O.D.

Did you know the Michigan Militia still exists? The headline on Charlie LeDuff’s column tells us “anger boils” among them, which is a little like observing that the laws of gravity were still in force this morning.

Anger is the point of the Michigan Militia. During their moment in the sun, in the early- to mid-90s, they were the O.G.s of the nutso paranoiacs. They harbored Tim McVeigh for a time, but he left out of frustration that all they wanted to do was talk and bitch and maybe shoot beer cans in the woods. (I always think of Terry Nichols, McVeigh’s feckless, dim-bulb accomplice, as their poster boy.) The closest they came to action was when they hatched a plot to forcibly take Camp Grayling, the sprawling northern Michigan National Guard training camp. It’s an article of faith among certain lunatics that it’s a “FEMA concentration camp” just waiting to be activated by order of our Muslim president. Like pretty much everything the Michigan Militia put its collective mind to, the plot came to naught.

Now they’re more like O.D.s — original disgruntled. As LeDuff explains:

The coordinator of the Southeast Michigan Volunteer Militia is a postman. The corpsman of the Lenawee Volunteer Militia works in the paint and hardware department at Wal-Mart. He earns $11.25 an hour. His son, the major, works in a group home for the developmentally disabled. He earns $9.50 an hour. Their comrade, the commander, was laid-off from his job at a vitamin store. He earns nothing.

This sets the scene for a report from the MM’s field day, which was a combination picnic/shootenanny/tax protest. The mood was, well, you know:

“I’ve seen a 35 percent reduction in pay,” said …Cyn Soldenski. “I bought a house 18 months ago. The interest rate is going to reset and I’m so far underwater I’m going to drown. We’ve got to take the stupid government and throw it out.”

If you listen to this group you begin to realize that they cannot take over the world; they probably couldn’t take over their brother’s trailer payments. They are a restless and frustrated group: a hodgepodge of ex-farmers, ex-military, ex-truck drivers, ex-factory workers, wipers of other people’s bottoms. Many are firmly among the state’s 20 percent unemployed or underemployed.

I’m sure if you told Cyn Soldenski we just did take the stupid government and throw it out — last November, you might recall — she’d laugh in your face and say something about the lack of difference between a Republican and a Democrat, and from her point of view, she’s right. The government has nothing to do with her free-floating anger, except in the sense of certain economic policies which were probably inevitable under all the major political parties. She and others like her are economic cannon fodder, like Tiffany Clay of yesterday’s dispatch from Newark, minus 50 IQ points and plus (take your pick or add your own) a teen pregnancy, a mother who drank, teachers who didn’t give a shit, town fathers who got old and tired and sold their light-industry plants to international concerns and retired to Arizona.

Every so often people tell me they don’t understand how I can drive through certain parts of Detroit, how terrifying it is. I’ll tell you what terrifies me: When we go to our cottage in Branch County and maybe attend the county fair, where we see the future haunting the midway — teens and young adults with dead eyes, neck tattoos, 50 extra pounds of fat, infants in strollers, the boys aping the fashion choices of hip-hop artists and the girls smoking generic cigarettes. The smart ones have already left town, many via military enlistments. What will become of these little towns with their empty downtown storefronts and big-box sprawl on the fringe? Will everyone end up working at Meijer or Wal-Mart? Given that choice, I might buy a gun, too.

Yesterday I followed a link from another site and ended up here. Matt Taibbi:

The reason the winger crowd can’t find a way to be coherently angry right now is because this country has no healthy avenues for genuine populist outrage. It never has. The setup always goes the other way: when the excesses of business interests and their political proteges in Washington leave the regular guy broke and screwed, the response is always for the lower and middle classes to split down the middle and find reasons to get pissed off not at their greedy bosses but at each other. That’s why even people like Beck’s audience, who I’d wager are mostly lower-income people, can’t imagine themselves protesting against the Wall Street barons who in actuality are the ones who fucked them over. Beck pointedly compared the AIG protesters to Bolsheviks: “[The Communists] basically said ‘Eat the rich, they did this to you, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” He then said the AIG and G20 protesters were identical: “It’s a different style, but the sentiments are exactly the same: Find ‘em, get ‘em, kill ‘em!’” Beck has an audience that’s been trained that the rich are not appropriate targets for anger, unless of course they’re Hollywood liberals, or George Soros, or in some other way linked to some acceptable class of villain, to liberals, immigrants, atheists, etc. — Ted Turner, say, married to Jane Fonda.

But actual rich people can’t ever be the target. It’s a classic peasant mentality: going into fits of groveling and bowing whenever the master’s carriage rides by, then fuming against the Turks in Crimea or the Jews in the Pale or whoever after spending fifteen hard hours in the fields. You know you’re a peasant when you worship the very people who are right now, this minute, conning you and taking your shit. Whatever the master does, you’re on board. When you get frisky, he sticks a big cross in the middle of your village, and you spend the rest of your life praying to it with big googly eyes. Or he puts out newspapers full of innuendo about this or that faraway group and you immediately salute and rush off to join the hate squad. A good peasant is loyal, simpleminded, and full of misdirected anger. And that’s what we’ve got now, a lot of misdirected anger searching around for a non-target to mis-punish… can’t be mad at AIG, can’t be mad at Citi or Goldman Sachs. The real villains have to be the anti-AIG protesters! After all, those people earned those bonuses! If ever there was a textbook case of peasant thinking, it’s struggling middle-class Americans burned up in defense of taxpayer-funded bonuses to millionaires. It’s really weird stuff. And bound to get weirder, I imagine, as this crisis gets worse and more complicated.

We’ve had populist uprisings in this country before, most notably in the late 19th century, when a whole generation of similarly idled and angry farmers raised their voices against a class of tycoons and easy-credit ripoffs. They had their moment and withered quickly, swept away, or swept along, by the tide of modernism. Something will clear these folks out of the northern Michigan woods the same way. But they’re having babies, too, and last I checked, a lot more than I did.

Or maybe they’ll run into that class of yuppies who’s simmering in traffic in some awful Midwestern city, with a good job but without a sense of purpose, dreaming of cashing out, buying a few acres in some beautiful, pure place far off the grid, and setting up a subsistence farm of a few goats, chickens, a big garden and of course a little patch of marijuana…

I’m seeing a movie in my head, right now. Comedy gold!

So that was my tax day, and today is my housecleaning day. I’m starting to feel the urge, a thousand screaming caffeine molecules telling me it’s time to vacuum. Have fun in the comments, and I’ll pop back in from time to time.

Posted at 9:36 am in Current events |
 

67 responses to “O.D.”

