Republican History Class- The Rise of Capitalism Part 1 – Those Crazy Romans.
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Next CIA director: General David Petraeus ????
It’s a little scary to see the Republican Cargo Cult ginning up headlines touting the idea that disgraced former CIA
Director; Gen. David Petraeus should have a chance to publicly screw up and have to quit in disgrace again. The idea of recycling the head of the Central Intelligence Agency just FEELS wrong. While his affair could have been survived had he chosen, he at least took the High Road and quit.
I can’t believe that out of nowhere suddenly Barack Obama by implication, had made a hire in the first place that was SO good that a small tempest or a glaring mistake wouldn’t destroy. In fact, people believe Obama should overlook the fact he has a resignation in hand from a spymaster so inept that he was unable to conceal a simple extramarital affair?
This is a ludicrous idea! First of all, the obvious- the man has a very important espionage job and he has terrible judgment and no command of subtlety. Shirley Sherrod was fired and then turned down the re-hire after the
administration balked over a creatively re-edited video where she seemed to make harsh statements. Van Jones was branded an anti-christ. Rahm Emanuel had to go back to run Chi-Town because he cursed too much. The presidents critics and Republican foes have been able to sort of have their way with “All the Presidents Men (and women)”.
Now, David Petraeus, a white male, is the offender and it’s a mistake to
accept his letter of resignation? It would make the president look really bad, so of course, it’s being floated. Obama has been a much better political operator than anyone expected, so it’s more than likely he understands that he is being baited. He will appear patently ridiculous if he suddenly made a stand against common sense and made an exception for the first non brown guy who screwed something up.
In the first term this President was not all about loyalty and was careful, even skittish, about choosing his battles. In the last election he received something of a mandate and his flag has never flown higher than it is right now. He has what George W Bush called “political capital”.
The president seems less guns shy. This has been manifested in what has been so far the non-nomination of Doctor Susan Rice, currently the US ambassador to the United Nations. The president has not backed down on this and pointedly told his critics that anyone who he feels unfairly criticizes his people ‘would have a problem’ with him. This is a welcome change for Democrats, many of whom are a tad fed up with their guy getting bashed all the time and under-reacting to it. This was the first time he showed no reluctance to get angry. There was even some good push back against America’s designated angry old man, John McCain.
Even more perplexing then Tea Bagger Republicans fuming over the (currently) Non Nomination of Susan Rice is the obsession with politicizing the Benghazi attacks. Republicans like crazy Senator Lindsey Graham from Teabagistan have been shameless. Mitt Romney screwed the pooch first, nearly exalting over the tragedy even as the people he was mocking were dying for the country. Romney’s energetic, brisk and self-satisfied delivery reeked of ‘I have been praying someone would die horribly so I can exploit it’ sentiment and canned charm. He was exultant. The American people saw right through this and were sickened. It was the starting point of Mitt Romney’s final series of career killing inhuman gaffes that marked his entire failed campaign.
Benghazi is a great topic if you want to create Democrats though. Senator John McCain skips a briefing on the attacks so he can attack the administration for not having a briefing about the attacks. Another fail. It seems no one but the crazies in the non existent but influential astroturfing Tea Party and their “Cylons” in the Republican Party have any problem with the idea that no one could kept safe from an al Qaeda attack, anywhere. Not in New York, not in Benghazi. The American People also seem to understand that confusion ensues after a terrorist attack. In this case the confusion was after the fact, not willful ignorance before the fact, like 9-11. When compared with the only other president to deal with the new post 9-11 landscape, woefully inept George W Bush, the American People were far more satisfied with Obama. Let’s face it, it’s not exactly like following Jimi Hendrix at Woodstock.
The Tea Baggers would LOVE to have Petraeus back. They could lampoon the president for lack of resolve while lauding the great David Petraeus and grooming him and his already sizable ego to maybe be the next losing Republican Candidate. Here’s a guy who thinks he’s Douglas fucking MacArthur already and
has a “Petraeus Cult” in real life and cult leader status in his own mind. Not to mention he also thinks he is Sean Connery despite leaving everyone who saw what has happened more shaken then stirred and disappointing people in a way no spy short of George Lazenby has before. In fact, the only people who love David Petraeus more than David Petraeus are idiot tea baggers hoping to see a white guy get a job he doesn’t deserve or even want like its 1952.
