Behind the Headlines
by Justin Raimondo
The political season was officially inaugurated by Monday's kickoff of the Republican national convention, and convention fever is in the air but what it induces in this correspondent is much closer to a bout of sleeping sickness. I know I am not alone in this. More minutely scripted than a Soviet party congress in Stalin's heyday, the GOP confab is designed to convince minorities or, more likely, white liberals and the ubiquitous "soccer moms" that the Republican party is a paragon of political correctness. Colin Powell lectures Republicans on the virtues of affirmative action. On the Lifetime Channel Soccer Mom TV we get to see Liddy Dole, addressing a GOP hen party in Philadelphia, in a huff because the Rapist 'held back" and didn't screw the Serbs like he did Juanita Broaddrick. "Should we have sent in ground troops?" she asked, and answered: "Yes, if our national interest" and our "victory" depended on it. And they're saying that "meanness" has been entirely banished from the GOP not so!
On the international front, the old cold war belligerence is, if anything, accentuated: according to the GOP platform, the world is bristling with enemies, from the Middle East to the Far East and all points in between. Never mind the end of communism our foreign policy must remain unchanged. The rapprochement of the two Koreas is not even acknowledged (although the victory of Vicente Fox is). While skeptical of "humanitarian" intervention, the platform endorses virtually every Clintonian military intervention after the fact on "national security" grounds. Instead of being retired to the museum of cold war relics, NATO is to be "revitalized" and expanded with the US taxpayers footing the bill and US arms manufacturers reaping the profits. We are told that the only problem with Clinton's 1998 assault on Iraq was that "when the administration decided to take military action, it did too little, too late." Note to my Iraqi readers: take cover. As for the murderous economic sanctions, they will stay: "We will maintain the sanctions on the Iraqi regime while seeking to alleviate the suffering of innocent Iraqi people." But how do you alleviate a people's suffering by denying them the basic necessities of life and killing 5,000 of their children every month? How "compassionate" can you get? And things don't get much better on the domestic policy front. . . .
The Bushification of the GOP platform also meant dropping the "harsh" language of the 1996 version, which rightly averred that "we must set immigration at manageable levels" and deplored public benefits to illegals. The new Republican doctrine of "inclusiveness" is stated plainly: "To all Americans, particularly immigrants and minorities, we send a clear message: this is the party of freedom and progress, and it is your home." To the peoples of the world, never mind about that pesky border: this is your home. Come one, come all, and the more the merrier: this means, in effect, open borders. The Republican platform stance calling for action against illegal immigration and caps on the legal variety is completely gutted in favor of a touchy-feely we-are-the-world open borders position just as the news breaks that Al Gore's political operatives put heavy pressure on the Justice Department to approve the acceleration of citizenship applications without proper review. According to the Justice Department, this was done for "possible political advantage" in the hope that these hurriedly-minted new citizens could be herded to the polls to vote Democratic in droves. One study estimates 18 percent of applications went completely unreviewed, with as many as 6,000 criminals now eligible to vote Republican. Isn't "diversity" wonderful?
The plank calling for the official recognition of English as "the common language" is retained minus the word "official." This abandonment of the "English Only" movement was to be expected, given Dubya's well-known difficulty with the English language. New York Times columnist Gail Collins notes the following Bush-ism, as he spoke in Kentucky about education: "If you don't know what you're supposed to know, we'll make sure you do early before it's too late." No wonder he speaks in Spanish whenever he can.
Tonight is "national security" night at the GOP convention, with an all-star cast of warmongers including Liddy Dole, of the Albania Lobby, Condolezza Rice, of the Hoover Institution for the Perpetuation of War in the Name of Peace, and Mad John McCain whose nickname speaks for itself. Oh what an orgy of bloodcurdling war cries and McCainiac posturing that is going to be! Unfortunately, all the foreign policy action took place well past my deadline, and so my take on the festivities will have to wait until Friday. But enough of the Republicans, already just watching their convention for any period of time longer than five minutes is likely to induce a state of torpor unknown since the virtual disappearance of Qualludes from the black market. If you have trouble going to sleep in the next couple of days, just tune in to CSPAN or CNN, and you'll be in dreamland within minutes if not seconds. The real convention fever, this year, is going to reach the boiling point and, perhaps, beyond at neither of the major party conventions. No, the real action is going to be in Long Beach, California, where the Reform Party is scheduled to meet and choose its presidential standard-bearer and that's where I'll be, from August 9th to the 12th, reporting from the convention floor, with my trusty sidekick and photographer Yoshi snapping the first pictures of Russell Verney, Jim Mangia, and Lenora Fulani as they exit the convention in a fine lather, idiotically claiming to be the "real" Reform Party. Speaking of La Lenora . . . .
