Saturday, February 27, 2010

Fear Itself

In the wake of Thursday's health care summit in Washington, orange Republican Senator John Boehner took to YouTube to answer a series of questions on health care reform that had been pre-submitted by YouTube users. For the most part, Boehner rattled off the standard litany of GOP talking points -- move along, nothing to see here -- but Breitbart's Big Government site allowed him to do a quick write up on the exchange, which means that Breitbart's audience was given the opportunity to comment on Boehner's points and the health care debate in general.

And that's where things get interesting.

Look, as I've been saying lately ad nauseam, read through the comment section of any partisan online outlet -- either side, left or right -- and it's impossible to ignore how nearly interchangeable the two sides of the political divide are when it comes to their rhetoric. There's the childish derogatory wordplay -- "DemocRATS" and "Rethugs" -- the specious accusations, the kind of blather that makes you wonder if the commenter is arguing simply to hear him or herself argue. But where there are differences, they're vast and impossible to ignore -- one of the major ones being the incendiary, irresponsible and absolutely fucking dangerous calls to arms you hear on the right, proving the point that it's not so much that side's loutish carnival barkers that anyone should worry about -- since their shtick is largely about making money or getting votes -- but the True Believers who hang on every word from these clowns like it's gospel and use it to fuel their already raging paranoid psychopathy. There have always been violent activists on the far left, but they've never been given the kind of encouragement and legitimacy that the batshit crazy anti-government crowd is currently enjoying on the right. In other words, what used to be the fringe right isn't really relegated to the fringes these days -- the "far" right ain't so far anymore.

Case in point: One commenter to the Breitbart-Boehner post writes this, and receives a series of replies like "Here, here fellow patriot!" (which is as frightening as it is grammatically incorrect):

"Mr. Boehner,

Just curious when you and the rest of the Rep party will get a spine? You guys are no different than the other side you run your mouths about how bad things are BUT what have YOU done? Did you scream out in session and bring proceedings to a halt? Did you organize a walkout at the health summit yesterday? We the people all know it was nothing but a patronizing show orchestrated by his majesty BHO better yet the three stooges after complaints about transparency and opening debate up to the public...

Do us all a favor Mr. Boehner, you and the rest of the DC Rep. inept either grow a spine or a set of b___s and physically do something (walkout, bring govt to a halt) vs the daily rants, should I say whining, we are oh so tired of...

Go read the Constitution, words of our founding fathers and really do something or stand down and let someone who is ready to truly take them on in! Maybe you haven't realized but the old piece of paper called the Declaration of Independence was pretty much those men signing their own death warrant if what they planned failed? Can you do that? Are your ready to do that? If not get out of our way WE WANT OUR COUNTRY BACK! "

The commenter then posts a link to this YouTube video. I'm pretty good at shrugging off inconsequential crap, but its message is 100% clear -- and it's scary as hell.

This is what's fulminating on the right these days: The belief that the country white Christian men have always been entitled to was illegitimately stolen away from them -- despite the overwhelming disagreement of the electorate, which more than ever represents the changing face of America -- and must now be retaken by any means necessary. This is the kind of shit being spewed by conspiracist whack-jobs like the Oath Keepers -- who are bestowing upon themselves the blessing of the invoked-to-death forefathers, arming themselves and making ludicrous promises to stand against the creeping socialist threat, the one that's nothing more than a fucking paranoid delusion. This is what's being fomented by irresponsible little turds like Glenn Beck. They're creating a dark fantasy land of hidden terrors and outlandish boogeymen that has zero basis in reality.

And this is what's wrong with the right these days.


DXM: Revolutionary Goad/4.7.09


Captain said...

There's two other differences when you're scraping the bottom of the barrel at left- and right-wing sites.

Number one, lefties just don't throw around the traitor/treason epithet like the righties do.

And number two, I don't find nowhere near as many "definitions" on leftie sites as to what constitutes a "real" American or America.

Anonymous said...

