What???? What???????

Being a member of the reality-based community, I admit that sometimes I don’t cotton onto some of the more bizarre currents of what passes for the intellectual life of the country. This time, however, now that I have caught up with it, really just has to leave you shaking your head in wonder.

Take a look at some of these quotes:

“As the father of four children, I am absolutely appalled that taxpayer dollars are being used to spread President Obama’s socialist ideology,”

“I don’t want our schools turned over to some socialist movement.”

‘This is Marxist propaganda.’

And what’s the socialist message Obama is selling?

During this special address, the president will speak directly to the nation’s children and youth about persisting and succeeding in school. The president will challenge students to work hard, set educational goals, and take responsibility for their learning.

But what are the wingers calling it? How about Obama’s ‘Dear Leader’ speech to students

I don’t think this is all about race. Of course, the birther controversy was. There is no chance that the idea would have gotten any traction if his name were O’Hara instead of Obama. Still, it goes beyond Obama’s race, and we know that because we saw it with Clinton, too. We have come to the point where the right wing in America simply denies the legitimacy of any election in which the Democratic candidate wins. When Clinton was elected, Limbaugh started his broadcasts with “America held hostage”, and when Clinton was going to speak at an Army base the wingers speculated about whether he could be protected against the real Americans who did not recognize him as their commander-in-chief. Now, extremists show up at presidential speeches carrying guns and making veiled threats to kill the president.

In short, the American right has decided that constitutional government is not for them, and that they will use any means necessary to ensure that we will have a permanent conservative government.

And they’re the ones who impugn our patriotism?

8 thoughts on “What???? What???????

  1. But I think there are portions of the American underbelly where they aren’t quite ready to embrace the inevitable change that is coming to America…with or without Obama!  Suddenly the image of America’s open arms that welcomed their grandparents and great-grandparents to settle here and prosper in the spirit of unbridled opportunity has turned into the specter of their own diminishing hegemony as ethnic diversity gains the upper hand.  America just isn’t going to have a white European majority for much longer and I think this has them scared s-less.  That note of panic in the crazy old white guy, railing against socialism isn’t really about any one issue. He doesn’t even know what socialism is!  He just knows that it is a word for something bad and threatening; an epithet to be hurled at a nameless menace he feels breathing down his neck.  He is Chicken Little and the sky is falling…and there’s not a single thing he can do about it except get way crazy angry!  That’s why they’re goin’ for the guns.  It’s Custard’s Last Stand.  God help us all.

  2. You expected something else, my friend?

    They’ve been in this mode, to one degree or another, since McCarthy, at least.

  3. Yes, it is how they whip up the stormtroopers to start the lynchings, the shootings, and so on, how they distort a message of success in school to mean socialism, even though Bush did the same thing on the morning of 9-11.  But Sue has a point here about the good ole boys making their last stand.  For too long they have defined socialism as meaning any government program that does not directly benefit them with free money and authority.  But since Obama’s election the right wing has become unhinged.  Their greatest fears about losing a race war, like in the turner diaries, have come true with a black guy in the white house, illegal immigrants, and they see this as a threat to the white race, their opportunities lost.  Sadly, the botched health care mess has given them a huge opening to carry their rifles to town hall meetings, and crank up their message.  And, like it or not, they are better organized than the libs are.  

    It’s sad.  It must look strange to the other democratic societies to see our citizens carrying rifles to town hall meetings and calling that “our rights.”  

  4. I ran across this post from the blog siteFuture Majority (Student Reaction: Schools Show Obama):

    So Dad [who didn’t vote for or like Obama’s policies] was surprised when school districts nearby decided not to show the speech. He was surprised when Conservatives in the media criticized the President harshly about what Dad sees as a non-issue. He was surprised when Oklahoma legislators started accusing the President of attempting to indoctrinate young people. But what really iced the cake was when parents started calling his school to complain.

