So a funny thing happened the other day. Professional conspiracy theorist and serial goldbug-for-hire Glenn Beck "admitted" that liberals were right about Iraq. Now does he get a Cookie? Setting aside (for the moment) that Beck "admitted" that liberals were right about Iraq not because invading Iraq was a bad idea sold by a bunch of liars with premeditated bullshit as that was the case that they (we, us?) made, but basically because he has come to the racist conclusion that Iraqis, in his estimation, are basically just incomprehensible savages that are incapable of appreciating freedom. What if. What if it was just "liberals were right about Iraq"?
No Cookie for Glenn Beck.
If he offers you a Cookie?
Assume there is nice crunchy glass in it.
As far as I am concerned, even if he wasn't just "crediting" Liberals by way of dismissing millions of people with a conservative meme about Muslims as if that was a part of the liberal rationale for not invading Iraq. No Cookie. You don't get a Cookie for being the last person to admit reality is reality. That's as much a part of being a dead-ender as anything that John Bolton has done since Bush left office. Glenn Beck will be saying climate change scientists were right, I'm sure, after half of Florida is underwater and it means absolutely nothing. But what really just got me was that there were smart people who were, well, kinda pumped up, "pumped and jacked" as Pete Carroll used to say when he was the just-passing-through coach of the post-Parcells pre-Belichick New England Patriots, like this was a real thing.
It was... surprising. And a little sad. It bothered me. Not in a white-hot fly into a rage and get yourself in a comment-thread flame war and chase the Hidden Comments Hall of Fame kind of way, but in a weary sort of way. Like it was a wave of intellectual humidity that was just suddenly hanging in the memory palace where you think.
I have this (apparently) weird-ass rule about US politics 'you only have to call me Hitler once'.
The age of hoping the legions of bad faith "wake up" or "find shame" is over for me. Done.
One thing I will never, ever, ever understand is being grateful and thankful for crumbs from bad faith operators dropped off of the table years after everybody else on the planet is up to speed as if it's profound. Wanting to believe so badly that a sociopathic conman for cash can be lipbiting because he's being legit or feeling shame if you just have faith and hope long enough. Say it was a straight admission. Why is this worthy of "credit"? At all? Why? What is the basic compulsion of good and decent people to suspend their disbelief and give a conman credit for good faith? A mugger. He mails you back your empty wallet ten year after the crime, oh, and at some point he slit the wallet open so it has no bottom so it's just a ruined empty wallet. But the gesture. The gesture. Somebody vile might be redeemable.
Because it makes you feel good? For a minute. Until he then says that you are America-hating cancerous scum for a new more pressing reason that isn't true or vomits up some new horseshit about how you hate America because you think the Kochs should pay taxes? His premise was couched in a racist notion about Muslims basically being somehow ethnically unworthy of Operation Bomb Iraq until They Love Us, Israel, and it's Dayton Ohio and he couldn't even get through this tall glass of swamp water and goat's piss without tacking on some bad faith bullshit at the end about liberals and Bush. Why would any liberal hearing things that should have been said a decade ago even if they had been said in good faith make them feel good enough to give credit?
I don't understand. They are destroying this country with each inch they overtake.
They look for signs of weakness as a sign to tell them who and where to attack. They try to get you to navel-gaze so they know who to run down and smash to bits first.
Yay! I have to Glenn Beck credit! Even if I don't wanna. He made non-Crazy face hole sounds.
Why? 2014. Why do you? At all?
He's just going to say that Malia and Sasha or Michelle Obama look fat or frumpy tomorrow. He's gonna tee up a story about how Obama knew Benghazi was going to go down, premeditated murder by neglect, and he let it happen. Wait. I know. Obama always knew where the mastermind of Benghazi was all along, but he didn't go get him until he had to take Bowe Bergdahl off the front page. It's just a stunt to change the narrative about the 5 for 1 "treason". This is just setting up something else. I've been swimming in liberal waters for the last decade or so. I still don't get the urge to overlook bad faith for feel-good wishful thinking.
Lucy. Football. Aaaaaaaagh!!!!!
What does it change?