Its almost worth doing to feed their delusion…
It’s hard to believe the Right is so out of touch with America’s massive rejection of their ideas. Apparently they are still a Cargo Cult and have no clue that the 80’s are over, Reagan is not coming back by proxy through Mitt Romney and they aren’t going to bring Cargo from the Sky by doing a rain dance.
Analysis of the Candidates personalities through the prism of Star Trek-
Now that the second debate is behind us we have a representative sample of how both Romney and Obama think and operate. The most successful combination of personality traits for a leader can be interpreted through Star Trek. Specifically- how well does the candidate mix their own inner Kirk, Spock and McCoy?
The Kirk factor is boldness, initiative and swagger. It represents the risk taker and the natural leader aspects required of any leader. Charisma, personal charm and ability to be duplicitous when necessary are core traits of the Kirk factor.
The Spock factor is the strength of the candidate’s knowledge and command of a situation. It includes statistical and analytical skills that are vital to rational decision making. Theoretically impartial, the Spock Factor is responsible for the impact of the message, because numbers and Vulcans NEVER lie.
Finally, there is the McCoy Factor. The McCoy factor is an informed folksiness. McCoy has strong knowledge and background of experience. The McCoy factor is a perfectly honed double threat embodied in one thing- stark realism. The McCoy Factor is equal parts charm and caustic sarcastic cynicism. It serves the function of connecting Spock and Kirk. The McCoy Factor is cautious, but not hesitant. Logical, but able to think beyond the numbers. Most of the McCoy Factor is focused around engendering a greater understanding and a degree of harmony between the overly intellectual and the impetuous. Both the Spock and Kirk factors have grandiose elements. The McCoy factor mitigates these and is the bass guitar to Spock’s drums and Kirks ripping leads, bridging the gap.
Romney defaults to Kirk behavior in his overt persona. His inner McCoy is severely inhibited by his inner Spock, with whom it wages an eternal conflict. At the first debate Romney was able to muster just enough McCoy to pull off a masterful performance. His Spock Factor also ran at its highest so far as he showed command, if not realism, about the numbers that backed his arguments. He pushed the envelope of his Kirk-ness almost to the point of screaming “KHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN!” in debate One, but his inner McCoy was unleashed enough to hold the Kirk and Spock aspects together just enough to make it fly that night. A good mix of the Kirk, Spock and McCoy delivered Victory to Romney.
Obama, on the other hand came into the second debate after a performance in the first where he attempted to go full on Spock and had been easily destroyed by Romney. McCoy and Kirk made no appearance at all. Romney used a plot device directly lifted from several episodes of original Star Trek, the Two Kirks approach. It was an effective ploy. Some sort of transporter malfunction or ion storm had created an alternate Mitt Romney that Obama was completely unprepared for.
From the start of the second debate Romney was pure Kirk, foolishly turning his back on the inner Spock and McCoy. He never was folksy and convincing; he never presented a logical justification of his plans. His math seemed shaky when questioned and he exhibited the very worst aspect of Kirk; a cavalier and objectified view of women. Indeed, Romney had the sort of understanding of women that the Enterprise crew had at the beginning of an episode. A sketch satellite view and confirmation of life, but not as he knew it.
Obama, on the other hand, lead with his inner McCoy. He was more believable and tactile to viewers than in the First Debate. In typical Star trek Fashion he was limping into battle already beat up from a previous engagement. McCoy had stitched the worst wounds and kept the fires burning by keeping the Red Shirts in the fight. Surrogates had softened up the target and through Biden’s utter extirpation of Ryan a tactical schematic had been developed. The last element, Obama’s Inner Spock was the easiest for Obama to channel but the most important one to control. Spock can be high handed and detached. Prone to exceedingly long winded technical answers, high handed and unwilling to articulate on what seems unquestionable logic to him. This was exactly what went wrong for Obama in the first debate. He never tapped into his Inner Kirk or McCoy to mitigate.
Obama was able to seem presidential and competent through the use of his limited amount of Inner Kirk to mitigate the calculations of his Inner Spock. The Inner McCoy worked seamlessly this time, uniting the two remaining traits and focusing them, phazer-like, onto Mitt Romney. Scarred and looking more like a Romulan than a Vulcan Romney continued to default to Kirk. He failed again and again to connect to the average American as he staggered about, shirt torn and lip bleeding. McCoy was in hibernation deep within Romney and was no help at all. Exposed and alone, the Kirk approach was completely doomed.
