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Chapter Ten of An Ecstatic Loneliness: Frank Rich In The Bunker

By Michael Moriarty
web posted October 22, 2012

Frank Rich, in an article for New York Magazine, wrote: "We were always gobsmacked!"

An American wrote that?! "Gobsmacked?"

What does that mean actually?

According to World Wide Words, here is the definition: "Gobsmacked… suggests that something is as surprising as being suddenly hit in the face."

Following "gobsmacked" asan apparently en vogue, British favorite, Frank Rich writes this:

"Such is the power of denial that we (Frank Rich Liberals) simply refuse to concede that, by the metric of intractability, at least, conservatives are the cockroaches of the American body politic, poised to outlast us all."

"Cockroaches?! Hmmm.

Jonah Goldberg became a household celebrity in Conservative America by labeling a quintessentially American political proclivity "Liberal Fascism". However, "Cockroaches" doesn't sound the least bit Italian.

Adolf Hitler might have called a number of his fellow human beings "cockroaches" and, well, stamped them out with his feet and ten Panzer Divisions… but a former theater critic and columnist for the New York Times?!

Does use of the British "gobsmacked" enable Frank Rich to brand his political opposition "cockroaches"?

Rich's new assignment is editor-at-large for New York Magazine.

He grew up in Washington, D.C., attended public schools and then, because of his years at Harvard, he's not simply "shocked", he's "gobsmacked". Shows you what a little Ivy League can do for an American from anywhere!

Even Hawaii! Yes … Barack Obama is Frank Rich's kind of President and they understand each other.

Why? They both went to Harvard.

From such a lofty perch, Mr. Rich can somehow write the following:

"Should Romney lose in November,  a far happier liberal scenario can be entertained:  For all their qualms about stimulus spending  and Obamacare,  perhaps voters still prefer the party of modest government activism  to the party of no government."

The Tea Partiers are the Americans of "no government"? Apparently.

Obama and Obamacare are "modest government activism" and the Republican Party… well, those "Tea Partiers"… are "no government"?

Frank Rich, in his richest anxiety, dove into this article with,

"History tells us  that American liberals  have long underestimated the reach  and resilience of the right,  repeatedly dismissing it  as a lunatic fringe  and pronouncing it dead  only to watch it bounce back  stronger after each setback."

"Hear, Hear!"… or "Here, Here"!… whichever.

Then we read, "… the country-club patrician George H. W. Bush… "

That's at least half of the ugly story about the Bushes and Rich's prayed-for, Bush/Clinton "New World Order With Progressive Aims".

The article is not entirely as harmlessly grumpy as it might sound… that is if you are given to dismissing "cockroaches" as the invective of a New York Times relic.

Rich's own "paranoia", a penchant he only brands Conservatives with, begins here:

"As it happened, Ronald Reagan,  the most enthusiastic and eloquent of Goldwater exponents,  would be elected governor of California just two years later."

To heighten the tensions within this drama, Rich recalls,

"Few Democrats  had imagined  that the new African-American president  would be besieged so quickly by a conservative populist movement whose adherents dressed in 1776 drag  and worshipped the frothing-at-the-blackboard Glenn Beck. Or that such a movement  would administer a "shellacking"  in the midterms."

Rich even includes his own fellow-party-members in what little optimism they can muster from a possible Romney victory:

"Should Romney lead another shellacking of the Democrats this year,  some liberals may squeeze out a modicum of solace by viewing it as the lesser of two evils: The man from Bain  is no radical but a product of the traditional Republican conservative Establishment bankrolled by Wall Street."

An additional "Hear, Hear"… or "Here, Here" for State Capitalism!

"'Where did these people come from?'  asked a liberal friend of mine in Los Angeles this summer as we reminisced about the freak-show characters, from Bachmann to Mr. ‘9-9-9,'  who cycled through the Republican-primary season,  sequentially drawing unimaginable throngs of supporters."

Hmmm … "Mr. 9-9-9" Herman Cain … the black guy in the Republican Party … one of ‘em … as part of the "freak show". I wonder where Mr. Rich is going to put or describe Allen West… if he hasn't already.

Allen West is possibly one of the Republicans coming under the Rich advice of  "nuke ‘em".

Whether Rich is satirizing the satire of George C. Scott's General Buck Turgidson in Dr. Strangelove or not depends upon where this former theater critic's editorial is headed.

That can't be determined at this moment in my own article. You haven't heard enough out of "nuke the cockroaches" Frank Rich.

Rich might sigh, "There are so many of these Conservative ‘cockroaches'… and their overpopulating progeny… perhaps only a nuke will do."

I wouldn't, by now, be too naive in calling Frank Rich one  Jonah Goldberg "Liberal Fascist".

"But how ‘bout Rich as a ‘Progressive Nazi'"?!

No… not quite yet… though "cockroaches" helps Frank Rich in the qualifying round.

Women are the first to pick up these Liberal crossings-over from Liberal Fascist to Liberal Nazi.