  1. del said on April 16, 2009 at 9:48 am

    “The future haunting the midway.” Well put. Several years ago I went to the big Port Huron-Macinac party in Port Huron and had the same feeling about the some of the folks roaming the streets.

  2. mark said on April 16, 2009 at 10:02 am

    Taking the easy shots hardly makes you a marksman.

    It is not at all unreasonable to be concerned that a government that apparently saw no economic trouble brewing has, since last August, quadrupled our annual deficit, and committed trillions more through programs operating in less than sunlight passing out hundreds of billions of dollars to wall street, and through legislation that spends hundreds of billions without allowing its citizens an opportunity to even read the proposals.

    But hey, take a quote from an idiot with a gun, link him to an entertainer like Beck, and avoid discussion through ridicule. What a shame when the enlightened can’t even enjoy a weekend at the cottage without observing the ugliness of their lessers.

  3. nancy said on April 16, 2009 at 10:16 am

    Again, your outrage would be easier to understand, Mark, if it were ever aimed at free-spending Republicans. Deficits are public enemy no. 1 when the money is being spent here, but when it’s to support a war, you get Cheney, echoing Ronald Reagan: “Deficits don’t matter.”

  4. mark said on April 16, 2009 at 10:30 am

    It’s always us and them with you, isn’t it?

    If you actually care to check, on two or three occasions last fall I expressed my disgust with Bush and the Republicans who supported the bail-out craziness here on your site. Republicans spent themselves right out of office. No tears from me.

    But find some other label to hang on me and then ridicule the label.

  5. nancy said on April 16, 2009 at 10:39 am

    Okey-doke. You’re the real deal.

    And to some extent, I understand exactly where you’re coming from. I’m by no means completely down with stimulus, etc. — it’s very much a gamble, and I can only hope it succeeds. But please don’t say the Michigan Militia, or the vast majority of tea-partiers, are honest deficit hawks. The vague racism alone in the signage yesterday was pretty appalling, and it’s pretty clear the rallies were a catch-all for an awful lot of vague conservative anger. Much of it seemed to boil down to, “We lost, and we’re pissed.” Sorry about that, but now you know how the rest of us felt for the last eight years and quite a few before that.

  6. jeff borden said on April 16, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Mark,
    As the son of two moderate Republicans who were literally horrified by the direction taken by the party since Ronald Reagan, my plea for guys like you is to find more guys like you. The GOP desperately needs to reach out to moderates who will not scare the bejesus out of moderate progressives like me. Instead, the party keeps paring itself down to its most hardcore, rightwing followers and the result is the emergence of dolts like Sarah Palin as legitimate national party figures, or an empty-headed buffoon like Rick Perry, whose idea of patriotism is apparently to threaten the U.S. with the secession of Texas. (Oh, please God, please.)
    I am not unsympathetic to your situation, Mark, but it was rightwing Republicans who have spent the past 25 to 30 years demonizing guys like me in the most vicious, ugly terms available to them. If you think it is fun being called an anti-American, troop-hating, baby-killing, pervert because I favor the rule of law, opposed the Iraq war, support a woman’s right to choose and favor some form of gay marriage, I can assure you it is not.
    One thing that has truly stood out among the hardcore conservative commentariat since the election of President Obama is the tissue-thin membrane of skin they seem to have when they are now called out on their bullshit.
    I, too, dislike labels. I, too, agree you cannot sum up the totality of a person’s beliefs with a simple word or two. But scan the political horizon, Mark, and try to find a nationally prominent Republican who does not sound batshit insane these days. When these bloviators are the face of the party, what conclusions can the rest of us draw?

  7. mark said on April 16, 2009 at 10:48 am

    And my apologies for the cottage shot. I do appreciate your views and, since you don’t charge me for reading them, I’ll try to be a little less judgmental about the targets to which you direct your talents.

  8. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2009 at 10:54 am

    Ah, Matt has the obligatory “opiate of the people” riff buried in there. Frankly, after the piece he wrote on John Paul II’s death (full disclosure: not Catholic, no family Catholic), i can’t read anything he writes without thinking “small minded troll.” It was so vile i refuse to look for it for a link.

    More usefully, may i suggest reading George Orwell’s “Down and Out in London and Paris,” from 1933. It will quickly disabuse you of any sense that our vile mouthed, empty eyed, impoverished masses today are terribly unique, and like Gene Weingarten’s story (one that he should have gotten a Pulitzer for) on the Michigan guy who didn’t vote, it doesn’t really take lots of digging to find the heart and humanity beneath the neck tats and diffuse anger.

    The idea that they’ve been trained not to be angry at the rich is laughable in the extreme — has he spent any time among lower income folks at all? — except that the only acceptable anger at the rich by this analysis is confiscatory tax rates, preferably 85% or so. I could more credibly argue that people like Matt have trained themselves to never miss an opportunity to be angry at the church for existing, in whatever form. But since it’s a matter of infallible faith and doctrine that religious belief always maintains proletarian un-self-consciousness and prevents the workers’ revolution from sweeping away the rotten rags of capitalism, i shouldn’t be surprised.

    1871, 1893, 1909, 1929, 1973, 1982, 1987, 2002, 2009 — capitalism has much to answer for in generating crashes and ignoring the collateral damage of “creative destruction.” But what many of us are angry at both Bush and Obama over is statism without heart, not socialism without soul. We could use a bit of thoughtful socialism to buffer effective capitalism — single payer national health care, anyone? — but what’s been pumping out of the DC septic tank the last nine years, including the last three months, is stupid statism.

    IMHO.

    (JeffB, may i echo that conservatives are quite weary of being accused of starving school children, not caring about babies after they’re born, and hating all women without exception? I do not dispute your point, i just think both sides could do with a bit less caricaturing and demonizing — the Michigan Militia represents barely themselves, and profiling them is a quick and dirty way to laugh off anyone who says, as i do, how far past 34% of my gross household income is taxation going to go, and my wife and i well south of six figures? Obama won’t bump me up, but policies coming out of the federal government, and both parties, is going to mean my state and municipal taxes will be going up, so my “tax cut” on the 1040 is going to vanish under my total tax bill — and that’s what most local “tea partiers” are talking about. The fact that you can find a racist and a gun nut in the crowd has very little to do with the concerns generally finding voice there.)

  9. jcburns said on April 16, 2009 at 11:29 am

    Once again Nancy, your eyes there are seeing what I’m seeing down here in malls and big-box parking lots. Caught a few seconds of Ron Howard telling Bill Maher that he’s been watching a huge and profound cultural change from, say 1982 to 2003, but he, as yet, has no way to wrassle that into the Great American Film. I know what he means. I was grateful when I accumulated enough years under my belt to visualize a decade’s worth of change clearly…but I think no number of years or enough altitude will bring this sad transformation into true focus.
    Something’s screwed up. It’s more than a little ugly. And that whole concept of our unwillingness to behold grotesque accumulations of wealth and call it wrong to its face is something particularly American these days. We bestow celebrity where instead we should be saying “okay, you’ve done well, now help out those whose shoulders you stepped on in those pricy high heels.”

