Friday, June 4, 2010

"We learn nothing. Ever."

The inimitable Charles Pierce, in his weekly Friday email to Eric Alterman's Altercation website, sums up the character and brainpower of the Worst. President. Ever. and the state of American politics and morality in one astounding paragraph:
I don't know if anyone else missed it, but the previous president of the United States admitted to complicity in a war crime the other day In fact, he bragged about his complicity in a war crime the other day. (He also announced that his greatest disappointment was that he didn't get to wreck Social Security the way he helped wreck the rest of the economy and the constitutional order. The man remains an almost limitless vista of ignorance. He's also a sadistic pig.) This, of course, is in no way a scandal on the order of The Sestak Affair or anything. This, of course, is what you get when all you want to do is Look Forward, Not Back. (And also what you get when you -- shh! -- pretty clearly want to keep your own options open.) I was thinking just the other day what towering lies we tell ourselves everytime a major, genuine scandal comes to a conclusion about the lessons we all have learned from the events in question. Bullshit. We learn nothing. Ever. Watergate is almost 40 years ago now, and a guy named Andrew Breitbart hires a smarmy little arachnid and turns Donald Segretti's ratfucking into a career. He even draws an overly laudatory profile in Time magazine. Do we even have to count the number of ways Iran-Contra taught us next to nothing? Hell, the only people who learned anything were the criminals themselves, and all they learned was how not to get caught the next time, which can fairly be defined as The Bush Administration. We didn't even really learn anything from the useless pursuit of Bill Clinton's libido. We still fall for the same kind of grifters and poltroons who were the grist for The Arkansas Project. (Watch what happens if the Republicans regain the majority in the House.) We are progressively less mature as a self-governing political commonwealth almost by the hour. And now, a guy we elected twice can get paid big money to brag about his complicity in crimes for which we hung Japanese generals, and nobody bats an eye, let alone calls a cop. Donald Segretti, alas, died too soon.

1 comment:

  1. Suggest a viable alternative.

    We keep getting the government we deserve. What's the alternative--an IQ prerequisite for voting?