It is sacrosanct to its subculture and even the most vocal “mavericks” dare not gainsay it in any serious way lest the faithful withhold their hosannas and almighty dollars.
Here, for instance, is gutsy truthteller and unchained prophet Bernie Sanders, Scourge of the Vested Interests, Fearless Attacker of Beltway Insider Hillary, Courageous Opponent of Big Money… meekly breathing into a paper bag and reciting the Approved Text about how casual chat concerning the crushing of babies above and below the thorax strikes the wrong “tone”.
Yeah. “Tone”. That’s the problem. It’s exactly the same jargon Murder Inc. also trotted out as the Rapid Response Squad hit the airwaves to explain how this gruesome banter over fava beans and a nice chianti isn’t anything like it looks and sounds.
The obsession with “tone” makes clear what the issue is for Murder Inc. (and for our culture): aesthetics. Our culture *loves* to kill and torture. We are better at it (if numbers are any measure) than the great totalitarian regimes of the 20th century. But instead of leaving the bloody work to a centralized economy, our genius is to privatize it and make it all clinical and clean and civilized. We do it in abortuaries. We do it in euthanasia clinics. We do it in death penalty chambers. And we do it by sanitizing torture as “enhanced interrogation”. We want death, but we want it to be a neat, clean death.
So “tone” becomes all-important because what matters is not the killing we inflict, but a certain oblique tergiversation that carefully refuses to speak what is happening to the outside world. That is what the PP reps on the video did wrong. They spoke plainly and clearly about what they did. And Bernie Sanders, Straight Talker, is embarrassed by that. Not embarrassed enough to repent the horror he supports. Just embarrassed enough to hush it all back up and go on pretending that the crimes and barbarisms described in these videos are something else when we speak of them in a reverent “tone”.
And he’s the gutsy one. Hillary has said nothing, as far as I know.