Seriously, I'm loving the idiocy we see all around us. It makes life interesting in the extreme. It seems that folks just can't get enough of shucking their responsibilities onto the President, and acting stupid in accordance with that.
Has any President ever gotten the lowest possible grade from both the pro-gun and anti-gun lobbies?
The answer to that is simple. Of course not. No President has ever attracted blind expectation as much as this one. On the one side, you have the NRA which expects Chicago gangland thuggery on every dark street corner and holds the equally idiotic belief that the Kenyon cause of the thuggery will take away yer white-folk guns such that ya' cain't defend 'gainst them thugs when they wants yer white women. On the other side, you have the rabid anti-gunners whining in their soy meal soup that Obama promised, HE PROMISED!, to do away with gun violence in one short year. Neither claim is even remotely based in reality.
Obama said in campaign that within the law he would sign any rational gun restrictions that cross his desk. Has Congress sent him any? No? Have they been a little distracted with the lame tasks of health care, and renewing a failed economy? One might think, if they were thinking. Have gun rights actually expanded under Obama? Yes, they have. And the silence from the NRA is deafening.
There's a part of me that believes that Obama brought this on himself with all the talk of Hope And Change. See, those words mean very different things to many people, and most expect a magic pill. Look at Helmke's damning complaint:
Helmke went through a list of violent crimes and then strongly
criticized the White House for staying silent in the aftermath of each.
“The biggest disappointment was his failure to speak out,” he said.
Obama has failed because he didn't talk enough. Excuse me Mr. Helmke, but Obama didn't tuck your sorry ass in at night and read you fairy stories either. What a colossal failure you must think him. From Health Care Reform to Gun Control/Rights to embracing gays to single-handedly strangling every human who ever thinks of committing terror against America, Obama is a huge failure. Gosh, I really wish we had Reagan and W back as co-Presidents with Palin as media adviser, Rambo as Secretary of War, Brownie running HUD and Rush Limbaugh as Secretary of State. Then we'd all be happy, right?
I have been waiting for days to finally watch this, and it was better than I imagined. While the debate has raged for a week over whether or not the 9/12 TeaBagger Cumtogether was 70.000 people or 2 million, this video begs for a more prescient debate: How many of those protesters were deeply ignorant manipulated fools? The numbnuts holding a "Joe Wilson for President" sign who doesn't actually support Joe Wilson for President, nor knows anything about him except that the sign carrier supports Wilson's poor impulse control? Maybe the people outraged over Czargate? How 'bout the baby dodos doing exactly as a FOX news producer tells them to during this "grass roots" event? This is the deeply stupid in action.
Republicans, if you have any pretensions of actually serving America, perhaps these idiots shouldn't be your base. If this was a subtle plan to steer these loud and uninformed masses to the Constitutional party, then I support your efforts. Please make more.
I’ve seen hundreds of comments around the blogosphere getting bogged
down in wish list items—“if Gates had only been more polite” or “if the
cop had only walked out once he saw the ID and knew it was Gates’s
home.” Yes, either might have defused the situation, then again, maybe
not. Yes, the cop was being yelled at by Gates, but it’s less the
yelling, than one specific thing that he said that hit the red alert
button on class—he tossed down the ”don’t you know who I am” card (”you have no idea who you are messing with”). That, friends, comes from privilege of a different kind, one that has nothing to do with race.
She mirrors my reaction to this fiasco almost perfectly.
There is, however, one thing that truly puzzles me. As the wingnut whoopee cushions bleat ever louder about the outrage of one uppity negro defending another uppity negro against the fine illegal actions or our brave men in blue, I have to ask: Whatever happened to the legions of Republicans and Libertarians who threatened dire consequence should some low-life pig cop ever invade their home and wrongly accuse them of criminal activity? Has the fear of having a black socialist muslim President so thoroughly castrated these people that they can no longer recognize right from wrong?
Ultimately, that's what this about. Race and class aside, Officer Crowley acted stupidly. Big Media Matt:
Meanwhile, note that racial motivations or there absence have really
nothing to do with the nature of Officer Crowley’s misconduct. What
happened basically is that Crowley accused Gates, whether for good
reason or not, of breaking into his own home. Gates, pissed off,
offended Crowley. At which point Crowley, even though he was now
perfectly aware that Gates was not guilty of anything, decided to exact
revenge by manipulating the situation to create a trumped-up disorderly
conduct charge. That’s not professional policing, and it’s not a good
use of the City of Cambridge’s law enforcement resources.
In a happier time, both liberals and conservatives agreed that abuse of police power was a bad thing. Apparently for many modern conservatives, that only counts if a black man doesn't upset a white cop. As Pam points out, Gates acted pretty stupidly. But, thankfully for those like Andy Hammond, stupidity isn't a crime ... more's the pity.
For many long weeks now, I have been trying, angrily at times, to get the single payer advocates to quit babbling about the superiority of their plan and actually review the process of implementation. It is not enough to say that we need to get from point A to point C without having a plan to get there. I've taken no small amount of heat for asking, "excuse me, Mr. Big Idea Guy, How you do that?"
