Saturday, August 28, 2010

go to hell glenn beck, and take your tea partying followers with you

I awoke early this Saturday morning and decided to head to an Arlington (VA) diner for a delicious albeit unhealthy breakfast. The diner was unusually full for 7:00 AM. As I settled in with my coffee I noticed some of the customers (aged 40-60) were wearing t-shirts with messages like "Restore Honor" on them.

Outside the window of the diner, local buses headed down the main drag, en route to a shopping mall near the Pentagon which includes a subway stop. The buses were unusually full for 7:00 AM on a Saturday; not just the usual folks, largely immigrants, heading to their jobs but also well-fed white folks in baseball caps and shorts, some sporting t-shirts with messages supporting gun rights and the like, carrying backpacks, looking like they were ready to spend a day on the Mall.

As I drove back up the pike towards home, I saw a bus-stop near a motel, with a bunch more of those well-fed politically-messaged-tshirt-and-baseball-cap wearing backpack toting white folks waiting for a bus to take them to the Metro station which would take them to downtown Washington where they could go to the Lincoln Memorial for Glenn Beck's stupid Restoring Honor rally.

So I'd like to give a little message to these folks. Go to hell. You're coming to the Lincoln Memorial, the taxpayer-funded monument which commemorates the man who preserved the Union and ended slavery and at least set us on the path of treating non-Christian whites as full citizens (you know, things like the 14th Amendment that some of you want to revoke allofasudden). You ride there on the taxpayer funded bus (which runs along taxpayer funded roads) and taxpayer funded Metro rail system. You probably flew to Washington on a commercial airline; taxpayer funded airports and air traffic control systems made your trip safer or even possible. Or you drove here on taxpayer funded highways.

And you are here to protest against well just about everything it would appear and wanting to "Restore Honor," which is as far as I can tell the code word for keeping middle class (aka "white") perks and tax breaks and sending everybody who wasn't born in America back to Kenya. You don't want to pay taxes and you decry socialism (let's face it, you don't really know what "socialism" means, but that doesn't stop you) but by God we better not fuck with your Medicare and by God you want your Congressman and Senator to bring more public work projects to your town in Alabama or Wyoming or wherever the hell you come from. You demand your freedoms, including your freedom to impose your religious beliefs on others, and your freedom to deny the freedom to Muslims to build a community center in lower Manhattan. You bitch about the bail-out and stimulus package (and you are insufficiently sophisticated to realize that the bank bail-out was signed by de facto President George W. Bush NOT President Obama) but you also bitch about the Obama Administration not doing enough to save American jobs. You demand the continuation of Bush's tax breaks despite the fact that they significantly benefit something like 2% of Americans who can easily afford the return to the tax levels that prevailed in the 1990s when the American economy was booming under Bill Clinton. You carry posters linking Obama to Hitler and Stalin, but you defend right-wingers like Dr. Laura or George Allen when they sling hateful words like "nigger" or "macaca" or "raghead" around. You don't want any immigrants but you were happy to eat a great breakfast at that charming little diner which is run by immigrants and the children of immigrants. You get a chubby when Sarah Palin comes out with her sexy librarian outfit and blathers incomprehensible codewords espousing racism, violence, and patriotism, despite her venal corruption and support for Alaskan secession. You are suspicious about all people with skin darker than Conan O'Brien but you rode that taxpayer funded bus driven by an African-American person who may have harbored some thoughts about the inappropriateness of a race-baiting crowd of the sort Beck will draw speaking at the Lincoln Memorial on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech.

Your inconsistencies and miscomprehensions are exceeded only by your ugly hatreds and narrow-minded beliefs.

So go to hell Glenn Beck, and take your crowd today with you.


Wednesday, August 04, 2010

an embarrassed conservative

Professor Bainbridge lists his reasons to be embarrassed about being a conservative. He has a good point, and the fact that he comes up with such a list shows something in him (sanity and honesty to start) that you can't find among the Palins and Fox Newses of the world. Though Bainbridge and others must accept some guilt by association for as long as they condone or vote for the bad kind of conservatives...

The list, from Bainbridge's blog:

Let's tick off ten things that make this conservative embarrassed by the modern conservative movement:

1. A poorly educated ex-sportwriter who served half of one term of an minor state governorship is prominently featured as a -- if not the -- leading prospect for the GOP's 2012 Presidential nomination.

2. Tom Tancredo calling President Obama “the greatest threat to the United States today" and arguing that he be impeached. Bad public policy is not a high crime nor a misdemeanor, and the casual assertion that pursuing liberal policies--however misguided--is an impeachable offense is just nuts.

3. Similar nonsense from former Ford-Reagan treasury department officials Ernest Christian and Gary Robbins, who IBD column was, as Doug Marconis observed, "a wildly exaggerated attack on President Obama’s record in office." Actually, it's more foaming at the mouth.

4. As Doug also observed, "The GOP controlled Congress from 1994 to 2006: Combine neocon warfare spending with entitlements, farm subsidies, education, water projects and you end up with a GOP welfare/warfare state driving the federal spending machine." Indeed, "when the GOP took control of Congress in 1994, and the White House in 2000, the desire to use the levers of power to create “compassionate conservatism” won our over any semblance of fiscal conservatism. Instead of tax cuts and spending cuts, we got tax cuts along with a trillion dollar entitlement program, a massive expansion of the Federal Government’s role in education, and two wars. That’s not fiscal conservatism it is, as others have said, fiscal insanity." Yet, today's GOP still has not articulated a message of real fiscal conservatism.

5. Thanks to the Tea Party, the Nevada GOP has probably pissed away a historic chance to out=st Harry Reid. See also Charlie Crist in Florida, Rand Paul in Kentucky, and so on. Whatever happened to not letting perfection be the enemy of the good?

6. The anti-science and anti-intellectualism that pervade the movement.

7. Trying to pretend Afghanistan is Obama's war.

8. Birthers.

9. Nativists.

10. The substitution of mouth-foaming, spittle-blasting, rabble-rousing talk radio for reasoned debate. Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Hugh Hewitt, and even Rush Limbaugh are not exactly putting on Firing Line. Whatever happened to smart, well-read, articulate leaders like Buckley, Neuhaus, Kirk, Jack Kent, Goldwater, and, yes, even Ronald Reagan?