Etch A Sketch Drumpf (UPDATE)

Etch A Sketch Drumpf

Understanding the Republican mind-set with the Drumpf Etch A Sketch

Four years ago in Etch A Sketch Romney, we quoted Mitt Romney’s senior aide and communications director, Eric Fehrnstrom as follows:

“Well, I think you hit a reset button for the fall campaign. Everything changes. It’s almost like an Etch A Sketch. You can kind of shake it up and restart all of over again”

Then six weeks ago in our post Is Donald Drumpf the Lord of the Flies?  we warned about “his recent threat to start acting presidential.”  It appears that the threat is now being realized, via implementation of a next generation upgrade to the Romney Etch A Sketch: The Drumpf Etch A Sketch, whose specs promise his transformation from a malignant narcissistic bigot into a candidate who can win a general election. (If you believe that, then please contact our Alchemy Division, where we promise to transform Republican shit into presidential gold.)

After his crushing defeat of Ted Cruz in New York last week, Drumpf actually referred to him as “Senator Cruz” instead of his standard “Lyin Ted.” Naturally, this caused a thrill to shoot up the leg of the punditocracy who were falling all over themselves to declare that Drumpf was changing his evil ways; that he was following through on his promise to be “presidential.” (Quick! Someone get conservative apologist David Brooks a fainting couch!) Well, that lasted less than 24 hours when Drumpf repeatedly referred to Cruz as Lyin Ted in a subsequent campaign appearance. No surprise there, as Drumpf has spoken out of both sides of his mouth so many times that the media doesn’t even notice or comment on it anymore (assuming they ever did).

For example, last week an audio tape of a closed-door meeting between new Drumpf campaign director Paul Manafort and an assemblage of top GOP officials surfaced in which he tries to reassure them Drumpf is just playing to the most bigoted part of the GOP crowd, and that “the part he’s been playing is evolving.” (Of course, this is a tacit admission that his followers are loyal devotees of Teh Stupid Cult.) In other words: “Don’t worry. Be happy. The Donald  will drop his boorish behavior in the general election and act like the statesman and unifier he really is.”

Manafort also dismissed accusations by Cruz that Drumpf has lied about his policies on immigration to “fool gullible voters.” Well, there certainly is no shortage of those voting Republican this year. Cruz himself has proven that with his own Etch A Sketch act. How many of his supporters know that he opposed the Wall Street bailout while using a $500,000 loan from his wife Heidi’s employer, Goldman Sachs, to launch his senate career, all the while bragging that he had risked everything to self-finance his up-by-his-bootstraps campaign?

In addition to last week’s revelation of the Manafort audio tape (reminiscent of the leak of  Romney’s disastrous 47% recording), another piece of essential GOP technology was exposed recently that proves its connection to, and collusion with ― wait for it ― the Bizarro universe! You know, that parallel reality where up is down, bad is good, war is peace, and tax-breaks for the rich trickle down to the poor. We speak here of the “Parallel Universe Self-Oscillating Fuzzy Reality Projector.”

Parallel Universe Fuzz Machine

Notice the button options. There is Starve, the GOP’s policy towards the “welfare state” and its safety-net-is-really-a hammock-for-the-takers meme. Bypass, which is their answer to Obamacare, as in: individuals unable to afford the extortionate demands of the for-profit medical industrial complex can just By-Pass Go and not collect $200,000 to pay for a critical medical procedure. And finally, OSC, which stands for “Overtly Stupid Conformity,” the button they push to get under-paid Southerners to support the Wall Street banksters and K Street lobbyists to support policies that militate against their own economic interests.

For the GOP’s sake, it better still be under warranty, as it is obviously malfunctioning. As the GOP presidential campaign has unfolded, whatever light that the GOP might have once emitted has been sucked into the black hole at the center of the Bizarro universe where their evil twins reside. Those tremors in the Force you’ve been feeling of late is proof that the rupture between the two parallel worlds has already occurred, resulting in the time-space manifold between them being turned inside-out, vomiting forth their dopplegangers into our every day political reality.

By way of analogy, its kinda like what happens when you open a spacecraft’s airlock and everything in the cargo bay gets sucked out the door. (Think of the scene from the movie Alien, where Sigourney Weaver flushes the evil alien out into the vacuum of space ― “Where no one can hear you scream”― as the film’s classic tagline has it.) Of the 17 original GOP presidential candidate crew members, 14 of them have already entered the earth’s atmosphere and are now toast. Two of the remaining three, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, are even now skimming along its edge and showing that characteristic warming glow.