Besides spark a Politico column where Dylan Byers demands that liberals all must give Glenn Beck credit for doing this the next time he says that the Obama administration is planning on doing something crazybatshit and so he should be impeached. It rings so hollow. Wingnut says "Okay, Bill Clinton didn't have Vince Foster murdered. Okay? I said it. Okay?" or "Hey, remember me, from the 1990's, I'm real sorry I shot that pumpkin or watermelon or whatever it was and said it was just like how you shot Vince Foster in the head. You didn't kill him. I can admit that now. Friends?" Cookie? In 2014? You want a Cookie for saying you were so, so, wrong back in the late 90's now? No. No cookie. No 'thank you for standing up'. No way. No how. This is my way of clearly indicating to the universe than I am not going to automatically answer "sucker say what?" with "what?" because that is what some folks think of as being hopeful.
I think about all the sons and daughters and mothers and fathers who have died in Iraq.
Beck can take his "admission", with or without qualifiers, and stick it where the sun don't shine.
If his mouth is moving, bad faith is oozing out, and it should not be considered a possible source of some refreshing hope and feel-good spring water. Assume there's a con or an angle if he stays something that sounds decent or fair or magnanimous. "Liberals were right about Iraq"? You take that as anything profound at your peril. It's not real. Worse, it's something not real that sets you up for another con. There's still plenty of time for an impeachment that has no chance to succeeding except to say that it means that Obama has a black mark on his record. Beck will be right there with them.
I don't know. Maybe politics is just getting to me. It's almost been a decade and a half since Florida 2000 and the bad guys started a trillion dollar war and still can do the vile shit that they do. Sometimes I think everything in non-Conservative politics is always going to be a lot harder or take a lot longer than it should be because it's just tradition. This is how we roll.
Why are those motherfuckers so goddamned enabled. They have a shitload of money. They are pretty much unburdened by consciences or shame. The Village lets them do whatever the fuck they want or say whatever they want to say, because, "both sides". Why lower the gloves because some wingnut says something you want to hear?
At one time, he was fine with floating the notion that we, basically, were building FEMA (or whatever government acronymie-thingie sounded more ominous to serially bedwetting rich white guys) death camps in the desert. When we weren't busy putting old people to death with our Barry Che Mao Soweto ObummerCare Death Panels. Nope. No Cookie for the Beckster.
I thought it would pass if I slept on it. It didn't. I guess maybe it bothers me as much as it does because I don't want to find out how bad it has to get before everybody is on the same page about the universal role of pure bad faith and the advancement of Movement Conservatism. There is no way that in 2014 any member of the Movement Conservative commentariat should be able to hold up a shiny object and get a single "oooh, shiny! Pretty!" even for a hot minute.
UPDATE: I quoted this analysis from Hullabaloo in the comments because I think it's important, and upon reflection I think that it's important enough to place in the diary so that others can go and read it themselves. Beck is tacking on a very offensive notion that has absolutely nothing to do with his attention porn trolling of the Left and Center Left with any "Liberals were right" declarations. This: "we shouldn’t nation-build and there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free" is Frank Gaffneyan racist poppycock that Beck, with what I feel to be malicious premeditation, tacks on as if this white nationalist 'they were unworthy of us taking up the white man's burden' garbage was a liberal notion or progressive argument against the invasion of Iraq.
Glenn Beck falls back on the racist failure condition of the neoconservative
by David Atkins
Glenn Beck has come to the conclusion that liberals were right about Iraq because those damned Iraqi savages just don't want freedom, after all:
“In spite of the things I felt at the time when we went into war, liberals said, ‘We shouldn’t get involved, we shouldn’t nation-build and there was no indication the people of Iraq had the will to be free,’” Beck said. “I thought that was insulting at the time. Everybody wants to be free.”
On Tuesday, Beck admitted, “You cannot force democracy on the Iraqis or anybody else, it doesn’t work. They don’t understand it or even really want it.”
As Naomi Klein discussed at length in the Shock Doctrine, this is the standard modern imperial playbook: smash and grab for resources and corporate gain, pretend it's about freedom, and then when the locals get angry and everything turns to chaos, claim that there's something culturally wrong with the people that they just don't understand freedom. The same playbook was run after American corporate-backed intervention led to fascist juntas in South America. The same rhetorical games were played after the fall of the Soviet Union--those Ruskies just didn't appreciate freedom, it was said. And now we see the same game in Iraq.