Thursday, May 05, 2016

The Donald, The Hillary and the Dada of American politics

This is either a work of art or
 an American presidential election

And so, it has finally come down to this: 

A century after Dadism gave up on real painting and sculpture (because what was the point now that nearly everyone in the western world had a camera?) Americans have given up on real hope that politics can improve their lives, or right the nation’s wrongs instead of perpetuating and extending them. 

Because what's the point of hoping any more?

The great Dadaist Marcel Duchamp in 1917 signed a urinal with a fake name and declares that it was art because he said it was art. It was, of course, a parody of art.

Ninety-nine years later we have a looming parody of a presidential election.

On one side, there's Donald Trump, who says we’ll make America great again because he says we’ll make America great again, just as Duchamp said it was art because he said it was art. 

And you can bet your bottom dollar (if you still have a dollar by then) that America will be great again primarily, or perhaps only, because the Donald will not only declare its greatness but also have you beaten by goons with rubber hoses if you disagree.

By then we might also be in a nuclear war with oh, say, North Korea. Or China. Or Iran. Or why not Pakistan? The war will be  conducted to demonstrate The Donald’s pride in his own unpredictability. 

Or Trump may have crashed the economy by then. Or he’ll have replaced Obamacare (and perhaps Medicare, too) with nothing, nothing, nothing.

The only thing that's nearly for sure is that we won't have a wall on the Mexican border — unless Trump makes you and me pay for it.

But that will be great, because the Donald will tell you it’s great.

On the other hand we have Hillary, she of the secret speeches to the enemy, whom she now appears to be assiduously courting in the wake of her own perceived inevitability. 

Nevermind that without Bernie’s backers it’s even money whether she'll win the election. It’s more important to her to make nice to a handful of neocons — only a handful of them since the vast majority of the so-called Conservative right would sooner pluck out their own eyeballs and eat them than vote for her.

One must assume that Hillary assumes…that the  young and vital left wing of the Democratic party will get swept up in her wake, like so many putrifrying half eaten hotdogs, and cigarette butts, and chewing gum wrappers sucked into the wake of a departing ferry. 

One must assume she believes that the left fears of a right wing Supreme Court nomination or three will cause a disaffected 45 percent or so of the Democratic party to vote for her regardless of anything else.

Pray that, horrid as Hillary is, she is right. We are already on the verge of a court fiat that will completely legitimize corruption. If we don’t get a Democratic appointee to replace Justice Scalia, and other aging justices as they depart, the next thing we’ll have is a restoration of the divine right of kings, with kingship and other titles and entitlements of medieval nobility bestowed on those who can bid the highest.

Get ready for King Charles and King David (Koch). 

This nation has already demonstrated that deliberate nonsense — nonsense more nonsensical than the Dadist art of the early 20th Century — works as brilliantly in politics as it works on museum walls.

Life in these United States is now a nonsense poem. Sanity and progress are dead. Long live insanity and wet rot! Or to quote a Dartmouth College freshman (not me) named Lawrence L. Kramer more than half a century ago:

Tara and sis boom bah, boys
Go play your fife and drum
The Captain isn’t here, boys
He never said he’d come
He won’t be here tomorrow
He wasn’t here today
So play your fife and drum, boys
And waste your lives away


Yastreblyansky said...

Dear Crank,

You know, if your evidence that Hillary "now appears to be assiduously courting" the enemy comes from a Bob Dreyfuss article of July 2014, then your definition of "now" is a little too plastic. I would prefer "now" to mean more like "at the present time", e.g., May 2016, when (thanks to the brilliant Sanders campaign) she has turned for the moment at least into an anti-poverty warrior.

Also Dreyfuss didn't have any evidence back then. (Also he's a longtime Putinist, which leads him to use "neoconservative" in a very peculiar way, as you can see when he refers to former ambassador to Russia Michael McFaul as a "neoconservative", an idiocy he has been pushing since 2008.)

FSM knows neocons and bankers will be courting her more than the other way around as summer comes on, given that Trump is too unpredictable for the former and too much of a loser for the latter, and I think progressives would do better to hold her to the great promises she's been making all year, rather than just assume she'll break them all and effectively surrender her to the enemy.

Wouldn't it be nice if she was "assiduously courting" Elizabeth Warren? Well, guess what?

Yours pretty crankily (but with warm affection!),


Yastreblyansky said...

On the other hand there's Steve's piece this morning looking as if she is doing some of that courting. Make her stop!

Crankier still.