Monthly Archives: August 2009

bork bork bork bork bork bork bork

Digby has a great piece up on Kennedy’s denunciation of Robert Bork. It’s not only an important reminder of a good thing Kennedy did.

On a metadiscursive level, it’s an important reminder of how the right wingers and Republicans are good at getting their point of view out early and often and, in doing so, are often successful in setting the terms of the debate.

There’s been a lot of discussion from all corners about how the wingers and Republicans lost the online and ‘technology’ arenas in the last two elections.

There’s some truth to that. But it’s also still true that right wingers and Republicans are frequently very good — and frequently better than progressives, liberals and Democrats — at getting their message out and setting the terms of the debate.

But, thanks to the technology of the interactive web, there is no reason for their message dominance to continue.

If you haven’t already, please read Digby’s post.

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perceptions and reality

After losing the last two elections, especially the big one last fall, right wingers and Republicans were in quite a funk. They were fighting among themselves and couldn’t seem to get anything right.

Now that they’ve succeeded, for the time being, in disrupting town hall meetings, encouraging people to bring handguns and assault rifles to presidential speeches and scaring the bejeebus out of some particularly gullible citizens, they feel like they’re kings of the world.

The feeling won’t last.

Progressives and liberals are waking from their end of summer naps and telling Democrats, albeit in a more sedate manner than the right wing extremists and astroturfers, that they had better not cave in to the wackery. If they do cave, they will soon be looking for work.

The so called public option is not negotiable. If the Dems and Obama drop the public option, they will not like the reaction their erstwhile supporters will register immediately and in the next few election cycles.

Not being idiots, the Dems and Obama will find a way to keep it. It may be somewhat hamstrung, but it will be there. And, as with other programs like social security, medicare and medicaid, the initial shortcomings will not constrain future improvement of the program.

When the bill, which seems ready to be named in honor of Teddy Kennedy, does go through and is signed by Obama, the right wingers and Republicans will revert to a funk even deeper than what we’ve recently seen.

Victory, they had convinced themselves, was within grasp. It was so close that they could almost touch it. But then, again, Nike will have eluded their grasp.

In one sense, it may be fun to watch. But in another, it will mean more insane and irrational rage and fury that may well lead to violence.

But of course, it won’t be the right wingers’ or Republicans’ fault. They’ll find a way to blame it on Obama.

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they have their own facts

Think Progress has a piece up discussing the recent NBC/WSJ poll showing how misinformed, thanks to Fox, Republicans and rightwingers are concerning the health care debate.

Though they may truly and passionately believe their talking points with every fiber of their being, that does not mean that what they believe so ardently is actually so.

It isn’t so.

But, by and large, these are people who have a strong predisposition to disregarding facts that don’t comport with their already held ‘gut feelings,’ no matter how plainly and obviously the facts disprove their feelings.

Trying to engage people who are this far gone in rational debate is, as Barney Frank demonstrates, is a waste of time.

Take off the gloves. Ridicule and mock them. Tell it like it is.

Huge landmark reforms like social security, medicare, medicaid — not to mention civil rights — were not passed on the back of wonky policy details. Those are important but they come after the first step.

The first step is making one thing clear: this is the right thing to do and the right time to do it. Accepting continuation of the status quo is morally bankrupt.

Everything else follows from this.

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how to talk to the deathers

Barney Frank gives a nutcase what she deserves (via digby)

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dangerously tapping into deepseated fear and loathing

Healthcare by itself is an important and emotional issue, there is more to the deep rage people are unleashing at townhall meetings and elsewhere.

Maybe not all, but a lot — in fact, what I would guess to be the vast majority — of the rage is fueled by reaction to the last election.

Quite simply, a lot of white racists cannot handle the fact that the era of exclusively white presidents is over. Gone forever.

And these people often — usually — are not exactly reaping the vast rewards the economy lavishes on those who encourage them. They might not have progressed as far as others up the social economic ladder.

But one thing they could always tell themselves used to be that at least, just by the grace of god and the hue of their skin, they were better than whole groups of others. Others who were just as marked with inferiority by the hue of their skin as these “hard working real Americans” were marked with clear, uncontestable superiority by the lighter hue of theirs.

But then came “The One.”

They have been trying to mock and delegitimize him since before the election. As their efforts at mocking and challenging the validity of his very presidency have brought on defeat and derision, not to mention laughter and ridicule, they have grown angrier.

For the most extreme of them, it is simply impossible for President Barack Hussein Obama to exist in their world. One of them must be destroyed.

Either their world view and sense of self — their very psyche — goes or Obama does. The two cannot coexist. Thankfully, most will adjust, if only the least amount necessary. But I’m afraid that some will not be able to cope.

Those who encourage the lunatics to turn to violence must bear their share of the responsibility for what happens. And there will be some in the corporate media who ask the tough questions, as a few already have been.

But most will be shocked — shocked!! — that violence could have ever resulted from their words or those of their colleagues…

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