    (Aside: I googled Branch County, because I wasn’t sure it was where I thought it was, and the first news result that came up: “Branch tops district in percent of teen births”…whoo-hoo, teen pregnancy, we’re number one!)

    NANCE here: J.C., it’s also a “meth watch” community. I know how shocked you must be.

  10. Sue said on April 16, 2009 at 11:31 am

    “Or maybe they’ll run into that class of yuppies who’s simmering in traffic in some awful Midwestern city, with a good job but without a sense of purpose, dreaming of cashing out, buying a few acres in some beautiful, pure place far off the grid, and setting up a subsistence farm of a few goats, chickens, a big garden and of course a little patch of marijuana…
    I’m seeing a movie in my head, right now. Comedy gold!”
    Take out the Midwestern yuppie part and possibly the marijuana part, and you’ve got Cooz’s place, complete with surrounding crazies. Is his guest building finished yet? I see a research trip for Nancy before the weather gets much warmer.

  11. paddyo' said on April 16, 2009 at 11:34 am

    Jeff (TMMO), good thoughts all, with the exception of “that’s what most local ‘tea partiers’ are talking about.” I’m with Nancy on this one. The tea parties are a manufactured Astroturf (fake grassroots) kerfluffel by the narrow, bigoted, sore-loser right-wing.

    I’m not preaching “freedom has a price” (though that is true, beyond the easy sound-bitey slogan), but why the hell NOW with these so-called “tax” protests? Because they aren’t tax protests — they’re … well, see previous paragraph. No need to repeat it, because the perpetrators (Fox — outrageously slanted on this issue beyond the network’s usual lean — Beck, et al.) already ditto-ditto-ditto it ad nauseam.

  12. caliban said on April 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    So I saw some of the coverage of the tea-baggers yesterday on the TV. One thing I noticed was missing from these rallies…not a single African American or person of color at all. ——————————— Posted by briannorwood

    That’s because the rally was for working taxpayers.
    Posted by davicar2 at 7:37 AM : Apr 16, 2009

    That’s a comment from an idiotboard on a CBS site. I’d guess militias are populated with the underemployed, but thank God and the willfully misconstrued 2nd Amendment, they’ve got guns.

    Look, the Tea Parties were a halfway clever idea on the part of supporters of Ron Paul. They were coopted by the Obnoxious Aussie Traitor Network (and boyohboy did those Fox ‘personalities’ seem like they’d been at the pipe) and a bunch of shills for very rich people, like Newt and Dickless Armey. The 150,000 or so hapless souls that attended the 900, 700, 500, or more likely 150 parties were a bunch of deluded jackasses that make up the hardcore despise Obama Republican ‘base’. Not one of them faces an increaased tax burrden, if they pay taxes at all.

    All in all, it’s depressing that the people duped into this asinine behavior against self-interest have no clue that the largest part of the ‘Obama deficit’ is actually honest fund accounting and accurately reporting costs of the manifestly illegal PNAC invasion of Iraq in the budget. (Bushco left that out.) That money, over the past eight years went almost universally to private concerns with no oversight or accountability, with a smidgeon, begrudged apparently, by Teabaggers, for payroll and health care for actual soldiers.

  13. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2009 at 12:03 pm

    Paddyo’ – i said local, not national. The folks at Fox and couple of fundraising shops…sorry, i meant “conservative think tanks” have pumped some hot air into the balloon, but the folks on the ground holding the ropes aren’t paid or mobilized by anyone: and they’ve been upset over unfunded mandates, higher property taxes, and yes, even overseas interventionism for some time. Fairly or not, they’re much more willing to publicly go after a Dem president than a Republican one, but you don’t have to research much to find most rank-and-file *local* GOPers weren’t too pleased with 43, and “compassionate conservatism” got plenty of grief from large-megaphone sites like National Review from 1999 onwards, deriding Olasky’s phrase that pays for Bush as “big government you’ll like.”

  14. coozledad said on April 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    Sue:Funny you should mention that.I was just out saturating the new floor joists of that termite-riddled structure with a mixture of borax and limonene. Most of the proprietary chemicals in termite treatments are ineffective against everything but humans.
    I’ve got a local in to help me do some of the demolition work. Let me just say trying to come up with small talk is driving me apeshit.
    Just a couple more days, and then I can start medicating myself. Red Wine. Marijuana only makes me more paranoid.
    I think it’s hilarious that the right got it’s nickers in a twist over the DHS beginning to investigate the gun fetishists and racists that make its warped backbone. Seems it was signed into law by their own wank object.

  15. ROgirl said on April 16, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    It’s not hard to imagine another embryonic Timothy McVeigh out there, digging the anti-government (or rather, anti-Obama), anti-tax, anti-spending rhetoric, and spinning it into a perfect storm of paranoia, anger, and sense of inevitability towards a dangerous outcome.

  16. moe99 said on April 16, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AkOwsIIIe5I

    This is one teabagger I could support! What a great pimp!

  17. Sue said on April 16, 2009 at 12:50 pm

    Fury is fury, no matter the cause, and yes, welcome to our world. But the difference between four years ago and today is that people then were looking to their leadership and seeing nothing, and so began meeting together and asking two questions: who and how. The people who eventually fielded Clinton and Edwards and Obama etc. worked within the system while refusing to really accept the system leaders. People worked on this for four years; they channeled their anger pretty productively, and then with a few embarrassing exceptions rechanneled it when they had to, and more people came on board as things got worse, and what’s amazing is that they did this without really knowing if they would be successful. They couldn’t even count on their leaders to help them and often saw them actively working against their own constituents.
    I don’t see that happening today; I see a grassroots movement that is being directed from above to such an extent that it really begins to earn its derisive astroturf nickname. And a movement without a goal beyond showing the world how angry you are is dangerous. What’s the difference between the bumper stickers of several years ago that stated “I love my country but fear my government” and Glen Beck’s “I’m crying for my country because I love it so much and fear for it” performance? The first was part of a mindset that resulted in Timothy McVeigh. The second is the same mindset, just no Tim. Yet.
    Yes the anger is there. How it is channeled, and by whom, and whether it results in a literal or figurative body count, remains to be seen.

