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Misdirection
September 12, 2009 9:11 PM   Subscribe

"What do you get when you combine the worst economic downturn since the Depression with the first black president? A surge of white racial resentment, loosely disguised as a populist revolt."
posted by cashman (696 comments total) 48 users marked this as a favorite

 
This is beyond horrible.
posted by inconsequentialist at 9:15 PM on September 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


So, is this a news round-up kind of post?
posted by oddman at 9:15 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


"When we smell the burning flesh from the ovens it will be to [sic] late for us all"

Wow.
posted by Flunkie at 9:22 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


"The cure for Obama Communism is a new era of McCarthyism"

Good to know.
posted by delmoi at 9:25 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


MORE CZARS THAN THE USSR
posted by Flunkie at 9:27 PM on September 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


"STOP THE MARCH TO MARXISM"
"MARXISM IS AN OBAMA-NATION"

Wow. This is... really, stunningly embarrassing and horrible all around. I take it these people have never been to Europe? Of course, if you're so dumb to conflate public healthcare with Marxism or to actually believe in 'death panels', you probably believe exactly what you want and nothing can shake you.

Sometimes I feel like my fellow Americans don't deserve to be saved from themselves, but this lot isn't everybody.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:27 PM on September 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


I had a snarky "pull choice dumb quotes, add commentary" comment, but to be honest it got too much.

Let's say the media stop feeding the trolls, eh?
posted by djgh at 9:28 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I believe we are going to have to use those secret trains and FEMA coffins after all. Good thing the Denver airport is ready.

Oops, did I say that out loud?
posted by HyperBlue at 9:29 PM on September 12, 2009 [12 favorites]


In other news, these people really make me want to get a Soviet flag. I'd do a red/black syndicalist one, but I doubt they'd get it.
Almost every town in my area seems to have about one flag per phone pole right now- I don't know how much more jingoism I can take.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:30 PM on September 12, 2009


"Joe Wilson for President" and "Obama is an illegal Alien"

What's interesting is that I bet the way we feel about these protesters is kind of the way that people felt about anti-war protesters in the run up to the Iraq war. You know, the ones who claimed that bush was lying, there were no WMDs, it was all about oil, etc.

Except, all those people turned out to be right. And in fact, the Iraq war actually turned out even worse then people anticipated.
posted by delmoi at 9:30 PM on September 12, 2009 [28 favorites]


It's interesting that the "liberal" mainstream media has given this far more attention than the much larger anti-Iraq War protests during the Bush Administration.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:30 PM on September 12, 2009 [69 favorites]


So we've gone from "dissent = treason" to "dissent = racism."




Progress!
posted by ZenMasterThis at 9:30 PM on September 12, 2009 [18 favorites]


You start out in 1954 by saying, “Nigger, nigger, nigger.” By 1968 you can't say “nigger”—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites.

And subconsciously maybe that is part of it. I'm not saying that. But I'm saying that if it is getting that abstract, and that coded, that we are doing away with the racial problem one way or the other. You follow me—because obviously sitting around saying, “We want to cut this,” is much more abstract than even the busing thing, and a hell of a lot more abstract than “Nigger, nigger.”
-- the late Lee Atwater, Republican strategist
posted by orthogonality at 9:31 PM on September 12, 2009 [46 favorites]


I guess if you're the dregs of society, racism is an easy way to find someone other than yourself to blame for everything you feel you've been denied.
posted by maxwelton at 9:32 PM on September 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Semantic point: Do these people realize that the Czarists were the ones who the Communists opposed? They know they were enemies, right?
posted by delmoi at 9:32 PM on September 12, 2009 [41 favorites]


Semantic point: Do these people realize that the Czarists were the ones who the Communists opposed? They know they were enemies, right?
THAT'S COMMIE TALK
posted by Flunkie at 9:34 PM on September 12, 2009 [35 favorites]


Semantic point: Do these people realize that the Czarists were the ones who the Communists opposed? They know they were enemies, right?

There's a lot of inconsistency/stupid going around.
posted by djgh at 9:35 PM on September 12, 2009


So we've gone from "dissent = treason" to "dissent = racism."

Progress!

Totally not racist.
posted by delmoi at 9:35 PM on September 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Yeah, there were 0 Czars in the USSR because the Communists murdered the last one and their entire families.

Republicans are fucking stupid.
posted by empath at 9:35 PM on September 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


And again, the more they do this kind of shit, the more I wish that Obama really was secretly planning to round these people up into FEMA camps.
posted by empath at 9:37 PM on September 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


I'd like to add a link to Orcinus for Dave Neiwert and Sara Robinson's excellent ongoing coverage and analysis of this very issue.
posted by desuetude at 9:37 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Wait. So he's a liberal, fascist, commie, marxist, nazi, socialist, racist? I'm confused.
posted by ColdChef at 9:37 PM on September 12, 2009 [21 favorites]


Oh, let's not go that far. I just wish that their god would hurry up and rapture them away already.
posted by Flunkie at 9:38 PM on September 12, 2009 [32 favorites]


Throw him in the Boston Harbor.
posted by ColdChef at 9:38 PM on September 12, 2009


September 12, 2009

A massive group marched on Washington today, led by conservative leader Hugh Briss. Mr. Briss tearfully announced that he and the rest of leadership had decided, over hot cups of tea, to dissolve the party and denounce its actions as ignorant pandering detrimental to the democracy and its people.

Just kidding, Mr. Briss vows to fight on.
posted by empyrean at 9:39 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, I'm glad the right wing has an opportunity to discover how fucking useless protest marches are.
posted by empath at 9:40 PM on September 12, 2009 [54 favorites]


http://www.flickr.com/photos/42406957@N04/3912840785/"
posted by dirigibleman at 9:40 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm done gawking at "the crazies". What do we do?
posted by Maximian at 9:41 PM on September 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Obama for president of 'Kenya'!

I don't know if the question marks are further evidence of stupidity or an injoke only birthers will get.
posted by Partario at 9:43 PM on September 12, 2009


Dammit,

So we've gone from "dissent = treason" to "dissent = racism."
posted by dirigibleman at 9:43 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm done gawking at "the crazies". What do we do?

First you ignore them, then you laugh at them, then you fight them, then they win.

Oh, wait, that didn't work out the way I planned.
posted by empath at 9:44 PM on September 12, 2009 [29 favorites]


"Socialism" in the US:

* The Military
* Police and fire protection
* Roads, bridges, transportation
* Subsidized home ownership (mortgage interest tax-deduction, Freddie, Fannie, FHA)
* Medicare and Medicaid
* Subsidized retirement (tax deductions for IRA contributions, etc.)
* Agriculture
* Auto manufacturing
* Banking and other financial institutions
* Industry which takes advantage of tax incentives to locate in certain areas
* Hydroelectric and other forms of power generation
* Baseball
* Civil engineering under the auspices of the Corp of Engineers, including flood protection, etc.
* Education
* Parks and other recreation
* Religion (through lack of taxes on their business)
* Etc.

I'm proud the tea-baggers who have stopped using these services will save the rest of us a great deal of money. It's very selfless.
posted by maxwelton at 9:44 PM on September 12, 2009 [116 favorites]


I mean, this has got to be just a massive Improv Everywhere prank, right?
posted by staggernation at 9:45 PM on September 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


If I was running FEMA and if there really was a plan to round up and kill all these down-home patriots to ensure a Marxist dictatorship, I think it would be more efficient and less wasteful to just dig a big hole with an excavator and dump their bodies in it, rather than have to deal with all those expensive coffins.

Of course, I think if it really comes down to people getting rounded up, imprisoned, and killed in this country, it'll be people like we're seeing here who'll be helping out and running the roadblocks, and it'll be all the commie pinko anti-war troublemaker types who'll be in for it.
posted by dunkadunc at 9:45 PM on September 12, 2009


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

I for one am happy we live in a nation where we have freedom of speech.

Carry on.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:45 PM on September 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


Semantic point: Do these people realize that the Czarists were the ones who the Communists opposed? They know they were enemies, right?

The guy holding the sign looks to be about my age or maybe a little younger and thus a gen-X type. I assumed he was being ironic. The USSR had, of course, zero czars. It has to be an ironic reference, because otherwise it means this guy is essentially holding up a sign saying, "I AM REALLY FUCKING STUPID."
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:46 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Agent Ward

Where does it come from, all this hatred?

Agent Anderson

You know, when I was a little boy... ...there was an old Negro farmer lived down the road from us, name of Monroe. And he was... Well, I guess he was just a little luckier than my daddy was. He bought himself a mule. That was a big deal around that town. My daddy hated that mule. His friends kidded him that they saw Monroe ploughin' with his new mule... ...and Monroe was gonna rent another field now that he had a mule.

One morning that mule just showed up dead. They poisoned the water. After that there was never any mention about that mule around my daddy. One time we were drivin' past Monroe's place and we saw it was empty. He'd just packed up and left, I guess. Gone up North or somethin'.

I looked over at my daddy's face... ...and I knew he'd done it. And he saw that I knew. He was ashamed. I guess he was ashamed. He looked at me and he said..."If you ain't better than a nigger, son, who are you better than?"

Agent Ward

Do you think that's an excuse?

Agent Anderson

No, it's not an excuse. It's just a story about my daddy.

Agent Ward

Where does that leave you?

Agent Anderson

With an old man who was so full of hate... ...that he didn't know that bein' poor was what was killin' him.

posted by Joe Beese at 9:46 PM on September 12, 2009 [63 favorites]


There's a whole lot going on in this sign.
posted by ColdChef at 9:46 PM on September 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Semantic point: Do these people realize that the Czarists were the ones who the Communists opposed? They know they were enemies, right?

No, they know that "Communism is BAD" and "Russians ARE Commies" and "Czars are FROM Russia".

It's the Manichean world-view of children and imbeciles and isolated Neolithic tribes: the world is divided in two, us and our enemies. If you don't look and talk like "us", if you don't rub blue mud on your belly like "everyone does", you're the enemy.

Anything new or different is a threat until proven innocent. If we don't follow in lockstep the customs of our fathers and their fathers before them, the gods will become angry and punish us.

These are people, for god's sake, who scream "get government out of my Medicare" and vote for Republicans who want to take away Medicare over the Democrats who sweated to pass it. But the Republicans are the right color, and pray to the right god, and hate the right way.

Every setback, every economic dislocation, every illness, every time their insurance screws them over or they are taken advantage of by the snake-oil salesmen their ignorance attracts, is to them more evidence that the gods are angry and their "enemies" are active against them.
posted by orthogonality at 9:47 PM on September 12, 2009 [104 favorites]


Zing!
posted by Partario at 9:49 PM on September 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Freedom of speech does not guarantee (nor should it) freedom from the consequences of that speech.
posted by casarkos at 9:50 PM on September 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


There's a whole lot going on in this sign.

Sometimes I think they must be on 'shrooms when they come up with this shit. I've seen post-modern novels with less dense wordplay.
posted by empath at 9:51 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


GYOB
posted by Crabby Appleton at 9:51 PM on September 12, 2009


So everyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist?
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 9:52 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Zing!

How do you spell "Chief" right and not "Thief"? That's the kind of stupid you have to go out of your way for.
posted by empath at 9:53 PM on September 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


Frankly, it's easier to believe that Bush was a proto-fascist than it is to believe that Obama is a Marxist or communist, but only if you know what all those words mean.
posted by clockzero at 9:54 PM on September 12, 2009 [43 favorites]


POLITICIANS ARE REPRESENITIVES NOT ROALITY
posted by wemayfreeze at 9:55 PM on September 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


Do you think there's a market for right-wing sign proof-reader? I'm thinking of putting an ad on Beck's website.

"Don't let this happen to you! For the low-low price of just $9.99 I'll proofread your protest sign and correct any spelling or grammatical errors and any egregious historical errors. Errors of logic and reason are your own responsibility."
posted by empath at 9:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [16 favorites]


Do these people realize that the Czarists were the ones who the Communists opposed?

No.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [12 favorites]


Ah yes, it was a blast making fun of the stupid protest signs during the last 8 years. I'm glad that the blue is finally joining in on the fun.
posted by gyc at 9:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

Yes. Protesting the American government torturing people is exactly like protesting giving health care to poor people. What would Jesus do, indeed.
posted by EarBucket at 9:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [284 favorites]


Where was Glenn Beck dancing on stage with his solid gold T-Mobile Sidekick?

Opportunity missed.
posted by Brosef K at 9:57 PM on September 12, 2009


Can anyone explain this to me? I get most of his complaints, ignorant and misled as they are, but then I come to "Apollo." Is he blaming Obama for the moon landing? Is he upset about the BSG reboot, or does he think Obama's the guy who beat up Rocky Balboa? What's that about?
posted by EarBucket at 9:58 PM on September 12, 2009 [20 favorites]


I know this isn't the main angle of the post, but from the Ehrenreich/Muhammad op-ed:

In fact, you could say that for African-Americans the recession is over. It occurred from 2000 to 2007, as black employment decreased by 2.4 percent and incomes declined by 2.9 percent. During those seven years, one-third of black children lived in poverty, and black unemployment — even among college graduates — consistently ran at about twice the level of white unemployment. That was the black recession. What’s happening now is more like a depression.


Being in Detroit (current unemployment 29.8 percent) right now, it's the epicenter of this phenomenon. Black unemployment in MI is projected to reach 25 percent by 2010 (pdf link), currently 22.8 percent (12.9 for whites). That's the Great Depression right there. Localized, to be sure, but it's no exaggeration. Of my loose circle of friends in the city, probably 20 or 25 people, majority of whom are black and all of whom are between 21-24, I know one who has a job. And this is not even close to finished. Consider this:

GM is laying off 1,000 white collar workers in the next month. How many jobs depend on these jobs? How many are held by blacks?

The city of Detroit (unfortunately, the largest employer in the city) has to lay off 1000 city workers. How many are held by blacks? Undoubtedly a large majority. How many secondary job losses will come from this?

I wish I had some answers. Actually, I wish I had a job so I wasn't reading all these depressing articles all day while waiting for responses from potential employers that never seem to come.
posted by ofthestrait at 9:59 PM on September 12, 2009 [20 favorites]


So everyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist?

Ahem.
posted by ColdChef at 9:59 PM on September 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Ah yes, it was a blast making fun of the stupid protest signs during the last 8 years. I'm glad that the blue is finally joining in on the fun.

Our protestors were generally OVER-educated and under-employed. The anarchists might not have taken baths in a few days, but half of them had graduate degrees. I doubt you'll find many left wing protest signs written by illiterates.
posted by empath at 10:00 PM on September 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


EarBucket: I think they're talking about this group.
posted by enn at 10:02 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wait. So he's a liberal, fascist, commie, marxist, nazi, socialist, racist? I'm confused.

*sigh*

I'll try to explain it again.

He's BLACK. Don't you get it? BLACKITY BLACK. It's the WHITE House. He's all about those Russians. With the drugs that kill old people. In Kenya. Or Hawaii, I forget. And Czars - I think that's a drink that negroes and illegals like. If Chewbacca lives on Endor, then...then Obama, um, flew those planes into the Pentagon. Thank you, Glenn!
posted by obiwanwasabi at 10:04 PM on September 12, 2009 [29 favorites]


Forgive me, but I genuinely do not see how these current protestors are the same as the anti-Bush demonstrators in years past. Many of the photos linked here show truly ugly racism and ignorance (like this one, for instance, as linked above). I'm horrified, and absolutely stunned that anyone can find a way to justify this as some kind of political tit for tat. Seriously, Republicans? This is what you're all about now? I feel sick.
posted by Go Banana at 10:05 PM on September 12, 2009 [21 favorites]


Can anyone explain this to me? I get most of his complaints, ignorant and misled as they are, but then I come to "Apollo."

I'm more confused by what conclusion we're supposed to arrive at. Where do these dots/bullet points lead? I thought all would be revealed by the acrostic he appeared to be building but it spells "SGCCHCPAANC". Perhaps he pulled this from a really awesome powerpoint.
posted by Partario at 10:05 PM on September 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Thanks, enn. I've been trying to twist my head around that all day. I'm glad to know there's a simple, stupid explanation for it.
posted by EarBucket at 10:05 PM on September 12, 2009


Dont Barney Frank me.
posted by ColdChef at 10:06 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Where do these dots/bullet points lead?

According to the top of the sign, it's a connect-the-dots puzzle, but it's easily the worst one I've ever seen.
posted by EarBucket at 10:06 PM on September 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yes. Protesting the American government torturing people is exactly like protesting giving health care to poor people

Nice straw man there.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:07 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Can anyone explain this to me? I get most of his complaints...

While we're at it, what's a purpleshirt? I used to speak fluent nutcase, but I seem to be getting rusty.
posted by nebulawindphone at 10:08 PM on September 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


If you want to understand Glenn Beck's shtick, read the Paranoid Style In American Politics

Here's an excerpt -- (Keep in mind, this was written in 1964)
------
The paranoid style is an old and recurrent phenomenon in our public life which has been frequently linked with movements of suspicious discontent.

Here is Senator McCarthy, speaking in June 1951 about the parlous situation of the United States:
How can we account for our present situation unless we believe that men high in this government are concerting to deliver us to disaster? This must be the product of a great conspiracy on a scale so immense as to dwarf any previous such venture in the history of man. A conspiracy of infamy so black that, which it is finally exposed, its principals shall be forever deserving of the maledictions of all honest men.…What can be made of this unbroken series of decisions and acts contributing to the strategy of defeat? They cannot be attributed to incompetence.…The laws of probability would dictate that part of…[the] decisions would serve the country’s interest.
Now turn back fifty years to a manifesto signed in 1895 by a number of leaders of the Populist party:
As early as 1865-66 a conspiracy was entered into between the gold gamblers of Europe and America.…For nearly thirty years these conspirators have kept the people quarreling over less important matters while they have pursued with unrelenting zeal their one central purpose.…Every device of treachery, every resource of statecraft, and every artifice known to the secret cabals of the international gold ring are being used to deal a blow to the prosperity of the people and the financial and commercial independence of the country.
Next, a Texas newspaper article of 1855:
…It is a notorious fact that the Monarchs of Europe and the Pope of Rome are at this very moment plotting our destruction and threatening the extinction of our political, civil, and religious institutions. We have the best reasons for believing that corruption has found its way into our Executive Chamber, and that our Executive head is tainted with the infectious venom of Catholicism.…The Pope has recently sent his ambassador of state to this country on a secret commission, the effect of which is an extraordinary boldness of the Catholic church throughout the United States.…These minions of the Pope are boldly insulting our Senators; reprimanding our Statesmen; propagating the adulterous union of Church and State; abusing with foul calumny all governments but Catholic, and spewing out the bitterest execrations on all Protestantism. The Catholics in the United States receive from abroad more than $200,000 annually for the propagation of their creed. Add to this the vast revenues collected here.…
These quotations give the keynote of the style. In the history of the United States one find it, for example, in the anti-Masonic movement, the nativist and anti-Catholic movement, in certain spokesmen of abolitionism who regarded the United States as being in the grip of a slaveholders’ conspiracy, in many alarmists about the Mormons, in some Greenback and Populist writers who constructed a great conspiracy of international bankers, in the exposure of a munitions makers’ conspiracy of World War I, in the popular left-wing press, in the contemporary American right wing, and on both sides of the race controversy today, among White Citizens’ Councils and Black Muslims. I do not propose to try to trace the variations of the paranoid style that can be found in all these movements, but will confine myself to a few leading episodes in our past history in which the style emerged in full and archetypal splendor.
------------------------------

Feel free to insert your own Ron Paul, Alex Jones, or Glenn Beck rant.
posted by empath at 10:09 PM on September 12, 2009 [63 favorites]


ColdChef: "Wait. So he's a liberal, fascist, commie, marxist, nazi, socialist, racist? I'm confused."

In their mind they are all interchangeable and they all mean black.
posted by McSly at 10:09 PM on September 12, 2009 [12 favorites]


Nice straw man there.

Really? We were protesting the government torturing people. These bigots are protesting giving health care to poor people. You said: "Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration." Care to explain to me how it's a straw man? 'Cause it sure sounds to me like you're drawing an equivalence.
posted by EarBucket at 10:10 PM on September 12, 2009 [40 favorites]


Damn you empath! I was just searching Metafilter to see if "The Paranoids Style In Amewrican Politics" had been FPP'd, and since it hadn't, I was about to FPP it.
posted by orthogonality at 10:12 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Feel free. Make sure you also include links to Illuminatus!, Foucault's Pendulum and the Illuminati board game (which desperately, desperately needs an update.)
posted by empath at 10:13 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nice straw man there.

Note also that "the other side" spent a lot of time suggesting we were traitors and deserved jail time for our protests. Liberal commentators and politicians are not suggesting that these people be denied their right to free speech nor suggesting they are un-American.
posted by Partario at 10:16 PM on September 12, 2009 [56 favorites]


EarBucket: WTF is the Purple Shirts bullet point about? That makes no sense,
posted by nooneyouknow at 10:18 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Calling them stupid is the same as calling them unamericans.

I was being sarcastic in my comment about FEMA camps above, but conservatives were seriously saying that anti-war protestors should be shot or jailed for treason. Feel free to look up the archives at Orcinus for many, many examples of that (particularly in 2003 and 2004)
posted by empath at 10:19 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


WTF is the Purple Shirts bullet point about?

The "Purpleshirts" are the imaginary SEIU "thugs" who are supposedly beating up teabaggers at town hall meetings at Obama's behest.
posted by EarBucket at 10:19 PM on September 12, 2009


Purple Shirts
posted by empath at 10:20 PM on September 12, 2009


This guy's sign is working double duty. Is the government stupid, or the people around him? The word tax suggests the government would be imposing on its citizens, rather than paying out of government warehouses of stupid.

Perhaps he didn't realize a protest was going to be organized and was surprised to be surrounded by protesters after visiting the Lincoln memorial. Not wanting to present himself as an opponent of a racist angry mob, he constructed the sign, and crafted a message that would simultaneously please the mob and leave him with wiggle room on the historical record.

Well played, sir.
posted by pwnguin at 10:20 PM on September 12, 2009 [19 favorites]


Mixed metaphor.
posted by ColdChef at 10:21 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


yeah see well heres what you dont understand jr is that everyday bout one million canadas come pourin over our sacred borders to get away from commie care with its mandate enemas cuz over their doctors can force a tube up you butt and shoot water up there like hitler did too and another thing if its so good whats the thing with british teeth too obama likes helath care so much he should try kenya care they socialist as well like david vincent jericho said yesterday that obama want the government to grow pot for cancer people who dont even have citizen or maybe even cancer that we know of and force to you hang yourself cause your old and forget your viagra cause they will pay for a six year old to get abortion but not for you to get a boner and they wont even let you pray in communist hosptils either and my money is my money like ron paul said it isnt in the constirtuion or bill or rights read the tenth one if you havent yet teh people dont have a right to doctors the states retain all power not the goverment and not obama either or pelosi and i vote and pay taxes already and dont want to pay any more i got health care myself its a 44 magnum and ill shoot any cancer that tries it on me let it try teh cancer its like beck said mexicans got more health care than i got and dont pay for it all bu tobama dont even think about that cause someone has got to grow the doctor pot for the commies who dont even have jobs but say they got cancer and taxing my cigarettes too read the fist amendment if you forgot i got free speech but now obama is reading my email and this too but i dont care let em ill say out loud i dont want your government paws on my paycheck my doctor will tell me too that lawsuits are why health care is so expensive and guess what in case you forgot obamas a lawyer too and if you cant see whats going on there i feel sorry for you obama thinks hes jesus but if he was he could just cure the cancer people himself and not take my money. and another thing ive had three heart attacks and two bypasses and my doctor took good care of my and the nurse with the sponge bath too and i read the other day about this guy in britain who got a heart attack and tehy just wheeled him down to a basement and left him there for two years with a bucket to do his business in let him out with a cast on his leg which wasnt even broke to begin with michael savage said it first united we stand divided we fall and thats what obama is trying to do is divide us anyway so that we fall and guess whos there to grab us when we do the united nations who cant even find nukes in iraq and now their going to cure this boil on my back i dont think so see the thing is that lawsuits make doctors scared to treat people and then with social security being broke what are you going to do when government health drove private insurance out of business but puts you in front of a death panel too because read sarah palins facebook if you dont believe me she can see russia on her porch and saw what the communists called doctors and china makes you have abortions or puts you in jail so i suppose thats what you want then to have obama make you get an abortion jr or put you in jail and then you can marry the man in your cell and have all the sodomy and abortions that my taxes pay for yeah that my taxes pay for cause right now about sixty percent of my paycheck goes to abortions flu shots for swine flu for illegals that brought it here and the ice park that tom carlson hasnt ever even been in and now they cant even pay the pension but im supposed to use a cane for my gout because the lawyers wont let my doctor five me the pills i need cause teh fda wont let them make any money off it and heres a question how do think they make all those pills anyway science isnt free and if they cant make money they cant make medicine for you and for me but go ahead then give em your money and oh yeah your freedom too while your at it and see how you like.
posted by barrett caulk at 10:22 PM on September 12, 2009 [151 favorites]


The crowd size was estimated to be about 75,000 people. There were more people than that in Tuscaloosa today watching the Alabama Crimson Tide play Florida International University, whoever the hell that is. That crowd could all sit in the Rose Bowl and have 25,000 seats left empty.

This is not a mass movement. This is a tiny tantrum by ignorant pinheads.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:22 PM on September 12, 2009 [56 favorites]


Creepy bonus points.
posted by ColdChef at 10:23 PM on September 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


Barrett wins the thread we can close her down now.
posted by empath at 10:24 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


I plan to set orthogonality's comment to music, produce an opera around it, have it light painted on clouds and tattooed on my butt.

Well said.
posted by cccorlew at 10:24 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I seriously love this picture. The little guy's goofy hat and mustache, his scarf fluttering behind him, the fact that the rest of the picture's blurry and he's in perfect focus, the weird Chairman Mao-esque Palin sign. Wonderful.
posted by EarBucket at 10:26 PM on September 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


Also, I was in Washington for the Inauguration, and you know what? Two million people and nobody was climbing on the fucking statues.
posted by EarBucket at 10:27 PM on September 12, 2009 [17 favorites]


I just realized the Black Family Reunion was on the Mall on the same day. That must have been... interesting.
posted by empath at 10:28 PM on September 12, 2009


Pretty weak. Basically newsfilter with enough bias to push the usual buttons. GYOB.
posted by Kadin2048 at 10:28 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


If these people take over again, I'm out. They can have it I'll set up roots far away and watch with no regrets as they fulfill their own apocalyptic prophecies.
posted by dopamine at 10:29 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good thing we have socialized garbage disposal
posted by Flunkie at 10:29 PM on September 12, 2009 [10 favorites]


Nthing The Paranoid Style in American Politics. A well-done FPP would be very informative.
posted by Liver at 10:30 PM on September 12, 2009


So who else is writing about this stuff? Has anyone found good takes on What It Means, Where It Goes, or What We Do?
posted by wemayfreeze at 10:31 PM on September 12, 2009


Here's another shot of the guy in the picture EarBucket likes.
posted by Flunkie at 10:33 PM on September 12, 2009


Nope. No paranoia here.
posted by ColdChef at 10:33 PM on September 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


This sign's very professionally done. It really stands out in the sea of hand-scrawled illiteracy. This one, sadly, would have rhymed if he'd spelled it correctly. And this guy's just confused. Everyone knows it's the Jews who are the bloodsuckers, not the Muslims.
posted by EarBucket at 10:35 PM on September 12, 2009


Our marching orders are given to decease/destroy your socialist fascist dictatorship agender [sic]
posted by Flunkie at 10:35 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

Dunno which of us your folksy drawl is intended to encompass, but I can assure you that as repugnant as I found much of the previous administration's decisions, I didn't wish the President dead (or preach this wish from a pulpit), accuse him of treason, or otherwise stoop as low as the signage and discourse referenced in the links.
posted by desuetude at 10:36 PM on September 12, 2009 [29 favorites]


Some highlights here

The left has its lunatic fringe as well. But the fringe of the Republican Party is now indistinguishable from the mainstream of the Republican Party. How many GOP politicians have spoken out against Limbaugh, Beck, Malkin, the Birthers, the Deathers, the Tenthers? Few, and they get drowned out by the many who loudly endorse the hateful insanity. Anyone who gets their news from a range of sources, and remains proud to be a Republican today, is ignorant, or crazy, or bad.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 10:36 PM on September 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


I just realized the Black Family Reunion was on the Mall on the same day. That must have been... interesting.

Indeed:
There is a LOT of tension in the air. The fact that nearly ALL the tea-baggers are white hasn't been lost on the BFRC attendees—a group that is, I might mention, significantly more diverse than the tea-baggers.
posted by pwnguin at 10:36 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


I get most of his complaints, ignorant and misled as they are, but then I come to "Apollo." Is he blaming Obama for the moon landing?

Maybe he's blaming him for James Brown and Aretha Franklin.
posted by rokusan at 10:36 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nope. No paranoia here.

That seems like an ambitious plan, even for Obama.
posted by EarBucket at 10:36 PM on September 12, 2009


This all seems like a lot of frontier gibberish to me.
posted by pianomover at 10:41 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Heh.
posted by EarBucket at 10:42 PM on September 12, 2009 [7 favorites]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

Flagged for blood on your hands, you smug hypocritical Pharisee.
posted by joe lisboa at 10:43 PM on September 12, 2009 [48 favorites]


This is pretty horrifying to see but at the same time I gotta wonder what acronym made this woman in the background justify putting POOP on her shirt.
posted by saucysault at 10:43 PM on September 12, 2009


This sign's very professionally done.

It's from this site.
posted by empath at 10:45 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


what acronym made this woman in the background justify putting POOP on her shirt.

"Prisoner Of Obama's Policies." It's a Paultard thing.
posted by EarBucket at 10:48 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


As an Obamunism supporter, I'd totally put this one on my wall. That is a badass poster.
posted by Camofrog at 10:48 PM on September 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Hey Mack Daddy, Bubba sez we ain't gonna take it no mo.

Nope. Nothing racist about that.
posted by ColdChef at 10:49 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wish we had the image tag.

Pick one!

IT'S ALL AROUND YOU

posted by flatluigi at 10:49 PM on September 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Btw, are there any protest posters that actually made any coherent, well thought out, points?
posted by empath at 10:49 PM on September 12, 2009


Btw, are there any protest posters that actually made any coherent, well thought out, points?

What, you mean like calling for phasing in entitlement reform or capping malpractice awards or boring policy wonk stuff like that? How are you going to fit all that onto the same sign as your picture of Obama with a Hitler mustache?
posted by EarBucket at 10:52 PM on September 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


Here's another shot of the guy in the picture EarBucket likes

Et tu, Freddie Mercury?
posted by drjimmy11 at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2009


Thanks Earbucket! Googling "Obama Poop" was getting, er, interesting results.
posted by saucysault at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Judging by posts on the left wing blogs, half of the people in the crowd were left wing bloggers taking pictures of crazy people.
posted by empath at 10:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


Here's what I think the end-result of the GOP losing their collective minds is going to be. The GOP is going to be wiped out as a political force in every state north of the Mason Dixon line, and possibly the reverse will happen in the south.

This is probably a bad thing.
posted by empath at 10:59 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


"Really? We were protesting the government torturing people. These bigots are protesting giving health care to poor people. You said: "Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration." Care to explain to me how it's a straw man? 'Cause it sure sounds to me like you're drawing an equivalence."

The statement "This is what y'all looked like to the other side" doesn't imply that the arguments are equivalent, nor that they're equivalently correct. Just that the feelings that the respective viewers have when they see these pictures are the same that the other side had before.

If it makes it easier: imagine two friends, Alice and Bob.
Alice is convinced that coffee at the pancake shop costs $1.00. Bob is convinced it's $2.00. If Bob says vehemently "It's $1!", Alice will think he's totally wrong.
Alice is also convinced that you can use a Pentium in an AMD-based motherboard. Bob is convinced that you can't. If Alice says vehemently "You can!", Bob will think she's totally wrong.

Is the price of coffee in any way equivalent to the compatibility of CPUs in motherboard sockets? No, not at all. But that doesn't change the fact that the way Alice thinks in example 1 is the same way Bob thinks in example 2.

Now, personally, I don't think that the way we are looking at the folks here is the same as the way the righties looked at the lefties during the Bush administration. We think these people are crazy, and they thought we were crazy. So far so good. But we also think they look racist and often uneducated, which I don't think the right thought about the left during the Bush administration. But none of that has to do with whether protesting taxes is equivalent to protesting torture.
posted by Bugbread at 10:59 PM on September 12, 2009 [11 favorites]


Well EarBucket, I was inspired and after spending half an hour going down some pretty weird rabbit holes found the Apollo Alliance. Thanks Partario for taking the time to decode the sign -- SGCCHCPAANC was an interim name that the Checka took before becoming the GPU within the NKVD. Having read way to much of the stuff about the Denver Airport and the Nazi/House of Windsor/Skull and Bones connection, my brain was perfectly ready to perceive and accept the connection between sleeper agents of the RSFSR and what the right has rightly identified as some kind of Romanov surge. Note that if you use the proper spelling of czar to write the sign and then you use a key mapping direct to a Russian Cyrillic keyboard layout (not a transliteration mapping) the sign actually spells "TSARKANON". OK, so it was more than a half hour down the rabbit hole.
posted by cgk at 11:02 PM on September 12, 2009 [15 favorites]


Joe lisboa, while I think you and I are in agreement about many things, I can't agree with your asperity to St. Alia. Please consider toning it down.
posted by orthogonality at 11:03 PM on September 12, 2009 [4 favorites]


But we also think they look racist and often uneducated, which I don't think the right thought about the left during the Bush administration. But none of that has to do with whether protesting taxes is equivalent to protesting torture.

But, bugbread, if I understand you correctly (which I don't deign to claim I do) you still seem to assume that these protests are, in fact, about taxes per se. Which is bogus on its face since the selfsame poor whitefolk showing up to these things in fact received a tax break from our president and likely now pay less in taxes (income, or otherwise) than they did under W or certainly under, say, their idolatrous Ronnie Reagan. That's why this bullshit doesn't parse. It's not race, necessarily, but it's foolish at best to ignore the extent to which race (and mid-to-lower white class resentment) plays in this kabuki bullshit. I hope I misread you.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:03 PM on September 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


The crowd size was estimated to be about 75,000 people. There were more people than that in Tuscaloosa today watching the Alabama Crimson Tide play Florida International University, whoever the hell that is.

