REVENGE FANTASY

I know that it's not very Progressive to take pleasure in the misfortunes of others, nor to believe that the socioeconomic equivalent of corporal punishment is the only way that the brainwashed white trash base of the Republican Party will ever learn. To do that would be mean. Instead I'll just say that I would love to see the looks on some of these rural Pennsylvanians' faces the first time they see opaque amber sludge in place of what should be tap water. Shockingly, it turns out that fracking happens almost entirely in dirt poor rural areas – the same kind that have voted in droves for every crypto-fascist bag man, harebrained religious fanatic, and snake-eyed Job Creator that has crawled from the toxic sludge of the GOP in the past thirty years.

I'd like to see the looks on their faces as the reality sinks in that maybe – just maybe – all those people who promised to hand environmental regulatory power over to the energy industry if not eliminate it altogether didn't have the best interests of the Common Man at heart after all. Maybe the GOP and its media arm are not a grassroots populist movement organized to protect the little guy, that it is in fact an elaborate racket that exists solely to siphon wealth upward.

I'd like to tell them: At least you voted repeatedly to protect yourself from the non-existent threats to your guns. Maybe you can shoot the contaminants out of the water.

I'd like to tell them: Thank god there are no Homos around to contaminate the water, right? Just benzene and ethylene glycol.

I'd like to tell them: Thank god you vote for whoever waves around the Bible most enthusiastically. No doubt the hydrocarbons can be prayed out of the water.

I'd like to tell them: At least you can afford some nice medical care when this gives you cancer thanks to those lucrative jobs that the oil companies promised would flock to your decrepit community, even though most of them never materialized or were ephemeral.

Most of all, I'd like to congratulate them for being perceptive enough to recognize the real enemy all along: the government. The welfare state. Teen moms. Saddam Hussein. Common Core. Death panels. The UN. Sex education. Saul Alinsky. Water fluoridation. Literally anyone and anything other than that man behind the curtain, who probably doesn't even exist but if he did exist he's certainly harmless and if he's not harmless it's only because he's actively looking out for the interests of white trash everywhere.

Sometimes you get what you vote for, and if you're willfully ignorant (and proud of it) what you think you voted for and what you end up getting are unlikely to have much in common. Congratulations, people who vote for the likes of Pat Toomey and Rick Santorum. I'm supposed to feel bad for you, but I'm not terribly moved to see you forced to live, literally, in a mess of your own making.

39 thoughts on “REVENGE FANTASY”

  • The problem with such people getting their just deserts (*cough*entirestateofKansas*cough*) is that they will, in their agony, never turn their fury on the appropriate target of their wrath: the villains and liars who sold them on this viper-in-a-poke.

    History argues quite the contrary. Getting mad that the people they bent over for would force them to admit that they themselves are responsible for the shit they now find themselves up to their necks in, and what are the odds of any one reasonable person, much less a group of angrily unreasonable people, doing that?

    I'm just saying, it's good that there are no shtetls or predominantly black townships in rural Pennsylvania, because THAT would the next stop for the hordes of fracking victims.

  • per the industry apparatchik:

    “So in turn, they’ve been able to fund projects and lower property taxes,” he said. “Farmers can buy new equipment, pay off debts … in a way it’s a blessing for these communities.”

    Kinda wondering what water those farmers are using to irrigate their fields, and what contaminated crops they're foisting off on the unsuspecting rest of us.

    The problem with these groups of social ass cancers is that they kill off the rest of us, too.

  • It's the haves vs the have-nots… as soon as we can bring all the have-nots together, we'll start to make progress.

  • We'll the contamination wouldn't have happened if there weren't so many regulations. I mean, obviously the frackers were so busy trying to figure out how to pay taxes (the tax law has more words than a Shakespearean sonnet!) and drive the speed limit that they just couldn't handle millions of gallons of poison properly. In fact, I bet those regulations manifested themselves physically into the deadly ooze pouring out of faucets and into the mouths of children just like hatred turned into that purple slime in Ghostbusters 2.

    I'm being less than serious of course, but the stories conservatives will weave about this are just as compelling. This will somehow end up being Obama's fault or something the "liberal media" is making up to justify socialism and gay marriage and taking the bible out of schools.