I've no doubt that I will hear even more about how Obama will betray us, and Democrats want to supply their corporate masters with an endless supply of kitten blood. My only response, the only response necessary, is this:
Maybe so. But I'm willing to have a little faith in competition and my fellow Americans, (okay, very little.) And I'm willing to have a little faith in the President, who's been in office for 5 months. If you think that's stupid or naive, don't bother to tell me about it. I'm tired of the bullshit, and you can't do anything about it anyway, can you? Well, can you?
Yumpin Yimini Christmas, I'm trying to write a post but I'm so prone to spontaneous laughter, I may not finish. I had to work today so I only watched the swearing in ceremony online. Unfortunately that means I missed the part I was most looking forward to; Bush leaving and Cheney being drug away by hitching his wheelchair to some hell-hounds.
There's really two specific and discordant feelings going on inside me right now, and both invoke mirth. The first, and in many ways the most significant, is that I couldn't be more amused that America's most self-deprecating joke is gone back to Texas. They are welcome to him. I'm almost overwhelmed that the Tragic Master of Disaster actually influenced the downward direction this country has taken for a sixth of my life. His bumbling incompetence has been the poorest reflection of this great nation we could ever have had to endure. There's a whole bunch of folks out there who think we need to cut him slack, and look at the good things about the man. Not a one of them can give a good reason why. He's not my family, he's not my friend. I've listed time and again the awful things he's done to the country; I've no need to repeat them here. If you want to soften your view of Dumbya, please do. It will speak well of you. But don't ask me to. I'm glad that asshole is out of my building and out of my life. The only emotion Bush will ever invoke in me is pure loathing. The only down side to the day is that he didn't trip and break his nose while climbing aboard the helicopter that whisked him away, preferably to be deposited in the nearest dumpster. You're welcome to think that bitterness; yesterday I would have agreed with you. But today is a new day, and Chimpy is gone from my sight. Trust me, I'm laughing as I write that.
And now we have a new fella. I don't know what he'll do, and right this minute I don't much care. He's happy, and the nation is happy with him. He exemplifies everything we claim to hold as great. His family is awesome. He is smart, and articulate, expressing the needs and desires of a country badly in need of one who can at least understand what those are. He acknowledged us all as American, not just Christians or people of faith or whites or moneyed. Bush left us a shitpile to wade through, but we're all in it together. And yeah, he's black, and yeah, that matters. We've come one helluva long way, even from when I was a youth. I like this guy.
Coobs can keep up with his elitist caricatures, never understanding what kind of an ironic boob he's making of himself. Obama is not a messiah, and no one expects him to be. But he isn't useless. He isn't the arrogant priveledged frat boy that Bush was. He isn't prone to acting or sounding like a complete dumbass. In other words, he couldn't be less like #43, and it seems obvious that the nation is thankful for that alone. He may not be able to accomplish all that needs doing, but only the idiots (Hi, Eric!) expect him to really make things worse. Maybe he will. And maybe he won't. What is certain is that he has people looking for something better, instead of shitting themselves in fear. That makes this man special, and this day special. Tomorrow we'll have to face of the hangover of the Bush drunkenness. But today, it's time to laugh and feel good about America again.
Despite the notorious Mark T.'s consistent reminders of my partisan naivety, I am actually very astute at discerning how Democrats shoot themselves (and everyone collaterally about them) squarely in the foot. Where I disagree with the learned Mark is in this: I don't believe it is capitulation, or weak attempts at inclusiveness to those who really are our abusers. It is rather divisiveness, savage and unbridled, turned towards each other. What is often saddest is that we follow the Republican tune while doing this deed. We embrace tribalism; us against 'them'. They scream, 'gay marraige, NO!' And we are compelled to scream back, 'gay marriage, YES!'. Same with reproductive rights, et al.
Don't misunderstand. It's not that Democrats are wrong, necessarily. It's that knee-jerk over-reaction that kills. You're with us, or you're with them. The issue gets lost in the definition of who is allowed to be right and who is allowed to be wrong. For many if not most Republicans, that's easy. Hippies/Liberals/Progressives/Democrats are always ... always ... wrong. It's the greatest most salable Ad Hominem ever socially put into play. For Democrats, it isn't so simple. Most of us focus on the issue as opposed to the person because we internalize it. It matters to us, therefore it matters. We see enemies and threats where really there are none. In short, we allow Repuiblicans to derail us with trivialities because being on the right side matters more to us than dismissing the trivial.
Think on that for a second, and you can clearly see the problem. What happens when Democrats disagree? In short, SSDD. Democrats fail at accomplishing great things because we divide ourselves into who is right and who is wrong, based on each individual's personal needs and desires. Our tribes become very very small.
I was amazed that the Hillary tribe's war against the Obama tribe (and vice-versa) didn't cost us the election. It was a thing of beauty. I thought we had, as Democrats, overcome our desire to be right about everything, in order to just be right about the big stuff. Silly me. Before Obama has even become President, we are finding ways to divide ourselves in a very 'withus-or-ginstus' method.