I was sitting in a crowd of 90,000+ screaming Florida Gators fans today thinking, "Damn, imagine if we put this much effort, money, and enthusiasm into healthcare reform!" Then I remembered, "Oh, yeah, Democrats abandon their grass-roots protesters like they did during the Iraq War protests, unlike Republicans, who support this shit to their highest echelons. Remember how the birther movement was entirely supported by the most powerful Republicans for a month until they finally had to disown it by voting for that 50th anniversary of Hawaii bill." And then I though, "Oh, yeah, the 'liberal' media pretty much ignored Iraq War protests, unlike the current media, the most powerful of whom actually openly supported it. In fact, actual popularity doesn't seem to have much to do with it when the richest and most powerful people in the world bankroll this shit. Motherfuck."

Then I said, "OH SHIT TOUCHDOWN! GO GATORS!"
posted by dirigibleman at 11:04 PM on September 12, 2009 [18 favorites]


Would it be considered in poor taste to get a bunch of people to attend these rallies with blank poster board and markers and have them make up correct versions of the most egregiously misspelled signs and then just shadow the person with the incorrect sign all day? Because I don't know what sort of point that would be making, but I'm pretty tempted to see what would happen.

Do they even notice the misspellings on other people's signs? Or has our educational system failed us so completely that all these people can gather together and none of them realize that they cannot spell? Or is it some kind of anti-intellectual perverse pride to misspell on your sign, like you're saying "Nun of that thar fancy edukashun stuff for us!"?
posted by hippybear at 11:06 PM on September 12, 2009 [23 favorites]


But we also think they look racist and often uneducated,

Well, to be fair, we did have the free-mumia crowd at the anti-war protests. But they could at least spell.
posted by empath at 11:07 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


lol
posted by Flunkie at 11:11 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


For Halloween, Obama needs to dress as the Heath Ledger Joker. Totally fuck with their heads.
posted by ColdChef at 11:12 PM on September 12, 2009 [52 favorites]


. . . the consistent branding of President Obama as “other” by his opponents has created a context within which it is perceived that Obama need not be treated as other presidents have been treated. The creation of that “otherness,” while possibly motivated by racial animosity, is certainly rendered more effective as a result of deeply held negative predispositions about African Americans. . . .
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:12 PM on September 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


Well, to be fair, we did have the free-mumia crowd at the anti-war protests. But they could at least spell.

Speak for yourself. I showed up for one complimentary Mumia. Imagine MY disappointment!
posted by joe lisboa at 11:13 PM on September 12, 2009 [12 favorites]


Anyone seriously comparing these guys to the people who protested the Bush adminstration doesn't understand either group. On the one hand, people marching in the streets to oppose two wars, government encroachment on civil rights, and torture, who at their worst compare Bush to Hitler. On the other hand, people marching in the streets protesting affordable health care, at their worst comparing Obama to Hitler, addended with a healthy dollop of racism, calls for assassination or secession, and bringing armed weapons to political events.

I suppose if you rub your eyes and squint real hard, both groups would look vaguely familiar, in that they are both comprised of homo sapiens bearing signs. So I guess you could say "this is what you looked like to us" if you regarded anyone protesting the government is all one group of people.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:14 PM on September 12, 2009 [27 favorites]


"But, bugbread, if I understand you correctly (which I don't deign to claim I do) you still seem to assume that these protests are, in fact, about taxes per se."

Sorry, I wasn't being particularly clear. These protests are about all kinds of stuff, from what I gather (keep in mind I don't live in the US, so my source of US politics is largely MeFi). Some protesters are there due to straight out racism. Some are there because they believe it's a tax issue, because they haven't really looked at their actual taxes, but believed it when other folks told them it was a tax issue. Some are there because they really hate socialism, except for all the parts which they've gotten so used to that they no longer consider socialism (road construction, police forces, etc.). Some for a whole mix of those, and, of course some for miscellaneous.

You, however, are misreading me, in that what I'm saying is: To say "this is what y'all looked like during the Bush administration" has nothing to do with what the protests are about. These people could all be protesting because they really, really hate names that start with vowels instead of consonants. The reason they are protesting doesn't affect that (if I'm reading us correctly) us MeFites, myself included, think these people are fucking crazy. And what St. Alia said was just that "this is what y'all looked like", that is, "when the right saw y'all's posters, they (we) thought y'all were fucking crazy".

Again, I disagree that they're equivalent, because we think they're crazy and racist and uneducated, and I don't think that parallels (they probably figured we were crazy and overeducated and god-hating). So I think St. Alia is partly right, but not totally right. But the point is, it doesn't matter what the protests are about, because St. Alia's comment only addressed what people looked like to the other side, not whether that was justified or not.
posted by Bugbread at 11:15 PM on September 12, 2009 [6 favorites]


Huh?
posted by enn at 11:16 PM on September 12, 2009


It hurts. I try to wrap my head around these signs and I just get a headache. So many of these signs are contracting the party they are supposedly standing for. There was one that said something about debt being the new slavery. ?! Why aren't you protesting the republicans and their preference to cozying up with corporate interests? And many other examples. It just astounds me that the misinformation is THAT complete, that insane.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 11:19 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Anyone seriously comparing these guys to the people who protested the Bush adminstration doesn't understand either group."

Nobody is doing that.

Someone is comparing people's reactions to other people's reactions. And a bunch of folks are for some reason interpreting that as comparing the protesters themselves.

Another example, if it makes it easy: My kid is 3 years old. He's scared of the big lovable Totoro from the children's movie. I'm scared of serial killers. The way he reacts to Totoro is the way I react to serial killers. That in no way implies that Totoro is like a serial killer. Anyone seriously comparing Totoro and serial killers doesn't understand either, but nobody is doing that.

(Note: I reserve the right to point out that I wouldn't be surprised if St. Alia actually does believe there's an equivalence. I'm just saying that what she has said so far does not imply an equivalence.)
posted by Bugbread at 11:20 PM on September 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


Gahd. America's supposed to be better than the shit those folk are showing the world. It's becoming downright embarrassing. Why the hell is your media giving voice to the worst of the batshitinsane contingent? It just makes all y'all look bad.

Contact your media and tell them that you've had enough with this bullshit¹. It's time to come back to reality. Let the Weekly World News serve as these people's voice.

For god's sake, a good media acts as a Filter. Don't show me the same stupid shit as I can find for myself on YouTube. The batshitinsane are a dime a dozen on the web, and they're way the hell more than "reality tv" news can show me. Fuck that shit. Give Me Filter.

I can't believe PBS hasn't been able to spin themselves into a seriously great reality-based, investigatory-based, happily-TIVOd success. I don't need 24hr news, I don't need real-time, I don't need fluff and I sure as hell don't need douchebag losers ranting their batshitinsane idiocy at me. I need knowledge, I need the truth, I need to be able to make informed decisions based on reality and long-term thinking.

Surely to god that's a popular enough thing that a buck-a-month subscription would amount to millions of dollars a month in cashflow.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:23 PM on September 12, 2009 [13 favorites]


enn, I was wondering about the smallpox thing too. I'm guessing that it's a new facet to Birtherism: "If Obama was born here, surely he can show us a smallpox vaccination scar."

Kind of like their recent idea that if he were born here, he could easily prove it by showing us that he is circumcised (I'm not kidding, unfortunately).
posted by Flunkie at 11:23 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


And this guy's just confused. Everyone knows it's the Jews who are the bloodsuckers, not the Muslims.

I guess the bloodsucking comes form the alien part, not the muslim part.


Now this guy has some balls
posted by delmoi at 11:23 PM on September 12, 2009 [38 favorites]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

Minus the mullets, of course.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:25 PM on September 12, 2009 [8 favorites]


¹MetaFilter, it's enough of this bullshit. Batshitinsane American politics is getting to be a daily FPP. Must it dominate our MeFi culture as much as it does the rest of our media culture? Can't we be something better? IMO YMMV IMBAH.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:25 PM on September 12, 2009


Kind of like their recent idea that if he were born here, he could easily prove it by showing us that he is circumcised (I'm not kidding, unfortunately).

The funny thing is, most birthers think he's a Muslim (I guess), but all Muslims are circumcised.
posted by delmoi at 11:25 PM on September 12, 2009


First non-white person I've seen, after hundreds of photos
posted by Flunkie at 11:26 PM on September 12, 2009


Also, because no one else has said it, "This is why we can't have nice things."
posted by five fresh fish at 11:26 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


No one's requiring you to click the links or read the comments, fff.
posted by Flunkie at 11:27 PM on September 12, 2009 [2 favorites]


If dislike Obama is racist, then there's quite a few self hating blacks (or would that make them Uncle Toms?).

I can't speak for Walter Williams or Thomas Sowell but the last guy I linked to hasn't been paid off.
posted by champthom at 11:27 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Which is bogus on its face since the selfsame poor whitefolk showing up to these things in fact received a tax break from our president and likely now pay less in taxes (income, or otherwise) than they did under W or certainly under, say, their idolatrous Ronnie Reagan. That's why this bullshit doesn't parse. It's not race, necessarily, but it's foolish at best to ignore the extent to which race (and mid-to-lower white class resentment) plays in this kabuki bullshit.

Not to defend the protesters (which I am not on the same side of), I believe their issue with taxes is that they will have to go up in order to pay for health care. More taxes on the rich, or on your employer-provided benefits, etc.

I mostly don't buy into that argument because we're all paying for each others health care right now - when someone goes to the hospital and cant afford to pay the bill (whether they're insured or not), that gets passed on to the rest of us who can afford it and we see it in the forms of higher premiums and crazy hospital costs. The hope is that if the hospital gets a check from the government for their care, they don't need to turn around and pull "cost recovery" on the rest of the paying customers.

Its not quite a zero sum game - we may save money by having things like emergency dialysis (which cost 3-4x regularly scheduled dialysis due to full batteries of tests, etc.) go away because people who would otherwise only be admitted to ERs when they were in severe enough condition would be able to see a doctor and have their scheduled dialysis (and the associated tests, etc) which would cost the taxpayers and customers less. But we also would be providing treatment not otherwise sought if the people seeking it had to pay (either a deductible or 100%).

Back on track on this thread, the most objectionable thing I've seen out of this movement was in my town, when a woman yelled heil Hitler (YT video in linked page) at a Jewish fellow attending a local town hall meeting in August while he was talking to the press. His response was outrage, as you could probably understand. He then responded by citing a personal incident where he was charged $8,000 for a 2 hour ER visit. Her response was faux-crying. Compassionate Conservatism my ass.
posted by SirOmega at 11:27 PM on September 12, 2009 [12 favorites]


Why the hell is your media giving voice to the worst of the batshitinsane contingent? It just makes all y'all look bad.

Very little of our news coverage is actually done as a public service or as part of the responsibility of the Fourth Estate or whatever. That all flew out the window when it was decided that the news divisions of networks and stations had to become profitable. The mingling of the profit motive with reporting has led us into the sad situation in which we find ourselves today. Sensationalism, endless recursive promotion ("What is killing your children? Details after the break!") a focus on outrage (crime and car accident reporting rather than local political machine coverage), and an endless stream of "yellow" words telling the viewer how to think about what they are seeing...

It all means that, in lieu of news coverage, we have competition for eyeballs. People like Beck and Hannity have shows because, even if people don't watch them firsthand, they say things so outrageous that they end up being covered by other reporters. The snake eats its own tail, and the truth, in its endless pursuit to entertain, not inform. Any information which happens is either so startling in context that it stands out (Maddow's show, for instance) or is buried as part of a comedy show where it loses its sting and keeps being entertainment.

As for the "liberal" media tag, I believe it was a character in the ill-fated "Studio 60 On The Sunset Strip" which said "Networks are owned by multinational corporations, and I have never met a single member of a board of directors who wasn't a Republican."

I can't believe PBS hasn't been able to spin themselves into a seriously great reality-based, investigatory-based, happily-TIVOd success.

PBS and its continued insistence on having shows about science or shows that come from the BBC means it is automatically suspect in the minds of many of those who would most benefit from having a ray of truth shine into their darkened lives.
posted by hippybear at 11:36 PM on September 12, 2009 [19 favorites]


Surely this is the point at which any remaining reasonable people abandon the Republican Party, Americans finally get assured access to health care, and the Green Party becomes the main opposition to the Democrats....
posted by parudox at 11:37 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

The key difference being we were right. And you were so completely and tragically wrong that thousands of your young soldiers have died for a dishonest war, and tens of thousands more injured, and tens thousands more so fucked-up by PSTD that they'll never really be safe. And your nation is bankrupt, and your healthcare is cripplingly broken, and New Orleans is still underwater, and it has All. Turned. To. Shit.

Thanks for nothing, asshole.

I for one am happy we live in a nation where we have freedom of speech.

The freedom to lead your country to ruin. Asshole.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:38 PM on September 12, 2009 [62 favorites]


I think I want to leave now.

The part I forgot about having a democrat in the White House is that These People emerge from their holes and start this sort of nonsense again. I guess this goes on among right-leaning white people all over the world, but ours do it so much better.

If I could pass one law, it would be that crypt-racists everywhere would be required by law to own up to their subtext, not be allowed to speak in these veiled terms. I guess that's what this really boils down to for me. When people were angry with the Bush administration they got out in the streets and (when not being arrested or rough-housed) said, "hey, you should know this Bush is not a very good person and he thinks it's okay to torture people and start three wars by his own admission." Nothing veiled, nothing dissembled. In the case of the Glenn Beck/birther/tea party contingent, nearly everything they have to say is obviously false—I suspect even to their side to some degree; if not false than at least easily shown to be dissembled and misconstrued.

I mean, is it honestly possible for people to really think this stuff? I just do not see any correlation between this and the protests against the last batch in the White House. I'm a grown man having lived through many presidencies, and I still can't for the life of me figure out what it is the right thinks it's winning when it conducts itself this way. That isn't hyperbole. I mean I really can't figure it out.
posted by littlerobothead at 11:41 PM on September 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


Nobody is doing that.

Someone is comparing people's reactions to other people's reactions. And a bunch of folks are for some reason interpreting that as comparing the protesters themselves.


What's the point of saying it then? "You receive the same visceral reaction to these people that we, on our side, received to your people."? Yeah, so what? They're not the same people. I think it's entirely fair to point out the huge differences between the two groups when someone makes an equivalence like this, because saying "they look the same to you as you look to me" is pretty damned close to an equivalence.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:43 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


The general period around when McVeigh bombed the Federal Building, I was 98% incommunicado in Tokyo. No TV. No internet. Only access to news was what I saw on the train advertising, or the occasional Japan Times or MND when I got totally English-sick.

F***ing heaven. I'm looking forward to returning to that existence this coming decade.
posted by Palamedes at 11:49 PM on September 12, 2009 [1 favorite]


Hating Obama does not equal being racist.

Hating Obama for no fundamentally logical reason, purposefully (or worse, inadvertently) crafting overtly racial slogans to put on your homemade signs, and comparing Obama to people such as: 1. a sociopathic serial killer movie villain and
2. the deadliest genocidaire of possibly all time,
to vilify him further based on your dislike for policies which you probably have not looked over or attempted to look over yourself, makes you racist.

And someone up there said, well, these people combined couldn't fill the Rose Bowl, so we're really overhyping it.

And yeah, the polls claim that 70% of us support these policies. But all it takes is one of that 30% of mostly deep-left-field crazier-than-crazy crazies to pull a trigger and we as a nation take a few steps backward.




A few days ago, I had this panic attack of sorts where all I could think about was how nice it would be to expatriate and rid myself of the spectre of the fundamentalist, hyperconservative extreme right. I settled down after a little while.

This brings it all crashing back.
posted by the NATURAL at 11:53 PM on September 12, 2009 [5 favorites]


The part I forgot about having a democrat in the White House is that These People emerge from their holes and start this sort of nonsense again

FWIW, I don't think this racist subtext is entirely or even substantially directed or driven by Obama specifically -- he's the whitest black guy I'm aware of, with University of Chicago cred to boot (though 95% of these cretins have no idea what this means).

The way I see it, this is a reaction to the hopes that minorities have in this administration. The better access to health care. That's the true fear of socialism, that when we start cutting the historically disenfranchised into first-class society, we will be overtaxed, literally and figuratively.

btw, these same idiots, 50 years ago.
posted by Palamedes at 11:55 PM on September 12, 2009 [3 favorites]


Calling them stupid is the same as calling them unamericans.

Oh, come on. This country is full of stupid people. Americans, mostly.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 11:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [9 favorites]


"Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration. "

yes - and that is problem how a significant portion of the country are unable to differentiate between:
i) the questioning of policy putting the lives of thousands of civilians in danger, thousands of American troops in danger, and Americas reputation internationally in danger (don't forget those protests were world wide) - not to mention those caught in the web of torture/detainment with no due process
and
ii) a hateful, racist, bigoted, ignorant, and personal attack on the president which seems more concerned with disseminated false information, conspiracy theories, and racial slurs than effecting positive change.

as pointed out above, it really boils down to a question of ""stop the bombs"
vs.
"stop the [black dude] from given poor health insurance"

I don't disagree we may have looked like this to you,
but that is why your party/movement is one fueled by hate and ignorance
and, everytime it claims to be the moral authority, an angel has it's wings torn off
posted by sloe at 11:56 PM on September 12, 2009 [18 favorites]


"What's the point of saying it then?"

One point I can think of is (for those that don't understand) realizing where the visceral reactions from the other side came from. I think there's always a point in understanding other folks' reactions to things. That doesn't mean you have to agree with them, by any means, but understanding is always important.

Sure, if you always realized that to the right the left looked like a bunch of wackos, then the comment is useless. But if you didn't, this can shed some light on that. As with all Metafilter comments, it isn't useful to everyone.

The second "point" is...well, basically, that Metafilter comments don't need a point. What was the point of the first comment: "This is beyond horrible." Yeah, we can all see that, so what? It's not news to anyone. Or the second comment: "So, is this a news round-up kind of post?" Or any of the other comments? By the "what is the point" rule, the only comments on MeFi would be the answers in AskMe and the "Additional information" links sometimes people put in the blue.

"I think it's entirely fair to point out the huge differences between the two groups when someone makes an equivalence like this"

I agree, but I wasn't seeing a lot of "sure, this group might look the same to us as we did to the right, but the fundamental and incredibly important difference is...", and instead a lot of "what are you talking about?! We're totally different!" That comes across as either a genuine misunderstanding the original statement, or an intentional straw man (A: "You looked like that to us" B: "Sure, protesting torture is the same as being racist")

"saying "they look the same to you as you look to me" is pretty damned close to an equivalence."

We're just going to have to disagree on that point. It's not the kind of thing that can be proven right or wrong.
posted by Bugbread at 12:00 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So I think St. Alia is partly right, but not totally right. But the point is, it doesn't matter what the protests are about, because St. Alia's comment only addressed what people looked like to the other side, not whether that was justified or not.

Well, I guess to be fair, one should expect someone who is batshitinsane to look at sane protestors with the same eye as sane people cast toward these batshitinsane idiots.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:01 AM on September 13, 2009 [14 favorites]


As I was writing the comment above, sloe made a perfect comment addressing St. Alia's comment:

"I don't disagree we may have looked like this to you,
but that is why your party/movement is one fueled by hate and ignorance
and, everytime it claims to be the moral authority, an angel has it's wings torn off"

posted by Bugbread at 12:03 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


And fresh five fish's latest comment is also on the money.
posted by Bugbread at 12:03 AM on September 13, 2009


I agree, but I wasn't seeing a lot of "sure, this group might look the same to us as we did to the right, but the fundamental and incredibly important difference is...", and instead a lot of "what are you talking about?! We're totally different!"

I think I addressed the differences pretty fully, and conceded that the two groups could look entirely the same if you had the zoom pulled so far back that any biped carrying a sign looked the same to you.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:09 AM on September 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


I guess this goes on among right-leaning white people all over the world

When it does, it's the supporters of tiny, far-right neo-facist groups, not the supporters of the second party in a two-party system. What's so fascinating about all this is the way that the Republican Party appears to have become the natural home in the USA for people who, in Europe, would be members of the BNP or the Front National.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:12 AM on September 13, 2009 [16 favorites]


Only the BNP have better brochures, written in neo-Mao. "Unite, citizens, and smash the encroaching EU invader and his imperialist lackey henchmen who would crush us under foot into the dirt of subjection with their boots of brutality!"
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:17 AM on September 13, 2009


Alas, Peter, the BNP is winning seats.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:19 AM on September 13, 2009


I still can't for the life of me figure out what it is the right thinks it's winning when it conducts itself this way

It's thinking 'Now there's a nigra in the White House, the black man is going to steal all our cadillacs and our monies, miscegenate with all our womenfolk and rise up and slay us all in our beds.'
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:20 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


what acronym made this woman in the background justify putting POOP on her shirt.

POOP = People Order Our Patties. She must be a Spongebob fan.
posted by amyms at 12:24 AM on September 13, 2009


Alas, Peter, the BNP is winning seats.

Sure, but that's primarily because over here, mainstream political parties do at least take the trouble to distance themselves from this kind of nonsense. The idea of a Conservative politician turning up to defend someone as batshit insane as Glenn Beck would be unthinkable. The party sacked Enoch Powell for his Rivers of Blood speech as long ago as 1968, and today that seems really moderate (and literate) compared to the stuff that these wackos have been spouting.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:26 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I am in favor of gun control.

Except for during moments like these--these seething, vicious, incandescent, rage-filled moments when I feel like I'm going to tear my own skin off unless I get to shoot every single one of those people in their guts, and watch them slowly bleed to death on the ground while I repeatedly kick them in their heads because I FUCKING HATE THEM, and what they stand for, and what they are doing to America SO. FUCKING. MUCH.

And that? Is why I am in favor of gun control.
posted by tzikeh at 12:32 AM on September 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


All right, I'm done looking through pictures of these people for now. I am going to sleep. But I will first state here what I've been incredulously muttering to myself quite often for the past few hours:

What the fuck is wrong with these people
posted by Flunkie at 12:34 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


This whole thing just makes me kinda give up on the US. Not in the angry outraged sense (since I no longer live there), but because I try to daydream of some kind of resolution to the whole left-right thing in the US, and I can't even daydream up a solution. If the only people involved were in their 60's, I could just think "Well, after a few more generations, maybe things will sort themselves out", but there are so many young people there, and the demographics so close to the way I faintly remember them from the 1980's, that it seems like a totally self-propagating system, and I can't imagine a way out of it.

When you can't even imagine a solution, you kinda run out of hope.
posted by Bugbread at 12:34 AM on September 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


Feministe musings on an Andrew Sullivan observation bring to mind divide and conquer strategies from a century or three ago:
I’m interested in this idea that it’s also in part pent up anger at Bush that could not be vented for cultural reasons. . . . It makes sense to me, that you could look at what white people are upset about other people doing or being and get a glimpse of the ways that Whiteness has fucked them over, but which they are culturally prevented from articulating. . . .
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 12:37 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


I find myself wondering if all of the people in those photos all actually have healthcare, either through their work or because they are independently wealthy.

I support the idea of universal basic health care. I know that my taxes will increase to pay for it.

I look at that crowd of protesters and I think: I know not all of you have access to healthcare. I know some of you have relatives who are worried about some cough, or have a daughter with an earache and a fever, and can't afford to see a doctor. I know some of you have some scary looking mole that should be looked at, or are feeling some lump in your breast, or have a family member who currently can't afford their diabetes medication, and you cannot afford to do anything about it, so you try to ignore it. And I think this is awful. In a nation with this much money, this is just not acceptable.

So, while I believe that the current solution, including the public option, isn't anywhere in the neighborhood of perfect, it will get you in to see that doctor or a great nurse practitioner, which makes it better than what we've got. I do think that coverage beyond the issue of basic preventative care needs to be spelled out, but I don't see why there isn't a robust discussion with data about what other countries are doing. My uncle in the UK is being treated for prostate cancer, just like my father here in the US. Perhaps the treatment strategies are different, but they are both alive and being cared for.

Therefore, I'm willing to throw my lot in with other tax paying folks out there and say that every child should have access to all of those preventative care options (regular dental cleanings, regular physicals, etc.) that will help them grow up healthy. And it's a cost, and it might not be financially fair, but that's the cost of being part of a community.

When I hear a fire truck go by my first thought isn't - crap, those are my tax dollars being wasted! That isn't even my house! And when I hear about someone getting unemployment, I don't think with distain "they should learn how to keep a f*ucking job!" I personally just have a 'there but for the grace of something or someone, go I", and just hope they are getting that check quickly, aren't abusing the system, but are getting something to eat that day til they get back on their feet. This country is better because most people agree that it doesn't really benefit the country heaps of houses burn down, or people starve. And we pay for those services. It's a smart investment. So why can't we get around the idea that are not individually served well if a significant portion of our population can't get access to care if they are sick?

So what kind of depresses me is looking at those photos and the sense that those folks marching don't see it that way. That even with the inevitable glitches and mismanagement that will come with this large enterprise, universal healthcare is still a smart investment, because investing in each other keeps this nation vibrant, and healthy and strong. I'm not even thinking about whether the public option means some 'undocumented' person is receiving care - because last time I checked they were anyway, to the tune of thousands of dollars, in the ER anyway. Highly ethical. Highly inefficient. So that's sort of a straw man argument for me.

I feel that the only way the idea of universal healthcare will be seen as a wise idea, is if there is a sense of community and national pride that involves investing in the wellbeing of each other - economic and physical, mental health wise, and on and on. I don't think embracing that idea means that we cannot appreciate initiative, hard work, civic duty, fair play and healthy competition.

This doesn't mean I want federal or local government to be 'big' or 'small'. To be clear: I want it to be the size where if my neighbor's house is on fire and I call 911, a fire truck shows up before it burns down my house with it. If you can't find work, there is some other option to get you money to feed yourself and your family that doesn't involve robbing me. And if any child or elderly parent needs a flu shot, they can get one, before becoming a disease vector, taking us all down with them. Right now it seems like we've got two-ish out of three-ish on those, so I suppose I just need to figure out how to do my part to push the public option through.

Thank you for providing a forum to let me get all that out of my system. That's been eating me up since all of that Hitler=Obama/death panels/marxism/what the hell? cacophony started deafening my ears. It's one thing if don't care for universal health care, but Hitler? How can you have a reasonable discussion when someone's waving a Hitler poster? People can be down-right evilish at times. Dang.
posted by anitanita at 12:39 AM on September 13, 2009 [124 favorites]


"The left has its lunatic fringe as well. But the fringe of the Republican Party is now indistinguishable from the mainstream of the Republican Party."

Exactly.
posted by bardic at 12:42 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


And to my knowledge, the left lunatic fringe in America hasn't blown up any federal buildings or assassinated any doctors yet.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:44 AM on September 13, 2009 [21 favorites]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

It's sadly hilarious that you don't understand how brilliantly your own statement condemns "the other side" for embracing exactly the kind of false equivalencies that this thread is pointing out.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:52 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


And that? Is why I am in favor of gun control.

Same sort of reason so many Republicans are in favour of homo control: they figure they wouldn't be able to control their guns, either.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:54 AM on September 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


five fresh fish: Same sort of reason so many Republicans are in favour of homo control: they figure they wouldn't be able to control their guns, either.

BOOOOOOOOOOOOMG hilarious

I look at the people who showed up with signs that said things like "We came unarmed... THIS TIME!" and I just think, I know how enraged I am, and I'm informed; I can only imagine how enraged these ignorant, Glenn-Beck-fueled people are, and they're the ones with the guns.
posted by tzikeh at 1:03 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wanna know how to end the Tea Bag Insurrection?

Sabotage their Garmins. A TV-B-Gone except for Garmins. Mr. and Mrs. Paul Revere won't make it to Lexington in their late model Lincoln Town Cars if their GPS done gone out. Somebody get the fellows over at MAKE or ThinkGeek to cook something up. Revolution averted. All for $9.99 including shipping and handling.

"One, if by land. Two, if by sea. Three, if by... oh, shit, mother. The Garmin's gone out."

They'll all end up at a rest stop in Delaware. Where the Obamanauts can round them up and deliver them to the nearest death panel for processing into delicious, healthy Soylent Green.
posted by Brosef K at 1:18 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


These fucking people...they don't know things..about anything..at all...and that's just how they role.

It's obvious they're not fooling themselves about going extra batshit on account of the negro, and they're not fooling us, so...why bother? Why not just go full "no niggers in the white house"?

These fucking people...jesus christ...they are cancer.
posted by HotPants at 1:21 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wonder how long til one of these shitbags blows up some federal building?
posted by EatTheWeak at 1:27 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every year an ever dwindling number of devotees of Stalin gather in Red Square.

Glenn Beck and the Teabaggers, unaware of events in nations not named Nebraska or Narnia, do not realize how similar they are to the sad, ignorant, mostly elderly hold-outs from a disastrous and deprecated tyranny who gather to hold a bitter vigil which is regarded as kitsch spectacle by pretty much everyone else on the planet. When you fear the future, even a disastrous past seems comforting.

Teabaggers of Red Square
posted by Brosef K at 1:31 AM on September 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


I am a vegetarian, but if Obama makes those teabaggers into Soylent Green, I will feast on their delicious sofa-softened flesh with naked delight.

That's what atheists do. Kill and eat. Eat and kill. It's all we know. Morality and compassion are foreign to us. We live by the raw and terrifying code of nature. Like wild beasts. With a taste for human meat!

And tiramisu.
posted by Brosef K at 1:36 AM on September 13, 2009 [24 favorites]


So I think St. Alia is partly right, but not totally right. But the point is, it doesn't matter what the protests are about, because St. Alia's comment only addressed what people looked like to the other side, not whether that was justified or not.

ObSimpsons: This cute little puppy stands up and walks around, just like Rory Calhoun.
posted by vanar sena at 1:37 AM on September 13, 2009


Since we're talking about race and stuff, I found this last night when I wanted to know what "14 years transportation" meant (it was the sentence for poaching pheasant in pre-modern England).

It's kinda a tough slog but really highlights what a screwed up society we inherited from our English overlords in the 18th century. Echoes remain today.
posted by Palamedes at 1:43 AM on September 13, 2009


"And tiramisu."

Which is crazy easy to make, for even the most incompetent cook. Made some yesterday!
posted by Bugbread at 1:46 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


On Aug. 16, pastor Steven L. Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church in Tempe, Ariz., told his congregation that he prays for the death of President Obama. In a sermon titled "Why I Hate Barack Obama," Anderson preached: "I'm not going to pray for his good, I'm going to pray he dies and goes to hell."

15Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. 16Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 17Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. 18A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. 19Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. 20Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Matthew 7
posted by JHarris at 1:46 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Perhaps St. Alia can elaborate on what she means, unless this is another hit-and-run bon mot from her, because I think it's warranted. "Our side" looked like what? Racists? Lunatics? What? There's not enough there to really flesh out an interprettation, but my guess is something along the lines of "Well, you liberals marching against Iraq looked just as crazy as these people marching against a health care plan." I'm curious to hear how the two sides "look" at all similar, provided this isn't some "I'm rubber you're glue" pout.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 1:48 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


that's just how they role.

That misspelling came out kinda cool.
posted by telstar at 1:49 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Glenn Beck and the Teabaggers, unaware of events in nations not named Nebraska or Narnia, do not realize how similar they are to the sad, ignorant, mostly elderly hold-outs from a disastrous and deprecated tyranny who gather to hold a bitter vigil which is regarded as kitsch spectacle by pretty much everyone else on the planet.

This is exactly it. Perhaps what we're seeing here is the result of 40 years of knowledge deformed by the cold war.
posted by Monsters at 1:49 AM on September 13, 2009


>> And to my knowledge, the left lunatic fringe in America hasn't blown up any federal buildings or assassinated any doctors yet.

A lot of conservatives consider Kaczynski a leftist. And like the Saddam-caused-9/11 fabrication, it gets repeated and to these people fact checking is for eggheads. I actually read the entire Unabomber Manifesto.

Back when Kaczynski was apprehended, the right wing echo chamber decided that a talking point/meme was going to be "Ted Kaczynski: Left Wing Terrorist." They intentionally misrepresented him as a spiritual, if not outright, ally of the Earth First! brand of so-called eco-terrorism.

They figured he fit the profile. Living the "hippie" lifestyle in a lone cabin, taught at UC Berkeley, anti-corporate, and of course, homicidal. It was a manifestation of their straw man made flesh. Except Kaczynski is a conservative. The Unabomber Manifesto is a right wing screed against liberals, scientists, uppity women, and PC jihadists.

You always have to fact check these people because they are absolutely shameless in their lies and ignorance. Good luck finding the Unabomber Manifesto at your local library. We like to think we don't ban books in the United States, but actually we're quite good at it.
posted by Brosef K at 1:53 AM on September 13, 2009 [18 favorites]


ColdChef: "Wait. So he's a liberal, fascist, commie, marxist, nazi, socialist, racist? I'm confused."

He's a communist fascist!
A Nazi Zionist!
A biracial bigot!
A spineless, appeasing, Chamberlain-esque warmonger!
A messianic celebrity that everyone hates!
A Machiavellian rhetorician that can't speak without a teleprompter!
And a gay womanizer, to boot!
posted by Rhaomi at 1:59 AM on September 13, 2009 [22 favorites]


Back when Kaczynski was apprehended, the right wing echo chamber decided that a talking point/meme was going to be "Ted Kaczynski: Left Wing Terrorist."

I remember that. I recall some wondering if Kaczynski was a member of Greenpeace or PETA as well. Even though anarcho-primitavist is probably as far to the right as you can get, I'm sure if FOX News had been covering his arrest today, the screen banner would read TED KACZYNSKI (D-MT).
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:04 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


"How do you spell 'Chief' right and not 'Thief'? That's the kind of stupid you have to go out of your way for."

I don't think thieve is spelt wrong; it matches up with commandeer.

"ColdChef: 'Wait. So he's a liberal, fascist, commie, marxist, nazi, socialist, racist? I'm confused.'

"In their mind they are all interchangeable and they all mean black."


That can't be right, they call Canadians commies all the time and only 2% of us are black.
posted by Mitheral at 2:07 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


You know who else was black?

Yeah.
posted by davemee at 2:12 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Good luck finding the Unabomber Manifesto at your local library. We like to think we don't ban books in the United States, but actually we're quite good at it.

Any library with an internet connection will have a copy.
posted by hippybear at 2:12 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Brosef K: "You always have to fact check these people because they are absolutely shameless in their lies and ignorance. Good luck finding the Unabomber Manifesto at your local library. We like to think we don't ban books in the United States, but actually we're quite good at it."

