Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wright shouldn't matter

I was going to write a post about the whole Jeremiah Wright torpedo-ing Barack Obama thing that has the inter-webs lit up like a christmas tree for the last few days, but then I read John Cole and he pretty much said what I was going to say:
Maybe it is because I am totally and unrepentantly in the tank for Obama, but I just can’t get worked up over what his pastor said. Maybe it is because I am not religious, and I am used to religious people saying things that sound crazy. Or maybe I just refuse to spend any more time and energy getting worked up over and denouncing, distancing, and rejecting the wrong people- people who really don’t matter in the big scheme of things. If you have a memo from Jeremiah Wright to John Yoo showing how we should become a rogue nation, let me know. If you have pictures of Jeremiah Wright voting against the GI Bill, send it to me. If you have evidence of Jeremiah Wright training junior soldiers on the finer aspects of stacking and torturing naked Iraqi captives, pass them on.

Until then, I just can’t seem to get all worked up about the crazy scary black preacher that Obama has to “throw under the bus.”
So, yeah. Whatever. And fuck all the rest of them (the media, the wingers, those nervous-nellie liberal Democrats, various bloggers - hell, for that matter, even you, if Reverend Wright makes you a little uneasy) for getting all judgmental and sanctimonious about the somewhat unhinged rantings but nevertheless highly entertaining ravings of a man who has faithfully served his community for three decades, helping the poor, ministering to his flock and generally acting like, well, what all those titular X-tians out there claim a Christian should.

You know, walking the walk.

So if he's a little off his rocker, I frankly don't have a problem with it. I think religion is stupid anyway and we've all got kooky people in our lives who we love and cherish nevertheless so it's a whole lot of so what. If Johm McSame and the whole rest of the Rethugli-bot goon squad all get a pass on Hagee (and Robertson and Falwell and Randall Terry and ...), then Wright isn't too far wrong when he claims that the recent events have been an attack on the black church. I think his essential meaning has been willfully mis-represented. From what I've seen on tee-vee and online, some seem to have been spinning his claim to mean the people attacking him were attacking the notion of black faith as different from or less-than white faith and then pretending to be shocked by that straw man.

I think that is disingenuous. Nobody, except for the most virulent racists in the GOP, thinks that the way black people choose to internalize their god is deficient when compared to the way white people do it. The claim hardly makes sense, except to a bigot or a Nazi.

I think Wright is correct because the black church is being attacked for being a source of organization and strength in the black community. In some places and in many ways, it is the only institution wholly their own. I don't see that, apart from my contempt for religiosity in general, as bad in any way whatsoever. The Limousine Liberals in the upper echelons of the Democratic Party can't have a block of voters with their own leadership, now can they? Like the netroots, they want our money and our votes and otherwise we are to STFU do as we are told. I told a friend of mine yesterday the same thing - in this instance, the black church and the blogs are in the same boat. We are a constituent block of the Democratic coalition and by golly, we just refuse to behave ourselves.

Sure. Because lockstep obedience in the GOP has served this nation and the world so very well. Habeas Corpus, anyone?

I know, I know. Louis Farrakhan. Booga-booga-booga! Whatever. Like I said, Wright is a loud-mouth kook who happens to admire another even larger-scale and anti-semitic loud-mouth kook, which I see simply as one powerful black man with a professional admiration for another powerful black man, however hateful and weird. Ma and Pa Peoria will of course get creeped out by all of it, but they still somehow also think he's a secret Muslim, in a Manchurian Candidate kind of way, and they also intentionally voted for George W. Bush twice because they think he's a good Christian man. And Reverend Wright is weird for thinking the US Gov't created AIDS to destroy the black community?

I will grant a few minor points. I think Wright is a tad bitter about Obama's success and doesn't want to be one of the ones left behind as this extraordinary person ascends the ladder of success. I also think he has enjoyed the spotlight and is trying to extend his 15 minutes. I also think he is drummning up publicity for a possible book. And I don't think any of it is particularly bad. Or, at least it doesn't have to be.

The fainting couches and clutched pearls aside, this whole kerfuffle is only a little bit about Obama and his loopy pastor. It is a whole lot about finding a way to torpedo a rising star and potentially very powerful black politician the likes of which this country has never seen because we in America are very much not post-racial. If the bobbleheads squeezing cable news talk-time out of this silliness didn't hang some crazy, America-hating Negro preacher around his neck, they, and the cackling GOP oppo-research gremlins who feed the Serious Journalists their "scoops," would together run some other fruit-loop up the flagpole who has some tenuous connection to the junior Senator from Illinois (who once may or may not have said or wrote some strange or offensive things) and thus find some other way prove Obama hates the troops.

