If there has ever been a better example of someone being given a national platform who has no business being in the role, it is Sarah Palin. Watch this clip, if you can, or read the transcript courtesy of Steve M. at Booman’s Tribune.
“SARAH PALIN: … He is bringing us back, Sean, to days that — you can hearken back to days before the Civil War, when, unfortunately, too many Americans mistakenly believed that not all men were created equal, and it was the Civil War that began the codification of the truth that here in America, yes, we are equal and we all have equal opportunities, not based on the color of your skin. You have equal opportunity to work hard and to succeed and to embrace the opportunities, God-given opportunities, to develop resources and work extremely hard and, as I say, to succeed. Now, it has taken all these years for many Americans to understand that gravity, that mistake, that took place before the Civil War, and why the Civil War had to really start changing America. What Barack Obama seems to want to do is go back to before those days, when we were in different classes, based on income, based on color of skin. Why are we allowing our country to move backwards instead of moving forward with that understanding that, as our charters of liberty spell out for us, we are all created equal?”
Cross-posted at Angry Black Lady Chronicles
I’m sure most of you have seen this story about the summer camp for young Tea Party children, but for those of you who haven’t, I thought I must share. In some ways, it scares the hell out of me, because it shows just how crazy and determined those people are and what extremes they will go to in order to grow their numbers. But when you look at what they are doing, it gets pretty funny. From Tampabay.com (St. Petersburg Times)…
The organization, which falls under the tea party umbrella, hopes to introduce kids ages 8 to 12 to principles that include “America is good,” “I believe in God,” and “I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable.“
That last sentence speaks volumes to me about this group. Yesterday’s post about Ayn Rand and her warped, fictional ideas touched on the idea that selfishness is a virtue to be embraced. To me, that shows exactly how far American culture has fallen. When a group actually comes right out and encourages people to not be charitable, I can’t help but think that our culture is in need of some soul searching. More from the Times article…
One example at Liberty: Children will win hard, wrapped candies to use as currency for a store, symbolizing the gold standard. On the second day, the “banker” will issue paper money instead. Over time, students will realize their paper money buys less and less, while the candies retain their value.
“Some of the kids will fall for it,” Lukens said. “Others kids will wise up.”
Another example: Starting in an austere room where they are made to sit quietly, symbolizing Europe, the children will pass through an obstacle course to arrive at a brightly decorated party room (the New World).
Red-white-and-blue confetti will be thrown. But afterward the kids will have to clean up the confetti, learning that with freedom comes responsibility.
I guess I don’t even understand what they are trying to say with the “austere” room vs. the “party” room. I guess it is, “Europe bad, America fun”. But then after the fun, the kids have to clean up after the party. Is that really sending the signal they want to? Sitting quietly might look pretty good after they have to pick up thousands of pieces of confetti, that shit gets everywhere. Something tells me that kids 8 – 12 aren’t really going to internalize these games and activities the way the “adults” who designed them want them to. I wonder if they will punish kids who are generous and learned to share at daycare or paid attention at Sunday school and learned some of Christ’s teachings. I can just hear them saying, “No, little Johnny, don’t give Petey a piece of candy, he’s a parasite”.
Still another example: Children will blow bubbles from a single container of soapy solution, and then pop each other’s bubbles with squirt guns in an arrangement that mimics socialism. They are to count how many bubbles they pop. Then they will work with individual bottles of solution and pop their own bubbles.
“What they will find out is that you can do a lot more with individual freedom,” Lukens said.
Sure, individual freedom is what they will learn from that. That’s going to be “funner” than shit. In fact, I think I’ll get my wife to play that game with me this weekend. I’m sure as they are squirting bubbles, laughing and getting each other wet, they’re going to be thinking about individual freedom. Sure they are. And really, do they think children playing by themselves is going to be more fun than playing with the other children?
I’m not exactly worried about this little stunt having a major impact on anything. As of Monday, 8 children had signed up.
If you needed one more example of why the Republican Party is morally bankrupt and hates women, here it is. From the Washington Examiner…(emphasis mine)
About two-dozen abortion rights proponents, including many legislators, gathered on the Statehouse grounds to express their anger over comments made last month by Republican Rep. Pete DeGraaf, of Mulvane.
