Calhoun's Canon for June 3, 2013
There was weeping and gnashing of teeth in Comedy Land when the news came in. Oz was tumbling. There would be no more joy in Satiric Mudville. The Queen of Crazy was abdicating. Beset with ethics investigations and falling poll numbers, Minnesota Congresswoman, Michele Bachmann, was packing her bags. Her fourth term in Congress would be her last, which prompted certain people to ask, "She got elected four times? In Minnesota? How is that possible?"
I think it was possible because in 9/11, America had a nervous breakdown when the Twin Towers fell (just as Osama bin Laden predicted) and a massive upwelling of darkness in the American psyche began a self-destructive flow that swamped the country in irrational fear, ugly bigotry, high-octane rage, deadly war-mongering, know-nothing unholy Apocalyptic religiosity, all of it a deadly brew that unleashed and justified America's Paranoid Style, only this time it was paranoia on steroids.
Toss in an economic meltdown and the election of a black President and for a certain segment of the population (helped along by corporate interests feeding and manipulating the fear and rage for their own purposes) it was all too much. And so the Era of the
Republican Crazies was upon us.
And what a crop they were. What a show of ignorance, idiocy, misogyny (Who can forget "legitimate rape?"), anti-science stupidity, mind-numbing foolishness (Birthers? Really? Birthers?) and jaw-dropping demagoguery. And these folks were actually running the store (Congress and Senate) or running so they could shut down the store, or showing up in eye-popping numbers for try-outs for the little theatre production of, "I Want To Be President Just Because I'm So Wonderful!"
A national Clown Show by and for the deranged, while outside the hallowed halls of government, citizens (ramped up, funded and run by the likes of the Koch Brothers or Republican operatives like Dick Armey, Grover (drown-government-in-a-bathtub) Norquist and Karl Rove) threw Tea Parties and frightened, distressed citizens showed up dressed in tricorn hats, guns on their hips, carrying posters with photo-shopped pictures of President Obama with a bone through his nose. And lots of befuddled, oxymoronic cries of, "No Socialized medicine! Keep your hands off my Medicare!"
The media loved it. Comedians loved it. It was party night in Bedlam, while the country bled out its wealth and sent more of its finest off to bleed out in one big endless War on Terror. The country was sick and in its deranged state, weirdly elected and re-elected representatives who would vote to inflict the maximum amount of punishment on themselves (Main Street), while administering the maximum amount of soothing salve to the wealthy (Wall Street). It was one long self-inflicted Medean act of fury: Take that, you mooching 47-percenters!
While the political Kings and Queens of Crazy vied to see who could grab the most headlines and raise the most funds with their "Can You Top This?" stupidities.
And now, the Queen of Crazy is folding her tent. The comedians are in mourning. And I can only pray that soon, soon, a sufficient number of Americans will wake up, shake their heads in wonder, and ask, "What the hell were we thinking?"
And the long nightmare will be over.