  18. LA Mary said on April 16, 2009 at 12:57 pm

    “…They are a restless and frustrated group: a hodgepodge of ex-farmers, ex-military, ex-truck drivers, ex-factory workers, wipers of other people’s bottoms. Many are firmly among the state’s 20 percent unemployed or underemployed.”

    With the exception of farmers, all these jobs here in fabulous SoCal are usually filled by people of color. None of them were out there amongst the teabaggers.

  19. del said on April 16, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    jcburns wrote:

    I was grateful when I accumulated enough years under my belt to visualize a decade’s worth of change clearly…but I think no number of years or enough altitude will bring this sad transformation into true focus.
    Something’s screwed up. It’s more than a little ugly. And that whole concept of our unwillingness to behold grotesque accumulations of wealth and call it wrong to its face is something particularly American these days.

    Ain’t that the truth. Let’s call it as it is. And as to pleas for equanimity in the dialogue (less “labeling” and fostering of an us-them mentality), there are risks to that too. It can validate bizarre aberrational thinking by creating a false equivalency in the value of the competing ideas, some of which are reasonable and some of which are nuts. The Republican party is untethered; let’s tell the truth about it instead of honoring those few reasonable conservatives who post here by pretending, for them, that it is not so. Part of the reason we’re in the mess we’re in is that reasonable people were silent when angry ideological wingnuts infiltrated the Republican party.

    Nancy’s right to consider the Michigan Militia. Those people are dangerous. It’s not a slap in the face to any reasonable person to address that problem, yet many Republicans are offended by any attention given to them. They’d have a point only if and when too much focus is given to such nuts. Then they’d be right as we’ll have entered into Fox News territory.

  20. MitchAlbomFan said on April 16, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    “To continue to use McVeigh as an example of the stereotypical ‘disgruntled military veteran’ is as unfair as using Osama bin Laden as the sole example of Islam.” – David Rehbein, Commander of the American Legion.

    If you ever ventured out of media havens that never challenge your values, Nancy, you’d know that there was PLENTY of right wing outrage at Bush’s failure to veto spending. Where was YOUR outrage at his signature on the prescription medicare plan aka “failed vote-buying scheme?”

    That’s the single most budget-damaging stroke of a pen we’ve seen since Johnson. Where was the outrage from Dems then? Shit! Where was the fucking CREDIT from the Socialist Dems for that debacle… ever?

    Being as you can’t give any credit for Clinton’s budget surplus to the Republican Congress’s Contract With America, or the Reagan/Bush policies which created the peace dividend enabling Clinton to slash military spending by 35%…

    I don’t expect you to have the intellectual honesty to place any blame for the last two years of Dubya’s presidency on the influx of Democratic control of congress…

    …Much less the possibility that that CRAZY NEEDLESS WASTE-OF-BLOOD-AND-TREASURE WAR that cost one percent of GDP BANKRUPTED us, might , just MIGHT pay a peace dividend in the Middle East 15 years from now.

    I don’t expect you to have the intellectual honesty to look at the macro and see that the states with legacy Democratic leadership (NY, CA, IL, MI, MA, VT, NV) are the ones going broke and the States with GOP leadership (UT, TX, LA, WY) are the ones sitting pretty right now.

  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Moe99, enjoying your recommendation of “Visions and Miracles” off your website, ordered through Nance’s Kickback Lounge; came Good Friday, just got it on the turntable today. Well, it’s a cd, but most of you know what i mean.

    Very relaxing, but not in a zzzzzz sort of way.

  22. paddyo' said on April 16, 2009 at 1:31 pm

    Fine, Jeff (TMMO) — sure, all politics is local, and every one of these “tea parties” was a “local” event, certainly. My point wasn’t about who organized them locally but about who drove them nationally. Not paid or “mobilized” by anyone? You don’t have to have paid organizers when the din from the national conservative crybabies and their national website for the tea parties drowns out everything else. I suggest the turnout was stoked largely by them. Can you prove otherwise?

    Here’s a taste from one tea party, The Denver Post’s coverage of the large gathering here (5,000 people by The Colorado State Patrol’s estimate):

    ” ‘The people in power deceived us,’ shouted Weld County District Attorney Ken Buck, one of several prominent Republican officials to speak at the event …
    “Brian T. Campbell, a Republican who says he is challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter in 2010 and who organized Wednesday’s rally, said he wanted to keep the focus of the rally on fiscal issues …”

    Really …?
    “… Those in the crowd had broader aims, with a number holding signs protesting illegal immigration, abortion, a cap-and-trade carbon tax, nationalized health care and the Internal Revenue Service. One sign read, ‘Obamanomics: Chains we can believe in.’ Another declared, ‘Arrogant American and proud.'”

    Not buying it, Jeff …

  23. caliban said on April 16, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Fox has been running with the ‘MSM’ disn’t covering this grassroots movement’ meme.

    http://www.latimes.com/news/la-me-tea-party16-2009apr16,0,6233800.story?track=ntothtml

    Yeah, they are. And for some inexplicable reason, they aren’t reporting on the actual numbers of people involved. Teabaggers are people with legitimate complaints, in part, succumbing to cynical manipulation, and their numbers, such as they are, are augmented by whackjobs that don’t only think John Wayne fought and won real wars, rather than, like Six-Deferments Dickless Cheney, lets you and him fight Dickless Cheney, have other things to do. And if somebody murders police officers and pretty much quotes Glen ‘Crying Man’ Beck, well, that’s collateral damage in the neverending War on Socialism.

    Not that any of these Bozos other than Newt could actually define Socialism, and not that any of them wouldn’t probably attend Tea Parties against Jesus if they were presented with his words in a blind tasting. Some of the people misleading these ignorant citizens are self-interested entrepreneurs and opportunist con-men. Some of them are actively and prosecutably seditious. Some of them are flaming assholes that give breathing a bad name. Some of them might actually not be carbon-based.

    Who is a rational and honest voice on the American political right? Seriously, isn’t it time for James Jackson Kilpatrick to climb out of his grammar obsession and rescue this booboisee from utter malign mindlessness. Shit, raise the obnoxious but lovable Bill Buckley from the dead.

    George Will is, and always has been, a noxious font of deliberate disinformation and such a slimy Royalist he probably would have agreed to be the string on the Prince Chuck tampon, and now he’s just a full-goose loony prevaricator. The various Goldberg? William Kristol? Dr. Krauthammer? Short bus to Bedlam, move along folks, nothing rational to see here. Ann Coulter? Anybody ever see her in the same room with Dee Snyder? Michelle Malkin? I don’t think she ever meant for any of this to happen, and she exudes fear of being revealed as a media creation and a ValGirl twit.

