Wednesday, October 29, 2008
The Great American Nightmare
TAPPED Archive | The American Prospect:
Steven Calabresi waxes hysterical and ludicrously implausible: "If Mr. Obama wins we could possibly see any or all of the following: a federal constitutional right to welfare; a federal constitutional mandate of affirmative action wherever there are racial disparities, without regard to proof of discriminatory intent; a right for government-financed abortions through the third trimester of pregnancy; the abolition of capital punishment and the mass freeing of criminal defendants; ruinous shareholder suits against corporate officers and directors; and approval of huge punitive damage awards, like those imposed against tobacco companies, against many legitimate businesses such as those selling fattening food."
The kerfuffle over the New Yorker cover featuring Barak Obama in Muslim garb fist-bumping Michelle in an Angela Davis afro petered out long ago. Latte-swillers were afraid that Joe and the hockey moms would catch a glimpse of it at newsstands and take it seriously. They didn't.
I thought that this cover was a very good idea. There are all kinds of inchoate fears swirling around in people's heads that they never scrutinize and can't quite articulate. Bring them to light, display them clearly, and they're embarrassed: "Do I really believe that Michelle Obama is a terrorist packing an assault weapon? That Barak Obama will hang a picture of Osama Bin Laden over the mantle and burn the American flag? Jeez--I'm an ass."
What we need here is a new Handmaid's Tale displaying, with great clarity, the content of working class conservative's worst nightmares in the way that the original represented the nightmare vision of secular liberals.
Here it is. Legions of Welfare Queens taking advantage of their constitutionally guaranteed right to welfare living high on the hog. You can see it now: the greater part of urban areas turned into boiling slums where the idle poor spend their days sitting on the stoops drinking, playing craps in the streets and driving around in their Cadillacs at the taxpayers expense while near-destitute white people (yup, white) toil at two or three jobs to support them.
Affirmative action gone wild. Small business owners continually monitored, forced to hire representative numbers of blacks, Hispanics and Muslim terrorists. High tech firms employing illiterate black dudes with gold chains and ornamental gold teeth as software engineers to meet their quota, paying them to explore porno sites on the internet.
Government-financed abortions through the third semester: heavily pregnant Welfare Queens queuing up outside Planned Parenthood, where squalling babies are dumped in the trash out back. The mass freeing of criminal defendents: hoards of dangerous criminals pouring out of the prison gates to rape and pillage.
Corporate officers and directors harrassed continually with frivelous lawsuits. Zorba's Greek Buffet of Chula Vista slapped with a multimillion punitive damages suit for moussaka.
That's it, i'n'it? But show them what they believe and they might have second thoughts. Display it Hieronymous Bosch style--the obese Welfare Queens dipping into buckets of Colonel Sanders as they drive around in their Cadillacs and homocidal psychopaths pouring out of prisons to sack American cities as Grand Ayatolla Obama in his turban and Michelle in her afro cheer them on. Reducio.
But maybe I'm wrong. Most people I know took The Handmaid's Tale seriously. They're convinced that there are hoards of Fundamentalists who enjoy vast political power, who could very well take over and would, if they did, establish exactly the sort of regime it portrayed. And I know quite a few people who believe that all Christians are secretly on board with this agenda or are, at the very least, "enablers."
I detest the working class, but I do think they're smarter than this.