  • The voters might have it coming, but I do feel sorry for the kids.

    I'm reluctant to deploy the "please-think-of-the-children" argument, but they didn't ask to have ignorant assholes for parents.

  • Santorum was elected first during Clinton's first midterm by less than 100,000 votes and somehow managed to get re-elected in 2000 because it wasn't yet apparent just how stupid he is. Toomey similarly won a close election in the 2010 midterm and I predict we will toss him out in 2016.

    That said, Pennsylvania is and will remain Pennsyltucky and a substantial portion of the state is no more enlightened than our neighbor WV.

  • J Dryden is spot on. Nobody wants to be responsible for their own voting screw ups, especially The People Who Have Never Been Wrong About Anything. Furthermore, if you believe that government is de facto bad and never does anything right, you may not necessarily hold incompetence and bad outcomes against the people you voted for. My brother is always bitching about the government he voted for in Michigan, but since they alow him to own a bazillion guns scot free, he would vote for them all again.

  • I've always thought I could look a problem square in the face and not lie to myself or others about it. That may or may not be true but it didn't help me in the jobs I've had in my life.

    I can't even get my extended family to cooperate in endeavors designed to insure that our collective grandchildren will be halfway to second base by the time they get out of college.

    The "white trash" you write about want what? To cooperate with the same people their parents taught them were the enemy? Even if it's for the mutual benefit of everyone? We haven't had a leader that could bring together the disparate varieties of the poor since Huey Long.

    Where's todays Huey Long? I sure don't see one.

  • Pennsylvania is a bedroom state for my state's workers, those who insist on gummit so small you can drown it in a bathtub. They live there, commute here, where there's jobs and grocery stores and public trash pickup (one of my charming co-workers brings his trash in from home and dumps it at work so he doesn't have to pay to go to a landfill in PA).

    Last summer I had a family member in a hospital in Philly to see a specialist, so I made a vacation out of it booked rooms in a B&B about 20 miles away. My observations? The roads are hell, the bridges are questionable at best, the town we were staying in was darned near bankrupt (and it showed in the state of the sidewalks and other infrastructure), and, if the local newspaper is to be believed, the schools are sub-par. We stopped in at an Amish farmer's market to find "local" tomatoes and peaches and apples…in March. (Local from the nearest wholesale fruit warehouse, no doubt.)

    PA is also infamous for polluting the Susquehanna river, which runs right into the Chesapeake Bay and out into the Atlantic ocean.

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Don't worry.

    They'll still vote for the next Bible and US Constitution carrying, flag waving conservative douche-canoe who'll blame their stinky brown water on use Godless Heathen Libtards.
    And, of course, the Messicans and EEEEBIL MOOOOOOOOOOOOOZLUMS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • c u n d gulag says:

    Oh, and homo's.
    That water didn't get brown on its own, or through fracking – if you get my drift…

  • witless chum says:

    Meh. Most of the people who really suffer from Republican policies of these kind don't vote for anybody because they don't bother to vote. Middle class types are the GOP's actual base, people who might play at redneckitude, but they aren't the real thing. People who buy a Brad Paisley CD at WalMart, not the people who work there. As you march down the income levels, people vote and lower and lower levels.

    Now, you can blame people for not getting out and voting and it's true, they should. But you might notice that there's a lot of people spending a lot of money basically encouraging them not to vote, by discouraging left populism which leaves the space for right populism. All the America fuck yeah stuff, much of advertising and just our culture in general serves to tell people who aren't making much money that they're wrong and their country is just perfect. And it's psychologically rewarding to say "I'm not gonna play that game because I'm too smart to be fooled" rather than "I'm going to patiently vote for the better option year after year and see things slowly get better.

  • What has been the historic exit route from rural feudalism? Trade. Urbanization. And, most importantly, the money that results.
    How ya gonna keep 'em down on the farm, after they've seen Paree-e-e-e?

    Exploitative elites rely on the poverty of the lower classes.
    We've all figured that one out by now. The elaborate rationalizations for knuckling under and sucking up seem to be hallucinatory excuses for maintaining some shreds of self respect – I may be just a dumb _____ but by golly I'm not _______!"