That leaves Donald Drumf, who might have to wait until November to read his own political obituary, assuming he doesn’t spontaneously combust before then.

Spontaneous Human Combustion

The fate of Donald Drumf, according to a visionary named “Reality”

UPDATE 4/27

Seems That Politico had adopted the parallel universe, Bizarro alternate reality metaphor, to wit:

The parallel universe where Cruz is beating Trump; 04/27/16 12:12 AM EDT

And

Ryan’s GOP tries to create Trump-free alternate reality; 04/27/16 08:09 PM EDT


Graphic credits:

etch-a-sketch: http://www.democraticunderground.com/101479062

parallel universe http://www.experimentalistsanonymous.com/stuff/paralleluniverse/]

 

Elizabeth Warren Dumps on Drumpf

Elizabeth WarrenIs Elizabeth Warren demonstrating the size of Drumpf’s Brain?

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren stirred up a Twitter Twister Storm  yesterday, warning that Donald Drumpf  “stands ready to tear apart an America that was built on values like decency, community, and our neighbors.” Among other things, she called him “a loser; a failed businessman; a scammer; a bully; and an authoritarian. She depicts him as a flagrant narcissist whose “insecurities…petty bullying, attacks on women, [and] cheap racism” are on parade, for the whole world to see.

Makes you wonder how she really feels about America’s latest entry into the Fascist Olympics.

Meanwhile, Politico reports:

Donald Drumpf huddled with a small group of Republican lawmakers and other political leaders for more than an hour in Washington on Monday as they discussed foreign policy, the Supreme Court and the need to unify the GOP behind Drumpf.

The real estate mogul gathered at the law firm of Jones Day, just steps away from the Capitol building, part of a full day in Washington that includes a press conference and a landmark speech before Jewish leaders at AIPAC

The meeting attracted about two dozen Republican officials and came just days after anti-Drumpf forces convened in Washington to plot their own strategy to deny the Republican front runner the nomination….No members of Senate leadership attended the meeting, which happened as the chamber was on recess.

One has to wonder whether, absent the recess excuse, any Congress critters would have shown up, other then those who have already endorsed Drumpf. That would include: Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), Rep. Scott DesJarlais (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-Calif.). The only exception of an attendee who hasn’t endorsed Drumpf, Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.), claims he is neutral on supporting any one candidate before the nomination convention.

Two former Congress critters did attend: former South Carolina senator Jim DeMint, now head honcho at the ultra-conservative Heritage Foundation;  and former Speaker of the House, Newton Leroy Gingrich.

BigBabyNewt

The question arises in light of a vow by the anti-Drumpf super Pac, Our Principles PAC,* to follow Drumpf around with a video camera like a junkie in pursuit of a fix, hoping to rat-out any Republican leader who shows up at future Drumpf rallies. Just one of a number of signs of panic that has gripped the GOP Establishment, now hell-bent on their mission to deny Drumpf the nomination. Why? Simple― they fear that not only losing the presidency, but the Supreme Court, the Senate, and even an out-side chance of losing the House as well.

All of which leads us to a number of intriguing possibilities:

  1. Drumpf enters the GOP convention with enough delegates to secure the nomination outright. Will the GOP bigwigs then suppress their collective gag reflex and support the winner, earning themselves the George Will Award, aka “Vichy Republicans“? If not, will they break away and start a third party, hoping to field an independent candidate that could qualify on enough state ballots to take on Democratic nominee? Will they sit on their hands and stay home? Or heaven forfend, hold their nose with one hand and vote for Clinton with the other, assuming she’s the nominee? (I can’t see them ever voting for a self-avowed socialist, which would be a GOP Life Extinction Event.)
  2. Drumpf enters the convention with a vast plurality of delegates but not the requisite number 0f 1237, opening the door to a brokered or contested convention. While some of Drumpf’s existing delegates committed to a first ballot vote will still support him in at least one subsequent ballot, most of them will be free to vote for whomever on subsequent ballots. What do you think the going rate for a delegate to switch his or her vote will be?
  3. That brings us to the Rules Committees. I use the plural because there will be in effect two: the legacy committee, dominated by Romney supporters who were able to deprive Ron Paul of a vote via a highly suspect voice-vote at the 2012 convention conducted by then Speaker of the House and consequent convention chair, John Boehner. That rule, which requires a candidate to have carried at least 8 states, is still in effect. That would eliminate John Kasich from contention if it remains in force. That would advance Ted Cruz, the second worst choice and runner-up GOP nightmare, to the forefront. But wait!―there’s more!
  4. A news Rules Committee will be voted in by a complicated formula of local state and county officials for the 2016 convention. They will be free to dump the Romney Rule, keeping Kasich in play; as well as other non-candidates that might parachute in at the last moment, such as Willard Mitt Romney. There’s nothing to prevent the new rules from depriving Drumpf of the nomination, even if he is just a few votes short on the first ballot.
  5. If that scenario unfolds, all hell will break out. The Grand Old Party will break up. Big sad. Hasta la vista, baby.
  6. Caveat: There are likely a number of possible variables, based on the complexities of the delegate selection rules, that might yet effect any or all of these outcomes. Stay tuned.

