Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bailing on the Truth

This week I saw 2 very good opinion pieces.

The first was a simple letter to the editor in the Baltimore Sun that echoes what I’ve been saying for the last year, which I will lovingly type forthwith:

Why no tea parties with Bush’s record deficits?
"Let’s see: The Bush administration inherits a budget surplus, racks up record deficits, and more then doubles the national debt.  No tea partiers.  Through lax regulations, our economic house of cards comes tumbling down and Wall Stree, GM and Chrysler are bailed out by the Bush administration.  No tea partiers.  President Obama enters office on Jan. 20, 2009.  Within about a month, we get the tea partiers.  Perhaps (conservative Baltimore Sun columnist) Ron Smith is correct.  Perhaps there is no racism involved.  Perhaps it’s only stupidity."

F. Mark Walters

 I don’t have a lot to add to that, that I haven’t already said.  It wasn’t a problem until it wasn’t their guy in office.  That makes the tea baggers’ “principles” flimsier than George W’s Yale transcripts.

All the crying about taxes cracks me up.  I mean, I don’t like paying taxes any more than anyone else, but it’s the price you pay for services received.  These fuckers want to protest about their taxes (which actually went down for 98% of them), let them get along without public schools, paved roads, unregulated industrial pollution, workplace safety standards, food inspection and regulation, disaster recovery and cleanup, Medicare, Social Security, or defense of the very ground on which they stand.

Unless they want to forego all of the above, they should shut the fuck up and pay their tab like the rest of us.

And if the crowd IS made up of that 2% of Americans making over $250,000, that do see their taxes rise, (who are also more likely that they have representatives appear for them) I say “cry me a fuckin’ river.”  This country has provided the atmosphere for them to make the kind of living that few others will ever see.  They are exactly who should be footing the bill. 

If you’re making 250 Gs, I don’t want to hear you crying about money.  Ever.

The other article that caught my eye appeared in Salon and talked about how it can be that the Republicans can send guys out there and tell bald-faced, easily verifiable lies to the American public.

The current example was from Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.  To quote from the article:
“Consider Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. For weeks, McConnell has been trying to prevent action on pending financial-reform legislation by claiming that it would lead to "endless taxpayer bailouts of Wall Street banks."

In reality, the proposed law would do exactly the opposite: liquidating failed investment firms' assets through a process like the one used by the FDIC to shut down insolvent savings banks. Management would be fired and shareholders given nothing until creditors had been paid. Wall Street firms would be required to pay into a fund underwriting the arrangement. Taxpayer dollars wouldn't be used.”

The writer goes on to mention how the goal appears to be to get cretins on Fox “News” and talk radio to pick up the sound bytes and run with them.

“The fact that he's engaging in pure doublespeak is highly unlikely to be mentioned. Instead, you'll likely see a snippet from a Democrat making the opposite claim. For an awful lot of viewers, that's like flipping a coin.

For Fox News viewers and Limbaugh listeners, it's actually easier than that. Conditioned by decades of propaganda about liberal media bias, many react with overt hostility to any and all information from other sources. I must get 50 angry e-mails a week calling me a liar for citing some easily verifiable fact at odds with right-wing doctrine.”

What strikes me is the bit about the propaganda about the alleged “liberal media bias.”  By spending years conditioning the undiscerning ears of their viewship to immediately distrust anything that doesn’t come directly from Fox or the Republicans, they have inoculated themselves from ever being proved wrong.  And all that does is perpetuate the Bizarro-World state of Republican politics, where the sky is green, the grass is blue, we kill people to save lives, and put our citizens under surveillance to protect our freedom.

It’s like the spouse-abuser that cuts off his wife from her friends and the outside world.

 “I’m all you ever need, honey.  Your friends are idiots.  Your family doesn’t love you like I do.  Sure I have to knock some sense into you once in a while, but it’s for your own good.  You don’t need to ask anyone else, I’ll tell you what’s what.”

That’s Fox News, in a nutshell… A drunk, smelly guy in a sleeveless tee shirt, cuffing some sense into his cowering wife who dares to dares to challenge him by stating what is plainly obvious to anyone with a functioning brain and even a rudimentary sense of right and wrong.

Look what they’re doing with the oil rig collapse in the Gulf.  They know that offshore drilling is their baby, their battle cry.  Now it’s gone tragically wrong and they need someone else to blame.

Naturally, it’s Obama’s fault.  Sean Hannity is already calling it Obama’s Katrina (a line he picked up from Limbaugh.)  There is no reporting about the effects to the economy or Gulf ecosystem, just relentless finger-pointing and dismissal of any who dare to disagree.

He’s even gone so far as to state that if it wasn’t for the Democrat’s prevention of Alaskan drilling, we wouldn’t have to be drilling in the Gulf.  As if there haven’t been oil rigs in the Gulf for ages, regardless of Alaska drilling.

But why let facts get in the way of political fingerpointing?  Just take the word of the guy in the wife-beater.  He’s only looking out for us.

21 comments:

  1. From Regianald Dogan, a black local columnist in the Pensacola News Journal, April 15, date of a Tea Party protest rally: "Many of the tea partiers, I believe, are seething because, for the first time in American history, a black man is in the White House. ...race is a subtext of the tea party movement. (They) are perfectly fine with government control and regulation as long as the type of control underpins their personal agenda and beliefs."

    Tea Party protesters will join the rest of us here as we prepare for the approaching ecological disaster, plan to deal with the unspeakable damage drilling has caused. They will be too busy and thier hands too dirty to point fingers.

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  2. It's just so funny watching them try to tap-dance their way out of any responsibility for this disaster. It's like a kid whining and whining for a bb gun, then when he shoots himself with it, blames the parents for giving it to him.