Your evidence doesn't seem to support your conclusion. Industrial Society and Its Future isn't a book, wasn't widely distributed outside of newspapers, and is available in any library with an internet connection (IE: Practically all of them).
posted by Mitheral at 2:33 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


So this is the value mass media add now, at least the time cube guy had his own website.
posted by Samuel Farrow at 2:43 AM on September 13, 2009


Hey you people, stick of gum?
posted by twoleftfeet at 2:48 AM on September 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Industrial Society and Its Future isn't a book, wasn't widely distributed outside of newspapers, and is available in any library with an internet connection (IE: Practically all of them).

The people at A.N.U.S. also have a copy you can read online. It's a dense piece. Give it a shot and who knows? Maybe you'll end up agreeing with him.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:55 AM on September 13, 2009


I don't think thieve is spelt wrong; it matches up with commandeer.

yes, the real problem with that particular effort is that the President's constitutional role is Commander in Chief.

One wonders how many of these patriots could tell you which Article of the Constitution this appears. The freepers are generally marginally better read than the Perotists, Paultards, and those who get their information via Fox.
posted by Palamedes at 3:00 AM on September 13, 2009


From the NY Times article in the original post:
An article on the Fox News Web site has put forth the theory that health reform is a stealth version of reparations for slavery: whites will foot the bill and, by some undisclosed mechanism, blacks will get all the care.

Where is this? I cannot find it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 3:12 AM on September 13, 2009


I don't know how you people can say things that are similar to what Glenn Beck is saying, because I heard that Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. I don't know for a fact that Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990, but some people say that Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990, and Beck hasn't denied it. Why hasn't he denied it?

I don't know what's happening to this country, where you could have a major TV personality on the air, maybe talking to our children, who may or may not have raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. It really saddens me (now I'm crying).

Please write to your congressman to demand a full inquiry into whether Glenn Beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990. Our constitution depends on it. Sob. Sob.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:24 AM on September 13, 2009 [18 favorites]


I was stupid enough to get in a Twitter fight about this, this afternoon.

Looking at this from outside America, I'm still deeply disturbed and intrigued by it. I don't know what these people want. I mean, protestors generally want something, or want to stop something. What do these people want? Capitalism? Their existing freedoms which are not under threat? Wow, how fucking revolutionary!

As far as I can see, Obama is actually kinda cosy with the health care industry. He received some not-insubstantial funding from their lobbyists. The plan he wants congress to pass isn't revolutionary at all - it fiddles around the edges, it tries to be as inoffensive as possible. It's not establishing universal public health care, now, is it?

So, when I see that (a) Obama isn't actually really doing anything that contraversial and (b) People are really really angry about what Obama's doing, I come to two possible conclusions. These people are either racist, or being paid to protest.

I said as much on Twitter, mainly out of fascination at the excitement supporters of these protests were displaying on the net...like they'd never gone on a march or held a sign before...all their glorious claims that 2 million people showed up. Contraversy about how many people showed up is par-for-course with protest marches for all kinds, but these people had never experienced it before, so they take Michele Malkin's figures as gospel. It was weird. A movement that had nothing to be angry about was celebrating the fact that they'd gone for a walk holding some nonsensical signs. Racism? Rent-a-crowd?

Man, I shouldn't have stuck my head up above the barricade. I was quickly sent pictures, with a stylized police officer beating a man on the ground, with the caption "Warning! Disagreeing with Obama means Liberals will call you racist!". I was abused for not being American and daring to comment, told to enjoy my 3rd world socialism, told I should get lost because America has the best health care in the world, told that they weren't being paid to protest, it's all the liberals who are all being paid by Obama for their support. And there was a lot of other weird paranoid references I couldn't quite understand. Anyway, it was fascinating - the "teabaggers" seem a little sensitive to people discussing them, let alone criticizing them.

Seeing these signs is amusing, but I still feel disconcerted. I mean, I'm pretty far to the left, but I'm often embarrassed by the signs and fringe causes that have turned up at protest marches I've been to. I've told the guy wandering around selling the Workers Weekly for $2 to get lost. I've felt disdain in regards to the young Trots who feel they can use a protest about climate change to display their banner showing solidarity with the Palestinians. Do the people in these right-wing protests look around and see the stupidity?

As others have pointed out above, maybe I'm confused because this seems to be a very unique movement, compared to right-wing protests we see overseas. A right-wing protest, in my part of the world, would involve a dozen skinheads chanting "Asians Out!". The idea of a conservative movement, going on protest marches, supported by a major, major political party, comparing their president to Hitler over a purely theoretical change in tax and health policy is just fucking unbelievable.
posted by Jimbob at 3:41 AM on September 13, 2009 [11 favorites]


Okay, on one hand, my first reaction was 'can't any of these people put together a sign without a problem with grammar or spelling'?

But my second reaction is that it concerns me that the Flickr group appears to be called 'meetthecrazies'.

It's instantaneously marginalizing them and painting them as stupid racists when maybe they might not all be.

I don't know -- when you tar people with that brush you lose all chance of ever having a meaningful dialogue.

I'm not saying that it isn't clear that plenty of them are stupid racists. Plenty of them are stupid racists. Lots of them just don't know what they're talking about. But most have been manipulated in some way by someone who is describing their opposition with accusations that are practically written in crayon: HE'S A COMMUNIST.

So I don't think it's all that much more appealing or useful when my team is doing it. Not that it isn't fun to make fun of people, not that it isn't fun to make fun of these people.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:45 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The thing that really freaks me out is that my parents, who are strict conservatives, are out there protesting and staging sit-ins, while I'm trying to tell them not to listen to crazy ideas and to respect the powers-that-be.

It's like the '60s in reverse.

Minus the drugs and free love stuff. My parents are against that.
posted by twoleftfeet at 3:47 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


"So, when I see that (a) Obama isn't actually really doing anything that contraversial and (b) People are really really angry about what Obama's doing, I come to two possible conclusions. These people are either racist, or being paid to protest."

There's a third choice: (c) They don't really know if Obama's doing something controversial, but they've been told that by everyone around them and their favorite FOX news, so they believe it must be true. Sure, there are a bunch of racists, but I can't believe that every single person there is racist, and, if not, the only other choice given is that they're being paid, which also seems unlikely (sure, some of them, but there must be some that are in neither camp). I've gotten dumb-ass emails from distant relatives (not about health care, but other left-right issues), and this was before Obama was president. There was no racial component to them, but I know my relatives weren't being paid either. They just get their news from severely warped sources, and believe that news.

Now, why the news itself reports things that way (like the death panels, wtf??), I don't know. Maybe it's racism, maybe it's money, maybe it's something else. But when it comes to the people holding the actual protest signs, honest and completely wrong belief cannot be so easily ruled out.
posted by Bugbread at 3:48 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Also, I really wish we could retire "teabaggers" because eventually I'm going to have to listen to my mother reference it and the resulting cultural black hole is going to destroy us all.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:50 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


That's very true, bugbread. I guess I just have a hard time understanding the mechanics of people who believe everything they see on TV.
posted by Jimbob at 3:52 AM on September 13, 2009


I think the problem is that it's not just TV: they're seeing it on TV, they're reading it in articles, they're getting email forwards about it, they're seeing it on blogs, they're hearing it from their friends.
posted by Bugbread at 4:14 AM on September 13, 2009


Looking at these pictures all sorts of questions spring to mind.

Why are these guys dressed as Native Americans?

Why is all the text on this sign in creepy kidnapper style cut out letters except the last line?

Is that the Heath Ledger version of the joker? What does that mean?

Why does this flag have a three in the centre of the stars? Some kind of subtle reference to the Third Reich?
posted by Mitheral at 4:15 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Why are these guys dressed as Native Americans?

Many in original Boston Tea Party were dressed up as Native Americans in order to protect their own identities. These people are using that as pastiche and trying to be clever.
posted by amuseDetachment at 4:34 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I wrote out a little tirade about this whole matter, but I think bugbread covered it quite well. It isn't moral equivalency at stake here, it's simply that many of these protesters truly believe what they're saying. It's a lot less controversial than one would think.

I think the racists in the crowd are just riding coattails. They see a group that goes against the black guy, they're fine with chanting Atwater's "Nigger Nigger Nigger" underneath "Tax cuts", "Tort Reform", "Obamacare", or anything else.

I also believe that more of this has to do with abortion than people let on. The idea that tax money could be spent on abortion brings about gut reactions of state-sponsored murder. Plenty of the rank-and-file believes that very firmly. The talking heads and elected officials may not, but if their supporters do, then that's where they pander.
posted by Saydur at 4:34 AM on September 13, 2009


I can't believe I'm admitting this, but for the first time in my life I honestly feel like I need a semiologist to sit me down and walk me through some of the stuff in these pictures.
posted by Ritchie at 4:41 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


My wife and I were on our way to see 9 yesterday afternoon, and ended up in the middle of a big group of these folks on DC's Metro. Guess they don't have any qualms about taking socialized transportation.
posted by MrMoonPie at 4:53 AM on September 13, 2009 [15 favorites]


Metafilter: Errors of logic and reason are your own responsibility
posted by prak at 4:57 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Sane Americans, you need an 'Ordinary Obama Supporter' movement. I'm not kidding. Not as a display of blind loyalism, but just basic support for a president who's so far been OK.

These fringers need so see that there are lots of real live two-legged human beings out there who don't share the paranoia.

Make some nice designs for shirts and badges, and wear them.
posted by Anything at 5:02 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


"In their mind they are all interchangeable and they all mean black."
That can't be right, they call Canadians commies all the time and only 2% of us are black.


No big deal, 'Canadian' already means black.

Anway, while I'm sure that some of these people are racists, I don't think it's the only motivating driver. Racism, while it exists has morphed into a seething hatred of liberalism and everything it stands for. Don't you remember the 90s? Clinton wasn't black but they just as out of their minds back then. Don't you remember? They blew up a building.
posted by Paris Hilton at 5:12 AM on September 13, 2009


I'm drunk enough to play amateur semiologist. Or semiotician, take your pick.

Is that the Heath Ledger version of the joker? What does that mean?

Obama with Joker makeup is a very common icon among anti-Obama activists. See that now infamous "Socialism" poster for the main example. Google it yourself, I don't want to help anyone with page views.

It's not just saying Obama is sinister, it's also some weird twist to make mockery in blackface "acceptable", at least as far as I can parse it out.


Why does this flag have a three in the centre of the stars? Some kind of subtle reference to the Third Reich?

"Three Percenters" are some kind of pro-gun, quasi-militia type group named after the idea that 3% of the colonists is all it took to fight and win the American Revolution, and so that's all it will take to overthrow the current "illegitimate" government if necessary.
The Three Percent today are gun owners who will not disarm, will not compromise and will no longer back up at the passage of the next gun control act. Three Percenters say quite explicitly that we will not obey any futher circumscription of our traditional liberties and will defend ourselves if attacked. We intend to maintain our God-given natural rights to liberty and property, and that means most especially the right to keep and bear arms. Thus, we are committed to the restoration of the Founders’ Republic, and are willing to fight, die and, if forced by any would-be oppressor, to kill in the defense of ourselves and the Constitution that we all took an oath to uphold against enemies foreign and domestic.
So you can guess what kind of numbers the movement is aiming for today.

I won't link here, but if you Google "three percenter" you'll find links to many blogs and forums, some of which are selling various versions of that flag.
posted by rokusan at 5:17 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think it would be fun to be a guy with a slight libertarian bent who opposed national health care because he was suspicious of the efficacy of the particular reforms Obama proposed and worried about eventually lowering compensation levels for medical research companies and bending the curve on medical innovation.

And then he goes to one of these rallies and sees the confederate flags and the people arguing that Obama is not American because check out his fucking name, it's not Steve is it?

I remember when I was at the Iraq war protest and I thought it was sort of silly and regrettable to have signs about how meat is murder and anti-zionist banners. Some pretty embarrsing stuff too like zionism=nazism signs. At an Iraq war protest. As bad as that was people there I'm pretty sure if you asked them why we shouldn't go to Iraq they could have given you an answer, a sane if maybe unnuanced answer grounded in the actual downside of war.

This time though, wholly shit what do they even actually object to? It's a weird sci fi protest against things that aren't happening and probably never will. It isn't even a straw man, it's a straw 80' tall octopus with three beaks and the heads of Judas, Cassius, and Brutas.
posted by I Foody at 5:38 AM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


It does but little good to get crazy over the anti-Obama stuff going on nation-wide. This is not going to change. What is needed is to see the trends: the conservatives, with no real agenda, if they are benign, are simply not able to accept the fact that they lost in the last election. Others are perhaps racist, rednecks etc. But for the future, those in the middle and left of the middle need to aim for the growing independent votes and support. The kooks will continue to shout nonsense such as Socialism, smaller govt, no deficit etc but they do not know much about the causes or their own history.

A real issue? as the economy gets better--and there are signs it is getting better--the focus will be on jobs. Time mag this week had a very big article on the simple fact that we are not going to have anywhere near the full or nearly full employment we used to have. The article for all its professionalism missed a very simple paradigm, which is:

Blue collar jobs go to China
White collar jobs go to India
Hands on jobs stay here: military, cops, nurses, teachers, taxi drivers, restaurant helpers etc.

colleg? not sure what that will get you down the road. But soon we will hear endlessly about how a good liberal education is a helpful asset.Prehaps so, for NSA, CIA, FBI etc.
posted by Postroad at 5:42 AM on September 13, 2009


Someone didn't understand Atlas Shrugged.
posted by EarBucket at 5:45 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Don't mess with me, I get the code here. "What would you do-o-o for a Klondike Bar." I get it, ok?

In "I Never Met the Dead Man" on Family Guy, a commercial asks several questions. The announcer's last question is, "Would you...kill a man?" The man promptly shoots someone for a Klondike bar.

Kanye West on his 2007 song "Stronger," states "they'd do anything for a Klondike, well I'd do anything for a blonde dyke."

Jeff Dunham, a ventriloquist, referenced the slogan using Achmed, the dead terrorist, with Jeff saying, "You would kill me for a bunch of virgins?" and Achmed replying with, "Are you kidding me? I'd kill you for a Klondike."

"Klondike" is a brand name for a dessert generally consisting of a vanilla ice cream square coated with a thin layer of chocolate-flavored coating. So, stop it.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 5:46 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


not everyone who disagrees with Obama is racist. But then there is this to check out:

http://www.whitebirdbrowser.com/
posted by Postroad at 5:50 AM on September 13, 2009


Huh?

One of the lies being circulated by the teabagger crowd is that the swine flu scare is all an evil plot by the Obama administration to force conservatives to take the flu vaccine, which will give them swine flu and kill them. I think this guy's just confused about the precise details of his batshitinsane conspiracy theory.
posted by EarBucket at 5:52 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


1. To say that "we were marching against torture and they are marching against universal health care" says nothing other than "I like my political agenda better than their political agenda". I happen to like universal health care better than torture myself. But that doesn't prove anything. (The people who prefer universal health care to torture do seem to have better spelling skills. But that may not prove anything either.)

2. Of course it's possible to hate Obama and/or his policies without being a racist. [I hate him/them - for different reasons than these people, I'm sure - and I'm often surprised to be reminded that he's black. When you're not a racist, it's the kind of thing that can become invisible through familiarity.] However, I'm sure that such Republicans, however many or few there might be, never considered attending that rally for fear of being associated with all those racist signs people were carrying.

3. Glenn Greenwald usefully reminds us that there's nothing new about right-wing attempts to deligitimize and/or threaten a Democratic president. So in that sense, the racial hostility is incidental. Just them doing what comes naturally, I suppose.

4. Everything orthogonality said.
posted by Joe Beese at 6:05 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


*delegitimize

serves me right for bringing up spelling
posted by Joe Beese at 6:08 AM on September 13, 2009


So much for the "truthiness" (in my statements to fellow netizens who don't read MeFi) about the intelligent debates and civil discourse held here. Sigh.

Then again, there wasn't much civility in the many of those signs (equating Obama to Hitler is nonsense and the vile, obviously-racist signs & shirts negate whatever message - still not sure what the protest was truly for - the march was trying to convey). However, I wonder what the percentage of nutjobs was out of the large number of "protestors".
posted by hrbrmstr at 6:15 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


And again, the more they do this kind of shit, the more I wish that Obama really was secretly planning to round these people up into FEMA camps.

What an awful thing to say. I don't agree with most of what these people are saying, but I will defend to the death their right to say it.
posted by Scoo at 6:20 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's like I'm constantly fighting off a Denial Of Reality Attack here.
posted by The Whelk at 6:28 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Flunkie: ""When we smell the burning flesh from the ovens it will be to [sic] late for us all"

Wow.
"


I like the word "SOCIALISM" at the bottom. Because, you know, the Nazis were actually kind of opposed to Socialism. Fought it, in fact. In World War II. Where you American guys were sorta allied with the Socialists; the Russians, you know. Just sayin'.

What strikes me most when looking at these posters is how incredibly, horribly uninformed most are - there are claims and assumptions that would not stand up to a two-second google, not to mention a half-hour well-reasoned speech. I cannot imagine how one can go through life being so willfully ignorant as to be able to keep those mindsets. I mean, social healthcare is a sign of a 3rd world country? Honestly? Obama is a Marxist? How?
posted by PontifexPrimus at 6:29 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]



The people displaying those signs, placards and tee shirts are first and foremost an indictment of our educational system. They would find the concept of cognitive thought.....oh, never mind.
posted by notreally at 6:31 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

except we hadn't run out the local gun shop on ammo
posted by pyramid termite at 6:38 AM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


I was a witness to an antiwar rally back when Bush was in office (held at our local park down the street from where I lived at the time.)

They had their share of nutjobs.

Just saying.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:46 AM on September 13, 2009


I also believe that more of this has to do with abortion than people let on. The idea that tax money could be spent on abortion brings about gut reactions of state-sponsored murder. Plenty of the rank-and-file believes that very firmly

Quoted for truth.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:47 AM on September 13, 2009


Except it's not truth at all, it's a vicious lie spread by people who know better. The bill does not use taxpayer funds for abortion, and in fact, doing so has been illegal since the 1970s and continues to be illegal.
posted by EarBucket at 6:49 AM on September 13, 2009 [28 favorites]


I think this guy is carrying on a conversation in his head-- one where he plays Rambo and a commie fascist Marxist demands to see his "trigger."
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 6:52 AM on September 13, 2009


I also believe that more of this has to do with abortion than people let on. The idea that tax money could be spent on abortion brings about gut reactions of state-sponsored murder. Plenty of the rank-and-file believes that very firmly

Quoted for truth.


Quoted for truthiness.
posted by Doktor Zed at 6:52 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


The anti-war protests were pretty cut-and-dried, with some Black Block anarchists fucking things up for everyone on the fringes. War is bad as it kills innocent people, which is unquestionably true, and the resons given for the War with Iraq were trumped up and leading us to disaster, morally, strategically and economically, which, at the time, was debatable (and since proven absolutely, dead-on-correct), but you could understand the points they were making, even if you didn't agree.

These are more like the Right-Wing G8, WTO Anti-Globalization protests... a zillion different groups were protesting a zillion different things neither they nor the general public understood very well, and the Black Block anarchists were fucking things up for everyone on the fringes. It's more like a sports riot mixed with a political rally than a real protest... the Tea Bagger march is the same, only without Oregonian Anarchists fucking it up for them, and with racists and white-power types stepping up to the plate instead. Actually, I think there's a lot more sympathy for the racist element here than there was for the anarchist element in the WTO protests.
posted by Slap*Happy at 6:56 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


What an awful thing to say. I don't agree with most of what these people are saying, but I will defend to the death their right to say it.

Holy crap, I thought that old line was extinct. It's like seeing a dinosaur step out from behind the garage. A dinosaur wearing an Evelyn Beatrice Hall mask.

All that aside, it was a joke.
posted by pracowity at 6:57 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


And yet, we are supposed to come to some kind of "bipartisan consensus" and "build bridges" with these people. I think the main take-away from this 9/12 ridiculousness is that if these folks don't get to "win" every election and have their way, they're going to scream "tyranny" and "socialism" and grab their guns. They aren't interested in a compromise, and offering them one is a farce. Watering down one's agenda to appease them is pointless, as they won't be appeased. It's as though we're going to come to an agreement with the guy on the bus that Oprah IS in fact controlling his mind via his fillings, but only on certain days.

The saddest part about this whole ignorant circus is that it's protesting a toothless, mealymouthed bill in the first place. Since anything Obama is going to do is going to get this kind of result, why not just go ahead and give us the single-payer solution you know we need? If I were in his shoes I'd say, "Screw it, you guys want to protest Socialism? Here you go."
posted by Legomancer at 6:58 AM on September 13, 2009 [24 favorites]


Hey Mack Daddy, Bubba sez we ain't gonna take it no mo.

Nope. Nothing racist about that.
posted by ColdChef at 10:49 PM on September 12 [1 favorite +] [!]


Oddly enough, that sign is quoting a black minister who was, let's just say, foaming at the mouth with antiObama rhetoric...if you looked on Youtube I imagine you could find it. (somebody dragged me over to watch it at work...sigh.)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 6:59 AM on September 13, 2009


Of course it's possible to hate Obama and/or his policies without being a racist.

It's also possible to express racism unconsciously, without considering oneself or one's ideas to be racist at all. And this is the kind of racism that people in the media are trying to diagnose. The kind that wants to drag people behind trucks or put someone in their place doesn't need pointing out, it's obvious to everyone.

Not everyone who hates Obama is a racist, but people are definitely having a pretty complex psychological reactions to him; it's unearthing a lot of feelings that people would perhaps normally not air in public, and making them feel okay about voicing them because they are just being "political".
posted by hermitosis at 7:05 AM on September 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


You'd think the anti-abortion/pro-coat-hanger crowd would be more conversant with the Hyde amendment.
posted by notsnot at 7:13 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


This is a tempest in a teapot. THere are plenty of people who think their taxes will eventually go up to pay for healthcare, and oppose it for that reason. Their legitimate concern is getting drowned out and they are now tarred with the same brush as the loonies. This is great news for healthcare reform, because the faux-populist outrage makes anyone who opposes healthcare reform look like a loon. IF you watched the republican response to Obama's address to the joint session, you saw pretty clearly the way the republicans now want to be perceived on this issue, and you also saw a pretty clear sign that they may be ready to make a deal.

The republicans are going to dump Limbaugh and co. soon, as they discredit and handcuff the party.
posted by Mister_A at 7:18 AM on September 13, 2009


Legomancer: "And yet, we are supposed to come to some kind of "bipartisan consensus" and "build bridges" with these people."

The liberal blogs have been emphasizing the futility of that idea for some time.

I increasingly think that the reason why the Democrats continue to insist on the legitimacy of Republicanism is that it serves as a convenient bulwark against progressivism - which is the last thing their corporate paymasters are prepared to accept.

As long as the debate can continue to be framed as "our crappy health plans vs. dying like dogs in the street", they'll never be confronted with the debate of "our crappy health plans vs. single payer" - which of course they'd lose.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:19 AM on September 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


I got it figured out, EarBucket:

CONNECT THE DOTS...

Stimulus
Gen'l motors
Chrysler
Cap 'n' trade
Healthcare
Czars
Purple shirts
Acorn
Apollo
National debt
Corruption

Satan Gave Christless Commie Heathen Concentrated Power
AMERICANS AGAINST NAZI-COMMUNISTS!
posted by mountain_william at 7:28 AM on September 13, 2009


I like the word "SOCIALISM" at the bottom. Because, you know, the Nazis were actually kind of opposed to Socialism. Fought it, in fact. In World War II. Where you American guys were sorta allied with the Socialists; the Russians, you know. Just sayin'.

posted by PontifexPrimus at 8:29 AM on September 13 [+] [!]


Oh, haven't you heard? It was in a set of right-wing talking points a while back. Someone noticed that the english translation of the Nazi party name was "National Socialist German Workers' Party" and hence "Nazis = Socialists".

No, it doesn't make sense to anyone with more than about 15 IQ points or even any sense of self-consciousness about showing ignorance about history.
posted by Nice Guy Mike at 7:35 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


"Obama with Joker makeup is a very common icon among anti-Obama activists. See that now infamous 'Socialism' poster for the main example. Google it yourself, I don't want to help anyone with page views."

That part I knew. However if you look closely at the image the sign isn't of Obama in Joker make up but rather Ledger in Joker makeup.

This sign equating Stalin, Hitler, Castro and Lenin with Obama is hilarious in it's choice of image for Obama. The maker couldn't find at least a slightly sinister, angry or at least serious looking image of Obama? Obama looks about as threatening as Mister Rodgers.
posted by Mitheral at 7:38 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


You know, I have some anti-communism songs from the 50s on this here hard drive. Anti-Red folk songs, of all things. Actually pretty catchy, and they seemed to understand the difference between communism, fascism, and socialism waaaay better, in about 24 bars, than any of these people.
posted by The Whelk at 7:38 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every party has its extremists, and if we focus on the crazies we're going to get a very distorted view of the opposing side. Clearly the most interesting thing at many of these protests are signs about how Obama is an illegal alien or, on the other side, say, burning effigies of Bush.

I don't support Obama's health-care initiatives, and only today did I realize that people might actually rationalize my beliefs as having some kind of racist origin. As a member of a minority group myself, I am very happy that our president has African roots and grew up in Indonesia, and was incredibly proud of his speech in Cairo.

We need to stop thinking in terms of black and white, both racially and in terms of political extremes.
posted by gushn at 7:46 AM on September 13, 2009


I was sitting in a crowd of 90,000+ screaming Florida Gators fans today thinking, "Damn, imagine if we put this much effort, money, and enthusiasm into healthcare reform!" Then I remembered, "Oh, yeah, Democrats abandon their grass-roots protesters like they did during the Iraq War protests, unlike Republicans, who support this shit to their highest echelons.

Looks like that might change this time - Obama spoke before a crowd in Minneapolis the other day, using the same kind of grass-roots community-organizing he did during the campaign. He urged people to be "ambassadors" for the health care plan in their communities, urging them to call Congress, urging them to work together and use the momentum to effect change.

I'm very interested to see what more happens after this now.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:49 AM on September 13, 2009


SirOmega: when a woman yelled heil Hitler (YT video in linked page) at a Jewish fellow attending a local town hall meeting in August

The really weird thing about that clip is that the 'heil Hitler' woman was wearing an IDF T-shirt. Mystifying.
posted by Dreadnought at 7:51 AM on September 13, 2009


The really weird thing about that clip is that the 'heil Hitler' woman was wearing an IDF T-shirt. Mystifying.

Not really. Ultra-conservative Christians in the US are very strong supporters of Israel. That whole "Christ will return once the temple is rebuilt" thing. They support a militarily strong, even aggresive, Israel. The fact that that would mean Iraeli forces kicking muslim (i.e. terrorists, in their eyes) ass just happens to be a happy value-add.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:55 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm very interested to see what more happens after this now.

Cost. Freedom. Eternal vigilance. Where are my protests, without fucking puppets, without drums, on message, somber, and demanding of actual health care reform closer to the rest of the civilized world rather than the slow, steady sucking sound of the insurance companies fellating politicians'' bank accounts cause hey, they've never had a problem with insurance, and whatya gonna do, vote for a 3rd party?
posted by The Whelk at 7:56 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


We were protesting the government torturing people. defeating terrorism and protecting our nation.

These bigots citizens are protesting giving health care to poor people expanding government influence and raising taxes.


Not defending it, just explaining it.
posted by zippy at 7:57 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


This is not some kind of radical right-wing group,” Senator Jim DeMint, Republican of South Carolina, said in an interview as dozens of people streamed by him. “I just hope the Congress, the Senate and the president recognize that people are afraid of what’s going on.”


God, that guy is such an asshole. Makes me really wish I had the guts to go through with my plans to bring an eyedropper full of exlax to work when I used to serve him coffee every morning.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:57 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


And the NEA thing is just the real kick in the teeth, for me, cause that was just crazypants banannas and I'm gonna go have a beer now and then go sign at the Brooklyn Book Fair and not read anything about anything ever again.
posted by The Whelk at 8:03 AM on September 13, 2009


This sign equating Stalin, Hitler, Castro and Lenin with Obama is hilarious in it's choice of image for Obama.

Ok, this is actually more irritating to me than the egregious misspellings which abound in these foolish signs. Have these people no understanding of mathematical rigour? To what manner of peer review was that so-called "equation" subjected? ARGH.

THESE PEOPLE ARE DESTROYING MY SOUL GODDAMMIT.
posted by elizardbits at 8:03 AM on September 13, 2009


Sometimes I wonder how many of these people are purely there to make them look bad. I'm sure it's a miniscule percent, but it HAS to be non-zero.

Like how the local gay pride event always has this one church protest - where 80% of the people standing there are black. I'm tempted every year to make a sign that says "equal rights for minorities - wrong in the 60's - wrong today" and stand there in the midst of them..
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:09 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


GET YOUR GOVT HANDS OFF MY MEDICARE
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:09 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


This one says it all. I would love to have "Obamaism" explained. A new religion or school of thought following the precepts of Obama? Obama-socialism smooshed together? Shorthand or code for "Obama scares me but I'm not clear on the details"?

Then the sign has the King George plus Czars (scary band of Czars) which is a confusing mix referencing King George, the enemy of our founding fathers, plus the rulers of pre-communist Russia (Russia is always bad whether it is communist or pre-communist.)

Finally there is the "Get out of our lives." Which means what exactly? The sign holder wants the President to stop doing his job (maybe go cut some brush)? Or perhaps she wants the President to deal with foreign policy and leave domestic policy alone? Or maybe resign altogether and let a Republican take over the office of the President?
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 8:10 AM on September 13, 2009


The difference between the fringe left and the fringe right is that the fringe right is actually represented my major figures in the Republican party. We have elected representatives who admit to being birthers, Sarah Palin talking about "death panels," the RNC claiming that Obama will take health care aware from anyone who isn't a Democrats, etc.

For the left to be equally ridiculous and disturbing, you'd need Nancy Pelosi to start talking about freeing Mumia or something.
posted by naoko at 8:12 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Well, to be fair, we did have the free-mumia crowd at the anti-war protests. But they could at least spell.


Hay!

In all seriousness, there was someone asking upthread if there was any intelligent life in that whole mess.

I kind of watched it on the c-span feed. It would cut out and short the video every so often so I couldn't get it all, but a few (and I emphasize few) people had some good points. Here I'm talking about the official FreedomWorks speakers.

Mostly they were talking about politicians being owned and operated by corporations. There were angry rantings against polititicians who they didn't like, but it was about specific things they'd done, not that they were anything other than human.

There was a lot of "vote the bastards out!" which, hey, I can get behind, if they'll vote for campaign finance reform.

There was a cute moment where everyone was asked to call their congresscritters' office and sing "na na na na, na na na na, hey hey hey, goodbye". I'm not sure, but I think they passed out sheets of paper with the actual list of numbers. So a trick out of Obama's playbook was kind of cute to see. (well, infer - this was one of those times the video cut out and the audio was buffering.)

That's not to say there weren't dog whistles. I only watched for about an hour and a half, but I think there were quite a few: Founding Fathers! 10th Amendment! Patriots! Blood and Treasure!

The low point for me was Hi-Caliber, rapping out a shout out to Governer Hair Perry, who's ordering the Texas Rangers to the border, even though they're probably not needed. Then a last line for applause: "where's the birth certificate?"

There was one guy who has an interesting (if naive) take on HR3200 from a systems point of view(yay, nerds!)

But mostly I was struck by these speakers using a lot of the same rhetoric that was used in the official anti-war anti-freedom-restricting protests and thinking, "O for God's sake, where were you people 7.5 years ago?"





There are otherwise reasonable people who still believe the death panel stuff, and I'd like to believe it's worthwhile to keep talking. The sign holders out to bleat incoherently are a lost cause, but not everyone on the right is a demon.
posted by lysdexic at 8:15 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I can understand that most of these ignoramuses don't understand or appreciate the differences between Nazis and Czarists, because that would require historical knowledge, context, and a belief that the rest of the world actually exists.

But how stupid do you have to be to not know, when you are making an "OMG CZARS CZARS CZARS" argument, that it was the Republicans that brought us the "American Czar"? Richard Nixon was the first American president to name a Czar: William E. Simon, to handle the 1970's energy crisis.

Also, do they not realize that if we can actually make drug prices more affordable, these people can finally get the Prozac they so desperately need?
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:16 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Close friend of mine sent me an email last week saying he'd be at this thing. Long ago we agreed to never talk politics, it always ended up in a nasty argument. I guess he's proud to be one of these nutbars. I worry about him sometime.
posted by Splunge at 8:16 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Every party has its extremists, and if we focus on the crazies we're going to get a very distorted view of the opposing side.

Yes, except the liberal extremists seldom go into buildings armed and start shooting. Right-wing extremists gave us Oklahoma City. Right wing extremists gave us the murder of George Tiller. Left-wing extremists just give us headaches.

They're not both the same. And so-called "moderates" and "rational people" need to quit pretending they are.
posted by Legomancer at 8:20 AM on September 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Yeah, this is what y'all looked like to the other side during the Bush administration.

Yes but we were standing up for ourselves. We weren't unwitting dupes of the ruling class, genius.
posted by Zambrano at 8:25 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


Truly horrifying lies on those signs.
posted by agregoli at 8:35 AM on September 13, 2009


"Stand up for the 70% of us who aren't crazy."
posted by brevator at 8:38 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I also believe that more of this has to do with abortion than people let on.

It helps to read what the bill says.
posted by nola at 8:39 AM on September 13, 2009


Not defending it, just explaining it.

Oh, no, I get it. I really do. I just think it's reprehensible.
posted by EarBucket at 8:41 AM on September 13, 2009


[few comments removed - pile-on needs to stop. St Alia has email, we're not going to do this here, thanks.]
posted by jessamyn at 8:43 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


btw, these same idiots, 50 years ago.

I saw that last week. They had such quality signs. Did typesetters & designers just abandon the Right entirely since then?
posted by Devils Rancher at 8:47 AM on September 13, 2009


Right-wing extremists gave us Oklahoma City. Right wing extremists gave us the murder of George Tiller. Left-wing extremists just give us headaches.

To be fair, left wing extremists used to shoot people and bomb things. I'm talking about the early 20th century here. The reason we don't have left wing extremists anymore is that we don't have a left wing anymore. We have an extreme right wing and we have a center right wing.