Given all that, I find it remarkable that someone of Elizabeth Warren’s stature is pulling out all the stops to keep what looks like on the surface, the wholesale implosion of the Republican Party. Why stop them from shooting themselves in both feet, followed up by a double-tap kill-shot to the head, eliminating them from the battlefield altogether?

We’ll have to explore what lies beneath her decision in a future post.

BREAKING NEWS: Just a we were going to post, news broke that there’s been a terrorist attack in Brussels: two bombs at the main airport and one in a subway. At least 31 people are reported dead. This follows in the wake of Friday’s arrest of the remaining terrorist involved in the Paris attacks, Salah Abdeslam. Already Drumpf has weighed in, proclaiming that he would have used torture on Asdeslam, much to the consternation of the US intelligence community who say this will damage their efforts to prevent such attacks in the future.

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* “It’s no coincidence that the super PAC leading the charge against Drumpf is run by Romney’s former chief strategist, Katie Packer. Early donors include Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman; billionaire hedge fund manager and political activist Paul Singer; Chicago businessman, Richard Uihlein, who has dropped some $10 million on various conservative super PACs over the last six years; and Marlene Ricketts, the wife of billionaire T.D. Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts (who also owns the Chicago Cubs), who started the ball rolling with a $3 million contribution.” ―From Urantian Sojourn’s  White Horse Prophecy Redux.  

White Horse Prophecy Redux

Mitt White Horsing Around

Mitt Romney’s attempt to satisfy the White Horse Prophecy is going up in flames

Back in the day, when Willard Mitt Romney  was overtly running for president, we published “Mitt Romney, Glenn Beck, & The White Horse Prophecy. Now that Mittens is covertly running for president―the clear implication of his desperate call for GOP voters to deprive Donald Drumpf of delegates by voting for whomever has the best chance of beating him one state at a time, despite the particular candidate that a voter supports―it’s time to revisit the Mormon White Horse prophecy.

It’s no coincidence that the super PAC leading the charge against Drumpf is run by Romney’s former chief strategist, Katie Packer. Early donors include Hewlett-Packard Enterprise CEO Meg Whitman; billionaire hedge fund manager and political activist Paul Singer; Chicago businessman, Richard Uihlein, who has dropped some $10 million on various conservative super PACs over the last six years; and Marlene Ricketts, the wife of billionaire T.D. Ameritrade founder J. Joe Ricketts (who also owns the Chicago Cubs), who started the ball rolling with a $3 million contribution.

Which brings us to the other member of the Mormon dynamic duo. Glenn Beck re-surfaced at CPAC this weekend after being blackballed for years after warning that a “progressive cancer” had infected the GOP. In his speech Saturday he got back into prophetic  form, congratulating the new CPAC organizers for, among other things, exorcising “Muslim Brotherhood Moles” from the purity of the CPAC universe. And just to prove that redemption knows no limits in the world of media Q ratings, the Beckosaur was handed the conch shell by producers of This Week With George Stephanopoulos to spread his peculiar brand of paranoia about the beast who threatens to destroy the GOP―Dumbledore Drump.

beckosaur

The Beckasaur

So without further ado, we again lift the veil of self-importance that serves to convince apocalyptics like Willard and Glenn that they really matter in the world.

—————–

In 1835, Joseph Smith Jr., the founder of The Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints, aka theMormons, wrote in his collection of prophecies and insights titled Doctrines and Covenants:

“If ye are faithful, ye shall assemble yourselves together to rejoice upon the land of Missouri, which is the land of your inheritance, which is now the land of your enemies.”

