The Blog

The Race of Puppets

Atticus on the TrailSTATESBORO, GA. — It didn’t take long for idiot Scott Walker to cost himself the presidency.

This is little surprise to anybody, considering the Wisconsin Governor goes over in front of a crowd as well as a dribbling wet shit, but the speed at which he alienated the billionaire Koch Brothers, GOP kingmakers extraordinaire, must’ve turned a few heads all the same.

It all started this weekend with word leaking that, after the New Hampshire Leadership Summit, the Koch Brothers, who’ve brought to you nearly every major conservative movement including the Tea Party, had made their decision to bankroll Walker in the Republican primaries. This came as a strange development as the Kochs usually wait until the rubble has been cleared and a candidate named to thrust their endless capital into the pot. Primaries are, as human turd and casino magnate Sheldon Anderson can attest after wasting over ninety million dollars on Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney in 2012, dumb investments for politically-minded billionaires. The Kochs have known this for years now, but have been increasingly unhappy with the results of their waiting.

By the next morning though, word was out that the Kochs were open to an “audition” by Jeb Bush for the focus of their support.

This is how quickly things can change in the Fast Lane of American Politics.

One moment you’re destined to lead the Free World and the next you’re slumping in a seat in a bus terminal, blood under your fingernails and the rotten stench of failure on your breath.

And you know what? It couldn’t have happened to a worse toad than Walker.

The bane of unions and lovers of education in Wisconsin, Walker is the manifestation of every single evil wet dream the New Right has ever harbored. He’s the type of weasel who sets his homepage to the conservative blogosphere and pleasures himself to every crumb of attention Matt Drudge tosses his way. Walker isn’t a governor, he’s a barometer, the kind of machine that exists only to gauge how passionate the idiots are this morning about the Shit That Simply Does Not Matter.

That desire probably cost him everything as he went on the Glenn Beck show, right after being anointed, and spoke so confusingly and strangely about immigration that the Koch Brothers must’ve recoiled in abject horror. And for what? The approval of Glenn Beck and all the schizo-idiots who buy his gold and prepper-kits?

Now it’s up to Walker to find his benefactor, if there are any left. Rubio has his in the form of Norman Braman, a billionaire who took a shining to the young senator and more or less forced him to divorce himself from his mentor Jeb Bush (See related post, “Swamp Sickness and the Riddle of Man.”). Ted Cruz has a veritable harem of deep-pocketed swine in Texas and Rand Paul, darling of the Libertarians, calls an entire stable of Silicon-Valley bigwigs who simply don’t care about anybody else in the world other than themselves his own.

This is the new reality of Modern Politics. On the Right, in order to swim, you either have to have the entire system on your side, ala Jeb, or else a crickety old white man with endless resources willing to fund your quixotic quest for the low-low price of simply owning your soul and scripting every last position you take and memo you release.

Walker is, in technical terms, shit-out-of-luck.

Certainly there’ll be a groundswell of support from the crazy-ass blogosphere, but his primary opponents have already sucked up all the oxygen in the room. The only hope he has is to convince one of the remaining kingmakers to take up his cause, which would be a whole lot easier if he had a personality more appealing than dysentery on a scalding hot day.

Puppets on a String, MunichWhat Jeb Should Do

As for Jeb, the options are limited but enticing.

There is the invitation, after all, and the opportunity to dance for the Kochs and get embedded in their hefty accounts. By making nice with the billionaires, Jeb will cement his flank in regards to every nasty PAC that’s going to try and sink his ship and will deflect the majority of their attacks as sniping from the peanut gallery. Their blessing will more or less shore up his nomination as the GOP’s candidate, but the downside is that it’ll likely cripple his candidacy at-large.

It should be known that the American People do not care for a puppet. Sure, they’ll elect them time-after-time. Jeb’s brother W, I’m sure, has more than a few interesting pointers on how that can come to be. But they’re not stupid. They’re just apathetic. If they catch scent of Jeb jettisoning every last one of his actually-held principles overboard because the Kochs have handed him a list of necessary positions, which they’ve been circulating in the press for days now, he’s going to suffer a wound so mortal he could never hope to stand up when the General Election comes around.

I offer this:

Tell the Kochs to go fuck themselves with their money.

Better yet, tell them to go fuck Scott Walker with their money.

Tell them to make that little idiot dance until he can’t dance anymore.

You, Jeb, are a free man. A pillar among the idiots who isn’t afraid to speak out against the perils of For-Sale Politics. It’s a blight on the land, you should say. Scream it from the rooftops. Let every man, child, and woman know that This Shit Has To Stop.

It’s a tenable position. Campaign finances are out of control. The entire system rigged and bought in a way we never imagined it could be rigged or bought. The primaries simply a matter of dollars and cents now, the candidates behind the lecterns extensions of billionaire playboys who look at politics as something beneath them, something meant to grease the wheels a little bit more while stroking themselves off with the glove of capitalism.

