Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Ackamarackus! It is time we talked bullshit

As much as I love the political theatre for the entertainment it provides, there is a reason why I prefer to view that as entertainment: if I am not able to laugh at the idiots who want to govern my life, then I will be left with intense pain and emotions.  I way prefer to be at ease than to be walking around stressed.  It is no different from how I am work, too, with my esteemed colleagues ;)

In the process of laughing at the idiots, I came across the word of the day: Ackamarackus.  I had no idea such a word existed. When I read that, I was initially convinced that the writer had made up the word, like how my old neighbor had created that wonderful word, exhaustipated.  However, it turns out that ackamarackus is for real; who knew!

The writer notes in the context of Marco Rubio's bullshit that it was not BS but ackamarackus:
Ackamarackus is a type of BS that’s big and showy and distracting: it’s a five-star circus of bamboozlement.
The Wiki dictionary notes about ackamarackus:
activity engaged in just for show; deceptive nonsense
Which means, hmmm, Donald Trump in his entirety is ackamarackus.  The guy is a deceptive and distracting nonsense, indeed.  But, it is shocking how he and other nonsensical sideshows are considered eligible enough to become the next commander-in-chief!

Four years ago, back in November 2011, Dan Drezner had this to say about the GOP presidential candidates then:
Americans have elected foreign policy neophytes in the past. Some have worked out quite well in advancing US interests (Harry S. Truman) while others have not (George W. Bush). What these presidents had in common, however, was a genuine belief that foreign affairs were intrinsically important. Truman read widely on international affairs, and Bush convened a team of seasoned foreign policy advisers to tutor him on the issues two years before taking office. They understood that decisions to spend money or send troops overseas would determine how they were remembered, and affect the national security of the United States. More recent presidents have grasped the concept that economic trouble in Europe means trouble for the United States as well. Compared with past commanders-in-chief, the motto of the current Republican candidates is simple: don’t know, don’t care.  
Looks like he doesn't have to edit a single word there and can run with the same commentary yet again, right?

I brought that to Drezner's attention, via a tweet.  It didn't take him long to respond:
This time around, the GOP's leading candidates as of now are all neophytes, running on the "logic" that their absolute lack of knowledge and experience is their greatest asset, which makes Sarah Palin seem like a theoretical physicist par excellence!

You see why enjoying this as farcical theatre is the best option; "all that’s missing is a tiger (or elephant?) jumping through a flaming hoop."  Ackamarackus! ;)


Anne in Salem said...

Yes, presidential politics at this point is entirely hot air. It is hard to take anything seriously, though I do enjoy the Trump-bashing.

I don't have an absolute problem with neophytes as candidates. No one can be an expert in everything, but if one has a good team, the candidate can do well. Perhaps a ticket of rookie and veteran will be best. The show must go on.

Sriram Khé said...

And the show will go on! There's no business like the show business ;)

Nope, I disagree about the neophytes.
It is not about the experience and the smartness alone either--JFK's team of the best and the brightest was terrible. The neophytes are even more dangerous--the crap that the GOP is in the House is essentially from all the newbies in politics. Or, think about Senator Cotton and his letter to Iran--again a neophyte who stirred up trouble for nothing.
The hassle is that we deserve the politicians that we get, which means all these idiots are a reflection of who we Americans are :(

Anne in Salem said...

What a depressing thought.

Ramesh said...

The quality , or otherwise, of a politician is an accurate reflection of the electorate. There is nobody who is more tuned to his "customer" than a politician. The debate on the popularity of a Trump or a Sarah Palin (or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, or a Tsipras in Greece) has to turn to not bashing those individuals but to reflect on collectively why as a group we turn to those ideas (or lack of them).

The reality in your country is that there is a very strong angry rural white group. They have seen their living standards erode, the jobs becoming scarce, a big rise in the non white population, and what they see as an assault on their way of life (Christian values, gun ownership, abortion, etc). There is not much leadership that deals with their concerns in a genuine manner. Hence their lashing out through the Tea Party and the nutters that are emerging.

Some version of this is playing out in every democracy. Our political institutions and models are not keeping pace with developments such as above. In almost every country, an unelected Supreme Court carries more credibility than elected politicians. Our form of democracy has to evolve, I believe.

Sriram Khé said...

I agree with you, but will couch it differently.
As I have often written here, and in comments at your blog (in the old days when you blogged!!!) we are way past the time to redo the social contracts in ways that reflect the completely different economic contexts of today, and for a frighteningly different economic context of tomorrow.
The Corbin and Tsipras of Europe are the voices for those who feel that their economic safety nets are being torn apart. Note that these are not the leaders responding to "the browns are coming, the Muslims are coming."

Here in the US, there are two different strands, with a little bit of overlap as well. The GOP is pretty much a white-only party. (In the 2012 elections, 89% of the GOP votes were from Whites!) In this party, there are groups that are worried about the rapidly growing non-White or non-Christian population. This is like the French Le Pen crowd, which disgusts me. I sympathize with the other group, which is reeling from the changed economic conditions. The only party that at least talks about the plight of those who are being left to a Darwinian struggle for economic survival is not the one that is all pro-market all the time.

In this country, we seem to be more intent on guaranteeing the right to own weapons and carry them in the public more than guaranteeing people that a safety net will hold them should they fall :(