An homage to Donald Segretti, the first political ratfucker to call himself that, in the context of what the teabaggers are up to by Charles P. Pierce.
But first a little background. The whole idea of "RF" was started by Big Daddy Roth back in the day. It was "Rat Fink" because we couldn't wear "Rat Fuck" on our T-shirts back then. We knew what he meant. That little hotroddin' rat was an idol and symbol to us teenagers. So was Big Daddy Roth.
The most popular Ed "Big Daddy" Roth monster was Rat Fink. Rat Fink started as a drawing that Ed had put on his refrigerator. Ed "Big Daddy" Roth was a genius at designing cars, but it was Rat Fink that brought him fame. By 1963, teenagers across America were buying Rat Fink model kits and mass-produced Rat Fink T-shirts by Ed "Big Daddy" Roth.
The Ed "Big Daddy" Roth Gang included: Rat Fink, Drag Nut, Mother's Worry, and Mr. Gasser. They soon became heroes to young kids across the nation who could relate to the stories and themes of the Ed "Big Daddy" Roth gang.
Back to the modern-day ratfuckin' bastards.
As the Reign Of The Morons enters its third day, let us pause for a moment to pay tribute to a political visionary whose entire career presaged the current moment, anticipating the essential dynamic in play in Washington right now in all of its petulant, kindergartenish glory. Let us raise a morning glass to Donald Segretti, the ratfucker.
(As any student of Watergate knows, "ratfucking" was the word used by Segretti and a number of other officials in the Nixon White House for the dirty tricks they ran in student elections when they all were at the University of Southern California. Segretti -- as well as his pal, Dwight Chapin -- simply transferred these techniques to our national elections.)
There are two basic philosophical foundation stones to ratfucking. The first is that political sabotage for its own sake is a worthy enough goal. There doesn't necessarily have to be an obvious purpose or obvious logic behind it. Everything is simply tactics. Those tactics either work or they don't. To believe this, of course, one must first believe that all politics is a essentially a zero-sum game of power; you win and the other guy loses. Who rules? Period. One cannot for a moment contemplate the notion that politics -- and therefore, government -- has anything to do with the public good. I trust I don't have to spell out the parallels between this elemental basis of ratfucking and what the Republicans are about in their current campaign of vandalism. This has now entered a time in which we are seeing sabotage for sabotage's own sake. Remember, the conservative rump faction has brought this shutdown upon the country because its members refuse to agree to a federal budget that contains lower discretionary spending than even Paul Ryan contemplated. That's because now -- as Congressman Marlin Stutzman pointed out clearly yesterday -- this isn't about the budget, or even about economics, it's about who wins and who loses. It's about whether or not John Boehner, the castrato Speaker Of The House, can keep his job. The public, as was said during our previous Gilded Age, be damned.
The second basic philosophical tenet of ratfucking is that it is essentially bullying. It is essentially about ridicule and deceit as ends in themselves. [...]
We are coming into the first weekend -- and therefore, the first Green Room festival -- since the Reign Of The Morons began, so I suspect we will see a lot of ratfucking gussied up as high rhetoric come Sunday. But, for the rest of us, we are living through a living history of sabotage, through a single extended dirty trick. We are all of us, milling around the public square, wondering who cancelled the rally today and somewhere, in a Days Inn near the airport, a clever young man snaps his suitcase shut and moves on to the next town. There is always another rat to fuck, after all.
Ah, Grasshopper, he who fucks the rat will eventually get fucked by the rat he fucked. It is written - he who pitches will also catch.