Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Whatever Happened to the Anger On the Left?
The past three decades have been a Right-Wing wet dream for America. The Republicans have gotten their way on virtually every single issue while the Democrats have meekly rolled over.
Which raises a question. Why are the Republicans so angry these days? And why are the Democrats so goddamn happy?
What do the Republicans have to be angry about, anyway? During most of the past three decades, they've controlled all the levers of power. And even when they didn't control the White House, they might as well as have, with Bill Clinton's "Republican Lite" policies.
The Republicans have gotten pretty much everything they've wanted: their tax cuts for the rich, their sweeping deregulation, their dismantling of the social safety net, their gutting of labor unions, their blood-for-oil wars, their shredding of the Constitution: you name it.
What's more, they blatantly stole the past two presidential elections (and got away with it). And they're the one who are seething with anger these days?
And yet if you tune into Fox News or talk radio or the Right-Wing blogs these days, you encounter the most incredible seething anger and passion. Tune into just the first five minutes of unhinged Right-Wing nutcase Mark Levin's radio program sometime and you'll encounter more anger than a year's worth of reading Mother Jones or The Nation.
All I've got to say is: where can we on the Left get some of that anger to fire up our base?
After being screwed for 30 years by the New Right, you'd think the Left in this country would finally have built up some anger and passion. But instead, there seems to be way too much humor, fun and frivolity on our side these days. Even Mike Malloy's once-incendiary radio program has mellowed out in recent months.
The Left could really use a few lessons from the the Republicans these days. The GOP is a master of rallying the troops by adopting a "take-no-prisoners" hard-line approach to politics. They're also good at rallying the base with a constant "siege mentality" that would have their supporters believe that the Left is on the verge of destroying America (ironic, when you consider who's really done all the damage to our nation in recent decades).
Democrats ought to enter a street fight with the GOP with the appropriate tools: a switchblade, a .38-caliber pistol, and a pair of brass knuckles. Instead, they bring nothing to the fight but good manners and a promise to fight fairly and by the rules. In a street fight, that approach loses every f*cking time---but the Dems appear to be incapable of grasping this basic fact.
Take Obama's current campaign strategy. He's vowed to take the high road and run a polite, dignified, no-slime campaign. McCain, on the other hand, is throwing everything he has at Obama. Day after day, McCain essentially calls Obama a traitor.
And McCain's slime is working. Obama's lead in the polls is now dangerously thin. And if recent U.S. election history repeats itself, Obama looks to be in real trouble by November.
Aren't Democrats angry about all this? Nope. While the GOP is using angry fire-and-brimstone "All Liberals Are Traitors" rhetoric to fire up the troops, we're once again acting polite, sipping our tea, and minding our manners, smug in the belief that the nation couldn't possibly be so stupid as to vote for a third term of George W. Bush.
One thing I will give the Republicans credit for: they are angry, passionate and willing to fight tooth-and-claw for what they believe in. They fight dirty and even steal elections if they have to. And do you think they lose one second's worth of sleep over it? Don't bet on it.
And meanwhile, the Dems are smug, arrogant, and way, way too goddamn polite these days. We need to get angry for a change and start fighting fire with fire.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Did A Culture of Right-Wing Hate Lead to Church Shootings?
A man who is accused of shooting and killing two at a Tennessee church apparently targeted the congregation "out of hatred for its support of liberal social policies," police said Monday.
One might ask: where would such extreme hatred of Liberals come from?
To get the answer, turn on Right-Wing talk radio any day.
There, on a daily basis, you'll hear the most amazingly vicious bashing of Liberals imaginable.
From Savage to Limbaugh to Hannity to the rest of HateWing radio, every day, one hears the most extraordinary demonization of Liberals and Democrats. If you get all your news and views from HateWing radio (as many Dittoheads do), you'll be convinced that Liberals are traitors who are working hand-in-hand with Al Qaeda to undermine the American nation.
Along with the hate, there's a hefty of dose of violent threats against Liberals on the AM radio dial these days.
Take right-wing nutcase Michael Graham, for example. In June 2007, he said he wanted to see someone "whack" the Clintons in a Sopranos spoof. And in 2003, Graham said of Hillary Clinton: "I wanted to bludgeon her with a tire iron."
Such inflammatory language is nothing new for the right-wing. Recall how Ann Coulter once wrote that the debate over Bill Clinton should be about "whether to impeach or assassinate."
Such seething hatred and threats of violence have ricocheted around the GOP echo chamber for at least the past couple of decades. And it hasn't been limited to right-wing talk radio.
Recall the comment by Jesse Helms in 1994: "Mr. Clinton better watch out if he comes down here. He'd better have a bodyguard."
Or G. Gordon Liddy's comment in 1995, when discussing how he'd used stick figures of the Clintons for target practice. "Thought it might improve my aim," he said.
Given this toxic stew of hatred and violent threats that poisons our nation's political discourse, we really shouldn't be surprised that there are many people out there who harbor extreme hatred toward Liberals.
Books seized from suspect Jim David Adkisson's home, included The O'Reilly Factor, by television commentator Bill O'Reilly; Liberalism is a Mental Disorder, by radio personality Michael Savage; and Let Freedom Ring, by political pundit Sean Hannity.
Knoxville Police Department Investigator Steve Still wrote in the search warrant that Adkisson went on a rampage at the church, "because of its liberal teachings and his belief that all liberals should be killed because they were ruining the country."
Saturday, May 31, 2008
WSJ Bizarrely Claims Surge's "Success" Means Troops Must Stay
In its lead editorial Friday, The Wall Street Journal took a swipe at Barack Obama for calling for a withdrawal of American troops from the fiasco in Iraq. That much was predictable from this right-wing rag. But what's bizarre was the Journal's reason for opposing the withdrawal of our troops: the "success" of the surge.
Since it was bought by Rupert Murdoch, the Journal has increasingly begun to sound like an unhinged right-wing blog---fanatical in its support of George W. Bush and its foaming-at-the-mouth hatred of Democrats. And like the lunatic fringe blogs MichelleMalkin.com and Little Green Footballs, the Journal is increasingly disconnected from reality.
On Friday, the Journal predictably took aim at Scott McClellan, along with the rest of the Great GOP Noise Machine. In the middle of an editorial bashing McClellan, the Journal paused to take a shot at Obama:
"Mr. Obama has staked out a position for immediate troop withdrawal that looks increasingly untenable amid the success of the "surge" and improving security in Baghdad and Basra."
Let me see if I understand this correctly: the surge is a "success" and, as a result, this means our troops can't be brought home? Then, exactly, when can Americans look forward to our troops coming home and the end of this bloody fiasco of a war?
The Journal follows the same sort of infantile "heads I win, tails you lose" logic that the NeoCons use so often these days. If horrible violence continues in Iraq, the Right-Wing demands that our troops stay there. But if violence declines, this also means our troops must stay in Iraq.
In any case, it's highly debatable whether the surge has worked at all. And as Middle East experts like Nir Rosen have repeatedly reminded us, the recent decline in violence has nothing to do with the increase in troops announced by Bush in January.
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]