During that House debate, Rep. Barbara Bollier, a Mission Hills Republican who supports abortion rights, questioned whether women would buy abortion-only policies long before they have crisis pregnancies or are rape victims.
DeGraaf (Republican Pete DeGraaf ) told her: “We do need to plan ahead, don’t we, in life?”
Bollier asked him, “And so women need to plan ahead for issues that they have no control over with a pregnancy?”
DeGraaf then drew groans of protest from some House members when he responded, “I have a spare tire on my car.”
Has anyone else noticed that there are no longer any adults in the Republican Party. That man, and I use the term loosely, is implying that women need to get used to being raped and even should plan ahead for it. It almost makes me wonder if the man has raped himself, if he can treat it so nonchalantly. I can’t even fathom how someone can think that way, let alone an elected politician in a supposedly legitimate political party. And that’s the rub, I guess. It’s a free-for-all in the Republican party now, anything goes. They clearly hate women, except the ones that have been brainwashed to believe their misogynistic horseshit. They’re really sticking it to the senior citizens, so they must not have living parents or they are so rich, they don’t have to worry about the future. They really dislike children and don’t give a flying fuck whether they are educated, my theory is that they want to keep them stupid so they vote Republican. They despise anyone who isn’t pasty white, with a few exceptions that they trot out as examples of their black friends. Clarence Thomas would be one example. Go read Allan Brauer’s excellent piece about our crooked Supreme Court Justice. So, basically, the Republican Party has become the party that welcomes all bigots and every kind of despicable person, come one, come all.
Hat Tip to ThinkProgress
I started writing this post about a week ago, having no idea that the two subjects of the post, dumb and dumber, would meet up and chow on some pizza. If you added up their IQ’s, you still wouldn’t reach 100. I imagine there was a lot of grunting and pointing going on at this meeting of the stupids.
Cable news and even broadcast news have become vehicles for con artists, egomaniacs and narcissists to make lots of money. There are way too many examples of this in the last few years, but I will just pick a few to focus on. The most recent and blatant example is Donald Trump. He used the guise of “possibly” running for president to promote his NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice”. It was so over the top and obvious, that some in the media even said they knew he was just trying to get publicity and then they would “roll tape” or say “we’ll talk to the Donald right after the break.” So even after admitting that they were being used, they just kept doing it. There were a few days on MSNBC where he was camped out in their studio and they put him on every half hour to spew his bullshit, mostly unchallenged. And he always dropped in several mentions of his TV show, without fail. I watched as MSNBC anchors just sat there speechless as he vomited out his racist, elitist bullshit and in my opinion, did great harm to our society. They helped to perpetuate the underlying racism behind his birth certificate claims and towards the end of his media blitz, the President’s educational accomplishments. That all came to a halt with the complete shellacking of Donald Trump at the White House Correspondent’s Dinner. And then the next day, the killing of Osama bin Laden.
I called for a boycott of NBC until they fire him. I am still not watching that network until his ass is gone. It doesn’t look like it will be anytime soon, so NBC can count on one less viewer and one less consumer buying their advertisers products. I will not watch that network until he is off the air, period. I have also switched over to CNN as my daytime news network. Fuck MSNBC during the day, they simply take the latest meme from the “Morning Meme Generator with Joe” and repeat it on the half hour and then bring on Jane Hamsher or some other firebagger to beat up on the President and ignore his latest accomplishments. They usually have a Republican there to beat up on the president too, their idea of being bi-partisan. I do still watch Lawrence O’Donnell, Rachel Maddow and sometimes Ed Schultz. What else is there for a liberal to watch these days, until I get my cable network off the ground. (Only half joking)
The other example of the cable networks being willing vehicles for con artists is Sarah Palin. She has a documentary coming out and is on a bus tour. She has a fire in her belly, you know. I take Prilosec for mine. But once again, she is teasing the media into thinking she is running for president, when almost everyone says they know she will not. But that isn’t any reason to not pretend like she is and give her all the oxygen in the room. Who gives a shit about Joplin MO, or the radiation in Japan that has dropped off the radar, or the other communities torn apart by tornadoes or flooding. Instead, they are pimping for Sarah Palin and putting money directly into her greedy little, crib-noted hands. They are completely unabashed in giving her all the time she wants. And I’m not just talking about Fox News, this is all the cable networks, broadcast networks and the freakin internet too. I personally have grown tired of laughing at her half-witted sayings and screeching voice.
