Tag Archives: faux outrage

Great Video from Blue America on Republicans and Debt

by john

Blue America has another good video knocking Boehner and the Republicans for running up deficits and the debt (via Digby, who has a couple other videos up today):

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The Economy, Nativism and Islamophobia

by john

In previous times it was other religious and immigrant groups that became the American national scapegoats. Today it is all muslims, from would be directors of community outreach centers to random cab drivers. Real Americans sure do love to hate those lesser people among us. And, for the record, those ‘lesser people’ include everyone who doesn’t think Sarah Palin and Rand Paul are the best things out there.

The Real Americans define who is a fellow Real American and who is lesser. In their considered opinion, the lesser are almost all non white people, although some will be let inside the gates as junior conditional members after a suitable show of obsequiousness. They are all muslims. They are many jews. They are all christians who dare to believe in social justice. They are all, airport bathrooms and meth fueled gay hooker massage sessions aside, all non straight people. They are not only liberals but rightwingers who served in the Reagan and Bush administrations but who don’t completely toe the far rightwing fringe line.

The self proclaimed Real Americans are puffed up but scared and wounded, mostly white people who are afraid of losing their white privilege. They are not unique to America, at base. Every society has a certain proportion of scared reactionary troglodytes who will always hate and suspect the other, however that other is defined at any particular moment.

But, in times of economic hardship, their vile can spread beyond their nominal ranks. In recent years, the trogs seem to make up between 20 and 30 per cent of the population. But, Ed Brayton at his blog Dispatches from the Culture War at Science Blogs, brings us this depressing news:

click on link to The Economist

Brayton seems to have misread a particular result and claims that fewer than half of the Democrats approve it, which is noted in the first comment, but still. Fewer than 60 per cent of these Dems approve it and a quarter oppose it. Another commenter, ‘Abby Normal,’ makes this good point:

This poll was from an opt-in internet survey of 1000 people. Perhaps it’s just wishful thinking on my part. But it seems likely that those who opt in would be those with the strongest (i.e. emotionally driven) opinion. If so, bias toward anti-Islamic opinions skewing the results seems entirely likely.

That’s somewhat hopeful, but only slightly so. It seems that all human societies are prone to this sort of xenophobia. Despite all the rightwing hoopla about ‘American Exceptionalism,’ America is not, never has been, and likely never will be immune from this.

But one thing is different now. People are on record with their opinions and positions on this and the record is archived. The xenophobes will never be able to run from the bigotry and prejudice they are spewing these days. There are tens if not hundred of millions of people on the web who will make sure that the vileness they are indulging in now will be hung around their necks for the rest of their lives and forever after that.

They don’t get to walk away from this ugliness when they decide it is no longer politically beneficial.

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The Cordoba House: where do you stand?

by john

The rightwingers and Republicans are ramping up the nativism and other-bashing with what they are misnaming the ‘ground zero mosque.’ Refudiations are in order.

Greg Sargent had a good post yesterday in which he called on people to either condemn the bigotry or be an adult and admit that you conflate all of Islam with murderous terrorists:

The only way to see this as a provocative act is to buy into the notion that the building of a center devoted to Islamic heritage is, by accident or by design, tantamount to rubbing the victims’ noses into what happened on 9/11 — that it is inescapably a “victory mosque.” To believe this is to legitimize — wittingly or not — the world view of the center’s bigoted foes.

In fact, it is not legitimate to see the building of a center devoted to the study of Islam near Ground Zero as an inherently provocative act. You can’t endorse the idea that it’s provocative to study the heritage of Islam in the vicinity of Ground Zero while simultaneously arguing that the bigots are wrong to conflate the 9/11 attacks with Islam as a whole. Period. It’s not a coherent or sustainable argument.

People need to choose sides. Either it’s justifiable to see the act of building an Islamic center near Ground Zero as provocation, intentional or not, or it isn’t. If you endorse the former, you are in effect supporting the view that it’s defensible to vaguely associate Islam as a whole with the attacks. If people want to endorse that view, fine: Just say so. No fudging here. It’s one or the other.

Violent murderous Christian terrorists have killed numerous doctors who perform abortions — should all Christians have to refudiate them?

The ADL squandered whatever moral authority it had left by siding with the bigots and Fareed Zakaria returned, rightfully, an ADL award.

The rightwingers and Republicans see Muslims as the new commies, complete with dark suggestions of nefarious plots. But the American Taliban — Christofascists, really — have more in common with Islamic extremists than they do with the mainstream of American people, and both are very far from mainstream Christianity and Islam. I think the American Christianists secretly jealous of the control over others the radical Islamists are able to wield in parts of countries like Afghanistan and Somalia.

