AND NOW! … From the Party that would bring you moon colonies, populated with orphanages maintained by pre-pubescent maintenance workers …

There was a time – within my own lifetime – that things weren’t quite like this. Or, as several have assessed of late, “This isn’t your father’s Republican Party.” That’s quite true. For a preceding generation of North Shore Long Island Republicans, they were iconically represented by ‘Dashing Dan’ as their constant railroad traveling companion into the city – what we called ‘Wall Street Journal Republicans’. And, in my earliest childhood … that was most Republicans.

Yes, my North Shore had Democrats, but the only ones who’d ride the Dashing Dan trek worked at CBS. The rest of them taught at the Post campus of Long Island University. They drove Karman Ghias, soon to be replaced by Rabbit convertibles.

Still, looking back to that childhood, it was a great time for Republicans – indeed, for conservatives. They had William Buckley. John McLaughlin. Louis Rukeyser.


And no one complained. There were no conservative movements to defund our ‘Channel 13’ – just rather civil political discussions with Paul Duke and the gang on ‘Washington Week in Review’. Actual journalists – all of them. Years of tangible experience within the beltway. They had stories. Perspectives, even. Opinions, certainly. But no agendas.

Yes, this was two decades before FOX News would quickly concoct an ensemble of ‘personalities’ of slim background. Men principally chosen for being visually reminiscent of cruise ship lounge singers – and the FOX women, faithfully maintaining the nail technician look they had mastered back in beautician school. But with the Nail-Tech community soon to be overtaken by Asians and Latinos, FOX News – to their credit – would gainfully employ those who otherwise looked too dressed-up cheap for The Weather Channel.

And speaking of Sarah Palin, did you know that she’s a FOX News ‘Political Analyst’ now? I swear. That’s her title. No shit.

It’s quality ‘personality-personnel’, such as this, that has made FOX News the compulsively self-touted ‘Number One Name in Cable News’ as an implied superiority that, by such logic, suggests that McDonalds also makes the best hamburgers.

What they never told you is, FOX News – not under the direct auspices of News Corp, actually, but the FOX Entertainment Group, appropriately enough – would go cable-viral by ‘giving it away’ ... Actually, that’s not entirely true. They, in an unheard of fashion, paid cable providers – as much as $11 per subscriber head (a rather huge sum, collectively) – to offer the network on their outlets. This, in harsh contrast to conventional practices where the cable and satellite providers pay the content provider – such as CNN, say – to carry the programming. That’s how FOX News peppered itself throughout the country – and would be packaged in the thriftiest of basic cable subscriptions – unlike MSNBC, say. End result: More heads. And each one … paid for.

But this is just the sidebar story – the stage set – as one that merely assisted in the de-intellectualization of conservative thought. For the Republican party – and, by extension, the conservative movement – would begin to lose its intellect some years ago. Yes, there do remain some few intellectuals of traditional conservative thought. The thing is … most of you wouldn’t recognize their names – least of all, those who currently cite themselves as conservatives. For they don’t appear … on FOX News.

Truth be told, the Neo-Conservative movement would make the same mistake as liberalism had, prior. Intellect would become subordinate to emotion. The difference would be that the emotions of liberalism would be cheap and affected, as a matter of fashion. For the ‘Neo-Con’, in contrast, emotion would become rooted in the pathological. And it was very real, without pose – without style.

It would be crazy. Nuts. And utterly classless.

With that, I now say to my true (actual) conservative friends I hold dear, you’d no longer be identified with the likes of Bill Buckley, who I often cite as a known example, now departed. Instead, you’d be defined by the likes of Glenn Beck … the sociopathic, Ted Nugent, even – and CongressGirl, Allen West, now resting comfortably at a psychiatric facility in Boca Raton, navigating a chromatic array of colored construction paper with a pair of rounded safety scissors under staff supervision.

I mean, there’s a piece of work ….. Allen West. One who girlishly prances off from his own congressional district once it favors the opposition – something akin to a military coward who runs away from the enemy, to safer territory, in the interest of saving his own ass, leaving his constituency behind to fend for themselves.

For that’s exactly what the milquetoast sissy would do – and for that very reason: To save his own panty-waisted, enthusiastically receptive ass. After all, it’s only his mind that’s vacant.

West now hopes to be soaking his nylons in the newly-formed 18th Congressional District of Florida where he believes he can continue to drink Shirley Temples at the Officer’s Club – away from enemy lines.


In balance – or as it relates to the unbalanced, perhaps – West is a not-too-bright, but prolifically deranged man with too recent of a military experience to blame it on the inhalation of Agent Orange. But, still – there’s more where (s)he came from ... as we still wait for that planet to be formally named on this day.

For West would be only one iconic example of the Nut-Case Right, plagued with a medley of paranoid delusions, conjuring contests and battlegrounds where either none exist – or are of little consideration. I do try to comfort them, poor dears, explaining that The Left can no more engage in ‘Class Warfare’ with the classless than we can involve ourselves in a ‘Culture War’ with the uncultured.

I mean, come on … It’s not like The Tea Party is known for their … ‘refinement’.

Classless. Uncultured. Ignorant. Ill-spoken. Unlettered ... Unrefined Riffraff. And those are their own, coveted formal titles.

The problem is, my conservative friends – by association … they’ve become your titles.

Think about that.

For as long as you – and the leaders of your party – don’t disassociate yourselves … you’re associated. More than associated. Defined. And for the next couple of decades to come if you don’t chop that demented head off.

And soon.

Don’t be lured by the mere potential of the otherwise ineffectual Tea Party Representatives in Congress serving as your ‘Crash Dummy’ votes to provide a numerical advantage for the issues you might care about. For, in time, the price you’ll pay ….. will be everything.

Not that I should care. But for a complex and multi-layered set of reasons, this liberal … somehow does. To my conservative friends … I grieve for you. For you’re potentially the greatest victims … of all.

And no, I’m not speaking about Rush Limbaugh here. Forget him – as liberals should also do. He’s wholly incidental, simply creating the illusion that he isn’t. As anyone directly involved in campaign politics over the past 50 years would tell you, ‘celebrity endorsements’ (or condemnations) hasn’t ever determined the outcome of any statewide or national election. Not once. Not ever. No, not even Sinatra singing for Jack. So much not so, the campaign pros don’t even have a metric for it, being so far below the “measurement threshold”.

The closest such has ever happened – in a possible exception that was remote – would be Oprah Winfrey’s endorsement of Barack Obama at a critical point in the primary season. She provided Obama with viability – NOT electability.

I bring this up for a reason …

FOX News … doesn’t actually matter – as it relates to electability. After all, while FOX likes to engage in its ratings pissing contest with its two cable competitors, outside of convention coverage and election night, more Americans get their news – the news that matters to them – from ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and ‘Access Hollywood’ than all three cable news outlets … combined. That’s how (and why) Oprah – if only in the academic – would have greater (theoretical) influence than Rush Limbaugh – or anyone in talk radio.

But here’s where FOX News and talk radio does matter … They’re providing the stage set – the scenery – for the nut-jobs I’ve been speaking of – often the ones not running for public office. Sometimes … people within their own ranks. And it is here – in an indirect sense – that the outcomes of elections can be influenced – and yes – determined. But not in a way, my conservative friends … that you might like.

You can dismiss my words, conservative friends – as I could counter, ‘wait and see’. But … can you really afford to do that? To be defined by the diseased minds who have leeched onto your party like parasites? Do you really want to take that risk? Maybe you do.

R.I.P., G.O.P.

– joseph –

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