Remember Glenn Greenwald's Five Steps to A Republican Presidency:
What is notable here is not so much the specific petty attacks, but rather the method by which they are disseminated and then entrenched as conventional wisdom among our Really Smart Political Insiders and Serious Journalists. This is the endlessly repeated process that occurred here:
STEP 1 A new Drudge-dependent gossip (Ben Smith) at a new substance-free political rag (The Politico)--or some rightwing talkradio host (Rush Limbaugh) or some credibility-bereft right-wing blogger (a Michelle Malkin)--seizes on some petty, manufactured incident to fuel clichéd caricatures of Democratic candidates.

STEP 2 The old right-wing gossip (Drudge) employs his old, substance-free political rag (The Drudge Report) to amplify the inane caricatures.

STEP 3 National media outlets, such as AP and CNN, whose world is ruled by Drudge, take note of and begin "analyzing" the "political implications" of the gossip, thus transforming it into "news stories."

STEP 4 Our Serious Beltway Journalists and Political Analysts--in the Haircut Case, Tim Russert and Brian Williams and Adam Nagourney and the very serious and smart Substantive Journalists at The New Republic--mindlessly repeat all of it, thereby solidifying it as transparent conventional wisdom.

STEP 5 When called upon to justify their endless reporting over such petty and pointless Drudge-generated matters, these "journalists" cite Steps 1-4 as "proof" that "the people" care about these stories, even though the "evidence" consists of nothing other than their own flocklike chirping.
Repeat steps 1-5 until the Republican is elected.
And that's why the Rethugli-bots will always get a pass on all their hate-spewing weirdos. Which is why we have to push back. Now. And hard. If we don't, they will continue to be able to beat us this way.

The last time America had a black leader anywhere close to Barack Hussein Obama's charisma, grace, stature and eloquence, white forces of racist hate dispatched him from a hotel in Memphis and black American leadership spent the next four decades in the wilderness. Four decades. Four decades of GOP ascendancy on the wings of Dixie-cratic bigotry coinciding with four decades of mockery and cartooning of any black political leader above the caliber of municipal dog-catcher have not been by accident.

Note that black athletes and entertainers are A-OK as role models, as long as they are fundamentally non-threatening, defined as "not too prone, either overtly nor implicitly, to asking really, really hard questions of white folks or demanding answers about the history race and class in America." You know, Bill Cosby and Magic Johnson instead of Immortal Technique and Alan Iverson.

Note also how if any members of the previous white-culture-approved categories of black prominence should try to get too political, they are mocked and cartooned, or dismissed as angry (as though black anger is somehow an ahistorical mystery). Recall how that "trouble-maker" MLK may have scared the white folk mightily, but Malcolm X scared 'em more.

And as the Rethugli-goon Revolution's agenda has failed on every single count except to enrich the old-money country club set who footed the bill for the whole party to begin with, racism is the only thing they have left to run on. On cue, Democrats offer them a black man. And don't worry, Hillary comes with her own built-in set of hate-buttons the Reich-wing puppet-masters will be pushing if she should filch the nomination. But Obama, by simple virtue of the color of his skin and his funny-sounding name, offers a ready-made smear template. It's like an old family recipe the Dixie-crats perfected generations ago they can now dust off and offer to the world. Like a bully who runs home to mama when someone finally hits back, this modern-day, ever more racist but disintegrating GOP is resurrecting the central tenant of Nixon's odious realignment "Southern" strategy: get white voters afraid of black anger. If Obama is not particularly angry, so what? He's heard of angry black people. He's met angry black people. He knows angry black people. He's even friends with some angry black people. How can the voting public (meaning "White Voting Public") not be certain that Barack Hussein Obama, too, isn't one of those angry black people who don't love America? Or Jesus?

Jeremiah Wright is just the kind of reminder White America needs that a deep pool of righteous black anger lies out there, latent, untapped and powerful. The slick operatives of the GOP have no qualms about using that truth to tap the white lizard brain. They can't help it. It's in the GOP's DNA. It really was too much to hope, I suppose, that we could have had a black man in a run for the White House without it coming down to race.

