Hey Vernon!

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Memo to the Mount Vernon Manifestors: YOU ARE DUMB.

One thing that's clear coming out of CPAC Weekend is that there are a number of groups locked in unfortunately non-mortal combat for the soul of the conservative movement circa 2010. There are, of course, the teabaggers, whose primary goal is to fleck as much of the country with anger-spittle as they can before they're locked away. There are the new "Oath Keepers", who think the Teabaggers are pansies who won't tell the truth about Obama's internment camps, and then there are the people behind the Mount Vernon Statement, who, for purposes of convenience and sophomoric titillation, I will henceforth refer to as the Mounters.

The Mounters are most accurately described as the "usual gang of assholes". Too establishment to be teabaggers, but not so burdened with holding elected office or an honest job that they can't sit around all day engaging in "1776" cosplay. There's Ed Meese, there's Grover Norquist, Tony Perkins, Brent Bozell, that crazy bitch who blamed Abu Ghraib on women, and a baker's dozen of Old White Rich Dudes Who Sit Around All Day Getting Paid By Think Tanks.

Oh, and they got Kathryn Jean Lopez from the National Review, but I hear they just brought her on board to do a final proofreading pass to make sure every single sentence was demonstrably stupid and wrong. And it was the first job in her entire life she was eminently qualified for.

Anyway, the Mount Vernon Statement is posted on a webpage with a buff/manila background, exactly the kind of color dipshits thought made their resumes look "classy" fifteen years ago. It's meant to evoke old paper and ancient documents like the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence. It actually evokes a knockoff Franklin Planner, but their intent was clear. It's the same way with the signatures - both the names and the titles are in a ridiculously thin and flowery handwriting font, intended to evoke their giant Hancocks, but just looking weedy and girthless.

If you're wondering why I'm spending all this time on style rather than addressing the Mounters' substance, it's because, well, they don't fucking have any, do they? It's supposedly a statement of principles for "constitutional conservatism", which is a lot like "compassionate conservatism" in that it's alliterative, polysyllabic, and means whatever the hell people want it to mean. The Constitution is a lot like the Bible, in that people all over the political spectrum thinks it totally supports their worldview while prohibiting policies they don't like. Conservatives just go the extra mile and pick amendments and clauses at random, telling us that's why we can't have a Medicare buy-in.

So why do we need a statement on "constitutional conservatism"? Well, it keeps Grover off the streets, performing back-alley tax cuts, I suppose. The Mounters think it's necessary because, well, people incrementally to the left of Richard Nixon happen to be in power for a bit. They put it more fake-flowery than that, though. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The self-evident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant."

Wait, you're kidding, right? That's what you dug out the vellum hex color code and the cursive font for? That's why you all went out to somewhere "near" Mount Vernon (since the actual Mount Vernon didn't want you there)? This is a fucking junket. It's a field trip. Core American principles under attack by the culture, the universities, and the politics? That's been your collective bitch-fest for three decades. The only time they change it is to take out the "politics" when they're in power. But the culture is always out to get them, and the universities are always indoctrinating young people to liberalism, and yet somehow, they still manage to maintain parity with an increasingly conservative Democratic party. Funny how that works.

There are literally no new ideas, and no new expressions of old ideas, anywhere in the Mount Vernon Statement to justify its existence. All it is is tax cuts, bombs, and God, reworded to sound like Thomas Jefferson was all about tax cuts, bombs, and God. Which, need I remind you, he really wasn't. Other ways the Founding Fathers differ from the Whining Mounters include not using fucking WordPress to publish their vitally important ideals, not having their contact people be a couple of flacks from a PR firm, and using actual quill pens and ink pots instead of a piece of quill pen clip art straight out of a 1997 edition of The Print Shop.

I swear, the only thing sadder than these paragons of lameness is our persistent inability to send them packing for more than three months.