Saturday, February 5, 2011

history as rhetorical ornamentation

fuck all y'all!

rep. eric cantor, the majority leader in the US house of representatives and the local congressman here, returned to william & mary college, where he received his law degree in 1988, to offer some vacuous homespun platitudes about the founders and the greatness of our greatest country ever.

as reported by the retchmond times-displatch, cantor made convoluted and incomprehensible remarks such as,
"And as we in America face some very challenging foreign policy decisions surrounding the current upheaval in the Middle East, we must also remember that our nation, in order for it to remain strong, we must remember these founding principles, and we must remember how they have impacted who we are and what it is that sets us apart in America."
the very challenging foreign policy decisions following the upheavals in the middle east are in no small part chickens coming home to roost. we can pat ourselves on the back all we want, but the material goods we regale in and the high-octane, consumptive lifestyle we lead does not, in a longer historical perspective, make us strong or worthy of emulation. the greedy and exploitative.

it was not the founders' intent that made us what we are, but baser impulses for conquest and empire -- not a territorial empire perhaps, but one based on resource extraction and exploitation of foreigners for our exclusive benefit. if anything, the example of america, and what sets us apart, is not that of a shining city on a hill, but a brutal and insatiable blight upon the planet, something to be avoided rather than emulated.

to cantor and others of his ilk, strength is brute force: aircraft carrier battle groups, pilotless drones with their hellfire missiles, and the support of brutal and repressive regimes like the one in egypt. our ruling elites make their ruling elites junior partners in corporate domination of the planet, in the interest of wealth extraction and monopoly over vital resources.

where there's abundant food in our markets and almost everyone has a big-screen TV (on which resides the image of big brother and his extended family), the elite has gone global in its appetite for control, and the US has become just another market to be manipulated and resource-depleted. while for the domestic audience, america is still #1, cantor isn't coy about what global capitalism is all about:
Cantor spoke about how foreign leaders view America, and said that when Chinese President Hu Jintao and other leaders visit, they want to know where the next wave of American entrepreneurs are headed.
"They don't come here to ask us advice about our government agencies or bureaucracies or administrative offices. They ask about America," he said.
founders never envisioned that the political class would be negotiating the wholesale liquidation of the american republic for a handful of baubles, but they're showing off the country like a real estate agent showing a house for sale. all this, for cheap... you and i, we come included in the deal. we're stupid, but we work really hard, and for peanuts.

while he and the rest of the GOPpers are busy selling out the country, there's still time to throw a sop at the teabaggers, those experts on history and constitution. they cower under the threat of al qaeda missiles raining down on their suburban ranchers, eagerly giving away their freedoms for promises of protection by the corporate state, but at the same time, they despise the government's overreaching:
"Runaway debt, growth-stifling government regulations, and an anti-competitive tax structure have resulted in a Washington-knows-best mentality. This has contributed to an economic malaise and a lack of hope on the part of many."
the runaway debt, of course, is the legacy of politicians since reagan, for the most part. remember how tax cuts were supposed to pay for themselves? nice try, guys. then, in a cynical misdirection, you get grover norquist claiming that the aim is to starve government until is so weak it can be drowned in a bathtub.

only, that's not the point, either. it's only spending that benefits working people that is on the block. notice how it's never "defense" or subsidies to giant corporations (or interest of the debt paid to the investor class)? no, there's no intention to reduce government spending in aggregate at all. the whole GOPper game is to shift the tax burden to the working class, suck all the wealth out of the economy and leave the wreckage behind as they migrate to sunnier climes.

this is what is contributing to the "economic malaise and a lack of hope among many." that may be the only honest part of mr. cantor's speech. it's great irony is that the words give hope to some of the most malleable and vulnerable actors on the political scene, the ones who are raging mad at changes they've been led to believe are the work of socialist agents, negroes and mexicans. they're really being sold out by the corporate interests that have the politicians in this country on a short leash. they're carrying the water for a regime that's screwing them as well as the rest of the working class of this country without fear or favor.

they'll also be the pro-mubarak thugs who are called in to put down the riots when they start -- which is just the inevitable consequence of the coming "austerity" and collapse of the bond markets, which are due sometime this spring...

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