This is going to get very ugly.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Chilling Out

I think Hillary Rodham Clinton is politically radioactive and always has been. I don't think it is all entirely her fault, nor her husband's, but the fact remains that for a complex cocktail of reasons, she is a lightening rod for large swaths of the voting public and though the vastly greater part of their hatred for her is stupidly irrational, misogynistic, bigoted and unevolved, it is not entirely without some basis. She demeanor is off-putting. From anything except a red state street-cred building perspective, her voting record in the Senate hovers somewhere between mixed and shameful. She and her husband together may make for a rockstar pair when allowed to be the unchallenged king and queen of the Democratic prom, but their survival mechanisms are truly ugly to behold when they have to defend their status.

As one of her constituents - a constituent who has voted for her twice, mind you - I still see her as a coldly calculating political operative who is incapable of having an honest emotion, other than a raw thirst for power. Up to now, that's been fine. I knew what she and Bubba were up to when they selected New York for their post-White House life. I've just been glad she wasn't on the other team and as far as bringing it home for New York, apart from larger more statesman-like concerns, she has represented The Empire State just fine.

But she does have some very steep negatives.

In other words, I kinda, sorta buy into a diluted, de-fanged version of the Washington-insider/Rethugli-bot/Rush Limpblob caricature of her as a the type of person to cold-bloodedly murder Vince Foster and then cover it up. No, I don't actually think she's a murderer or any of the other inhuman things the Reich-wing blowhards accuse her of (without actually believing it themselves - it's just to tap the lizard brains of the rubes and shit-kickers), but I do think she's a coldly calculating manipulator, just as is her husband, if slightly less skilled. As is, frankly, any politician who is any good. Including Obama.

In the face of an unrelenting assault from the right, and the inevitable and equally relentless capitulation on the part of the Dems, for the last several, well, decades, the Clintons may have been imperfect warriors, but they were our warriors. I was not a fan of Bill Clinton's, but I would never admit to anyone from across the aisle that I didn't like him or his wife, because then it would seem like we agreed that he deserved what was happening to him. My reasons for not liking Bill Clinton were precisely the 180º opposite of theirs. They hated him because he was not enough like them - too smart, too cultured and right about Vietnam and Civil Rights; for me he was too much one of them - too quick to appease the hell-hounds of The Right, to sell out his left-wing and otherwise affect a good ol' boy persona in an attempt to keep the haters from hating him too terribly much. In other words, a phony, a suck-up and a striver. But he and his wife were the best we had in a difficult situation.

Until, that is - amid a deepening BushCo dystopian winter - a broken and defeated Al Gore emerged, phoenix-like, from the shadow of the Clintons to cleave to Howard Dean and become something almost more than human at the same time that the inter-webs resurrected a moribund progressive movement by way of a hivemind army of bloggers and activists. Something new was emerging and this flawed man and his equally flawed wife, who had been the storm wall The Left needed as a bulwark against the hurricane of eliminationist, single-party-state Reich-wing power that reached landfall during his administration, began to appear as surviving relics from another, darker era. Impeachment had been the hammer blow which expended the hurricane's energy. That the two of them remained standing amid such fury is worthy of mine and everyone else's respect, but the world has changed and Hillary has not.

In many ways, the very character traits that allowed the Clintons to weather Newt Gingrich's "Contract on America" storm, traits baked into the very porcelain of their political shells by decades in Arkansas politics, are exactly not what America and the Democrats need now - traits that manifest as DLC/centrist/"third-way" triangulation. Survival tactics of the abused, not a vision with an actual corresponding strategy. Hillary, like her husband, is a reflexive dinosaur, a relic from another era when cackling neanderthal Dixiecrats and unreconstructed Nixonite operatives colluded with their pearl-clutching financiers in the hippie-hating Old Money crowd to remake the stodgy GOP in their image while the Dems for the first time in their 150-year history were forced to learn how to hold on to power without a Southern Wing. Hence, they developed a fetish for drawlin' white southerners.

It has been a steep and painful 40-year learning curve for everyone involved, including the electorate. The object portion of the lesson for them has yet to truly endeth, BTW, as the repercussions for decades of believing GOP hype are just now starting to make themselves felt. As the economy craters and our infrastructure crumbles and the oil runs out and the planet heats up, those lessons will echo down for generations to come. At any rate, despite the fact that he had the second-best progressive bona fides in the Democratic field (and I supported him for it), the era of the white male with a Southern drawl as the only viable Democratic candidate ended ironically when John Edwards exited stage left.

Which is why I only partially agree with Lance Mannion when he writes:
Obama was traveling inside a protective shield made up of the Beltway Insiders' Clinton-hatred. As is becoming clear, once she's out of the way, that shield will be powered down. Obama will be just the Democrat running for President and if there's anybody the Insiders' loathe and despise nearly as much as they loathe and despise the Clintons it's any Democrat who runs for President.

