Glenn Beck. (Photo: Jennifer Ackerman / Deseret Morning News)
Idiot Wind By William Rivers Pitt t r u t h o u t | Columnist
Wednesday 11 March 2009
Idiot wind, blowing like a circle around my skull, From the Grand Coulee Dam to the Capitol. Idiot wind, blowing every time you move your teeth, You're an idiot, babe. It's a wonder that you still know how to breathe.
- Bob Dylan
One thing is certain: martial arts movie star Chuck Norris does not like President Obama. Not at all. Not one little bit. Norris dislikes Obama so much, in fact, that he discussed running for the office of president of Texas, which doesn't exist, as part of a larger move by him and a variety of other right-wing groups to overthrow the American government and return honor and decency to the country.
No, really, he said all that, and more. Read it yourself if you don't believe me. The best part is where he writes, "Remember the Alamo!" Great stuff.
There's more. The owner of right-wing web forum Free Republic, Jim Robinson, was recently forced to post a truly deranged piece of apologia regarding the attention his web site recently earned from the Secret Service. "Unfortunately," wrote Robinson, "we are saddled with a communist sympathizer in the White House. I don't know whether or not he's an actual card carrying commie, but he's definitely an America-hating, anti-capitalist Marxist leftist who thinks communism is the way to go. So now comes the problem. If you feel it's your duty to call Obama a traitor and use salty language in your proposed resolution, ie, suggest the commie be keelhauled, walked off the plank, run up the yardarm, tarred and feathered and run out of Dodge, etc, etc, etc, you may be facing a visit from your friendly Secret Service."
"Keep," wrote Robinson in closing, "your powder dry." Yeah, O.K., good thinking.
Last month, Fox News celebrity Sean Hannity ran a poll on his web site. It asked readers what kind of revolution they'd prefer: military coup, armed rebellion or war for succession? "#3 seems most realistic," opined Hannity, "since it does present an opportunity for more homogeneous states to sort of capitalize on their homogeneity. However, it would likely lead to mass migrations of the minority partisans out of the rebel states. Of course, that may be fine with those states. Yet it seems that the ultimate paradox in any rebellion for freedom from within is that the ultimate goal is to impose the will of the rebels on everyone else through force. It seems the very foundation of representative democracy is ****tered if we accept that we exchange the power of ideas for the power of the sword upon each other. Nevertheless, I am still very interested in your own preferred form of revolt."
That page has since been removed from Hannity's web site, surely due to some technical glitch, but before it was taken down, "armed rebellion" appeared to be the most popular choice of the three.
Earlier this week, right-wing loudmouth Glenn Beck asserted during his radio show that President Obama's lifting of the ban on embryonic stem cell research would open the way for the genetic development of a new master race. "So here you have Barack Obama," said Beck, "going in and spending the money on embryonic stem cell research, and then some, fundamentally changing - remember, those great progressive doctors are the ones who brought us Eugenics. It was the progressive movement and it was science. Let's put science truly in her place. If evolution is right, why don't we just help out evolution? That was the idea. And sane people agreed with it! And it was from America. Progressive movement in America. Eugenics. In case you don't know what Eugenics led us to: the Final Solution. A master race! A perfect person. The stuff that we are facing is absolutely frightening. So I guess I have to put my name on yes, I hope Barack Obama fails. But I just want his policies to fail; I want America to wake up. "
One assumes this forthcoming master race will enjoy minds of greater volume and depth than Mr. Beck's, because, well, people just can't get much dumber than this. It would be a profound waste of genetic material if we went out and created some master race that, like Messrs. Beck, Hannity and Robinson, was incapable of rational thought or speech. Just an idea.
There is even more out there like this, from all over the place, with each seemingly trying to out-weird the other. So, yeah, it appears a fair portion of America's hard-right population, along with most if not all of their spokespeople and commentators, have been driven absolutely, positively bat-poop crazy by the election of and policies by Barack Obama.
The trend has been sucking in more and more high-profile members of the conservative community. Newt Gingrich was forced to jump up and down on Rush Limbaugh for saying he wants Obama to fail. Limbaugh responded by calling Gingrich "a fly-by-night operator," who can't be depended on and who "will sell you out." Republican Sen. Bob Bennett of Utah came close to threatening Arizona with an infestation of crickets to shut John McCain up about earmarks in the budget. Conservative commentator David Brooks called House Minority Leader John Boehner "insane" after Boehner called for a complete freeze on federal spending as an answer to the ongoing economic crisis.