What will be funny is if they do attempt and then succeed in bringing about the downfall of the current government? You might ask, why would that be funny? I don't think that they'll know what to do once that happens.

Our founders may have had their faults but they were smart elitist sons of bitches. Plantation owners, gentlemen farmers, business men, that were educated. I've not seen any current political leader that seems to be as intelligent. None of the whack jobs that believe that stuff seem to be capable of governing. I've not seen a Washington, Adams, Hamilton, or Jefferson among any of them.

The problem is that the America of the founders if very different from the America of today. The system has grown slowly from what it was to what it is today. As a result, America has gained experience governing itself.

What they'll do is throw it away and go back to the small government thing. The TeaBaggers that want SS and Medicare will lose it. They'll watch their older family members die because the new system won't handle it. They won't even be able to handle even the petty corruption of the new system.

It would be an interesting way to wipe out the debt. Of course they'll never be able to borrow from foreign sources except under extremely high interest rates. Our new creditors will exploit us just as US corporations have exploited unsophisticated foreigners for years.

If they succeed, I hope that they get everything that they want.

Vermillion said...

Excellent point, Captain. I suppose the left-wing equivalents would be fascist or Nazi, though.

Then again, the right has socialist and...well, and Nazi.

As for the main piece, again, excellent analysis of the situation. While there were many a conspiracy-nut fruit loop on the left during the Bush years, none of them actively called for more than impeachment and arrest. A few fringers may have even called for Hague trials or the death penalty. But the difference there is that it was still within the purview of the law. Nobody wanted to take the law into their own hands. Nobody wanted to circumvent the Constitution simply because they didn't agree with Dubya.

But this? This is way beyond the pale. This isn't a call for legal interdiction. This is a call for not-so-civil war. These people really think that they are on the verge of proving that Payne quote about the blood of tyrants is gospel. But, and this is the insane part, there is no tyrant. The guy they are so furious with HASN'T DONE ANYTHING YET.

It isn't the case anymore of them not wanting him to be President. They want him dead. Not impeached, not arrested. DEAD.

Compared to that, even Code Pink seems somewhat sensible.

MPP said...

how is this much different than the frothing madmen at democraticunderground, moveon, and the rest in 2004, whose very motto was 'stop bitching, start a revolution?'

these were the same people who toasted reagan's death and wished cheney's heart attack to be his last.


Ethnic Redneck said...

I think the most telling point of the posted comment is that the writer is telling Congress members to basically throw a tantrum in order to get their way. That nails down the new conservative for me - there is no leeway. It's the same cognitive function that's involved when a parent takes a child's toy away when he/she is misbehaving.

There is the pouting and then the anger, and then a vicious punch to the shins. Unfortunately, the giant bullies that make up both sides of the political screechers are more willing to pack heat.

So yeah, the revolution will be decided by heavily armed, intellectually retarded man-children. And you know who I blame - the media.

Because if we actually mocked and derided these lunatics on a national level instead of trying to cash in on them, people would know better than to do anything more than pat these "patriots" on the head and give them a cookie before putting them down for a beer and a nap.

Chez said...

I thought I made it abundantly clear, MPP. If you're trying to draw an equivalence, you can't -- because there is none. Not anymore.

First of all, the general leftie idea of "revolution" is marching in the streets; it's that ridiculous 60s model of hippie-inspired fist-in-the-air crap.

Once again, though, the major difference is that the "revolutionaries" of the left generally aren't armed and don't either imply or outright advocate the need for violence. There were far, far leftist groups that were and did at one time, but not only do very few of them exist anymore, but if they do they're certainly not embraced by mainstream. The problem is that -- and again, I've said this before ad nauseam -- the conservative notion of sticking together and staying on message means that even the fringe is given a strong voice.

But I thought I made that clear. Sorry, MPP, there's simply no comparison and any attempt to make one is either delusional or dishonest.

Liquid said...

What does it say about us as human beings when MSNBC/CNN/FOX just exude disappointment that all Hawaii got was a piddling foot or two of Tsunami?

