Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is there a term for that particular racket where you offer a "solution" that helps to intensify and perpetuate the problem you are (dishonestly) claiming to solve?  Medical quackery has a long history, but isn't usually sophisticated enough to actively support and prolong a malady.  (Update: though maybe medicine is growing more sophisticated after all.) Glenn Greenwald complains that the war on drugs and the war on terror are mirror images of one another in that they are not so much incompetent so much as dexterously designed to NOT solve their respective "problems".  On the contrary, it suits the architects of both drug and national security policies to have those wars ever worsening and never ending.  For them peace (or even amelioration) would be an unwelcome turn.  As Greenwald puts it:

These two intrinsically unwinnable wars -- unwinnable by design -- seem destined to endure forever, or at least until some sort of major financial collapse simply permits them no longer.

It's the perfect deceit.  These wars, in an endless loop, sustain and strengthen the very menaces which, in turn, justify their continuous escalation.  These wars manufacture the very dangers they are ostensibly designed to combat.  Meanwhile, the industries which fight them become richer and richer.  The political officials those industries own become more and more powerful.  Brutal drug cartels monopolize an unimaginably profitable, no-competition industry, while Terrorists are continuously supplied the perfect rationale for persauding huge numbers of otherwise unsympathetic people to join them or support them.  Everyone wins -- except for ordinary citizens, who become poorer and poorer, more and more imprisoned, meeker and meeker, and less and less free.

Some observers are hoping that once power is regained by the motley coalition of crazies and opportunists that inhabit the corpse of the Republican party, the exposure of their internal inconsistencies will tear it apart.  But I think the Republican Party, like the wars on drugs and terror, is not a real instrument for accomplishing anything constructive.  It has morphed into a whirling dervish of political nonsense that serves only to perpetuate itself, serve as covering fire for plutocratic looting, and to ensure that political democracy cannot function.

Is there actually a "problem" purportedly dear to the hearts of the party that Republican policies would actually solve rather than worsen?  On the contrary, except for oppressing gays and keeping Joe Public armed, I can't think of any policy in the platform that isn't exactly the kind of malignly counter-productive smokescreen quackery that Greenwald is talking about.  Immigration?  check.  Deficit spending?  check.  Abortion?  check.  Energy independence?  check.  Corruption?  checkity-check-check.

Though the Democratic Party is too conservative, too wealthy, too corrupt, too gerontocratic, and too pleased with its own timidity, it is at least still a potential instrument of administration and even sometimes, can be a reluctant servant of the public good.  The Republican Party is nothing more than a zombie institution animated by billionaire mischief-makers and their mercenary symbiotes.