moneypolitics & government

The plague of fake

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A fake candidate has ended his fake campaign. Or did he? Jon Huntsman is far, far from a household name like Spiro Agnew or Alger Hiss. Largely, the relief of that condition was his reason for running. Not that this should indict Huntsman particularly, it is the case with anyone whose name you have heard on the ballot at any but the most piddling level and once said level of piddle is achieved… Katy, burn the barn! Yes, the evidence is in and we find it as have all honest observers of politics since time begins. It is not merely that the trough of government draws pigs but it also turns the odd honest man or woman  who blunders to office into boar or sow respectively. Lord Acton told us not just that absolute power corrupts absolutely but that power corrupts; it corrupts proportionately as the petty tyrants of your Home Owners Association demonstrate, it corrupts opportunely as we see in the semi-secret rapes of children by authority figures in sports, academe and the cloisters. Subtle power corrupts with subtlety. Profane power corrupts profanely. Incremental power corrupts incrementally and provisional power corrupts provisionally; this last is the best state we can hope to achieve.

That is really the long-shot hope of the American Constitution. As Hayek liked to put it, you can’t count on electing the right people, what you have to do is arrange matters so the WRONG people do the RIGHT things. This is one reason “democracy” was held in such low esteem by anyone who mattered around the time of the Constitution’s drafting. And it is a sound one. The whole idea was pretty daft. What would a cobbler know of the affairs of state? asked the Czarina. What would a queen know of the affairs of cobblers? is the answer. And whether a queen or a cobbler is more important to you rests almost entirely on the state of your shoes. Metaphorically our shoes are in poor repair and wearing quickly. Let us update our casting and Joe the Cobbler is now Joe the Manager; he runs a Payless in a still-motile shopping center. Joe the Manager, epitome of the Middle Class is publicly held in high regard, his concerns foremost in all minds.  He earns in the $80s with bonuses and the wife makes $50 as a medical bill coder (part time) but supports a squad of children, therefore a platoon of teachers and the Joe’s collectively pay every cent expended by government except that borrowed or printed. This is the modern version of the bucolic serfs Katherine the Great thought so little of, even as counselors. Don’t feel too superior. Your self-described Betters; the various congregations of the smartest guys in any room hold you in the same regard today. As with the bygone potentates, the modern Peerage sees you and yours as a horde, a mob, a wave of stampeding cattle that the skillful may ride; the skillful, fortunate and ruthless may rule. Laboring under such contempt the Cobbler and Manager both suffer, harming our shoes and that reality slowly erodes the veil of fake.