I've been following the site for a few years now. It has become one of my few ports of relative sanity in this ocean of a clusterfuck.

As a 28-year old male who was born and raised in Seattle, one of the "Liberal Enclaves" if you will, I continue to be surprised by my instinctive reactions to a lot of the recent events.

If I were to quickly describe my political leanings it would be that I love guns, booze, and the military so I suppose that could be considered right-leaning; Though I do not support the further spreading of military-industrial complex creaminess.

It's just not the good type of creamy.

I also endorse socialized medicine, pot, and the legalization of pot which would pigeonhole me as a Liberal or Libertarian or whatever.

Hell, our city attorney stated he will no longer prosecute people for having a joint in their sock or an 1/8th on them; Now that's progress!

Getting back on track -- If you heard all the lame, nanny-state crap Seattle is trying to pull (and has already pulled off) you might indulge me while I shake my head and curse those damn hippies.

In our present geo-political situation Washington State serves as an acceptable microcosm of the nation as a legislative whole. A Democratic majority, largely unopposed (in theory and on paper), that are scrambling to solve our budget crisis and other pressing issues.

We don't get too many rabid revolutionaries over here since people are too busy trying to save their homes or jobs or put their kids through college.

I feel sorry for people that live east of the Cascades as they are forced to deal with many of the ridculous taxes and ideas that germinate in Olympia.

It's a facile analogy but I like it.

A good example would involve the construction of Safeco and Qwest Field. At least it isn't Amway Arena or Petco Park. Though I really can't complain as a friend of mine got season tickets and we ended up at the Super Bowl.

You haven't lived until you've been to a liquor store in downtown Detroit at Midnight, a bullet-proof turnstile? I think they've been hit before!

Damn, I had something more relevant and cohesive to say but it's Saturday and I'm starting early in lieu of the USA v Canada Hockey game tommorow.

Love the site and I wish you the best, Chez.

Capt. Clown said...

Every time conservatives shout, "WE WANT OUR COUNTRY BACK!!!", I'm amazed.

It's like taking a brand-new car and beating the shit out of it for eight years, and when the lease is up you turn it in with smashed in fenders, bodies in the trunk, and an engine that barely runs, and a trade-in value $4 Trillion less than when you leased it.

The dealer takes it back and repaints it black to try to hide all the damage, and suddenly the old owner is all offended: "You're ruining my car! I want my car back!"

slouchmonkey said...

What jumped out at me, after reading this post, was another post you wrote (?? maybe ??) some time ago. It dealt with Texas governor's desire to leave the Union.

These wackos will try something, it will fail, and then they'll have to be bitch slapped back in place.

Ok, I have to go work on the potty training.

Liquid said...

Wow, I did not mean to omit paragraphs in my rant. It's a bit hard to judge margins in the small box.

CNNfan said...

They have gotten themselves into trouble with the Secret Service, which takes threats seriously.

Vermillion said...

Well MPP, look at your post. Especially the date: 2004. Well into the first Bush administration. And, most importantly, well after Bush began his slide into buffoonery and mayhem. If fact, wasn't the whole impetus behind (as indicated in the name) about, at the very least, not re-electing him?

Again, these people were doing this before the election. Hell, even before Obama secured the nomination.

And, as Chez has made clear, the main difference is that, if anyone on the left was talking about armed insurrection or wishing people dead, NOBODY IN CHARGE WAS LISTENING TO THEM. The Republicans not only entertain such lunacy, they fuel it. They are recklessly promoting these extremists as paragons of American virtue, instead of the fringe element they are.

Grover said...

Someone, anyone please help me.

"I WANT MY COUNTRY BACK" -- What does that mean? What the fuck does it mean?

I look around and nothings changed. I can still go buy an M4 and a bottle of Jack. I can still go to any house of Superstition and give 1/2 my paycheck to whatever glass silhouette is watching over me.

Taxes havent gone anywhere.

My health insurance goes up every other day.

SO WHAT THE FUCK HAS CHANGED?? I just dont get it.

Is it really because there is a black man in the "White" house?