Tag Archives: hate

Losing the Narrative, Always

29 Aug

I don’t understand how or why normal people cede the narrative on cultural issues to the cynical-hysterical ultra-right. I’m thinking specifically about the Park51 non-Ground Zero non-mosque, but it happens all the time. The right wing noise machine starts out with its daily talking points, Drudge, Fox News, which then morphs to talk radio and occasionally blogs. By the time the day is over, many people repeat the lies as fact, and they become the basis of the debate. All normal people are left to do is to try and rebut the lies, but the damage has already been done – the narrative has been set.

That’s why we’re busy rebutting the notion that this is an evil victory mosque set up by an extreme terrorist sympathizing imam who is taking money from al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, and other Muslim terrorist groups that don’t get along at all. It’s why the Republicans who are demagoguing this nontroversy frame it as not so much a question of religious freedom, but one of feelings. Oh, sure it’s legal and they can’t be legally stopped, they argue. But that’s hallowed ground, near the Amish Market deli, the OTB, and the topless bar. That place is sacred! – it’s two blocks from Ground Zero, around the corner from two extant mosques in the neighborhood. It’s not that all Muslims are terrorists, but all the 9/11 terrorists were Muslim!

It’s a load of reverse-political-correctness bullshit. Hell, Carl Paladino – the forwarder of horse porn and emails containing the word “nigger” – the guy who idiotically calls the Governor a “drug addict” – the guy who wants to herd the poor and unemployed into decommissioned penitentiaries – the tea partier who wants to create a nouveau New Deal make-work program – the guy who (also) called Shelly Silver the anti-Christ – the guy who thinks the poors are so dirty that the state should teach them hygiene – the family values bullshit artist who has cheated on his wife, and fathered a child she didn’t give birth to – the candidate who wants to turn “three men in a room” to one man in a room – the guy who likened health care reform to 9/11 (I thought 9/11 was too sacred to sully or politicize).

Aside: Just look at that list – it says a lot that an admitted madman (see Beale, Howard) who has said, done, and advocated the things listed above in just four or five months is gaining traction in the Republican primary race. Then again, Lazio is MIA.

I’m sick and tired of the center-left being on the defensive from the get-go on these types of nontroversies, and it makes me quite depressed about the state of our republic that this kind of bullshit can happen so easily, and with such formulaic regularity. Whatever we’re doing isn’t working.

Meanwhile, a New York cabbie with 15 years’ experience named Ahmed Sharif was slashed by alleged drunken douchebag/asshole/slasher Michael Enright of Brewster, NY. Sharif had answered “yes” when Enright asked him if he was Muslim. It may have been alcohol-fueled, but it was also fueled by hatred and fear. That hatred and fear, in turn, was fueled by vicious demagogues like Carl Paladino, Pamela Geller, and other fascists like the little peasant on WBEN at 9am.

The Fear Machine

25 Aug

The demographics of the voting class in this country have forever changed.  This has forced some changes in our national politics and the way the two parties work to maximize turnout in support of their agenda.  I’ll address how one party is handling this demographic shift because, well, it’s my site.

The Republican agenda or platform, as far as I can tell, consists of the following issues: tax cuts for the wealthy, cuts in social spending, corporate deregulation, abolition of unions, privatization of municipal services, perpetual empire building/foreign war, increased military spending, Israel, Israel, Israel, and in recent years…promoting a fear of “the other”.

Let’s go to the data to back up that last assertion.

In 2008, 90% of those who cast a vote for John McCain and his VP nominee, Crazypants McGee, were white. As a percentage of the overall voting populace, McCain captured a total of 55% of the white vote while Obama took 45% of the vote.

Yes, a candidate won a race for President in the United States without carrying a majority of white male voters. The 45% of white American men who cast a vote for Obama were not necessarily spread out around the country in an orderly fashion. Here’s a handy map reflecting the national distribution of white male votes for Obama.

whitemen_obama

Unsurprisingly, you’ll note that Obama did poorly in the southern states as well as other traditional red states which now make up the national dixie belt. Obama did surprisingly well in some of the least diverse states in the North like Wisconsin, Vermont, Oregon, Washington and Maine.  There is something to that data point that I hope to get to in the future.  However, Obama didn’t need the white male vote because he took 59% of the vote for non-white men.  This chart shows Obama’s non-white male vote distribution around the country.

nonwhitemen_obama

Looks a lot different, doesn’t it?

Combined with data which show the GOP fares very poorly with the expanding hispanic and african-american demographics, the strategy for the GOP and the conservative movement is clear.  Foment a feeling that America is being taken over by radical minorities, muslims, gays and radical “leftists” with their un-american “urban” agenda.

We’re watching this strategy being implemented right now and it is morphing as needed along the way.  At the start of the Obama administration, we saw all sorts of Lee Atwater style tactics and buzzwords used to covertly describe how the black man wants to take away the white man’s rights and privileges.  Socialism!  After a while, the message grew repetitive and Americans have short attention spans, they needed to up the ante to keep the fear machine primed.