The calculated risk taken by Romney using the Benghazi attack to trash Obama as incompetent was easily absorbed by Obama’s shields. The two candidates were toe to toe in the arena and both men went pure Kirk for a moment. Obama’s Kirk won in a Shatnerian display worthy a master political thespian. His outrage at Romney’s direct statements that Obama was responsible for the death of Ambassador Stevens was summed up with Obama driving home one thing many people have come to believe about Romney anyway- that he is, in fact, an offensive guy.
Obama was able to effectively counter Romney’s continual “two Kirks” approach by showing them for the dissimilar, polar opposites that could not exist apart. He painted Romney as a walking contradiction lacking key aspects of a healthy psyche. Romney’s inner Kirk is deeply flawed and had maneuvered him into several displays of bluster his inner Spock or McCoy should have been able to stop or at least slow down.
Going into the ramp up to the final debate the mission for Obama is to Boldly Go and delivers the same balanced character he presented on Tuesday night at Hofstra. The Romney campaign has a more difficult task. They must minimize the Bi-Polar aspect of Romney’s core leadership style; awaken his ability to connect, should any remain, and to shore up his logic and numbers credibility.
One thing is certain; after each debate evidence has emerged showing we are in a strange new world that features massive statistical jumps and anomalies. Forecasting beyond the next debate is simply not possible.
2012 Presidential Debate, 2012 third presidential debate, abandoned military bases, Barack Obama, Cargo Cult Republicans, Cargo Cults, john frumm, Mitt Romney, modern conservatism, New Guinea, Papua, price philip society, prince phillip society, Republican Cargo Cult, Republican nominee, Second 2012 Presidential Debate, third 2012 presidential debate, World War 2, World War Two, WWII
Mitt Romney will do his best to portray a Ritualized version of Ronald Reagan tonight at Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.
Mitt Romney and the GOP Cargo Cult – By John McTeag, 10-16-12
Hempstead, NY- With hours to go before the second presidential debate for the 2012 General Election many in the media talk of the possible paths to victory open to President Obama and Republican Nominee Mitt Romney. Winning over women, projecting an ability to be in command of the current Great Recession, and just seeming presidential are major focuses of the “Paths” approach. Instead of “Paths to Victory” I am viewing tonight’s contest with an eye on a different facet of today’s debate analysis, I call it “The Shackles of Defeat.”
Known Shackles include the candidates individual records. These have been analyzed to death and back by traditional media, so we’ll leavethose alone.
A Shackle of Defeat is anything that reduces the individual candidate’s ability to nuance their approach or engage in espousing creative and possibly innovative policy overtures. The biggest and least discussed Shackle for either candidate stands against Romney, Cargo Cult Republicanism.
What are Cargo Cult Republicans? Cargo Cult Republicans are those whose behavior and beliefs have devolved into a quasi-religious mindset towards Modern American Conservatism revolving around the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan in an idealized, ritualized and unrealistic way. The influence of this aspect of modern American Conservatism is palpable yet there has been very little discussion of it.
The classic historical Cargo Cult refers to a quasi-religious phenomenon that arose on the isolated pacific islands used as bases by various militaries during the Second World War. The native islanders in places like Papua, New Guinea had not had much contact with the outside world. Their ways of viewing the day to day world included a good dose of the paranormal. If someone got sick, perhaps a curse had been put upon them. Flood? Famine? Perhaps the villagers aren’t living up to the standards of their pantheon of deities. A thumbnail description would be that they fed the Volcano to pacify the gods,
who were surely a bit crazy.
After the Second
World War began in the Pacific the lives of the native islanders were subject to massive culture shock. Literally overnight and literally out of the sky in the form of shiny silver airplanes as well as great iron beasts from the sea came the mid-20th century. None of the previous limited contacts with outsiders provided a frame of reference for what transpired on their islands, their very world, as emerged over the weeks following arrival of troops from both sides of the conflict. To these isolated natives the idea that an internal combustion engine would spin gears and operate pistons to spin a propeller to power a vehicle capable of carrying goods or people was inconceivable. Imagine and bringing a flashlight, cigarette lighter and .9mm pistol via time traveling helicopter to Dark Ages Europe to get any sort of grip on this.
