Friday, July 28, 2017

How The Hell Did This Happen? by P.J. O'Rourke


You goddamn asshole, P.J. O'Rourke. You, of all people, have the unmitigated gall to title a book How The Hell Did This Happen? and then collect two hundred pages of your writings showing how it happened?

You did it, you fuckhead. You and a hundred other Republican pundits and a thousand Republican elected officials. You've systematically destroyed the ability of government to function, denigrated the character and skills of everyone who actually tried to make government function, and aggrandized an endless series of ever-more-reactionary lunatic slimeballs.

And now you're surprised that the greatest lunatic slimeball has succeeded, after you've been laying the ground for him for three decades? That dog won't hunt, Pat. You own this. This shitstorm has your fingerprints all over it, and trying to slither out by pretending you're a libertarian asshole, so you want to burn down the parts of the government that even the Republicans intend to keep...well, that's no excuse. You're standing there with a book of matches, shrugging your shoulders while the Republic burns? Fuck you.

O'Rourke's books have been getting lazier and more phoned-in for this entire century, if not longer, and How The Hell is solidly in that tradition: it's a fix-up of the political articles he wrote during the nearly two years of the 2016 campaign, edited a bit because the guy from O'Rourke's party won, and that turned out to be the worst possible outcome. (Oops!)

This allows him to edit out any predictions or ideas that turned out to be wrong, but he still engages in endless reams of partisan political bullshit. Just the most egregious example: Bernie Sanders is not a "socialist," and the O'Rourke of 1990 would have known that. I no longer trust that the contemporary one does; he's been drinking too much Kool-Aid for too long. And it's not like the Sanders platform wasn't built on rainbows and unicorn farts to begin with: there was plenty there for a self-professed libertarian to criticize if he wasn't lazily wasting all his time making second-coming-of-Stalin jokes.

Enough. How the Hell Did This Happen? is self-answering, for anyone even vaguely self-aware. He did it. He might even know he did it, on some level. But fuck if the prick will admit it.

If you're #NeverTrump and still a Republican -- which is harder and harder to do for anyone who can and does read, these days -- this book may validate your suffering. But it's really designed for the old white men like P.J.: the kind of rich assholes who are libertarian because that means lower taxes for them and they can pretend that slashing billions of dollars that help people less fortunate than them won't have any effect at all. The willfully blind, in short.

O'Rourke, you and your people did this. And you and your people are the only ones who can fix it right now. There is a mechanism to get rid of that turd in the punchbowl, an entirely Constitutional one, and it's well within the purview of your elected buddies. Don't come back until you've developed enough of a spine to admit your guilt and a willingness to call for the obvious solution.

1 comment:

Jens Møller Sørensen said...

Don't hold back now, tell us what you really think. (sorry could not help it - I have never read P.J. O'Rourke).

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