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Sunday, April 21

Gapers Block

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When you hear a phrase like "Paris Hilton Lobby," one of two things probably springs to mind: either the actual lobby of the Hilton hotel in Paris, France, or some sort of sexual euphemism about the wealthy heiress that I won't belabor here.

I am talking about neither, although the double (or triple, I suppose) entendre is useful.

Just like the environmental lobby, or the gun lobby, the Paris Hilton Lobby is an interest group for the smallest conceivable group (besides, maybe, NAMBLA). Yet millions of Americans toil to support it, and a phalanx of thinkers find ingenious way to somehow transform this lobby into the Will of the People.

Indeed, wild-eyed yet urbane conservative pundits and intellectuals from one end of Manhattan to the other are the intelligentsia of the Paris Hilton Lobby. Drawing on their backgrounds in places like New Canaan, White Plains, and the East Village, they clang their forks at la Provence on MacDougal as they sympathize with the put-upon small town Christian-American who harbors only innocent thoughts of John Wayne movies and hard work. They coo at them the way little girls at the zoo might at little lemurs, and invent scenarios where drug abuse, divorce, illegitimacy and domestic violence are not reaching epidemic status in small-town, rural America. Over cocktails at their second condos in Foggy Bottoms, Washington, D.C., they get into heated fits of agreement about the nobility of the Fly-Over-American whose greatest aspiration is to deregulate the insurance industry further, in case he ever ends up accidentally owning Marsh & McLennan. At La Petite Follie in Hyde Park, grad students at a corner table roll their eyes and explain to some undergrad liberals at the next table how the estate tax will help every single retired fireman, machinist, registered nurse and tavern owner between Skokie and Oak Lawn along Pulaski. But behind the patronizing portraits, flat-out made up stuff and repressed rage caused by sexual inadequacy is a secret desire to further the cause of the Paris Hilton Lobby, perhaps in the hopes that they'll one day benefit from it, even if it's just in a lap-dog capacity.

The Paris Hilton Lobby is what lies at the heart of the organizational juggernaut that is the right-wing political movement. It is the effort of the connected, decadent millionaire elites who underwrite the conservative machine to ensure that their families become permanent aristocracy, to ensure an eternity of leisure, wealth, and of course power for their scions.

It is the political mechanism by which the decadent class will set in concrete -- I should say, marble -- a permanently social-darwinist society with them and their kin as the victors. It is an attempt to create out of the American man and woman a class of mudpeople just educated enough to enrich them, but dumb enough to be happy about it. The goal of the Paris Hilton Lobby is to politically indoctrinate several generations of Americans to habitually vote to enrich them and enslave themselves.

Conservatives in general and Republicans in particular have combined a unique, politicized and morally bankrupt "Christianity" -- which espouses wealth at all costs, hatred in the name of Christ and blasphemy ("The Lord told me to attack Iraq" -- George W. Bush, Ha'aretz newspaper, Israel, June 2003) -- with an anti-capitalist agenda (one that discourages competition in favor of the politically juiced) shrouded in the lingo of Free-Marketism to build an organization specifically designed to clear the way for Paris Hilton and her children and her children's children to never have to lift a finger while the rest of humanity toils to subsidize her collagen injections, breast implants and hedonistic, orgiastic partying.

Almost every single piece of legislation Republicans espouse -- from tort reform to partial birth abortion, from Right-to-Work laws to No Child Left Behind -- is designed ultimately to defend the rights of Paris Hilton and her progeny to never work a minute of their lives. Those blue collar guys who assemble tractors at the Caterpillar plant in Peoria whose children hardly recognize them due to 60-hour work weeks use blistered fingers to write their County Republican Chair a contribution to make sure that Paris Hilton never shows laugh lines. They fund the monogrammed silk robe industry and defend the inheritance of Henry Hyde III and Sam Walton XIII.

But even though everything I've said so far is true, I'm not writing this to worry you, or be a Gloomy Gus. Because we have good laughs in store for us.

Although one day your children will attend Wal-Schools you pay for with property taxes but which are run for-profit, there are many hilarious ironies to laugh at -- although your kids and grandkids will probably be stupid to know what "irony" is, perhaps confusing it with that thing they're deficient in due to malnutrition.

The Republican Party, which is indisputably one of the five-to-ten most wicked political organizations in the history of humanity, can gleefully take credit for the following Alanis Morisette-esque ironies engendered by the Paris Hilton Lobby:

Those four million extra Evangelical Americans Karl Rove supposedly turned out on Election Day gave a resounding "Yes" vote to diverting funds from their own economic security to deposit into the future checking accounts of Paris Hilton, to be spent on hundreds of gallons of Glenfiddich, Cristal, and Grey Goose vodka and tons of cocaine for the trust fund babies of the North Shore suburbs of Chicago, the Silicon Valley, and the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Tax dollars that could have been used to re-train them for an evolving economy will instead be used to train future generations of Bushes and DeLays and Hasterts on tax evasion, racketeering and extortion. Ha!

Many farmers, who erect giant, enraged, vituperative Christianity-themed billboards in downstate areas near Quincy and Effingham are also pretty upset at their constant exploitation by Wall Street financial interests and bankers who can trade away their very way of life in an afternoon. The gut-busting part of that is how the only time Christ really showed rage and vituperation in any of the gospels is when he went after the money changers in the Temple in Jerusalem.

Oh, I almost forgot about the part where now-unemployed Maytag workers and their families and their community voted to make sure their main rival, General Electric, continued to pay a tax rate of less than 10 percent while Maytag paid a full 35 percent corporate tax rate simply because they lacked political clout, thus handing them a competitive disadvantage that forced them out of business. Oh man, I'll have to remember that for when a bunch of them are huddled on Lower Wacker Drive offering to fix my building's laundry machine. I bet they'll chortle.

I have to admit, I don't know any trust fund babies. But here's an interesting (and potentially hilarious!) project for somebody out there who moves in those circles. Try to figure out how many recently-laid-off ex-union laborers now working at a Wal-Mart in Western Kansas somewhere will essentially be handing their taxes over to hair stylists, fashion designers, interior designers, personal stylists, hangers-on, publicists and choreographers in the employ of Paris and Nikki Hilton, Nicole Richie, the heirs to the Spiegel fortune and Chelsea Clinton. When you find out, send me the results and I'll forward them to Ann Coulter. I bet she has quite the sense of humor.

And Larry "Moral Court" Elder, a prominent Black Conservative, will probably give a hearty "Aww, you tricksters!" when Republicans weep their crocodile tears for election reform and end up simply abrogating the Voting Rights Act of 1964 for a new, stealth federal election guideline that makes electoral manipulation and disenfranchisement of African-Americans even easier. Better than that dreaded "soft bigotry of low expectations," right Larry?

So don't worry, Red America -- and Blue America, too, because we are also going to be victims of this Paris Hilton Lobby that invests so heartily in the country club money meant for your block club. Don't worry, because at least we can stay rosy and cheery and laugh about the millions of ironies that went into making sure Paris Hilton never has to break a sweat -- unless she's atop one of the New York Knicks or something. We can thank those soft conservative voters, and the Republican Party that conspires with false, heretical prophets for providing such wonderful chuckles. And in the afterlife, we who avoided these antichrists in Ralph Lauren will be rewarded. For the time being, keep grinnin', because the Hiltons don't like to see sad faces from the window of the Hover-Limo we're going to buy her and her kids every year forever until there is no end.

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About the Author(s)

Ramsin Canon covers and works in politics in Chicago. If you have a tip, a borderline illegal leak, or a story that needs to be told, contact him at .

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