Saturday, April 01, 2006

Exclusive: neo-neocon rerats

[HINT: note the date]

If you're a regular reader here, you probably already know that Winston Churchill is my idol-- well, one of my idols, anyway, along with all the contestants on "American Idol."

One of Churchill's many famous quotes is "Anyone can rat, but it takes a certain ingenuity to rerat." Now, for those of you who don't speak English English, the term "rat" refers to a change of political affiliation. Churchill started out as a Conservative, became a Liberal a few years later, and about twenty years afterwards returned to the Conservative Party.

Well, even though he's someone I look up to, I really can't follow in his footsteps. For one thing, I'm sure his feet were a lot bigger than mine. For another, I'm not British, and I've never smoked a cigar. And it's too late to follow his political trajectory, because I didn't start out as a Conservative (although I certainly would have if I'd known that he had; that's how much I admire the man).

But there is one way in which I'm already like him: I've ratted. Big time. And today I'm announcing another way I intend to be like Churchill: I'm going to rerat.

Yes, it's official: neo-neocon is returning to her roots and becoming a liberal Democrat once more. I'm not sure what to rename the blog: perhaps "neo-exneocon?"

But I'm not going to worry about nomenclature at this point. In fact, I'm not going to worry about anything. I'm going to stick my head in the sand and put my fingers in my ears (although that might be difficult to do simultaneously) and I will Whistle a Happy Tune, as long as I don't get sand in my mouth.

Because I am tired. Bone tired. And I can see it now: the prodigal daughter will return, and I'll be welcomed with open arms. They'll kill a fatted calf, and we'll have a barbecue and some brewskis. I'll lay down my weary load. And I can take that silly apple away from my face before the computer company or the Beatles or Magritte's estate ends up suing me.

"Why, neo-neocon, why?" you might ask (except, don't call me that any more!). The turning point might seem rather odd. In fact, it is rather odd. But please try to understand, and to forgive--it comes from a love long suppressed.

"Love?" you ask. "What's love got to do with it?" The answer: John Dean.

Yes, John Dean, Watergate whistleblower. I had a tremendous crush on him back in 1973. Don't laugh, he was hot; and he didn't have any holes in his soles:



Although I liked him better with the glasses on--but I digress.

All these long intervening years I've been wondering where he's been--and if his wife Mo (she of the slick-backed every-hair-in-place blond bun)

is still there with him, (turns out she is).

And then, lo and behold, when I'd almost given up hope, yesterday he ups and testifies in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee, asking that Bush be censured for eavesdropping on calls to terrorists without getting warrants.

Dean said that Bush's offenses are even more serious than Nixon's during Watergate. I'm not so sure I follow exactly why that might be, but Dean ought to know--after all, he wrote the book on Watergate (or rather, he had the book on Watergate partly ghostwritten by Taylor Branch. Whatever.)

And, not only did he write the book on Watergate, but he wrote the one on Bush, too, the one that said Bush's offenses were worse than Watergate (that's the title, Worse Than Watergate), although it was written before the wiretappings were revealed.

When I heard that Dean was testifying again, the years fell away and I saw the error of my recent ways. I know it's sudden, and may not seem very well-thought-out, but that's the way I am: impulsive, emotional, madcap, throwing caution to the winds.

And so it's over for me, this crazy neocon venture. It was a good trip while it lasted, but I'm returning to my roots.

At least, that is, till April Fool's Day is over.

[NOTE: In the interests of clarity, and to any readers out there who may not be aware of this fact, I am hereby stating that today, April 1st (otherwise known as April Fool's Day) is a day in which hoaxes and practical jokes are traditional in the English-speaking world, as well as in France.

So, there's been no reratting; all of this was merely an attempt (and probably a feeble one, at that) at a joke. Neo-neocon will remain neo-neocon for the foreseeable future.

But I actually did have a tiny little crush on John Dean back in '73. Loved those glasses.]

38 Comments:

At 12:01 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Steve said...

You totally pulled my leg. Good for you. ;-)

 
At 12:15 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous Van der Leun said...

Funny thing but I woke up this morning thinking the exact same thing at the exact same time.

 
At 12:29 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Van der Leun:

You liked those glasses too? Amazing!!

 
At 12:52 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger nyomythus said...