Mark my words, the next few weeks will be the Sarah Palin chronicles on cable news, they will have well paid reporters following her around, clinging to every word and tweet she spews, speculating about her run for president, blah, blah, fucking blah. And there is no way in hell she is running for president, that’s way too much work. Shit, she couldn’t handle being the governor of Alaska and cashed in while the getting was good.
I’ve been calling this phenomenon the “Balloon Boy Syndrome”, in honor of Richard and Mayumi Heene, the reality show folks who missed the limelight of being reality stars and had to jump up and down to get people to pay attention to them. This syndrome is very contagious, as soon as one network goes with a story, the others follow right along. Long gone are the days of checking sources or confirming stories, that’s for wimps. Run with it, what the hell, they can always spend 20 seconds saying they were wrong, after having beat the dead horse into the ground or followed the empty balloon half way across the country. They wait for the next ding and head off like salivating dogs to the next media created 15 minute fame whore.
The effect of the “Balloon Boy Syndrome” is that it just encourages others to do the same. At one point, I referred to the Republican primary as simply auditions for Fox News. Just today, I saw that Gov. Rick Scott of Florida and Gov. Rick Perry of Texas are both toying with the idea of throwing their hats in the ring. Who can blame them, all they have to do is say a few crazy things, watch the media descend upon them, they get built up, form a PAC, raise a bunch of money, write a book and collect the loot. And these cable outlets and news organizations just play right along with it, no shame, no apologies and no honor obviously. Is it any wonder the media ranks below child molesters in polls. (That may be a slight exaggeration, but who’s going to check on it?)
The current Republican Party has proven in many ways that they don’t have the maturity to lead this country. They cavalierly play around with important issues to many people as if they are children on a playground. Just this week, they have proven there adolescence in many ways.
The Republican’s defense authorization bill, Deaniac83 from The People’s View breaks down this little game of the GOP…
The White House is threatening a veto of the House committee version of the defense authorization bill over Republican attempts to launch a worldwide war without specific targets or reasons, block detainee transfer from Guantanamo, and mess with the president’s efforts to reduce active nuclear warheads under the new START treaty. It is also warning Congress against complicating the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Not that you would have heard about this if you read Glenn Greenwald, self-proclaimed Constitutional hero of the anti-war movement.
So once again, Republicans are playing games and purposely adding provisions to bills that they know the President will not support. It’s all one big fucking game to these people. For the last two and a half years, they (mostly white men) have been playing all sorts of games with women’s reproductive rights, even though Roe vs. Wade is “established law” and the federal government already doesn’t allow federal funding for abortions. But that hasn’t stopped them from introducing countless bills almost daily since the children were handed the keys to the car. Rachel Maddow has a great clip that spells out the priorities of these children…
And for all those victims and families in Joplin Missouri, well they have a game for them too, it’s called “Screw You, Unless We Can Screw Someone Else Too”. Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) showed just how caring he is towards the people who just had nearly their entire town blown away by a tornado. Here’s a little bit from ThinkProgress…
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), however, said that before Congress approved federal funds for disaster relief, it had to offset the spending with cuts to other programs. The Washington Times reports:
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor said Monday that if Congress passes an emergency spending bill to help Missouri’s tornado victims, the extra money will have to be cut from somewhere else.
“If there is support for a supplemental, it would be accompanied by support for having pay-fors to that supplemental,” Mr. Cantor, Virginia Republican, told reporters at the Capitol. The term “pay-fors” is used by lawmakers to signal cuts or tax increases used to pay for new spending.
A picture is worth a thousand words, right? This one is worth way more than a thousand. Click here for a larger image.
Tell me this isn’t a Tea Party, right-wing-nut tactic that Susie Madrak at Crooks and Liars uses in this post? Someone tell me please. In case you didn’t notice, I have removed Crooks and Liars from my blog roll. Buh bye! From Susie (I want to be like Sarah Palin) Madrak…
Joe Biden tells the base to “quit whining” and get out there and “look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.”
