Tag Archives: neiwart

“… a badge of honor and a job well done!”

In the midst of crowing about Van Jonesresignation, the posters and commenters at redstate.com are taking a short break to engage in a bit of self pity because, as they say, the meanie progressives, liberals and Democrats are calling them, gasp, racists.

But, jutting their jaws to show their resolution, they proudly say such lies and smears will no longer make them cower. Here’s a representative comment by a regular commenter:

I am going to guess the left doesn’t get that we…
JadedByPolitics Monday, September 7th at 9:03AM EDT (link)
and by we I mean Americans just don’t give a crap anymore about that word “racism”. It has no effect. They have chicken-littled that word to death in the past year (and 40 yrs) and WE DON’T CARE.

I will go so far as to say that from know [sic] on when we are called racists that it is a badge of honor and a job well done! [Emphasis added.]

Whoever has his enemy at his mercy & does not destroy him is his own enemy

You may have heard the silly right wing argument that the Nazis were actually left wing socialists — see they have the term “socialist” in their name. QED!

As easily refuted as that is, there is another even more astoundingly obtuse claim by rightwingers and Republicans concerning race.

They like to say, with disbelief that everyone else also doesn’t repeat the claim ad naseum that Lincoln was Republican and Republicans supported civil rights and Democrats opposed much of the early legislation.

What they conveniently leave out is that those Democrats from the south who opposed civil rights were racist southerners who became Republicans in the wake of civil rights.

Why is the south, the region that should have an enduring hatred of Republicans, now the stronghold of a Republican party in danger of turning into a rump?

Of course, it’s because of Nixon’s racist southern strategy, built on and expanded my Ronald Reagan who launched his presidential bid in 1980 by giving a “states’ rights” speech in the town in Mississippi where three murdered civil rights workers’ bodies were recovered.

“States’ rights” was, and is, a common code word for continued racist laws and practices.

I mentioned in my last post that I think the rightwingers and Republicans are going to get over confident and reach beyond their grasp. The Jones resignation only seems to make that more likely.

And in the process, they will expose, like the commenter above, aspects of their character and makeup that are rejected by the majority of Americans.

Update: Here are a couple more:

this is what employers, teachers, retailers
mom2oneson Monday, September 7th at 9:21AM EDT (link)
deal with all the time. Any type of negative consequence will get met with a cry of racism from *some* people even children.

VJ: Flashback to High School
minncon Monday, September 7th at 10:10AM EDT (link)
Good Lord… I’ve been hearing this “it’s because I’m black” crap since going to a 30% black high school back in 1972! You reap what you sow… if you have a big mouth and make ongoing racist statements (like Vanity Jones did), you can’t cry race when you’re canned. It is a fact: the largest group of racists in America is made up of the very people who continually cry “racism!”

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Franken explodes rightwingers’ heads

Media Matters, Talking Points Memo, Huffington Post, Think Progress, and Crooks and Liars all have pieces up documenting how crazymaking for rightwingers the Minnesota Supreme Court’s decision that has finally led to Norm Coleman’s concession and Franken’s ascension to the Senate is.

The Redstaters are, again, not doing the happy dance.

I think Eric Kleefeld’s observation in the TPM piece is spot on — he writes that a large part of the meltdown of the Murdoch media and their ideological compadres is probably due to Fox’s star crossed lawsuit against Franken over their apocryphal copyright of the term “fair and balanced.” Kleefeld posits that Franken might not have garnered the champion of the left status he did if it weren’t for the lawsuit and the ensuing free publicity.

I think that’s a very plausible view. But regardless of its accuracy, if the Foxsters believe this even just a little but, it’s gotta drive them absolutely bonkers. Even more so than usual.

In any event, Franken seems to drive most of the rightwing fringe gaga. It will be both entertaining and instructive to watch him continue to do so in the coming years.

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Deliberately counterfactual

What is it with the right these days?

I admit to being perplexed by their cunning plan to deviate from all that is factual.

Perhaps I’m missing something, but it seems a big gamble against unlikely odds: convincing everyone else that up is down, right is left and wrong is right.

Of course, I don’t think it will work. But they do.

Update: David Neiwart profoundly takes down this ridiculous rightwing meme

Update II: I guess next they’ll try to claim these “minutepeople” rightwing nutbags are also actually really leftists in disguise.

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What are they thinking…?

Or, are they even thinking, for more than a nanosecond, at all?

