DougJ has been doing a great job describing the post-wingnut phenomenon, in which the right becomes so compartmentalized and separated from the rest of us (and reality) that they just speak in terms and codes that make no sense to the majority of America, but which make a great deal of sense and carry great symbolic meaning to them. The classic examples are the recent flare-ups over arugula and Dijon mustard, in which right-wingers see the dread menace of elitisteuroliberalfascism and react hysterically, while the rest of us are left wondering just what the hell is wrong with mustard and tasty lettuce.
At any rate, I was driving home from Target after replacing yet another household appliance (I’m just buying Kitchen Aid everything from Amazon from now on, because every other brand name is crap that breaks in a year), and I flipped on the AM radio to hear the beginning of the Rush Limbaugh show. I figured what the hell, I haven’t listened to him for a while, I will see what he is up to and what his main concerns are these days. The show was a “best of,” taped during the Chrysler bankruptcy, and it was like a trip to another dimension.
He was repeatedly referring to President Obama as “Barack Peron,” and he wove this elaborate tale about how the Chrysler bankruptcy was actually a cunning scheme for Obama to reward the UAW, and that while the Chrysler bankruptcy was a huge failure for Obama because the bailout funds were supposed to save Chrysler, it was also a huge victory for Obama because it was exactly what he wanted to do. This went on for like fifteen minutes, and putting aside the fact that I’m pretty sure very few in his audience have any idea who Juan Peron is, it just occurred to me that the only people who could have followed what he was talking about are daily listeners who are so far into the kool-aid that they will believe everything he says, the hopelessly uninformed who won’t know what he is saying makes no sense, and the partisan hacks who don’t care, they just hope it helps Republicans. I understand there may be some overlap with those groups.
At any rate, I googled “Barack Peron,” and fortunately the entire rant is online and you can read it for yourself. Here is a snippet:
So that is what precisely has happened here. The lawful debt holders have been intimidated into surrendering their legitimate claims in a bankruptcy. The next thing you do, right out of the pages of Juan Peron, you force state-owned banks — and we have state-owned banks, don’t we, now? Notice the bankruptcy is happening after the bank takeovers, after nationalization of a certain percentage of some banks. Isn’t it interesting the timing here? So you force state-owned banks — you don’t have to force them because they’re yours anyway — and these state-owned banks, and they’re the big lenders to Chrysler over the years, you force them to give up most of their claims in a bankruptcy, ’cause you gotta save the company. I mean, that’s the bottom line, gotta save the company for America.
Then after you have forced the lawful debt holders to surrender their claims and the state-owned banks, the big lenders, to give up most of their claims in a bankruptcy, then what do you do? You hand the company to your union allies. Fifty-five percent of Chrysler today will be owned by the United Auto Workers. Now, many Americans do not recognize this pattern, because we don’t see this pattern in this country. This method of bankruptcy and of saving a company by basically turning it over to people who have hardly any investment in it, the United Auto Workers, at the result of an iron fist from the state, i.e., Barack Obama, this is so far outside the American political spectrum, business spectrum, people can’t get their arms around it because they’ve never seen it before, and they probably don’t know what Juan Peronism is, they may not even know who Juan Peron is. They know who Evita Peron is, they think it’s Madonna and they think she was great.
If you didn’t know the source, you would think this was babble I had copied down from some unwashed homeless guy with a nervous tic talking to himself while walking down the street. It makes no sense whatsoever. To follow his logic, Democrats secretly crashed the economy last summer, knowing that Barack Obama would get elected, so that the current Republican President would be forced to shower all the major banks with tons of money to keep them afloat and that would in effect nationalize them so that a year later, when an auto company goes bankrupt, President Barack Peron could then flex his muscles and give away the company to the evil autoworkers union, just as he planned to all along, just like Juan Peron. Also, Madonna.
If that “theory” (and I use the term loosely) makes sense to you, you might want to seek help. But there it is, in all its glory, from the guy who is the de facto leader of the opposition party. And it is insane. But if you look at it a again through the post-wingnut filter, it really is the political equivalent of raising a ruckus over dijon mustard. There is no coherent thought, just buzzwords that the in-group is supposed to recognize and react appropriately to:
Barack Peron- BOOO!
Madonna- DOUBLE BOO!
And reading the transcript really doesn’t give you the whole effect, because you have to hear the caustic sneers and the other tonal shifts to completely get the feel for the crazy. After listening to the entire dizzing opening monologue, I realized why some of these nutters in the birther wing of the current right feel comfortable putting up billboards asking “Where’s the Birth Certificate?” without stopping to realize most people aren’t going to have any clue what they are talking about. Or writing diaries trying to explain that Jesus would waterboard.
They’re crazy and they are increasingly isolated and insular and speaking a language that only makes sense to them. It is just that simple. I have my doubts about the Democratic party, but at least they are functioning in a reality that I can relate to and understand. When we look at the sky, we see the sun and clouds, and not a heliocentric conspiracy to deny the existence of God (and yes, I am aware that is a spoof site).