The longer the primary campaign has gone on the more lessons Obama has had to learn about what it's going to be like in the fall.

---It's infuriating the Beltway Insiders.

They have been rooting from the beginning to see Clinton humiliated. Way back when, when the show was just getting started and they were declaring that her nomination was inevitable, they were consoling themselves with the hope that Rudy Giuliani would mop up the floor with her in November. Then they saw that Obama had a chance to give them what they wanted a lot sooner, with the bonus of giving them another Democrat whose humiliation in November they could root for and aid and abet.

They've wanted nothing more than to be able to laugh at her in defeat and declare that it proof that the country had rejected...Bill Clinton, at long last.

It's always been about Whitewater.
Yes, Lance, that's true. And yes, I am somewhat guilty of being too invested in the whole thing to be truly objective about who should or should shouldn't leave the race. I follow it every day. The only ones really suffering from "Clinton-fatigue" are the Washington insiders who have always hated Hillary and the political junkies who follow this stuff every single day. But Ma & Pa Peoria don't know and don't care. For them and the average Democrat in "fly-over country," the race has been invigorating and a real-life, real-time extension of Howard Dean's 50 State Strategy. For the first time in most of their political careers, and especially in the entire lives of the young and enthusiastic who are the life-blood of any campaign's ground game, what they think matters and someone in power cares to learn what that is.

I don't think it is Pollyana-ish to think that all of this could actually be good for the party. Washington insiders are the ones who always proclaim - no matter what "it" is - that "it" is good for Republicans and bad for Democrats; heads the GOP wins, tails the Democrats lose. The media have become a self-policing spin-zone for Rethugli-bot talking points. That comfortable bubble is being invaded by history (reality having a well-known liberal bias) and even if Obama may not be as progressive as I and many of my fellow-travellers on The Left would like, he is so much more the Man of the Moment than his opponent - who is burdened by baggage not entirely of her making, but for which she nevertheless liable.

Digby, as per usual, boils all this down pretty nicely and puts it into historical perspective:
I maintain my belief that this campaign is being driven by seismic forces in the political firmament that transcend personality. This isn't 1972 or 1984 or even 1988, no matter what people say. The Democrats aren't running against Republican incumbents or even a popular Republican predecessor. The economy is rapidly deteriorating. We are in the midst of a moneypit, quagmire overseas and there actually are terrorists out there who require attention. Oh --- and the US is now considered to be a force for evil in the world due to the fact that we kidnap people off the streets of foreign countries, torture them and keep them in prison without trials or any hope of being set free. Oh, and we invade countries based on lies.

We are in a hell of a mess and the country knows exactly who is responsible for it. They will logically vote accordingly. But with the economy now a huge part of the equation, I don't think political reform is the best campaign theme for Democrats. It's early enough for him to pivot off reform and put some meat on the bones of the Hope and Change message. But he should do it soon. The Democratic candidate can ride to victory on a tsunami, but he or she still needs to stay with the wave.
All of which is to say, I think this whole nomination fight has been a tough one because it had to be. We are fighting for the soul of the party and we are fighting for the life of our beleaguered nation. Such transitions are never pretty or clean or bloodless. Nor should they be. If they were easy, they wouldn't be powerful enough to actually change things for the better (I'm looking at you, you starry-eyed Reagan-Revolutionaries).

Bottom line: I am resentful that I find myself once again via a vis the Clintons with a political opinion that superficially resembles one held by my mortal enemies in the Reich-wing. I don't really hate Hillary Clinton, I just think her time has passed. My fear that she is damaging the party could very well be just so much Chicken-Little-ism, but I grant that I could be just buying the hype.

Time will tell.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


55% - 45%, Clinton.

Hillary is still in it. The result is not unexpected, but I still was too depressed last night to even watch the coverage, fantasizing as I was of an Obama blow-out, so I went to bed.

I want her to go away.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Now that's writing

Driftglass is a blogger I frequented several years ago, but stopped for one reason or another, in that way you check a certain blog multiple times a day for a few weeks or months until they start a line of topics you aren't interested in, or they reveal some sort of ugly thing about themselves or their beliefs or you simply disagree with something they write. Sometimes, they stop posting for a period of time and you move on in the interim. Other times, you just find yourself reading them less and less until one day you realize you haven't been there for several months and stop going altogether. I don't remember why I stopped reading driftglass, but I checked back over there today for the first time in a couple of years.

Glad I did.

