Skip to main content

The GOP has built a mob with the promise to lynch blacks (especially BHO), uppity women, Hispanics, Moslems, gays, unions, non-Christianists, scientists, the environment, any kind of government benefit to the non-rich, and the Constitution. In short, they intend to lynch the legacy of the 20th century. And when I say lynch, I mean it. They have no respect for the settled law or the Constitution, for due process or compromise. They are a howling mob surrounding the political system, demanding that the authorities throw the victims out in the street so they can be strung up.

Unlike Clarence Thomas' scripted, liberal-guilt-trip whining about a "high-tech lynching", lots of real people will die if the GOP get the WH back. They will die from unnecessary wars, medical problems, environmental degradation, back-alley abortions, unsafe working conditions, and the return of old-age poverty.

Have all of us frogs been boiled, then? Where is the sustained outrage against the hatred now openly displayed by the GOP against anyone and everything not Christianist, white, male, and rich? We won't beat these fanatical haters with anything less than equal intensity.

I don't mean "pushback", or "standing our ground". I mean outrage for outrageous behavior. The kind of outrage Obama showed when Romney tried to score points about Benghazi in the third debate. Obama showed us all how to play the outrage card. We need to do it many times a day. Just for example, where is the sustained outrage for Romney's denial that anyone is currently dying for lack of medical care?

As has often been remarked, today's GOP is a collection of disgruntled extremists, each with its own scapegoat. All that holds them together is the daily dose of hatred delivered by the GOP propaganda apparatus. In the classic authoritarian formula, there is only one enemy; hence, Obama the socialist/fascist/Muslim/atheist.

The key word in "lynch mob" is "mob". That group of people which has no respect for the laws of the society it lives in. For them, in the infamous words of Margaret Thatcher, "There is no such thing as society."

The mob is primarily a group in which the residue of all classes are represented. This makes it so easy to mistake the mob for the people...While the people...fight for true representation, the mob always will shout for the "strong man" and the "great leader". For the mob hates the society from which it is excluded.

(The careers of mob leaders include)...failure in professional and social life, perversion and disaster in private life...The fact that their lives prior to their political careers had been failures...was the strongest factor in their mass appeal.

  -Hannah Arendt, "The Origins of Totalitarianism"

A mob always follows some "strong" leader. And the Tea Party Congress is full of such perverted failures, but they are not the real leadership. They are just winners of the casting call the Koch Brothers put out for bullies and nutcases. For over a century, the elite (read "moneyed") leadership of right wing political movements (as opposed to parties) has been even more toxic than the mob itself:
"The elite (of the movement) is not composed of ideologists; its members' whole education is aimed at abolishing their capacity for distinguishing between truth and falsehood, between reality and fiction.
This quote is quite prescient in describing the Romney/Ryan mindset. But, no matter how obvious it is to the non-brainwashed, this disconnect between the elite and the mob, between the elite and reality,  is papered over by, in Ms. Arendt's phrase, the "gullibility and cynicism" of the mob.
The only group supposed to believe loyally and textually in the Leader's words are the sympathizers whose confidence surrounds the movement with an atmosphere of honesty and simple-mindedness.
IMHO, the relevance of Ms. Arendt's quotes to today's circumstances owes no small  debt to the deliberate recreation of Great Depression economic conditions by our financial elites. In the aftermath of a financial calamity which they themselves created out of greed and lawlessness, Wall St. and an ever-richer class of reactionary billionaires have deliberately sabotaged our political system's ability to aid our recovery. Instead, they have brought Congress to a halt, obstructing any kind of sensible behavior.
...when the totalitarian movements invaded Parliament with their contempt for parliamentary government...they succeeded in convincing the people at large that parliamentary majorities were spurious and did not necessarily correspond to the realities of the country, thereby undermining the self-respect and the confidence of governments which also believed in majority rule rather than in their constitutions.
As a result, large numbers of Americans have lost faith in our government - exactly the outcome that big money intended. As the middle class faces the ontological horror of financial ruin, it is suddenly politically active.
The fall of protecting class walls transformed the slumbering majorities behind all parties into one great unorganized, structureless mass of furious individuals who had nothing in common except their vague apprehension that the hopes of party members were doomed, that, consequently, the most respected, articulate and representative members of the community were fools and that all the powers that be were not so much evil as they were equally stupid and fraudulent. It was of no great consequence for the birth of this new terrifying negative solidarity that  the unemployed worker hated the status quo and the powers that be in the form of the Social Democratic Party, the expropriated small property owner in the form of a centrist or rightist party, and former members of the middle and upper classes in the form of the traditional extreme right.
Finally, in an age of decreasing religious belief, the mob has latched onto a perverted version of Christianity - a version that believes in cruelty to the downtrodden, greed as  godly, women as chattel, and richness as a sign of god's blessing. This Christianism is a diseased fraud. Genuinely religious people should be calling it out loudly, because it threatens to infect all Christianity with blasphemous doctrines.
Every time a church tried to act through the propaganda devices accepted by an epoch, the truth and authenticity of Christianity were debased...In such moments (when acting through propaganda), Christianity ceases to be an overwhelming power and spiritual adventure and becomes institutionalized in all its expressions and compromised in all its actions. It serves everybody as an ideology with the greatest of ease, and tends to be a hoax...Thus reduced to nothing more than an ideology, Christianity will be treated as such by the propagandist...this ideology will no longer be Christianity. It will be just another doctrine.

- Jacques Ellul "Propaganda"

While they may not be full of pharisaical religiosity, there are many Americans who have "faith" in the New Deal; faith in a government that binds us together, invests in public goods for our common future, and protects the weakest among us.

In the middle of WW2, when he was losing, Stalin allowed some Russian churches to re-open. The corporate Democrats would be wise to allow some New Deal sentiments to be tolerated if they intend to win the election and govern a despoiled country after it. Because, if after the election, some version of the Simpson-Bowles "grand bargain" sale on catfood is bought into by the Dems, they will simply add more bodies to "norganized, structureless mass of furious individuals who had nothing in common except  their vague apprehension that the hopes of party members were doomed".


In closing, I think "lynch mob" is the perfect term for the depths the GOP has sunk to. If anyone thinks there are reasons of political rhetoric to not use this phrase, I would be happen to discuss that. (I'm sure someone will imply that I am South-bashing, but lynchings were common in a Wild West context as well.) But I have no illusions about whom the GOP represents and what tactics they are willing to use. They are a dangerous mob, and we should be sounding the alarm louder and longer. Sounding it until these thugs are back under some kind of control.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site