    There’s a sizable minority (30%?? my guess) in this country who have settled on a total lack of credulity when it comes to political claims whether it’s Iraqi WMD or Obama’s place of birth that comes from the mouths of Gush Dumbaugh, Sean Vanity or Plegm Blech. The flip side being a solid majority have maintained some sort of reality check in their lives.

    The 30% are the people who continued supporting (blast from the past alert) Ruth Dwyer after her two high profile but spectacularly unsuccessful anti all things not her way gubernatorial bids; and these are the same type of people who will follow Sarah Palin as she duplicates Dwyer’s path into obscurity via vain but failed media attempts (side bar: means we have at least one more time around the block with Sarah “I quit everything” P).

    What’s that old saw attributed to P.T. Barnham? “There’s a sucker born every minute” or some such?

    Now if Obama would focus on the 70% of sane or semi-so rest of us he could probably accomplish something .. might even end up doing the right things in Afghanistan and with a good solid public option for health insurance!

  5. They’ve shown us what happens when we have Republicans “running” government, and even most people who voted for them admit they can’t run a yard sale.  In fact, many of their fears result from the deep knowledge that people who appreciate and like government programs are actually effective at them, making constituencies that want to keep them going.  So, we see a long-term cycle of wild-eyed opposition, occasional Republican victories when events or presidential behavior are too much for America to handle, demonstration to the 70% that, “oh, yeah, that’s right, they really can’t govern” and democrats are elected again.  Which lets Republicans get back to their “safe place” of wild-eyed opposition.

    We saw them go to the safe place even when they had a republican president and congress…everything was about the “liberal media” as if they had somehow been prevented from winning even though they won.  They are good at opposition, awful at governing.  

    Finally, you have to separate the “leaders” and the followers.  The followers are all fearful for a reason, whether it’s race, jobs, families, lack of education, whatever; the leaders are the same demagogues who have always been with us, able to fan the fears and skim some $$$ off the top while doing it.  The people are worth talking to, even when it’s hard to stomach; there is common ground and the fears need to be addressed and to the extent possible, calmed.  The leaders need to be attacked mercilessly as they will oppose whether attacked or not and you can’t look weak to these types.  They depend upon a “better nature” opponent turning the other cheek.  If, as in the case of Beck, they are attacked and advertisers leave, the game is up.

  6. some of the people all of the time (Rush)

    all of the people some of the time (Bush, Iraq run-up)

    but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time (Obama)

  7. It seems like a lot of the hard right organization is coming from Rush and his ilk.

    I listen to him sometimes (know thine enemy).

    He said something very interesting that day.  Rush said that what he provides is entertainment.  Sure he does the right wing thing but he never forgets that his job is entertainment.

    This idea seems lost on the liberal radio people.  Whether its Anthony Pollina, Sen. Sanders, Democracy Now etc.

    The word “entertainment” doesn’t seem to apply.  The entertainment value is what gets people to listen and tune in.  A message delivered via entertainment is received much easier.

    I’m sure some one will post to say that the intellectual value of an argument is entertaining.  That will attract a few – – but to get to the masses you need more.


  8. Sure, it’s entertainment!  Rush knows he’s a circus clown and that it’s all just a ratings game for him. However, there are clearly people who believe his act is real, just like with the WWE.

    So, the approach that’s always worked best for me is the same as with “wrastling” — Rush runs a soap opera aimed at men, and he’s very good at keeping listeners through commercials…but you don’t actually believe it’s REAL, do you?  The same guy who hated every government program he ever saw LOVED every piece of spending George II ever dreamed of and now hates all government spending again? Really?  Isn’t he just a republican shill who made it big and has no responsibilities so he can say anything that pops into his sometimes drug-addled head?  But, he can be funny sometimes…

    This can inoculate the adult debate to exclude Rush/Beck/Coulter catch phrases the same way we exclude wrestlers from debates about top athletes.  We don’t count entertainers as thought leaders.

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