Today's "liberals" are "business-friendly". Which wing do I join to get corporate personhood repealed? What candidate do I work for to dump the "public option" and get single-payer even mentioned? And these are the center left positions. We're so far from leftwing extremism it's literally killing us.
posted by DU at 8:48 AM on September 13, 2009 [20 favorites]


I don't support Obama's health-care initiatives, and only today did I realize that people might actually rationalize my beliefs as having some kind of racist origin.

If you claim to be against President Obama's health care proposals and you forward me an email with a picture of Obama as a witch-doctor, nothing you say to the contrary will convince me that your opposition isn't significantly tinged with racism.

If you claim to be against President Obama's health care proposals and you engage me in a discussion where we argue over the pros and cons of various facets of the legislation being debated in Congress, I will never, ever, think that the President's race plays even the tiniest part in the formulation of your views.

I'm sure I speak for the overwhelming majority of liberals, progressives, and Obama supporters when I say that.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:49 AM on September 13, 2009 [43 favorites]


Every party has its extremists, and if we focus on the crazies we're going to get a very distorted view of the opposing side.
Yes, every party has its extremists. But the mainstream Republican Party, including people like Senators, Representatives, and Governors, has been actively legitimizing claims of death panels, Obama being foreign-born, and, yes, even America under Obama is like Germany under Hitler.

So "every party has its extremists" is hardly meaningful in this situation; not every party actively encourages and embraces its extremists.
posted by Flunkie at 8:57 AM on September 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


What actually mystifies me is how many here seem to not be able to believe that people think this way. I know...you want to believe in the ultimate good of people...that otherwise intelligent people can't possibly believe some of this stuff. All I can say is, you haven't been paying attention.

Some of us have been telling you that this kind of sincere crazy was coming since before Obama even declared. None of this surprises me, other than just how quickly it seems to have blown-up. I honestly thought it wouldn't hit this level of boil until, at the very least, a couple of years into his first term. I guess I totally underestimated just how viciously and quickly the Becks and Limbaughs would take the offensive. I mean, they began the "socialist" drumbeats as soon as Obama declared, if not before.

Laugh at and dismiss these people as nutjobs at your own peril. Maybe it's because I live in a conservative working-class town in the middle of a conservative midwest state, that I take them very seriously. I don't have the luxury of being able to run to the seclusion of my nearby progressive enclave. I work with, and am friends and neighbors with people who believe this stuff. They aren't nutters. Most of them are, in fact, very nice people. Our kids play sports together. But, they still proudly display their "W" bumper stickers and fervently hope that Sarah Palin comes back in 2012. And, yes, they are highly, highly suspicious of Obama. They listen to Hannity and Christian lite-rock in their minivans. And, they will be voting in the mid-terms.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:01 AM on September 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


Holy Shit, we're in trouble. They've got fictional characters on their side.
posted by Solon and Thanks at 9:06 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Bugbread, I respectfully note my agreement with your interpretation of St. Alia's comments, except that she quite clearly thinks anti-war protestors were violent and racist in the same way her teabagging comrades are now. This is where her false equivalence raises it's ugly head. You may be correct about the emotional component, but there's an element of delusion in her comment that you have missed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:08 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


David Frum: GOP Surrenders to Beck’s Mob Rule
posted by homunculus at 9:09 AM on September 13, 2009


fervently hope that Sarah Palin comes back in 2012

Don't we all.
posted by DU at 9:09 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


To say that "we were marching against torture and they are marching against universal health care" says nothing other than "I like my political agenda better than their political agenda".

.... Okay, you know what? I'm going to go out on a limb here, and risking the possibility that my views may well be seen as biased -- but I'm gonna say that, yeah, being in favor of universal healthcare is just better than being in favor of fucking torture, and that's just, you know, objective fucking fact.
posted by webmutant at 9:11 AM on September 13, 2009 [39 favorites]


I used to think there was no way Palin could actually get the nomination. The more the lunatics grab the reins of the party, though, the likelier it looks to me. I still think John Thune's the one I'd put my money on if I had to choose, but it doesn't seem at all outlandish anymore that they could nominate someone openly batshitfuckinginsane.
posted by EarBucket at 9:12 AM on September 13, 2009


Sorta' related... maybe.

On Friday morning I was caught in traffic and noticed a bumper sticker on the quite beautiful mid-60s Mercedes convertible in front of me. It read:

Science flies you to the moon.
Religion flies you into buildings.

posted by bz at 9:18 AM on September 13, 2009 [30 favorites]


I'm going to the next big tebagger party just to shadow the guy with the automatic rifle wherever he goes.

Did I mention I'm dressing like a pirate?
posted by HyperBlue at 9:22 AM on September 13, 2009


I'm confused. The New York Times says these people are protesting Big Government. Did they also protest President Bush's massive government expansion?
posted by kirkaracha at 9:24 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I tweeted this FPP, and instantly started getting messages like this one:

Shut up! That is completely rediculous! Stop watching msnbc,cbs,and cnn it was the truth how can the truth be racialy charged?@DuckiDeva

To which I responded: Socialized school...you should have tried it.

It's absurd how these lunatics have taken over the discourse in this country. I just want to throw up my hands in disgust, but there has to be something we can do to get the focus off the lunatics and back on to rational discussion between two logical viewpoints.

There have to be some good, smart, logical conservatives left. They can't all be birther, teabagging idiots. Why are they not taking the party back from these loons?
posted by dejah420 at 9:26 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I personally know a few people who peaceably assembled to protest the actions of former administrations - or the joint meetings of former US administrations and other world leaders - and they were met with police action and in some cases thrown in holding cells or even injured. To be fair, a couple of my friends had protest notions that were based on a shaky grasp of history and some tin-foil hattery, but the majority had studied up and had legitimate complaints.

Except for people who were, you know, armed and therefore drew that attention of law enforcement, has anyone heard anything about such pressure on these loons? I haven't heard jack.

You know what's still fun? When people start ranting about politics, ask them what they think of their mayor or congressman (specially asking about a congressman which is especially fun if they are represented by a woman, because they'll struggle to find a man's name in their murkey memory of current events.)
posted by Lesser Shrew at 9:27 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


>> Your evidence doesn't seem to support your conclusion. Industrial Society and Its Future isn't a book, wasn't widely distributed outside of newspapers, and is available in any library with an internet connection (IE: Practically all of them).

1) It is a book. 2) I never claimed it was widely distributed. In fact, that's part of my point. 3) I never said it wasn't available online. My remark was directed specifically at printed copies which I think carry a number of advantages for archival purposes over digital in many respects.

As for my remark about the local library and censorship, that is in reference to an experience I had with a library I shall not mention and its process of purging on a very large scale hundreds, if not thousands of books of a politically controversial nature, of which the sole printed copy (in the entire state-supported network, not just that library) of the Unabomber Manifesto was one. This process took place from roughly 2002 to 2005.

The printed copy of the Unabomber Manifesto I read looked something like this, though that is not the exact same one.

The Unabomber Manifesto: Industrial Society and Its Future

In fact, I purchased the copy they purged when they placed it in the withdrawn section. I do not have that copy any longer however.
posted by Brosef K at 9:38 AM on September 13, 2009


fervently hope that Sarah Palin comes back in 2012

Don't we all.


Heh. Except, with the people I'm talking about, the only reason Palin isn't Vice President right now is that they would have had to vote McCain in as President. With the people I'm talking about, McCain was the unacceptable albatross, not Palin.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:38 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Good thing protests are useless. You would think the right wing would know this because they said that protests are stupid and useless over and over again the past 9 years but I guess they are stupid.
posted by fuq at 9:39 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


...and useless.
posted by fuq at 9:39 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


CONNECT THE DOTS...

Stimulus
Gen'l motors
Chrysler
Cap 'n' trade
Healthcare
Czars
Purple shirts
Acorn
Apollo
National debt
Corruption

????????
PROFIT
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 9:47 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Conservatives/liberterians in favor of small government and against government social programs have a peaceful demonstration, some racists join in, and you tar them all as racists and haters of poor people. This is why we conservatives do not trust you.
posted by JasonM at 9:48 AM on September 13, 2009


It's worse than we thought; Obama wants to abort your Granny.
posted by EarBucket at 9:49 AM on September 13, 2009


Jason, are you not embarassed to be associated with those fuckwits?
posted by empath at 9:51 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not saying anything new here, but it's astounding that these people are more upset over phantom dead grandmothers than very real dead men resulting from phantom WMD.
posted by davebush at 9:51 AM on September 13, 2009 [6 favorites]



Conservatives/liberterians in favor of small government and against government social programs have a peaceful demonstration, some racists join in, and you tar them all as racists and haters of poor people. This is why we conservatives do not trust you.


if you want the rest of the world to take you seriously then you better get a grip on the message you are putting out there, because the overall impression these things give is just disgusting and bat-shit-crazy
posted by freshundz at 9:52 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Conservatives/liberterians in favor of small government and against government social programs have a peaceful demonstration, invite some racists join in, in order to prevent poor people from getting health insurance. This is why we thinking people do not trust you.
posted by fuq at 9:53 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


This is why we conservatives do not trust you.

Conservatives cheered on runaway spending, unlimited executive power, an expanded surveillance state, secret detention, and torture, only to rediscover the principles of limited government and fiscal responsibility the moment a black Democrat was elected president. This is why we liberals do not trust you.
posted by EarBucket at 9:55 AM on September 13, 2009 [95 favorites]


Splunge: "Close friend of mine sent me an email last week saying he'd be at this thing. Long ago we agreed to never talk politics, it always ended up in a nasty argument. I guess he's proud to be one of these nutbars. I worry about him sometime."

Two of my friends posted articles about yesterday's protests (approvingly) to Facebook. Both are very nice super intelligent guys who seem normal otherwise but believe all the teabagger stuff whole-heartedly. I do my best not to talk politics with either of them.
posted by octothorpe at 9:58 AM on September 13, 2009


Ironically, JasonM, the reason sane and reasonable people can't trust you is because you're hanging around with racists, haters, and morons.

If you don't want to be associated with the batshitinsane maroon contingent, you had best not let them into your protests.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:00 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I do my best not to talk politics with either of them.

Isn't this somewhat self-defeating? If you don't man up and get some facts and sense into their heads, how the heck are you going to have nice things?

You must start clue-by-fouring these idiots, or your not going to get anything good out of this administration.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:03 AM on September 13, 2009


Yes, Jason, when shitbags start proudly waving around signs with screamingly racists slogans, which may or may not be spelled correctly, consider your movement and demonstration discredited. If these are the same people showing up at Presidential events toting fucking assault rifles, consider your movement discredited.

And it's not even the signs - it's the smug looks on their faces as they display them, the way they can't contain their pride at their spiteful cleverness. There were far more than "some" bigots in attendance of that event, and you damn well know it.

Now, please keep your trollbait to yourself.
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:06 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Conservatives/liberterians in favor of small government and against government social programs have a peaceful demonstration, some racists join in, and you tar them all as racists and haters of poor people.

that's because a small government would hurt minorities and poor people the most - the racists know this and support it actively and the conservative/libertarians know it and are indifferent

i'm not going to look at your motivations, i'm going to look at the results
posted by pyramid termite at 10:07 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


FFF - Educating these folks is a laudable goal, but let's be practical. Is someone painting Obama with Joker make-up and calling him a Marxist someone who is truly interested in facts?
posted by EatTheWeak at 10:07 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Conservatives lied about WMDs, torture, wiretapping, and the safety of the air around the WTC. They also lied about the cost of both wars, the leaker of Plame's name and whether they knew the levees were in trouble.
They continue to lie about global warming, the President's nationality, and the details of various heathcare proposals.
This is why we rational people do not trust you.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:08 AM on September 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


on (lack of) preview - what EarBucket, fuq, and others said above, as well.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:10 AM on September 13, 2009


What do you get when you combine the worst economic downturn since the Depression with the first black president?

an obamanation? get it? obama + abomination :P on the way over to the resnais retrospective at the NGA yday i noticed the conflation on someone's sign; clever!
posted by kliuless at 10:10 AM on September 13, 2009


To say that "we were marching against torture and they are marching against universal health care" says nothing other than "I like my political agenda better than their political agenda".

If they were marching against universal health care that would be an actual policy disagreement, based in reality. They'd be incredibly wrong to oppose it, but at least they would be opposing something that was happening.

Yet I don't see many "don't give everyone health care!" signs. I see anti-forced-euthanasia, anti-Nazi, anti-fascist, anti-communist signs. I see Obama is a traitor and liar signs. And that's the big difference here. When the left was protesting warrantless wire-tapping, the Iraw war and torture, we were protesting things that were actually happening--things that were so obviously real that even righties acknowledged it, they just defended it as good or acceptable.

HR 3200 does not contain death panels, federally funded abortions, free pills for illegals or a requirement that all 12 year olds join the Obama youth. What they protest isn't happening. That's why we label it "crazy." It does not comport with reality.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:10 AM on September 13, 2009 [66 favorites]


I was a witness to an antiwar rally back when Bush was in office (held at our local park down the street from where I lived at the time.)

They had their share of nutjobs.

Just saying.


Thanks for coming back to clarify what you meant by "This is what you guys looked like to us". It is my sincere hope that, as you read more about what these people are all about, that you come to realize the vast, vast difference between the anti-war protestors on the one hand, and the healthcare protestors, the three percenters, the "swine flu vaccine will kill conservatives" people, and the genuine racists in this crowd on the other.

I'm not banking on it, but that's my hope, anyway. You seem to be clever enough when you choose to inform yourself, so here's hoping you do, instead of stopping at an equivalence of appearance.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:13 AM on September 13, 2009


This is why we conservatives do not trust you.


If liberals need to rein in "truthers" then conservatives need to do the same with the birthers, deathers, counters, and candlestick makers.

And see above, we're not tarring everyone with a broad brush - the nutcases are just the loudest. If you don't want them to represent you, tell them.
posted by lysdexic at 10:14 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


kliuless: see also Jerome Corsi, swiftboater.
posted by bashos_frog at 10:15 AM on September 13, 2009


Pater Aletheias: "If they were marching against universal health care that would be an actual policy disagreement, based in reality. They'd be incredibly wrong to oppose it, but at least they would be opposing something that was happening. ... What they protest isn't happening.

Point taken.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:15 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I also believe that more of this has to do with abortion than people let on. The idea that tax money could be spent on abortion brings about gut reactions of state-sponsored murder. Plenty of the rank-and-file believes that very firmly

Quoted for truth.


Let it be so noted that opponents of a woman's right to choose are so fanatical in their beliefs that they are willing to deny people access to affordable health care to accomplish their goals, all the while hiding their true agenda and claiming it's about being "overtaxed".

And claim they are doing it in Jesus' name, no less.
posted by turaho at 10:15 AM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


ColdChef: "Creepy bonus points. "

That's like something out of a spoken word album from one of my nightmares. Congrats, lady, you just gave me a reason to have nightmares about Bob Dylan.
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:22 AM on September 13, 2009


There's a difference between the old-style Bush = Hitler mob and the new Obama = Hitlers one. Well, there are a lot of differences, but here's just one:

Even the most mouth-foamy left-wingers calling Bush Hitler could give you a list of things he actually did, starting post-9/11, that upset them enough to start Godwinning all over the Mall.

But what has Obama actually done to upset everyone? Is all this anger really just about some imaginary things that some crazy people have predicted he might do in the future?
posted by rokusan at 10:23 AM on September 13, 2009


But what has Obama actually done to upset everyone?

He saved the economy from getting sucked into another Great Depression. They seem pretty worked up about that one.
posted by EarBucket at 10:25 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


>> Both are very nice super intelligent guys who seem normal otherwise but believe all the teabagger stuff whole-heartedly.

They may be nice to you, but they are not nice. And they are not intelligent. They may be competent technocrats in that they can dutifully perform complex labor, but they are not intelligent. A savant can count toothpicks spilled on the floor, but he can't tie his own shoes. Just because these people have advanced degrees or have learned how to perform particular tasks does not make them intelligent. Some people struggle with the "why do intelligent and nice people believe this stuff?"

Answer: They are neither intelligent nor nice.

And that's the teabagger M.O. Most would NEVER say "fag" or "nigger," but they work diligently -- always with a condescending smile -- to systematically undermine the standing, security, and quality of life of groups they consider subversive or debased. They think as long as they're calling black people "thugs" instead of some other slur, and as long as they're not wearing Klan robes, then they are not racist.

These people believe in a literal Satan. They believe in a literal devil man who controls the actions of his minions. They're genteel, won't use foul language, but make no mistake... they are serious when they assert that Obama and his supporters are pure evil. You don't compromise with pure evil and even if those "nice" people always greet you with a smile, that's what they think of you. You're a sick person infected with the contagion of Satan.
posted by Brosef K at 10:25 AM on September 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


Let it be so noted that opponents of a woman's right to choose are so fanatical in their beliefs that they are willing to deny people access to affordable health care to accomplish their goals, all the while hiding their true agenda and claiming it's about being "overtaxed".

And claim they are doing it in Jesus' name, no less.
And over something that has no effect on their goal, anyway.

It is illegal to pay for abortions with federal funds. It has been illegal to pay for abortions with federal funds for over three decades. Nothing in any of the current versions of the bill changes the fact that it is illegal to pay for abortions with federal funds.
posted by Flunkie at 10:25 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama - i.e. in an attempt to discredit the "other side".

Since it seems there are a fair number of Obama supporters in this thread who believe they are intellectually superior to the "morons" who are protesting, I would not put it past them to orchestrate something like that.

I'm sure there were authentic extremists & nutjobs who were displaying racist signs, but since I do not trust the loud proponents or detractors at all, we'll never really know.

BTW - (this is addressed to those same members of the aforementioned intelligentsia) What's it like being right all the time?
posted by hrbrmstr at 10:28 AM on September 13, 2009


Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama - i.e. in an attempt to discredit the "other side".

Since it seems there are a fair number of Obama supporters in this thread who believe they are intellectually superior to the "morons" who are protesting, I would not put it past them to orchestrate something like that.
Once again:

The mainstream Republican Party, including Senators, Representatives, and Governors, actively encourages claims of Birthers, Deathers, Obama-Is-Hitlerers, and so forth.

Is it theoretically possible that there are false flag operations going on? Of course it's theoretically possible.

But the idea that that's a good explanation is completely contrary to reality.
posted by Flunkie at 10:31 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


(re nazi = national socialism)

No, it doesn't make sense to anyone with more than about 15 IQ points or even any sense of self-consciousness about showing ignorance about history.

actually national socialism in Germany was socialism-lite (firmly under the control of the existing power structure). Some time ago I was struck by the Kraft durch Freude effort in pre-war Germany, which gave the world the VW.

It is indeed kinda like the current Democrats, but not for the reasons these pinheads think.

There may be principled opponents to the expansion of government involvement in health care here, but they and their argument is dead inside.

"limited government" is mostly dog-whistle, like "states rights". I'd rather live in a socialist democracy than a company town.
posted by Palamedes at 10:32 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


But what has Obama actually done to upset everyone?

Haven't you been paying attention? First he...um, he did something and then that other thing and uhh... Ooh, ooh I know, he subsidized the Commie UAW thugs through "Cash For Clunkers".
posted by MikeMc at 10:33 AM on September 13, 2009


BTW - (this is addressed to those same members of the aforementioned intelligentsia) What's it like being right all the time?

fucking depressing
posted by Palamedes at 10:33 AM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


What's it like being right all the time?

Ask W.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 10:34 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


EarBucket: "Except it's not truth at all, it's a vicious lie spread by people who know better. The bill does not use taxpayer funds for abortion, and in fact, doing so has been illegal since the 1970s and continues to be illegal."

I seriously doubt these protesters know that. The fact that they have decided that the president, mainstream media, and fact checking websites are all lying/ignorant shows that they've chosen the reality they want. They're not lying. Their protests are just reflections of their own little world.

Further, they're used to hearing preachers/politicians/friends who act as though making abortion a legal option is the same as the government proudly endorsing it. I imagine these people would keep complaining about ANY reform until the bill is changed to outlaw abortion and give the death penalty to any doctor or pregnant woman who illegally performs abortion. And then they'd complain that it was expensive, or a wedge for state euthanasia, or just plain "not part of the America I grew up in."
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:36 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


But what has Obama actually done to upset everyone? Is all this anger really just about some imaginary things that some crazy people have predicted he might do in the future?

That sure seems to be the case for this crowd, anyway. Obama might not be a US citizen. His health care plan could be a form of slave reparations. We believe he is going to take away our guns and poison us with swine flu.

But in addition there's just flat-out misinformation, such as the death panels, and the free health care for illegal immigrants, that spreads like wildfire because these people want to believe the worst about him.

Sure, there were people who wanted to believe the worst about Bush. But at least they could list actual things that were happening - the wars, Guantanamo, the PATRIOT Act - that they opposed. These other guys rely purely on paranoid fantasy and flat-out lies because they want to believe these things are true.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:38 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama

if you can't come up with anything else, claim there's a conspiracy behind it
posted by pyramid termite at 10:40 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama - i.e. in an attempt to discredit the "other side".

There's a possibility Obama eats puppies and has a giant mountain of gold in the basement of the White House, too. In lieu of evidence, though, you're pretty much just talking out of your ass.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:40 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


That wasn't a meeting of the Inbred Society of America?
posted by anniecat at 10:41 AM on September 13, 2009


Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama - i.e. in an attempt to discredit the "other side".

There's also a *possibility* that my anal cavity is inhabited by monkeys. If they fit in well enough with the "real" extremists and nutjobs (your term) without getting run off, what exactly is your point?

The medium is the message. If you want a nuanced response, start with a nuanced point.

What's it like being right all the time?

It's not (all) about right and wrong. When "we" say health care reform is important because A....,B...,C..., and the response from "them" is NAZI, COMMIE, EVIL, then they deserve to be ridiculed.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 10:41 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


@Flunkie - wasn't suggesting even a majority of them were "plants"...just that the possibility cannot be dismissed (it's a good ploy...even used recently in a different context)

@Palamedes - I thought as much :-)

@Pater Aletheias - Can't use the W. argument. I did not vote for him and I wrote in Clinton (have a snap of the ballot for proof).
posted by hrbrmstr at 10:41 AM on September 13, 2009


Flunkie: "Nothing in any of the current versions of the bill changes the fact that it is illegal to pay for abortions with federal funds."

In fairness, we can hardly expect them to be reassured by that. Their man spent the last 8 years violating federal law like it was going out of style.
posted by Joe Beese at 10:42 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Since it seems there are a fair number of Obama supporters in this thread who believe they are intellectually superior to the "morons" who are protesting, I would not put it past them to orchestrate something like that.

You're not really strengthening your case by essentially suggesting that Obama supporters are being very clever as a way to defend the idea that his detractors are just really, really stupid.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:44 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


It's hard to tell from images on a website what things are really like. I thought I knew what left-wing protests were like - a few nutjobs but mostly reasonable people - but when you look at images collected by right-wing blogs, it sure looks a lot worse. Consider the bush=hitler collection here... The hall of shame from the same blog is kind of interesting, since some of it is admittedly extremely offensive (mostly the anti-Semitic stuff) but then some of it is just naked people, which the blogger seems to find equally upsetting, which is just funny to me. Boobs are not scary! "nazi kikes" is fucking fucked up, whatever your opinion on the middle east.

Anyway, so I don't really know what to think, beyond some vague sinking feeling that we have been stupidly naive to imagine democracy would ever be a long-term sustainable system (i mean, a few centuries is nothing, long term like roman empire or british monarchy). It's just a silly feeling. I can still believe in the power of the... ergh.
posted by mdn at 10:44 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


After 300+ comments I doubt anyone will see this, but ....

..is anyone else completely creeped out by Glenn Beck's whole "9/12" project thing, which inspired these protests on this particular date?
The 9/12 project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001.
On September 12, 2001, I was terrified, heartbroken, paranoid, and looking towards the future with dread and uncertainty. No I do NOT want to go back to 9/12, thankyouveryfuckingmuch.
posted by xthlc at 10:51 AM on September 13, 2009 [33 favorites]


@Marisa Stole the Precious Thing - When all either side can do (just look at this thread) is name-call during heated diatribes, it's hard to take either seriously and I have to call the motives of both into question.

@Benny Andajetz - I bring up a point that suggests that folks can't take everything at face value - especially in this type of climate - and it's a bad thing? Plain-and-simple: I don't trust *any* government the way many folks here seem willing to. I didn't trust Bush and I don't trust this administration either. You'll also note I haven't negated the need for health care reform or taken any side here. Just because *you* believe A, B, C ... is necessary for reform doesn't make you right. I'm just not willing to spend a few trillion more dollars on an experiment (because you have to be smart enough to know that this will not be a zero sum solution).
posted by hrbrmstr at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2009


JasonM, what's maddening to me is that I feel like I can't hear the serious arguments or concerns that republicans/libertarians/fiscal conservatives
. In fact, when I ignore the TV, and go to conservative websites or speak with friends/neighbors (and liberal ones too) to have a civilized discussion... well, we are all distracted by this 'nutjob' stuff.

It feels like trying to have a conversation at a rock concert - no matter reasonable your intentions are, eventually you find yourself yelling just to be heard over all the noise. (In this case the Obama isn't American/he's a marxist/hitler or the Republicans are all racists noise.)

I'd like to trust that I can have a considered, good faith conversation with anyone, but in this climate, it feels very hard to stay on topic.
posted by anitanita at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2009


@Flunkie - wasn't suggesting even a majority of them were "plants"...just that the possibility cannot be dismissed
OK. I don't dismiss the possibility that there might exist some liberal in that crowd pretending to be one of the many totally unhinged conservatives in that crowd.

So?

Let's even *assume it's true*, rather than merely that it can't be dismissed as a theoretical possibility. That affects the fact that this lunacy is mainstream amongst conservatives, and even within the actual GOP itself, how? Exactly?
posted by Flunkie at 10:52 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama - i.e. in an attempt to discredit the "other side".

Since it seems there are a fair number of Obama supporters in this thread who believe they are intellectually superior to the "morons" who are protesting, I would not put it past them to orchestrate something like that.

I'm sure there were authentic extremists & nutjobs who were displaying racist signs, but since I do not trust the loud proponents or detractors at all, we'll never really know.

BTW - (this is addressed to those same members of the aforementioned intelligentsia) What's it like being right all the time?


Oh this is delightful. Okay, which one of you faked this comment to make conservatives look like paranoid morons?
posted by empath at 10:53 AM on September 13, 2009 [14 favorites]


The 9/12 project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001.

9/11 was the greatest thing that ever happened to Beck, Hannity, etc. Of course, they want to go back there.
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


hrbrmstr, just for fun, here's a collection of 200 photos of crazy, crazy protesters. What percentage of these people are you suggesting to be undercover Democratic operatives?
posted by EarBucket at 10:56 AM on September 13, 2009


Let's even *assume it's true*, rather than merely that it can't be dismissed as a theoretical possibility.

Then you'd think that real conservatives would be expressing their disapproval of the signs.
posted by empath at 10:57 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's hard to tell from images on a website what things are really like. I thought I knew what left-wing protests were like - a few nutjobs but mostly reasonable people - but when you look at images collected by right-wing blogs, it sure looks a lot worse. ... so I don't really know what to think

Well, even in those images you have people protesting actual things that are happening. Some of them are calling for the support of armed resistance in Iraq, sure, but there was an actual war in Iraq going on. By contrast, the crazies on the right are railing against evils that are purely fictional.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:57 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


When all either side can do (just look at this thread) is name-call during heated diatribes, it's hard to take either seriously and I have to call the motives of both into question.

How does a group of people on the internet calling crazy people crazy count as "evidence" that there are liberal moles among the anti-Obamacare protestors?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:59 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


.is anyone else completely creeped out by Glenn Beck's whole "9/12" project thing, which inspired these protests on this particular date?

The 9/12 project is designed to bring us all back to the place we were on September 12, 2001.

On September 12, 2001, I was terrified, heartbroken, paranoid, and looking towards the future with dread and uncertainty. No I do NOT want to go back to 9/12, thankyouveryfuckingmuch.
I suspect that a significant number of these people believe that, on September 12, 2001, we all felt things akin to "we should nuke Iran" and "liberals should be tried for treason*" and "Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster". That we were all "real Americans" on September 12, 2001.

*: well, maybe not "tried"
posted by Flunkie at 10:59 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


@XQUZYPHYR - In this case, they probably are really, really stupid, especially if they were just taking marching orders and talking points from Glenn Beck. The point of the comment was to just have way to express my dismay about the "We're smart and clean. You're dumb and unwashed. Please shut up and go away." attitude prevalent by those who have different views on things. Do Obama supporters really believe that he and his administration have no side agendas in anything they propose and aren't capable of coming up with bad ideas? Really?
posted by hrbrmstr at 11:00 AM on September 13, 2009


There have to be some good, smart, logical conservatives left. They can't all be birther, teabagging idiots. Why are they not taking the party back from these loons?

Some of them are trying. Check out the Frum piece I linked upthread.
posted by homunculus at 11:00 AM on September 13, 2009


When all either side can do (just look at this thread) is name-call during heated diatribes, it's hard to take either seriously and I have to call the motives of both into question.
You called these people "nutjobs". Why do you think that they are nutjobs?
posted by Flunkie at 11:01 AM on September 13, 2009


hrbrmstr: Could you please follow the established form for quoting previous comments you are responding to? The format you are using makes it impossible (or at least more difficult than it has to be) to follow the thread of thought you are trying to create.

Typically we quote the actual line we are responding to, and if needed we provide a link back to the originating comment so others can read the full context of the pull quote. Simply putting an @ in front of the comment might work well on Twitter, where there are tools which can help one follow a conversation. Here on the Blue, we don't have threaded comment streams, and it is considered most polite if you can make it as easy as possible on others to understand the context of one's responses.

Thank you for taking this into consideration!
posted by hippybear at 11:02 AM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


UNITED WE STAND UP
posted by EarBucket at 11:07 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do Obama supporters really believe that he and his administration have no side agendas in anything they propose

I haven't seen anything egregious yet. Perhaps that's because the previous admin set the bar pretty low, but that's irrelevant. I guess I'm not terribly enthusiastic about Cap-and-trade, it's pretty radical and fraught with unintended side effects.

and aren't capable of coming up with bad ideas? Really?

That's not something I can really work myself up about right now.
posted by Palamedes at 11:09 AM on September 13, 2009


@EarBucket - what's wrong with this sign? Or, this one? Or, this one? Or even this one? (I don't have time to continue perusing the collection right now). But, that's 4 out of the first 22 that are just plain protest signs that don't mention Hitler and don't appear racist to me at all? I'd bet either "side" would kill for 20% of their demonstrators not embarrassing their cause. Of the remaining 80%, the better typeset ones are probably posers :-)
posted by hrbrmstr at 11:10 AM on September 13, 2009


You'll also note I haven't negated the need for health care reform or taken any side here. Just because *you* believe A, B, C ... is necessary for reform doesn't make you right. I'm just not willing to spend a few trillion more dollars on an experiment (because you have to be smart enough to know that this will not be a zero sum solution).

I didn't say I was right. I said NAZI, COMMIE, EVIL are not cogent responses to Point A, Point B, Point C. The right has started right in with the villifying. I welcome reasoned debate.

As to the cost, where were these people when we were literally spending trillions of dollars on the "experiments" known as Medicare D, tax cuts for the rich during wartime, the Iraqi war, the Afghanistan war, etc. Obviously, it's not the money that's the issue - it's the nature of the "experiment".

And if you are not willing to spend money on the health care reform "experiment", please defend the current system. Take as many words as you need.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 11:12 AM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama - i.e. in an attempt to discredit the "other side".

But it seems as if the overwhelming majority of the signs are "nutjob" as you put it.... which of these signs do you believe are put out by the sane, rational people?

And do you really think that this car is put up by Democrats? That this woman is a closet Democrat? These people?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:12 AM on September 13, 2009


@Marisa Stole the Precious Thing - When all either side can do (just look at this thread) is name-call during heated diatribes, it's hard to take either seriously and I have to call the motives of both into question.

hrbrmstr, observing us from 20,000 feet up in the sky, arbiter of all.
posted by Palamedes at 11:14 AM on September 13, 2009


@hibbybear duly noted (I was just being lazy...apologies...but I'm keeping the @'s :-)

Flunkie prbly the signs calling his nationality into question, comparison to Hitler and the fact they showed up to something Glenn Beck organized.

@Palamedes If you really do believe that the Obama administration is perfect and incapable of making mistakes (i.e. bad ideas), I would really not want to see the defense of that position.
posted by hrbrmstr at 11:16 AM on September 13, 2009



Let it be so noted that opponents of a woman's right to choose are so fanatical in their beliefs that they are willing to deny people access to affordable health care
let other people suffer and die to accomplish their goals, all the while hiding their true agenda and claiming it's about being "overtaxed".

And claim they are doing it in Jesus' name, no less.

posted by dilettante at 11:17 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


this car

... yikes.

To address hbrmstr's point a bit, when I call you crazy, a pinhead, a moron, an imbecile, etc, I've got this aphorism from Alan Kay in mind:

"POV is worth 80 IQ points" . . .
At PARC we had a slogan: "Point of view is worth 80 IQ points." It was based on a few things from the past like how smart you had to be in Roman times to multiply two numbers together; only geniuses did it. We haven't gotten any smarter, we've just changed our representation system. We think better generally by inventing better representations; that's something that we as computer scientists recognize as one of the main things that we try to do.
posted by Palamedes at 11:18 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think even the juggalos managed to have better slogans.
posted by dng at 11:18 AM on September 13, 2009


hrbrmstr: !

You're pointing out that almost 20% of these signs are *not* crazy, and that's supposed to be good?

Look at anti-Iraq war demonstration pictures - seems to me that nearly all of these signs express completely rational things.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:19 AM on September 13, 2009


What strikes me reading the Corner and Michelle Malkin, etc, today is how pathetic they seem. It's like OMG we have FRIENDS! Look how popular we are! We're all awesome people, aren't we awesome? Wasn't that a great party? Let's be best friends, will you sign my yearbook?
posted by empath at 11:19 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Couple things:

The current GOP game-plan is to let the right-wing demagogues make their noise, because of their last two decades of pandering to the fringes in order to fill out their base of support. That, (plus Katherine Harris) got GWB elected, and re-elected.

Regardless of what ends up in the bill, the GOP needs for this health care initiative to be defeated, to reassure themselves of their strength and to have that all-important failure to wave around come next election.