Boy howdy am I glad I did.

I wish I could write as succinct a deconstruction of right-wing blow-hards as this beautiful piece of word craft decimates and then obliterates William "The Bloody" Kristol:
It’s not that Kristol is a bad writer, but that he is a painfully bad writer. A painfully bad writer with his own little cabin “of clay and wattles made” smack in the middle of the NYT.


The problem with Kristol is that what he genuinely believes is both execrable and ossified to the point that he has becomes a self-parody: a bile dispenser with a permanent, death’s-head-rictus grin lacquered to the front of his skull.

He’s a fascist -- out-and-out -- in a country that fought a World War to eradicate the diseased, degenerate ideology that is at the dead, dark heart of NeoConservatism. Kristol is a True Believer in something truly evil...


And so like the entire Right Wing Noise Machine, outside of some cold, lumpy, boiler-plate pabulum about “Luvin Murrica!” the bulk of Kristol’s words are always devoted to lashing acidly out.

With him – as with the rest of the the Noise Machine – it is all-attacking-all-the-time. And in that world, a piece of oratory or page of writing is judged not by how well it advances an argument or cogently and persuasively is debates policy, but instead is measured almost exclusively by how much it offends, irritates and mocks the Dirty Fucking Hippies.

It is hatespeech-as-genre; a genre in which Kristol is so saturated that he cannot go more than a paragraph or two without reflexively trying to shiv a Liberal somewhichway. Kristol and his ilk remind me of nothing so much as a German National Socialist from, say, 1931; so steeped in hateful ideology that they literally cannot resist slipping “…and because of the Dirty Jews” into every argument.

Kristol’s writing fails in its first duty because he shows us nothing.

He risks nothing.

He illuminates nothing.

Instead he has built himself a toasty little sniper's nest on the roof of the New York Times and merrily pot-shots anything to the left of Mussolini.

If I were immortal and had unlimited word processing resources, I could type for 2000 years and not produce anything half as incisive as just those few, terse and searing lines.

So, driftglass, welcome back to my regular readership and just on the strength of the posts currently on the front page of your blog, I'm placing you in my blog corral.

That should reliably increase readership over there by at least two to two and a half people.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Rachel Maddow RAWKS

She don't take shit off nobody.

Joe Scarborough is MSNBC's Bill O'Reilly in that they have the same schtick. Both are transparently neo-con sympathizing Rethugli-bots, but they both maintain that they are somehow independent-minded tough-guys just calling 'em as they sees 'em... It just so happens that Joe, like Bill, always seems to land his calls on the side of the GOP. Kind of like those detestable Gang of 14 fence-sitters ("Spooky" Spectre, "Huckleberry" Graham, "Maverick" McCain, "Joe-nertia" LIE-berman) who always make a bunch of noise about having misgivings and grave concerns or whatever about some matter at hand and who make loud proclamations of their independent-mindedness and how they're not going to just go along to get along... and then they reliably vote to give president Cheney whatever he wanted in the first place. Joe's like that, too, (sans actual voting power) but he's just a grossly over-paid bobblehead who always sides with authoritarian overreach.

Well, guess what, Joe? That makes you a Rethugli-bot. And Rachel Maddow? She is one of those Fightin' Dems I've been longing for since, well, since I left Texas to get away from the very culture that stole the White House and have been trying to institute One Party Rule since the 1960's.

Rachel (and I met her once - briefly - so I can call her by her first name, right?) is most certainly accomplished in her own right. I have been listening to her radio show for years and was a fan long before Keith Olbermann brought her into his orbit, but I must say a huge thank you to Keith for using his celebrity to protect the incubation period of her television career long enough for her have the juice to smack down Joe Scarborough hard enough to make him walk off set without getting herself summarily fired.

Oh, did I give something away? Watch this video and listen for the mic rustling at 2:47, which had to be Joe storming off set:

Sweet, right?

I just love seeing Joe's beady little eyes go cold as he realizes he's getting called out. I love even more the s-l-o-w-a-n-d-s-t-e-a-d-y way he pedantically attempts to explain to Rachel what misapprehends to be his position, as though she's retarded. All the while, you can see his blood pressure rising.

Sweet, right?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Fact-Averse & Irony-Immune 2.0

"You are entitled to your opinion. But you are not entitled to your own facts."
– Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

So it seems a blogger named Psycheout, a primary contributor to the blog I reference in my previous post - the awesomely delusional Blogs4Brownback (yeah, I'm mentioning you by name with a hyperlink so your Google Alert will go off, Psycheout) - took umbrage to some aspect of my previous post and called me an elitist snob.

