figures. We should recall the recent revelations about the once honorable Dennis Hastert, former Speaker of the House. It turns out The Coach had a sordid history of fondling boys and paying them to keep quiet. But when that bit of conservatively concealed chicanery came to light, it ruined the man’s reputation and his net worth. Drugs of choice (be they of substance or appetite) from the wrong side of the tracks will do that to a person. At first, there’s a power rush. Then comes the crash.
Which also explains the firey hulks of Jeb Bush and Carly Fiorina, who by now are likely stuffed into smelly car trunks like burnt mummies by those political drug lords Reince Priebus and Karl “The Rover” Rove. It doesn’t pay to cross men with names like Reince or nicknames like Turdblossom. That’s always going to wind up in bad places.
Those petulant rubes Jeb and Carly have come off angry and joyous as Saturday night drunks stumbling out of the Happy Joes Pizza joint in Newton, Iowa. But then they kicked in the car door of the local sheriff, and spit on the Mayor’s wife while calling her a slut. Things got ugly fast, and muffled words were exchanged. Their campaigns are either over or owned entirely by the Syndicate as a result of their sputtering antics. Ever since Monday night they have been stuck in the back end of locked up sedans behind the Ace Hardware. They’ve both been trying to kick their way out of the trunk, whimpering for help from God, or at least some kid with a screwdriver. That’s the kind of thing that happens to traitorous mob flunkies and failed Republican candidates. The fact that they can hear each other screaming only makes it all worse. The first one out of the trunk will claim to be the victor. Because that’s what politicians do. Kick the person on the rung below you. And no excuses.
Then there are those political personalities that just won’t go away, no matter what you do, or how high on their own expectations they get. Because who knows what Ben Carson’s been smoking out there in the Iowa cornfields. From Day One, the gentleman has contradicted himself like some drunken uncle at a Thanksgiving feast. “Even if you’re Bill Gates, you’ve got problems,” Carson blurted last year. “I’m sure he would probably easily give a few billion dollars to get rid of all the problems that he has.”
And then there’s this brain-addled Carson gem: “And I’ve always said, ‘If two people think the same thing about everything, one of them isn’t necessary.’ We need to be able to understand that if we’re going to make real progress.”
Which proves that listening to Ben Carson is really like listening to Adolf Hitler on crack. Carson even said this about the United States military, which is bigger by far than the next 7-8 countries of the world combined: “What we have to stop and think about is that we have weakened ourselves militarily to such an extent that it affects all of our military policies.” Ben, go back to whatever political substance you’ve been smoking and drinking and leave us alone. We don’t care. You don’t matter. And we don’t need your brand of narcotic falsehoods running through our veins.
Ben, go back to whatever political substance you’ve been smoking and drinking and leave us the hell alone. We don’t care about you. You don’t matter. You don’t even believe in science and you’re a brain surgeon! And we don’t need your brand of narcotic falsehoods and conservative banalities running through our veins. They are poison.
But while we’re at it, let us consider (and then ignore) the barbituate level rantings of Rand Paul, a Libertarian candidate who claims to speak for the intellectual side of America, but keeps fumbling over his own thoughts. “I have a question, a question for the president: Do you hate all rich people, or just rich people who don’t contribute to your campaign? Do you hate poor people or do you just hate poor people with jobs?“
That is Rand Paul trying to sound cogent and sober. Instead his red tie looks like the thermometer for his overheated brain. Barbituates will do that, especially those of the contrarian type favored by Libertarians, where the best form of government is no government at all. Have some weed, Rand. You need it.
The rest of the Republican dope fiends are not worth mentioning, except their stories are so amusingly narcissistic they cannot help be told. They all follow in the footsteps of men such as Ulysses S. Grant, a man who drank himself to both military and political success.
Indeed, the Republican debates have been like listening to a pack of drunk farmers standing at a dive bar in some sad little town out past Ames, Iowa. They all drink and shout until they can actually stand the idea of going home to their equally angry wives. Each man claims he has the better tractor, and then they wind up making jokes about how Chris Christie’s farm implements all have flat tires because he’s so fat.
We can easily imagine the muttered joke about how Carly was rumored to be fornicating with a pig. That was a Trump special, grant you. He excels at his own brand of Down On the Farm humor. It absolutely frightens Republicans that Trump might be City Slicker dressed up in Salt of the Earth clothes, but if the Iowa Caucus process is any indication, Trump is the one who has apparently screwed the pooch one too many times. Even Republicans get angry when the family dog is butt hurt and whining.
The conservative belief system all comes down to singularity. We all know that even the worst drunks in the world can drive a car pretty well because when they get enough practice at it. If a few people die along the way, so be it. The ends justifies the means. Teddy Kennedy taught them that lesson, and the Right has learned it all too well.
But where Kennedy was selling the political drugs of family legacy and populism, the political drug of choice for Republicans is authoritarianism. And it works like a charm. Just like an overdose of Ritalin, an ADD drug designed to hype you up so bad it actually calms you down, mainlining authoritarian works by getting people to go along with whatever you tell them to think. One might argue the same thing for Oxycontin, Rush Limbaugh’s favorite chemical for many years. His drug abuse was easily forgiven and forgotten by his dittohead listeners because it was mainlined with an arrogance and authoritarianism that made it look like Rush had no drug problem at all. He was rich and had a big mouth. Thats was all that counted, or ever counts, and that’s why Limbaugh likely hates Trump. Who stole his act.
And then Ted Cruz stole Trump’s act as well. And Marco Rubio is next in line. Authoritarianism is the stuff Republicans have been selling on the street corners of Iowa towns and they are about to unleash it on the nation as a whole.
Politicals sites like The Blaze have been dealing the same thick substanc and its boutique drug is Glenn Beck, who was so high on himself even Fox News had to kick him out of the Conservative Drug Club. Now Cruz and The Blaze are hoping that this newest batch of authoritarian dopamines and the low information needles necessary to inject it will serve like crack cocaine in the veins of conservatives everywhere.
That’s what was running through the veins of conservatives in the American Heartland last night. It’s a sad sight, but like any relative given over to addiction, we can hope some country doctor kicks some sense into them. That’s how it’s always worked out in the Heartland, where drugs are often as common as Communion wafers, and just as deadly.