All the hurf-durfing going on here about the nuts/cretins/ignoramuses masks the message that there is genuine unease amongst alot of sensible ordinary people about what's happened to the economy, and the important changes like healthcare that they are being asked to consider.

It's still a two-party system; trying to sway a genuine conservative with ridicule and claims of racism, instead of reason, will more than likely push them firmly into uncritical support of the GOP.

The good news is that at least some conservative bright lights are starting to call this out (like the Frum article linked to above). This could lead to further fractures in the GOP, or to a re-emergence of a reasoned, thoughtful, more centrist conservatism. Both are good outcomes.

I hope the left is smart enough to let those few reasonable voices on the right be heard.
posted by Artful Codger at 11:19 AM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Look at anti-Iraq war demonstration pictures - seems to me that nearly all of these signs express completely rational things.

And look where that got us!

Embrace the crazy!
posted by empath at 11:22 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Maybe that could be the new slogan for the Republican Party: "Nearly one in five of us are sane!"
posted by EarBucket at 11:24 AM on September 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


(I was just being lazy...apologies...but I'm keeping the @'s :-)

Jesus fucking Christ.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:26 AM on September 13, 2009


I would really not want to see the defense of that position.

you shouldn't have to, since I won't defend what I did not assert.
posted by Palamedes at 11:27 AM on September 13, 2009


@Benny Andajetz I haven't defended the current system, but there's got to be a better way than setting up yet-another-government-bureaucracy. Perhaps all our paychecks can go directly to the IRS and the arbiters in the White House can decide what each of us should get back? Because, at some point, that's going to be the case if we just keep creating government programs. Btw: hunting the Taliban in Afghanistan was not exactly an experiment...everything after that was, tho.

@Palamedes well, someone has to (said with tongue firmly planted in cheek)
posted by hrbrmstr at 11:28 AM on September 13, 2009


It's like OMG we have FRIENDS! Look how popular we are!

I liked Atrios' comment yesterday:

"Maybe next time the 700 million teabaggers should try voting."
posted by Palamedes at 11:31 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Palamedes, your Friedman link is spam/spyware. What gives?
posted by Artful Codger at 11:33 AM on September 13, 2009


Friedman was good this week.

That is a doubleplus bad link. Do not click!
posted by dforemsky at 11:34 AM on September 13, 2009


Palamedes: Was there an actual link in your Friedman post? Because all I got was a "security scan" website which then mocked up a Windows Explorer window, which was obviously fake because I'm on a Macintosh. I found no article linked to there.

What country is .cn anyway, and why is Friedman posting to a website in that country?
posted by hippybear at 11:34 AM on September 13, 2009


There were far more than "some" bigots in attendance of that event, and you damn well know it.

This.

Also, I didn't see any of the fringe racist nutcases being denounced. Not one.


Also, hrbrmstr, I'll back your right to spin out whatever conspiratorial nonsense you want about liberal plants, but please don't use the @ thing. It's ugly and makes it impossible to follow what you are responding. You might notice no one else uses it.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:36 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Cap-and-trade, it's pretty radical and fraught with unintended side effects.

I'm pretty sure the side effects are completely intended.

(Check out this Rolling Stone article on Goldman Sachs's involvement.)
posted by small_ruminant at 11:37 AM on September 13, 2009


Palamedes: That link goes to a fake virus scan scam site that tried to do a drive-by download. Your computer might itself be infected.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:37 AM on September 13, 2009


Then you'd think that real conservatives would be expressing their disapproval of the signs.

Quoted for truth. Where's the pooh-poohing from our outspoken conservative pundits about how the rational debate against the President's proposed healthcare reform have been taken over by racist nutjobs?

Certainly when the shoe was on the other foot, there was plenty of grumbling from within that every remotely liberal-ish cause was crashed by the Free Mumia contingent and the alleged anarchists.
posted by desuetude at 11:39 AM on September 13, 2009


I hope the left is smart enough to let those few reasonable voices on the right be heard.

I can only hope so. Up until now the conservatives have had only mulitple television shows, radio networks, newspapers and magazines to let their voice be heard. That they choose to swing their cameras and mics towards the crazy and say "Check it out America!" while the Frums of the Republican Party sit in the dark speaks volumes.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:39 AM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


In the style of LookAtThisFuckingHipster, here is LookAtThisFuckingTeabagger
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:39 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


(was waiting for an @-detractor...heh...will now also accommodate joe lisboa, though it is amusing how one, tiny character can provoke such reactions)

lupus_yonderboy: give me a sample from a single demonstration (vs a Google Image search) and I'll bet it would have it's share of the Bush-chimp pictures and other items that do not belong in a civil debate. Given how highly polarized and agenda-driven (on both majority sides) America is right now, yes, I'll take 20%.
posted by hrbrmstr at 11:40 AM on September 13, 2009


Palamedes: That link goes to a fake virus scan scam site that tried to do a drive-by download. Your computer might itself be infected.

That was weird. Looks to be NYT-specific: http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=10198001
posted by Palamedes at 11:42 AM on September 13, 2009


Hey, don't just shit on the anarchists. I know at least four different anarchist librarians who go to protests.
I am, however, totally OK with the 9/11 Truthers getting hit with big sticks.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:42 AM on September 13, 2009


It's hard not be infuriated by the "both sides are the same" comments.

We protested very specifically against a war we perceived as hugely misguided. The overwhelming majority of our protesters were educated, expressing real concerns, rational people. And everything we warned that would happen, did happen, and worse. Hundreds of thousands of people are dead, including thousands of Americans. There were no weapons of mass destruction. The war did not cost a few billion, it was not over in a few months. Billions of dollars in cash were sent to Iraq and immediately stolen with no investigation ever. Years later, Iraq is still in turmoil and chaos with millions of people displaced. We were completely correct.

On the other hand, these conservative protests seem to be composed overwhelmingly of crazies, protesting against things that don't even exist, and what they claim is the main thing they're objecting to, health care reform, is something that could never ever, even in its very worst case, be possibly be as bad as the hundreds of thousands killed/trillions of dollars wasted as result of the Iraq war.

So NO these are not the same - not at all, not anyhow, not nohow to anyone with the slightest bit of adult intelligence.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:43 AM on September 13, 2009 [22 favorites]


Palamedes -- you didn't post a link to the nytimes.
posted by empath at 11:48 AM on September 13, 2009


That was weird. Looks to be NYT-specific

when i looked at the first link of the fpp, i got the same fake file check - it's something on the times' web site that's doing this
posted by pyramid termite at 11:49 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Um, hrbmstr: put up or shut up. If you're claiming that the number of crazies is similar, then show us the evidence. One crazy man standing alone in a street is hardly convincing.

The search I gave you had dozens of group shots with hundreds of posters displayed and only a few are crazies. We were just as highly polarized then as now and yet most of the protesters on our side came with verifiable, rational claims.

Feel free to give us your own evidence, otherwise I suggest that you have no argument.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:50 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


these conservative protests seem to be composed overwhelmingly of crazies, protesting against things that don't even exist

and protesting the same wrong stuff they were, 40-50 years ago, only back then it was integration = communism, Medicare = socialism, etc.

@hrbrmstr: how does it feel to be wrong all the time?

Well, I take that back; in '92 Perot may have been right about the "giant sucking sound" and NAFTA, though. Got to give the loons some props, stuck clocks and all.
posted by Palamedes at 11:51 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like the @. I don't find it at all confusing, it's just a character. Stop derailing.
posted by Hildegarde at 11:52 AM on September 13, 2009


(was waiting for an @-detractor...heh...will now also accommodate joe lisboa, though it is amusing how one, tiny character can provoke such reactions)

The key to trolling well is not to tip your hand this early in the game. Your fly-away comments, strawmans, and open glee at annoying others only underlines this.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:53 AM on September 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


I don't hate the morons with the stupid signs and the ignorant positions nearly as much as I hate the cynical, functionally literate right wing operatives who have spun all this misplaced rage into being as an actual political tactic.

Fuck Glenn Beck. Fuck Rush Limbaugh. Fuck Michael Steele. Fuck the lobbyists for the insurance companies, and the insurance companies themselves. Fuck World Net Daily and Orly Taitz. Fuck every single one of them. They know exactly what they are doing. And unlike anything crazy that ever came from anywhere nearly as close to the heart of the democratic party as this has come from or been stoked by those with direct connections to the heart of the GOP, this shit is meant to be destabilizing, inflammatory, and violence provoking.

Any notion of equivalence between what we're seeing now and the left's opposition during the Bush years is just more bullshit, more lies, more hypocrisy. This is about right wing operatives stoking ignorant racist animosities and fears trying to stop social progress as fucking usual. They've been doing this for a century, and it's right out of the McCarthyite and anti-Civil Rights Movement playbook. For fucking finally once, there's more of us now than there are of them. But they will not go without screaming and violence.

I say bring it on. Obama should use the powers Bush arrogated to the presidency to pursue every 2-bit right wing group in the country as a terrorist organization, *just like Bush did* to legitimate liberal peace activists guilty of nothing more than meeting to discuss their views.

Make their fucking dreams come true.
posted by fourcheesemac at 11:54 AM on September 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


I hear you, but in all fairness, I think Orly Taitz actually believes the things she says.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:56 AM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or what Marisa said.
posted by joe lisboa at 11:56 AM on September 13, 2009


the search I gave you had dozens of group shots with hundreds of posters displayed and only a few are crazies.

the ones that got the most media play were the ones carrying the "We support our troops -- when they shoot their officers" banner. These particular anarchists didn't get a seat at the table when the Democratic platform was negotiated, unlike the demonstrators so lovingly documented in this thread.
posted by Palamedes at 11:56 AM on September 13, 2009


Make their fucking dreams come true.

I'd rather not see the use of Bush's hound dog mechanisms put into play here. I had hoped we opposed the things like the PATRIOT Act because of the policy itself, not at whom it was directed. That being said, groups like the Three Percenters have probably already earned themselves some special attention from the feds. But I can appreciate what you're saying - the "equal time" fallacy when it comes to these lunatics needs to stop.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:00 PM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


What I don't understand: don't you technically have "death panels" right now? Isn't there a merry little band of insurance people who determine whether or not you get the treatment you need or not? Wasn't there a revelation in congress about this where these insurance folks admitted as much? I am confused.
posted by Hildegarde at 12:01 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


But Hildegarde, those are private, market-driven, freedom-loving death panels; not commie Marxist Nazi death panels.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:02 PM on September 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


Palamedes -- you didn't post a link to the nytimes.

Copied the URL right out of the address field. . . the NYT is aware of the problem.
posted by Palamedes at 12:03 PM on September 13, 2009


Make their fucking dreams come true.

fourcheesemac:

Man, do I agree with you on a very visceral level. The problem with that approach is you'll just create a bunch of martyrs. That's exactly what the "functionally literate" group at the top wants.

Keeping to the high road will attract and keep the middle, hopefully. Deliver the goods, and maybe they'll move a little more left. Eyes on the prize.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:03 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


More
posted by Iron Rat at 12:07 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Did this woman bring more than one sign, or am I being tricked??
posted by maggiemae at 12:09 PM on September 13, 2009


They're two sides of the same sign, I think.
posted by EarBucket at 12:10 PM on September 13, 2009


Flunkie prbly the signs calling his nationality into question, comparison to Hitler and the fact they showed up to something Glenn Beck organized.
OK, so that's why you think these people are nutjobs. Now why is it inappropriate for other people to also call them nutjobs? And why does other people also calling them nutjobs make you "call their motives into question"?
posted by Flunkie at 12:10 PM on September 13, 2009


Btw, I'll note that the gay-rights folks are no longer scoffing at the idea that Obama should maybe just try to do one thing at a time, and that doing DOMA and DODT at the same time as Health Care reform would have been too much to try at once.
posted by empath at 12:11 PM on September 13, 2009


I think that's what the argument is now about on the left Benny. Eyes on the prize is one thing. It's in sight with health care. But you also cannot be wussy and win in American politics. Some of these people *are* terrorists. They're carrying guns to town hall meetings and threatening death and destruction. If they were left organizations during the Bush years, the hand of the the feds would be down their throats.

At least, elected democrats should be calling them terrorists, inciters, or sympathizers. Say what they are.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:12 PM on September 13, 2009


Did this woman bring more than one sign, or am I being tricked??

It's a joke- one side is the punchline.
posted by empath at 12:12 PM on September 13, 2009


Reading through this rather long thread (and understanding this post will likely *not* be read) I can only express disappointment.

I am not sure if I am ready to say Metafilter has gone downhill, but from the cheap seats you "liberals" are just as nasty, self-righteous, arrogant, patronizing, illogical, unintelligent, ad-hominem in your comments, and just plain weird (as evidenced by this thread) with the rest of them.

I have no love for "conservatives". But there were just as many people at the protest (of course many more) that weren't stupid, racist, inbred, etc. either as some have noted. Some people (let's accept most despite your political affiliation) were there to protest out of control spending which, yes, you should all be concerned about.

But let's not talk about that... let's focus on what is clearly a small subset racist fringe and misdirect (as cashman indicated he would by the title), focus, and imply that there is a significant racist component of the Republican party.

Just weird. Let the kicking begin. I am ready, as I know this is not a thread for reasonable discourse given the evidence thus far.
posted by gnash at 12:13 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Q: What's the difference between the Cleveland Zoo and the White House?
A: One has an African Lion, the other has a Lyin' African.

har har
posted by empath at 12:13 PM on September 13, 2009


That's exactly what the "functionally literate" group at the top wants.

yeah, we're seeing the ". . . bang the table" level of facts/law policy discussion on the radio and in the streets. It is a curious battle; I doubt The One has the mojo to break it, but ~maybe~ the Dems have learned their lesson from the 2001 AUMF vote (triangulation can lead to blowing your foot off).
posted by Palamedes at 12:13 PM on September 13, 2009


Imagine my surprise to see Glenn Beck's obituary in our newspaper yesterday, nestled between all of the Mark Sanford and Joe Wilson hoopla.
posted by ourroute at 12:13 PM on September 13, 2009


At least, elected democrats should be calling them terrorists, inciters, or sympathizers. Say what they are.

I agree completely. Never pass up the opportunity to call them out, but use logic and grace. There was a slogan used by the Black Panthers that I've always identified with: "Reach one, teach one."
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:16 PM on September 13, 2009


Just weird. Let the kicking begin. I am ready, as I know this is not a thread for reasonable discourse given the evidence thus far.

No need to martyr yourself. I'd start by reading the NYTimes op-ed in the main link (not being dismissive: it's a helpful introduction to why so many of "us" are frustrated and expressing it here).
posted by joe lisboa at 12:16 PM on September 13, 2009


I was just being lazy...apologies...but I'm keeping the @'s :-)

Please don't be an asshole just for assholism's sake. We don't do @s on MeFi.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:17 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


as I know this is not a thread for reasonable discourse given the evidence thus far.

Then why bother to join in?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:17 PM on September 13, 2009


I have no love for "conservatives". But there were just as many people at the protest (of course many more) that weren't stupid, racist, inbred, etc. either as some have noted. Some people (let's accept most despite your political affiliation) were there to protest out of control spending which, yes, you should all be concerned about.

I think that's simply not true. People don't march on washington to oppose out of control spending. If they did, they'd have done it during the Bush administration.
posted by empath at 12:17 PM on September 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


But let's not talk about that... let's focus on what is clearly a small subset racist fringe and misdirect (as cashman indicated he would by the title), focus, and imply that there is a significant racist component of the Republican party.

Here's the thing: where the hell are these reasonable, logical conservatives? They have numerous media outlets in their control. They could be ignoring these idiots, and giving time to reasonable cons. Instead, they give a platform for these guys. If the Republican Party is packed to the gills with perfectly level-headed people with many sound arguments, then why are conservative media outlets giving voice instead to the far-right, or pandering to them?

And by the way:

Let the kicking begin. I am ready, as I know this is not a thread for reasonable discourse given the evidence thus far.


This is pretty fucking rich for a dude who popped in here to call a large section of people posting in this thread "nasty, self-righteous, arrogant, patronizing, illogical, unintelligent, ad-hominem in your comments, and just plain weird".
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:21 PM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


Yeah, if it were about out-of-control spending, these people have been opposed to the Iraq war. I don't really understand what they're opposed to, frankly. Just the fact that there's a democrat in the white house, methinks.
posted by Hildegarde at 12:22 PM on September 13, 2009


But let's not talk about that... let's focus on what is clearly a small subset racist fringe and misdirect (as cashman indicated he would by the title), focus, and imply that there is a significant racist component of the Republican party.

What about the Nixon Strategy don't you understand? 50 years ago we Dems suffered under these same crazy people. 10 million of them went independent in 1968 (Wallace/LeMay -- there's a ticket from hell), nearly handing the election to HHH. Nixon got 'em under control in '72, GHWB lost 'em in 1992, "W"'s snake-handling -- which won him the Governorship in '94 -- restored them to the (R) bloc.

You take the crazy -- the Christianists, the flat-taxers, the gun nuts -- out of the Republicans and they have no power base; well, less than they have now at least.

I don't have any desire to engage you on the merits of Health Care. Either you think the rest of the first world is doing a better job of if or you don't. This fpp was all about the crazies among us.
posted by Palamedes at 12:22 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Maggiemae, that's theother side of her sign. Real funny fuckin' joke, lady.
posted by notsnot at 12:22 PM on September 13, 2009


A funny aside in all of this:

Arlington Superintendent Jerry McCullough issued a statement Friday apologizing for how the district handled President Obama's live speech on Tuesday.

The decision not to show the speech live to school children became particularly controversial after it became known that the district had previous plans to bus about 500 fifth-graders to attend an event with former President George W. Bush. The event, which is scheduled later this month at the new Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, will be an announcement about a volunteer initiative for the 2011 Super Bowl
posted by nola at 12:28 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


It's a shame that the US won't spawn a new party, one to the actual left of the Democrats, so that the Dems may take their proper place at the table. Which is, by world standards, not on the left at all.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:29 PM on September 13, 2009


I'm confused here-- I'm looking at Beck's 9/12 site, and I'm greeted with a faux-18th century banner proclaiming the "9 principles and 12 values". But the page which purports to explain what the 9 principles are is 404. On reading quickly through the site I can't find any reference to the 12 values, either. Bad web design, I assume, but can I just say that a slogan like "9 principles and 12 values" is right up there with "It's always joyful on the Worker's Collective Farm!" for sinister clunkiness.
posted by jokeefe at 12:31 PM on September 13, 2009


People don't march on washington to oppose out of control spending. If they did, they'd have done it during the Bush administration.

THIS.

It is the disingenuousness of the protests which strikes me. The claim that they are worried about government spending seems pale in comparison with the cronyism and war profiteering which took place during the Bush adminstration, yet none of these people were out marching in protest against Blackwater and Halliburton and all the money they wasted in our name. That fact, and that fact alone, inspires within me the cynicism to declare that these protests are not about what they claim to be about.
posted by hippybear at 12:31 PM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


They could be ignoring these idiots


They could be denouncing them! I mean, really, so far I've only seen Frum take the road of decency. How can the leadership of the GOP look at these signs being waved on TV and not be ashamed of their silence?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:35 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: It's not trolling to disagree with both extremes and try to inject a bit of humor into a very divisive thread. Only proponents of either side are allowed to participate? I'll have to check for that rule somewhere. While I'm still apparently "trolling", though: where's the evidence for this statement? Just because you are uncomfortable with the number of people who listen to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck does not mean the left has no large-scale outlet for it's message.

NPR interviewed a congress-critter yesterday:
SIEGEL: When you spoke of the extension of coverage, do you mean by that that you support, in principle, the idea of mandates and that individuals and employers be required to purchase health insurance?

Sen. NELSON: Well, I think it's important that it'd be compulsory. I don't particularly like the idea of calling it a mandate. We have compulsory auto liability coverage in America today in virtually every state.

SIEGEL: But is there any more than a semantic distinction between something that's compulsory and something that's mandated?

Sen. NELSON: Well, let's put it this way - we already have a word that outlines exactly what it is and why it exists. Why do we invent new words?
I'm supposed to trust that my best intentions are at hand when the people crafting the legislation try to wordsmith their way out of something and equate health insurance with car insurance? And, while I am not someone who tracks entries in Webster, I bet "mandate" has been around for a while. To you lefties (and righties): get smarter folks who don't sound like they are hiding something and maybe you'll stop scaring people into reacting the way they are in these protests.
posted by hrbrmstr at 12:38 PM on September 13, 2009


Frum and Little Green Footballs. (who just got unlinked by Powerline for not being sufficiently supportive of European Fascists).
posted by empath at 12:39 PM on September 13, 2009


In related news: Wilson: No second apology for ‘You lie’ words.
posted by ericb at 12:39 PM on September 13, 2009


Disingenuousness. That's just it. The word I reach for most often. And hypocrisy. And if you're consciously a disingenuous hypocrite, that makes you a liar.

On the bright side, these protesters seem overwhelmingly to be in their 50s and older, and remarkably prone to obesity.

That means they're going to die off soon. What a shame.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:40 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Kristol: Leave Joe Wilson alone!
posted by ericb at 12:40 PM on September 13, 2009


While I'm still apparently "trolling", though: where's the evidence for this statement? Just because you are uncomfortable with the number of people who listen to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck does not mean the left has no large-scale outlet for it's message.

I think you need to work on your reading comprehension.
posted by EarBucket at 12:41 PM on September 13, 2009


Unless of course they get health care.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:41 PM on September 13, 2009


Kristol: Leave Joe Wilson alone!

Let's not forget that Kristol was once known as (seriously) "Dan Quayle's Brain." I'm not sure Barack Obama needs strategic advice from that guy.
posted by EarBucket at 12:42 PM on September 13, 2009


I know i've said this a few times, but goddamn these people are crazy.
posted by empath at 12:42 PM on September 13, 2009


Beck fan and 9/12 protest attendee explains why Obama will oppress ‘white America.’ [video | 01:24].
posted by ericb at 12:43 PM on September 13, 2009


Flunkie: the difference is I'm referring to the ones with the bad signs whereas the intelligentsia are degrading anyone with a differing opinion/position.
posted by hrbrmstr at 12:43 PM on September 13, 2009


Not sure anyone has posted Oliver Willis' massive photo essay on the event.

Barf.
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:45 PM on September 13, 2009


It's not trolling to disagree with both extremes and try to inject a bit of humor into a very divisive thread. Only proponents of either side are allowed to participate? I'll have to check for that rule somewhere.

This isn't what I said. I didn't say you were trolling for using humor; I said you were trolling because you make these fly-away comments, employ strawmen, and purposefully annoy people with open glee.

Just because you are uncomfortable with the number of people who listen to the likes of Limbaugh, Hannity and Beck does not mean the left has no large-scale outlet for it's message.

I suggest you go back and read what I wrote because, again, it's not what I said. I said that conservatives have plenty of media outlets to give voice to what they really think, and that they've chosen to give voice to the far-right.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:47 PM on September 13, 2009


Best sign ever: "Global Enslavement Through Debt Based Currencies!"
posted by fourcheesemac at 12:49 PM on September 13, 2009


Holy crap empath. Don't tell me LGF is on the sane side of this?
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:51 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


They've been for a while. I don't know when they went all Balloon Juice and joined the sane side of the aisle, but they're fairly anti-crazy now.

They're not pro-Obama by any stretch, though, and they seem to be against the health care bill, but at least for sane reasons.
posted by empath at 12:53 PM on September 13, 2009


equate health insurance with car insurance?

Yes, the equation is apt. By forcing all drivers into the pool we lower the costs and risks for all. Yet this is profoundly anti-market and anti-libertarian -- big government forcing you to do something against your will.

Humans have a hard time accurately discounting economic risks and opportunity. Lord knows I do -- I spend an hour a month to recycle $3 in cans instead of more productive employment at the keyboard.

Health insurance in this bill works the same way. By mandating it, we force people to NOT skate on their life-long financial obligations.

Similar dynamics were achieved with Social Security. The problem was people, being people, didn't save enough for old age. With SS the problem was largely solved, at least in conjunction with the Medicare safety net for people like my mom who are at/below poverty.
posted by Palamedes at 12:53 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Little Green Footballs is considered moderate conservatives now? Sweet Jebus if that's true then the GOP is in worse shape than I thought.
posted by PenDevil at 12:54 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


dejah420: there has to be something we can do to get the focus off the lunatics and back on to rational discussion between two logical viewpoints.

Well, first, this statement is predicated on a couple of fallacies.

First, there are more than two logical viewpoints. The presence of two political parties in the U.S.A. makes it difficult to remember this sometimes.

Second, there never really has been a rational discussion about this issue. Perhaps there's never been much of a rational discussion about any issue of import in our (or any) national history. The way politicians debate has more to do with appeal to emotions or, perhaps, appeal to ideals. Rationally, a health care reform package should help the maximum number of people and benefit us all financially in the long run. A debate that appeals to "moral imperatives" or fictional "death panels" is not a rational debate.

Next, as far as the focus on the lunatics goes, that's partially the news media, but mostly us - collectively, American citizens.

For our part, the Teabaggers are like living, breathing staw men. They are easy targets for an enormous number of reasons - not the least of which was their choice of the name "teabaggers" at the inception of the movement. Collectively, we are more likely to give them a tremendous amount of attention than, say, the Republican response to Obama's speech. Heck, we gave more attention to Joe Wilson than to Obama after his speech. In general, the left was all like "good speech, Obama, BUT OMG DONATE MONEY TO WILSON'S OPPONENT LOOK AT ALL THE MONEY HIS OPPONENT IS RAISING."

So, anyhow, as with all trolls, if we give them a lot of focus, we give them more power.

For the media's part, they recognize that the bulk of their audience is more likely to watch stuff that infuriates them than stuff that appeals to their intellect. Again, Joe Wilson's asshatery got more media attention than Obama's speech. Heck, liberal bastion "Huffington Post" and "DailyKos" were all Wilson, all the time. Yes, there were some articles about the speech on HuffPost, but the articles given emphasis were mostly Wilson or Teabag related. And which articles do you think garnered more comments?

Yes, the signs are appalling. Yes, its upsetting how many people believe false and offensive things about Obama.

30% of the country is an enormous number of people. However, in this case, there's a larger percentage of us who do not believe false, offensive things about Obama. Giving all this attention to the people who are crazy (I recall that the biggest current MeFi thread is one about Sarah Palin, not Obama - and recently, the Wilson thread and this thread have garnered more responses than most anything rational) makes them seem more important than they are to all of us. Indeed, it actually makes them more important than they are.

We can change the tied, to some extent, by doing what we do with trolls, which is to not reply to them and to remind others to do the same.
posted by Joey Michaels at 12:55 PM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


It's hard not be infuriated by the "both sides are the same" comments.

Well, that was the point. You got trolled. Again. By the same person. Again.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 12:58 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


whereas the intelligentsia are degrading anyone with a differing opinion/position

trollin' trollin' trollin'. You on a quota here?
posted by Palamedes at 1:02 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's not trolling to disagree with both extremes
What leftist extreme are you disagreeing with in this thread?

I mean, I understand that you disagree with extreme positions that no one here has ever claimed to hold, such as "Obama cannot possibly make a mistake"; you've said so often enough. I'm sure you disagree that the concept of private ownership should be outlawed, and that abortions should be made mandatory, and that it should be illegal to say that evolution is flawed, too. That's all well and good.

But what leftist extreme that an actual person in this thread has espoused are you disagreeing with in this thread?
posted by Flunkie at 1:03 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Any way we could cool it on calling US elected representatives Congress Critters? Or maybe I am the only one bugged by this.
posted by shothotbot at 1:04 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I like how 'intelligentsia' is an insult. Or generally implying that we're smarter or more informed than the people we're discussing.
posted by empath at 1:04 PM on September 13, 2009


Troll asked something to the effect of "how does it feel to be right all the time."

And I've been pondering this and I think my answer boils down to two things.

First, it feels depressing. I am really depressed about it. I just don't see how we're going to save ourselves from the consequences of having allowed evil people to run the nation.

Holy shit, but how do the right-wingers live with themselves with the knowledge that because of the decisions they supported, thousands of American kids have died, tens of thousands more gravely injured, and tens upon tens of thousands suffering PSTD — a problem that isn't just harmful to our soldiers, but all those who are around them. How do they live with the knowledge that their idiocy has nearly destroyed the country's economy? How do they live with what they have done?!?

So, secondly, however bad it feels to be right, it sure must feel better than it does to have been so dreadfully wrong.

I'm really not sure how the mistaken ones can bear to show their faces in public. So many people died because of their mistakes. How can they bear it?
posted by five fresh fish at 1:04 PM on September 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


LGF is now a voice of sanity on the right. I'm speechless.
posted by jokeefe at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


However, in this case, there's a larger percentage of us who do not believe false, offensive things about Obama.

Given the ratings of Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, Hannity, Dr Laura, . . . this is questionable.
posted by Palamedes at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2009


It's funny that the general tenor of 'conservatives' who randomly drop into MeFi threads is that "I have no idea if what you are saying is wrong, and I can't argue with you on the merits, so I'm just going to complain about everyone acting superior to me."
posted by empath at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


In the style of LookAtThisFuckingHipster, here is LookAtThisFuckingTeabagger

This one should go down as one of the great, lost, Godspeed You, Black Emperor! album titles.
posted by Grangousier at 1:06 PM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


First, it feels depressing.

See: The Cassandra Effect
posted by empath at 1:08 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


How can they bear it?

That 460 basis point cut in the top marginal income tax rate can buy a lot of comfort food.
posted by Palamedes at 1:25 PM on September 13, 2009


Palamedes: Given the ratings of Limbaugh, Beck, Savage, Hannity, Dr Laura, . . . this is questionable.

Even as many people who watch those shows, they're still the minority right now. You can make a lot of money off of zealots is all those ratings prove.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:26 PM on September 13, 2009


LGF is now a voice of sanity on the right. I'm speechless.

To me, this is by far the most shocking thing in this thread.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:28 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


they're still the minority right now

Tell that to Michael Steele.
posted by Palamedes at 1:35 PM on September 13, 2009


Nate Silver on the exaggeration of the size of the rally by the media. As always, good stuff from Nate.
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:42 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


There weren't any teabags at the Boston Tea Party.
posted by marxchivist at 1:42 PM on September 13, 2009


I have a really bad feeling that some of these people are working very hard to assassinate Obama. It makes me shudder with fear. I hope for all hope that the Secret Service does its best.
posted by localhuman at 1:45 PM on September 13, 2009


The crowd size was estimated to be about 75,000 people.This is not a mass movement....This is a tiny tantrum by ignorant pinheads.

ABC News Was Misquoted on Crowd Size -- "ABC News Reported D.C. Rally Size in Tens of Thousands, Not 1M to 1.5M as Activist Said."
"But yesterday, someone told a real whopper. ABC News, citing the DC fire department, reported that between 60,000 and 70,000 people had attended the tea party rally at the Capitol. By the time this figure reached Michelle Malkin, however, it had been blown up to 2,000,000. There is a big difference, obviously, between 70,000 and 2,000,000. That's not a twofold or threefold exaggeration -- it's roughly a thirtyfold exaggeration.

The way this false estimate came into being is relatively simple: Matt Kibbe, the president of FreedomWorks, lied, claiming that ABC News had reported numbers of between 1.0 and 1.5 million when they never did anything of the sort. A few tweets later, the numbers had been exaggerated still further to 2 million. Kibbe wasn't "in error", as Malkin gently puts it. He lied. He did the equivalent of telling people that his penis is 53 inches long.

Malkin, who to her credit later corrected the error, frets that it might be used to by liberals to "discredit the undeniably massive turnout". She's right to be worried -- it absolutely will be used that way. If you don't want to be discredited, then don't, as Kibbe did, tell a ridiculous (and easily disprovable) lie."*
posted by ericb at 1:46 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


There weren't any teabags at the Boston Tea Party.

I also recommend the blog -- Boston 1775.
posted by ericb at 1:48 PM on September 13, 2009


MetaFilter: his penis is 53 inches long.
posted by ericb at 1:49 PM on September 13, 2009


It's hard not be infuriated by the "both sides are the same" comments.

We protested very specifically against a war we perceived as hugely misguided. The overwhelming majority of our protesters were educated, expressing real concerns, rational people...
On the other hand, these conservative protests seem to be composed overwhelmingly of crazies, protesting against things that don't even exist...


I really do know where you're coming from, and was inclined to think that myself, but in all fairness, if you do a search for images using phrases friendly to these protesters, like "tea party" instead of "teabagging", etc, you'll find plenty of images with pretty ordinary looking protest signs, and if you look through the right wing blogs about the bush protests, you'll find some pretty crazy left wing fringe stuff...

I think the problem is just that protests are overwhelmingly symbolic and theatrical, and the people who take part in them aren't really expecting or hoping to start a dialogue or figure out good ways to compromise, or work out the real repercussions of possible actions. They largely want to vent their frustrations with some kind of totem that can stand in for whatever's wrong in the world.

Some iraq war protesters had complex political reasons for thinking the specific policy suggested was unwise, and others just were generally against the idea of war, period, which isn't a particularly realistic foreign policy. Likewise, there are some tea party people who have economic theory reasons for opposing universal health care, and a bunch who just are generally against the idea of "big gov't" without understanding specifics. I get more worried by the right wing nuts than the left wing nuts only because I tend to think they have closer links to real positions of power, but I'm not sure the fringe protesters are necessarily where the difference is most obvious.
posted by mdn at 1:51 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


How many GOP politicians have spoken out against Limbaugh, Beck, Malkin, the Birthers, the Deathers, the Tenthers?

GOP embraces conservative groups’ protest.
posted by ericb at 2:04 PM on September 13, 2009


This one should go down as one of the great, lost, Godspeed You, Black Emperor! album titles.

There have been a couple of links to the sign that says: "How can I bless this nation when the blood of the babies cries to me from the ground?"; but I don't think anyone has mentioned yet that this is an allusion to the Bible.

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"
"I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"

The LORD said, "What have you done? Listen! Your brother's blood cries out to me from the ground. Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother's blood from your hand. When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth."


It might seem a little less weird when you realize that they are using an old, old Biblical trope, and not just a random gory image.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:04 PM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Thank you, Pater Aletheias. That does make it seem a little less weird.
posted by lazaruslong at 2:05 PM on September 13, 2009


Let it be so noted that opponents of a woman's right to choose are so fanatical in their beliefs that they are willing to deny people access to affordable health care to accomplish their goals, all the while hiding their true agenda and claiming it's about being "overtaxed".

