Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Lookout Below!

The dynamics of landslides have been intriguing researchers for decades.  What looks like a stable edifice slowly accumulates structural weaknesses below the surface.  Day by day for weeks, years or even centuries these flaws deepen and widen and spread throughout the underlying stratum.  One day some straw will break the camel’s back, the outer facade of strength and stability begins to crumble  and the whole thing comes tumbling down.  

A variety of feedback loops begin to accelerate the activity once things start to fall.  Landslides that logic would dictate should do no more than create a pile of rubble at the bottom of the slope have been recorded running for miles over flat ground and flattening everything in their paths.

All of this should be not the least reassuring to those on the US political Right who have been hoping for a New Ultra Conservative Nation founded on the ideologies of Glenn Beck and others of the species Conservatus Preposterous.  The cracks have been there all along, the slip has already begun and the destructive momentum is building with every passing moment.

When a landslide begins there is usually a single visual sign, a rock rolls or a tree falls.  Then everything starts to move.

Glenn Beck Exposes Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA as Commie Propaganda

As momentum builds all sense of sanity and order breaks down.

Glenn Beck exposes “This Land is Your Land” as Commie Propaganda

Far-right members of Texas School Board removed Thomas Jefferson from the Texas curriculum,, “replacing him with religious right icon John Calvin.”.

Things that seemed impossible become reality, up becomes down, and fiction becomes truth (Focus on the Family Moves towards the Center, ditches founder Dobson).

When the mountainside begins to move, those who had built their homes in it’s shadow may quickly find out that they cannot outrun the boulders.  Sane people flee early and often, and only the True Believers stand at the bottom confident that somehow it will all work out for the best.

Good luck with that, Tea Partiers.  We’ll send our condolences to your next of kin.


  1. may prove beneficial. I keep reading that as Texas goes so goes the nation, because they buy so many text books. However, this may be a step too far, like Beck’s lamentations against religions that promote the social good.

    Here’s a little tribute to your diary.

  2. Shaun Appleby

    Before the dawn.  I subscribe to a theory of history that supposes that at the end of a cycle there is a sudden spike of activity from dying ideologies and belief systems.  Let the Republicans have their little Tea Party, sooner or later the adults will clear the table and do the washing up.

    In a counter-intuitive way they are actually giving those with ‘enlightenment’ notions a further motivation to promote our world-view more assertively.  It’s not like it hasn’t been the formative influence on world culture for the past three hundred years.  What they are afraid of is the truth, such as it is, that the United States was founded on progressive ideals and that the very freedoms they find threatening are the ones that our founders felt bound to enshrine in the Constitution.  They are on a losing wicket and they know it.

    If they think they can turn back the tide now they are going to face an ugly reckoning that will profoundly discredit their values beyond their wildest paranoid fantasies, the real along with the false.  The same thing has happened to institutional racism in recent decades and it took a while but was inexorable.

    I kind of feel sorry for genuine Christians and conservatives, they are headed down the rabbit-hole along with Alice.  The ironic thing, as has been pointed out here before, is that this narrow-minded militancy has more in common with the Taliban and other medieval fundamentalist movements worldwide than with the long-standing liberal ethos of the United States or any other Western democracy.  And they share with them the unspoken frustration and certain knowledge that they are fighting a losing battle.  They can’t put the toothpaste back in the tube.  This is what has led to the rise of terrorism, the acknowledgement that a marginalised minority can only achieve the preservation of the dying embers of a lost cause through undemocratic means and the use of violent force.  I genuinely expect to see a rise in Right-wing, ideologically motivated violence in the United States as this reactionary movement runs its natural course.

    Sooner or later there is going to be a backlash against this kind of nonsense, in politics, the media and the electorate at large.  While many people may not understand the pros and cons of specific little agendas of these ultra-conservaties the big picture is starting to come into focus.  By the time people like Limbaugh, Beck and Cheney are the ideological standard-bearers for your movement you better start looking for an exit strategy.

    It’s a sorry day for conservatism in America today and that’s a shame, really.  It’s a pretty pitiful display we are seeing and I think many establishment Republicans realise now they are on a ‘Thelma and Louise’ road-trip.

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