    Thus I wonder if the best weapon to develop against corporate oligarchies is a guaranteed living income, thus spiking their best gun in their war against the rest of us.

    When us cats no longer leap to the corporate "Jawbs!" cat dancer, perhaps then we'll have a government viewed as a countervailing force to oppression, rather than as the source of same.

    Guaranteed Income. Let's try it.

  • looks like it will take some time, but we'll eventually find out for sure what's in those fracking compounds: just test the drinking water. Then we'll hear the reasons this is President Obama's fault. And why energy independence (there's a misnomer for you!) is worth the crap in the water.
    If we want to know what voters in the Keystone state will do about this, just look at what they've already done: buy the lies, pay the price, feel righteous about it. Any questions?

  • Emerson Dameron says:

    Relax. I'm sure this can be safely blamed on Socialism and The Liberals, and that privatizing tapwater could have solved this before it started.

    Clinging to God, Guns, and old-school masculinity is an in-or-out proposition. No matter what you have to endure, it'll be okay as long as you don't become a faggot.

  • Leading Edge Boomer says:

    "Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard." —H.L. Mencken

  • I moved from Pennsylvania to DC. It didn't take me long to realize that Pennsylvanians are feral.

  • anotherbozo says:

    Ed, this is an epic post. You're brilliant when you're exercised. And I admit I love it when people call out the true enemy of our democracy, the illusions and ignorance, the intellectual dishonesty, of the PEOPLE. Spank the What's-the-matter-with-Kansas syndrome every chance you get. Why can't there be a bigger forum for this? Get an OpEd. Oh, right–the PEOPLE don't read Op-Eds anywhere. They don't read squat.

    Our foreign-born handyman never understood American working people, how they tend to side with the plutocrats, love to shoot themselves again and again in the foot. He knew more about what's going on in with our government than my whole fucking family, and maybe he could see straight because he was an Outsider.

    Until it becomes less than bad manners to tell the American people they're deluded, ignorant pawns, I expect we'll go on this way. Or maybe more significantly, there's no longer any kind of public forum where the truth CAN be told.

  • Meanwhile, Britain voted for more austerity because it's working so wonderfully. But they might leave the EU because austerity is so damaging and stuff.

    Voting is an intellectual exercise in determining the level of selfishness and delusion in a people, and it's a very depressing thing to watch in practice. Not as bad as Russian elections, but it's still depressing.

  • I have to admit, when I rub elbows with the lumpen proletariat in person, they put me off. They make me want to go to the Whole Foods store where they don't exist even in theory. (But I don't have more money than I know what to do with, so I don't actually go.)

    But once I'm at home and not faced with loudmouths and their "Terrorist Hunting Permit" bumperstickers, well, then it becomes easy to remember how much money some people spend to keep them there.

    And, yeah, it would be nice if they weren't dumb enough to fall for it, but a noticeable majority of any population is dumb enough to fall for any repeated messages thrown at them. If they weren't, we wouldn't have an advertising industry.

    So what's the solution? You got me.

  • cackalacka says:

    Listen to the seven Harry Potter franchise in succession recently. One quote that was pretty strong, that will stick with me for a while. While Crossroads GPS and Roger Ailes may not be familiar with it verbatim, I am sure they are familiar with it's premise and numerous corollaries.

    Essentially it was- It is easier to forgive someone for being wrong, than to forgive someone for being right.

  • I understand the anger and schadenfreude, but I don't like the term "white trash". I don't believe people are trash. Well most of 'em anyway.

    Plus the term hits a little close to home if you've ever met my relatives.

  • Weeeeeeell….the thing is that industry always picks poor, rural places to do their dirty business. Because poor people are disenfranchised. As Witless Chum points out, most of the people who live in those areas don't even bother to vote because they just are trying to get by. Corporate America is fully aware of this and exploits it for all it is worth. So….do they deserve it? Not sure. Now, those people who are giving over rights of way on their property for a handful of cash–whether they vote or not–hell yeah, they deserve what they get.