For the record: I don't have health insurance. Can't get it at work except for Aflac. Husband is considered selfemployed, and both of us are pretty uninsurable privately because of preexisting or past health complications.

I would love nothing more than to have access to affordable health care. I just don't think Obama and the Democrats are going about this from the right angle. For instance, there is no talk of what malpractice insurance premiums are doing for the practice of medicine, nor does there seem any acknowledgement of the fact we don't at present have enough doctors to handle the influx should their plans take fruition...there are real issues, and Obama has not done one single darn thing to reassure me that the Democrats have viable ideas that will work in the real world and not just as a theoretical concept. At the very least their efforts to cram something thru so quickly-when right here and right now the major issue is the ECONOMY-makes me feel like they don't quite know just what they are doing in Washington.

If that hurts Liberal feelings, I'm sorry. But as bad a system as we have now, I would like to see it not get worse.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:07 PM on September 13, 2009


This post has disappeared from the front page... weird.
posted by autodidact at 2:12 PM on September 13, 2009


You and your husband can't get health insurance. None of us are getting younger. How can anything that changes be for the worse?
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:12 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Actually, it's a quote from Angels All Around Us, by Sandy Colledge, who purports it to be a quote God, who she claims spoke to her.

Of course, Sandy Colledge almost certainly lifted the phraseology from the Bible, but nonetheless, this lady's sign is a direct quote of Colledge.
posted by Flunkie at 2:12 PM on September 13, 2009


there is no talk of what malpractice insurance premiums are doing for the practice of medicine
Finally, many in this chamber – particularly on the Republican side of the aisle – have long insisted that reforming our medical malpractice laws can help bring down the cost of health care. I don't believe malpractice reform is a silver bullet, but I have talked to enough doctors to know that defensive medicine may be contributing to unnecessary costs. So I am proposing that we move forward on a range of ideas about how to put patient safety first and let doctors focus on practicing medicine. I know that the Bush Administration considered authorizing demonstration projects in individual states to test these issues. It's a good idea, and I am directing my Secretary of Health and Human Services to move forward on this initiative today. — Obama's speech to Congress
posted by enn at 2:13 PM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


First, ignore malpractice, that's a tiny fraction of health care costs.

Secondly -- the bill requires health insurance companies to accept people with pre-existing conditions!

Thirdly, it will REQUIRE your employer to buy health insurance for you.

This is what we talk about when we can't believe that your reasons for opposing Obama have anything to do with what you claim them to be. You don't make a lick of sense, so we're left looking for other possible explanations.
posted by empath at 2:13 PM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


equate health insurance with car insurance?

Yes, the equation is apt. By forcing all drivers into the pool we lower the costs and risks for all.


I remember reading an article some time back that explained why the exact same driver will pay more for car insurance in one city than another. Turns out the difference had very little to do with varying driving conditions--it was almost entirely accounted for by the percentage of uninsured drivers. Premiums had to be higher to cover the cost of repairs that should be covered by the other guys' insurance, if only he had some. This created a vicious cycle in which places where car insurance was high were places where poorer people where more likely to forgo car insurance, which raised the number of uninsured drivers, which kept the premiums high--and round and round. That cycle only broke when some states (almost all, now, I guess) made it illegal to drive without insurance.

The same kind of thing should happen with healthcare. When all I'm paying for is insurance for what might happen to me, and not for what might happen to some uninsured person who won't get turned away from the ER, a drop in costs will result. Whether that lowered cost actually gets passed on to the consumer will probably depend a lot on whether there is a public option to keep the rest of the players honest.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 2:14 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Thirdly, it will REQUIRE your employer to buy health insurance for you

I work for a small business. I know way too much about their present finances.

Let's just say I'd be out of a job. Because they couldn't afford to do it. They are nice people and if they could afford it we'd all have it.

They can't afford it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:17 PM on September 13, 2009


Btw, Andrew Sullivan posted a great pullquote from The Road to Serfdom the other day (which used to be a conservative bible):
Nor is there any reason why the state should not assist the individuals in providing for those common hazards of life against which, because of their uncertainty, few individuals can make adequate provision. Where, as in the case of sickness and accident, neither the desire to avoid such calamities nor the efforts to overcome their consequences are as a rule weakened by the provision of assistance – where, in short, we deal with genuinely insurable risks – the case for the state’s helping to organize a comprehensive system of social insurance is very strong…

…Wherever communal action can mitigate disasters against which the individual can neither attempt to guard himself nor make the provision for the consequences, such communal action should undoubtedly be taken.
Friedrich Hayek, The Road To Serfdom (Chapter 9)

More from a Ron Paul libertarian here.

The conservative opposition to universal health insurance is simply incoherent. There's no other way to describe it.
posted by empath at 2:18 PM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


I think the problem is just that protests are overwhelmingly symbolic and theatrical, and the people who take part in them aren't really expecting or hoping to start a dialogue or figure out good ways to compromise, or work out the real repercussions of possible actions. They largely want to vent their frustrations with some kind of totem that can stand in for whatever's wrong in the world.

For me the problem is not appearances. It's the aim. The left-wing protestors were protesting actual, real things that even Bush supporters admitted were happening (i.e., the war, Guantanamo, PATRIOT Act). While on the right, at this moment, we have thousands marching in the street protesting wholly imagined or fabricating evils. The sheer number of conspiracy theories being bandied about among these thousands is far and away vastly different than what we saw from the left when W was in office.

At the very least their efforts to cram something thru so quickly-when right here and right now the major issue is the ECONOMY-makes me feel like they don't quite know just what they are doing in Washington.

I'd submit that health care reform is an integral part of fixing the economy, for many reasons. And no, your opinions don't hurt my liberal feelings.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:19 PM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


I just don't think Obama and the Democrats are going about this from the right angle.

i don't see the republican party offering anything but an extension of business as usual and that is just not going to work

For instance, there is no talk of what malpractice insurance premiums are doing for the practice of medicine, nor does there seem any acknowledgement of the fact we don't at present have enough doctors to handle the influx should their plans take fruition...there are real issues

yes, they are, and they should be addressed

and Obama has not done one single darn thing to reassure me that the Democrats have viable ideas that will work in the real world and not just as a theoretical concept.

but here's the thing - we know what doesn't work in the real world - what we have now - and there are plenty of examples in the world of systems that work better, so it's not all based on theoretical concepts - furthermore, at some point, something has to be tried - there's no guarantee on anything except that things will get worse if we don't try something

At the very least their efforts to cram something thru so quickly-when right here and right now the major issue is the ECONOMY

and how the previous administration created the circumstances in which it tanked - it took years to happen, it will take years to fix - and, if we were to do this right, universal health care might actually HELP the economy by 1) lifting the burden off of businesses who are now competing with companies whose governments pay for the health care 2) allowing people to be entrepreneurs and start businesses without worrying about health care - (of course, the democrats aren't actually proposing these - what they have is a compromise, but it's better than nothing)

But as bad a system as we have now, I would like to see it not get worse.

then reform is necessary and the republicans are standing in the way of it
posted by pyramid termite at 2:19 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


But as bad a system as we have now, I would like to see it not get worse.
How can it get any worse for you? You have no insurance now and in the current system and with your current position in life you never will have. The first major medical emergency that comes your way could probably put you in bankruptcy. Medical bankruptcy is the largest cause of private bankruptcy in the US. Of course there's a link between health care and the economy!

If you were to vote on purely selfish in-my-best-interest lines (aka the lassez faire capitalist way) you would be all in favour of UHC. Instead you seem to be voting along a party line which retains the status quo for insurers who have screwed you over in the past and will continue to do so in the future.
posted by PenDevil at 2:19 PM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Let me make it plainer-I think they would be forced to go out of business.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:20 PM on September 13, 2009


>> Was bantering this around with the fam and it came up that there is a *possibility* that the more nutjobbier of the signs have the potential to be staged productions by those who support Obama - i.e. in an attempt to discredit the "other side".

I would not dismiss that out of hand. Yes, definitely possible.

But possible does not equal likely. That's a critical distinction that tends to irritate teabaggers who don't want to be bogged down by eggheaded details and factual speedbumps.

Is it possible Obama is a Manchurian candidate? Yes. Likely? No.

A teabagger will seize on that possible as fact and assert "Aha! Proof!" But the likely or not element is the real test. This is why dumb people purchase the overwhelming majority of lottery tickets. Possible to win millions? Absolutely. Likely? No.

The teabagger would say: "But you DID say it was possible, right?"

You can tell from my remarks above that I have nothing but contempt for the teabaggers, but agents provocateurs come in all varieties. Having said that, you need to ask yourself how likely that is. If you find most of the signs at a teabagger rally offensive, how many of them can credibly be attributed to agents provocateurs? 10%? 90%? The number you come up with during honest introspection will tell you something important.

I said HONEST introspection.

If you self-identify as a teabagger, but find that when looking around at these rallies you are mostly filled with loathing at the company you are keeping, maybe that really is the nature of the group you are affiliating with.
posted by Brosef K at 2:20 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I work for a small business. I know way too much about their present finances.

A vast majority of the nation’s small employers — those who have 25 or fewer workers in the Senate health bill or annual payrolls of $500,000 or less in the House version — would likely be exempted from the mandate.

So then you'd have to buy insurance on your own. That's what the public option is intended for, to make it cheap and convenient.

But failing that, if you're up to 133% of poverty, you get Medicaid.

If you're up to 300% of poverty, you get subsidized insurance.

If you're more than 300% over the poverty line ($66,000 for a family of 4), then you have to buy individual insurance, but you won't be getting bent over a barrel for having a pre-existing condition.
posted by empath at 2:25 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Let me make it plainer-I think they would be forced to go out of business.
"And that's why under my plan, individuals will be required to carry basic health insurance -- just as most states require you to carry auto insurance. (Applause.) Likewise -- likewise, businesses will be required to either offer their workers health care, or chip in to help cover the cost of their workers. There will be a hardship waiver for those individuals who still can't afford coverage, and 95 percent of all small businesses, because of their size and narrow profit margin, would be exempt from these requirements."

(...)

"Now, for those individuals and small businesses who still can't afford the lower-priced insurance available in the exchange, we'll provide tax credits, the size of which will be based on your need."

No one's going to be forced out of business. Remember when you said you believe what you want to believe when you're desperate? Which is what led you to believe in Sarah Palin? And which you refer to as "cynicism"?

Might this be one of those times?
posted by Flunkie at 2:25 PM on September 13, 2009 [20 favorites]


A handy flowchart.
posted by empath at 2:25 PM on September 13, 2009 [13 favorites]


Mmmm ... tasty, tasty facts and information.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:30 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Can people who oppose any and all reform out of a simple fear of change not be fucking bothered with learning something about the current system, why it *already* dooms us to economic disaster on a collective as well as individual level, and the broad outlines of the various proposals now on the table to reform it? Must this all be about feelings instead of fucking facts?

American conservatives have the emotional volatility and lack of perspective of pre-adolescents.

You don't get to impose your feelings on the facts. Go find some facts.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Well, sounds good, but after fifty years of life it is still hard for me to me to BELIEVE things will be as someone says in a speech. We'll see.

Meanwhile I will continue to eat healthy and go to the gym...
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2009


And stop being so damn "desperate" all the time. We have it pretty fucking good in the US even for all our problems.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:35 PM on September 13, 2009


Alia - you said you oppose this plan because it would put your employers out of business and you out of work. When it is explained to you in detail how that is not true, your response is "well, sounds good, but I don't believe everything I hear."


Really?
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:38 PM on September 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


I work for a small business. I know way too much about their present finances.

Let's just say I'd be out of a job. Because they couldn't afford to do it. They are nice people and if they could afford it we'd all have it.

They can't afford it.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:17 PM on September 13


Why our country insists on employer financed health insurance, I will never understand. It makes no sense.
posted by Daddy-O at 2:38 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile I will continue to eat healthy and go to the gym...
I hope you aren't driving to get there.
posted by PenDevil at 2:38 PM on September 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


"That sounds really great, but since it's a Democrat saying it and not a Republican I can't believe it, so DOWN WITH OBAMACARE!!!" If only Republicans had been so skeptical when Bush announced that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. That also was a speech.
posted by Hildegarde at 2:40 PM on September 13, 2009 [15 favorites]


Why are these guys dressed as Native Americans?

Many in original Boston Tea Party were dressed up as Native Americans in order to protect their own identities. These people are using that as pastiche and trying to be clever.


Exactly ... disguised as Mohawk Indians.
posted by ericb at 2:40 PM on September 13, 2009


You know, here's my view. You can say and think whatever you like. You can't claim to speak for all Americans, or average Americans, or a majority of Americans just because you're white, Christian, or whatever.

The right wing viewpoint is a significant minority viewpoint in this country, held by people who can't believe they're in the minority after decades of being told they were exemplary Americans of the "silent majority." Now they're a minority that can't shut up about grievances that are pathetically overstated at best, non-existent at worst.

Sucks not being in power, assholes.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:41 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


If that hurts Liberal feelings, I'm sorry. But as bad a system as we have now, I would like to see it not get worse.

oh, man. The heart and soul of conservatism. Generally on the wrong side of the debate for the past 3000 years.
posted by Palamedes at 2:46 PM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


Why are these guys dressed as Native Americans?

I've just started a personal campaign of referring anyone at a protest dressed up as a "colonial forefather" or native american as a "colonial cosplayer", and am letting others sort out in their mind what I might mean by that.

I'd call them furries, but they aren't actually wearing animal outfits.
posted by hippybear at 2:50 PM on September 13, 2009


fourcheesemac: "The right wing viewpoint is a significant minority viewpoint in this country, held by people who can't believe they're in the minority after decades of being told they were exemplary Americans of the "silent majority." ... Sucks not being in power, assholes."

I'd be more "Yah, in yer face!" about it if I wasn't so sure that after another 14 months of "jobless recovery" they'll be coming right back.

The classic Simpsons take on our wonderful two-party system is "Don't blame me. I voted for Kodos." But the pattern of "throwing the bums out by electing the bums we threw out the last time" more often reminds me of the scene towards the end of "Cape Feare" where Bart is trying to escape the drifting houseboat where Sideshow Bob is trying to kill him.

Some of you already know what I mean? Bart runs to the back of the boat but is kept from jumping off by a snapping alligator in the water. So Bart runs to the front of the boat but can't jump off there either because of electric eels. So he runs to the back of the boat again where the alligator is still snapping. And Bart says, "Oh... right."
posted by Joe Beese at 2:52 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


[St Alia, this is not about you - everyone else, this is not about St Alia, please stop or go to metatalk, thanks]
posted by jessamyn at 2:59 PM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Obama should use the powers Bush arrogated to the presidency

No.

Fail, fail, FAIL.

In fact, I'm disappointed in him for not rejecting those powers more strongly, and the only thing tempering my disappointment in his apparent failure to care about the progressive agenda is the knowledge that after eight years of Bush, the republic wouldn't survive another president so determined to act as if the executive branch outranked the other two.

It was wrong in 1798, it was wrong in 2001, and it's wrong now.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 3:00 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Does Size Matter? The Impact of the 9/12 Rally.
posted by homunculus at 3:05 PM on September 13, 2009


It was wrong in 1798, it was wrong in 2001, and it's wrong now.

Wrong rally.

Obviously I'm being hyperbolic and Swiftian. But the fact is that there is plenty of terrorist activity on the far right in this country, which we ignore as a law enforcement matter until it's too late. Even using the most standard law enforcement tools, we could be making life nice and hard for the far right. But we don't. We wait for Waco (or Oklahoma City) or until someone gets shot, or a whole lot of people.

A good start is calling many on the Obama-hating fringe what they are: terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:08 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Jessamyn, with respect, St Alia's situation is a perfect illustration of the current paradox of people opposing healthcare reform, yet are themselves suffering under the current system.

I will only add that St Alia has just made the best case for why a single-payer system would beat all others hands-down - it almost completely lifts the health-care burden from all employers and businesses. Businesses aren't burdened, workers aren't chained to lousy jobs because of the benefits.
posted by Artful Codger at 3:13 PM on September 13, 2009 [9 favorites]


A good start is calling many on the Obama-hating fringe what they are: terrorists and terrorist sympathizers.

Like we've been saying for eight years, the FBI doesn't need unconstitutional powers to take care of the ones who're actually inciting violence. All it needs is a spine and a clue.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 3:14 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Actually, it's a quote from Angels All Around Us, by Sandy Colledge, who purports it to be a quote God, who she claims spoke to her.

You know, that could be Colledge herself. According to this newsletter, dated last month.

Sandy Colledge was recently given a prophetic word which she in turn put on a large poster and stood on the steps of the Capitol Building holding it for all to see. Talk about effective! It read: “How Can I Bless This Nation When the Blood of the Babies Cries to Me from the Ground!”

No reason to think she didn't make another trip to Washington with the same sign. Might be more likely than the possibility that someone read her book.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 3:14 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I suspect we agree there, though.
posted by haltingproblemsolved at 3:15 PM on September 13, 2009


A series of photos showing a (presumably Jewish) guy holding a pro-healthcare reform sign at the teabagger rally:

"One person spit on him, while others pushed and tried to grab his flag until the police intervened. Most of the crowd around him turned on him like rabid dogs, yelling epithets and things like commie, why don[']t you leave this country etc."
posted by orthogonality at 3:16 PM on September 13, 2009



When I saw the Kennedy Obamacare poster, that's when I said goodbye. Why focus on them at all? As posters stated above, giving them over 500 comments worth of attention is not worthy of them.
posted by dealing away at 3:19 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's another eye-opening visual comparison on 70k v 2 million
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:20 PM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


Glenn Beck Leads 9/12 Tea Party From Comfort of His NYC Studio
posted by PenDevil at 3:23 PM on September 13, 2009



"One person spit on him, while others pushed and tried to grab his flag until the police intervened. Most of the crowd around him turned on him like rabid dogs, yelling epithets and things like commie, why don[']t you leave this country etc."


Thereby breaking Principles 5 & 8, and Values 4 through 8; said ralliers can't even abide by their own 9/12 principles at the inaugural 9/12 rally.
posted by Palamedes at 3:24 PM on September 13, 2009


Why focus on them at all? As posters stated above, giving them over 500 comments worth of attention is not worthy of them.
NOAM CHOMSKY:Take a look at Germany. In the 1920s, Germany was the absolute peak of Western civilization, in the arts and the sciences. It was regarded as a model of democracy and so on. I mean, ten years later, it was the depths of barbarism. That was a quick transition. “The descent into barbarism” it’s sometimes called in the scholarly literature.

Now, if you listen to early Nazi propaganda, you know, end of the Weimar Republic and so on, and you listen to talk radio in the United States, which I often do—it’s interesting—there’s a resemblance. And in both cases, you have a lot of demagogues appealing to people with real grievances.

Grievances aren’t invented. I mean, for the American population, the last thirty years have been some of the worst in economic history. It’s a rich country, but real wages have stagnated or declined, working hours have shot up, benefits have gone down, and people are in real trouble and now in very real trouble after the bubbles burst. And they’re angry. And they want to know, “What happened to me? You know, I’m a hard-working, white, God-fearing American. You know, how come this is happening to me?”

That’s pretty much the Nazi appeal. The grievances were real. And one of the possibilities is what Rush Limbaugh tells you: “Well, it’s happening to you because of those bad guys out there.” OK, in the Nazi case, it was the Jews and the Bolsheviks. Here, it’s the rich Democrats who run Wall Street and run the media and give everything away to illegal immigrants, and so on and so forth. It sort of peaked during the Sarah Palin period. And it’s kind of interesting. It’s been pointed out that of all the candidates, Sarah Palin is the only one who used the phrase “working class.” She was talking to the working people. And yeah, they’re the ones who are suffering. So, there are models that are not very attractive.
posted by orthogonality at 3:25 PM on September 13, 2009 [18 favorites]


Yep, convince them that they are victims, identify the culprit, and set them loose. What Limbaugh and company have achieved is convincing one of the most privileged demographics in history that it is in fact the victim.
posted by freshundz at 3:30 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Stop it, guys. You're upsetting everyone.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:31 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


We can only hope this crap peaked with Palin. My amateur opinion is she gave the far-right media legitimacy. Where before you only heard about these people when one of their compounds got raided, now it's all "Well, you know, to be fair, let's ask Shooty McDominionist what he has to say."
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:31 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


SirOmega wrote: Back on track on this thread, the most objectionable thing I've seen out of this movement was in my town, when a woman yelled heil Hitler (YT video in linked page) at a Jewish fellow attending a local town hall meeting in August while he was talking to the press. His response was outrage, as you could probably understand. He then responded by citing a personal incident where he was charged $8,000 for a 2 hour ER visit. Her response was faux-crying. Compassionate Conservatism my ass.

What I can't understand: Where is all this childish behavior coming from? Why are people acting out like their four year olds?

Actually, come to think of it, I've seen four year olds better behaved than that.
posted by wierdo at 3:35 PM on September 13, 2009


So, there are models that are not very attractive.

So since we've finally (?) Darwinned ourselves, lemme just say the Goebbels doesn't have anything on Beck's methods. Respeck.
posted by Palamedes at 3:36 PM on September 13, 2009


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing: "We can only hope this crap peaked with Palin.""

May it prove so.

But real unemployment will probably still be high 14 months from now. And Obama ain't getting any whiter.
posted by Joe Beese at 3:42 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Why are people acting out like their four year olds?

Making noise and threatening the filibuster is all the political juju they can deploy now, until 1/2011 at least. Beck, back in April, leading up to the 4/15 teabag demos:
Do you watch the direction that America is being taken in and feel powerless to stop it?

Do you believe that your voice isn’t loud enough to be heard above the noise anymore?

Do you read the headlines everyday and feel an empty pit in your stomach…as if you’re completely alone?

If so, then you’ve fallen for the Wizard of Oz lie. While the voices you hear in the distance may sound intimidating, as if they surround us from all sides—the reality is very different. Once you pull the curtain away you realize that there are only a few people pressing the buttons, and their voices are weak. The truth is that they don’t surround us at all.

We surround them.
posted by Palamedes at 3:42 PM on September 13, 2009


The protests are not about spending, they are about fear.

The people stoking the crazy have the attitude "win at any cost", since
whatever the cost is, they won't have to pay it; someone else will.

Part of me wonders how much of (any particular) political belief is
really religious, in the sense that regardless of what arguments someone
is exposed to, they continue to believe what they want to believe.

On the other hand, I believe that there is such a thing as objective
reality, and there are people who literally do not believe in objective
reality - they believe that what they believe is more "real" than the real
world; there are also people who will say anything that will promote their
agenda regardless of whether or not it's true.

The fundamental ethic is respect for the truth - even when approaching the
truth is difficult or flat out impossible when facing the messiness
that is human life and human society.
posted by and for no one at 3:44 PM on September 13, 2009


Folks, I personally appreciated St. Alia's comments:

"Well, sounds good, but after fifty years of life it is still hard for me to me to BELIEVE things will be as someone says in a speech. We'll see."

...because she acknowledged that Obama's plan, if it does turn out how he envisions it, could be a more attractive option than the one she has now. In that language, I mainly hear her expressing her very reasonable concern about how much of this 'vision' really can come to pass (which is mine too: really, how many times have I heard political promises that did not appear?).

I think it's hard to hear a graciousness, and see the room for compromise, when in the heat of argument. But I feel like sometimes I hear us getting caught up in scoring a "I'm right and you're wrong. Admit it. (Wo)man up and admit it - or else we're not moving forward!" point, than getting to the optimal outcome, which is a compromise we can all live with. Isn't that sort of like winning a skirmish at the cost of losing the overall fight?

I imagine my next question to St. Alia (or not her specifically, actually - this isn't about her, but about any individuals - conservative and otherwise - who are skeptical about this health care initiative for any reason) would be to ask what kind of milestones or information they would need to see or hear to give them the confidence that their most serious concerns were not coming to pass. It seems like there are a couple of different concerns (cost, implementation, coverage), and many could be addressed, with more detail than a single speech could give. I guess this is the 'conversation' that I talked about wanting to have, and I think gets lost, in all the sniping.

But I think sniping potshots are just par for the course on something this big and important. So we're going to see language like: 'if it hurts liberals feelings, I'm sorry' (St. Alia)....cause she's probably not sorry, and I don't think the issue is feelings being hurt. Or 'sucks not being in power, assholes' (fourcheesemac)....which really it does, when you are terrified that the people in power are trying to destroy your way of life.

So, we're all doing a little sniping. And the comments just serve as a flashpoint, distracting from the really cogent points that I personally think St. A. and FCM have made throughout the discussion. I'm wondering if it's possible to just give each other a little wiggle room here, and appreciate that Joe Wilson isn't the only one who can't help himself with a little verbal backhand. But that doesn't mean he doesn't want to play the game, and it doesn't mean we should take our eye off the ball. I mean, if Obama can avoid a "you're lying! No I'm not. Yes you are! No, I'm not asshole!" exchange and keep on message, I figure I can as well.
posted by anitanita at 3:48 PM on September 13, 2009 [38 favorites]


I don't know what these people want. I mean, protestors generally want something, or want to stop something. What do these people want?

Attention. And to feel important. To make the news.

This is true of a lot of protesters in the U.S. (regardless of political opinion.)
posted by thisperon at 3:48 PM on September 13, 2009


What do these people want?

They want to feel like they're not alone.
posted by empath at 3:51 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


They want to turn back the clock to where being a white American had a strong sense of security that nobody could take, where inequalities assured them of their position in society, and before a globalized world with educated immigrants and exported jobs threatened their lifestyles.
posted by freshundz at 4:02 PM on September 13, 2009 [6 favorites]


Anitanita's comment might the best comment I've ever read in a political thread on Mefi. Ever.
posted by thisperon at 4:08 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


My mom was leaving me messages from the Mall all day yesterday, starting out by informing me that she was there marching for my freedom and becoming increasingly more agitated until the last message when she was practically screaming into the phone that they were 1.7 million strong and won't be stopped and were going to let congress know the insanity needs to stop. She also informed me during the election season that Obama needed to be stopped because he was going to run the Whitehouse from "the black perspective." She's also uninsured and has a couple chronic health conditions that are bankrupting her while she's marching against socialized medicine. Really, she's mentally ill is the bottom line. I haven't spoken to her in months but occasionally I get these messages reminding me why I don't talk to her anymore.
posted by The Straightener at 4:30 PM on September 13, 2009 [16 favorites]


^ bingo.
posted by Palamedes at 4:34 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


and tens thousands more so fucked-up by PSTD that they'll never really be safe

and tens upon tens of thousands suffering PSTD — a problem that isn't just harmful to our soldiers, but all those who are around them


Seriously, America: Universal health care means those nasty PSTDs go away with a quick course of government antibiotics.

Oh, wait... Did you guys mean Post-Somatic Tress Disorder? In that case, don't worry; there are hair salons in heaven, I promise.
posted by Sys Rq at 4:49 PM on September 13, 2009


As I recall, the PSTD comments have nothing to do with healthcare, and everything to do with "how can you live with yourself for having supported a corrupt President who sold out pretty much everything you could value, so as to make his oil-and-weapons buddies very happy?"

Pretty amazing to me that so many idiots who supported a hateful Administration that was clearly out to get many people killed, can't find it within themselves to support an Administration that clearly wants to get many people healthier.

It's like they live in Opposite-Tuesday World all the time.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:10 PM on September 13, 2009


They just want the world to stop.

They come from a transitional generation and all of this change in entertainment, politics, demographics, environment, globalization, technology just overwhelms them. The acronyms of new technologies, the confusing gadgets, the crazy languages and cultures they have never heard of, but who are now establishing businesses in their neighborhoods, speaking odd languages without shame, sending their children to the same schools with their grand children, or wearing bizarre religious garb, just makes them feel under siege. They are provincial and they are bitter and they KNOW they are last year's model.

And sadly, they truly believe America is the best at everything and is the greatest nation to ever exist. So when some Cambodian women with a PhD who has lived most of her life in Berlin or Tokyo or Moscow, speaking three languages, and displaying an easy affability in navigating the global pathways shows up in the states, this intimidates the shit out of them. They just can't wrap their mind around it. Because the only Cambodian women they know wash their shirts. And plus, they don't have universities in other countries. Everybody knows that.

When people say "we fear for Western civilization," they mean "brown people keep out." Period.
They don't want to talk to Shahid Ba'ha'M'wali or Mohammed Khalil Jum'Blah'Blah. They just want a firm handshake from John Smith or Bill Jones. Something easy to pronounce and normal (as they perceive it). Go into a Christian book store and look at all of the Jesus porn. It's always about a certain reassuring archetype of 50's clean-cut man and Donna Reed trophy wife. They want that. That safe sitcom world.

Timmy: "What is it, Lassie? Trouble? Is it trouble, girl?"

Like that.

They want Cronkite and a burger and a chair that reclines and a light beer with drinkability.

And that is all.

The Cold War really was about total mind control. Teabaggers were effectively programmed from youth to fear the outside and the different. And now these foreign people are eating their weird foods and listening to their weird music in OUR personal space, which is all of America. America is on the decline, and we are not rising to the challenge, we're too busy trying to convince our mouthbreathers that dinosaur bones weren't planted by the devil.

We need to leave them behind. We should have shipped off the entire confederacy to Australia after the North won the Civil War. Opportunity missed because we're still dealing with that baggage.
posted by Brosef K at 5:14 PM on September 13, 2009 [12 favorites]


The problem with the teabaggers in three words?

They are corny.
posted by Brosef K at 5:17 PM on September 13, 2009


As I recall, the PSTD comments have nothing to do with healthcare

Oh, my, but you're right!

Still, might want to turn your joke detectors on there, bud.
posted by Sys Rq at 5:21 PM on September 13, 2009


Flunkie wrote: I suspect that a significant number of these people believe that, on September 12, 2001, we all felt things akin to "we should nuke Iran" and "liberals should be tried for treason*" and "Hillary Clinton murdered Vince Foster". That we were all "real Americans" on September 12, 2001.

Perhaps it says something bad about me, but I was thinking things like "Why is the gas station down the street trying to rip me off?" And "I don't remember there not being any TV for a week after the OKC bombing."

I was genuinely shocked at how most of the country were acting like ridiculous wimps. To be fair, I probably would have been far more affected by it if I had been a resident of NYC or DC, but I wasn't, and neither are/were most of us.

I think both the media and the government did us as a nation a great disservice by allowing us to remain fixated on the disaster with 24 hour news coverage and constant reinforcement that we should be scared rather than forcing us to continue living our lives as normally as possible. That sort of irrational anxiety only prevents rational decisionmaking.
posted by wierdo at 5:34 PM on September 13, 2009


We should have shipped off the entire confederacy to Australia after the North won the Civil War.

Way to undermine an otherwise applause-worthy tirade. Perhaps you should start ghost-writing for the bigots, you seem to have mastered their rhetoric.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:42 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I was genuinely shocked at how most of the country were acting like ridiculous wimps. To be fair, I probably would have been far more affected by it if I had been a resident of NYC or DC, but I wasn't, and neither are/were most of us

I live in New York City. I could see the smoke from the towers that morning, and smell it. I knew people who died.

And I think this country's citizenry acted like a bunch of ridiculous wimps too. I still do.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:42 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


We should have shipped off the entire confederacy to Australia after the North won the Civil War.

God I wish they had. Then people like you wouldn't have us around as an eternal whipping boy for the nation's ills. But then who would you blame for having so many stupid people in your country? Not us, we in AWWW-stREaliAAA
posted by nola at 5:53 PM on September 13, 2009


A South politician preaches to the poor white man,
"You got more than the blacks, don't complain.
You're better than them, you been born with white skin," they explain.
And the Negro's name
Is used it is plain
For the politician's gain
As he rises to fame
And the poor white remains
On the caboose of the train
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

The deputy sheriffs, the soldiers, the governors get paid,
And the marshals and cops get the same,
But the poor white man's used in the hands of them all like a tool.
He's taught in his school
From the start by the rule
That the laws are with him
To protect his white skin
To keep up his hate
So he never thinks straight
'Bout the shape that he's in
But it ain't him to blame
He's only a pawn in their game.

posted by EarBucket at 5:55 PM on September 13, 2009


You hit your favorite limit for the day.

Dammit
posted by Senor Cardgage at 5:58 PM on September 13, 2009


>> Both are very nice super intelligent guys who seem normal otherwise but believe all the teabagger stuff whole-heartedly.

They may be nice to you, but they are not nice. And they are not intelligent. They may be competent technocrats in that they can dutifully perform complex labor, but they are not intelligent...


I'm sorry Brosef K but I take great offense at that and think that it's really counterproductive attitude. I happen to know a quite a few conservatives and they seem to have the same range of intelligence as the liberals that I know. Of the two that I mentioned, one is one of the most brilliant software developers that I've ever worked with. His understanding of the workings of C compilers is so deep that it was often scary how easily he could fix someone else's code. He's also very well read, well traveled and cultured and very funny. And he's very right-wing conservative libertarian. I agree with him on almost nothing politically.

It's always easier to brand the other side as stupid or crazy but that doesn't really help you understand them. It makes it much easier to dismiss their fears and concerns if you think that they're just ignorant hicks. And yea, there are a fair share of "Get a Brain, Morans" types but there are many perfectly intelligent, personally moral, ethical people who voted for Sarah Palin. Why? I have no fucking idea but to just dismiss them as six fingered inbreeds who can't tell their asses from a hole in the ground isn't helping.
posted by octothorpe at 5:58 PM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


We should have shipped off the entire confederacy to Australia after the North won the Civil War.

As an Australian, I consider this unfair.
posted by acb at 6:16 PM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


who can't tell their asses from a hole in the ground isn't helping.

I wonder if gallup has polls on that. If so, I fear the results.
posted by Palamedes at 6:27 PM on September 13, 2009


You know, it took me about a year to start hating the 9-11 victims' families. ... I don't hate all of them. I hate about, probably about 10 of them. But when I see, you know, 9-11 victim family, on television, or whatever, I'm just like, "Oh, shut up." I'm so sick of them, because they're always complaining. And we did our best for them.

I'm going to leave that unattributed for a while. Take a guess who said it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:35 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm going to leave that unattributed for a while. Take a guess who said it.

Anyone who uses Google can tell it's Glenn Beck.
posted by jessamyn at 6:41 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


>> As an Australian, I consider this unfair.

Shut up, criminal.

No one axed you.
posted by Brosef K at 6:44 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


>> His understanding of the workings of C compilers is so deep that it was often scary how easily he could fix someone else's code.