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Republican obstructionism delayed the 9/11 first responders aid bill

I have to disagree somewhat with Jeff’s last post blaming the Democrats as well as the Republicans for the failure to pass the bill. King was supposed to get enough Republican but couldn’t because they claimed the bill was a massive new entitlement program. They were going to kill the bill by attaching a poison pill, an amendment that would have prohibited any help at all going to any first responder who was not here legally.

I agree with those who say that any first responder, regardless of citizenship status, should get help. And the Republicans knew the Democrats would vote against such an odious amendment but they would use that vote to accuse them of giving millions to ‘illegals’ in sound bite driven campaign commercials.

It was really sleazy of the Republicans. King was diverting attention away from his failure to get Republican support by attaching amendments he knew the Democrats would reject. The Democrats finally got smart and forced the Republicans’ hand and called them out for their naked partisanship. Good for them.

In other news, some rightwing blogs and sites are walking quietly away from the bogus Laredo invasion fabrication, while the initiators are still sticking to their story. A post on the invasion appeared on redstate (link to google cache), but was disappeared by the powers that be. If you click on the link to the current page, you are directed to new posts. Maybe this is why they are so hostile to google at that site.

It’s another sign, along with the banning of the birfers, that redstate is trying desperately to overcome Erickson’s comparison of White House health care spox Linda Douglass to Goebbels and the unfortunate tweet in which he called Supreme Court Justice Souter a ‘goat fucking child molester.’

My guess is that they still have work to do in that regard.

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Teabagger Backlash: ad demands Fiorina denounce the ‘tea party’

by John

Crooks and Liars has a piece up about a Brave New Films release:

The scary music at the end might be a bit much, but it’s a very effective ad. More like this, please.

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Breitbart Lies About Shirley Sherrod: do facts actually matter anymore?

By John

[This post has been edited to correct the spelling of Breitbart and Sherrod]

Update: here’s the full original video from the NAACP site, also via TPM:

Update II: go here to sign a petition to support Sherrod being reinstated.

While the NAACP is receiving death threats over their call for the ‘tea parties’ to repudiate racists elements in their midst, the rightwing republican blogs are getting the vapors over a very deceptively edited tape of an Ag Department official who is made to appear to admit to blatant racism against a white farmer. The conveniently redacted video is of a black woman, Shirley Sherrod, explaining how she encountered racial tension and her own mixed feelings, 24 years ago, before working through the difficulties, helping the white family keep their farm and becoming friends with them.

I first saw the video at redstate, although it was first put out by Brietbart’s Big Government site, the same site that put out the very deceptively edited ACORN videos, which created an equally untrue perception. It was clear that it was strategically cut, literally it stopped Sharrod in mid sentence when it appeared she was going to explain how her first reactions were mistaken.

TPM is working on getting the whole, unedited, tape, which a local production company is holding until it gets permission from the local NAACP chapter to release it.

Sharrod has spoken to the Atlanta Journal Constitution and CNN — Media Matters has the video, which I can’t embed. I’ll put it up here as soon as it’s available in a format wordpress supports.

So, do the actual facts matter here? Or are we just going to accept the false rightwing republican narrative that has counter factually smeared Shirley Sharrod, just as they did to ACORN, Van Jones, Dawn Johnson and countless others?

[From the AJC article] The wife of the white farmer allegedly discriminated against by the USDA’s rural development director for Georgia said Shirley Sherrod “kept us out of bankruptcy.”

Eloise Spooner, 82, awoke Tuesday to discover that Sherrod had lost her job after videotaped comments she made in March at a local NAACP banquet surfaced on the web.

But Spooner, who considers Sherrod a “friend for life,” said the federal official worked tirelessly to help the Iron City couple hold onto their land as they faced bankruptcy back in 1986.

“But Tuesday morning, Sherrod said what online viewers weren’t told in reports posted throughout the day Monday was that the tale she told at the banquet happened 24 years ago — before she got the USDA job — when she worked with the Georgia field office for the Federation of Southern Cooperative/Land Assistance Fund.

Sherrod said the short video clip excluded the breadth of the story about how she eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm, and how she eventually became friends with the farmer and his wife.

“And I went on to work with many more white farmers,” she said. “The story helped me realize that race is not the issue, it’s about the people who have and the people who don’t. When I speak to groups, I try to speak about getting beyond the issue of race.”

