Saturday, April 23, 2016

Unleavened Prose

Shraga Weil, 1963, Four Musicians (but they're the four sons of the Haggadah: Wise, with shofar; Wicked, with drum; Simple, with a "horn", maybe some lengthy double-reed instrument; and the One Who Does Not Know How to Ask with rattles). Via Jewish Heritage Online Magazine.
Could the GOP be facing an intellectual Exodus? Forty years ago, neoconservatives started migrating toward the Republican Party. Is a reverse migration possible? —Daniel Drezner, Washington Post, April 19 2016. H/t Driftglass.
Each year at the blessed season of Passover we remember the story of how God led the people of Israel out of bondage in the fleshpots of Egypt to the promised land, thousands of years ago, but we also think of the experience of those who have gone through similar kinds of oppression throughout history, and the hope of redemption held out to all, from the enslaved African Americans in earlier days of American history to the victims of war and violence in our own world today. Or the neoconservative intellectuals who toiled for generations under the whips of their ruthless capitalist overlords until at last the weight of their chains grew too great and they rose to free themselves.

I mean, fleshpots being fleshpots, it wasn't that bad in some respects, but they did have to spend literally minutes each week typing things on impenetrable and disgusting subjects like climate science and gynaecotheology when all they really wanted to do was urge on the troops to kill Arabs, make fun of stupid liberals and their ill-fitting clothing and theoretically complicated sexual habits, and handicap vice presidential candidates.

But the worst was to come in the presidential campaign of 2016, when the National Review published an entire issue condemning the candidacy of Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump, instead of being cowed by this evidence of the united opposition of all the most serious minds in the Republican party, sent out the infamous tweet, "National Review writers are talentless dweebs. I'll kill all their firstborn sons, and eat them. Pathetic!"

Which—instead of being regarded as a serious gaffe and ending his campaign—somehow only got him more votes.
26. Then the LORD came unto Dr. Kristol, and said, "I am the LORD. Go you to Priebus, and tell him to let my neoconservatives go."
27. And Dr. Kristol said, "But how should I speak to Priebus, seeing that I am uncircumcised in the lips?"
28. And the LORD said, "Are you kidding? You guys are nothing if not glib. Bring Rod Dreher."
29. And Dr. Kristol said, "Really? But technically, he's not exactly a neoconservative. You see, we believe..."
But that was not the point. Dr. Kristol was to go in to Priebus and demand the release of the neoconservatives on behalf of the LORD, and Priebus was going to say, "Oh, this is God's idea? Show me a miracle and prove it." And Dr. Kristol would throw Rod Dreher onto the ground and Rod Dreher would turn into a snake. And all of the official designated Republican wizards would throw their Rods onto the ground and they would turn into snakes too, and you get the picture. And eventually the LORD would afflict the Republicans with a series of plagues, including
  • turning the water of the Potomac to blood and killing all the fish that lived therein;
  • unleashing hordes of MRA gamer bloggers onto the Internet;
  • spreading a virulent strain of crab lice among the convention delegates;
  • afflicting the cable news channels with numberless analysts of Supreme Court cases, leaving no time for Priebus to appear on the morning shows;
  • infesting the Chick Fil-A, and even the Qdoba, with the E. coli bacterium;
  • introducing regular instead of skim into everybody's latte;
  • raining down hailstones which Senator Inhofe would haul onto the Senate floor to prove that the climate was not changing;
  • consuming all the party funds with worthless TV ads that didn't even discourage Democrats from voting;
  • larding the official talking points with so many meaningless terms that the spin rooms went dark and nobody knew any longer where he was;
  • putting to death the firstborn of every leader's family, yea, the chairpersons and the superdelegates and the cats and dogs and other animals. 
But not the firstborn children of the neoconservatives, for each of them had on his door the sign, "Don't blame me, I voted for Rubio," and the Angel of Death passed them over, even as the voters had done.

After which Priebus's heart was softened, and he agreed to let them pack up their think tanks with the manuscripts and Post-its and Blackberries, and their women and animals, and their exercise equipment and Segways and exotic beer bottles and personal drones and pods, pads, and interns, and so all the neoconservatives fled in the night toward Maryland, in such a hurry that they forgot their funding, yea, the Scaife dollars and the Koch dollars and even the Adelson dough.

And this is why today, at this time every year, every neoconservative tries to write something for free, because our fathers wrote unleavened prose in the desert.

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