Since throwing her lot in with the Anti-Buchanan Brigades, and allying with Reform Party boss Russell Verney and what we brigadiers and many longtime Reformers call the "Wrecking Crew," Lenora Fulani has devoted her WorldNetDaily column to excoriating not only Buchanan but also me. These epistles are models of the principle that the best humor is unintentional. Here, after all, is a woman who betrayed every political ally she ever had: the left, by allying with the right the Perotistas, whom she once battled for control of the party Jesse Ventura and his friends in Reform, whom she alternately courted and denounced and now she turns on Buchanan. According to her, "Pat Buchanan and his friends can't be trusted."! This from Lenora Fulani, the Judas Iscariot of third-party politics! Once touted by her as the savior of the party and the leader of a new populist coalition, Buchanan is now denounced in language that echoes the very charges leveled by the Anti-Buchanan Brigades against Fulani and her "New Alliance" organization: according to her, Pat is "intolerant." This from someone who defends the thesis of her mentor, Fred Newman, that the Jews are "the stormtroopers of decadent capitalism"! Pardon the excessive exclamatory mode, but the writer (in English) is forced to take extraordinary measures to describe the opportunism sui generis of Fulani & Company. Fulani objects to my calling her followers "robotic minions" but how else to describe such an obedient group? Here is a tightly-controlled classic Leninist organization that passively accepts the veering from left to right, from tailing Jesse Jackson (and Fidel Castro) to hitching a ride on the Buchananite bandwagon, and does not complain at the frenzied factional maneuvering, from opposing the Perotistas within the Reform Party to allying with them in their quest to rule or ruin. A robot can turn on a dime, and what else are these but political robots? Are they any better than those mindless Republican stalwarts in Philadelphia, cheering anything and everything that comes out of their leaders' mouths?
The sheer strangeness of Fulani, the clinical aura of her particular brand of weirdness is in her perfectly straightforward hypocrisy. Here is a writer whose every other word is "democracy" or "populist" and whose political ideology (the public version of it, at any rate) is predicated on defeating the "elites" and "reforming" the system proclaiming that there should be only one candidate in the Reform Party presidential primary! There goes another exclamation point, but what is one to do in the face of such overwhelming chutzpah? Being a Marxist, Lenora naturally has no problem with an election in which there is only a single candidate on the ballot but the rest of the Reform Party, not to mention the American people, may have some questions about that. Fulani wants to kick Buchanan out of the primary but it is he who is guilty of trying to "strongarm" his way to the nomination! No doubt this is true according to some measure of "dialectical" logic familiar to the Marxist Fulani, but the rest of us can only marvel at this astounding inversion of the truth.
This, in its essence, is the peculiar Fulanian method, which we might call reality inversion. If you lie, call your enemy a liar. If you betray, say your adversaries can't be trusted. Uphold "democracy" by upholding the 'right" of Russell Verney and his five or six "Executive Committee" allies to prevail over 10,000 bellowing Buchananites. Oh, and don't forget: War is Peace, Freedom is Slavery, and Ignorance is Strength. Got that?
That I am forced to take someone like Fulani seriously, by discussing her ditzy views at all, is one of the reasons I am going to be appointed Secretary of State in a Buchanan administration (kidding!) but let's dispose of this matter once and for all. I praised Fulani for endorsing Buchanan, and defended her against the worst of the rather overblown smears directed at her group by The New Republic and others. I have never, however, endorsed her ideology which is, indeed, a curious mixture of psychobabble and warmed-over (and watered-down) Marxism. I merely stated the obvious: that a dedicated cadre of hardworking activists on Pat's side was "an invaluable asset." The Fulani faction has been fighting to liberalize ballot access laws in this country, and their knowledge of the arcane rules and regulations that govern this process was indeed an invaluable tactical advantage: it also doesn't hurt to have a small herd of robotic minions at your beck and call, ready to carry out the orders of the leadership without question and at a moment's notice, working long hours without pay and without complaining. In politics, robotic minions are an absolute necessity I'll take them over a roomful of squabbling libertarians any day of the week.
I'll tell you what Lenora Fulani reminds me of: the great would-be leader of the Reform Party (and its would-be chairwoman) writes in one of her columns about the future of the Reform Party, and after boring the poor put-upon readers of WorldNetDaily with the exciting details of the upcoming Executive Committee elections in Long Beach (do they know or care?), Fulani has the following to say:
"High on the list of issues that the Reform Party's democracy coalition must tackle is the composition of a new Executive Committee, to be elected at Long Beach, Calif., that distributes power once again among diverse factions and state parties, hopefully this time with a recognition that a refusal to do so will spell the end of a viable Reform Party, even if Buchanan is driven out."
This is the prototypical political boss speaking, in a style reminiscent of Boss Tweed and the heyday of Tammany Hall. Instead of a party united around a coherent set of issues and ideas, Fulani's Reform Party will exist on a national level only to hand out perks and privileges to local party bosses and "factions." What kind of "reform" is this? Far from being the leader of a "reform" movement, Fulani aspires to become the Boss Tweed of the new millennium, doling out organizational goodies and "driving out" her enemies. Some "reformer"! That Fulani and her followers can say all this with a straight face has got to be a signal achievement in the science of mind control. This is Fulani's "inversion therapy" at work, in which her followers are brainwashed into believing that up is down, black is white, and Lenora Fulani never lies. The great problem yet to be faced by Fulani and friends is that it won't work on the rest of us. But they will have to face it, sooner or later, because the day of reckoning is almost upon us: Long Beach looms, where the Wrecking Crew will have a hard time maintaining their fictional stance as the champions of "democracy." Then we will see who is driving whom out of the Reform Party. See you in Long Beach, Lenora. . . .
Yes, we'll be submitting daily reports from the floor of the Reform Party convention, and this is going to be fun or, at least, that's what I keep telling myself. After all, what could be more pleasant than facing down the strutting martinet Boss Verney, and fending off the Byzantine machinations of Fulani's Robotic Minions? Not to mention being "outed" again by our sex-starved media! Oh boy, maybe I'll even ask Jim Mangia for a date anything to keep him off the convention floor! On second thought, however, maybe not there are some things I'm just not willing to do, not even for the Cause. Would you?
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