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Teabaggers vs the NAACP: jumping the hooded shark

While I’ve been predicting the teabaggers would come undone this summer, I thought it would mainly be over immigration. I think there’s still time for that, this reaction to the NAACP statement was unexpected:

Tea Party Leader Condemns NAACP For Making ‘More Money Off Of Race Than Any Slave Trader Ever’
WILLIAMS: You’re dealing with people who are professional race baiters, who make a very good living off this kind of thing. They make more money off of race than any slave trader ever. It’s time groups like the NAACP went to the trash heap of history where they belong with all the other vile racist groups that emerged in our history. [emphasis in original]

Palin called the NAACP move ‘regressive.’

This will further endear Palin and the teabagger leaders to their base, but it won’t do much for their standing with the rest of the country.

At redstate, a site which quickly and shamelessly bans commenters who deviate from the party line and erases comments the mods find particularly bothersome with wanton abandon, a very racist comment has been allowed to stand in two threads, with the only complaint being that it was posted almost verbatim on the two threads. Here’s an excerpt and a link:

Is someone a racist because they think Western Civilization is superior to African Civilization? Is that same person “racist” because they can point out that Africans is less intelligent than whites or Asians? Is one racist because they point out that blacks commit a disproportionate amount of crime? Is a white woman “racist” when she is afraid to walk her dog in a black neighborhood? I, and the vast majority of white Americans agree with me, do not consider myself “racist” because I have such opinions. Perhaps then the label of “racist” is a good attribute and not a bad in the minds of the vast majority of the public subjected to these daily calumnies.

People like this believe that it you’re not an active member of the KKK and you don’t shout the n-word at people, or at least don’t do so very frequently, then you, by definition, cannot be a racist. Needless to say, most people have somewhat different views on the matter.

Many rightwing republican commenters at sites such as redstate and even blogs like The Plumline make the claim that they have been called racist so many times that they are inure, of even consider it a badge of honor or evidence that they have won a debate. Many also seem to crave having the subject of race and racism brouhgt to the fore of our national discourse. They think they will defeat the ‘race hustlers’ like the NAACP.

They are wrong. They are so caught up in their echo chamber that they don’t realize how unpopular their views are with the vast majority of Americans. The same vast majority of Americans who will not be associated with the racial animosity and bigotry exhibited by these reactions to the NAACP statement.

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Barber and the ghosts of Washington Post op-eds past: why the old media deserves to die

At a time when a majority of respondents apparently believe Obama is a socialist, the Washington Post decided that it would be a good idea to give column space to a crazy, quasi insurrectionist whackadoodle Alabama congressional candidate best known nationally for cheezy commercials featuring himself in flustered conversations with bad actors portraying the founding fathers — ‘gather your armies’ — and another one in which he talks to an actor portraying Lincoln and equating paying taxes to being held in slavery.

Steve Benin notes the ridiculousness of it all:

Today, Barber has an op-ed in the Washington Post, defending the “politics of fear,” and rationalizing his hatred for America’s leadership.

Over the past 18 months, the federal government has sought to seize or has seized control of the health-care industry, the financial industry, the mortgage industry, the automobile industry, student loans, broadband Internet and the energy sector through cap-and-trade legislation.

If this were true, it might help shed some light on why right-wing activists like Barber are so hysterical. But here’s the thing: these complaints are gibberish. His indictment of the government is based on observations with no foundation in reality.

The federal government hasn’t “seized control” of the health care industry — it approved modest reforms of a dysfunctional system, the kind of reforms many Republicans supported up until very recently, while leaving private control intact. The federal government didn’t “seize control” of the financial industry — the Bush administration bailed out the industry to prevent an economic collapse, and Democrats approved some new safeguards to protect consumers, but left private enterprise in private hands.

And on and on. The mortgage industry has not been nationalized. The automobile industry was rescued, is paying the taxpayers back, and will return to private control. The government was subsidizing student loans anyway, we just ended needless and expensive taxpayer-financed giveaways to banks. The Internet and the energy sector are no closer to government ownership than they were before.

In other words, given a high-profile platform, Rick Barber’s case against the Obama administration and congressional Democrats is patently ridiculous for anyone who takes reality seriously. These aren’t subjective questions, judgment calls, or matters of opinion — the observations he states as fact are demonstrably false.

Which leads to the obvious questions: why on earth is the Washington Post publishing an op-ed with claims the editors surely know to be wrong? How does it inform the newspaper’s readers to present them with delusional assertions with no basis in fact? [Emphasis added]

When people talk about how much poorer the world will be when these dinosaurs finally go extinct, remember decisions like this.

Leave aside the normal rightwing game of telephone that is the Washington Post opinion section; what good does giving this hysterical loon possibly do?

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And now begins the birther summer

The still prevailing narrative is that Democrats will suffer great losses in the fall and Republicans might take over the house and make strong gains in the Senate, even if they might not win both houses. This narrative has been the conventional wisdom for months now and, while it has been getting push back for awhile, it still qualifies for the title of conventional wisdom.