And it’s not a damnable position for Jeb either.

He does enjoy the spoils of the time-tested and time-approved Republican Machine after all. This is the same machine, the same gears and works and pistons, that elected Ronald Reagan and Jeb’s entire family to office. This is the Good Ol’ Boys Club of Old, the shadowed cloakroom of concentrated power that has won every election it’s ever been allowed to run and doomed every one it hasn’t, including Romney, McCain, Dole, the only exception being the H.W. reelection, which was the result of Out-and-Out Hubris. This is the very manifestation of the New World Order, as imagined in every paranoid delusionist’s fevered dreams, a device so powerful and wretched that even cardholding members have to keep themselves from thinking on it too long for fear of vomiting.

Jeb has nothing to lose from denying the Kochs publically. Even if he scorns them, they’ll be there in ’16 when the smoke clears and they’ll be happy to toss their coinage in. By that point they’ll all meet and drink and laugh about what a lark that whole spectacle was. They’re businessmen, you know. Businessmen appreciate theater, as long as they’re focus of the attention.

If Jeb doesn’t spurn the Kochs though, he’s flirting with danger. Right now he has the status as The Only Adult In The Room. He gives that up, he won’t have much ground left to cede. And the worst thing he can do is lower himself to the level of a maggot like Walker who took such perverse joy from ruining everything sacred and holy about the American system of public good and health that he should be chained to a wall somewhere and fed his own teeth.

The Bushes – well, all of them besides W, anyway – are not unreasonable. They’re Nazi profiteers, sure. They’re war-criminals, that’s hardly arguable. But unreasonable?

No.

Jeb has to be pondering this whole thing. He knows he has an audition, but will he dance? Betting money’s on yes, but the smart money says hell no.

Hillary Clinton - CaricatureRight to the Surface

Word swept politico culture this week that Peter Schweizer’s new book, Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Bill and Hillary Get Rich, was going to be the first of what has to be presumed many political hatchet jobs on the horizon.

In summary, the book claims that Hillary Clinton, as Secretary of State, was guilty of quid pro quo in taking donations from foreign states and corporations. It references specific speaking fees that Bill was given, the numbers in the hundreds of thousands, that directly correlated to treaties and agreements Hillary entered into in her position of power.

Typically, this is the type of hacky work that will enter the bestseller’s list for a month’s time and then end up occupying a space in conservative consciousness’s, not to mention the discount rack at the big-box bookstores, for years to come. The problem is that the claims seem to hold merit and the numbers add up. Even the staunchest supporters of Clinton World have had to shrug their shoulders and admit that the correlation is fishy, but they say, in the same breath, that it’s increasingly hard to prove motivation, at least legally.

This isn’t the type of hit that’s going to sink Hillary. It’s the type that only further proves the assumptions of those who hate her anyway while throwing another log on the fire of the idea that Hillary is untrustworthy, Machiavellian, the Type Who Would Slit Her Own Mother’s Throat For Half A Vote. They’re probably right on all counts, but having her locked up in the Haig and summarily banished and tarnished with Treason, that’s another matter altogether.

The real worry in Clinton Land tonight is that all of this scuttlebutt is going to start gaining weight. It’s not necessary for the GOP or opposition to sink her with these accusations. The way this train gets derailed is via heft, a great gathering of stink that coalesces into a compost pile so wretched and unsightly that voters scream out for Anybody But Hillary.

Right now, Anybody But Hillary is a lonely category. There are plenty of possibilities, including Martin O’Malley, who really could give her a run, and Elizabeth Warren, who probably won’t. Joe Biden’s dead in the water before he even decides and Bernie Sanders, bless him and his actual thoughts, knows he doesn’t stand a chance in hell.

Don’t be fooled though: there are murmurs lately. Whispers of a few surprise entrants who could get in if only Hillary gets slowed down the slightest bit. Clinton Cash isn’t enough to do it, at least not yet, but if the Republicans start holding hearings on Capitol Hill, and then another scandal pops up (which it will), then we might start hearing these whispers get louder. The names they carry aren’t exciting (John Kerry is one of the prominent ones – try and stifle your jubilation) but they are intriguing. Hillary has, more than likely, more baggage and backroom deals than nearly any other presidential candidate in the history of Our Government, so don’t be surprised when some of that ugliness comes to light.

Even bodies tied to concrete blocks slip loose of the rope every now and then. And when they do, they shoot right to the surface.

 

Photo: Puppets on a String, Munich by Jim McDougall

Illustration: Hillary Clinton – Caricature by DonkeyHotey

About Jared Yates Sexton

A born and bred Hoosier, Jared Yates Sexton is the author of An End to All Things (2012, Atticus Books), The Hook and the Haymaker (2015, Split Lip Press), and Bring Me the Head of Yorkie Goodman (2015, New Pulp Press). He currently serves as an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at Georgia Southern University.

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