One has to assume, if one is to believe in the efficacy of Smith’s prophecy, that his fellow Saints were less than faithful; or alternatively, that their sense of entitlement was ill-conceived; or that Smith was just another BS artist. Because, a mere three years later, after a successful voter suppression effort by 200 non-Mormon settlers in Gallatin on August 6, 1838 that led to a wider, catastrophic war, he and his entire community were driven out of the state of Missouri, lock, stock and barrel.

His petition for redress to President Martin Van Buren in 1839 was refused for starkly political reasons. Four years after that, Smith is said to have uttered another prophecy that became known as the White Horse Prophecy (WHORP) . Bill McKeever over at Thom Hartmann.com describes it thusly:

The White Horse Prophecy

Another of Smith’s predictions, the “White Horse Prophecy,” gets its name from the biblical book of Revelation. The prophecy has been given a dubious distinction since there is no evidence that Smith ever gave it in a public setting. Instead, its pedigree goes back to two Mormons, Edwin Rushton and Theodore Turley, who said they personally heard Joseph Smith give this prediction at Smith’s home on or about May 6, 1843. Smith allegedly gave numerous predictions in this prophecy, but the portion that is most repeated speaks of a day when the Constitution of the United States will “hang by a thread.” It will be “preserved and saved” by a White Horse, A.K.A. the Mormon Church.

Seven generations of Mormon leaders, while jettisoning various parts of the prophecy including the violent overthrow of the US government, have nonetheless, kept hope alive. McKeever again:

In 1963 [Evra Taft] Benson again mentioned this prophecy in a conference message: “The Prophet Joseph Smith said the time would come when the Constitution would hang as it were by a thread. Modern-day prophets for the last thirty years have been warning us that we have been rapidly moving in that direction. Fortunately, the Prophet Joseph Smith saw the part the elders of Israel would play in this crisis. Will there be some of us who won’t care about saving the Constitution, others who will be blinded by the craftiness of men, and some who will knowingly be working to destroy it? He that has ears to hear and eyes to see can discern by the Spirit and through the words of God’s mouthpiece that our liberties are being taken” (Conference Report, April 1963, p.113).

Shades of the Tea Party, who never tire of warning us that “our liberties are being taken.” One has to assume that was a major selling point on the part of the Romney campaign to gain the support of the Teabaggers, whether they believed in the overarching validity of the prophecy itself, they were certainly down with the ‘they’re stealing our liberties’ stuff. One Teabagger who does believe wholeheartedly in the WHORP is the Mormon Mad Man, Glenn Beck. As Dana Milbank wrote at Huffpo:

“In one of his first appearances on Fox News, Glenn Beck sent a coded message to the nation’s six million Mormons — or at least those Mormons who believe in what the Latter-day Saints call “the White Horse Prophecy.”

“We are at the place where the Constitution hangs in the balance,” Beck told Bill O’Reillyon November 14, 2008, just after President Obama‘s election. “I feel the Constitution is hanging in the balance right now, hanging by a thread unless the good Americans wake up.”

[…]

Was it just a coincidence in wording, or was Beck, a 1999 Mormon convert, speaking in coded language about the need to fulfill the Mormon prophecy? A conversation on Beck’s radio show ten days earlier would seem to rule out coincidence. Beck was interviewingSenator Orrin Hatch of Utah, also a Mormon, when he said: “I heard Barack Obama talk about the Constitution and I thought, we are at the point or we are very near the point where our Constitution is hanging by a thread.”

“Well, let me tell you something,” Hatch responded. “I believe the Constitution is hanging by a thread.”

Days after Beck’s Fox show started in January 2009, he had Hatch on, and again prompted him: “I believe our Constitution hangs by a thread.”

Large numbers of Mormons watch Beck…

Earlier, during his 1999 run for the presidency, Orrin Hatch was quoted by The Salt Lake Tribune: “I’ve never seen it worse than this, where the Constitution literally is hanging by a thread” (“Did Hatch Allude To LDS Prophecy?” Salt Lake Tribune, Nov. 11, 1999).” Mormons of a feather flock together.

Which brings us to the question: Does Mitt Romney, a bishop in the Mormon Church, consider himself the embodiment of Joseph Smith’s prophecy?

Well, it would explain a number of things about the way he has managed his presidential campaign, beginning with the issue of how he has managed his presidential campaign. See, for example, Mitt Is On Fire, a collection of conservative wailings about what is arguably the worst GOP presidential campaign since…John McCain’s.

Additionally, it would explain his and Ann Romney‘s sense of entitlement, which Ann summed up in her best elitist manner: “It’s our turn.”

