The Tea Party
Finally the Tea Party seems to have found something that goes over the line as far as what they allow their “members” to say and do. They kicked out Mark Williams, the head of the Tea Party Express, below is just a taste the fantasy letter he wrote…
It began “Dear Mr. Lincoln,
“We Coloreds have taken a vote and decided that we don’t cotton to that whole emancipation thing. Freedom means having to work for real, think for ourselves, and take consequences along with the rewards. That is just far too much to ask of us Colored People and we demand that it stop!”
The media obsession with the oil spill and the immediate need to blame someone shows the immaturity of the press. Every twist and turn has caused them to hyperventilate on TV. They act like the Deep Water Horizon was the first oil well drilled in the gulf and ignore the over 30,000 other rigs out in the gulf. I wish as a country, we had done something about our dependence on foreign oil back in the 1970’s when OPEC was jerking us around.
Sarah, Sarah, Sarah…..there is this thing called “spell check” and this other thing called “dictionary.com”. You have to give her credit for sticking to her guns, right? She’s like George W. Bush in many ways, why should I be surprised that some Republicans like her? When I went to post this, I had to ignore the spell checker on “refudiate”. :)
Whoopie Goldberg, Come On!
What in the hell is wrong with Whoopie? Defending Mel Gibson after the latest racist, misogynistic rant? I googled Whoopie and the word “defends” and realized, she is a habitual defender of assholes. WTF Whoopie. Here is the list with links….
“Single Ladies Dance” (You know, the little girls dancing like Beyonce)
As regular readers know, I’m not a fan of polls and how they are being used by the media to try to sway legislators into voting with the popular trends in the country. Morning Joe on MSNBC is barely watchable anymore. And it isn’t just because Obama has been down in the polls, it isn’t just about politics these days. Remember this where the baseball pitcher was robbed of a perfect game, someone did a poll to see what the American people thought of a bad call in a freakin baseball game. If that isn’t taking the polling phenomenon to new levels of stupid, I don’t know what is.
Steve Benen has a piece based on a column by Dana Milbank which talks about the Republican Party’s mainstreaming of the fringe elements of the party. They seem to be welcoming all comers, whether sane or not, racist or not, conspiracy freaks or not and basically those who believe that the world is flat. Both Milbank and Benen say it better than I can so here is some of their words about it. First Millbank…..
Late last month, Thomas Sowell of the conservative Hoover Institution penned an irresponsible column likening Obama’s presidency (particularly his pushing BP to set aside funds for oil-spill victims) to the rise of Hitler in Germany and Lenin in the Soviet Union.
After the column came out, Sarah Palin tweeted her followers with instructions to “Read Thomas Sowell’s article.” Sowell’s theme — that Obama, like Hitler and Lenin, exploits “useful idiots” who don’t know much about politics — was strikingly similar to what wound up on the Iowa billboard.
Twenty years ago, the dawn of the Internet Age gave us Godwin’s Law: If an online argument goes on long enough, somebody will eventually invoke Hitler. When that happens, it’s basically the end of the conversation, because all rational discussion ceases when one side calls the other Nazis.
These sentiments have long existed on the fringe and always will. The problem is that conservative leaders and Republican politicians, in their blind rage against Obama these last 18 months, invited the epithets of the fringe into the mainstream. Godwin’s Law has spread from the chat rooms and now applies to cable news and even to the floor of the House of Representatives.
Consider these tallies from Glenn Beck’s show on Fox News since Obama’s inauguration: 202 mentions of Nazis or Nazism, according to transcripts, 147 mentions of Hitler, 193 mentions of fascism or fascist, and another 24 bonus mentions of Joseph Goebbels. Most of these were directed in some form at Obama — as were the majority of the 802 mentions of socialist or socialism on Beck’s nightly “report.”
And now Steve Benen’s take on this…
The speed with which conservatives went from zero to hysterical in 2009 was impressive, but it’s the mainstreaming of sheer madness that doesn’t get the attention it deserves. As Milbank noted, “[A]ccusations that once were beyond the pale — not just talk of Nazis and Marxists but intimations of tyranny, revolution and bloodshed — are now routine.”
And so the Republican Party shows no meaningful qualms about becoming the party of conspiracy theories (“Birthers,” Gulf oil spill was deliberate), wild-eyed accusations (ACORN, “re-education camps,” Gestapo-like security forces, New Black Panther Party), and radical policy positions (a five-year spending freeze to address a global economic crisis, the belief that tax cuts pay for themselves, a freeze on federal regulations, willful ignorance about energy, health, and education policy, the entire Sharron Angle/Rand Paul platform).
The point isn’t that political radicalism is new; it’s clearly not. Rather, the key development over the last 18 months is the ways in which right-wing extremism has gone mainstream — with the consent of the Republican Party, which sees the electoral benefits of blind rage and fear.
That Mason City billboard warned the public that “radical leaders prey on the fearful & naive.” On this, the Tea Partiers were far more correct than they probably realize.