Now comes Frank Rich's scholarly Big Picture of American Conservatism:

"This was true at the dawn of the conservative movement in the early sixties, when typical grassroots organizers for the John Birch Society and the Goldwater campaign were not necessarily yahoos from the boonies but "housewives, doctors, dentists, engineers and ministers" from Orange County,  in the accounting of the historian Lisa McGirr,  whose study Suburban Warriors challenged long-held stereotypes of the American right. Religious and cultural conservatives and vehement anti-­communists  were joined by fiercely independent Westerners who, like the Arizonan Goldwater,  inherently disdained all eastern incursions, let alone Washington's, into the nirvana of the former frontier.

"By breaking with moderate party leaders like Nelson Rockefeller and George Romney  and opposing the Civil Rights Act of 1964,  Goldwater instantly annexed the old Confederacy  to his western crusade as well; no region hated the government more  than the swath of states militantly resisting federal enforcement  of racial desegregation."

Herman Cain and Allen West might very eloquently challenge that last concluding assessment.

Now is when Professor Rich reminds his own fraternity of their ill-advised smugness:

"Journalists back then (rather like Frank Rich) sneered not just at the racists rallying around the GOP ticket but at the "little old ladies in tennis shoes" and other outré zealots who palled around with crackpots like Robert Welch, the Birch Society leader who questioned the patriotism of Dwight Eisenhower and Earl Warren.

"Goldwater groupies  were often seen as flakes, not unlike the tea-party zanies besotted with Beck a half-century later. Once the Goldwaterites were routed on Election Day, virtually every Establishment commentator assumed they would just crawl under a rock for good"

Then Rich reveals his own tunnel vision best when he sits at his desk… or with a portable computer in his airplane seat… still "gobsmacked" by the Republican's shift to the Tea Party.

"The financial base of the GOP, like its voting base,  has also completed its shift to the right; David and Charles Koch, after all, are the sons of Fred Koch, who served on Robert Welch's original Birch Society council. If Mitt goes down, the billionaires will mourn his defeat for all of 24 hours before rallying around pure "constitutional conservatives" of a new generation like the Ayn Rand acolyte Paul Ryan."

Rich is "gobsmacked" by the Divine Reality that for every Barack Hussein Obama there will be, in America, a Paul Ryan.

Thank God for that!!!!

Furthermore, for every, would-be Mao Zedong like Barack Obama there will be some new version of a Winston Churchill.God-willing, the reserved Mitt Romney will surprise us and prove to be that American Winston Churchill in hiding!

Why? The Romney's, like the Churchill's, were a family bred for politics and increasingly White Tower world leadership.

However, this is Frank Rich's assessment of "anodyne" or negotiable conservatives:

"… if Romney wins? Like that other usefully anodyne front man John Boehner, he will more often than not do what he's told by the radical young guns. His main task, as Grover Norquist said in February, will be "to sign the legislation that has already been prepared," starting with Ryan's harsh budget. At that dire point, another liberal certitude will offer some comfort to the defeated:

"The American public will rise up in revulsion  at a draconian government downsizing of its New Deal and Great Society entitlements and will return the Democrats to power.

"That is entirely possible, but it's still worth asking whether this as-yet-untested assumption might be as self-deluding as all the previous premature death knells for the American right."

Poor Frank Rich!The Conservative Cockroaches might never be exterminated!!!

And even if the Conservative Cockroaches should lose, there'll most certainly be a Cockroach Comeback:

"Such a comeback won't happen easily, or overnight, or without a major purge of the nativists within conservative ranks."

"Nativists"… like "gobsmacked"… cries for what I call a brief "Wiki-Moment"!

Oh, isolationists and… well… cultural nepotism… and what Conservatives call "patriots".

Liberals remind me so much of the Catholic Church when it comes to their loathing of "nativism".


Both the Catholic Church and the Liberals, say yet again, the "Progressives", wish to convert the entire human race to its and their way of thinking.

"But if history has taught us anything over the past half-century,  it's that the American right's death wish is a figment of the liberal imagination. For Obama's supporters, even a 2012 victory is likely to prove but a temporary high."

Mr. Rich is now not sure that Liberally Progressive spiritual, political, economic and, indeed, sexual missions can ever be fully accomplished. There will, rather like Radical Liberals, always be Radical Conservatives.

Is Rudy Giuliani a Radical Conservative?I never admired Giuliani until he found his real role in the Republican Party: Enforcer.

Here in this link, he comes out swinging with verbal cross-checks like a seasoned hockey pro and, being the gifted politician he has always been, he can skate backwards as gracefully as he can attack.

Giuliani's POV of the Jihadists' assassination of an Ambassador and three more Americans in Libya leaves the Liberal opposition check-mated.

I doubt if Frank Rich, who, like I, lived under the Mayor-ship of Giuliani, could possibly stop the machine-gun accuracy of this Republican Enforcer.

No wonder, Frank Rich, with his can of Raid to exterminate the Conservative Cockroaches with, has resigned himself to The Bunker.

Rich has, as they say in less violent sports than those called for in Nazi Bunkers, "hunkered down" for an endlessly long term.

Nothing coming from the enemy camp could sound more like music to my ears: a Progressive resigned to Reality.

How long can that brand of Progressive humility possibly last?

Till Obama's reelection. ESR

Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at rainbowfamily2008@yahoo.com. He can be found on Twitter at https://twitter.com/@MGMoriarty.







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