In a search for more information on Wafa Sultan I ran across your site last week and have been inspired with the idea of creating my own Blog! During this reading I was surprised but thought, “Ah-well, she’s certainly free to make her own intellectual discoveries,” but was happy you were only joking.

Myself a life long Democrat. I remember when I saw the Taliban blasting the huge Buddha statues out of that mountainside, and wondered hmmmm big no-no, what the hell is this? BIG BIG NO NO!, then 9/11, and thus the ensuing and complete intuitive shift.

How can anyone still be a liberal after this? To each his own I guess. My behavior is still pretty liberal, I love poetry, art, museums, short stories, and most things creative and intellectual.

Graphic communication as opposed to analytical writing is more my cup of tea – I’m not sure “how” or “if I need to” create a Blog … still contemplating. Okay I’m babbling on and on now. Speaking of Ms. Sultan check out this graphic I made of an image of her at: http://tinypic.com/view/?pic=rc7am1

 
At 1:15 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous colagirl said...

Happy April 1, neo. :) :) :)

 
At 2:03 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Cappy said...

Ha ha. Wasn't Dean the Nixon aide that got raped in prison, from the ending scene of "Animal House"?

 
At 2:20 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous armchair pessimist said...

Ha! Ha! You sure had me fooled, Neo. You rererat, welcome back

 
At 2:30 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

I was mildly fooled by the liberal democrat angle but I couldn't go along with a crush on John Dean.

But didn't someone make a movie about girls with a crush on Nixon?

Happy April 1

 
At 2:52 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

But maryatexitzero, the "crush on John Dean" part was the only part that was at least partially true!!

 
At 3:55 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous hgwells said...

I was on guard and got it half through.

But it does the raise the question I've wondered about since I ratted my liberal/progressive affiliations -- how much ratting and reratting is going on these days and in which directions? Fukuyama seems to have reratted for opportunistic reasons.

I also wonder if neo truly would have been welcomed back as the prodigal daughter by her Bluestate family and friends.

 
At 5:09 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Assistant Village Idiot said...

hgwells, your last comment points to precisely where I began to suspect a hoax. In the current climate, I don't think any of us would be completely forgiven -- there would be snide comments disguised as humor forever.

My own ratting was closer to the late 80's, but I am still treated as a betrayer in some circles.

 
At 5:28 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous meander said...

Whew, I was reading those first couple of paragraphs feeling positively deserted.My inner voice was screaming, "Say it ain't so, Neo." It didn't seem fair to lose you because of a once upon a time pretty boy with glasses. I think the only reason I halfway believed your reratting was because you brought Churchill into it and if he could do it, I guess anyone can. Thanks for the smile. The only other April Fool's day trick that came my way today was when my scale said I had gained a pound after a saintly day of almost non eating yesterday. I was NOT amused!

 
At 6:07 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Alexandra said...

Nice one!

I thought of the same thing this morning, but just did not end up having the time to pull it off....

 
At 6:37 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous SB said...

Had you ratted for real, I would have tried to make the best of it by reminding myself that the Dems could use a few more sane people on their side.

Now...never do that again. Please.

 
At 6:45 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow! Almost crossed you off my Favorites list. Now I think I'll move you up a notch or two.

 
At 7:05 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Sissy Willis said...

Good God. You gave me such a fright. John Dean makes my toes curl.

 
At 7:41 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I thought it was a joke at first, but then Neo's irrepressible writing style took hold along with her meticulous methodology and I decided to await the judgement till the end. Since it was getting quite serious with the "I'm bone tired" line.

I postulated that "love" was the love of human rights. But when Jimmy Dean came up, I was like, what the hell does that have to do with you changing categories? I guess nothing.

The clincher was when you mentioned being emotional. That was out of character, and along with the Jimmy Dean justification, served as advance warning. But, however, the integral straight forwardness of the beginning is very convincing Neo. It's only when inconsistencies pop up that I know someone isn't telling the entire truth. I think perhaps that you had laid out clues in your text to clue us in, sort of like that guy who directed the Six Sense. Nobody caught them, though ; )

well, one of my idols, anyway, along with all the contestants on "American Idol."
First clue I think.

although I certainly would have if I'd known that he had; that's how much I admire the man

Hard to tell, certainly seems like a prelude.

becoming a liberal Democrat

The Democrat was another clue. One can be liberal and believe in human rights, without rejoining the Democratic party.