And yet his understanding of domestic and world affairs is that of a third grader.

How do you reconcile that? Or do you even try?
posted by Brosef K at 6:50 PM on September 13, 2009


>> but to just dismiss them as six fingered inbreeds who can't tell their asses from a hole in the ground isn't helping.

And reasoning with the insane IS helping?

Do you really believe you can talk these people out of their mania?

Good luck. My conclusion is forget them. Ignore them.
posted by Brosef K at 6:53 PM on September 13, 2009


You know what I wonder about all the folks in the pictures? How many of them are on Medicare, or are prepared to accept Medicare within a few years? Seriously, I would take them a lot more seriously if they decided to withdraw from any government subsidies they either accept or demand.
posted by dejah420 at 6:54 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Poor spelling is stupidity when a moderate or conservative does it, but just typing too fast or too passionate about the subject matter when a liberal does it.
posted by Hovercraft Eel at 7:03 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Wow, Brosef K, that 200-proof condescension of yours is the first time I've felt even the tiniest but of sympathy for these protesters. Didn't think it was possible. Congrats.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:05 PM on September 13, 2009


but = bit, damnit. Yep, typing too fast, eelboy.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:05 PM on September 13, 2009


>> Congrats.

Know your enemy.
posted by Brosef K at 7:08 PM on September 13, 2009


And yea, there are a fair share of "Get a Brain, Morans" types but there are many perfectly intelligent, personally moral, ethical people who voted for Sarah Palin.

Yeah, mom is a big Palin supporter, also, she's still hoping for a 2012 run.

I think that like my mom a lot of the northeast babyboomer teabagger types that turned out on the mall yesterday are really acting out the frustration they feel in other parts of their lives; their sexless and joyless marriages, their entitled sense that they should be rich but aren't even though they worked their entire lives, the racial resentments they've harbored since leaving the city back in the 70s or 80s...all of this stuff culminated in a straight up freak outwith the financial collapse and the Republican party failures. I think they really believed in the permanent majority rhetoric and also in the myth that the economy would always continue to feed their 401Ks gifting every good suburban family with what they felt was a well deserved beach house and boat upon retirement. So it's like in the span of a year or two their 401Ks got totally fucking laid to waste and at the same time a black President gets elected and this building fear and frustration causes a gasket to blow.

But, all that aside, I don't think there is anything wrong with calling extremism by its name. When I was still trying to maintain a relationship with my mom, who constantly assailed me with trolling political comments, would blast Fox News and AM talk radio whenever I was around, etc., I tried to point out to her in a very reasonable way that she has exited the mainstream. What she believes in is not conservatism. She's waaaaaaaay out on a limb right now with her beliefs in a way that is incredibly toxic and dangerous. It's not that she's stupid, or that she's immoral or unethical, but she is sooooo angry. So angry, just furious with everyone and everything all at once and the Glenn Beck message really taps into this part of her. I know why she's this way, and don't need to go into it here, but it has nothing to do with politics or health care policy.

Needless to say, I'm not the best person to deliver this message about her mounting political extremism, and of course she denies it. I'm her communist social worker son who's wasting his life trying to help the animals who love collecting welfare and smoking crack, so what do I know anyway?
posted by The Straightener at 7:08 PM on September 13, 2009 [19 favorites]



Empath:
I have no love for "conservatives". But there were just as many people at the protest (of course many more) that weren't stupid, racist, inbred, etc. either as some have noted. Some people (let's accept most despite your political affiliation) were there to protest out of control spending which, yes, you should all be concerned about.

I think that's simply not true. People don't march on washington to oppose out of control spending. If they did, they'd have done it during the Bush administration.

Good point. I would say many aspects of the Bush administration was despicable, including the war (which obviously had serious protests during Bush's tenure). As far as spending, Bush didn't hit outrageous until just before he left which Obama took and multiplied. Had Bush been in another year I believe (seriously) there would've been protests.

CunningLinguist:

as I know this is not a thread for reasonable discourse given the evidence thus far.

Then why bother to join in?

Why bother? To your point, why did you bother to respond given what I wrote? I don't understand.

Marisa Stole the Precious Thing:
Here's the thing: where the hell are these reasonable, logical conservatives? They have numerous media outlets in their control. They could be ignoring these idiots, and giving time to reasonable cons. Instead, they give a platform for these guys. If the Republican Party is packed to the gills with perfectly level-headed people with many sound arguments, then why are conservative media outlets giving voice instead to the far-right, or pandering to them?

Hmm... actually most of the media organizations are rather left-leaning w/ the exception of AM radio and 1 major TV network. That major TV network is known more for seeking out

And by the way:

Let the kicking begin. I am ready, as I know this is not a thread for reasonable discourse given the evidence thus far.

This is pretty fucking rich for a dude who popped in here to call a large section of people posting in this thread "nasty, self-righteous, arrogant, patronizing, illogical, unintelligent, ad-hominem in your comments, and just plain weird".


I mean seriously. You don't notice the shoe fitting?
posted by gnash at 7:09 PM on September 13, 2009


Hmm... actually most of the media organizations are rather left-leaning w/ the exception of AM radio and 1 major TV network. That major TV network is known more for seeking out

This isn't my point. My point is, even on the conservative media outlets, it's not "Let's hear from this totally reasonable person about why Obama's plan is flawed" but rather "and now to some guy with an AK-47". If the conservative media were packed to the gills with so many level-headed folks, why are they giving the lunatic fringe a platform, why are they pandering to them, and why are they not slamming them?

I mean seriously. You don't notice the shoe fitting?

Calling dangerous, slandering ignorami in these photos what they are? No, I don't see the problem. Jumping into a thread and calling large numbers of people a string of insults and then bemoaning the lack of reasonable discussion? Kinda ironic.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 7:18 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


gnash> As far as spending, Bush didn't hit outrageous until just before he left which Obama took and multiplied.

Year Gross Public Debt in Billions as % of GDP
----- ---------------------------------- ----------------

2001 5,769.9 57.4
2002 6,198.4 59.7
2003 6,760.0 62.5
2004 7,354.7 64.0
2005 7,905.3 64.6
2006 8,451.4 64.9
2007 8,950.7 65.5
2008 9,985.8 70.2

I don't know -- that looks pretty outrageous to me.

Had Bush been in another year I believe (seriously) there would've been protests.

Not least of all because that would have been unconstitutional. It's pretty convenient to say that if something that was and is completely impossible happened, people on the right would have protested.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 7:19 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I will give conservatives this... they push until they win.

"Progressives" are worried about losing friends.

And that is why both houses of Congress, the presidency, and support from a majority of (sane) Americans will not be enough to carry the day for health care reform, or any other meaningful progressive legislation. Because the party in power doesn't want to exercise that power. History is replete with examples of committed minorities controlling the complacent middle. You want to sift through the teabaggers to sort out your drinking buddies? Awesome. You do that.

In battle, I don't want friends. I want allies.

And here's one more thing...

Imagine it's 2012 and Palin/Jeb Bush have just been elected to the White House. Do you see yourself having this same conversation about trying to understand the teabaggers when looking down the barrel of THAT gun? Those of you who think America has finally drifted back to its reasonable center do not know this nation at all. If you think Palin as president in 2012 is an impossibility, you don't know how close we are.

Do NOT play nice with these people, because they will not play nice with you.
posted by Brosef K at 7:19 PM on September 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


(sorry about the formatting -- next time I'll figure out how to line those numbers up properly)
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 7:20 PM on September 13, 2009


Brosef K: I appreciate the things you have to say, although I find your tone a tad strident. I would make just one tiny suggestion -- make your points eloquently, and stop trying to win the argument. MeFi might change minds but you won't find any announcements of such in the comment threads. Or if you do, it will be the rarity rather than the norm. People here have a very wide range of experience and opinions, and arguing your point until you feel someone has Seen The Truth is only going to frustrate everyone.
posted by hippybear at 7:24 PM on September 13, 2009


Good advice.
posted by Brosef K at 7:31 PM on September 13, 2009


you know, think I may have already posted this in one of the intinifty+1 FPPs we've had on this ever-refreshing hell that is the health care debate, but I'm going to say it anyway: I had planned to stay in the US for a while after my degree for a number of reasons, but the firey hatred and barely-concealed threats of violence have been inspiring me more and more to get my diploma and run for the border. Considering that the economic recession is hitting the US hardest and longest and that the US is more dependant on other wealthy nations than ever, this is the worst time for the US to appear to the international community like a neo-lynch-mob. I'm not saying that it is or that this is (yet) the opinion of the rest of the world, but I am saying that folks may think twice about spending their tourist dollars in the US, accepting that job as a much-needed doctor in the rural midwest, etc.

Also, on a related note: a lot of people close to me work in psychiatric fields, and my exposure to that makes me wince every time we talk about these folks as "crazy." I feel bad that these people are being lumped together with psychotic schizophrenics that believe they can talk to kitchen appliances or are worried that aliens are fondling them in their sleep. Sure, many psychotic delusions can be distressing and dark and sometimes result in violence, but it feels different from the malevolence and wild affect I've been seeing in the past few months… We need a new vocabulary for "crazy but not mean" and "crazy and mean."
posted by LMGM at 7:31 PM on September 13, 2009


Palamedes:

But let's not talk about that... let's focus on what is clearly a small subset racist fringe and misdirect (as cashman indicated he would by the title), focus, and imply that there is a significant racist component of the Republican party.

What about the Nixon Strategy don't you understand? 50 years ago we Dems suffered under these same crazy people. 10 million of them went independent in 1968 (Wallace/LeMay -- there's a ticket from hell), nearly handing the election to HHH. Nixon got 'em under control in '72, GHWB lost 'em in 1992, "W"'s snake-handling -- which won him the Governorship in '94 -- restored them to the (R) bloc.

You take the crazy -- the Christianists, the flat-taxers, the gun nuts -- out of the Republicans and they have no power base; well, less than they have now at least.

I don't have any desire to engage you on the merits of Health Care. Either you think the rest of the first world is doing a better job of if or you don't. This fpp was all about the crazies among us.


I'll have to read up on Nixon Strategy. I will say I think the Republican victories have more to do with people becoming sick of Democrats (as they were sick of Republicans this last round and rounds before) more than anything. Ok. That and crappy candidates (Dole, Kerry, etc.).

I think removing the crazies out of the Republican powerbase you still have plenty of people. And if the crazies were removed it would give Democrats something to be much more concerned with.
posted by gnash at 7:32 PM on September 13, 2009


Calling people brainwashed, racist or stupid feels good but doesn't really explain the heart of their irrational fear and hatred of government.
posted by lysdexic at 7:35 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I think that like my mom a lot of the northeast babyboomer teabagger types that turned out on the mall yesterday are really acting out the frustration they feel in other parts of their lives

people my age have a lot of frustration and anger these days - but i think it's all a matter of how people analyze what's really happened in this country and who's to blame for it - and i really hate that some of these people are trying to turn obama in to the herbert hoover of the great recession when it's not him that's responsible for it

our lives suck because the power structures have decided that their personal advantages are more important than our quality of life or our strength as a people - and the democrats aren't guiltless on this, but the republicans - and the corporations - have been utterly ruthless when it comes to squeezing advantage and privilege from the rest of the people - and then they cynically think up lies such as "it's all acorn's fault", to distract the people's anger onto their political enemies

there's a real unwillingness to tell the truth in this country - not even obama dares to say all he might - and even more unwillingness to hear it

much of the american people WANT to be lied to - they WANT to be abused - they want to be dominated by strong authoritative figures who will exploit them - some of them even want to be martyred by the system they support

it's deeply fucked up
posted by pyramid termite at 7:36 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Also, on a related note: a lot of people close to me work in psychiatric fields, and my exposure to that makes me wince every time we talk about these folks as "crazy." I feel bad that these people are being lumped together with psychotic schizophrenics that believe they can talk to kitchen appliances or are worried that aliens are fondling them in their sleep.

For the most part, I think people are conflating "deluded" with "crazy". I don't doubt for an instant that most of the people at these protests, even the ones with the most outrageous signs (regardless of spelling) are honest folk who have functioning intellects and who believe they have followed a chain of logic to a conclusion which scares them, for whatever reason. But can I really blame them for having thought patterns which start from a false assumption, wander down dark alleys of illogic, and end up in a parking lot of unreality?

When I look at my own life, I have to actively seek out a well-rounded diet of information. We have three news/opinion magazines which come to our house (two of them weeklies), the news-only NPR radio station doesn't reach my house via FM transmission so I have to listen over the web, I have my DVR set to auto-tune itself to Maddow and Stewart, and I try to remember to catch Moyers and Charlie Rose. I have largely eschewed the televised half-hour newscasts in favor of BBC World News America, and I spend some time (okay, a LOT of time) every day chasing down news stories online, whether inspired by MeFi or from other sources.

That is a LOT of effort to go through for a single person who isn't involved with a news or information related profession just to try to stay on top of the onslaught and sort the nuggets of truth from the dross of spin and fiction. And it's a lifelong habit with me.

If you don't take the care to pick and choose what you listen to, it is EVER so easy to simply select a news channel on the television and leave it there all day. If you don't make the effort to pick up and read lengthy articles such as Seymour Hersch's excellent series on the Bush administration, you never get depth and background with your news. If you only watch local news and read the local paper, the entire surrounding world is full of horrible people who want to do you harm in your neighborhood, or at the very least who are on the road drunk and trying to run you down. When you get into your car and the radio starts, the choices are multi-hour blocks of a series of voices who claim to be speaking for Americans, or the horrid ClearChannel pablum. For those not familiar with NPR shows, the learning curve of how to process their kind of programming can be difficult to climb.

It is really REALLY hard work to avoid being programmed by the programming you surround yourself with. And if your life is busy and you simply don't care that much, it's easy to take a simple road and just turn on a channel and leave it there. The repeated messages driving by fear and grounded in falsehoods become truth after a while if you're not actively seeking out Truth yourself.

You want to change all this? Change the broadcasting landscape. Many find the concept of the Fairness Doctrine anathema (I'm not one of them), but I'd put forth that something similar would go a long way toward helping the lazy not become the deluded.
posted by hippybear at 7:53 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I mean seriously. You don't notice the shoe fitting?

Calling dangerous, slandering ignorami in these photos what they are? No, I don't see the problem. Jumping into a thread and calling large numbers of people a string of insults and then bemoaning the lack of reasonable discussion? Kinda ironic.

I know you don't see a problem, and that is precisely my point.

UrineSoakedRube:

Year Gross Public Debt in Billions as % of GDP
----- ---------------------------------- ----------------

2001 5,769.9 57.4
2002 6,198.4 59.7
2003 6,760.0 62.5
2004 7,354.7 64.0
2005 7,905.3 64.6
2006 8,451.4 64.9
2007 8,950.7 65.5
2008 9,985.8 70.2

I don't know -- that looks pretty outrageous to me.

Had Bush been in another year I believe (seriously) there would've been protests.

Not least of all because that would have been unconstitutional. It's pretty convenient to say that if something that was and is completely impossible happened, people on the right would have protested.


You are right and I remember being pissed off. I guess I figured since most of that spending was due to 9/11 and then the war (which was protested in part because of spending) it was covered. See that last $1 trillion pop at the end? I mean that is when we started talking real money (previous increases were "only" 500 billion). To put it in context reports say Obama has spent $1 trillion in six months (I am not sure this is totally accurate, but probably fairly close).

Thanks for the constitutional tutorial. Anyway, my point was Bush was gearing up for some major spending, and yeah because he was a lame duck and there was an election and all it did seem like a bit of a moot point. Had McCain won (is it ok with you if I run this hypothetical?) and done the kind of spending Obama has, yeah I think there would've been some kind of protest.
posted by gnash at 7:53 PM on September 13, 2009


this

"How can I _(verb)DRY HUMP__ this nation when the blood of the __(noun)A SINGLE GRAIN OF OLD BAY SEASONING__ cries to me from the __(place)ATLANTA___"
posted by fuq at 8:03 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I know you don't see a problem, and that is precisely my point.

And my point is that maybe pointing fingers at people in this thread. rattling off a string of insults at them and then bemoaning the lack of "reasonable discussion" is not the best way to come across as the voice of logic.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 8:06 PM on September 13, 2009


It’s been pointed out that of all the candidates, Sarah Palin is the only one who used the phrase “working class.” She was talking to the working people. And yeah, they’re the ones who are suffering.

Say what you will about Chomsky, dude brings up some uncomfortable truths.
posted by afu at 8:15 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I guess I figured since most of that spending was due to 9/11 and then the war (which was protested in part because of spending) it was covered.

Wasn't the war funding "off budget", and so not counted as part of the deficit?
posted by orthogonality at 8:17 PM on September 13, 2009


Thanks for the constitutional tutorial. Anyway, my point was Bush was gearing up for some major spending, and yeah because he was a lame duck and there was an election and all it did seem like a bit of a moot point. Had McCain won (is it ok with you if I run this hypothetical?) and done the kind of spending Obama has, yeah I think there would've been some kind of protest.

The two words that are missing from this argument are "TAX CUTS". Without the bush tax cuts we would be in a much better fiscal position than we are now. That was when the protests should have started.

Plus the majority of the deficient is still due to Bush's policies.
posted by afu at 8:20 PM on September 13, 2009


^ yes and no. Not part of the deficit per se (funded from "supplementals" or somesuch) but most certainly a part of the accumulated debt ($7.5T as of Friday). Bush inherited the national debt at $3.3T when FY02 started 10/01, and will have more than doubled it.
posted by Palamedes at 8:21 PM on September 13, 2009


I guess I figured since most of that spending was due to 9/11 and then the war (which was protested in part because of spending) it was covered.


It was borrowed. And 9/11 had nothing to do with the tax cuts for the rich. One estimate is they cost $1.3 trillion (the Joint Committee on Taxation.) Citizens For Tax Justice estimate they cost $2.5 trillion.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:22 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


) and done the kind of spending Obama has, yeah I think there would've been some kind of protest.

as my first comment here sez, I disagree that all this protest racism is targetted solely or overwhelmingly at Obama as a person, but rather that Obama and the Dems are pushing policies 180 degrees out of phase with past conservative attempts at shutting the government down for poor people, especially poor urban people.

This is not about spending, it is about government, who runs it, and who benefits from it. Two-thirds of the "Nine Principles" are about opposing the Dems direction of governance, eg. #7:

"I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable."
posted by Palamedes at 8:29 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Marisa Stole the Precious Thing:

I know you don't see a problem, and that is precisely my point.

And my point is that maybe pointing fingers at people in this thread. rattling off a string of insults at them and then bemoaning the lack of "reasonable discussion" is not the best way to come across as the voice of logic.

You are absolutely right. It is a problem when people make broad-ranging insulting generalizations based on a small sample population and then apply those generalizations to a larger group. It can be taken rather offensively can't it?

In any case, I suppose this won't end until you have the last word.
posted by gnash at 8:31 PM on September 13, 2009


Citizens For Tax Justice estimate they cost $2.5 trillion.

all of which was promptly lost investing in the stock market and housing bubbles.

Knowing what I know now, I would have predicted in 2001 that the Bush tax cuts would juice home prices something special, like they did. You can't just give everyone a 10-20% tax cut and not have it effect home prices.
posted by Palamedes at 8:32 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It’s been pointed out that of all the candidates, Sarah Palin is the only one who used the phrase “working class.”

What? Pretty much every other sentence out of Barack Obama's mouth during the campaign contained the phrase "working class families."
posted by EarBucket at 8:32 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


You can't just give everyone a 10-20% tax cut and not have it effect home prices.

I feel like an idiot admitting this, but I hadn't thought of the connection between the tax cuts and the housing bubble before.
posted by CunningLinguist at 8:35 PM on September 13, 2009


I guess I figured since most of that spending was due to 9/11 and then the war (which was protested in part because of spending) it was covered.

Covered? In what sense? It was in mid-2001 when Bush pushed through a huge tax cut largely directed at the wealthiest Americans. He didn't repeal it when 9/11 happened. You could say that the increased spending projected under the first years of the Obama Administration are "covered" because they were in response to the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. Neither of which changes the increase in public debt incurred and it doesn't make the lack of right-wing protests during the Bush Administration any less hypocritical.

Thanks for the constitutional tutorial.

You're welcome!

Anyway, my point was Bush was gearing up for some major spending, and yeah because he was a lame duck and there was an election and all it did seem like a bit of a moot point.

We went from a situation where we weren't adding to debt (the final Clinton budget) to one in which it increased steadily, and did so well before Bush was a lame duck. Talking about "spending" is a dodge. Trying to say that $500 billion increases in debt were okay, but $1 trillion was over the line makes no sense.

Had McCain won (is it ok with you if I run this hypothetical?) and done the kind of spending Obama has, yeah I think there would've been some kind of protest.

Great, let's take a look at the hypothetical where McCain won. Now, provide any evidence whatsoever that there would have been big right-wing protests if he had spent like Bush did. For that matter, provide any evidence that any of the protestors were okay with the level of debt before the final year of Bush's administration, but believed that the spending near the end amounted to a qualititative break that required protesting (and no, your memory of being pissed off doesn't count). I can give you plenty of evidence otherwise: all those signs about America facing a Muslim takeover and the President not being born in the U.S. Neither or which has anything to do with increases in public debt, and the fact that you saw those things at the 9/12 march are evidence that you're wrong.
posted by UrineSoakedRube at 8:40 PM on September 13, 2009 [7 favorites]


I'll have to read up on Nixon Strategy.

Well, if you do, I misspoke. It was Nixon's "Southern Strategy". Continued when St. Ronnie kicked off his presidential campaign in Mississippi, and he wasn't looking for black votes there.

Trent Lott, (R), speaking as Senate Majority Leader in 2002: "When Strom Thurmond ran for president, we voted for him. We’re proud of it. And if the rest of the country had followed our lead, we wouldn't have had all these problems over the years, either."

That went over real well.
posted by Palamedes at 8:45 PM on September 13, 2009


He didn't repeal it when 9/11 happened.

fucking accelerated it, in fact, moving the 2006 cuts to 2003.
posted by Palamedes at 8:46 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


You are absolutely right. It is a problem when people make broad-ranging insulting generalizations based on a small sample population and then apply those generalizations to a larger group. It can be taken rather offensively can't it?

In any case, I suppose this won't end until you have the last word.


I'm not having a game of "last word" with you; you're just being obtuse, intentionally or otherwise, and I'm trying to get to the heart of this. To be clear, my complaint isn't that you generalized us all; but that you burst in here with a long string of nastiness directed at people who dared express disgust at racism, slander and misinformation. Why people expressing disgust at these photos so offended you is beyond me - are people not allowed to be shocked by ugliness? Capping off your outburst by then saying that there will be no reasonable discussion seemed really incongruous - seems if you want a reasonable discussion one of the worst ways to start one is to begin with a stream of insults.

You now seem to be contending that you were giving us all an object lesson in politeness all along or something. Which doesn't ring true at all. But if this were your plan all along and you've just been waiting for this moment to reveal it, I'd offer that expressing disgust at ugliness is not the same thing as just being plain ugly.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:01 PM on September 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


We should have shipped off the entire confederacy to Australia after the North won the Civil War.

Hmmmmmm, deep fried Vegemite with a side of cornbread and collard greens.

What would Paula do?
posted by pearlybob at 9:03 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'd rather live in a socialist democracy than a company town.

Great summary of the divide. Your position is well-stated, common-sensical, and completely un-sellable in America today.

Imagine a prominent politician saying that perfectly reasonable in the US today. Career suicide.
posted by rokusan at 9:38 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I'm still trying to understand the "lies lies and more lies" thing that is coming from many on the right. After all the full-on belief of anything and everything which came out of any of the myriad of channels of the Bush administration, both official and unofficial, why are they suddenly, now, distrustful of the duly elected officials of the USA? Even when confronted with direct lies told by #43, let's use the Weapons Of Mass Destruction Will Be Found In Iraq lie, they still say things like "we just haven't found them YET". But when Obama talks about the contents of a bill which anyone can download and read for themselves, they insist that there is duplicity in every statement. It makes no sense to me.
posted by hippybear at 11:01 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


It's because they're the Grey Ones, evil beings that have lived amongst us since time immemorial whose goal is to suck all the pleasure and happiness out of our lives and replace it with fear, strife, and misery.
They might seem human as far as you can tell, but despite all their protestations they're not.
posted by dunkadunc at 11:32 PM on September 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's staggering how wing-nuts without access to health care, nay, without the possibility of access to health care due to pre-existing conditions, could not just stand in the way of health care reform, but actually argue that things "might get worse."

Un-fucking-believable.

Republicans will have to be dragged, kicking and screaming, into the 21st century.

Thank God we have the right president for the job.
posted by bardic at 11:59 PM on September 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Much to my dismay, I'm not so sure Obama IS the right man to get the job done. He seems to be getting rolled by the Tea Partiers, the Republicans, and even the Blue Dogs. What we need is some LBJ style legislature arm twisting. GWB was better at passing crap legislation than Obama has been at passing urgently needed good legislation.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:08 AM on September 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


Thank God we have the right president for the job.

Remains to be seen. B- so far.
posted by Palamedes at 12:17 AM on September 14, 2009


There have been a couple of links to the sign that says: "How can I bless this nation when the blood of the babies cries to me from the ground?"; but I don't think anyone has mentioned yet that this is an allusion to the Bible.

Now Cain said to his brother Abel, "Let's go out to the field." And while they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Then the LORD said to Cain, "Where is your brother Abel?"
"I don't know," he replied. "Am I my brother's keeper?"


Wow, it's just so touching to see a line based on a story that reminds us of the importance of being our brothers' keepers used AGAINST the concept of health care for everyone. Lovely.

(Fun fact: if you Google "Am I my brother's keeper," the fourth hit is a quotation from Obama, saying "I am my brother's keeper.")
posted by ilana at 12:17 AM on September 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Yes, it was Glenn Beck who said he hated the 9/11 families. I figured Beck fans were illiterate and couldn't google.

And when you take all this argument in context, the protesters are still worked into a lather because Obama is black.
posted by fourcheesemac at 4:08 AM on September 14, 2009


Much to my dismay, I'm not so sure Obama IS the right man to get the job done. He seems to be getting rolled by the Tea Partiers, the Republicans, and even the Blue Dogs. What we need is some LBJ style legislature arm twisting.

This is key, for sure. And elected Democrats have to see a greater purpose than their next re-election, and get behind their president.
posted by Artful Codger at 5:52 AM on September 14, 2009


Much to my dismay, I'm not so sure Obama IS the right man to get the job done. He seems to be getting rolled by the Tea Partiers, the Republicans, and even the Blue Dogs. What we need is some LBJ style legislature arm twisting. GWB was better at passing crap legislation than Obama has been at passing urgently needed good legislation.
posted by Daddy-O at 12:08 AM on September 14 [+] [!]

Well GWB was only good at this because the republican party supports each other and they (novel idea here) vote as a party. Democrats are stuck on the idea that republicans have good ideas and should be included. BTW Bipartisan is republican for "getting the dems to do what we want." What we need in this country is for the majority in the house to stand up and tell the squeaky wheels to shut up. They had their chance and screwed up miserably.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:20 AM on September 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


The hilarious spelling mistakes succeed in lighten the mood of the racist, hate-mongering signs.
posted by AOTF at 8:32 AM on September 14, 2009


I work for a small business. I know way too much about their present finances. Let's just say I'd be out of a job. Because they couldn't afford to do it. They are nice people and if they could afford it we'd all have it. They can't afford it.

And THIS is why the public option was introduced!
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:33 AM on September 14, 2009


Coming in late, but thanks, empath, for that Hofstadter link.
posted by ServSci at 8:34 AM on September 14, 2009


I was chuckling about Barrett Caulk's completely awesome comment all weekend, until this afternoon when I took a look at Glenn Beck's comment section and experienced some profoundly nauseating déjà vu:

"jjla, I could care less if you are white, black, yellow, brown, purple, or orange. What I have is mine and what you have is yours. People work hard for what they have and would not want them to have to share their wealth with me because it is not mine and I didn’t earn it. That is like the charities they will hurt because of the cap on how much you can deduct off of income tax and there will be alot of pain and sufferring from that. Then we will have alot more to pay because of cap and tax (trade) and Obama said that on the trail of lies that he spewed. Then the health care yes everyone needs to have peice of mind to beable to go to the doctor and get well but not to have the government try and take control of it and of course right now they say they don’t want control but for me I don’t believe them at all. I hope that he will be a one term president and I hope that the people will vote out the congress and start all over again with the right people that want to let people live and let live but by the law of the founders of this great nation. I just wish people would remember that when Bush was in office the Democracts were not very nice to him either and all you have to do is watch you tube and find all the rudeness toward a president you want to see. He was not best and neither will Obama or anyone else but I do not have the same outlook and the current president and that is my choice and yours to agree with him that is what has made AMERICA the best in the world. I don’t want to live like other countries like cuba iran russia mexico

GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hope it comes back to the people soon"

Yeah Barrett - I think you hit the nail on the head.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:07 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I hope that he will be a one term president and I hope that the people will vote out the congress and start all over again with the right people that want to let people live and let live but by the law of the founders of this great nation.

So, I take it, by "live and let live," he means "own slaves and beat them"?
posted by Sys Rq at 9:14 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


the right people that want to let people live and let live but by the law of the founders of this great nation.

It really sort of dawned on me over the weekend what irks me about evangelicals claiming ownership of the American ideal. It may have dawned on you years ago, but it really just hit me. It's that America's foundation and basis for existance and law is in that second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of government becomes destructive to these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness...

Equal. The US is founded on the principle that all men are created by god as equal. God did not deem any one man or group of men superior to others and worthy of special high office, we are all equals and have equal say and equal protection under the law. That is it, THAT is the basis of American government right there.

Fundamentalists, or Evangelicals or whatever you want to call them do not agree. They believe that God predestined some to be born again in new life as inheritors of the kingdom of heaven. These people, these chosen elect, are the beloved of God. They are special. They are superior.

Now that would be all well and good as a belief in itself, so long as there is a maintained seperation between church and state. So long as that moral code is seperated from the legal code, there is no conflict, but that is not what has happened. The Evangelical movement has moved squarely into the political arena. Their belief in superiority and supremacy is counter to the very premise and foundation of equal protection. In other words, they are unamerican.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:38 AM on September 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


Antiwar vs anti-health: when you have the largest protest for a single cause In the history of the world, sure some free mumia nutjobs are going to show up. It is millions and millions of people, some will be nuts. When you are trying to fill the rosebowl and it is half lunatics, your 'movement' might have a problem.

Also a comparative analysis of airtime would be interesting as well. As far as I could recall, the antiwar protests got barely a mention on the major news networks much less corporate sponsorship and dedicated programming.
posted by Freen at 9:38 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


>> GOD BLESS AMERICA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just picture that patriot holding down the SHIFT+1 keys thinking: "Enough? No, not yet. Now? No. Enough now? No! Hell, no! Have they had enough? Have I made my point? Umm. Okaaaay. Yes! THAT'S enough. Now they understand how serious I am about America and about liberty," then, slightly flushed, sitting back in his Staples refurb office chair with the one bad wheel. The faintest shimmer of sweat twinkling on his manly brow.

The socialists may take away his health care, but they won't take away the right to bear punctuation.
posted by Brosef K at 9:58 AM on September 14, 2009 [4 favorites]


And to my knowledge, the left lunatic fringe in America hasn't blown up any federal buildings or assassinated any doctors yet.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing


You haven't been looking at history then.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:25 AM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


....Pollo, on what are you basing the assertion that Lee Harvey Oswald was "left lunatic fringe" as such, as opposed to simply "lunatic"?

(This is a sincere question, BTW. I didn't know that he'd formally declared his actions were because of any political affiliation.)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:30 AM on September 14, 2009


white racial resentment, loosely disguised as a populist revolt

"I don't think the president believes that people are upset because of the color of his skin," White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said Sunday on CNN’s State of the Union.


Oh and on the smallpox sign - its part of a worldview where the Report from Iron Mountain isn't fiction. Its the parts of the internet where people keep track of the bigger names in viral biology and when/how they've died. Where rumors of a Russian super-virus with 90% die-rate live. Where comments about less population on the planet by the "leadership class" is tracked then used as 'evidence' to 'prove' that there's gonna be a mass die-off.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:39 AM on September 14, 2009


basing the assertion that Lee Harvey Oswald was "left lunatic fringe"

Without going and looking at web pages - as I 'member the claims is LHO spent time in Russia/cavort'n with the 'commies. And Commies are "left" Ergo - da claim. Somewhere in there is claims that there was a Russian body double....and I see no reason to dig that kinda thing up.


(but that's the fun of the whole left/right BS - its usually used as a label that one applies to 'the other' and once the label is applied you can then call the other ppl 'bad' without further looking at the issue.)
posted by rough ashlar at 10:44 AM on September 14, 2009


(If the CIA version of his story is accurate) Oswald handed out pro-Castro pamphlets on the street, he met several times with Cuban and Soviet agents and attempted to defect (he was denied), and he tried to assasinate General Walker, a right wing extremist.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:48 AM on September 14, 2009


Without going and looking at web pages - as I 'member the claims is LHO spent time in Russia/cavort'n with the 'commies. And Commies are "left" Ergo - da claim.

I'd heard that too, but I hadn't heard that that was an official connection made there (as in, the Warren Commission never expressly stated that The Commies Made Him Do It, is my understanding).

I mean, I once belonged to Amnesty International, and I also once was was in a demonstration at the 2006 GOP convention, but that doesn't mean Amnesty International SENT me to demonstrate at the GOP convention. I always thought that the mainstream regarded LHO's visits to Russia and his actions in Dallas in the same way -- as two unrelated events (I know that a minority sees a connection, though).
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:52 AM on September 14, 2009


He seems to be getting rolled by the Tea Partiers,

He'd be un-rollable by that group who has no money to speak of if he'd embrace an open and transparent government.

Course that would mean he'd get rolled by the groups who've benefited by a more closed, less open government . It is assumed that these groups are very well moneyed.

Now - which way is the leadership class gonna go? Ppl without money in pantiloons or the suits and the money?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:52 AM on September 14, 2009


official connection made there

When one is looking for official connection - finding broad emotional language like 'lefty' is usually very hard to find.

