The hidden persuader, the low brow half truth that has propelled the Republicans even before some sons of Saudi Arabia had their egotistical triumph of death in lower Manhattan, was the miasmatic insinuation that you should be worried. Yes, YOU should be afraid. Yep, there's tax wasters out there and there's bad people and you gotta trust a tough decision maker to stomp 'em out. Tough did not mean personally courageous either, just callous about the disposition of the lives and well being of others...none of that bleeding heart empathetic humanity crap.
Well, the chicken hawks have come home to roost, and the Republicans are increasingly characterized as out of touch with reality and even with the electorate. And, as this slightly modified logo for the Republican 2008 convention may imply, they have become a bit of a laughing stock. While they want you to remain dazed and seized with amorphous fear, they now have the problem that getting hit on in the men's room by a stuck-in-the-closet Republican is a more common fear among Americans than the dread of a bomba from Osama. Thanks to the ever-readable Dark Wraith for relaying that hackery from BrassBlog
But now its my turn to say it: It is not safe.
Safety is never more than relative. The worst thing about it is that it is more likely to be smugness than any reliable guarantee which lends that feeling of security. Knowledge is the one sure possession that is always safe once you have it at all. Seeing the low poll numbers of Republicans may comfort you. And the growing economic strain of selfishly stupid policies eroding and fragmenting the Republican "base" patched together by Rove may delight you. But do not be complacent. Just as the minority of American people who still support the neoconservative's war to gain a foothold in the oiliest part of the world cannot keep clear in their minds the vast difference between the correct meanings of "Arab", "Muslim" and "Al-Qaeda", so too, the rest of us need to remain vigilantly clear on the distinction between Neoconservative, Republican and Conservative. While the Republicans should lose elections based on their abysmal morality, their pathetic polling numbers and their disdain for the constitution, they are just a political party, a label. Conservatives are not all identified with that party and some of the richest of them are better identified as corporatists or some other label that says wealth can be concentrated to give pathologically disproportionate political power to a small clique of people. As free as conservative media moguls are from taint of oil, blood, cash and cum the Republicans have smeared on themselves, they burrow on through the timbers of the republic unchecked. As long as this "money buys truth" paradigm holds sway in American political discourse, we will be continually surprised at how a dumb party with a disgraceful and at many points murderous record will still do well on election day.
Like the militantly pious and intolerant Islam of Al Quaeda, the base of the republican party is not single minded. It exists in pockets wherever insecurity and ignorance in its many forms are found: the uneducated fear of foreigners, militantly pious Christian intolerance, the fear of losing power that afflicts the wealthy etc. Only their inclination to fear really binds them and when the media owners blow the dog whistle, you will be surprised how they assemble and vote as one. (And to whomever gave Mr. Rove's handiwork the name "the Republican base", my eternal gratitude. I wonder what it sounds like in Arabic;)
And do not celebrate any victory over mere Republicans that may turn up in November...At that point in time when the advertisements and editorials have exhausted the vocabulary of mistrust and marred every meaning words ever had, you will tend to forget the names of any but the immediate victims. Don't. Rove, Cheney and a handful of advisers to this administration threw the switch that put an erstwhile democracy on a collision course with world political and economic forces which a more realistic government might have adapted or averted. The messes made will not be restored to order by a change of leaders and the parties responsible should not enjoy the kindness of belated tongue wagging. We are bled, we are haggard and we will be worse off later but oh so much worse off if we forget why mistakes were made: politics of fear are really spoiling the party and not just the Republican party.