I’ve argued all along that the LEADERS of the Republican Party are the crazies and now they are just “emboldened” by the election of Barack Obama. They’ve been there all along, they are just now taking over control of the party from those “thinking” Republicans. I have a hard time thinking of a “thinking” Republican these days, they all seem to have gone over the edge. We live in a scary country.
If you haven’t seen this, check it out. Rachel gives Rand Paul a lot of opportunity to back off his previous racist statements but he digs in and seems to make matters even worse. It ought to be a fun year in politics. Strap on your seat belts folks.
From Alan Grayson on Real Time with Bill Maher. It was in regards to the Arizona law and the tea party in general. I may be paraphrasing, go Alan….
“This is the death rattle of racism”
OK, maybe it isn’t 20%, it might be 25%…..or it could be less than 20%. But a certain percentage of the American people are batshit crazy. I’m not talking about people with mental impairments and I’m not disparaging anyone who has one. I’m referring to people who either through profound ignorance, bigotry or the mindless following of charismatic leaders (Rush and Glenn come to mind)…are easily led down whatever path they stumble upon. TPM has a story about a poll which asked about the “birther” phenomenon, you know those folks who think President Obama was born in Kenya, not Hawaii. The pollsters pressed the people for details and the results are kind of interesting and prompted me to write this post. From TPM…
As part of its general national survey of adults in late April, ABC/WaPo asked, “where was Barack Obama born, as far as you know?” The initial answer was 68% United States, 14% another country. ABC then pushed the undecideds, by asking for their best guess. After those leaners were pushed, the final result was 77% United States, 20% somewhere else.
Now if this poll is to be believed, 20% of the American people believe something that has been proven to be false with hard evidence, lots of it and I’m not going to present it here. I’ve seen the birth certificate and the certificate of live birth and the newspaper announcement of the birth in the Hawaii paper. Anyone who thinks his conspiracy to become president started at birth, well let’s just lock those people up right now!!!! What is so interesting about these poll results, though, is that 1/3 of those who believe he wasn’t born in America actually approve of the job he is doing. Whaaaaaa? That means 6.6% of the general population can actually believe a conspiracy even when they approve of the target of that conspiracy, I think I’ve met some of these people….it always results in me shaking my head like a snow globe and saying “Whaaaaa?” More from TPM…
The same ABC/WaPo polling sample had Obama’s approval rating at 54%, with 44% disapproving. This puts Birther approval of Obama at about 20 points behind the norm. The poll of American adults has a margin of error of ±3.5%.
I’ve typed it before, the 54/44 number really is pretty good for a president who won with 53% of the popular vote and has taken on some big issues like health care. On top of that, he’s been fighting against a very well financed campaign and a Republican party that has tried every single trick they can find to try to stop the president from doing anything. Can you imagine how much higher his approval rating would be if the misinformation and lying campaign that has been going since he took office hadn’t taken place? So many of the people in the disapprove category are just ignorant of the truth, they have sources of information like Rush and Glenn that are intentionally faulty, they lie with no conscience and continue to do it even when confronted with the truth, they are playing this group for suckers. And if the shoe fits…
Bob Cesca points us to this poll finding that proves my point in this post, it looks like it’s more like 28% rather than 20%.
We have some new national polling coming out tomorrow on offshore drilling. The most astounding number from the poll? 28% of Republicans said the recent oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico made them more likely to support drilling off the coast to an equal 28% who said it made them less likely to be supportive. 44% said it made no difference to them and that’s understandable, but why would an oil spill make you more supportive of drilling?
Courtesy of the awesome Kay in Maine at White Noise Insanity, who found it on the internets!
Now You’re Mad?!
After The 8 Years Of The Bush/Cheney Disaster, Now You Get Mad?
You didn’t get mad when the Supreme Court stopped a legal recount and appointed a President.
You didn’t get mad when Cheney allowed Energy company officials to dictate
Energy policy and push us to invade Iraq.
You didn’t get mad when a covert CIA operative got outed.
You didn’t get mad when the Patriot Act got passed.
You didn’t get mad when we illegally invaded a country that posed no threat to us.
You didn’t get mad when we spent over 800 billion (and counting) on said illegal war.
You didn’t get mad when Bush borrowed more money from foreign sources than the previous 42 Presidents combined.
You didn’t get mad when over 10 billion dollars in cash just disappeared in Iraq.
You didn’t get mad when you found out we were torturing people.
You didn’t get mad when Bush embraced trade and outsourcing policies that shipped 6 million American jobs out of the country.
You didn’t get mad when the government was illegally wiretapping Americans.
You didn’t get mad when Bush said he wasn’t concerned about Bin Laden, just a few months after 911.
You didn’t get mad when Bush rang up 10 trillion dollars in combined budget and current account deficits.
You didn’t get mad when you saw the horrible conditions at Walter Reed.
You didn’t get mad when we let a major US city, New Orleans, drown.
You didn’t get mad when we gave people who had more money than they could spend, the filthy rich, over a trillion dollars in tax breaks.
You didn’t get mad with the worst 8 years of job creations in several decades.
You didn’t get mad when over 200,000 US Citizens died over an 8-year period because they had no health insurance.
