Back in the Year of Our Lord 2006, as the Bush Administration was beginning to collapse under the pulverizing weight of its own criminal incompetence, corruption and hubris, the loud and proud Bush Regime supporters were making great sport of begin mocking us lefties as alarmist idiots and reveling in our Liberal tears.
But because Republicans -- the former Party of Personal Responsibility -- are fundamentally weak and cowardly and incapable of taking personal responsibility for their shitety decisions, as the collapse of the Bush regime accelerated past the point where reality-denial-in-force could keep it at bay any longer, your humble scrivener predicted that Crazy Uncle Liberty would, in very short order, begin denying Bush faster and harder than Peter denied Christ. From me in 2006:
In five years, having voted for Bush will have become the parachute pants of this decade.
It will become the “Oh my GOD. What the fk was I thinking?” shameful secret people will occasionally and elliptically allude to by piping up with, “well, he did good after 9/11” as schoolchildren are taught what a disaster on every front and by every measure he was, and as adults who now have to pay and pay dearly for the myriad lies and crimes and follies of George W. Bush recount his Top 100 fkups and bitterly laugh and laugh and laugh...
But I was wrong.
It didn't take until 2011 for Bush to be written out of the history books and for his supporters to manufacture a whole new ideological identities as "independents". By 2009 the Memory Holing of the Age of Bush was already well under way. From your humble chronicler once again, back in 2009:
And based on simple observation, guess who appears to be the largest group of late-blooming independents?
Those fknozzles who, after giving Dubya the longest tongue bath in modern political history while calling everyone else a traitor, started gagging on the sheer tonnage of bullshite their creepy idolatry of George W. Bush was requiring them to swallow and obediently regurgitate every fking day, that's who.↓ Story continues below ↓
Most newly minted “independents” seem to be little more than Republicans who are fleeing the scene of their crime, but at the same time still desperately want believe in the inerrant wisdom of Rush Limbaugh. They are completely incapable of facing the horrifying reality that they have gotten every single major political opinion and decision of their adult lives completely wrong, so instead they double-down on their hatred of women and/or gays and/or brown people and/or Liberals, and blame them for the miserable fkpit their leaders and their policies have made of their lives and futures.
Like German soldiers after the fall of Berlin, they have stopped running away from the catastrophe they created only long enough to burn their uniforms...
And then, less than a year later, along came Dick Armey with a shite-load of Koch Brothers cash, the backing of Fox News, and his Fabulous, Tea-Baggulous Bush-Off Machine to finish the GOP's political reassignment surgery. Excerpted from yours truly, in 2010...
...And then out of the West came their own gin-soaked Moses
Who swore all their shame could be turned into roses.
His name was Sylvester "Dick Armey" McBean
Inventor of the Fabulous, Tea-Baggulous Bush-Off Machine.
For the price of their souls and a couple of bucks
The Bush-Bellies could now buy some nips and some tucks.
From the Bush-Off Machine they tumbled like fresh laundered sheets
Screaming about deficits! Taxes! And those awful elites!
They had never liked Bush, no not even a little...
...they shrieked from mouths flecked with Patriot Spittle.
They'd never voted for him, nor swallowed his dirt.
You don't believe me? Just look at my shirt!...
Suddenly the entire Republican base was up and gone. Just like that. Like a fart in a firestorm. Magically replaced by newly-minted Tea Baggers and Conservatives and True Conservatives and Constitutional Conservatives and Constitutional Originalist Conservatives and Conservatarian and Independent True Conservative Christian Conservatarian Originalists. From me once again, back in 2016:
Or...well (pun intended) they still haven't settled on a name, but whatever they're calling themselves this week, one thing is for damn sure. Despite being physically and ideologically identical to the millions of Republicans who disappeared overnight, these millions of independent Originalist Constitutional conservative Christian liberty tea party patriots are definitely not Republicans. They have definitely not been loyal Limbaugh listeners and Fox News viewers who had voted Republican in every election their entire adult lives. They definitely did not vote for Dubya twice, nor did they cheer on every fked up thing he did.