    What the right is left with for something approaching brains is unreconstructed neoLiberals like the twin neurasthenic porkers, Chris Hitchens and PJ O’Rourke. Problem is, these guys entertain the idea that Raygun tax and spend was bogus, that the current President may be right about some things, and that W, the Musical, was an unmitigated asshole.

  24. moe99 said on April 16, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Jeff tmmo–Glad you like Visions and Miracles. The catalyst for the music was the Albigensian Crusade that drove French troubadors into Spain. And Spain at that time (pre Ferdinand and Isabella and the Inquistion) was one of the most open parts of Europe. You can hear it in the music–there are courtly musical themes woven into the wild skirling melodies from Islam and plaintive voice of Jewish songs, all wrapped up into Christian religious symbolism. Ensemble Alcatraz’s other CDs focus on music from the same time period but from other countries. Visions and Miracles is my favorite of theirs, however. Thanks for the reminder.

  25. MichaelG said on April 16, 2009 at 1:54 pm

    JC, I’m not sure trading youth for insight is such a deal.

    All those idiots out there are giving teabagging a bad name.

  26. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2009 at 2:05 pm

    Nothing like ecumenism!

    Sorry to hear about your presbytery frustration – i’d assumed that if central Ohio voted yes (Scioto Presbytery) that all of the PacNW was a done-deal; i’m doing a project with the Presbytery of Arkansas specifically with small congregations, and those pastors are really feeling in the crosshairs on their vote, and are still stalling a final resolution. Which i can certainly understand, given that there’s 5 SBCs for every other denomination in most of these pastors’ towns. Their congregations want to be more liberal than the SBC, but not too much.

  27. moe99 said on April 16, 2009 at 2:16 pm

    One of the biggest surprises moving here was discovering how absolutely conservative the Seattle Presbytery was. People, in general, are very liberal here. However, this is the most unchurched area of the country, and those who stay affiliated with mainstream Protestant denominations tend to be the conservative types (except, of course, the Unitarians….) The 800 lb gorilla in this is University Presbyterian, largest Presbyterian church in the state and the only sermon I ever heard there was back in 1981 with the preacher talking about ‘godless Communism.’ I joined a much smaller church that is fairly liberal but has no voice in the larger Presbytery. Oh, well. Unlike one of my fellow members, who dropped out in disgust after the vote, I intend to stay and be a squeaky wheel where ever possible. Bet you couldn’t have guessed that!

  28. Sue said on April 16, 2009 at 2:59 pm

    Moe:
    Godless Communism? That’s the best they could do? My (now retired) minister once gave a sermon that included the words “rampaging lesbians”. I’m UCC. Go figure.

  29. brian stouder said on April 16, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    “rampaging lesbians”

    Now there’s a plot-element that is Box Office Gold, baby!

    Later tonight, my writing assignment will be to say all the genuinely positive – no ‘but’s and no snark – things I can think of, about American citizens taking to the public green with their tea bags and venting their spleens….and maybe Jeff tmmo (if not Mark, too) and I can agree to disagree about our rooting interests

  30. LA Mary said on April 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm

    I can see the rampaging lesbian movie starring Cat Cora, Rachel Maddow, Ellen de Generes, Rosie O’Donnel and Oprah.

  31. Sue said on April 16, 2009 at 3:57 pm

    With music by that cutting-edge rock band, The Screaming Divas.

  32. brian stouder said on April 16, 2009 at 4:03 pm

    I’d snap up tix to that! (Add Katherine Zita Jones, Penlope Cruz and Meryl Streep, and it would get Oscars!)

  33. mark said on April 16, 2009 at 4:17 pm

    jeffb-

    I’m not certain the Republican party has any particularly fluent, coherent, persuasive pols at the moment. At least not any that are high profile. I’m not real concerned about it. I recognize that some media personalities are trying to fill the void and I also recognize that some wan’t to portray the Ann Coulter types as being the equivalent of all things conservative purely to damage all things conservative. Seems kind of dumb both ways to me.

    I’m not particularly moderate about much of anything. I’m sorry if you felt demonized by anybody. I’ve only known a small handful of people in my whole life that can cause me to work up a good curse, so I doubt you’ve done anything that I would deem demonic.

    I don’t care much how people choose to live their lives so long as they don’t involve me or children. I’m against force and fraud. Otherwise, what people do behind doors is none of my business. If gays want to marry, that’s ok by me. Makes more sense than trying to figure out some other test for who gets benefits, insurance, inheritance etc. The prospect of the hell often suffered in divorce should be feared equally by all.

    I wish abortion would be decided at the ballot innstead of screwing up our courts. Most everybody else has done it that way. The decision won’t change my views either way. It’s a very difficult issue but, to me, that makes it more clear that reasonable people can disagree.

    My conservative “values” relate more to hard work, self-sufficiency, charity, etc. than to what people wear or who they date. Here’s a simple, judgmental example: I suspect both Tiffany and Trevor from yesterday suffer from the lack of an appropriate male role model. Yep, i think able-bodied young men are supposed to provide for at least themselves and, if they can’t, they shouldn’t become a parasite attached to the side of a young woman who also doesn’t know what she ought to expect from a man. I think I’d feel the same if Tiffany was a Ted.

    The Republicans will find their voice. It’s still too early to know what Obama is even for to say if I’m against it. He handled the pirate thing beautifully, politically and otherwise. The spending scares the hell out of me. But it’s really early and the Republicans, even if not suffering from mass confusion, shouldn’t be able to gain ground on a guy that popular this soon.

    Four years from now I suspect that Republicans will have a platform that is respectful of conservative social values without being so aggressive about them, but who knows. But why are we talking about them so much? You guys won, but everybody seems more interested in what Limbaugh is doing.

    Sorry for the rambling.

  34. mark said on April 16, 2009 at 4:21 pm

    LA Mary,

    Cat Cora? The Iron Chef? Lesbian?

    Damn. Way to further limit my fantasy life. I love the way that lady twirls a skillet.

    Edit: So I googled and, sure enough. I’ve got to alert my right-wing hate mail providers to be more timely with this kind of stuff.

    Is it just me, or does her girlfriend look a whole lot like her?

  35. del said on April 16, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    No rambling there Mark. To me the pirate thing was the pirate thing. Hardly involved the pres at all really. As for Tiffany and Trevor I was conflicted by the story. It’s complex, and generally sad. Trevor’s just living life, as best he can, as we all try. He’s not a parasite by any stretch except to the extent that we’re all parasites for the love of a desirable companion. Oh, and for your fantasy life you might want to consider Padma Lakshmi of the Food Network and EVOO.

  36. MichaelG said on April 16, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    I’ve had a letch for Cat for years. She and her honey used to live near here until they moved down near Santa Barbara last year. They’re both pregnant — with each other’s kids.