And while it is exciting to have my readership expanded by almost 10% with the addition of Mr. Psycheout, the more exciting part is finally having a reader whose name I don't know and whose phone number I don't have. When you know all of your readers personally (my readership consists of my sister, my best friend from college, three co-workers - two of whom are also neighbors - and my wife) it isn't so much blogging as just being one step removed from broadcast emailing. So, I hope Mr. Psycheout can become a regular reader so that he may help me stay at least one pair of eyes above what I consider to be the minimum threshold of what can actually be called a "blog." The above characterization assumes he has has two eyes and not one. Or three. And that he's a, well, he.

But, to the matter at hand... I guess I'm guilty as charged. I am an elitist snob. We heliocentrists are well-known for thinking we're smarter than people who disagree with us. Something about facts and scientific proof and global fucking consensus for three millenia. Now, to be fair, he may have been just kidding. In fact, the whole web site could just be one huge joke on all of us tightly wound, humorless lub'ruhl types who just want to sternly scowl at anything fun. In fact, the whole website reads like sophomoric attempt at a Colbert-ish spoof of right-wing lunacy, incorporating everything from every tin-foil hat conspiracy theory about the Clintons ever to spew like diarrhea from the mind and mouth of every right-wing radio mini-Hitler (complete with insulting nicknames downloaded directly from Limbaugh's ass into their synapse-deficient brains) to the whole "Barack Obama is a madrassa-trained Muslim and nevermind his Christian minister Jeremiah Wright" to every single persecution-meets-inferiority-complex driven fruit-loop conspiracy theory about the non-white, non-Christian, non-hayseeds who appararently run the world (who are out to get all those hard-working white Christian males who don't live on the coasts) that has ever floated through the collective fever-dream imaginations of the whole of the right blogosphere. If they were good at mocking all of those things, it would be funny.

But it isn't funny. Not even a little bit. Devoid of humor, in toto. Irony-immune, as it were. Which makes me think I'm smarter than these doofuses, not because I disagree with their opinions (although I do) but because they have completely hare-brained, fact-free reasoning to guide them to those opinions. So, yeah, I'm a heliocentric elitist who looks down at these morons.

You getting all of this, Psycheout? That little gnawing suspicion of inferiority that ties your stomach in knots and keeps you awake at night and resentful of all you see around you...

...It's justified.

I can understand why you are... (how should I say it?) ...bitter. If you think we are making fun of you, having a hearty laugh at your expense, we are.

So yeah, I think I'm smarter. I think I'm smarter than someone who would, without the merest hint of irony, write this:
Condi Rice, probably the best Secretary of State ever, is seriously considering injecting new life into the McCain candidacy
And I'm definitely more perceptive than a person who would write this:
We’ve pointed out before that Barack Obama is likely a closet communist and a gay homosexual crackhead, and now Senate colleague Joe Lieberman even admits that he’s unsure whether the boy Senator is a Marxist. Frankly, I don’t blame him. Who can tell?
And I'm far less a gullible and sycophantic dimwit than any person who would so much as think, much less actually write, this:
The liberal defeatocrats and America hating loons are constantly trying to embarrass our fine leaders. Whether it’s cutting up President Bush’s speeches to make it sound like he’s misspeaking or blowing all out of proportion a minor misstatement. They have also cruelly attacked Vice President Cheney, claiming that he was trying to divide up Iraq and steal its oil, a nutty conspiracy theory to be sure, and made up an incident out of whole cloth, claiming that he said a bad word on the Senate floor, when he simply wished Senator Leaky Leahy the best of luck even after being provoked by the man. “Good luck, yourself,” said the amiable Vice President with a broad smile on his rugged face. For the record, Vice President Cheney would never lie, drink, smoke or gamble. And he would absolutely never curse. He is a very moral man.
Cheney? Moral? Amiable? Truthful?


Uh-huh. So, OK. Moving on...

And I'm infinitely more persipacious, not to mention astute, insightful, observant and adroit (Gawd, I love than a person who would write this:
I support the Bible, and I don’t want my children learning about Heliocentrism in school. I think this doctrine encourages atheism, Darwinism, and anti-Americanism. I don’t want my tax dollars going to finance this kind of false science. It’s complete rot, and I hope that those of us who come to realize this can ultimately prevail against its propogation amongst OUR children with the money from OUR salaries.
And behind the link for the above quote, BTW, you will find a post from a brainiac named Sisyphus who is evidently the founder of B4B (as they call themselves) with the eponymous slogan from the T-shirt that drove my previous blog entry. You really should go read the whole post because if it were actually witty or funny, it could be a clever impersonation of some deranged right-wing loon, but it isn't funny or witty.