And last night on Lawrence O’Donnell’s new show, he said: “Those who didn’t get everything they wanted, it’s time to just buck up.”
Just buck up.
I’m not sure how we turned out to be the targets, but it looks like we’re officially on notice. No more complaining about frivolities!
The people still without jobs? Quit yer whining.
The ones on food stamps? You, too.
Your house is being foreclosed on? What a buncha whiners. Shut yer piehole!
Those of you living in your cars? Be grateful you still have cars!
Sleeping on your friend’s couch? Beats a cardboard box, don’t it?
You can’t afford to see a doctor? You’ll be able to do that in 2014. You can’t wait just four more years?
And they actually wonder why the base isn’t motivated.
Somehow her apparently pea-sized brain took what Joe Biden actually said, “look at the alternatives. This president has done an incredible job. He’s kept his promises.” and then on O’Donnell’s show, this, “Those who didn’t get everything they wanted, it’s time to just buck up.” and she somehow interpreted it as if he was telling people without a job, or with mortgages gone bad that he was talking to them. How clever to try to convince your angry, populist, raging readers to think that he wasn’t talking about you, Susie, but them instead. That is so fucking clever, I’m sure Republicans will be knocking down your door to offer you a job helping them do it to their idiot followers too. I think you have a new career, Susie. It just reeks of Republican tactics. Death panels anyone?
Big thanks to Karoli at Crooks and Liars for the link to this post by Howie Klein at DownWithTyranny. He said so many things that I have been thinking. Enjoy some pieces below but go read the whole thing and you should bookmark it for future reading too.
When this whole mosque/cultural center nonsense began to be trumped up out of nothing by the right wing element and their hack media outlets, I wasn’t going to write anything about it because I felt it was getting plenty of exposure, but then, I started thinking it’s not just about the mosque story but also about what this story says about the minds of those who vote Republican. Obviously, this is about more than just a mosque. It’s also more than just a wedge issue. It leads us to the horror of what Republicans are at their core. It’s about people who always need someone to hate. They are addicted to it.
The mosque insanity is 2010’s Terry Schiavo “crisis,” pushed forward by the usual gang of republikook congressloons and mediagoons. Should we ban Catholic churches being built because of the actions of some pedi-priests? Are ALL Catholics evil because of the actions of a few? Did we send all Germans back to Germany because of the Nazis? No. In fact, after the war, we brought many of them here.
And, I wonder, how far would be good enough for such people? How far? Try this: The American Family Association is already putting out the idea of no mosques in America, period. What’s next for the Repugs? No temples of any kind. No Synagogues, just Southern Baptist churches? Just Snake Handler churches?
Republicans seem to have an almost idiot savant talent for focusing obsessively on certain specific minutia to the exclusion of any other pertinent information that might provide a more complete picture or a clear view of reality. That’s easy to do when you are fighting mightily to see the world only as you want to see it. It’s the key to how they do their messaging so well. If something just doesn’t fit the world as they want it to be, they toss it and throw a fit just like a petulant child would when confronted by a parent or sibling doing something that didn’t fit the child’s plan for the day. This is more than just childish behavior, though, because it is perpetrated by adults who have learned just enough to be able to manipulate those who don’t have the time, inclination, or experience to gain or process enough information that would give them a bigger picture. If you want to see something a certain way, it’s easy as long as you can exclude chunks of reality. You start with a preconceived notion that enables your hate, and you ditch any contradictory evidence. You can even ignore all of the American Muslims that died in the towers as though they didn’t exist or, more likely to Republicans, they didn’t matter.
Well, of course, the Republican mind does want to know. Let’s face it, if they are so obsessed with who you are sleeping with, who you want to marry, what kind of music you’re into, what books you read, and which PC god you worship, they’ll certainly want to know everything else about you, too. The irony for the Repugs is that, with all their whining, they have guaranteed that the money to build the center will now be flowing in like a tide of BP’s best hitting the shores of Louisiana. Money will be coming from everywhere. Nice work, loonies! Can I hire you next time I want to raise some cash? Please, say something bad about me so I can hang my sign out, too! What a bunch of losers; a whole damn party of whining, pathetic, mental defective, dumbass losers. I mean, come on!