    Have you heard the crap about the oil rig collapses being the work of environmental eco-terrorists?

    They're really reaching, now. But it'll be reported on Fox News and immediately be taken as fact, by their teabagging loyalists.

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  3. oops, their hands.
    Of course, Dogan's column unleashed a deluge of tea party defenses. "Methinks the partiers doth protest too much". Their strident stupidity says much about their impetus and intent.

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  4. No, have not heard of the "eco-terrorists" but they always project a new bogey man to distract and intimidate the fearful "loyalists". They offer a whole smorgasboard from Muslims to immigrants to this sinister president who won't raise our flag in Haiti. Now "environmental eco-terrorists"! OOOOO I'm rally fraided!!

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  5. I think all politicians are pieces of crap. I may not agree with Obama's policies but I think our "crises" are as a result of decades upon decades of greedy bastards. Hope the tea partiers start going after all of them.

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  6. Woman,
    Agreed regarding the greedy bastards.

    And I'd settle for the teabaggers obtaining the basic facts concerning what they're out there yelling about.

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  7. I'd settle for the personal responsibility of every person in the entire world.

    That's probably as likely as what you're asking for but I thought I'd throw it out there anyway!

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  8. Hey, dream a lottery win for me while you're at it!

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  9. There was a guy, I knew, who was very down on his luck. One night, he got down on his knees and asked God, "Please, Lord, I've been your humble servant all my life. I've worked on behalf of the poor, I've praised Your name every day, I've tried to make the world a better place. But all I have is bad luck. Could you please, please, please let me hit the lottery?"

    The night of the big drawing, he watched the TV closely, sure that God was going to grant his wish. But he never won.

    So he repeated his prayers that night, and every night for a month. Not once did he win the lottery.

    Finally, he wailed to God, "Why, oh why can you not grant this one wish to your devoted follower?"

    Moments later, he heard a tremendous crack of thunder, and a stately voice that said, "My child, you have to work with me... buy a ticket!!

    Sorry, Woman, that's the best I can do... =o)#

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  10. Right, I mean, the whole problem is that many (most?) people don't really care about the truth. It's fun to get worked up and to have something to blame all of your problems on, whether or not it's true.

    The one thing my conservative dad and I agree on is that every single person in politics right now should be ousted and replaced. Except Dennis Kucinich.

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  11. Mundane,
    Lawmaking is a lot like sausage-making... you don't want to see what goes into it.

    I think a lot of politicians get into it for the right reasons and actually try to do some good. Then they get to Washington and bump up against the ingrained bureaucracy and realize that there's not much one person can do, certainly not without selling a part (or all) of your soul.

    I wish I had a solution... even term limits have their own shortfalls.

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  12. First of all, I love it when you talk politics. You get me all fired up.

    The problem with these tea partiers is that they are like the doomsday cult. They will follow their leader to their death. And it's sad. I mean, really really sad. How can someone live their lives being completely one sided? I find that reading both sides makes making a decision much easier.

    But that's just me. I'm not in a cult, you see.

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  13. Thanks Cassie,
    I find I have to have a political venting roughly every 10 posts or so or else Pinky has to tackle me before I get to the kitchen knives.

    And they’re totally a cult… the Cult of Fox “News”. Fox and AM talk radio get them all riled up with inflamed language, half-truths and flat out lies playing on their worst fears, then stand back when crowds go ballistic and say, “It’s not our fault…”

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  14. And seriously, what is up with Glen Beck? Is he the new Limbaugh? He scares me, too. His show was on at the gym today and I just stood there and laughed. He was talking about how there were HUGE G20 summit protests and blood in the streets. BLOOD IN THE STREETS I tell ya. Hmm....I remember living here in the place that it was held and I don't remember seeing much blood. Or much protesting. Apparently the point he was trying to make was that Obama can't keep riots under control. Shame, Obama. Shame!

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  15. Damnit. I made a good comment, but it didn't crappin' show up. Sigh.

    It was about Glen Beck and how he's a rightous biggot who was talking about how Obama is a poor leader because he allowed the G20 Summit to get 'out of hand' and that there was blood in the streets. BLOOD IN THE STREETS I tell ya. Well, gosh, doncha-know, I missed it all, only having lived 10 miles from the ruckus. Damn. (By the way, I'm originally from Minnesota, so the doncha-know is OK.)

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  16. If I didn't know better, I'd have to refer to you as "Sybil".

    Beck is an ass-clown who will say absolutely anything if it will provide red meat for the ignorant right-wing masses. He and The Truth have only a vague passing acquaintance.

    I bet you get a good workout, watching him, though. I know MY cardio would be going full steam...

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  17. Did you see this article from Slate? It basically says that conservatives simply inculcate themselves by consuming the same stuff over and over again. I think he could have pointed out where the liberals go wrong in information gathering a little more, maybe. But in my experience, it's we "liberals" who are actually out there checking the facts, and not accepting what any media choose to spoon feed us. http://www.slate.com/id/2252685/

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  18. RPM,
    That’s one of the things I find so frustrating about the whole thing… it’s so easy to verify or disprove some of this information, but people won’t do it. It’s much easier to attack the source as biased or unreliable, when it conflicts with one’s biases.

    Take Snopes, for example.

    I did a post last April about how Snopes was being labeled as a left-wing mouthpiece because of how often they have to debunk right-wing smears. (http://darwinfish2.blogspot.com/2009/04/in-snopes-we-trust.html ) If the attackers actually went to the site, they’d see that Snopes debunks myths and rumors from ALL sides. It just so happens that most of them come from the right. And what does that say about the state of conservatives, when all they have to offer are wild rumors, innuendo and falsehoods?

    Thanks for the tip on the Slate article. I just read it and it makes a great deal of sense. I recommend everyone else do so as well.

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