Then there’s his attitude towards withholding a more extensive release of his taxes that, in contravention to his own father’s example of releasing 12 years worth, would give American voters a better understanding of how he became so filthy rich.

And finally, it would explain his cavalier attitude to providing any meaningful details about his policy imperatives. As with his refusal to provide same with regard to his taxes, the overarching goal of saving the Constitution must take priority over such quotidian concerns.

Of course, all of these infirmities of the Romney campaign can be explained using CW political analysis. But, as every novelist or screenwriter knows (written a few  of the latter myself), understanding a protagonist’s formative beliefs provides insight into his character, and ultimately, his motivations and actions.

If I be permitted a prophecy of my own– Romney’s presidential bid will go down in flames. The only question remaining is how much damage he will do the the immediate, mid-range, and long term goals of the GOP. As conservative talk show host Laura Ingraham warned:

“If you can’t beat Barack Obama with this record, then shut down the party. Shut it down, start new, with new people. Because this is a gimme election, or at least it should be.”

We should be so lucky.

Donald Drumpf at CPAC & Romney Suggests a Brokered Convention

wingnut-2

Well, its time again for the annual Wingnut Woodstock, the Conservative Political Action Conference, aka CPAC. (For past coverage see here; here;and here.) This year’s even will be held in National Harbor, Maryland. (Hopefully, without the bed bugs that plagued the 2011 convention in Washington, D.C.).

Featured speakers include all the present GOP presidential wannabes, including gentle Dr. Ben Carson, who is expected to announce his withdrawal from the campaign during his scheduled Friday address. Also too, the already forgotten, other failed candidates: Rick Santorum, Scott Walker, and Carly Fiorina.

But all eyes will be on Donald Drumpf Saturday;  that is, if the Dump Trump movement being spearheaded by the slow-to-the-party GOP establishment and their affiliated super PACs have their way. Politico reports:

Even by the standards of CPAC, which over the decades has been in the middle of more than its share of contentious fights about the future of the conservative movement, the one brewing around this year’s gathering is shaping up as historic ― and historically nasty.

Organizers are trying to strike a tricky balance between their self-described role as neutral referees, and a leeriness about being seen as rewarding the increasingly incendiary campaign of the billionaire real estate showman threatening to shatter the Republican Party for years to come…

The anti-Trump super PAC Make America Awesome this week launched a petition calling on the ACU to rescind its invitation to Trump. If plans for Trump’s speech proceed, the group is planning some form of protest at the convention center hosting CPAC in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, according to Liz Mair, the GOP strategist behind the PAC.

Allowing Trump to speak “will do lasting and huge (yuge!) damage to the reputations of CPAC, ACU, individual ACU board members, the conservative movement, and indeed the GOP and America,” Mair wrote in an email.

With the GOP establishment in full panic mode at the growing likelihood of a Trump candidacy, they trotted out its standard bearer from the last presidential election, Willard Mitt Romney, to make a last minute desperate plea to voters and donors to stop Trump at any cost. Describing the parade of horribles that would ensue should Trump triumph, he went so far as to encourage voters to choose the candidate that has the best chance of depriving Trump of delegates in each, individual state election, whether they support that candidate or not!

Which smells like a covert effort to create a brokered convention. If Trump doesn’t come with the 1237 delegates he needs to win on the first ballot, that would effectively free up some 2/3 of the delegates already pledged to him so that they could vote for another candidate. (Different states have different rules for releasing same.)

Which smells like a covert effort by Willard to put himself back on the ticket. The Mittster opened his speech with some transparent sleight-of-hand, saying he wasn’t there to announce support for any particular candidate, including himself. He didn’t have to; first things first. By laying out a strategy for a contested convention, he opens the door to his own nomination.

Nice try, but I don’t think even what passes for the GOP electorate these days is that stupid.

All to which we say: Go Donald, go!

Empty chairs TrumpDonald Drumpf packing them in at the 2013 CPAC extravangza

Broker This

GOPy Dick

From hell’s heart I stab at thee; for hate’s sake I spit my last breath at thee. Ye damned whale. 

Herman Melville, 1851

Some six weeks ago, we wrote:

However, the policy implications of this kind of craziness on the GOP platform is a clown car of a different color. With the advent of Superpacs, a consequence of the Supreme Court’s infamous ruling in Citizens United, marginal candidates who would have previously dropped out of the running for lack of funds, can now soldier-on right into the Republican nomination convention. Instead of their delegates being liberated, i.e., up for grabs, will they now remain under his or hers control, and by extension, the control of the candidate’s  anonymous Big Money contributors? That’s a crucial question confronting Reince Preibus and the GOP establishment in the weeks and months to come. A brokered convention with a muscular Superpac component is shaping up to be the political equivalent of a Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome sequel.