President Obama proves once again, why he is the right person for the job. In remarks at the Ramadan Iftar dinner at the White House, he spoke in support of the controversial community center being planned 2 blocks away from “ground zero”. For anyone capable of being tolerant to others, this is really a silly issue. Jon Stewart does the best job of summing this up, go look at it. I am unable to embed Comedy Central clips on this blog, I’m too poor right now to pay the upgrade fee. But if you haven’t seen Jon’s piece, you really have to. Then come back here and read the rest of this post. There is a commercial that plays before the clip.
“Let me be clear: as a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are. The writ of our Founders must endure.”
What bothers me about this crusade by Islamophobes and Xenophobes is that somehow because of the “symbolism” of it being so close to “ground zero”, the media is helping to push this bigotry and justifying it with the fact that it is close to the World Trade Center site. There are so many things wrong with this idea, the first is that the whole touchy-feely symbolism thing about everything, is getting out of hand. I’m not sure when Americans became soooo sensitive and such big wusses. Everything “sends a message” these days or has some sort of deeper meaning, apparently whatever any given person reads into a situation. It’s like we are all quivering little children who are afraid of anything that moves.
I remember thinking after 9/11 that a lot of Americans really have an attitude that an American life is much more important than any other life. How many hundreds of thousands of people have been killed around the world, genocide in Darfur, starving in many places of the world, but when 3000 people get killed in New York City, they are somehow way more important than the lives of…well, how about an estimated several hundred thousand in Iraq that Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Feith/Wolfowitz and the rest of the neo-cons murdered in a war of choice. Now I’m sure some will take offense to that for the exact reason I said it and say something like “these were Americans killed on 9/11″. Yes, they were Americans and 310 of them were foreign nationals. One source I found said 62 Muslims died in the attack. But when you read or listen to those most outraged by the community center, they talk as if all 3000 where white, god-fearing Christians. I’m sure if we tried to point out to them the diversity of the people who were in those buildings, their eyes would glaze over and there internal “nah nah nah nah” would kick in.
Besides the symbolism thing, there is also the whole blaming an entire religion for the actions of a group of terrorists. Timothy McVeigh was raised Catholic and killed 168 people in Oklahoma, are we preventing Catholic churches from being built because of Tim McVeigh? Or how about the Israeli serial killer that was just caught who killed 5 people, should we stop that synagogue from being built down the street? When people buy into that bullshit mentality, they are admitting that they are bigoted, there is no other reason for it. Of course these days being a racist has become chic (in some circles, not mine). The racists have come out of the closet and are being paraded on my television daily. Maybe it’s a good thing to get them out in the open, is it worse to have them simmering below the surface or out there in the light of day?
I recently traveled to New York and New Jersey, was all over NYC one day and do you want to know what was cool. There were people of all races, nationalities, religions, sexual orientations, whatever and they spoke many different languages….and the really cool thing about it, they were all getting along. When you get out into real America, one that isn’t filtered by a news anchor or political pundit, you see what the true American spirit is about. I didn’t see one teabagger protest during my whole trip. I didn’t see anyone screaming racial slurs at people. I didn’t see anyone yelling about illegal immigrants while packing a gun. I didn’t see Pat Buchanan dividing people up into stereotypes or Joe Scarborough talking about the latest poll on a street corner. I saw people living their lives and letting others live theirs. It was beautiful, really. I guess that is why I am making an effort to turn off my cable news, go out in the real world and interact with people. When we live in a cable news bubble, we run the risk of thinking like the people who want to ostracize anyone who is different from them.
I’m pasting the text of President Obama’s speech at the dinner last night after the fold. Read it, it shows that President Obama is a real American who contrary to the bigots on the right, knows the beliefs our country was founded on. Thanks to the LA Times for the text.