Now, we’re seeing the right wing media and tea party movement foment a fear and loathing of Islam.  It’s unifying white people behind the idea that this isn’t “their” America anymore, it’s being taken away from them by elitist, atheist, college educated snobs in the northeast and their black/muslim/gay friends.  Somehow it is a slap in the face of freedom loving Americans everywhere to have Sufi Muslims build a community center on the hallowed ground next to the titty bar and OTB near Ground Zero…right around the corner from another mosque which has been there for decades.

The fear machine provides the GOP its only chance to regain national power in the face of massively and rapidly changing voter demographics. Fire people up, get them to throw tea bags at each other based on misinformation; compare Obama to Mao, Stalin, Hitler.  Claim that Sharia Law is on the way, that the President is a muslim sleeper agent born in Kenya, sent to destroy America from the inside.  They’ll do whatever it takes to motivate the angry white guy who lost his job at the plant due to globalization to get off his ass and get to the polls and maximize turnout.  Demonize gays, blame job losses on unions (not automation efficiencies, shareholder demands and CEO priorities), turn hopelessness into anger and blame.

Will it work?  Can this short-term strategy effectuate a return to power for the GOP?  It might, especially with the President and his castrated Congress alienating and disappointing the liberal base on a daily basis.  Long term, what is the GOP plan to reach out to these changing voter constituencies?  Will they make an effort to reach recent immigrants and minorities and bring them into the GOP tent?  By all accounts, the current plan seems to be a doubling down on maximizing turnout in their shrinking core demographic.

The trends are not on their side; poor, uneducated, misinformed white people will not be a massive voting bloc in many parts of the country for much longer.  However, they’ll continue to stay in power in nationwide rural areas and in the Dixie Belt, which will provide them with enough useful idiot voters who will vote for noted Congressional morons like Louie Gohmert and Joe Wilson.  They’ll create a regional/rural party which will be obstructionist and give them just enough power to work toward the goals noted in the second paragraph of this article.  I’ll dig into all of that and why Congressional Democrats can’t seem to govern in the face of obstructionist dummies as time allows.

Think about this chart until we meet again, it’s probably the most telling of all. It’s a difference between the vote totals of George H.W. Bush in 1988 and the vote totals of John McCain in 2008. It’s stark to see how the GOP base has shrunk so drastically into the dixie belt in just 20 short years.  It also underscores why the GOP has made a permanent shift toward the fringe of the party and why they’ll need to continue doing so to remain relevant.

bush_mccain_88_08

Tyrannic Totalitarian Representatives

23 Mar
Washington, DC "Taxation Without Represen...
Image via Wikipedia

Whilst tea party Republicans bleat and whine about Congress being the Central Committee of the Communist Party, and health insurance consumer protections and universal coverage being the second coming of Marx and Hitler and Stalin, I wanted to point something out.

The tea party in Boston in 1773 was about taxation without representation. It was about colonists being treated unfairly by their King and mother country. Are you really saying you’re not represented? Because the candidate who would have ostensibly voted against this bill wasn’t elected, that’s the same as subjugation under an imperial master?

Because I wanted the bill to pass, and my representative didn’t listen to me. Chris Lee ignored my desire that this become law so that I can have health insurance portability, no rescission, and access to insurance for pre-existing conditions should I lose mine at some point. I also think it’s critically important that every American have access to affordable, quality insurance.

Chris Lee didn’t listen to me. I wasn’t “represented”, by your argument.

So, should we elect two representatives to the house – one Democrat and one Republican? Well, then the Greens and the Communists aren’t represented. That’s not fair.

If you don’t like the system, then your faux, ignorant fawning over the founding fathers is bullshit, isn’t it? Because this is how they set it up. Representatives get elected. They vote their conscience – they lead by principle, not by taking a poll of their constituents and going along with the majority.

So, frankly, I won’t be taking to the streets in colonial garb to rail against the totalitarianism of Chris Lee. The guy didn’t vote the way I want. That means I’ll do what I can to get his opponent elected, should one ever emerge.

But this whole nonsense about tea parties and dictatorship and the end of America? I swear, there’s another Timothy McVeigh out there brewing, and he’s going to strike sooner rather than later. You’re just enabling him and feeding him. I’ll be the first to say “I told you so.”

Have fun with that.

Oh, Yeah

2 Feb

I was reminded of this post yesterday,

Rockwell and the prominent libertarian theorist Murray Rothbard championed an open strategy of exploiting racial and class resentment to build a coalition with populist “paleoconservatives,”

Darned if that isn’t the blueprint for the so-called “tea party” movement. It explains why the pre-eminent glibertarian blog in town is busy promoting crap found at an anti-immigrant, white supremacist site.

You’ll have to find it yourself. Links here are reciprocal.

Descent into Madness

11 Jun

Neoconservatives have agitated for bombing Iran because – well, that Ahmadinejad guy is crazy and hates Jews and denies the Holocaust! They want the US to bomb Iran back into the stone age and they want it done yesterday.