This Warren thing is goofy. I have been and remain a strident suppoter of GBLT rights. </facts> Warren is not, and I accept that promoting him to the august station of speaking somewhere is a horrid affront to truth ( and SLAP IN THE FACE) that must be savaged </sarcasm>.
I'm sorry, but who Warren is may be big stuff for a lot of people. Unleashing ferocity against Obama because this guy is at the inauguration is small stuff. Very small stuff.
Rob Natelson, in two of the most disturbing posts written in the Montana blogs for quite some time, posits that we are in danger ... DANGER ... because Barack Obama's supporters see him as a "messiah". I'm not going to rehash how foolish I think that assumption is; it's more to the point to poke fun at where that leads our dear Professor Fear-Monger. Besides, Mark T already did a finely adequate job of smacking Natelson's silly justifications for his fears. If I disagree with Mark on any point, it is this:
Rob Natelson has lined up with others to take a shot
at Obama supporters who are investing messianic qualities in the new
president. There’s something to be said for that. Cult of leadership is
not a new phenomenon. Many of us noticed that Americans also invested
superhuman qualities in George W. Bush after 9/11. That was fear
speaking, however. The new followers are preaching hope. They are
probably just as naive.
Natelson wasn't taking a shot at Obama supporters. Those he dismisses out of hand while building his Strawman. No, Natelson was directly attacking Barack Obama. The point of his sphincter-puckering wasn't the power that people imbue him with, but rather what he would do with it. To this end, the only analogue that the good Professor could come up with was Jim Jones.
There have been differences also: Some of the “messiahs” have been
deliberate frauds. Some were charismatic, but mentally ill. Some were
simple folk who never fully understood what was happening. Some were
well-meaning people who fell into the trap of hubris and failed to
reduce their disciples’ expectations to reasonable levels.
As we approach the 30th anniversary of the Jonestown tragedy,
we would all do well to recall its lessons and to learn from
them. Obama’s enthusiasts should remember that the President-Elect is
only human and cannot possibly meet all the expectations that have been
reposed in him.
That's right, the nutter who hauled his minions into the jungle and had them drink the toxic grape sugar water. According to Natelson, what is to be feared is that Barack Obama has the power to poison us. That's not 'taking a shot' at supporters. That's a shot at President-elect Obama. See, Professor Bob has already assumed that we mindless minions worship him, and he expects that Obama needs to temper our expectations. The object of his fear is not supporters, but rather Barack.
Now, when challenged on the ludicrous bull that Rob Natelson tends to spew on the Montana web-o-sphere, he tends to flee behind the mask of his credentials and learnitude. Thus he does here, claiming that his knowledge of history teaches him to be afraid. So let's us take a look at somewhat better analogues for Obama, as messianic figures, through history and see what happens.
Ronald Reagan. That turned out well. Except for that head-case who shot him hoping to impress an actress he was enamored of.
Bobby Kennedy. I don't think I need to go into specifics here.
Martin Luther King. A white-power asshole shot him on a hotel balcony.
John Kennedy. Murdered by a very screwed up pseudo-communist.
Abraham Lincoln. Guy who freed the slaves and preserved the union. Took a bullet to the back of the head.
Jean-Paul Marat. Stabbed to death by a supporter of the rival faction he helped quell with his intelligence and articulate nature.
Robespierre. Hero of the French revolution, until he went under the guillotine.
William Wallace. A minor noble thug who had a good day at Sterling. Beyond that, he was just pretty much a thug. The British feared him because people followed him into disobedience. What the British did to him upon his capture pretty well defies description.
Johanne d' Ark. A simple girl seen as the voice of God. Her enemies fried her.
Jesus the Nazarene. Rejected by his own sovereign, vilified by his religious peers, and put to a horrible death by the Roman occupiers of Palestine.
Is anybody else seeing a pattern, here? These people were all seen by their followers as someone who could bring change, who could right wrongs, who could help. And they were, for the most part, feared as 'messianic' by their enemies, both sane and insane. They were attacked because they were feared not by those whose expectations were disappointed, but by those who assumed what the expectations should or could be.
And this is why Professor Rob's posts are so damned disturbing. While hiding behind the worst form of concern trolling, he is inciting the very violence that these 'messianic' figures suffered. I'm certain that if Fearman had it to do over again, he'd draw a greater analogue to Hitler (HITLER!!!) than he would to Jim Jones. But it still wouldn't matter. He is begging people to be afraid. And that begging begets only one thing: violence. Now, he is directing towards the President-elect.
The eliminationist rhetoric towards Barack Obama is increasing. The danger is very real. And all Rob Natelson did was to pour more gas on the fire. He believes, quite clearly from his own words, that Obama is a 'messianic figure'. And he wants you scared of that. The simple logic for me is that Rob Natelson scares me more than Barack Obama. He is obviously intent on doing more harm.