12. In bars & basements? How about in supermarkets? I stood at the checkout
one day last week as the man in front of me, while bagging his grocery purchase regaled the cashier with some screed about, and I quote, "when a dark man governs America". This went on for a minute or so and seemed to relate to one of those faux Nostradamus "quatrains" or something. Yikes!
When I stepped up to the register the cashier was just shaking her head. It occurred to me at the time that there are many ways to be "dark". In that respect, Cheney and Bush would certainly qualify.
13. Ah, good ol' chuckie....spoken as a true child of christ!
It's the nature of the beast. I think chuckie is a looneytarian, even though he did that campaign commercial with huckabee. It's just so damn hard to tell the Republicans from the Libertarians anymore.
16. I want to say that pretty soon there will only be a small minority of loons sitting in a corner.
But I don't want to tempt fate.
We won't be cloning cells taken from Kurt Vonnegut. Although they might like it if we did the same with John Wayne. And once they see we don't do those things, some of the less than crazy crazies will move a little bit away from the true nuts. And one by one they'll realize the truth.
But then maybe this does all devolve into a wasteland of idiots. That has always been my greatest fear.
22. They are clearly better than us at the circular firing squad
I'm pretty centrist, so I have regular disagreements here with committed leftists who think I'm some sort of crypto-republican and who in turn I think are hopelessly impractical. You get this in any political party, and indeed the number of topic forums on DU is a good guide to how many different interest group and political impulses fall under the democratic umbrella. So much so that we all immediately recognize the phrases 'circular firing squad' and 'herding cats'.
But the GOP...man, they're a sight to see. If the Democrats sometimes resemble a sitcom, the Republicans increasingly look like candidates for the Jerry Springer show.
29. The Publican Party today is a curious amalgam of corporate interests and lunatic fringers
The Party reached out to lunatic fringers for bean-counting purposes: by recruiting some of them, the Party handed itself small but definite and reliable blocs of voters
There is now a history, stretching over several decades, of the Republicans reaching for different extremist groups
An early example was Nixon's Southern strategy, honed by Reagan: the Publicans absorbed anti-civil-rights extremists. This won 1968, and Reagan replayed the game in 1980. Reagan also reached out to the religious fundamentalists, a group later essential to GWB's coalition. By the Clinton era, the Publicans were reaching out to anti-government extremists (blaming Ruby Ridge on Clinton, for example, or making alliance with the "Wise Use" movement). An argument can be made that GWB's 2000 campaign made a serious effort to collect a number of voter blocs, such as folk with DUI convictions. During GWB's era, congressional Publicans began to aim at anti-immigrant groups. The 2008 campaign was notable for its overture to secessionists and xenophobes.
The dilemma facing the Publicans is that most Americans do not actually share Publican philosophies -- so to win Publicans must squeeze every vote they can. This not only explains the reluctance of Publican leaders to ditch the lunatic fringe, it also explains the vote-suppression strategy that has become a hallmark of Publican governance
37. The fear and hate driven seem to be a constant...
I've been reading "Team of Rivals" (well, listening)... and was fascinated to learn that the same conservative tactics of lying and violence were operating in Lincoln's day as well, sounding very similar to the extremists of today.
Seems a pro-slavery conservative went into the senate with a wood club and beat a progressive, anti-slavery Senator as he was sitting at his desk. The Senator was permanently disabled by the attack, while Southern (pro-slavery, Conservative) newspapers praised the attacker for his heroic act and called for more.
thanks--fascinating info--Do you have any reading recommendations on the subject?
36. There is one meme you did not include in your post
And that is that they want to go "John Galt" I don't listen to the right wing screed but keep in touch with a freeper that I know from way back to a place called The Globe. And he is my barometer to what is going on in the right wing mind...he always has the latest meme from the right wing. When he posted it I suggested Paraguay and encouraged him to go and take his ilk with him. What a blessing that would be.
And I love the fact that you love Bob Dyland...K&R
38. Are we seeing one of the stages of grief here?
I recall Repubs arguing that almost half the country voted for McCain so they need to be heard and they're not irrelevent. That and Norm Coleman's efforts represent denial. What you have so carefully sampled is probably the anger stage. I'm not sure if Repubs ever get past that stage. But people like Brooks and Frum are probably into the bargaining stage now, because their warnings bespeak a belief that the party can rise again if only they weren't so angry. If I'm right, we might eventually see depression and, finally, acceptance, but I'm not betting on it.
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