(At least Ahmadinejad didn’t open fire inside the Holocaust Museum.)

But Iran is holding an election Friday, and it’s quite probable that the insane jerk Ahmadinejad may lose.

The neocons who told us how awful and dangerous Ahmadinejad is are sad that he may lose.

From TPM Cafe:

At this point no one knows what will happen on Friday. But one thing that becomes clear as the neocons pray for an Ahmadinejad victory: there is no limit to what these people will support or endorse in order to achieve their goal of a civilizational war with Muslims, absolutely nothing. Don’t think they are motivated by love of Israel (which is obviously better off with Ahmadinejad gone). They are motivated solely by hatred of Muslims.

After all, imbecilic idioservatives like Debbie Schlussel blame yesterday’s Holocaust Museum shooting by a Nazi and anti-Semite on, naturally, Islam.

How about this. How about everybody stop shooting or bombing other people because they don’t like the man in the sky the other guy believes in?

I hope Iran elects someone who seeks rapprochement with the rest of the world, is willing to recognize Israel’s right to exist, is willing to withhold support of terrorist organizations like Hezbollah, and otherwise paves the way for Iran’s return to normalcy. That’s what I hope for.

Unlikely, but that’s how I roll.

Hatred is Hatred. Violence is Violence. Terrorism is Terrorism.

11 Jun

This morning CBS interviewed the young son of the security guard who was shot yesterday by a lunatic Nazi at the Holocaust Museum, of all places. The little boy was so sweet, wearing glasses that were a bit too big for him, and he was about 7 or 8 years old – a bit young to understand the implications of all of this, but old enough to know something horrible had happened to his daddy. My oldest daughter is the same age.

What von Brunn did was senseless, tragic, and fed by years of hatred. Frankly, what happened shouldn’t have come as any surprise, having read a lot of what this idiot wrote. But seeing that little boy, whose father died yesterday for no reason whatsoever, filled me with rage.

Even if you believe, as von Brunn did, that the Jews were in a conspiracy with the Blacks to keep the white man down – a frankly insane, paranoiac belief to have – what would possess you to bring a rifle to a museum and start shooting random people? This guy was no stranger to the Nazi movement. He was an active, inflammatory spokesman for anti-Semitic causes and fringe “the Fed was set up by the Rothschilds to control world banking for the Jews” ideology. He had once gone to jail for 6 years after an aborted attempt to kidnap Fed members, including Paul Volcker, back in the 80s. Online, he agitates against Jews and Blacks and calls on “Aryans” to take violent action.

If the “only thing we have to fear is young brown men with elaborate names written in squiggles” crowd is serious about wanting to detain people indefinitely, perpetually and in perpetuity without charge, then I suggest we add people like von Brunn to that list. Why isn’t he and his ilk at Guantanamo? They’re as ideologically dangerous and prone to violence as any Qaeda member.

Either that or a “Rockefeller Law” type penal code that puts terrorists who commit, conspire to commit, or incite violence like this away for life without parole. In which case this madman could have continued to spout his BS behind a few feet of concrete and bars.

I’m not advocating for this – I’m just wondering why those who do aren’t treating equal things equally.

There’s another Timothy McVeigh out there right now. He listens to fringe right-wing shit on the internet. He probably watches Glenn Beck, and listens to Limbaugh. He talks to his co-workers about typical conservative talking points, but occasionally freaks out his more mainstream conservative buddies with a slip of the tongue revealing his anti-Semitism or racial animus. They brush it off, figuring he’s just a bit whacked. He attends gun shows and has amassed a veritable arsenal that he tends to like a pet. He owns copies of insane books like the Turner Diaries and figures it’s a handbook for direct citizen action. The current economic crisis may have affected him somehow – lost job, lost house, lost wife – it has only made him more desperate. Someone is to blame, and in his sick mind it’s the Federal Government, international Jewry, the Illuminati, the Council on Foreign Relations, the UN, and other easy targets. He already attends tea parties, but was disappointed they don’t advocate taking up arms. He posts to all sorts of bulletin boards, including Stormfront, Free Republic, Beck’s 9-12 project, and says some whacked out things that range from using direct to indirect language to advocate for immediate violent action.

These people are out there – this guy is out there – and he hates you and everything you stand for. These people are as dangerous as any Qaeda terrorist, even though they didn’t train in Waziristan and don’t make people uncomfortable on that short domestic hop from Baltimore to Orlando.

Why are these serious threats being treated differently?

And when imbeciles like Glenn Beck incites his mouth-breathing viewers to go to war against the US Government, will he be held accountable when someone bombs a federal building? When Rush Limbaugh incites further hatred by questioning Barack Obama’s place of birth and highlighting his race, will he apologize for doing so when some tragedy happens? No. They’ll both wrap themselves around the 1st Amendment rights guaranteed them by a government they hate.

The Upside of the Financial Meltdown

18 Nov

The hateful and execrable Focus on the Family is now underfunded and firing people.

Couldn’t happen to a nicer organization.