Neocons: The Cicadas of Politics

In a recent Guardian article, Richard “Prince of Darkness” Pearle claimed to have “no regrets” about his part in starting and conducting the War of Error. Other neocons involved in the debacle (including the Decider Guy) have issued similar pronouncements. Their amazing hubris shows just how deluded they are and that delusion has offended many. Even Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) jokingly said, “I would like to suggest … that maybe we give Paul Wolfowitz a new job and send him over there as mayor of Iraq, since the neocons got us in over there. And maybe Mr. (Richard) Perle could be co-mayor or co-chairman.”

A Breed Apart

It seems neocons consider themselves a breed apart. Their unshakable conviction resemble an infallibility suitable for a Pope. They seem genuinely confused that the flock sees a much different picture. They see the tumult and carnage as merely the early shoots of a burgeoning liberty tree and are quite offended that Americans and Iraqis force-fed their bitter fruit aren’t on their knees kowtowing to their obvious brilliance.

One by one, the neocons are going on to spread their brilliance across the land. Rummy plans a neocon think tank to show the world he’s right and they’re wrong. Wolfie departed the administration with an unnecessarily divisive assignment to the World Bank. Showing his brilliance, he made a hash of it. Bound for the streets – with his $400K “performance bonus” in hand – he’s taken to the airwaves to shed any personal responsibility. In his mind, the entire world is in on a plot to think of him as a blithering idiot instead of the Einstein he fancies himself. John Bolton is also part of the elite Club Neocon Ninny. He replays his repetitive rejoinder of, “you’re wrong” – followed by film clips showing just the opposite – in every interview.

Hubris of the Month Club

Their hubris is also amazing given the phalanx of reports that they cooked intelligence and poo-pooed anything that didn’t match their well-developed theories. It’s striking just how conceited their view of their fellow humans was. They were always right. Everyone who disagreed was always wrong. And each disagreement was justification to call people traitors, terror-supporters, and wild-eyed lunatics. The neocons not only mixed the Kool-Aid, but drank it as well. It’s not surprising that with all those super-sized egos bunched together in their ignorance, we ended up with the worldwide debacle we have today.

Pfft to the War on Terror. It’s a really a World War Error.

Of course, the neocons didn’t do it alone. There are many – on both sides of the aisle – who drank from the poisoned Chalice of Conceit. They’ve similarly turned a blind eye to their own share of the debacle and continue – even as they blame the neocons – to do anything about it. It’s one of the few times in history one could say the voters didn’t get what they deserved. No one deserves the concrete ineptitude of the neocons and their enablers.

Cicadas to the Core

Soon – either by ejection or election – the neocons will run to ground, leaving us to right their “right” path. But as they’ve shown before, they’ll be the political version of cicadas. They’ll lie quietly for 17 years and emerge again in some future conservative administration to muck things up.

And, of course, they’ll be completely right as they are simultaneously completely wrong.

Commuting with the Cockroaches and Ants

I remember a painting by my cousin that hung in my aunt and uncle’s living room in Conda, ID. It was a long, thin, vertical painting with a frame and background of black. A stream of white ants crawled up the middle in a uniform line toward some picnic just off-canvas. The second ant from the top had escaped the line, turned red, and was targeted with a white circle.

The symbolism was clear, we have met the enemy and we is ants.

I thought of the painting this morning during my commute. I looked ahead at the uniform lines of cars, punctuated by the occasional ant acting more like a cockroach – that’s another post. Embedded in the mechanized ant line were several cars that I recognized, not because I personally knew their drivers, but because our commutes are all so perfectly timed that we’re guaranteed to see each other almost every day – sort of the mobile equivalent of that person you always see in the elevator, but that you don’t know from Adam.

But We Shared More

More than likely, several of us listened to the same radio station and laughed at the same stale jokes from the same stale jocks. We all saw the car fire in Fremont. The foggy sun looked the same. Several of us drank identical cups of coffee – although probably from different Starbucks – in identical cups, with identical tastes, and identical exorbitant prices. More than a few of us flipped off the more aggressive cockroaches as they weaved in and out of our orderly line.

It struck me that we live in a society where even a solitary pursuit like commuting is invested with a certain communality. Few of us spend our days completely out of contact with others. Aside from a few Nevada ranchers, we see other people every day and interact with them, even if we don’t notice or imagine otherwise.

A Good Thing, A Bad Thing, or Just a Thing

I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing. On the down side, it’s dehumanizing and the tight schedules, I’m sure, induce stress. On the plus side, everyone has someone else and is never really alone (whether their emotional response believes that or not).

I can see a tremendous untapped potential in this situation for both good and bad, but it’s a tough ant to dig out and I expect it would be exploited for profit, only increasing the alienation many already feel. One need look no farther for proof than the new programmable billboards that switch content based on the demographics for radio stations that passing cars are tuned to.

I gave it some thought, but I was distracted by a cockroach who nearly took my bumper off. The thought died on the tread of the cockroach’s tire and I never did finish it.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. If I don’t get back, I’ll lose my place in line.

As We See It: Plame’s Revenge Edition