You didn’t get mad when lack of oversight and regulations from the Bush Administration caused US Citizens to lose 12 trillion dollars in investments, retirement, and home values.
You finally got mad when a black man was elected President and decided that people in America deserved the right to see a doctor if they are sick. Yes, illegal wars, lies, corruption, torture, job losses by the millions, stealing your tax dollars to make the rich richer, and the worst economic disaster since 1929 are all okay with you, but helping fellow Americans who are sick…oh hell no.
From Real Time with Bill Maher regarding the Tea Party protesters who think their taxes have been raised too much.
“Why let the truth get in the way of a perfectly good Klan rally”
Rachel Maddow does a great piece on the folks behind the new law in Arizona. I think this incident is just the tip of the iceberg. As I’ve said for a while, the media has legitimized the Tea Party movement (that can barely scare up a crowd of a couple hundred people with misspelled signs) and empowered the fringe elements in our society. It began when the village idiot was elected as president in 2000 and then again in 2004. And what sent them over the edge of course was when the American people elected the first black president. Anyone who says race has nothing to do with the Tea Party is a fucking RACIST, I’m sorry. But if you can really convince yourself that it has nothing to do with race, you are in denial and a racist, whether you want to admit it or not.
Eugenics…..unbelievable, really. Go check out this website for a documentary based on the book The War Against the Weak. I saw it at the Rhode Island International Film Festival and was blown away. If you get a chance to see it, do so.
How crazy it is that American citizens have to carry their papers with them at all times and are considered guilty until proven innocent – based on how they look? What’s wrong with that picture? The new law just signed in Arizona is basically a racial profiling law, nothing but. It’s as Booman calls it “The Latino Harassment Act of 2010“. And it does all boil down to how they look. The whole “reasonable suspicion” bullshit, what the hell else could that be – besides how they look? Waving a Mexican flag around? More than 4 darker skinned people in any given vehicle? Maybe it’s anyone speaking Spanish in public, that’s pretty suspicious. The craziness of this law crystallized for me when I saw Bill Richardson, the governor of New Mexico saying how he could very well be hassled the next time he travels to Arizona.
It’s curious that some of the biggest supporters of this new law are on the right-wing. Now, I thought the right wingers were all about civil liberties, running around screaming about losing freedom and carrying misspelled signs. What is different between those people and the ones who are gathering today in cities across Arizona? It’s basically a pigment issue. The pasty white people carrying the misspelled signs aren’t too concerned about the folks gathering in Arizona who actually just lost some of their liberties. I don’t think we’re going to see the teabaggers jump on FreedomWorks buses, heading off to Arizona anytime soon. What do you think?
As I was listening to a piece on NPR’s “On Point” (I’m one of those latte’ sipping liberals, you know? Not a fan of arugula though!)…but as I was listening, it dawned on me that blond wig sales and skin bleaching could be lucrative businesses in Arizona – with this new law. American citizens having to wear disguises so they don’t get hassled, is it just me or is that really crazy? And all the Hispanics who are trying to get into the country are probably digging it too, I imagine along the border in Mexico, salons are springing up already. Could there ever be a more glaring example of a bad solution to a big problem. This is a classic case of overreaction and bigotry guiding policy.
Now even though I AM an extreme liberal, my thoughts on immigration are probably considered moderate or even conservative to some on the left. That law that just passed is wrong, it is a prescription for racial profiling and that is not a price we can pay to stop the flow across our borders.
I am not one of the “turn your head the other way” liberals who thinks we should just allow illegal crossings to happen. I’ve never been to Mexico, but I have been to Canada several times, being a “Michigander” and whenever I’ve crossed the border, I’ve appreciated that border, gone through customs and respected the fact that they want to control who comes into their country. Why should it be any different coming into America, we as a country should be able to control who comes into our country. And that is the point, controlling the borders. If we are going to have laws about immigration, we should do what needs to be done to enforce the laws. It isn’t right to turn your head the other way when a farmer hires a non citizen or a restaurant owner or whatever. Laws are laws, right? The whole idea that we enforce some laws but not others just doesn’t pass the smell test to me.
For those already in our country, there should be a process for them to apply for citizenship, but that doesn’t mean they all get in automatically. It really isn’t fair to those people who are going through the legal process to come here. I have a friend from China who has been trying to become a citizen legally, it’s a big hassle. Nobody likes it when they are standing in line and someone cuts in front of them. So in my opinion, the compromise and solution to the immigration problem really has to start at the borders. We have to seal them up somehow so that legal immigration becomes the way to migrate here. That may mean increasing the size of ICE or creating a new department that is designed from the ground up, with logical, streamlined procedures for approving applications. It would also make a lot of sense to create a model for how many people we allow in per year and structures for changing that based on economic trends. The anger by unemployed citizens who see non-citizens, working jobs that they would do, is understandable. It goes to that whole idea of “why have laws if you aren’t going to enforce them?”
I’m certainly glad we are having this debate now, with President Obama and a Democratic controlled congress. But it isn’t going to be pretty, if you think we’ve seen racism and bigotry in the last year and a half, just wait till the LouDobbsians mobilize.