Both Democrats and Republicans have long understood one of basic truths about the US: "In America, you never outgrow your need for bullshit." The difference is that the Republicans seem to want to apply that maxim to make profits and get rich, while the Democrats want to use it to obtain power to take away the profits from the rich -and everyone else - through taxes and regulations.
When it comes to making money, the Republicans utilize bullshit brilliantly. Advertising, Marketing, Point-of-Sale, Packaging, Sales Pitches -- all these vast oceans of bullshit are theirs to command and control. Then it all goes to hell.
Strangely, Republicans can't seem to extend their talent for creating, managing, and deploying bullshit into the political realm. For when it comes to making propaganda for the political arena in 2008, the Republicans are running so far behind the Democrats that they are faced with a critical --perhaps lethal -- "Bullshit Gap."
The strategic "Bullshit Gap" in our politics is most obvious when contrasting the small flakes of bullshit drifting down from the John McCain camp these days with the radiant rays of luminous bullshit currently bedazzling millions when projected through the lens of the greatest JFK impersonator since Vaughn Meader, Barack H. Obama. But the bullshit gap is even visible in the small towns of America, those areas bypassed by the large mercantile bullshit generators of our culture and hence starved for fresh bullshit of any kind.
Case in point:
This afternoon I happened to be walking around the very small town of Kennebunkport, Maine. It is a town that hosts at least one well-known family who live here, from time to time:
Yes, that's the Bush Family Compound on Walkers Point right outside of town. Just about as fortified a redoubt of the Republican Party as you could hope to find outside of Ronald Reagan's grave site in Simi Valley, California. In fact, the two of these sites pretty much bracket the country.
But all is not well in between. Less than a mile down the road from the Bush Compound, the Kennebunkport Democrats have their forward observation base. On those fortified walls gleams this proud plaque firing shot after shot of star-class bullshit across the bows of the Bushes:
For many, many years I wrote cover lines, ad copy, captions, pet copy, and many other assorted items for Penthouse Magazine. From this experience (which is seared, seared!, into my memory), I think I am more qualified than 99.99% of all the human beings that have ever lived to know pure, prime, steaming hot bullshit when I see it, and this sign delivers. As a former bullshit artist second to none, I know power bullshit when I see it, and I have to say this placard contains enough high-velocity bullshit to drop a charging rhino at fifty yards.
If you look closely you can see some shadows under the words "Pro-Family." That's because the high-velocity bullshit is printed on a sheet of plastic that is bolted to the background. That's what we call "sound economic planning" when it comes to bullshit distribution. It enables the "current approved bullshit" part of the sign to be removed and replaced with "new, improved bullshit" without having to redo the entire sign. This will come in very handy should the Kennebunkport Democrat Bullshit Committee decide that they need to work "Pro-Hope" and "Pro-Change" into the mantra.
Now you might think that this propaganda is excessively simple. And you'd be right. But in its simplicity lies its brilliance. The method is to appropriate all the hot-button words in the American experience and slap the prefix "pro" in front of each one. This is done lest the country come to the conclusion that the Democrat party is actually "Anti-Family." Can't have that even if the actual legislative track record suggests it. You see, it doesn't matter what the opposing party says as long as you can say you are "Pro-TheGoodThing." Lies service politics best when they are kept simple.
What you don't see in this slogan is the phrase "Pro-America." That would, of course, violate the standard Democrat concept "Lie globally, fib locally." And besides, if you actually come out and say you are "Pro-America," you imply you are not "Pro-Planet" and some of your financing dries up.
Of course, mere words do not -- in and of themselves -- convey the deepest and most caring bullshit currently being generated by the Democrats. To do that you need to add in a little bad and appropriated art slathered with goo. In this the facade of the Kennebunkport Democrats' building does not disappoint. Right underneath this brave bright banner of bullshit they've nailed up some art:
Ah, the Picassoesque dove of "Peace, Love & Understanding!" Who could possibly resist a wish for those things?
Lord knows, I can't. I wish for them every night. And then I wake up and read the news and thank the Lord for the Armed Forces of the United States of America. I know that it takes more than wishin' and hopin' to get peace, love and understanding happening on the planet Earth once it has degenerated into war, hate, and atrocity -- which is its wont. Once that happens the only thing that brings back peace, love and understanding starts with the Marines. Always has, and for the foreseeable future, always will. Still, it's comforting that the Kennebunkport Democrats are wishing it up in their chowder pots. I wish them God speed with that and their tatting.
At the same time, the bright blue banner -- with just a bare whiff of UNESCO in its looks -- underscores the big bouquet of bullshit up above. Let's review:
"Democrat: pro-Family, [With abortions on demand regardless of age, creed, color, or age just to make sure that "family" is our kind of family], pro-Justice [As long as we have control of Congress and can appoint the kind of Justices we approve of.], pro-Peace [Unless bad things are happening in Darfur and Burma and Kosovo and any place else that where America has no genuine national interest. Then send in the Marines... with bottled water and candy bars! And please don't hurt anybody.], pro-Environment [Wetlands not Homelands. You vill live like ze Native Americans in 1491 und you vill like it!], pro-Equality [ Whine and the world's yer oyster, kid! Have some more special privileges since those of the Party are always more equal than others.]"
As long as you don't really know what's happening in the real world, the Kennebunkport Democrats want to draft you quicker than the next Michael Jordan. If you don't like to get yourself dirty working with the world as it is, and you don't want to see anyone get ahead if it means even one crack-addled loser is left behind, and you think that there is no such thing as another human being on Earth that wants you dead just because you are an American, then the Democrats have what you need. All the bullshit you could ever want.
Don't get me wrong. There's a huge mountain of Republican bullshit in the land and it grows bigger every day. But it really isn't very good bullshit anymore. They might have to send abroad to import some fresh bullshit.
Not so with the Democrats. When it comes to high-quality bullshit, it's the one strategic reserve the Democrats will never grow short of. They won't even have to drill in ANWR for it. They'll just hold a meeting and harvest the residue. We may have reached peak oil in America, but we're a long, long way from peak bullshit.
Now if the Democrats could only figure out a way of getting into our gas tanks.Posted by Vanderleun at May 14, 2008 6:51 PM