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The Storm That Ate The GOP
Who will pity the soulless Republican Party now that Katrina is mauling
their regime?
By Mark Morford, SF Gate Columnist
Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Can you hear that? That low scraping moan, that painful scream, that
compressed hissing wail like the sound of an angry alligator caught in a
Why, it's the GOP, and they're screaming, "No, no it can't be, oh my
God, please no, this damnable Katrina thing is just an unstoppable PR
disaster for us!"
After all (they wail), who woulda thought dissing all those poor black
people and letting so many of them die in filth and misery in the
Superdome while our pampered CEO president enjoyed yet another vacation
would cause such an ugly backlash, such harsh criticism of the glorious,
rich-über-alles GOP creed?
Who knew it would lay bare our deeply inbred agenda of social injustice
and civil neglect, and our systematic abuse of the country? This storm
thing is so not the thing we need right now because, oh my God look,
just look! We've been so golden! We've had the run of the candy store!
We have been gods among swine!
Can you hear them? Hastert to DeLay to Frist to Santorum to Rove to
Cheney to Bush himself, across the board and all down the snickering
party line they keen, "It's not fair! We've been planning this regime,
this overthrow for 40 years! We've worked so damn hard to drive a wedge
into the culture and an ice pick into the heart of the nation, working
like demons on meth to mangle this country's economy and sense of pride
so as to boost corporate profits and lock down our wealth and empire!"
And now Katrina. And now a furious backlash we never predicted that
could very well spell the death of our wanton free-for-all gluttony.
Damn you, Mother Nature! Damn you, uppity female!
Just listen. Isn't that Dick Cheney, lying awake at night as the leeches
drain his soul, muttering his woes to a well-narcotized Lynne? "Dammit,
Lynney, what went wrong? We've got the House locked up and the Senate
locked up and we can cram through any law or any referendum or toxic
Patriot Act we like with next-to-zero outcry and no discussion on the
floor ..."
We're successfully stuffing the lower courts with hundreds of homophobic
neoconservative misogynist appointees and now we even own the Supreme
Court -- the Supreme Court, pudding-thighs! -- and even the increasingly
impotent California governor is more in our back pocket than we
imagined. We've had the whole goddamn country under our thumb for five
years, squirming like a stuck rat as we make out like robber barons.
What a run we've had! We've threatened major media into numb compliance
and we run the FCC the way a pimp runs a cheap hooker and we've got a
loudmouth right-wing pundit manning nearly every ideological outpost in
every corner of the media globe while millions of stupefied 'Murkins
still believe Fox News is a genuine source of integrity and honesty.
Look at us go!
And don't forget, to back it all up and shore up the base, we've got so
many hate-spitting pseudo-religious bonk jobs broadcasting their bile
across roughly 1,600 militant Christian Midwestern talk-radio shows it
would make Jesus himself cringe in pain, and even that soulless cretin
Pat Robertson is comfy enough to start suggesting we assassinate foreign
leaders who dare to dis BushCo.
Look what we've accomplished! We launched two brutal, devastating,
unwinnable wars. We've let Osama bin Laden run happy and free for over
four years, and counting. We just passed an obscene $12.3 billion energy
bill that ensures our heroin-like dependency on foreign oil for the next
two decades while misinformed 'Murkin GIs die in Iraq protecting us from
$5 gallons of gas. Damn, we're good!
We torture innocent detainees in Iraq and abuse inmates at Guantánamo
and chip away at women's rights and demonize homosexuals, and we strip
the forests and gut the Clean Air Act and pollute the water and
devastate the economy and cut welfare spending (whew!), and still the
lemming people think we're gods because we keep them wrapped in fear and
a whole pile of carefully orchestrated Rove-ian lies. We are, in short,
f--ing geniuses.
But now, this. Now BushCo's spineless Katrina response and our party's
obvious contempt for lazy poor people who don't own SUVs and
Lockheed-Martin portfolios means Dubya's ratings have plummeted below
40, as many of his precious pet agenda items head for the Dumpster,
including the gutting of Social Security and the gutting of Medicare and
even more tax cuts for his wealthy cronies. Damn you, Mother Nature!
Even the media has stepped it up, taken off the kid gloves and begun
hurling angry, pointed questions at BushCo for the first time in four
years, ever since we muzzled them with one part threat and one part Rove
and all parts corporate stranglehold. Hell, the damn media was on the
ground in New Orleans within 24 hours of Katrina, beating our untrained
monkeys from FEMA by three days. Who the hell do they think they are?
Ain't it a bitch? And now there are those who say the impermeable
fortress o' pain known as the GOP might just lose the South next
election due to its obvious lack of care for the lower classes, unless
we can somehow scare them poor people into not voting again, or tell
them if they vote Democrat they won't get any health care or food stamps
or relief money or any of Barbara Bush's patronizing rich-grandma
cookies. Hey, it worked last time.
So goes the GOP lament. Of course, it's not all bad (they say). Hell,
the oil companies are as giddy as schoolgirls at being able to falsely
jack up prices to over whopping 70 bucks a barrel, despite a recent
(temporary) glut of supply. Halliburton is squealing like Jenna Bush at
a kegger at scoring the contract to help rebuild New Orleans'
infrastructure thanks to the fact that the former head of FEMA is now a
Halliburton lobbyist, and the GOP plan to decimate FEMA and militarize
emergency efforts is going -- pardon the pun -- swimmingly.
But something has shifted. Something is ugly and toxic in the water.
This is what, I imagine, the GOP overlords are asking each other over
cocktails and baby seal kabobs and whale-blood transfusions: Do you
think the people are finally beginning to sense it? Are they finally
waking up? You think they know that the fact that Bush is finally taking
a modicum of responsibility for his administration's failure --
something he never, never does -- is a sign of true GOP desperation? Do
you think they recognize that BushCo isn't really spending a dime on
Katrina relief, that the $52 billion they just crammed through Congress
without any discussion isn't actually going toward repairs and
rebuilding at all?
You think people sense that all of it, every single dime, is going
toward -- you guessed it -- PR? Spin control? You know it's true. Every
government truck and every National Guardsman and every aid package and
every miserable FEMA agent you see is merely in place to try and shore
up Bush's miserable poll numbers, his dwindling support. Hell, it's the
only reason Bush -- or his party -- does anything for the "good" of the
But holy crap, it sure is expensive. It sure is annoying. It sure takes
the GOP off its game of warmongering and finger-pointing and padding the
pockets of the rich and pulverizing the economy like a ... like a ...
yes, OK, like a hurricane. Damn you, Mother Nature.

Thoughts for the author? E-mail him.
Mark Morford's Notes & Errata column appears every Wednesday and Friday
on SF Gate and in the Datebook section of the SF Chronicle. To get on
the e-mail list for this column, please click here and remove one
article of clothing. Mark's column also has an RSS feed and an archive
of past columns, which includes a tiny photo of Mark probably
insufficient for you to recognize him in the street and give him gifts.
As if that weren't enough, Mark also contributes to the hot, spankin' SF
Gate Culture Blog.