Part 8

I get the feeling that America entered the 1990s assuming that LaRouche was one of those cultural items that could just be left behind as an artifact from the previous decade… a curious pop culture figure to be sure, but an antiquity nonetheless.  He was in prison, after all, and was not coming out anytime soon — admittedly not much brain space was occupied by an awareness of LaRouche — and even that small allotment of brainsapce was going to fade away to take on other inconsequential items.

As a whole, the 1990s were rather lean years for LaRouche.  The career path lacked any forward momentum.  He had successfully moved from a cult leader off the fringes of the New Left in the 1970s to a cult leader off the fringes of mainstream electoral politics in the 1980s.  He had achieved a sort of notoriety.  And then he reached his peak, and the novelty of his curious place in electoral politics and street theater simply wore off.

So it is that a Simpsons reference is the most important moment in LaRouche’s 1990s era.  The Simpsons has accomplished an amazing saturation where it is easily referenced.  Recently a local alternative newspaper, The Portland Mercury, had the cover blurb for a story on landlord – tenant issues: “Now Pay the Rent!  You Must Pay the Rent!”, probably a direct parody of something else (instead of what I took as a general parody of ham-handed community theater), but most easily identified from The Simpsons.  In LaRouche’s case, you notice that the Washington Post’s 2004 piece on Jeremiah Duggan starts  off immediately by referencing The Simpsons.  The scene is from a Treehouse of Horrors Halloween episode, and has Homer Simpson yelling, “Oh, no! Aliens, bio-duplication, nude conspiracies… Oh my God! Lyndon LaRouche was right!”

Granted, LaRouche continued on his path.  An election campaign in 1992, notable because he was in prison, and also because Ross Perot had borrowed his perchance for running half hour informercials replete with charts.  There was a meeting with George Bush and a LaRouchite that went like this:

LaRouchite shakes hands, does not release grip: “When are you going to release the files on Lyndon LaRouche?”
George Bush:  “He’s in jail.” 
LaRouchite:  “Yeah, and you’re holding him political prisoner. 
(secret service leading LaRouchite away)  Bush:  He’s in jail where he belongs.

That was part of the LaRouchite campaign against Bush where they waved pictures of brocilla and had the words “Hey George!  Eat It!”  Bemusing enough.

An election in 1996.  And one in 2000.  A delegate the DNC had to deny in 1996 from his home state of Virginia, and an eye-opening and staggering 22 percent vote total for Arkansas in 2000 (past the point where the primaries mattered much).  The Democratic Party learned to accept the occasional elected state representative or meaningless nominee as sacrificial lamb to higher office.

Politically, he set himself up in opposing Gingrich — creating a Legislative Dictatorship.  Opposing Clinton’s impeachment — which was a plot by  “The British and the rest of the international financial oligarchy to install Al Gore as president.”  (Why the British and the rest of the international oligarchy preferred Gore to Clinton, I do not know.)  He rallied against Alan Greenspan, and therein lies the trouble: it’s not a particularly sexy figure to push up against to attract a following.  (Whatever the merits or detriments of Alan Greenspan’s tenure, and admist an era where he was essentially knighted, he has his detractors that could conceivably be wormed through to LaRouchite conspiracies.)

Undoubtedly, Larouche’s donors continued to send him the maximum allowed under law, something that has been the norm through his political career.  And while there weren’t many economic downturns to crow about as prelude to the great Economic Disaster, he did get to crow when mainstream media outlets published articles alleging the CIA with being involved in the introduction of Crack into Los Angeles.  But overall, he didn’t come up with an innovation for his cult until 1999, and his innovation didn’t really pull himself forward until the Bush Era and after 9/11.

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