To the natives of islands such as those of New Guinea the planes were not machines but great beasts akin to hollow metal dragons. They were summoned from the sky by rituals at a holy temple, or as we would call it, a Military Airfield. The “rituals” were the day to day operations of the base. Waiving in incoming planes with flags and lighting runways. Groups of identically clad men marching in formation, sometimes firing their bang sticks!!
In the wake of the Second World War these isolated bases were mostly abandoned and life, for the natives, returned to ‘normal’. But it was a ‘New Normal’. They had become accustomed to the gleaming aluminum dragons regularly summoned by the clergy (read: US Navy Sea Bees) with the sacred relics (read: radios, landing lights and parades). No longer were the great beasts from the air and sea disgorging the cargo they desired. Gone was the supply of canned goods, textiles and the giant crates that had seemed like enormous wooden eggs that birthed the coveted “cargo”.
In a turn of events still being studied by sociologists and historians, the Cargo Cults emerged. The natives formed into cults of sorts and imitated in ritualistic fashion the actions of the men who had summoned the great beats and cargo from the sky. Coconuts were fashioned into radio headsets, bamboo control towers were created. Uniformly dressed men marched in ritual manners similar to the military drills they had seen under the mistaken belief that by simply doing so they themselves would please the gods of the sky and bring down the shiny metal beasts filled with goodies. These beliefs were personified in the form of an image of an American World War 2 Sailor, frequently portrayed as African American, known as “John Frumm”. Think of him as a sort of Santa-Jesus type. British occupied areas developed similar cults based on an idealized perception of Prince Phillip.
The John Frumm Movement and Prince Phillip Societies still exist today in New Guinea. Despite the fact that these places slowly became less isolated and were slowly but steadily overtaken by rational explanations of the outside world some still cling to the Cargo Cult beliefs. In the case of the Prince Phillip society egotistical detachment from reality is shared by the object of their affection. Prince Phillip perhaps unwittingly endorses the cult’s beliefs by sending gifts and autographs. This leads to the inevitable conclusion that what is really needed, by the prince and his worshipers, is some help handling a brutal but needed dose of reality. This need also applies to early 21st Century Tea party Republicans. Ritualized Reaganistic Worldview has become a meme accepted by most Republicans, albeit for the most part unknowingly.
The most familiar Cargo Cult known to Americans in popular culture would be the “Gangster Planet” in the famous episode of Star Trek “A Piece of the Action”, where an isolated planet had been exposed to 23rd century technology by earlier space travelers. When the Enterprise arrives a generation later they find an entire culture influenced by a book the first contactor’s left behind about 1920’s gangster culture in places like Chicago and New York. By looking, dressing and acting like the gangsters they read about the natives of Sigma Iota IV were attempting to make a great leap forward by throwing themselves feet first into imitating a society that had been outlined in book that to them seemed a blue print to the “cargo” they had seen accompanying the first earthmen they met, technology and abilities that would provide for worry free prosperity.
How does this apply to early 21st century American Conservatism? The Republican Party is now packed with under qualified ideologues, who espouse an unrealistic image of a worry free past, in this case, the Go Go 1980’s. The images of John Frumm (a bastardization of “John From America”) and Prince Phillip have been replaced by an idealized, unrealistic image of Ronald Reagan. Like John Frumm, Ritual Reagan is a demi god who summoned “Cargo” (read: Worry free prosperity) through rituals that included sparring with the Russians, a somewhat narrow social view and an overemphasis on an extreme interpretation of “Christian” thought.
To one degree or another every single modern conservative is a member of a Reagan oriented Cargo Cult. The Cargo Cult mentality has threaded its way into every aspect of current Republican narrative.
The Cargo Cult Volcano God demands certain sacrifices be made lest it grow angry and erupt. Among other things, it demands ritual.
Repeated mawkish Ritualistic displays by Romney have so far done nothing to dispel the validity of the Caro Cult Assertion.