Even before news leaked concerning the announcement of Sonia Sotomayor as Obama’s Supreme Court pick, conservatives were “spoiling” for a
SCOTUS fight
. A fight based not on the views, history, ideology or any personal characteristics or beliefs of the nominee, but instead based purely, and proudly, on nothing but obstructionism.

Okay, fair enough. But they are just proving, yet again, that the “party of the future” is astoundingly, historically, tragically — and now farcically — tone deaf.

After their trenchant criticism of Pelosi, they are now going to trash a latina — proving that losing the latino/a vote for a few generations isn’t enough of an epic fail and they really want to see just how many women they can also drive away from their Republican party. To be sure, some Republicans attempt to slow the train ride, if only just a little bit, to oblivion. There are two example from, of all places, Utah: Jon Huntsman and Jason Chaffetz.

But, even such strongly right leaning moderation, despite its relative popularity outside the echo chamber, is not viewed favorably within the asylum.

There’s always an a chance they will suffer a sudden, if momentary, attack of rationality, but I’m not sure how likely that is. They of course hold up Sarah Palin and Liz Cheney as proof that some of their best friends candidates and pundits are women. They can even bring forth Michael Steele, now with more mojo, if not actual control or respect from the RNC committeemen, to show how much “urban-suburban hip-hop” street cred they can boast.

But with party back benchers calling for an end to “birthright citizenship” because they fear the wrong sorts of people are taking unfair advantage, and their treatment of strong women who make them feel weak, the likely coming ruthless attacks on Sotomayor are not going to do much for their long term viability.

But still, they can always count on the unwavering support, as David Neiwart writes, of their base.

Update: Judicial Watch and redstate are already on the attack.

Update II: Glenn Greenwald writes approvingly of the pick.

Update III: Huffington Post takes down a ridiculous lie the right wingers have been spewing.

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Complete lack of self awareness

The other day I noted, as have many others, that many right wingers in America today are better described as authoritarian rather than truly conservative. Many right wingers are in fact radical in the positions they take and the policies they advocate. But that is a subject for another post.

One of the characteristics of authoritarians put forth in the link above is a near total lack of self awareness and reflection. This characteristic finds expression multiple times a day in the right wing echo chamber but I just want to briefly note an example that occurred today at one of my favorite trolling destinations, one I have written about with some frequency here: redstate.com.

The posters and commenters have been breathlessly attempting to hype a joke about Miss California Carrie Prejean by Obama adviser David Axelrod into some sort of Democratic Macaca moment. Axelrod was on NPR’s “Wait! Wait! Don’t Tell Me” and, when asked if he gave advice on the Obama’s new dog’s name, said he was only called in on the last three “and one was Miss California.”

This most recently caused the would be Republican party saviors to write a post with this headline: “Obama’s punk, #1 advisor says Christian women are dogs.” A completely rational response, no? Well, the commenters get themselves into a lather defending women against the nasty misogynistic Democrats and leftists.

It’s all the standard faux outrage we have grown accustomed to since the right wingers and Republicans began casting about for an issue, any issue, to try to score political points since their ignominious defeat last November.

But then came the clincher. It was in response to this question from a redstate stalwart:

I would like to point out something that has apparently been missed…
Aaron Gardner Monday, May 18th at 9:53PM EDT
Axelrod *repeated* that “Miss California” was one of three names that he was called in to consult on….meaning the original inference came from either Michelle or Barrack themselves.

So maybe we should be asking President Obama why he believes that a Christian Conservative woman is equatable to a dog as well.

A commenter, whose hope for terrorist attacks on “blue cities in blue states” I quoted before, let fly with this little gem from the campaign:

Well, he is married to one, and at least she claims
Tbone Monday, May 18th at 10:25PM EDT
a Christian affiliation.

Envisioning when all that is Left is the Right.

(The last line is this posters signature, appearing in all his posts. It neatly exemplifies the type of eliminationist rhetoric David Neiwart writes about in his latest book.)

Rather than call him out for the same offense that had the redstaters so exercised, the stalwart commenter “Tbone” was responding to and another frequent commenter show their approbation:

Tbone…she certainly doesn’t claim to be conservative though…lol…nt
Aaron Gardner Monday, May 18th at 10:32PM EDT

Aaron’s Archive

conform and celebrate diversity….or else!!!

Log in to Reply

ZING….which just goes to show….
JadedByPolitics Monday, May 18th at 10:34PM EDT
when you are pointing a finger you have three pointing back at yourself! Obama has shown absolutely ZERO respect for women and it continue’s even though “he won”!

