Friday, August 20, 2010

Crazy August

Dennis G.: Stupid American Month


Every August something happens that reminds me just how stupid America has become. This month is full of fresh reminders of our dwindling National intelligence.

It has traditionally become the month to celebrate how stupid America has become. It is the month when stupidity in America goes on full display with a vengence.

It is the month where we learned about shark attacks and Gary Condit while George Bush ignored a security warning titled “Bin Laden determined to strike in US.” It is the month where wingnutopia talking points for invading Iraq was manufactured and tested. It is the month that Swift Boat Veterans for Truth began running ads about John Kerry while the rest of wingnutopia went crazy about the flip-flop meme. It was the month of Katrina. It was the month when Karl Rove convinced most of the media that he had “the math”. It was the month when the Palin traveling carnival of hucksters was introduced to America. It was the month of death panels. It was the month the Tea Party sprang forth from well fertilized astroturf. Now it is the month to worry about secret moooslims building things or terrorist cell groups of anchor babies. And always it is a month where the dumbest mother fuckers in America try to drive our National discourse with fear, ignorance and hatred.

The funny (and tragic) thing is that this shit works over and over again because we live in a pretty stupid Country or at the very least we live in a Nation of people who fear to tell the idiots to shut the fuck up. Worse, a lot of folks who should know better take leave of their senses in August and voice support for the latest fad of idiocy (and yes, Howard, I’m looking at you).

So, why not officially make August Stupid American Month. It already is the month when we are asked to care about every crazy conspiracy theory, every half-baked idea and every bit of idiotic drivel falling from the lips of fools who walk among us. Perhaps if we officially recognize all this crazy talk as the babbling of the stupid then the Country could get the crazy shit out of our collective system.

Of course, OTOH, the clowns from crazy town could just take over and make every month Stupid American Month. And perhaps, they already have.


Apel (Daily Dish) : In Defense of Talk Radio Listeners, Ctd

A reader writes:

I share Conor's belief that by having civil, reasonable dialogs, we can try to resolve or at least clarify our disagreements. My main beef with Talk Radio is that its stars pointedly do not share this belief. They thrive on endless conflict and illusions of persecution. It is more entertaining for them to pretend that the Left is not motivated by a desire to make the country better, but a desire to destroy it and enslave much of the population, so that's what they say. I listen to Limbaugh, Hannity, and Levin regularly, and all three promote some version of this canard, Levin being by far the worst offender.

Beyond refusing to seriously consider the other side's concerns and proposals, these stars also never have guests who disagree with them or challenge their assertions. They almost never have guests who are not reliable, mainstream conservatives. All that we get are occasional liberal callers. For whatever reason, these people tend to be more stupid and ill-informed than most liberals I know, so the stars usually trounce them in debate. Limbaugh can be persuasive when engaging in this ritual, but Hannity simply cuts people off if they turn out to be smart and have some point he cannot counter, and Levin dispatches liberal callers with a storm of invective.

The upshot is that their listeners don't have an accurate picture of their opponents, and don't know what the Left actually thinks and stands for. It's in this atmosphere that we get a bunch of talk about "socialism" and "government takeover," and demands to cut taxes without specifics on what spending to cut.
mistermix: Not Rocket Surgery

I know we’re all sick of the Death to America Ground Zero Mosque, but for the love of Allah, why can’t all Democrats do as well as Al Franken did when talking about it?

The pattern is simple: First, know the facts. Unlike Dean and Reed, Franken points out that it’s a community center that can’t be seen from ground zero. Second, call it what it is and link it to a pattern:

On a more serious note, he also added: “They (Republicans) do this every two years. They try to find a wedge issue, and they try to work it.”

Contrast Franken’s words to the typical piss-pants Democratic response. First, they treat the nontoversy as a very serious issue, worthy of a few Oprahs and a 20/20. Because it’s so serious, they’re afraid to face it head-on, so they run away or give evasive statements. Then, after the noise machine has been working long enough for the first polls to appear, the ignorant, fleeting opinions reflected in those polls cause the weaker links in the Democratic chain to issue statements that essentially agree with Republicans. Once that happens, the issue is far more legitimate in the eyes of the media, so what was once a nothingburger is now a topic for experts to discuss for hundreds of hours of cable TV.

I guess the Democratic leadership thinks this is a desired outcome, because they do it all the fucking time.

  • from the comments:


    A lot of people, Franken being one of them, simply don’t recognize the fact that you can’t out-wingnut a wingnut. Ever.

    A group of Democrats who defied their party to oppose a landmark climate bill last year is facing attacks by political challengers from an unexpected direction: Cap and trade is being used against them, despite the fact that they voted no.

    Harry Truman was right about at least two things. One of those things was Richard Nixon. The other was that if you give people a choice between a Republican and a Democrat who tries to act like a Republican, the former will usually win.


    El Cid

    AP story quotes right wing wondering if MSNBC covered Iraq combat troop departure too much, you know, because they’re awfully liberally biased, while ignoring Fox’s mere 10 minutes of coverage, maybe because they just luuuv the troops too much.