I came across this exclusive article on The Raw Story, a site you should really bookmark if you haven’t already. It addresses how Glenn Beck is on a crusade to change how people view the teachings of Jesus Christ. Now I’m not a religious person according to most people’s definition, but I have read a lot of the Bible and particularly the words attributed to Jesus. The way Glenn Beck has interpreted them, if he has actually read them, is crazier than hell. I don’t listen to or watch Glenn Beck, but I often read stories about him and his impact on our politics. He is a crazy man who has risen to be the representative of many of the crazies in our country. They have their hero now that they can relate to, get comfort from and in many cases get their marching orders from. He preys on these people with emotion, twisted logic (the chalkboard) and really takes advantage of these people’s fears like no one has ever done. Not only that, but he is taking their money from them. I was heartened when I saw this article from The Raw Story, here is a piece of it…
Dan Nejfelt, a communications associate with advocacy group Faith in Public Life, has been high on Beck’s smear-list ever since his group began running Christian radio ads quoting scripture as a way of encouraging believers to stop paying attention to the right-wing Fox News personality.
The group, which says their ads are sponsored by over 100,000 members nation-wide, has gone so far as to target their ads for every city Beck is visiting this summer.
How cool is that? They are fighting back against Beck, who is subtly destroying our public discourse and lowering it into the depths of hell. More from Raw Story…
“Not only are you wrong, the vast majority of people of faith know that you’re wrong,” Nejfelt said, lobbing his words directly at Beck in an exclusive interview with RAW STORY. “We’re going to keep doing what God tells us to do. We’d appreciate it if you’d stop doing what you’re doing.”
The conversation took place following a recent exploration by RAW STORY into Beck’s latest assault on the teachings of Christ. Beck claimed, in the second such attack since March, that “liberation theology” is the driving force behind Christian efforts to help the poor and make peace among men, and that President Obama is a secret subscriber to such a philosophy, which he thinks has become the front for humanity’s evils.
In a media advisory put out the same day as RAW STORY’s exploration of Beck’s gospel, Faith in Public Life says:
Beck has frequently used his television and radio programs to distort the Christian commitment to social justice, a central principle of Christianity rooted in Biblical values and also emphasized in diverse religious traditions.
In March, the host urged his listeners to leave their churches if pastors talked about social or economic justice. Even after prominent clergy from across the faith and ideological spectrum refuted his arguments, Beck has continued his smear campaign by equating social justice with Marxism and Nazism.
“Would you support a leader who said Jesus’ teachings can lead to Nazism or who attacks Christian pastors for preaching the full Gospel? Then why do so many Christians tune in to Glenn Beck?” the ad asks.
Beck also recently alleged that the Jewish concept of the common good led to the Holocaust, saying, “This is exactly the kind of talk that led to the death camps in Germany.” Faithful America is airing the ad on Christian stations to reach viewers and listeners who frequently tune into Beck’s programs. While Beck may think he speaks for Christians, thousands have signed petitions rejecting his views and expressing their outrage. The ads are part of Faithful America’s “Driven by Faith, Not by Fear” campaign, an effort to counter the fear, lies and hateful rhetoric of extreme pundits and the Tea Party.
It’s one thing to not support the society that you live in, but it’s quite different to start a campaign to undermine it. What on earth could be Glenn Beck’s reasoning for this…..oh wait, why in the hell am I even thinking that he has the ability to reason. Doh! Even more from The Raw Story…
“People have been working for social justice for a long time,” Nejfelt explained. “This isn’t something that cropped up in talking points last week. This is a centuries long committment, and not just in the christian community.
“Along comes this Glenn Beck character and tries to paint this very sacred concept as though it was hatched by the Nazis or the Marxists. It was kinda like, such a foundational insult to our faith that we just felt we had to respond. It’s not just faithful America: it’s people across the country. It’s a cause for outrage. I’m glad to be a part of helping to channel it and stand up to say no, you’re wrong. What you’re doing is wrong and we’re not going to stand for it.”
Nejfelt explained to RAW STORY: “To worship God and to obey God involves loving your neighbor. Loving your neighbor involves more than just praying for peole and being kind. We need to bring about conditions on earth for people to flourish. Trying to turn society into a place where needs are met are completely in accordance with what God commands. To love your neighbor as yourself is part and parcel to that.”
Hell yes, it’s about time christians stood up to this kind of hateful rhetoric. Unfortunately, I have a feeling that Nejfelt and Faith in Public Life are anomalies. A large segment of the christian community in America has crossed over into the realm of politics and in my opinion, bastardized their own beliefs to fulfill some political agenda. Glenn Beck is just tapping into that scene and using to his advantage….roll the Goldline commercial.
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.
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.