  • The voters will, of course, blame the Democrats for the water quality. After all, they're the ones who talk about water quality, and it's declined. Clearly, that makes it the Democrats failure. (Never mind the people actively working against any measures to protect the water quality. It's all because the people wanting to protect it were ineffective, so vote 'em out.)

  • Skepticalist says:

    Tea Partiers have nothing to do with libertarianism. It's filled with extreme, and in this case, some nasty conservatives that just make use them.

    The current GOP would like to write a different set restrictive laws to kill current ones that at least try to keep things intact. A libertarian would never go down that road. Their "leave us alone" doctrine doesn't include wrecking the place. Whether Teabaggers like it or not, this applies to everyone.

    However, one reason I'm not a libertarian is my feeling that the country is too damned big for it. Keeping this monster in check isn't a spectator sport. This is what we need to convey to would be voters.

    I live pretty close to PA fracking areas and read a lot of ground pollution stories. It's one reason that so far, in New York State, it's taboo. It's also not high on our list even though my area has quite a history of oil exploration. Our GOP shining lights in Albany have slightly different takes however.

  • Bitter Scribe says:

    Enough Koch-funded attack ads and pretty blondes on Fox News, and they'll believe (and vote for) anything.

  • Davis X. Machina says:

    Our foreign-born handyman never understood American working people, how they tend to side with the plutocrats, love to shoot themselves again and again in the foot…

    It's an act of worship. Which doesn't have to make sense. It's actually more meritorious if it doesn't make sense. When money is divine grace, as it is in the bastardized Calvinism that's our state-first-amendment-be-damned religion, that's gonna happen.

    People used to sacrifice their children to Moloch, now it's Murdoch.

  • witless chum says:

    Mothra, old Clint Eastwood reminded us that deserve's got nothing to do with it. Very few people get what they deserve, positively or negatively, and while Ed admits it's a fantasy, too many people indulge this way of thinking in their real life. My dad always told me that life wasn't fair, but too many people would like to believe that it is and spend their time trying to squint at the world just right to make it that. I respond to that by just throwing the whole thing out.

    Trying to nudge and push the world to make it fair doesn't work, so we should just admit that it's not fair and do what we think best. Guaranteed income kind of things, real universal healthcare kind of things, childcare, parental leave and no more abortion restrictions. It's not about fairness, it's about creating the kind of society you want to live in.

  • The problem with such people getting their just deserts (*cough*entirestateofKansas*cough*) is that they will, in their agony, never turn their fury on the appropriate target of their wrath: the villains and liars who sold them on this viper-in-a-poke.

    Yeah, take the case of the South Carolina guy with serious medical problems. He's always refused to buy health insurance because self-reliance, and he initially refused to comply with the health insurance mandate. Then severe ocular complications from his diabetes drained the family bank account, and then he decided it was time to get health insurance from the ACA exchange … after open enrollment was over. Now, he'd still be eligible for Medicaid, except that the government of South Carolina refused the ACA Medicaid expansion. Naturally, he and his wife bitterly blame Obama and Congressional Democrats for being stuck in exactly the situation they would have been in pre-ACA. And so it will go for every single thing involving health insurance in this country.

  • Not that anybody who is employed at the three nukes within 10 miles of my front door give a fuck:

    http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2015/05/indian_point_fire_raises_concerns_about_aging_nucl.html

    Yeah, it was a fire that may have caused a spill of up to 50Kgal of PCB laden oil into the Hudson River.

    Right now, I'm standing across the street from the tallest structures in Oswego County, twin 720' high smokestacks for the mostly mothballed 1700MW+ oil fired powerplant that is run often enough to maintain its licensing and used as a sink for carbon credits, otherwise.

    I read comments like those that accompany the news story I put up a link for and see a majority of them are written by people who are well versed in the pronuke propagandapologist playbook. ONLY nuclear works and NOTHING else can do the job as safely, as economically or with fewer interruptions. Complete.Load.Of.Horseshit.

  • I'm sorry, I just realized that my comment may have seemed unrelated to the OP. It's not. I just see the same people who are pro-gunzeverwhere, anti-choice, anti-gay and the cetera being anti-alt energy–with the same complete lack of justification for their opinions.

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