    Washington Moonie Money-losing Times’ columnist notes that Obama is a “cultural Muslim” who turns his back on America.

    Christian Science Monitor shares with other media that they too hate America and want Israel to be cast into the sea and want Iran to take over the Middle East with the nuclear weapons they’ll surely have next Tuesday.

Marshall: Bad Seed

Franklin Graham explains that President Obama was born a Muslim since he is from the "seed of Islam" despite having possibly now "renounced Muhammad."

"The seed of Islam is passed through the father like the seed of Judaism is passed through the mother," says Graham. This is sort of like the seed of being the self-appointed national preacher passes from father to son. The so-called "seed of Grahamism."

It was just a few months ago that Rupert Murdoch was asked whether it's appropriate for Fox News to play an active role in supporting the so-called Tea Party "movement."

The News Corp. CEO replied, "I don't think we should be supporting the Tea Party or any other party."


Media Matters' video on this seems pretty effective:

Note the tag line: "Fox is not news. It's a 24/7 political organization."

Media conglomerates don't often give $1 million to a political party to help influence statewide campaigns. It's encouraging, then, that News Corp's seven-figure check to the Republican Governors Association is generating some discussion.

The contribution from Mr. Murdoch's News Corporation, which owns Fox News, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and other news outlets, is one of the biggest ever given by a media organization, campaign finance experts said.

Democrats seized on the donation as evidence of the News Corporation's conservative leanings, with Media Matters for America, a liberal group that has tangled often with the company, calling it "an appendage of the Republican Party."

But News Corporation executives said the political priorities at the Republican Governors Association and its emphasis on low taxes and economic growth dovetailed with the company's own concerns. "News Corp. has always believed in the power of free markets, and organizations like the R.G.A., which have a pro-business agenda, support our priorities at this most critical time for our economy," said Jack Horner, a company spokesman.

What a terrific response. News Corp is facing questions about the propriety of a media conglomerate giving Republicans a cool million, and as a defense, the corporation effectively replies, "But we really like Republicans."

We know. That's why the check was written. The point isn't whether News Corp and Republicans have a shared worldview; the point is whether the financial support is appropriate.

At a minimum, it's breaking new ground: "Dave Levinthal, a spokesman for the Center for Responsive Politics, said seven-figure donations from anyone to '527' associations were unusual, but a $1 million donation from a news organization was particularly rare." A Politico report added that the contribution "isn't business as usual -- in either size or style."

What's more, Amanda Terkel noted that News Corp's own "Standards of Business Conduct" may prohibit exactly the kind of financial support the company is providing the Republican Governors Association, but like the media company's journalistic principles, it appears these standards may be malleable.

In an op-ed this week, I made the case that Republicans are pursuing a strategy this year that breaks with a traditional model. After a couple of humiliating election cycles, the GOP could have moved away from the far-right and positioned itself as a more mainstream party, but instead, it moved even further to the right. If it's rewarded, the strategy will only encourage more political radicalism.

The New York Times editorial board raises a related point this morning: Republicans sure have nominated a bunch of weirdos.

For months, it has been clear that Republican Congressional candidates would benefit from independent voters' dissatisfaction with President Obama. With the Republican field now largely in place, all voters might want to take a close look at who those candidates are.

The party has nominated so many at the far right of the spectrum, as well as some other unusual choices -- Linda McMahon, the candidate for the United States Senate in Connecticut made millions running the sex-and-violence spectacle known as World Wrestling Entertainment -- that the Republican brand is barely recognizable.

That point about the GOP "brand" is especially interesting. For years, Republicans really had presented themselves to voters as responsible, dependable grown-ups, unlikely to do anything radical. That "brand" has deteriorated to the point of comedy.

The editorial picked a handful of key statewide candidates -- the piece obviously could have been much longer -- but they're real doozies. The first is Ken Buck, the GOP's Senate candidate in Colorado, who wants to eliminate several cabinet agencies, repeal the 17th Amendment, and ignore church-state separation. The Times then notes Rand Paul and Sharron Angle, whose work you're probably familiar with.

The editorial also highlights Mike Lee, the GOP's Senate candidate in Utah, who has problems with the 14th and 17th Amendments, and wants to lower the liability costs for oil companies that cause extensive environmental damage.

Space concerns no doubt prevented the editorial from including more names, but if we're talking about Republicans running statewide who are very far to the right, it's only fair to also note Colorado's Dan Maes, Wisconsin's Ron Johnson, Pennsylvania's Pat Toomey, Florida's Marco Rubio, and Minnesota's Tom Emmer.

The NYT's editorial concluded, "These new Republican candidates are out of touch with mainstream American values of tolerance and pretty much everything else. They need to be challenged head-on." That makes sense, of course, but I also think it matters who's doing the challenging. In 2008, more than a few Republicans broke ranks and threw their support to Barack Obama. In 2010, are there still GOP leaders willing to stand up and say their party has fallen off the rails?

No comments:

Post a Comment