Now Politico reports this:

Rubio, who openly contemplated the possibility of a contested convention in an AP interview last week, is not the only candidate whose campaign is preparing to contest the shadow primary.

One Southern state party chairman said that the calls from campaigns seeking data — such as contact information on eligible delegates and the names of people who have served as delegates in past years — began in late 2015. The chairman said calls have also come from third-party vendors who declined to identify which campaigns are their clients. “There’s a bit of skulduggery. … I suspect some super PACs are behind some of this.”

Toby Neugebauer, a Cruz super PAC megadonor who has long maintained that this nominating contest would be drawn out, said he has invested in custom delegate-tracking software but did not provide further details of his efforts on that front.

The Southern state party chairman who called an open convention “the white whale of politics” said the possibility is driving side conversations at party meetings. “We all sit around and talk about it at [Republican National Committee] meetings.”

The “white whale of politics…” Almost seven years ago to the day, we published Rethuglican Hallucinations, which used the Moby Dick, white male metaphor to underscore the GOP’s delusional obsession that tax cuts for the uber-rich would somehow trickle-down for the benefit of the rest of us. Eight years of Republican rule under the George W. Bush Administration produced two massive, unfunded tax cuts(not to mention two unfunded wars and the expansion of Part D Medicare)  that drove the US economy to the very precipice of another Great Depression.

Not much has changed since then. Except that the rich have gotten richer, the poor have gotten poorer, the middle class has shrunk, and banks that were considered too big to fail at the time of crash (with $8 trillion in assets in 2008) have only gotten bigger ($10 trillion today). Wealth inequality, the cornerstone of the Bernie Sanders campaign, grew dramatically as a consequence of taxpayer bailouts begun under the Bushies and magnified by the Federal Reserve’s “quantitative easing” and zero interest rate policies.

Congress did manage a watered down effort at bank regulation, the Dodd-Frank Act, passed under President Obama, but every GOP presidential candidate wants to scrap it (along with Obamacare and the rest of his presidency) the minute they takeover the White House.

However, thanks to the Great White Leviathan with the orange fringe on top, currently poised to win the GOP nomination, not only would they lose an opportunity to take over the White House, but might result in their loss of the Senate, and the Supreme Court for a generation. Their only hope is a brokered convention. And that would likely result in destruction of the party if they try to screw the Tea Party and nominate another establishment Republican.

Lower the lifeboats, ye scuppers! 

————-

And now it’s back to the future, with this blast from the past.

Rethuglican Hallucinations

In trying to account for the experience of color, neurobiologist Humberto Maturana decided to treat the nervous system as a closed system, depriving it of external sensory inputs. Incidentally, he found that deprived of such inputs, the nervous system can’t distinguish between ordinary perception and hallucinations.

Similarly, the Rethugs, by becoming a closed ideological system, have no way of distinguishing between their own hallucinations and the reality the rest of America inhabits. They have transformed themselves into Capt. Ahab lashed to the Great White Whale of tax cuts, plunged time and time again beneath the roiling waters of reality.

Eight years of tax cuts under their leadership produced a measly 3 million jobs, compared to the 22 million created under the last Democratic administration. In the present economic crisis, one doesn’t have to be an economist to conclude that direct government created jobs programs are going to produce way more jobs than will tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy, who have no incentive to do anything but hoard the money in these uncertain times.

In the climax of the movie version starring Gregory Peck, Moby Dick surfaces one last time. One of the arms of the now drowned Ahab has come loose, flopping back and forth. The Rethugs mistake that pitiful movement for life and direction.

Just before Moby plunges them one last time into the depths.

Success may generate courage and promote confidence, but wisdom comes only from the experiences of adjustment to the results of one’s failures. Men who prefer optimistic illusions to reality can never become wise. Only those who face facts and adjust them to ideals can achieve wisdom. Wisdom embraces both the fact and the ideal and therefore saves its devotees from both of those barren extremes of philosophy — the man whose idealism excludes facts and the materialist who is devoid of spiritual outlook. Those timid souls who can only keep up the struggle of life by the aid of continuous false illusions of success are doomed to suffer failure and experience defeat as they ultimately awaken from the dream world of their own imaginations. • —The Urantia Book