Romney seizes upon every perceived advantage and this is no exception. It’s not a difficult role in its Ritualistic Form. There’s some passing physical resemblance, both coincidental and contrived between Romney and Reagan. Among these are their hair, approximate build and hypomanic personalities. Romney seems to be smugly emitting what he seemingly thinks is a subliminal puppet show where he plays Ritualized Reagan. Pushing on the physical he layers on a veneer of the cold warrior aspect of Reagan by strapping on the coconut headphones of some sort of bamboo transmitter and sending pugilistic messages to the Russians, who are clearly not a threat to the United States in 2012. Another Ritual Reagan rain dance is over emphasizing the level of danger posed by Iran. While an outlaw nation and a sponsor of terrorism, the current sanctions and global shunning seem to be worth sticking worth for a while to most Americans who are leery of another American Ground War in an unstable part of the world.
I think in the last few weeks Mitt Romney has become a true believer in his own Reagan-ness.He may well be operating with the Ritualized Reagan approach as a default position on everything. It’s a Franken-Ronnie with none of the warmth and conviction of the original. The “Cargo” aka the Go Go 80’s, can only be delivered by making the Ritualized Reagan, that is Mitt Romney, in the White House. He can then summon the great gleaming beasts from the sky that birth the great wooden eggs filled with the canned goods (aka-worry free prosperity).
This Shackle of Defeat for Romney is one that can be exploited. The Ritualized Reagan that he pantomimes doesn’t square with the real Reagan. Reagan was confronting a real threat from Soviet Russians. Reagan was a culture warrior, but only after being a patriotic America type who believed in some practicality and some tolerance. When Reagan spoke of Libya that country was run by an evil dictator since deceased in fantastic fashion due directly to initiatives taken by the Cargo Cults hated “Anti-Reagan”, President Obama, who realistically could be argued is a truer heir to Reagan’s positions on Libya by doing so. Ritual Reagan is at his weakest on Libya.
Despite a display of unpresidential weakness best left behind in his bumbling and inept reactions to the 9-11 attacks in Libya, Romney revisits the issue at every opportunity. Is he doing this because his “Inner Reagan” simply knee jerks him into having to include comments about Libya into his rhetoric? It can only hurt him. If someone has a better explanation for this obviously misguided attempt to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat on what any other candidate would have rightly moved on from please leave me a comment.
The “rank and file core base republicans’, (read: formerly disavowed extremists from the Wild Wild Allen West Wing of the party) show strong and prevalent evidence of Cargo Cult behavior in social media. They promote Romney as a Pseudo Reagan “Mitt-siah” who is waving in the all-important cargo planes. His one unquestioned credential, ruthless and unaccountable vulture capitalism is a direct result of the unregulated excesses of the 1980’s. This is manifested best in his regulation hating approach to managing the economy. De-personalization and detachment from reality are evident in the Hoover era bootstrap “Rugged Individualism” that has become part of a negative feedback loop that convinces many Republicans they live in Bill Clinton’s proverbial “log cabin they built themselves”.
On the economy Ritual Reagan Romney may have a perceived edge, but this can be unmasked. Obama can paint Romney as a Non Reagan who merely benefitted from then effective but now outdated policies and a lack of regulation that was appalling. For supporters of the president the “Path to Victory” may well be-How well can Obama exploit and secure this Shackle of Defeat to Romney? The dead corpse of Ritual Reagan will be a great impediment should Obama show it for the farcical joke that it is. This will be a tough task for Obama but it is do-able. This is, of course, providing that the Obama Campaign has become aware of the existence of the Cargo Cult Shackle of Defeat and opts to exploit it.
Third Debate Update- The Cargo Cults most likely Guises–
In the wake of the strong performance of Barack Obama in the second debate look for Mitt Romney to do some serious Cargo Cult Ritual. The third and final debate features Foreign Policy, an area where Romney is justifiably considered to be weak. His best bet and most likely tactic is bellicose saber rattling. In Particular he will try to focus on Egypt, the Israeli-Palestinian situation, China, Iran and of course, Libya. He will likely go with a straight Reagan foreign policy approach. Libya is a key aspect of Reagan’s presidency and a situation that still remains volatile. There are obvious ways Romney can and most likely WILL connect these situations to the 1980’s and Ronald Reagan.
No respect will be paid by Romney to the slain ambassador, he will be portrayed as a victim of Obama’s foreign policy and not as a Patriot who was murdered by al Qaeda type terrorists.
Romney need not show an overall mastery of the world situation, just a tough talking schematic of his ideas. He will bring the argument home as often as possible.
Providing anyone skips Monday Night Football to watch the debate- Advantage Obama.