It is a sturdy garment and everyone is sporting it this year. Huntsman was a fake, but he was not the fakest of candidates. With a swing in the Low Country breezes a Stephen Colbert finds himself leading the sitting Governor of Texas in South Carolina. Like any well-advised media giant, he sees an opportunity and has gone campaigning there; no matter that it’s too late for him to get on the ballot and no write ins are allowed. He is on the ground kissing hands and shaking babies. But at least Colbert is an actual fake. Yes, like Huntsman and Romney, he is a fake Republican (if they are the anti-socialists) but his fakery is sincere. The man is a professional comedian and actor like Pat Paulsen who also ran for President many times (and with a bit of success). The other fellows pretend that their pretense is unpretentious. Their oleaginous smiles and hearty handshakes are not meant in irony, however they are taken. Colbert is openly joking and it is a useful joke. The Colbert campaign, complying with Campaign Finance Laws that require him to give up control over his PAC advertising arm of yesterday, does exactly what a “real” candidate would do; he gives it over to a nominally independent fellow who can be counted on to do what he wants. Congratulations, Jon Stewart! This stuff just writes itself. Too bad Newt Gingrich is as serious as he can get, which is still pretty funny. Before Iowa he made a fake appeal to civility. We know it was fake because it came from Newt and knowing it was fake we also know the real reason behind it. It was tactical, of course. Newt didn’t have the dough to counter said ads or, more to the point, launch his own preemptive strike so he called for a phony truce. The one decent maneuver Romney has made that was NOT fake was his instant and neutron-bomb effective assault on Fort Gingrich. Except that Mitt made no such maneuver, it was HIS super-PAC that did so, only it’s not his, it is aut0nomous so really Newt was asking the wrong guy. To such absurdity our politics has devolved in large measure only to calm the vanity of John Sidney McCain, a man who has harmed this nation in a thousand ways still yet to be discovered. It was McCain-Feingold that made such gyrations mandatory. And why? To take the filthy green paper off the field of debate, or at least to expose it, or at least to measure it. Needless to say this fake solution to a phony problem has cost plenty in unspoken words and uncorrected lies but in the meantime it writes a comic sketch without end. Now that Newt has raked enough contributions to go on the hunt, his Super-PAC, which is the independent Winning Our Future, has denounced Romney as a heartless robber-baron; apparently just because the term focus-grouped poorly. As one might have guessed, this is a tough charge to make in a Republican primary. It seems to reveal Newt as a flailing desperado and there is nothing fake about that, but what can he do? The PAC is not supposed to “coordinate” with the campaign as Stewart is not to coordinate with Colbert. We make the fake assumption that the laws are being adhered to as the nasty ads go on for a couple days… hey, we already bought the air time, and shortly they mutate into smarmy hagiographies on Newt Gingrich and his bridge-troll clan. But not with any of his input, we all nod in fake agreement.

So the plague of fake is no overnight sensation. Fake is nearly all we have and nearly all we ever have. Ah, but it wasn’t always such…. so say the adherents to the TEA party, which is NOT a political party with ballot access and such things. The REAL TEA parties were events that you would attend and almost never was tea served except in hurled bags from the mocking counter-culture types having a REAL party. But the fake party claims one real hero. That would be Ronald Wilson Reagan, naturally. Reagan’s is a well-nibbled corpse. Mountebanks of all parties or NO party claim his inspiration. Huntsman did it. Obama does it. They all do it including Rick Santorum but at least he leavens his grave-robbing with some necessary truths. If you blinked you missed it and, given the reception, it may not be repeated but in Brentwood NH, coming right off his good showing in Iowa, Santorum committed, as the headline denounces “sacrilege” on Reagan’s memory but he does so by recalling simple facts about the Gipper’s tenure. Go and hear it if you do not already know. Rick spares not and it is nearly enough to make me order one of his sweatervests. It was Reagan the old (not former) New Dealer who has largely brought us to our current pass on entitlements. No, not because he slashed taxes on the rich; he slashed taxes on everyone, but when the President and his Democrats invoke Reagan as a practical, centrist compromiser compared to the rabid John Boehner, this is what they are talking about. Hear it from Rick or hear it from me. Reagan raised the payroll taxes some 40%; these taxes that are not taxes but compulsory contributions, a phony distinction. And he raised them not just to make Social Security and Medicare “solvent” (a term with no applicable meaning), he raised them higher than preceived necessary so that the surplus would be used to buy US bonds, their only legal investment, and thereby fund the government at large. And then larger still. So the nemesis of Carter proves quite tractable as regards Roosevelt. Never did Reagan declare that entitlements were a Ponzi scheme, unConstitutional or conceptually unworkable though he did say some were immoral. Sadly these were open programs of poor relief that are less immoral because they are more necessary than a retirement scheme for people who earn and a health insurance cartel for those who can pay. Reagan’s famous “There you go again” response, immitated by many lesser weevils was always a rebuff to those who said he was out to destroy the American welfare state. That was a slander, he would say, and that was the truth. Reagan saw the can in the road and he kicked just as hard as he could which is precisely what Carter had intended only his game was basketball. Reagan’s? Football. But on principle, on these revered entitlements Reagan served as a fake conservative.