Whoever has his enemy at his mercy &
does not destroy him is his own enemy

(Note also that JadedByPolitics’ signature also confirms Neiwart’s thesis.)

So, in the minds of the commenters and site administrators at redstate, hoping for “blue” Americans to be murdered by terrorists is not a problem, a joke about naming a dog after Carrie Prejean is cause for extreme moral outrage and prompts calls for Obama himself to apologize and, to cap it all off, calling Michelle Obama a dog and implying she is a fake christian is funny funny.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: and they wonder why they keep losing?

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Competing realities and divergent uptakes

If you need any more proof that human perception of reality is partial, in both senses of the word, look at the varying ways people of differing political and ideological inclinations subjectively perceive events.

People with different, especially opposing, points of view can look at the same event and come away with diametrically opposed opinions of what took place. And if the event is a disputatious interaction involving one actor they identify with and another actor they most assuredly do not identify with, then their — our — perceptions of what happened and who ‘won’ can be particularly divergent.

Take for instance two recent interactions getting attention in both left and right online communities: an exchange between Al Gore and Republican congresswoman Marsha Blackburn and an exchange between Dick Cheney’s daughter Liz and MSNBC host Nora O’Donnell.

Posters and commenters on the right think Cheney and Blackburn were without doubt the clear victors while their counterparts on the left are equally certain that the exact opposite is true. I, not surprisingly, am in the latter camp but a Google search shows how contested the perceptions are.

Do I think people on the right are lying or somehow disingenuously spinning just to put a happy face on what they in fact know are defeats for their champions?

No, I do not. I think they are just as sure that the people advocating their worldview ‘won’ as I am that they were smacked down. Why is this?

It’s probably because, while we see the same interactions, we see them very, very differently. One commenter at NationalJournal.com was so angry, he wrote the following:

Listen to youself Nora, you should lined up against a wall and shot.
Thomas J Smith | April 24, 2009 8:45 PM

It seems clear to me that Blackburn and Cheney received smack downs and did not make their points. But someone on the right would almost certainly think the opposite. We watch and interpret the interactions with different sets of filters, already held beliefs, biases and presuppositions that affect the way we take up the exchanges.

A couple of questions emerge:

  • how do people on with different worldviews even talk to each other rationally, let alone engage in civic and civil debate, when such broad gulfs separate our perceptions?
  • how does each side best convince moderates that their interpretation of events is accurate and the alternative interpretation is flawed?

Regarding the second question, it seems clear that we on the left are winning over enough moderates that our interpretations prevail, just as the opposite had been the case in previous times. But, as that history of varying fortunes for both those on the left and the right indicates, we cannot presume that the current ascendancy of the left will morph into a permanent state of affairs.

That means that the first question is, ultimately, the most relevant. There will always be those, like the 20-30% who still believe dubya was the best president ever, who will never be open to persuasion from the left. But there are right leaning moderates who can be reached. Not catered to, but convinced.

It should be a long term project for us on the left to persuade people in this group that they should cleave themselves from the dead enders on the extreme right and come back to the idea that compromise is not capitulation.

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Faux outrage and conservative Republican victimhood

While it is of course a universal human train, many conservatives and Republicans seem to be especially prone to persecution complexes and righteous displays of feigned anger. When their sense of victimhood is not acknowledged or when their faux rage is not catered to, they generally just up the ante (or try to).

It has worked for them in the past. So, it is not surprising that they are dusting off the old play book after 8 year long sustained power grab during the last administration.

But the time for that ploy seems to have passed. Americans just aren’t going for it these days. It was successful, up to a point, during the Clinton administration and in 2000, 2002 and 2004. But the scorched earth tactics of obstruction and rejection now just look haggard and shop worn.

Americans in general are inclined to give the Obama administration a chance. That does not mean we do not have problems with his stances and policies. Many, like myself, criticize him from the left. Others from the middle and still others from the non fringe right. But, still, most are willing to give the administration and chance and hope that it will succeed in dealing with the various challenges the last administration created.

But then there are those on the far right, carping and hoping for failure. They actually believe they will benefit if this administration fails, with their help, to resolve the problems we face. They think we are not watching and noticing.

Where are the sane conservatives and Republicans who truly will put country before party? Where are the rational voices who will reject the birth certificate conspiracy theorists and those who call Obama a socialist and, simultaneously, a fascist? Where are the Republicans and conservatives who will reject and denounce Limbaugh, O’Reilly, Hannity and Cheney?

What future is there for a Party of No and movement that only hopes for failure?

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