    Oprah? I didn’t know she played for the other team. Has anybody told Stedman?

  37. MichaelG said on April 16, 2009 at 5:47 pm

    Padma’s a goddess. EVOO is Rachel Ray, right? She’s kinda cute herself.

  38. del said on April 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

    What’s so extra virgin about it I wonder?

  39. LA Mary said on April 16, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Michael, I’m just being a bit snarky about Oprah. I think she’s gay, but what do I know? There have always been rumors about Stedman as well, so it all works out. Just like Jamie Lee Curtis and Christopher Guest.

  40. MichaelG said on April 16, 2009 at 6:57 pm

    You mean Oprah’s a beard? Jamie Lee too? Man, I live a sheltered life.

    I know what EVOO is. Point was Rachel Ray’s always talking about EVOO.

  41. LA Mary said on April 16, 2009 at 6:59 pm

    Back in the day when I was first in the imported food business, I used to say that extra virgin olive oil had not even lusted in its heart. Carter era.

  42. Gasman said on April 16, 2009 at 7:02 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),
    When exactly did you start smoking crack? The teabaggers have not expressed any sort of consistent and/or articulate message anywhere, at the local or national level. The whole thing is badly ginned up political theater orchestrated by Dick Armey and FauxNews. All I’ve heard are a bizarrely incoherent mishmash of gripes that have not a damn thing to do with the spirit or the intent of the Boston Tea Party.

    These folks – the dozens of them that stormed the streets nationally – have plenty of political representation and their taxes didn’t go up! So what are they complaining about? They appear to be pissed that their side lost. What a bunch of whiners. They don’t even appear to recognize the cognitive dissonance present at their invocation of “Boston Tea Party” moniker. Exactly what are they symbolizing? If there is no tea tax to protest, then why the hell are they befouling our water with tea? It is laughably ham-fisted and just reeks of Dick Armey’s tiny febrile mind.

    Most of the other supposed beefs with President Obama are just as devoid of substance. The crowd of hyperventilating nitwits on the right have been bemoaning him as a Muslim, socialist, communist, builder-of-big-government, and a tax-loving-pinko since before he was elected. They didn’t wait for him to do anything – good or bad – before they started complaining about what a tyrant he already was.

    I have also seen some of the teabaggers make the startling pronouncement that Obama was raising their taxes. Really? When and by how much? The tax rates they are up in arms about where enacted by a Republican President and Congress. Obama has not raised rates at all. Yet, such is the brain power behind these “grassroots” protesters. Dumb as stumps. Even Obama’s proposed tax hike for the wealthy is still lower than the rate for the same tax bracket under Reagan. However, I don’t suppose they’ll be protesting the usurious tax and spend policies of Reagan.

    Since President Obama took office, our government has not tortured anyone. None of us have lost any rights – indeed, it appears we are going to actually get some of them back. This president has not done (and does not appear to be inclined to do) most of the extra-Constitutional or illegal things that his predecessor did with alarming regularity.

    FauxNews hyped this nonsense on every show for at least a couple of weeks. They had special graphics and theme music. They coordinated all of their shows to try a create some sort of buzz about this manufactured movement. FauxNews, however, has taken umbrage over the suggestion that they were engaging in advocacy. No, no, we were told, they were “just covering the news.” Neil Cavuto of FauxNews stated:

    “We are going to be right there in the middle of these (teabaggers) because at FoxNews we do not pick and choose these rallies and protests. We were there for the Million Man March.”

    Ah, yes. Who can forget that stirring FauxNews coverage of the Million Man March, which took place on October 16, 1995. FauxNews went on the air for the first time on October 6, 1996. Fair and balanced my ass.

    This whole teabagging b.s. is nothing but a tempest in a teapot. This should make it abundantly clear that FauxNews is nothing more than a party organ (I’ll let you decide the party and the organ) and not a legitimate new organization, if anybody still had doubts.

  43. Scout said on April 16, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    A Gasman rant is a thing of beauty. Well said, my friend.

  44. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2009 at 9:44 pm

    I’m not feeling the love here, folks. But i’m happy because i just got back from helping raise $50,000 to repair a monument to Victoria Woodhull, and we actually did $64,000, so you just can’t bring me down, even if you raise my taxes. Gasman, try reading some of what i say before you rant in my name next time.

    And everyone, go look up Victoria Woodhull — a woman worth knowing more about!

  45. alex said on April 16, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    The Republicans will find their voice.

    Finally, one thing we agree about, mark. It will happen in another quarter century or thirty years, after the pendulum tilts the other way, after the Dems slide so far left that they’re as offensive as the right is right now and you have spent your fair share of life having you and yours demonized and ridiculed as freaks unworthy of a place at the table. Remember that, as you clamber for change in the other direction and in the name of things sacred.

  46. Gasman said on April 16, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Jeff (tmmo),
    I believe that I did read what you said. I disagree that there was anything remotely reasonable about any of the teabaggers that I heard about. It was all phony. There was nothing grassroots about it at all, there was no cogent message. It seemed to be nothing more than a ludicrous farce masquerading as a populist revolt. You seemed to be offering a certain amount of justification for this claptrap. I disagreed with you. That doesn’t mean I didn’t read what you posted.

  47. brian stouder said on April 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Well said, Alex.

    I disagree that there was anything remotely reasonable about any of the teabaggers that I heard about. It was all phony. There was nothing grassroots about it at all

    gasman, I do not subscribe to your point of view. Many of the folks themselves who got off their sofa and went to the town square (or wherever) were doing a wonderful thing. Just as some number of folks can’t clearly elucidate why President Obama appeals to them, and why they showed up at a rally for him, so, too, with others who have other points of view.

    Politics has a default visceral appeal, much as sport does; people have a rooting interest, in addition to all the intellectual and/or moral overlays that we add.

    Why did many (including me) like W to begin with? Why did many (including me) like Obama? After today’s news about the presidential no-go decision on prosecution for torture, lots of the so-called ‘moral high ground’ has been abandoned by the new president…I won’t say “surrendered”, because the GOP damned sure can’t take it….and yet, I daresay most of the Obama voters (inlcuding me) will react much as when our favorite team stumbles or errs.

    The Obama administration IS “change” – but it ain’t revolutionary, zealous, unyielding change (despite what some number of its detractors might say); there IS institutional continuity; practical reality does demand its due.

    Keith Olbermann got the “fair and balanced” box on his ticket punched; he made a great show of earnest angst in his anti-Obama Special Comment, expressing boyish diappointment that a new president still inside the first 100 days of his administration didn’t choose to risk administrative ruin, and immersion in unending investigations and the chill-effect of endless congressional and judicial subpoenas.