For months, I’ve been writing and saying that I think this is overblown. Yes, historical trends favor the Republicans as the out of power party in the first midterm election. Yes, the birfer/teabagger brigades are vocal and enthused. Yes, the economy is not yet fully recovered. Yes, there is a general feeling of anti incumbency and there are more Democratic incumbents than Republican incumbents. And yes, many progressives and Democrats are less pumped than in 2008.

But I don’t think it’s going to be as bad for the Democrats and progressives as the prevailing narrative is predicting. They will probably lose seats in both houses; but I doubt they’ll lose either of their majorities.

Despite efforts to tamp it down, there will be a civil war on the right. There was a minor freak out yesterday over the fact that a muslim Arab-American won a beauty pageant. It was a tempest in a teapot, but it was still illustrative of the nativist racism that animates so much of the animosity of the birfer/teabaggers.

Even if congress doesn’t act on it, immigration and immigration reform will be part of the debate. This is bad for rightwingers and Republicans because, not only does it alienate latinos and other immigrant groups as well as young people generally, it encourages loony rhetoric, especially from the types of older white people who like to complain in public about their liberties and country being taken away from them and how they, as older white christians, are the most persecuted group in America today.

That’s not exactly a formula for victory for the rightwing Republicans. The leadership knows this, but the base is clueless about their lack of broad appeal.

The base is largely isolated. They watch Fox, listen to talk radio, visit far right sites and mainly only talk politics to people who agree with them. The vastly overestimate the popularity of their views. But, fueled by this misapprehension regarding how many people share their beliefs and prejudices, they are ready to let their freak flag fly.

Like the apocryphal American tourist who shouts louder and more slowly when confronted with people who don’t speak English, the birfer/teabaggers, who are just the far right segment of the rightwing Republicans with new names, become louder and more shrill when they see their message isn’t getting the widespread approval they were so sure it would.

If you thought last summer’s ‘town hall’ meetings featured petulant, whiny baby boomers, wait till this summer. There will be rallies and protests galore. And the anger of the birfer/teabaggers will be directed just as much at the rightwing Republican leadership as at the Democrats, progressives, liberals, immigrants, young people, etc, etc…

When they encounter negative public reaction to their extremism, they will blame the leadership for ‘pulling punches.’ They will get more extreme and the leadership, becoming more and more afraid of their prospects in the general, will pull further and further away. Each factions’ actions will fuel the other’s reactions and it will get increasingly ugly.

And many of their potential supporters will either vote for Democrats or stay home.

Then, after the Republicans under perform, the leadership will blame the extremism of the base and the base will blame the punch pulling of the leadership. The disarray could last until after the 2012 elections.

Now, this could of course be overly optimistic. What if the Republicans do better than I predict, even perhaps taking the House?

I’d still think the base, and in this case the leadership as well, would take the wrong message. They would feel empowered and run to the right in 2012, which, I’d contend, would be a mistake.

Basically, I believe the rightwing Republicans created a monster when they ramped up their fringe base. Whether it’s sooner or later, there will be a backlash against the extremism. When — and whether — that actually happens remains to be seen. But I predict it will come sooner rather than later and that this summer will set off the backlash.

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Predictions and threats of violence are increasingly frequent in rightwing discourse

The usual chest thumpers at redstate are all in, calling everyone to the left of Dubya “evil,” comparing Obama to a tyrant and predicting blood:

The Difference Between Them and Us
Obama as King George III or There will be blood [updated]
Mike DeVine’s Rule of Blood, Munich and the Rule of Law, and the Hanging of Jake Spoon

And Think Progress has this from the Heritage Foundation. After Cantor finished a speech attacking Obama over the failed Times Square car bomb, a questioner asks him why Obama shouldn’t be called a ‘domestic enemy.’ Here’s the transcript and video, both via Think Progress [emphasis in original]:

QUESTION: My question is – and this is something I personally don’t understand – if it’s a naïve question then I apologize: in light of what Obama has done to leave us vulnerable, to cut defense spending, to make us vulnerable to outside enemies, and to slight our allies, how (pause) – what would he have to do differently to be defined as a domestic enemy? (applause)

CANTOR: Listen, let me respond very forthright to that: you know, no one thinks the President is a domestic enemy. (boos)

Cantor is a savvy politician and, to his credit, he denies that the label is appropriate. But he doesn’t do so until after he laughs at the suggestion that Obama should be called a “domestic enemy” and lets his smile linger while the crowd laughs along.

Then they boo him for saying that the democratically elected president should not be called an enemy of the country. Had this exchange not been in front of cameras, do you think he would have just stuck with his first instinct?

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