No they were political virgins who emerged fully-formed from the head of Glenn Beck, just in time to go screaming into the streets, demanding to see the black President's birth certificate, insisting that his health care plan was a complex ruse to murder their white grannies, and generally screeching that their country had been stolen from them by an illegitimate Kenyan Usurper.
It was the damnedest, most amazing thing ever, this massive, overnight body swap. The greatest missing persons case in history, followed immediately by the greatest case of mass virgin-births in history.
Weird that the press never covered it...
All of which is to say that between 2006 and 2010, the political Right and the Beltway media pooled all of their lunch and beer money -- literally billions of dollars and who-knows how many tens of thousands of man-hours -- writing the entire Bush administration out of the history books and exonerating everyone involved in birthing the world the worst presidency in American history. And more than that -- so much worse than that -- it taught the Republican party that no matter how monstrously they behaved or how much ruin they inflicted on the country, no one in authority was ever going to hold them accountable for anything.
At best, the Beltway media would uncritically help the Right tout their toxic bullshite.
At worst, the Beltway media would deflect and disperse the GOP's toxic bullshite with its mighty Both Sides Do It Patronus Charm...
And that is how we got Trump.
So comes now a moldy slice of cheese from waaaay in the back of the now-empty Conservative intellectual fridge named Ben Shapiro. Mr. Shapiro -- a mere wingnut hatchling during the Age of Bush -- who has decided that not only is Donald Trump the hill he wants to die on, but has decided that his best chance of defending that indefensible position is to excavate that which the entire Republican party and the entire Beltway media worked so hard to bury.
The fact that, yes, not very long ago at all, George W. Bush did exist and was indeed the president.
The fact that we on the Left were indeed highly critical of the Bush Administration.
Vice Is Just More Anti-Conservative Vitriol
The same Left that despises President Trump despised George W. Bush long before him.
The fact that the base of the Republican party voted for Bush. Twice.
What’s driving McKay? The need to live out his anger against Bush. McKay recalls attending the victory party for John Kerry — who, needless to say, did not win. “Everyone you could imagine was there,” McKay describes, including Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman, and Ferrell. “Once again, we’re like, ‘Oh, they’re going to lose.’ There’s no way you’d reelect these guys after the disaster we just had. I remember Frank Rich was on the phone, and he’s like, ‘It’s over.’ And within two minutes, the entire party had cleared out.”
And the fact that we Liberals see Donald Trump as just the latest and worst manifestation of a Republican party which long ago cheerfully gave itself over to the forces of paranoia, racism, rage and loutish ignorance.
That’s an overused phrase to the point of parody, of course. But why not parody the parodists? Here’s the reality; the same Left that despises President Trump despised George W. Bush long before him. For the most part, the talk about Trump disgracing the office, the talk about Trump’s toxic personality, the talk about Trump’s divisiveness — all of it is just a cover for the fact that those on the cultural left despise those who aren’t on the political left. They see them as idiots and rubes (W.), or as evil manipulators (Cheney). For them, Trump isn’t an outlier — he’s merely the latest iteration of the dastardly conservative movement that launched with Nixon, extended through Reagan, grew to Bush, and now culminates in Trump. At least McKay is honest enough to admit that simple fact. Trump, for the Left, isn’t a departure from conservatism. He’s just another variation on a theme: All conservatives are evil.
Which is why, of course, Trump is the president right now...
Of course, like everything Mr. Shapiro writes, this comes strained through Mr. Shapiro's own preening self-regard and mawkish attempt to rewrite the history of Conservatism as a fairy tale in which Ben Shapiro, Sauron and the Uruk-Hai are the heroes of Freedom and Capitalism and the Fellowship of the Ring are nothing but a bunch of stoopid, Libtard Mordor-hating snowflakes...but he does get the timeline roughly correct.
So, to summarize, Conservative Brain Wizard Ben Shapiro is now urging the Republican party to take some time away from trying to swim against a rising Blue Tide with the boat anchor of Donald John Trump tied around their necks...
...in order to re-litigate the eight-year clusterfk that was the Dubya Administration.
Against Liberal opponents whose superpower is memory.
Bring. 'Em. On.
crossposted from Driftglass.