    To be blunt, sooner or later some chucklehead (or group of chuckleheads) will hit us again – and the very first thing that would be said about Obama would be that it was HIS fault for wrecking the morale of our intelligence community, and casting an administrative chill on the bureaucracy by allowing unending prosecutorial fishing trips through all the records of the past eight years…….and the hell of it is, fair minded people (possibly including me, but who knows?) would seriously wonder if that wasn’t true, as the remnants of some new intentional catastrophe get cleaned up in another American city.

    Afterall, back in my benighted days (is that a valid term?) I DESPISED President Clinton!!; I thought he was a fool for even appearing for that deposition in front of Ken Starr (he should have told him to go to hell), LET ALONE LYING TO THAT TWERP!! Perjury WAS (I thought at that time) worthy of impeachment, and I was in a greatly agitated state when the Impeachment proceeded and succeeded, even though it was always pretty clear the president would be acquitted by the Senate.

    But, looking back, one cannot help but wonder how much Sammy bin Laden and his Egyptian concubine were aided by the ridiculous political paralysis that engulfed the Presdient of the United States for the best part of two years.

    Practicality trumps zeal, if it’s given a chance

  48. coozledad said on April 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm

    Alex: A lot of them will cross over to the Democratic party and bring their special idiocy with them. It’s all about power with them anyway. It’ll be a fucking avalanche of Joe Liebermans. Whereas the Republicans would stage some kind of ideological purge, we just seem to bow to the inevitable.

  49. basset said on April 16, 2009 at 10:59 pm

    And now for something completely different… probably the best-written obituary you’ll see all year:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/culture-obituaries/tv-radio-obituaries/5163084/Sir-Clement-Freud.html

  50. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 16, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    No one does obits like The Telegraph.

    Gasman, my point was that the angst in most local tea party folk is about the sum total of tax burden, and especially the property tax and state tax picture, not merely or even mainly federal tax bills. Kvetching about Obama and guns aside (and those folks were mostly on the side of the crowds), the concerns are about . . . wait, that’s what i did a whole comment about. Which has nothing to do with what any network is telling me about God, guns, or gays, let alone tea bags or protests.

    To the degree they use the incantation of “Obama” as a rallying cry, all your points are completely valid, but the underlying anxiety over the growing percentage of gross income that goes to pay all taxes, among middle class people, is quite real. Or you can insist that it isn’t really real, and we’ll see how this all plays out as merely media theatre.

  51. mark said on April 16, 2009 at 11:30 pm

    Alex,

    Glad we found a point of agreement. I don’t feel demonized and I don’t worry much about being ridiculed. I try to remember that what others think of me is none of my business.

    For all with too much time on their hands,

    Should you wander to a site called “Next American Star” (www.thenextamericanstar.com), and suffer through their ridiculously complex registration process, you will have an opportunity to cast a vote for a band named “Sunset Shootout”. The vocalist and song writer, who is also the tall, dark young man in the middle of the promo picture (trying very hard to look dangerous) is my godson and the son of my life-long best friend.

    Adam is a delightful young man and currently a freshman at James Madison. His band has done well, is apparently “in the hunt” in this competition, and, yes, I am shilling for him shamelessly. If you like the music, any support will be most appreciated.

    As a penance for this interruption, I will click and read twenty sidebar ads.

  52. jcburns said on April 16, 2009 at 11:38 pm

    So Brian, I agree that protest is a wonderful thing. I think Gasman is just pointing out that gathering together without really having a thing to protest against is just, well, kinda stupid. If you’re protesting your taxes going up, and they aren’t going up, then you don’t have something to protest against. The U.S. was in Vietnam. Four students were killed at Kent State. Reagan did have a secret Iran-Contra deal. The Bush administration did invade Iraq. All of these are fine things to protest against because they are real. The tax increase these teaspoons are inveighing against is so much vapor. A waste of good outrage. Unless, hmm, they’re really upset about something else.

    P.S., Jeff TMMO: the federal income tax burden is already hovering near its lowest level in three decades for all but the wealthiest Americans, so again, what is their concern? You can say “their anxiety is real”, yes, but you can say the anxiety of alien abductees is just as real. The anxiety of that “he’s a muslim” woman in the McCain crowd in Minnesota was quite real.

  53. moe99 said on April 17, 2009 at 1:17 am

    Ok folks, I think it’s time to turn to the OLC torture memos and look at all the evil created by the Bush administration. It is profoundly depressing to me that Jay Bybee serves as a Judge on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, given his absolute moral depravity as shown by his part in the memo writing process. Better writers than I have already weighed in. Make sure you have a wastebasket nearby because it induces nausea in a most serious fashion.

    http://digbysblog.blogspot.com/2009/04/professional-courtesy-by-digby-in.html

    http://www.salon.com/opinion/greenwald/radio/2009/04/16/aclu/index.html

    Keep in mind that the only ones who have been promised not to be prosecuted are those who relied on the memos in their conduct, not the authors of the memos or those higher up. I retain a slim reed of hope that justice will eventually be done, but this stain on our country’s honor is indelible and will last for my lifetime and probably that of our children.

  54. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 17, 2009 at 7:11 am

    Basset, that was truly wonderful — “pioneering a more palatable buffet car sandwich.” And then concluding, sans elaboration, with his marriage of 59 years; you don’t know if a more lengthy, more complete biography could improve on the tale as told, but now i know i’d read one.

    JC, i keep saying this over and over, and it doesn’t seem to register with anyone, so i don’t know what i’m saying wrongly — the problem is the net, total tax burden, the percentage of your, my, their gross income going to taxes. On the local level, that’s what is getting people riled and is doing more to fuel these generally ham-fistedly done rallies than any clever manipulation by Rupert Murdoch or other usual suspects.

    You can game the federal income tax (and i’m talking about Congressional Dems and Reps, not the executive branch) all you want, but it is utterly apparent to property owning, middle and upper middle income and mostly middle aged folk that the impact of unfunded mandates and federal requirements and funding withdrawals is steadily bumping up fees, assessments, and taxes on the state and local level. When your total household income is a bit under $80,000, and all tax payments together are $27,000 (withholding federal, state, county, & FICA, self-employment quarterly payments that have to be over-estimates or you pay a penalty, both on income, to federal and municipal coffers, and Soc Sec estimated, property taxes and special assessments, sales taxes, gas taxes), and at the end of the day you learn that the schools are still in deficit, the roads are still unmaintained, and libraries are getting whacked while historic sites are closed wholesale, you wonder “what the heck is going to happen next?”

