And the sadism is running now through the institutions of government. We have made our peace with torture to the extent that support for it now is as much a litmus test for being a Republican as opposition to abortion is. (The Democrats, of course, choose to deplore it without condemning it.) The Supreme Court's majority opinion in the recent Thompson V. Connick decision — delivered, fittingly enough, by Justice Clarence Thomas, the walking Freudian petri dish who once opined that he saw nothing wrong with chaining inmates to a post in the hot sun — pretty much advises a man who was stuck on death row for fourteen years because of egregious prosecutorial misconduct to stop wasting the Supreme Court's time and be grateful his sorry ass wasn't fried a decade ago.Excerpts don't do it justice.
And, in the Congress, there is Congressman Paul Ryan, who is angling right now to make a career out of political sadism...
Paul Ryan is a thoroughgoing fraud. He went through high school and most of college on Social Security survivor benefits after his father's death. He voted for almost all the Bush programs — including both off-the-books wars — that ballooned the deficit he so piously condemns now. And this week, as he rolled out his lunatic conception of a federal budget, Paul Ryan produced the definitive statement of his political philosophy: There are those Americans who deserve to live and those Americans who don't. Period. All of the former are very, very wealthy. All of the latter are poor, or struggling, or old. Paul Ryan believes the true mission of government is to bring as much pain to the parasites as it can because, by doing so, it can liberate the genius of those people who deserve to live. When Paul Ryan dreams of a free nation, it is one in which the seventy-two-year-old spouses of seventy-five-year-old patients are free to go out and shop in a rigged insurance market for the $100,000-plus they're going to need over a lifetime of tending to that patient. If they insisted on feeding themselves, and even risking the odd vacation, over the course of their working lives and they failed to anticipate what might befall them, then the spouse is going to have to starve and the patient is just going to have to sit there in his own filth, until market forces determine that they should die.
Look at him when he talks about dismantling the hard-won protections of the shrinking middle class. He is so positively lubricious about it that his teeth seem to be sweating. Pain (not his) purifies the nation. Pain (not his) makes us free. This is what Paul Ryan dreams of when he dreams of a free people.
Why is it that the most sensible assessments of our current mess always read like one, long, tortured scream?