The mention of April Fool's day, I always forget April Fool's day is the first of April, was another fail safe. And of course, there is a final fail safe.


How can anyone still be a liberal after this? To each his own I guess. My behavior is still pretty liberal, I love poetry, art, museums, short stories, and most things creative and intellectual.


Nyo,
Liberals are still liberals and conservatives are still conservatives. Conservatives live by the if it ain't broke, don't fix it philosophy. And liberals believe that one should strive to innovate and perfect the status quo. This is irregardless of how the Republican or Democrat party behaves.

I try to gain weight, but it doesn't work. My body won't let me do what I want, boo hoo.

 
At 8:44 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger camojack said...

I have to wonder if you added the hint at the very beginning after some people had posted comments...since a number of them claim to have gotten it later on.

Happy April Fools Day!!!
(The atheists' holiday)

 
At 9:11 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger John Ruberry said...

I had a crush on Rip Taylor in the 1970s, then I became straight.

 
At 9:43 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Wow! I'm sorry that I gave anyone a fright. I thought I telegraphed the whole thing right from the early "American Idol" reference straight on through. But I guess even though it was clear in my mind, it wasn't all that clear to the reader.

Then again, that's what April Fool's Day is for, right?

camojack: I did indeed add the hint at the beginning because I had read some of the comments. I figured that some people would read a few paragraphs, not realize it was a joke, and never darken my door again.

 
At 10:55 PM, April 01, 2006, Anonymous Lem said...

Came to you via Roger Simon and glad I did. Your April fool’s was enchanting. Oh, Sorry, I was not fooled. No one this funny could be serious. Or could she? ;)

 
At 11:03 PM, April 01, 2006, Blogger Bezuhov said...

Folks, democrats, and especially liberals, are not the bad guys. That would be the people planning to kill us. WE'RE the liberals.

 
At 2:32 AM, April 02, 2006, Anonymous ElMondoHummus said...

Damn, I needed a good laugh. Thank you NeoLib... er, not-so-neocon... er, ReRat. Thanks. Honestly. I'm in a waaay better mood now.

You see, April 1st was more like "Friday the 13th" for me, so I appreciate that I actually got to witness someone pulling a God-honest prank rather than "celebrate" the "holiday" in some other fashion. You know what my friends did to me for April Fools Day? They sang me "Happy Birthday" in public.

My birthday's in June... you can guess what the joke is. Yeah, ha ha, very funny...

And I sure as hell didn't appreciate the joke my car pulled on me (Yes, my Pontiac is a conscious being): I fill the tank, buy the carwash through the touchie-screen on the gas pump, pull up to the number pad thingie to punch in my code, lower the window, put in the code, then push the switch to raise the window for the drive through...

... and hear the window's motor grind to a halt and refuse to go any further.

I said it was more like Friday the 13th for me, didn't I?

So there I am, foot on the brake, the tire pushie-thing of the carwash butting repeatedly up against the rear tire (I thought those automatic carwashes ground to a halt and sounded alarms when a person did that! Thank goodness no, at least not this one), and me desperately trying to push the window up with just the palms of my hands!

Yeah, I wish I were just making this up as an A.F.D joke. It *did* happen on April 1st, but I'm reporting this on April 2nd, and no, I'm not joking. There's probably security camera tape somewhere at the gas station to prove it. Showing me with a panicked expression on my face once I realize what's happening.

But,yes, I (barely!) got the window up, if not in time, at least soon enough to avoid tragedy (just got a bit misted from the presoak).

So I musically get labeled a fool in public, get misted by a car wash while fearing that I was breaking it, end up with a dysfunctional driver's side window, excacerbate my carpal tunnel problems by shoving on said window, get where I'm going, get smacked around in Poker all night long, get home, see the front door light burned out, get inside, go online, and guess what I see?

"Neo's steering left again? For love??"

You sooo had me going.

Signed,
ElMondoGullible

 
At 2:33 AM, April 02, 2006, Anonymous ElMondoHummus said...

Just as an aside, wouldn't be a great inside joke if we all started calling Neo "Rerat" from now on?

:)

Signed,
ElMondoSleepy... it's time for bed.

 
At 8:08 AM, April 02, 2006, Blogger knoxgirl said...

I was sitting here thinking, "this poor thing has multiple-personality disorder" !!!

Good one.

 
At 9:59 AM, April 02, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

I thought I telegraphed the whole thing right from the early "American Idol" reference straight on through.