At all.

In fact, he is deadly serious and it is kind of sickening. These people are seriously fucked in the head. Their slogan should be Holocaust denying flat-earthers for Jesus (and Sam Brownback). I can only presume they and their fellow-travellers are representative of Brownback's following, which makes his departure from the presidential race a real relief, though a sadness over comedy gold un-mined does linger. It just makes me morose for the state of health-care in America that these people can't afford the medications they need to lead normal lives, nevermind the irony of a deep-seated hostility to the very government programs which could help them.

And the comments section is a real hoot. A couple of smart folks dove in and tried to argue with those idiots, but as the old saying goes "Never argue with an idiot. Most people won't be able to tell the difference." Let me sum all up comments by saying that they conclude that believing that the earth orbits the sun means you hate America. I'm not kidding. Comment number 28. Wow.

So, having touched my toe into the toxic sewer of right-wing blogistan, I'm pretty sure I don't want to go back there any time soon, for hic sunt dracones.

So, if you're actually reading this, Psycheout, you win. I'm not going back to your site because you've got me beat. I concede. I'm frightened to the core of my being. I quake in the presence of your mighty intellect and how deeply it could damage my Tax-Raising, Latte-Drinking, Sushi-Eating, Volvo-Driving, New York Times-Reading, Body-Piercing, Hollywood-Loving, Left-Wing mind.

In fact, I'm going to stop writing this post right now so I can go invite over my Wiccan friends to watch some gay porn with me while we snort cocaine off pictures of Dale Earnhardt with rolled up pages from the Book of Job (we like to save Genesis, Corinthians and especially Psalms for cleaning up after a really messy crap) while we all sit around, sipping cups of warm virgin blood, talking about how much we hate the troops and Amerika and anything that's good or moral. Like Jerry Falwell. Later, after they leave for France, I'll wile away a couple more hours fantasizing about a really nasty porno-style three-way between me, Hillary and Obama. Once satisfied with the depth of my own depravity, I'll finally be able to relax enough to concentrate on my nefarious plan for global conquest via a rigorous regimen of rejecting Christ as my personal savior, pissing on pictures of Ronald Reagan, and burning every American flag I can find - for which the Jews pay me really well, let me tell you what, because I'm able to tithe so fucking much money to Nation of Islam, Planned Parenthood and National Organization for Women while simultaneously maintaining both my ACLU and my Jane Fonda fan-club memberships. Then I'll call Barbra Streisand to tell her all about it.

I guess I should be more grateful to America for giving me such opportunities. You really have opened my eyes, Psycheout.

Salam Alechem, my bruh-thuh.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Fact-Averse & Irony-Immune

Light posting this past week. Busy, busy, busy so it will be light posting for the next few weeks as well.

In the meantime, though, I submit the following as definitive proof that anyone who would intentionally bill themselves as a "conservative" should thus be automatically disqualified from any participation in the public sphere (from Blogs for Brownback - h/t to John Cole):

Now, I could think that they were just being clever and proudly playing to cultural stereotype in the same way a fans of gangsta rap or Larry the Cable Guy, but generally speaking anyone dumb enough to support Sam Brownback for any public office above the level of municipal dog catcher is frankly too stupid to breathe, much less have any sort of knack for edgy, ironic humor.  

Remember, these people are fact-averse and irony-immune.  Thus, I think they actually mean it here.

And yet they have the unmitigated gaul to be offended that we coastal elites look down on them.  Bloody hell.  If you don't think the earth is round and orbits the sun, to say nothing of the immutable FACT of evolution, then you deserve to be sneered at, you moron.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Submitted Without Comment


In a follow-up to my last post, wherein I ponder the stupidity (maybe "gullibility" is a more accurate word to use) of your average conservative, GOP, Reich-wing voter by way of Charlton Heston as NRA President, I once again have to admire the deftness of Glenn-zilla. In his post from Saturday, he rips apart the corporate media for always playing along with GOP narratives about personality-driven politics, never using their journalistic training to separate the wheat from the chaff and otherwise constantly on their knees, slobbering on the knob of Rethuglican power. He doesn't actually use those metaphors, but that's kinda his overall point.