And going from small yes/no venn sets like 'handed out pamphlets ' to they try and toss into a big and fuzzy venn sets like 'lefty' then back down will result in wrong placement in venn sets.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:02 AM on September 14, 2009


I may not have explained myself well, rough -- what I'm getting at is, there is little question about the actions of the Weather Underground being informed by their politics. However, in the case of LHO, I think it's a bit more vague, in the absence of any note from him stating his express intent that his actions were Striking A Blow For The Proletariat or anything.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:08 AM on September 14, 2009


He was a committed communist, I think. But I think he was more crazy than red.
posted by empath at 11:11 AM on September 14, 2009


He was a committed communist, I think. But I think he was more crazy than red.

Right, that's my point. I'm a committed X-Files fan, and I also go to the Rose Planetarium now and then. But I do not go to the Rose Planetarium because I am an X-Files fan.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:13 AM on September 14, 2009


You haven't been looking at history then.

Let's see - some hippies who did some property damage in the early 70s before disbanding, an anarchist (which is arguably right wing) assassination from 1901, and a mentally disturbed individual. You'll pardon me if I don't see a large, overwhelming pattern of violence from the far left in America.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:27 AM on September 14, 2009


We should have shipped off the entire confederacy to Australia after the North won the Civil War.

Hmmmmmm, deep fried Vegemite with a side of cornbread and collard greens


And universal health care...

Drongo
posted by goo at 11:58 AM on September 14, 2009


TPMtv: Lifestyles of the White and Suggestible
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:13 PM on September 14, 2009


"I work hard for what I have and I will share it with who I want to. Government cannot force me to be charitable."

So is this saying that America is not a nation, but is instead a mass of self-centered individuals who don't really give a flying fuck for anyone else?

Glenn Beck's show is teetering on cancellation. There's been a bit of a web movement to have his advertisers pull from the show. It has been very successful. I suggest that if you dislike the likes of Beck, it's your duty to google up the boycott and do your part.

It worked at getting "Dr." Laura Hatesinger off the air. It'll work on Beck as well.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:19 PM on September 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


wikipedia:
The 1800 election was a rematch of the 1796 election. The campaign was bitter and characterized by slander and personal attacks on both sides. However, Jefferson lost the first election and won the second. Federalists spread rumors that the Democratic-Republicans were radicals who would murder their opponents, burn churches, and destroy the country
Same shit, different millenium
posted by Palamedes at 1:26 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Right, that's my point. I'm a committed X-Files fan, and I also go to the Rose Planetarium now and then. But I do not go to the Rose Planetarium because I am an X-Files fan.

Yes, but the premise wasn't that the lunatic left has not blown up buildings or assassinated because they are communists, the premise was that the lunatic left hasn't done those things at all. Oswald was part of the lunatic left (if we believe the account) and he assassinated the President, ergo he is an example of the lunatic left performing assassinations. Arguing that Oswald didn't write a leftist manifesto first or scream out Ya Basta! as he was shot doesn't dispute that he was both a leftist and an assassin.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:28 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yes, but the premise wasn't that the lunatic left has not blown up buildings or assassinated because they are communists, the premise was that the lunatic left hasn't done those things at all. Oswald was part of the lunatic left (if we believe the account) and he assassinated the President, ergo he is an example of the lunatic left performing assassinations.

Commonality does not equal causality, though, is my point. I'm not denying LHO was a member of the left, and I'm not denying he was a lunatic. I'm denying that those two were connected in his actinos.

I was once a card-carrying member of the WKRP fan club. I also happen to have been in a demonstration at the 2006 GOP convention. But my participation in the demonstration was independent of all of those -- you wouldn't use me as an example for a claim that "WKRP fans all hate the GOP".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 1:44 PM on September 14, 2009


So, I missed this thread over the weekend. How'd it all turn out? Summary? Do I have to read the whole thing?
posted by klangklangston at 2:34 PM on September 14, 2009


What we need in this country is for the majority in the house to stand up and tell the squeaky wheels to shut up. They had their chance and screwed up miserably.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 10:20 AM on September 14


I disagree. What we need is for every elected representative to consider the best interests of their constituents--pandering be damned--and vote that way. Bugger this party in power nonsense, filibustering, and threats of a "nuclear option."
posted by crataegus at 2:35 PM on September 14, 2009


you wouldn't use me as an example for a claim that "WKRP fans all hate the GOP".

Thought, of course, WKRP fans really do all hate the GOP because they wouldn't let Dr. Johnny Fever say booger on the air.
posted by Joey Michaels at 2:53 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Do I have to read the whole thing?

Yes, comrade.
posted by lysdexic at 3:53 PM on September 14, 2009


>> as I 'member the claims is LHO spent time in Russia/cavort'n with the 'commies.

This rhetorical device is a favorite of the Teabaggers.

"Cavort'n." Just like Sarah Palin claiming Obama was "pallin' around" with terrorists.

They intentionally use ambiguous and casual terms like that to: A) relieve them of the burden of citing specific data, B) allow them to play off the remark when confronted with data.

Palin wouldn't cite specific events, date, time, and details, because then she'd have to defend the data. Much easier to sucker punch with a casual aside and run for cover. When confronted over the sucker punch, she could just flash her adorable grin and remark "oh, THAT love tap? That was nothing, dear." That makes YOU the asshole for even bringing it up because, clearly... you can't take a joke.

This is not by accident. If you observe the talking points (or talkin' points) of the right, this is taught to them (with public speaking and so-called leadership coaches) and is deliberate. They believe (rightly so, I suspect) that this "folksy" style endears them to "regular" Americans, but it also never takes itself seriously on the surface, while remaining deadly serious underneath, in the SUBSTANCE of the remark. It allows them to make charges of treason, racism, theft, murder, and lies and always, when confronted, to shuffle off with a "why so serious" chuckle.
posted by Brosef K at 3:58 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I for one welcome our new gap-toothed, illiterate, fat-assed, scotch-irish mongrel, bible-addled, mullet-wearing, convenience-mart working, gun-stroking, confederate-flag waving, rapture-waiting, xenophobic, racist overlords.
posted by telstar at 4:21 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I for one welcome our new gap-toothed, illiterate, fat-assed, scotch-irish mongrel, bible-addled, mullet-wearing, convenience-mart working, gun-stroking, confederate-flag waving, rapture-waiting, xenophobic, racist overlords.

As do I, since they tend to bring some decent whiskey along. I could do without the fights that tend to break out after the jokes have been told, the last of the stew has been slurped, the last of the childern have been beat and sent to bed. That gets old right quick. Seen it once . . .
posted by metagnathous at 5:07 PM on September 14, 2009


Glenn Beck's show is teetering on cancellation. There's been a bit of a web movement to have his advertisers pull from the show. It has been very successful.

His ratings are still solid though. And if the eyeballs stay, the advertisers will be replaced or creep back. I can't find any cites that Beck is about to be canceled that don't boil down to positive visualizations.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:20 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


. . . but y'know, th' cream-colored shine of an arse, of a lad or a lass, what shines in the moonlight once or twice, can be consider'd quite lovely in just the proper light, a comfort to the feeble, and to the strappin' a delight. Most comely and tremblin' by the night's meager illumination, to the beleagered such a sight!

True it is that the old and infirm may take fright, but a man of less discrimination may sleep a peaceful night!

And that's my contribution to a thread about healthcare reform. I humbly apologize.

And goodnight!
posted by metagnathous at 5:23 PM on September 14, 2009


(I'll keep working on it.)
posted by metagnathous at 5:34 PM on September 14, 2009


Well, if their effort is fumbling because people aren't making the tiny effort it takes to register one's opinion about Beck, I guess it'll fail. That's a bummer, but it's also emblematic of all our problems.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:19 PM on September 14, 2009


Bugger this party in power nonsense, filibustering, and threats of a "nuclear option."

You know, I don't think I'd ever heard the word "bipartisanship" before I started getting interested in American politics. It basically doesn't exist in Westminster-style parliamentary systems.

May I suggest that the concept appears to be completely overrated? Simply because only one side plays by the rules. The Democrats, when holding the majority, promise to be all bipartisan and play nicely with Republicans, and cave into Republican demands. The Republicans, when holding the majority, do not ever appear to return the favour. Hence, it appears to me that in the US, "bipartisanship" almost leads to a default one-party state. I mean shit, guys, you've got the Presidency and both houses, and yet what Republicans think somehow still matters? You're doing it wrong.

Fellas, it's actually so much simpler if you have a Government and an Opposition, and the Government gets to do whatever the hell it wants for a few years, the Opposition gets to sit idly by and bitch about it, then there's an election, and if the Government screwed up enough, the parties switch sides and try again. Sometimes, things actually seem to get done that way.
posted by Jimbob at 8:03 PM on September 14, 2009 [5 favorites]


Interviews with Teabaggers

(pretty amazing)
posted by Flunkie at 8:29 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Interviews with Teabaggers

I just cannot conceive of a way to get through to people that think like that. That video made me feel hopeless. And angry, and disgusted, and sad.
posted by ericthegardener at 9:01 PM on September 14, 2009


Anybody who could read this entire thread without having an aneurysm would be some kind of superior being. There's only so much conflict and wrong I can take in at once
posted by tehloki at 9:20 PM on September 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


5:12 is everything you need to know about the tea parties.

one reason i'm here today is my grandson and if i says what did you do when our country was CHANGIN'?! I stood up!...... i don't work any more...
posted by empath at 9:29 PM on September 14, 2009


The Democrats, when holding the majority, promise to be all bipartisan and play nicely with Republicans, and cave into Republican demands.

this is because over half the present Dems are really center-right Republicans in drag. Eg. Feinstein.
posted by Palamedes at 9:51 PM on September 14, 2009


No wonder I couldn't find this post! What is up with these tags?
posted by iamkimiam at 12:09 AM on September 15, 2009


scotch-irish mongrel

let's save the compliments for the celts who are worth it, please
posted by pyramid termite at 12:40 AM on September 15, 2009


scotch-irish mongrel

Pretty racist statement, there.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 4:21 AM on September 15, 2009


over half the present Dems are really center-right Republicans in drag

Yes, but center right republicans are actual reasonable people that can be persuaded by things like logic and facts. When you honestly think Obama's missing small pox vaccine scar is the key to unlocking the Judeo-Communist-Bilderberger-Muslim-Acorn death panel conspiracy behind the Health Care Legislation then you are moving out of the realm of logical discourse.
posted by Pollomacho at 7:24 AM on September 15, 2009


>scotch-irish mongrel

Pretty racist statement, there.


.....Racist how?
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:29 AM on September 15, 2009


ABC News Was Misquoted on Crowd Size -- "ABC News Reported D.C. Rally Size in Tens of Thousands, Not 1M to 1.5M as Activist Said."

Also -- "Conservatives on twitter distributed a fake picture of the rally showing the entire mall filled with people...The problem? The picture is over ten years old, from another rally."
posted by ericb at 7:54 AM on September 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Yeah, ericb, that was pretty outrageous. I've also seen a subtler distortion spread by Michelle Malkin readers: a webcam image purporting to show a crowd of protesters filling the same tree-lined section of the National Mall near the Capitol which an inauguration graphic in USA Today said could hold 946,000 people. Of course, anyone familiar with the DC skyline can see that the space they fill is Pennysylvania Avenue, which is less than a tenth of the size of the Mall.
posted by Rhaomi at 8:05 AM on September 15, 2009


.....Racist how?
Are you serious?

When you apply a stream of twelve descriptions to a person, eleven being obvious insults and one being their ancestry, I'd say chances are pretty good that you meant that one to be an insult, too.

And that's even ignoring "mongrel".
posted by Flunkie at 8:10 AM on September 15, 2009


Insult, yes. A slag against ancestry, yes.

But "Scotch-Irish" isn't a race, last I checked.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:28 AM on September 15, 2009


But "Scotch-Irish" isn't a race, last I checked.

Scotch-Irish... isn't that a blended whisky?
posted by hippybear at 9:26 AM on September 15, 2009


Ah, I see. You're trying to pick a nit. Would "ancestralist" make you happy? And would it affect St. Alia's point?

In any case, the nit you're trying to pick is nonexistent.

OED definition: "A tribe, nation, or people, regarded as of common stock. In early use freq. with modifying adjective, as British race, Roman race, etc."

OED cite, from 2005: "Back in mainland Europe, it feels like the Jews and the Paddies are the only two entrepreneurial races in Europe."
posted by Flunkie at 9:33 AM on September 15, 2009


Actually, the phrase should be "Scots-Irish". Scotch is a drink. Irish could be either a drink or a nationality.
posted by hippybear at 9:39 AM on September 15, 2009


Actually, the phrase should be "Scots-Irish".
Well, then, that's something else that you should take up with the Oxford English Dictionary, who have the term "Scotch-Irish" cited from the eighteenth century clear through to the twentieth.
posted by Flunkie at 9:44 AM on September 15, 2009


Ah, I see. You're trying to pick a nit. Would "ancestralist" make you happy? And would it affect St. Alia's point?

It depends -- "racist" is a very loaded term, which has subconsciously negative associations. Associations which can influence the tone of discussion as well, if introduced, whether the word is used properly or not. Sometimes some people use such "hot-button words" to subtly influence the tone of discussion in their favor.

In the context of this discussion, there is more obvious call to categorize the tone of the anti-Obama sentiment as "racist," as the lines between the Caucasoid and Negroid races are more apparent. St. Alia has disagreed that these interchanges are racist, and she does have a point therein (the notion of whether those who object to Obama's policies may be unconsciously racist is something only a psychologist could unpack). On the other hand, it's less accurate to define the differences between one kind of Caucasoid and another kind of Caucasoid as "racist" -- but St. Alia has referred to that conflict as "racist" nevertheless, and it is possible she may have done so because "racist" is such a hot-button word, and she was looking to strike back in defense against the "anti-Obama people are racist" accusations.

On the other hand, it could have also been an honest mistake as to the definition of "racist."

So: the question is, did St. Alia refer to the "scotch-irish mongrel" exchange as racist because of an honest mistake, or because of a defense tactic?

Not so much of a "nit", there, particularly since I have agreed with you that it was an insult and a slag.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:44 AM on September 15, 2009


Here's a pretty good article about the ignorance-driven tantrum these folks threw on the Mall this weekend.
posted by EatTheWeak at 9:45 AM on September 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


Actually, the phrase should be "Scots-Irish".

Well, then, that's something else that you should take up with the Oxford English Dictionary, who have the term "Scotch-Irish" cited from the eighteenth century clear through to the twentieth.


Scotch is an adjective meaning "of Scotland". The modern usage in Scotland is Scottish or Scots, where the word "Scotch" is only applied to specific products, usually food or drink, such as scotch whisky, scotch pie, scotch broth or scotch eggs, and "Scotch" if applied to people is widely considered mildly pejorative. However, 'Scotch' is still in occasional use in England and Ireland, and common use in North America.

You can read the rest of the page at your leisure.
posted by hippybear at 9:50 AM on September 15, 2009


This is why when I'm making casual accusations I always scream "BIGOT" instead of "RACIST". Bigot always fits.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 9:55 AM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not exactly sure why you're still arguing whether the word is being used "properly" or "less accurately" or a "mistake". Again, one of the main usages of the word "race" quite clearly applies to "Scotch-Irish"; frankly, it strikes me as somewhat silly to argue that it's not "racist" to make an overtly prejudiced statement about someone's race, which the original poster most definitely did.

But if you want to continue arguing that, fine with me. I'm done.
posted by Flunkie at 9:55 AM on September 15, 2009


Interviews with Teabaggers

Wow. It's the return of the Knownothingism.

Q: So what are you coming out here necessarily to oppose, or what is your purpose here today?

A: Well, mainly it's the health-care bill that's trying to get pushed through. I don't really feel that that's the government's job.

Q: Can you tell me about the bills that are being proposed right now?

A: [laughs] Not really.

* About the "Bury Obamacare with Kennedy" posters:

Q: Do you think the Kennedy family would think it's funny?

A: Probably not. But they've done other stuff too.

Q: What other stuff are those things?

A: Well, I mean, I can't think of anything right off the bat.

* To guy with "Joe Wilson for President" sign

Q: Joe Wilson, of course, yelled "you lie" out in the middle of the president's speech.

A: I had yelled it out before he did, a number of times, and so when he finally said it, I thought "somebody finally said it" [with a smirky grin]

Q: He did vote in the past to provide some level of health-care coverage for illegal immigrants, which made what he yelled ironic

A: Joe ... Joe Wilson supported that?

Q: 2002, yeah

A: Yeah, yeah. ... I am *not* supporting Joe Wilson for President.

* On Czars

A: I want people to know, what is a czar? What are they? They're a Russian king. ... Here, [heh, heh] Jesus is our king.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:10 AM on September 15, 2009


So: the question is, did St. Alia refer to the "scotch-irish mongrel" exchange as racist because of an honest mistake, or because of a defense tactic?

Honestly if people would just not keep looking to St. Alia and everything she says as indicative of some larger conservative mindset, we'd be better off.

Without getting into a discussion that's really more MeTa-oriented, asking her (and her only) a whole bunch of pointed questions and hoping you'll get to some "Aha!" point never, ever works and it tends to just turn otherwise okay threads into fighty hate mobs. She has email. You can contact her personally if you need to debate particular issues with her personally.
posted by jessamyn at 10:20 AM on September 15, 2009 [4 favorites]


Empress, I seem to remember a few folks honestly try to argue around these parts that a bias against redheads was also racist, so the "Scot(s/ch)-Irish = racism, yes or no?" question isn't all that surprising, at least not to me.
posted by shiu mai baby at 10:35 AM on September 15, 2009


Here's a pretty good article about the ignorance-driven tantrum these folks threw on the Mall this weekend.

I feel stupid for taking the time to even follow this event, but that response was pretty great.

"We the People" have been perverted by being represented by someone we didn't choose. It doesn't matter that he clobbered our ass with a decisive electoral mandate, because the results must be wrong. He's not voting with the majority, because I am the majority, irrespective of ivory tower "counting" math. He is ipso facto a tyrant because he wasn't what we wanted, even if the man hasn't achieved really anything.

Insightful.
posted by mrgrimm at 10:40 AM on September 15, 2009


President Carter's take
posted by Flunkie at 5:47 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Clearly many of these Tea Party "Patriots" are bad spellers, which makes them look stupid. Many of them call Obama a racist, Nazi, Marxist, Communist, Muslim, and non-American citizen. Their arguments and comments don't make any sense.

But they are genuinely upset, and have many reasons for being frustrated and angry. Our standard of living has been steadily eroding for years, we are nationally and personally deeper in debt than ever before, the U.S share of world GDP has been decreasing for years, jobs are being outsourced overseas, we have been attacked by people who hate us, we can't soundly and permanently defeat the people who attacked us, our porous borders are allowing illegal aliens to invade our country, big corporations are being bailed out while individuals go bankrupt, our trade deficit gets worse and worse every year, and these almost exclusively white Americans are having to share power with people who are "different". There are surely more that I didn't think of.

The biggest problem is that they have completely misidentified the true causes of their anger and frustration, causing them to mount a search for scapegoats.

I'm not sure what can be done to make these Tea Party Americans adopt more rational and constructive solutions, but insulting them and calling them stupid like this "pretty good" article about the ignorance-driven tantrum these folks threw on the Mall this weekend does isn't going to make them see the light any more than watching Glen Beck has done.
posted by Daddy-O at 6:03 PM on September 15, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm not sure what can be done to make these Tea Party Americans adopt more rational and constructive solutions, but insulting them and calling them stupid like this "pretty good" article about the ignorance-driven tantrum these folks threw on the Mall this weekend does isn't going to make them see the light any more than watching Glen Beck has done.

That article is one of the more well-thought and -written counterpoints to the whole 9/12 thing. It takes each of the claims and speaks clearly and precisely about why these are incorrect modes of thought. It doesn't stoop to name calling or insults nearly as much as this MeFi thread has, for example.

Yes, none of the people he is writing about is going to ever read beyond the first paragraph or two, let alone the entire thing. But what that piece DOES do is help those of us who are frustrated and confused by the ignorance and rage we see expressed have a good springboard for our own thoughts in the matter which go further than "GRAR, they're wrong because I think so."

Or it did that for me, anyway. YMMV.
posted by hippybear at 6:50 PM on September 15, 2009


Even Fox News is saying The Batshitinsane Are Getting Scary. All y'all are gonna have to put a cap on this or it's gonna get ugly.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:12 PM on September 15, 2009


Daddy-O - Do you genuinely believe there is a way to make these folks see the light? They're wearing shirts that call for a return to McCarthyism. How do you negotiate with such blind, spiteful ignorance as was displayed in DC this weekend?
posted by EatTheWeak at 7:24 PM on September 15, 2009 [1 favorite]


Tenured Radical has a thoughtful, temperate piece describing interactions with the some of the marchers and "whether race is shaping the discussion even when people don't say the words or say openly hateful things". (The quote is from one of TR's follow-up comments.)
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 7:59 PM on September 15, 2009


EatTheWeak: I believe it would be very difficult to make most of the Tea Party Patriots see the light and stop believing the lies they subscribe to. Like I said, I don't know how it could be done. Trying to reason with them would be very aggravating, to put it mildly. Like others here have related, I personally know a Tea Party Patriot. He is a very nice, pleasant person, until he starts on politics on Facebook. It's like Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde. He has 985 friends on Facebook and it's nothing but a huge Tea Party echo chamber. I commented on one of his Nobamacare posts pointing out all of the socialist programs already in effect in the US and all I got back was how corrupt and inefficient anything the government touches is, Obamacare will raise the deficit, Obamacare is unconstitutional, etc. You want corrupt and inefficient, then stay with for profit insurance. I don't know what the answer is, but convincing them that they are a bunch of militant stupid hateful jerks who aren't one tenth as smart as we are ain't gonna happen.

What really pisses me of is that they think they are super patriots with God and the Founding Fathers on their side. Anyone who disagrees is an America hating traitor. It's hard to be optimistic about the future of this country sometimes.
posted by Daddy-O at 8:20 PM on September 15, 2009


The more I read analysis of this supposed "movement", the more it seems to me to echo Reznor's Year Zero world. Set in the near future, America has been declared "Born Again", and a full-on Xianist Fascist regime has taken control. Our soldiers fight openly in religious wars, morality is legislated (one page of the set of websites talks about parents losing their children due to getting too many bad citizen demerits), the rich live in walled-off enclaves while the rest of the population suffers under climate change and pollution... It's a frightening enough world to experience as part of an ARG and a sort of extended booklet for a dark, noisy NIN album. But day by day, it feels like there is an element of the US populace who would work actively toward making it real, and I see that reflected in much of what I have read about the 9/12 crowd.
posted by hippybear at 8:33 PM on September 15, 2009 [2 favorites]


Daddy-O - Jekyll & Hyde - that's a good way to describe it. I know someone who is toeing the line between "noisy libertarian" and "screaming teabagger" right this minute. We went to school together and she's generally a sweet woman, but I've resolved to stop reading her blogscreeds about ACORN and how Glenn Beck is a paragon of the 1st Amendment.

As for the DC teabaggers, I still think what we're looking at is the death throes of the worst and most unmanageable of the American conservative movement. Yeah, it's ugly and I'd warrant it's gonna get uglier, but as has been mentioned before in this thread, this "national movement" only produced a pissant crowd of 75,000 to march on the Mall. And as their signs and interview answers demonstrate, these aren't people who are interested in facts or negotiation.

So you know what? I'm ready for the president and the majority party to stop attempting negotiation with them. Ram through universal health care, dare the GOP to actually filibuster a bill that most of the country does want and add a public option for health coverage to the list of gifts progressives have given this country which an ever-diminishing hardcore conservative bloc will continue trying to poke us in the eye for.

These people have screamed at the top of their lungs that they don't wanna play ball. I say it's time we let them go ahead and sit this one out.
posted by EatTheWeak at 8:50 PM on September 15, 2009


Maybe it's time to paint the Whitehouse black. Round up the wiggers that go apeshit and be done with it.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:01 PM on September 15, 2009


That would be awesome. George Clinton would have to play while they're doing it, though.
posted by dunkadunc at 10:09 PM on September 15, 2009


Even Fox News is saying The Batshitinsane Are Getting Scary.

Yeah, but that's Shepard Smith. He's usually pretty non-batshit un-crazy. To be honest, I put him up there with Stewart and Moyers on my list of good guys.

How he still has a job at that network... He must know where all the bodies are buried.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:22 PM on September 15, 2009


Can we please, please, please not refer to them as "Tea Party Patriots"? Not only does it carry the implication that anyone who's not with them isn't a patriot, but also because what they're doing -- comparing the President to Hitler, the blatant racism, bringing guns to public gatherings for the sole purpose of intimidation, shouting down anyone who wishes to have a civil discourse -- is pretty much the antithesis of patriotism, in my book.
posted by shiu mai baby at 4:43 AM on September 16, 2009 [6 favorites]


Which, btw, wasn't an attack on you, Daddy-O; it's little more than a minor quibble over linguistics, but the Tea Partiers (or whatever) deal in these kind of semantics, and would love nothing better than to be considered the "true" patriots. Hell, it's been their MO ever since we invaded Iraq and Afghanistan, and I am sick of ceding this ground to those divisive assholes.
posted by shiu mai baby at 5:03 AM on September 16, 2009


shui mai baby, i am in complete agreement with you. I try to avoid calling them teabaggers, which is derogatory and insulting and doesn't add to civil discourse. If somebody can think of a more neutral term for them I am ready to adopt it.
posted by Daddy-O at 5:25 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I've been referring to the ones who put on colonial outfits to march "cosplay fetishists", if that helps.
posted by hippybear at 7:25 AM on September 16, 2009


damn. there should be an "as" in there.
posted by hippybear at 7:26 AM on September 16, 2009


9:31 Video - Revealed: What the 9/12 D.C. Tea Party March Was Really About.
posted by cashman at 7:35 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I try to avoid calling them teabaggers, which is derogatory and insulting and doesn't add to civil discourse

I'd agree with you, except that they started using the term in the first place. If you're calling on people to "teabag the White House" (and they knew exactly what the term meant) you can't exactly take offense when people start referring to you as "teabaggers."
posted by EarBucket at 7:52 AM on September 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


Biggest. March. Evar.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:55 AM on September 16, 2009


Late edition:

Max Blumenthal tours the Million Moron March. (youtube)
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:12 AM on September 16, 2009


>> shui mai baby, i am in complete agreement with you. I try to avoid calling them teabaggers, which is derogatory and insulting and doesn't add to civil discourse.

And I intentionally refer to them as Teabaggers for those exact same reasons.

You are wasting your time if you believe they have any interest in civil discourse. I love how progressives keep turning over their lies and examining them for hidden facets of undiscovered reason. "Why did they do that?" "Why did they say that?" "Don't they know?" "Can't they see?" "They can't REALLY mean that, can they?"

Sometimes you just have to turn mama's picture to the wall and fight.

You're worried about name calling and meanwhile they fully intend, and have the resources, and will to put Sarah Palin in the White House.
posted by Brosef K at 10:24 AM on September 16, 2009 [5 favorites]


>> shui mai baby, i am in complete agreement with you. I try to avoid calling them teabaggers, which is derogatory and insulting and doesn't add to civil discourse. If somebody can think of a more neutral term for them I am ready to adopt it.

BTW, if you read her original remark, she did not say not to call them Teabaggers. She said they should not be called patriots. And not because it would harm civil discourse, but because they are not worthy of the appellation.

And she also referred to them (rightly, by my reckoning) as divisive assholes. Is that neutral enough?

Teabaggers love to stick their fingers in the eyes of the "cultural elite" and then demand civil discourse when you say "Ow!" or "Fuck!" It's the dynamic of the school yard.
posted by Brosef K at 10:32 AM on September 16, 2009


Brosef, I never took Daddy-O's remark about the teabaggers terminology as chiding me; rather, I think he was explaining why he preferred not to use that term in general, even though it's in heavy use around these parts.
posted by shiu mai baby at 11:01 AM on September 16, 2009


Here is part of a remarkable column calling out the racial tactics of the right wing media:

"On his deathbed not too many years ago, a relative of mine confessed to having been part of a white lynch mob in the 1930s, which strung up a black man after he was caught having sex with a white woman. She accused him of rape. The sheriff led the lynch mob. There was no need for a trial; what a black man did to a white woman was considered so horrifying that nobody could wait for a trial and a verdict. After the black man was murdered, the guilt-stricken white woman confessed that the man had been her lover, and she called him a rapist to protect her honor.
None of us ever knew this about my kinsman, until in his dying days, he admitted it because it tortured him. It had been on his heart all his life. I pray that his repentance in the face of eternity helped him find mercy. It unnerved me, though, to think that that kindly old man had once fallen under the sway of race hatred to that degree, a race hatred that was part of the society into which he was born and raised. It still does, because that world seems like a thousand years ago. But it only seems so far away because many people worked too hard -- and some even gave their lives -- to drive those demons out. And now here is Limbaugh, of Palm Beach, and his ilk, calling them back insouciantly, for political advantage. This is evil."
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:04 AM on September 16, 2009 [4 favorites]


Of all the things I want to call these people, "teabaggers" is the most civil.
posted by EatTheWeak at 11:16 AM on September 16, 2009 [2 favorites]


Biggest. March. Evar.

It's funny, I was downtown on Saturday and I had totally forgotten about the teabaggers, then I saw some signs crumpled up in a trash can and remembered that Saturday was the day. That does not happen in DC unless the event is tiny. I remember Richard Gere and the Dali Lama had downtown snarled because they walked from Dupont to the White House for a rally with like 10,000 people. The whole friggin' place was in gridlock. Teabaggers? Not even an extra long wait at a traffic light or having to stand on the Metro.
posted by Pollomacho at 1:07 PM on September 16, 2009


The teabaggers account for S.F.A. as a percentage of the US voting population. The only reason they count for shit is because the media — MeFi included — keeps giving those useless pieces of shit attention that they do not deserve.

There is no point being nice about them. They are not in the least concerned about building bridges, coming to a mutually-satisfactory agreement, or any other form of negotiation. Fuck them and the high horse they rode in on.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:15 PM on September 16, 2009


[NOT BUNNIE-IST]
posted by telstar at 10:25 PM on September 16, 2009


The final option: Hitler's diabolical backup plan!
posted by telstar at 3:25 AM on September 17, 2009


Wall Street Journal Blogs:
Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.

Rep. Kevin Brady called for a government investigation into whether the government-run subway system adequately prepared for this weekend’s rally to protest government spending and government services.
Stuff like this would make me angrier if it wasn't so funny and pathetic.
posted by octothorpe at 6:30 AM on September 17, 2009 [4 favorites]


Protesters who attended Saturday’s Tea Party rally in Washington found a new reason to be upset: Apparently they are unhappy with the level of service provided by the subway system.

The morning of the inauguration, my wife and I got up at 4:30 in the morning, drove to a Metro station, and stood in a half-mile line to get on a train. We packed into the car like sardines, to the point where one older woman fainted. There was some good-natured grumbling, but everybody handled it like adults, people pressed even harder against each other to give the woman some air, and at least a half-dozen people offered bottles of water. Nobody suggested that this was somehow the government's fault.
posted by EarBucket at 6:58 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Steve Benen writes, "In some instances, [Rep. Kevin] Brady said constituents relied on private enterprise -- taxi cabs -- rather than the (ahem) public option. The conservative lawmaker described this as a bad thing. Local officials, Brady said, should have made "a great effort to simply provide a basic level of transit" to the public. Read that sentence again and replace 'transit' with 'health care coverage.'"*
posted by ericb at 8:40 AM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


No racism here. No way.
Limbaugh says we need to return to ‘segregated buses.’
posted by ericb at 8:42 AM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


He's an Entertainer!
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:02 AM on September 17, 2009


To be perfectly fair, Limbaugh's not calling for segregated buses. He's saying that in "Obama's America," black people are beating up those uppity white people who dare ride on the same bus as them.

Racist? Yeah. Despicable? Absolutely. But he's not saying we should have segregated buses, and it draws attention away from the really ugly, bigoted things he really is saying to claim that he is.
posted by EarBucket at 11:15 AM on September 17, 2009


You're right he's not calling for segregated buses, he's calling for segregated schools and going back to the days before busing.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:39 AM on September 17, 2009


I've read it five times now and can't see an alternate way to interpret it....
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:41 AM on September 17, 2009


Nancy Pelosi:
"The balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance. … I have some concerns about some of the language being used, because I saw this myself in the late 70s in San Francisco; this kind of rhetoric was very frightening, and it created a climate where violence took place. I wish that we could all curb our enthusiasm in the statements that we make and understand that some of the ears that it's falling on are not as balanced as the person making the statement might assume...Again our country is based on people being able to say what they believe, but I also believe they must take responsibility for any incitement they may cause."
Politico:
"A top Pelosi aide later confirmed reporters' suggestions that her statement was likely a reference to the City Hall murder of gay rights activist Harvey Milk and Mayor George Moscone in Nov. 1978 — an earth-shattering experience for Bay Area Democrats like the speaker."
posted by ericb at 11:48 AM on September 17, 2009 [3 favorites]


"That is not racism."

-- GOP chair Michael Steele
posted by ericb at 2:45 PM on September 17, 2009


Since there's dispute amongst the rational about nomenclature, I propose that the movement henceforth be referred to as The Million Moran March.

And Pelosi has a point. If you haven't seen it, The Times of Harvey Milk is an eye-opening documentary, especially in that it opens with footage of Dianne Feinstein standing on the steps of City Hall and announcing the shootings. Gut-wrenching, that. I'd moved to Austin about 3 months before, but it was still pretty damn shocking, and still sits heavy on my memory as well. I lived about 2 blocks from Milk's camera store up until that move. It seemed inconceivable at the time.
posted by Devils Rancher at 3:31 PM on September 17, 2009


The Times of Harvey Milk

Available in full on YouTube here.

...especially in that it opens with footage of Dianne Feinstein standing on the steps of City Hall and announcing the shootings.

00:32 - 01:07.
posted by ericb at 3:50 PM on September 17, 2009 [2 favorites]


Nancy Pelosi: "The balance between freedom and safety is one that we have to carefully balance. … I have some concerns about some of the language being used..."

Republicans reject Pelosi's call to shun rhetoric that could lead to violence.
posted by ericb at 7:48 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Spreading Socialism Through Street Murals
posted by homunculus at 8:57 AM on September 22, 2009


To be perfectly fair, Limbaugh's not calling for segregated buses. He's saying that in "Obama's America," black people are beating up those uppity white people who dare ride on the same bus as them.

Please. That's like saying "he's not saying he's going to hit you in the nose, he's just saying that he's going to swing his fist back and forth and if you run into it, hey, that's your problem."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:02 AM on September 22, 2009


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