Friday, November 17, 2006
ABF Friday: Post-election WAAGNFNP edition!
Readers, friends, fellow pet ferret owners, members of the We Are All Giant Nuclear Fireball Now Party. I know many of you are restive; many of you are querulous; many of you are querustive. Since we took control of the House and Senate last Tuesday, many of you have been wondering: where is the giant nuclear fireball you promised? You are puzzled and upset, even outraged, by media reports that the victories of the WAAGNFNP were in fact victories for conservatism—reports that ritually repeat a handful of talking points about a small handful of our candidates. “Look at that one’s hair,” they say, “a man with a crewcut would never launch a first nuclear strike.” Or “remember that this one used to play quarterback,” they say. “Clearly Bérubé doesn’t understand that when this guy says ‘bomb,’ he means ‘pass deep downfield,’ not ‘thermonuclear armageddon.’”
My friends, what did you expect? Did you really think that we would win a bunch of elections—and that the entire apparatus of American media would reform itself the next day? Did you think that the K Street wing of the WAAGNFNP, which has been in thrall to defense contractors for decades, would just pack its briefcases, tidy up its offices, and go home?
What I told you on election night was the simple unvarnished truth: this is only the beginning. Remember that it took the Republicans a full generation to transform their party. Even the election of Reagan didn’t quite do it, in retrospect: sure, it set the tone, and solidified the Southern Strategy, but when Reagan was president there were still unacceptably reasonable Republicans in the Senate, like Howard Baker and Nancy Kassebaum. Replacing them with hardcore wingnuts like Bill Frist and Sam Brownback took years of hard, hard work. The kind of work will have to undertake now.
And so I tell you today: of course there are still plenty of apparatchiks in our party who talk and talk about the giant nuclear fireball but who have no intention of actually bringing it to the people. They’ve played this game all their lives, and they’re not about to stop now. And of course there will be stories by Adam Nagourney about how the WAAGNFNP is “divided” and “splitting.” We read those stories back in October, we’re reading them now, we’ll be reading them for years: don’t worry about that. Just stay on message: the WAAGNFNP is always already splitting, and always already fused. We know that every minor setback, every little arms-control measure is going to be reported as an epochal defeat. We know that Joe Lieberman will be on the talk shows every Sunday. We know that the Kewl Kids at DC High will mock us at every turn. Get over it before it happens, people, because it assuredly will happen.
Meanwhile, we have important things to do on the ground. First and foremost, we must work for electoral reform: we call for fission ballots in order to allow citizens to split their votes again and again, creating a “chain reaction” that will transform the political landscape beyond recognition. This sounds tedious and wonky to many of you, I’m sure: you didn’t come for the fission ballots, you came for the sublime, incendiary spectacle of the GNF itself. But even in victory, comrades, you can’t put the nuclear cart before the nuclear horse. The journey to the GNF starts with a single act of splitting, followed by millions of fission ballots from sea to shining, irradiated sea. It is not for nothing that we join together, split, and sing, “let there be a giant nuclear fireball on earth, and let it begin with me.”
Why, there is much to do right here on this very blog! Because—as you well know—the WAAGNFNP is committed to the simulacrum of democratic deliberation followed by executive decisions made by me, it’s time to open the floor to the
simulacrum people. Where should the WAAGNFNP go from here? What should it do? When should it eat? Most important, should it order the halibut or the steak?
Have a great weekend. Make great suggestions. And I’ll be back next week to tell you what you think!