If you are feeling smug because you know of these fakes and laugh at them; laugh, laugh away. The plague of fake strikes all houses, even that of the King. And who would that be? Why, don’t you know what day it is? A march through the Sweet Auburn area has put me in a mood for puncturing fakes on this, not Martin Luther King’s birthday, nor deathday, but the nearest convenient day for its observation. Down in the former ‘hood, now a “civil rights” theme park, genuine inebriates engage in phony ecstasies. Phony Reverends and phony friends to phony poor gather to wear their Kwanzaa-best and reiterate their denunciations of racism while they preach racism, they abhor scapegoating, while they scapegoat. They make a counting-house of their celebrations with distant parking at ten dollars, near at twenty-five while the REAL bigwigs park on the sidewalk under police protection or are disgorged from limousines with a driver who waits on their pleasure as class struggle drips from their mouths. And no, this is no treachery to King. The fake experts on King like Glenn Beck and Mark Levin either ignore or are ignorant that by their definitions, yes, King was a socialist on principle as his ally Nixon proved to be one in practice. He was FOR Affirmative Action. He was FOR what is called “reverse racism” as it is racism practiced behind a mask of fairness. He hoped for redistribution of wealth that would benefit HIS people over others. Today Valerie Jarrett complains of assaults on the Voting Rights Act, meaning there is to be no identification of voters, giving the audacious the right to vote under any name or several. THIS is the great triumph of the phony race-healer King, or so his heirs claim, with solid foundation.

No, that is not all. That King is dead so Long Live King Fugazi, the man so fake he has dissappeared from our Reality. That would be the Would Be King, Barack Hussein Obama, if that is his name. Phony intellectual, phony liberal, phony conservative, phony moderate, phony Christian, phony husband, phony professor but as it happens also a phony pacifist, phony realist and transparently fake adherent to the Constitution. How has he done all these things that yesterday a Candidate Obama would declare unlawful madness? In large part he does so because we have a phony Legislature, too busy day trading their “blind” trusts to even defend their own Constitutional privileges. But mostly it is because we inhabit a fake America. Even in the bleakest corner of the TEA party, that supposed band of resolute throwbacks you find that they like those breaches of the Constitution that pad their pockets or flatter their egos. Ethanol and so-called food stamps are exemplary. They pay off the grain belt which repays their increases by nominating the proper men to the Presidency of either party. Farm support is fleshed out by the poverty pimps today at Ebenezer Baptist in one case and by the volatile Greens in the other though these fake environmentalists are concerned with the green of greenbacks over all.

And that is the ultimate fake. Whenever WHOMever says “it’s not about money” you better believe, it is about money. The President nakedly swears he will “raise” a billion dollars to wage his ongoing campaign. The Republicans desire only to get their paws firmly on the Treasury, their fake excuse? We will administer these things you love, that our principles say are wrong and unworkable, so you may enjoy them ever as you have. Meaning the entitlements, it should be plain, are about money. “Jobs” are about money. Reality takes a little bite here as Obama’s promised “jobs program” for this summer trumpeting “employment opportunities” is actually offering unpaid internships to the burgeoning black unemployed class; a bitterly phony exercise. Even so-called gay marriage is about money. Anyone can stay with anyone who will have them indefinitely and under whatever blessings they desire but what we are talking about here is property and even more precisely, the benefits that now attach to heterosexual spouses. Everything is about everyone’s loot. But that’s where it gets REAL good. Because… come closer now…. the money is also fake. All of it! It’s the biggest fraud ever perpetuated on humanity. The Full Faith and Credit of the United States, that is what your money is made of! That and nothing else. So fraud begets fraud begets fraud. In the end Reality will assert herself. If we are governed lawlessly but under the presumptions of socialism, meaning From each according to their abilities and To each according to their needs we will absolutely devolve to the same point the Soviets did, where their entire society was fake; even the food. Even the shoes. As it was commonly put, we pretend to work and the state pretends to pay us. How far are we from that now?


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One Response to “The plague of fake”

  1. So much fakery in politics, and life in general – “You gave me nothing & nothing is all I have” (U2 One lyrics) – and money DOES make the world go ’round.

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