    And a reasonable person, with or without a silly 1776 costume, will infer that my taxes will go up again; and said reasonable person will ask “how much farther?” 40%? 50%? Because when it goes up to 34%, where it is now, you start asking these questions.

  55. basset said on April 17, 2009 at 8:05 am

    I just sent that Clement Freud link to my college-freshman son as a writing lesson… how to say it without saying it.

    and there’s more:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/5165998/Sir-Clement-Freud-I-call-her-my-first-wife-to-keep-her-on-her-toes.html

  56. coozledad said on April 17, 2009 at 8:11 am

    Somebody’s got to pay for the stupid fucking war. But let’s get real. These folks are cheesed because they never thought they’d see a black man in the White house. It’s so far up their ass it’s making them crazy. And of course they’re going to be monitored. Otherwise there’ll be another domestic terror event. It’s the same with radical Islam. People who attempt to isolate themselves by romanticizing the past are more than likely some breed of dangerous solipsists, and don’t have the moral or intellectual capability to see themselves.
    It’s junior high with a bunch of assault weapons and seasoned enmity.

  57. del said on April 17, 2009 at 9:03 am

    It’s worth clicking on the link for the joke at the Clement Freud obit basset linked to at 49.

  58. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on April 17, 2009 at 9:04 am

    Sure, i can see where you’d get racism out of my comment. And assault weapons.

    [OK, full disclosure: i have an 1893 WCE saber, two swords, and a button-tipped foil in the basement. They are each set to full-auto, federal law be damned.]

    My internet is usually slow enough to keep me from video links as a rule; thanks for the tip, Del — i just can’t figure out how to work that into a sermon, but i might just try.

  59. jcburns said on April 17, 2009 at 10:17 am

    Yes Jeff, I get it, they’re referring to net “burden” (withholding federal, state, county, & FICA, self-employment quarterly payments that have to be over-estimates or you pay a penalty, both on income, to federal and municipal coffers, and Soc Sec estimated, property taxes and special assessments, sales taxes, gas taxes).

    “Burden.” Interesting word. Carries more of a burden than, say “share”. There are tax “burden” calculators all over the web. Google tax “burden” and amazingly enough, the entries are all about how much of a..uh..burden the tax burden is.

    I’m happy to pay for really well funded schools. I was happy to pay quite a “burden” to have the City of Atlanta’s streets entirely dug up to have our completely and totally broken storm sewer/sewer system fixed so we didn’t have to pay staggering sums in daily EPA fines. The reaction I keep hearing from these, uh, reactionaries is an echo of Howard Jarvis: “just don’t fund it. Government shouldn’t be paying for X.” Haven’t folks learned the lessons of California on how well that went? I’m all for figuring out budgets that are sensible and are monitored intensely and publicly for graft and waste. But I say spend (my) money and keep our infrastructure in its broadest sense all sparkly-new and well kept.

  60. moe99 said on April 17, 2009 at 10:27 am

    Jeff tmmo:

    If the federal tax system is not the problem why then, were the demonstrators so focused on Obama? Why not focus on the states and localities that are raising their taxes, or better yet AIG and the other bankers that caused the crisis that has necessitated this tax increase?

  61. Gasman said on April 17, 2009 at 11:22 am

    Jeff (tmmo),
    I don’t buy for a minute that the teabaggers were protesting over local issues. Of all of the teabagging coverage, I didn’t see a single sign that had anything to do with outrage at local or state leaders. There were signs comparing President Obama to Hitler and Lenin galore. The local attendees in Santa Fe were no different. All of these folks were parroting Gov. Rick Perry of Texas with his “the federal guvamint is oppressive” tirade.

    The racist element was also on full display as was the “pry my gun from my cold dead hand” crowd. Many of these folks were the same ones at the McCain/Palin rallies asserting that then candidate Obama was a Muslim, a socialist, a commie, a Manchurian candidate, or some kind of Al Queda sleeper agent. Just because some of us noticed this disturbing facet of the rallies doesn’t mean that you are, ipso facto, one of these fellow travelers. However, that well armed, racist goofball element in the crowds was making enough noise that their message could be clearly heard.

    I think that cooze’s observation is spot on. There are plenty of people who would rather tear this country apart than see a black man as president of the United States. It threatens them to their core. If we have a successful black president, then all of the racist tropes that they have believed their entire lives would be exposed as mendacious lies. Their raison d’etre suddenly disappears. However, these folks realize that it would be political suicide to start tossing out the N bomb when referring to our sitting president. Instead, they dredge up every stinging vituperative epithet from the conservative well of hate and toss that in his direction. Aside from the N word, the only other ad hominem that I have not seen tossed at President Obama is “homo.” I suppose that there is still time.

    Once again, there are plenty of Republican politicians and pundits who seem quite content to do all that they can to incite these loons, and damn few willing to try and put a stop to this nonsense. When Republican a governor shouts “secede!” to angry mobs and nobody in the party calls that governor out as a traitor, something is very wrong in the Republican party.

  62. Gasman said on April 17, 2009 at 1:55 pm

  63. nancy said on April 17, 2009 at 1:59 pm

    Gas,

    I spammed MitchAlbomFan’s last comment, because guess what? It’s Dwight. Again.

    You know, if he wants to participate in the discussion, pick a name and stick with it. Own your words. This stupid handle-switching is just tiresome. It’s like dealing with a toddler, and I already did that once this lifetime.

  64. Gasman said on April 17, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Nancy,
    I wondered what happened. I am feverish and achy, but I knew that I wasn’t hallucinating when I read his rant. That is why I removed my comment. Once his rant disappeared, mine had no context. It’s comforting to know that Dwight, or whatever moronic nom de guerre he chooses to use, is just as childish as ever. All is right with the world.

  65. basset said on April 17, 2009 at 10:56 pm

    Probably too late for anyone to see this, but let me say just for the record that those weren’t bassets in Sir Clement’s dog-food commercials, they were bloodhounds.

    that is, of course, an article by not only the MSM, but the foreign MSM, so surely Obama’s behind it somewhere. or Hillary. or Ted Kennedy. or the Trilateral Commission, or the pilots of the black helicopters, or something. Wake up, sheeple.

  66. brian stouder said on April 19, 2009 at 11:22 am

    I think it was from a secret and unholy alliance* between George Soros and Bernie Ecclestone, with a double-secret blind trust codicil that cuts in Bernie Madoff (note to self: never trust a rich guy named Bernie)

    *don’t know about y’all, but for me – seeking and attaining unholy alliances is some of the most fun a mortal can have – at least for a moment or two!

  67. Ricardo said on April 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm

    The Michigan Militia leader works at a post office. **!** Looks like I’ll be avoiding that place.