For the Reich-wing, you see, an appearance of authority abetted by a pliant media is sufficient to merit its granting. Which is why actors who exude an aire of authority do so well in their firmament. It doesn't matter how phony their front may be, if they seem like they are regular dudes, then a sycophantic press corpse gleefully plays along. Fred Thompson - his entire adult life lived as either a Hollywood actor or Washington lobbyist (with a brief stint as Congressman, elected presumably on the comforting believability of his furrowed brow and prominent jowls) - as a regular 'Mer-kuhn from Tennessee?


So, Glenn rips 'em a new one. I love this man, in a totally straight kind of way. Here's yet another reason why:

One other point to note about all of this is that these fixations are as skewed as they are vapid. Barack Obama is an exotic elitist freak because he went to Harvard Law School and made $1 million from his book. Hillary Clinton can't possibly have any connection to the Regular Folk because her husband, who grew up dirt poor, became quite wealthy after being President. John Kerry was completely removed from the concerns of the Regular People because his second wife was rich.

By contrast, George W. Bush was a down-home, salt-of-the-earth Man of the People despite being the grandson of a U.S. Senator, the son of a President (who greatly magnified his riches in his post-presidency), and the by-product of an extremely wealthy, coddled life. Ronald Reagan was pure Americana despite spending most of his adult life as a very wealthy Hollywood actor (and converting his post-presidency into far greater riches still). And John McCain is as Regular a Guy as it gets, even though he dumped his first wife (the mother of his three children) after she was disfigured and disabled by a near-fatal car accident so that he could marry his much younger, much prettier, and extremely wealthy heiress-mistress, whose family riches then launched his political career and sustained a life of luxury for almost three decades (that's how McCain's rustic "Sedona cabin" -- i.e., his sprawling compound -- came to be).

It would be bad enough if our political press were obsessed with such trivialities. The fact that they do so in such a Republican-leader-worshiping manner makes it only that much worse, particularly given that it's this dynamic, more than anything else, that determines the outcome of our elections.
McCain is an asshole. That should be the personality-driven narrative that's out there, but the GOP base is always willing to forgive the serial philanderers in their high command because of Digby's Law (my name for her salient observations about the tribal mentality that dominates American, and particularly Rethugli-bot, politics). Also known as: IOKIYAAR.

I guess we can take his gun now

Charlton Heston died yesterday. I like him as an actor and he does have some great cinematic moments to his credit: Ben-Hur, The Agony & The Ecstasy, Ten Commandments, Planet of the Apes, Soylent Green, Omega Man...

But how could any decent-minded person not hate him forever for this little gem:

Delivered at an NRA convention in Denver less than a month after the Columbine High School massacre in Littleton, Colorado (itself a suburb of Denver) in the spring of 1999, that speech - or a Hollywood actor like Heston even being in a position to deliver that speech - once again proves to me that conservatives are stupid. Why else would the rare conservative actor (and they are almost exclusively male and white, BTW) very nearly always rise to prominence within the right-wing? Heston, Reagan, Thompson and Schwarzenegger... mediocre actors who, because they are famous and also out-spoken about being unevolved, earn enough conservative street cred to become GOP demi-gods. Or in Reagan's case, actually replacing the Holy Spirit in the Holy Trinity.

I suppose it has something to do with the conservative mindset, top-down and hierarchical as it is, that it is sufficient for someone to appear authoritative to be given authority.

Whatever. Heston is dead. At least he left us with some classic lines. Besides "Damn, dirty ape" my favorite is this one:

I agree with Shakes about this. I should have been more generous above about how much I actually like Heston as an actor. As she so eloquently puts it:
He was an epic film star with an epic personality, and I loved to hate him as much as I hated to love him.

I also want to be clear that I thought of the title of this post last night around 12:30 am, long before I read Jeff Fecke's title, and saw his YouTube clip. But Shakesville gets about a thousand to ten-thousand times the traffic as this blog (readership of three - it's official!) so in a joke-credit derby, I would certainly lose.

Besides, Fecke is always funnier than me anyway, so - I concede.

Friday, April 4, 2008

One Man Come

40 years ago today, at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, Martin Luther King, Jr. was shot with a rifle fired by James Earl Ray.

I want to forget this sad, sad day in anticipation of the event wherein Obama would give his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention 45 years to the day after MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech. That will make for a much better anniversary.


Maybe you've heard of it, but U2 once wrote a song about it.

One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come here to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love!
One man in the name of love
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resists
One man washed on an empty beach
One man betrayed with a kiss

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more? In the name of love!

...nobody like you...there's nobody like you...

Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride

In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love?
In the name of love!
What more in the name of love...