How to Nihilism

None if this is news or should be any surprise to any of you, but I’m offering my “take” anyway.

I did not watch Biden’s state of the union address live, because my muscles for cringing don’t need a workout. A full-spectrum shit-show was what I expected and apparently the dysfunctional American two-party system delivered.

Honestly, I don’t feel it’s appropriate to pearl-clutch about how rude the republicans were. As you can tell from her expression, she thinks she’s funny – this is not real political dissent, it’s performance. Biden could have said absolutely anything at all, and the republicans would have heckled, because, that’s the performance they were going to do for their fans.

Allegedly, Biden did a great job of back-trolling the republicans but I was too busy cringeing at his performance of “bipartisanship” and collectivism. I know it’s traditional, at this point, to say, “if I were president…” so let me indulge. If I were president, I would have stopped, said, “if you interrupt me again I will ask the sgt at arms to clear you from the room, or entirely clear the room and speak to empty seats. Your behavior is not something I wish to countenance.” Then, I’d have rewound the teleprompter and started my speech from the top, again and again and again until I was able to deliver it uninterrupted. By back-trolling them, Biden taught them nothing and did nothing to elevate the tone of the event.

But what stuck in my mind at the time was what Greene yelled: “LIAR!” which is a really stupid thing to call a professional politician with as many years in service as Biden. Of course he’s a liar. She might as well have yelled, “WATER IS WET!” When you’re talking about the US congress, it’s liars all the way down. Best of all she was yelling “LIAR!” on the same room where Santos/Devolder/Anne Elk was sitting. Think about that for a second. Biden could have said, “don’t talk about rep Santos like that” and just kept mumbling through his prepared remarks. Or, he could have turned to McCarthy and asked him “can you control your people or shall I ask Nancy Pelosi to school them?” Not that any of that would have mattered.

The point of all this, it turns out, is that there is no point. It’s all nihilists performing for the camera.

I do miss the “good old days” when it was acceptable to cane another congressperson, though. If anyone needed a good old school traditional skull fracturin’, it’s – well, a bunch of them.


  1. sonofrojblake says

    By back-trolling them, Biden taught them nothing

    Untrue. He taught them that they can get away with it because he sunk to their level. He accepted their standard of behaviour.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    Why isn’t her clone dressed like that,too?
    They’re not fooling anyone, they should just go full-on Imperial Storm Trooper.

  3. chigau (違う) says

    And as long as I’m being trivial, do the boys get together and make sure no one wears the same tie?

  4. says

    It has been my experience that, from a single frame taken from video, or a single photo from a live event, the observer cannot tell with certainty what the apparent “expression” on someone’s face means. It can be a transition that appears to be a frown or a smile or a look of disgust or what-have-you. Without the full video, you cannot be sure. Thus, while it is possible that Greene is laughing at that moment, she might not be. What is true is that given her past commentary, she most likely once again proved herself to be a dunce. But when it comes to the modern GOP, no one should be surprised at shameless lying. Case in point: their howls of outrage when Biden mentioned that “some” Republicans want to gut or scale back Social Security and Medicare, in spite of the fact that Rick Scott (R-Griftopia) literally called for the removal of them as programs in perpetuity as part of the GOP platform, and other GOP senators and reps have stated their desires to get rid of these programs. They do want to get rid of them in their present form (most likely because it would be a huge boon to the “private investment” business) but they have been warned that they cannot directly admit to such in front of any crowd that contains non-GOP stalwarts. That would be BAD because it would cost them VOTES from the vast majority of people who LIKE Social Security and Medicare, and depend on it.

    Regarding Representative Santos/Devolder/Anne Elk, I can only wonder if they have a theory, and if so, what that theory is.

  5. invivoMark says

    At the end of the day, Congress still has to pass a budget. If they don’t, the US will literally cease to exist. That means bipartisanship HAS to happen.

    This point-scoring bullshit is performative, but Biden and McCarthy know that there’s work to be done once they’re off the stage and back in their offices. (McCarthy might be a nihilist and not care whether it gets done, but Biden does.)

    But all the children in Congress like Greene and the new Republicans probably don’t understand that. And that worries me.

    It’s one thing to have a Republican House that wastes its time with stupid bills that will never pass. But this particular House – it’s like somebody put a bunch of caffeinated monkeys in a room with an armed bomb.

  6. Tethys says

    MTG is the proverbial pig wearing lipstick. Doesn’t matter what you put on her, she’s still just swine. I’m sure standing out from the suits for publicity shots was just as important as dressing like Cruella DeVil and her spy balloon.

    I didn’t watch, but I don’t think ordering the childish hecklers from the room would have been any better than the public trolling and getting them to applaud for not touching SS or Medicare.

    Some pointed questions and comments to McCarthy about his lack of control over his shamelessly insane caucus would have gone down nicely.

  7. says

    Doesn’t matter what you put on her, she’s still just swine.

    True, but after adamantly opposing any increase in the minimum wage, and then crying about how she can’t live on her measly salary of $175,000 + very good benefits + business-travel expenses (?), the “old rapper’s first wife” fur coat nicely accentuates her spoiled-rich-brat hypocrisy.

    He taught them that they can get away with it because he sunk to their level.

    Not really. There wasn’t much else he could have done. Ignoring it wouldn’t have helped, and refusing to show up would be taken as cowardly. Also, no, he could not have ordered the “sergeant at arms” to do anything, because he/she probably answers to the Congressional leadership, and Kevin’s Krazy Kids would have made his life miserable and probably got him/her fired. Furthermore, it would have taken a LOT of cops/bouncers to haul out all the hecklers, and that would have been an extremely noisy and chaotic affair. I’d love to have seen the Secret Service do that — but what would they do if a congressperson physically resisted them? I’m sure they have specific rules for who they get to rough up and under what circumstances; and I’m also pretty sure those rules limit them in cases where there’s no actual threat to anyone’s life.

  8. astringer says

    Jjimf @7 “I can only wonder if they have a theory, and if so, what that theory is.”

    From the other side of the pond, it looks like their theory is “we can invent anything we like”. Keep your eye open for the US 2024 ballot papers with either Jethro Q. Walrustitty (R) or even Tarquin Fin-tim-lin-bin-whin-bim-lim-bus-stop-F’tang-F’tang-Olé-Biscuitbarrel (Very R) as possible candidates.

    [both a bit thick in the middle]

  9. lorn says

    Biden was smooth on delivery. His staff had thought it through and very accurately estimated how far to shine on the GQP, a subset of the GOP, to make them react and look crazy. Then how to pivot and get the performative agreement which a lot of the GOP base it going to remember. Red states, and counties, lead in dependence on SS, MedCaide and Medcare. It’s not a hard sell to nudge them and remind them of the many family and friends getting a check.

    MTG is a few steps behind still thinking the CQP is leading the GOP when, in fact, the GOP wants to move on from Trump and foaming at the mouth. Then again. What’s a zoo without the turd toss at the monkey cage?

    I note that a GOP friend who has spent a lot of the last year suggesting Biden was senile was impressed.

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