Like I said, that's like the director of Sixth Sense, saying he telegraphed it all with the red colors ; )

But come on, it was better without the hint.

I'm used to you, neo, going off on biforked paths in your writing. So the logical thing would be to wait until later for any mysterious references to be defined. And it is still consistent. American Idol, Churchill, Jimmy Dean. It's like the Sixth Sense, it only makes sense at the end when you piece it all together. Looked at independently, it doesn't make a lot of knowledge.

I figured that some people would read a few paragraphs, not realize it was a joke, and never darken my door again.

Bah, you don't need em. Extra baggage, das ist diese Kinder.

 
At 10:53 AM, April 02, 2006, Blogger maryatexitzero said...

But maryatexitzero, the "crush on John Dean" part was the only part that was at least partially true!!

Well, I guess when compared with other Watergate folks (G. Gordon Liddy, John Mitchell) he was appealing. To me, of the whole batch, only Carl Bernstein approached the kind of hotness that could convince someone to rat or rerat (and then only when he was played by Dustin Hoffman)

 
At 11:30 AM, April 02, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Yes, maryatexitzero, it was the contrast with the others against which Dean shone. He was significantly younger, for starters. Watching so many hours of those hearings, you kind of got to know the actors.

 
At 1:58 PM, April 02, 2006, Anonymous Ray said...

I was sorry to read it. I mean I could understand it, no not the John Dean references, but the part about the burden, wanting to return to fold. To close your eyes and pretend that the only evil in the world is American conservatives. After all, they won't chop your head off and you can insult them all you want. Consequences are just too much for many to face, better to just bury your head in the sand.

I'm glad to see it's not true.

 
At 2:18 PM, April 02, 2006, Anonymous GM Roper said...

GREAT AFD post but aren't you supposed to put the "note" up the next day. Or, did you and I missed it the first day? Oh well, it's still a GREAT post, and had me smiling with some great memories of those wild assed days.

 
At 2:40 PM, April 02, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

GM Roper: I put the "hint" up an hour or two after I published the post, because the comments indicated a lot of people weren't quite getting it.

And folks--ye of little faith! I would never go back for the sake of easiness--I'm far too stubborn and opinionated for that, and I like to think my integrity wouldn't allow it.

And believe me, John Dean wasn't that hot.

 
At 2:42 PM, April 02, 2006, Anonymous jg said...

Neo, humor IS ALWAYS WELCOME in today's insanities. It helps! Thanks!

 
At 2:42 PM, April 02, 2006, Anonymous jg said...

Neo, humor IS ALWAYS WELCOME in today's insanities. It helps! Thanks!

 
At 5:36 PM, April 03, 2006, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Face it, neo. The smart ones of us are those who--like you--were capable of making the change when reality screamed in our faces.

The stupid ones are your old friends whose lack of touch with reality, and lack of courage to brave the prevailing political winds, keeps their mouths glued to the private parts of Chomsky, Michael Moore, and any old anti-american they can find.

 
At 5:45 PM, April 03, 2006, Anonymous meander said...

Hi, Neo, I don't know if you ever check back on comments from a day old post but reading that you felt chastened made me want to clarify my comment from yesterday
"At 5:28 PM, April 01, 2006, meander said...
Whew, I was reading those first couple of paragraphs feeling positively deserted.My inner voice was screaming, "Say it ain't so, Neo." It didn't seem fair to lose you because of a once upon a time pretty boy with glasses. I think the only reason I halfway believed your reratting was because you brought Churchill into it and if he could do it, I guess anyone can. Thanks for the smile. The only other April Fool's day trick that came my way today was when my scale said I had gained a pound after a saintly day of almost non eating yesterday. I was NOT amused!"
My "NOT amused" declaration was in reference to my scale saying I had gained a pound. I was decidedly entertained by your prank and bemused at how initially concerned I was that the other side was going to have your talented voice helping their positions make sense.

 
At 9:20 PM, April 03, 2006, Blogger neo-neocon said...

Oh, I understood that, meander. But thanks for the explanation.

I'm never the least bit amused when my scale says I've gained a pound. But I solve that by never getting on the scale. I rely, instead, on the fit of my clothes, a much more gentle way to keep track.

 
At 10:14 PM, April 03, 2006, Blogger Ymarsakar said...

Maybe we need to switch scales then.

 
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