06 April, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Someone tell me how the fuck this insane beast got reelected:

About a week ago, the Senate easily approved legislation to expand national community service programs. The House had already easily passed a similar measure, and the president is anxious to sign it into law. As part of the effort, the number of positions available in AmeriCorps will increase from 75,000 to 250,000.

The right's reaction has been fascinating. One right-wing blogger compared community service programs to "Hitler youth." Malkin called funding for the programs a "left-wing slush fund."

But, as usual, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) is in a league of her own. This was Bachmann's response over the weekend to the Serve America Act:

"It's under the guise of, quote, 'volunteerism.' But it's not volunteers at all. It's paying people to do work on behalf of government. [...]

"I believe that there is a very strong chance that we will see that young people will be put into mandatory service. And the real concerns is that there are provisions for what I would call re-education camps for young people, where young people have to go and get trained in a philosophy that the government puts forward and then they have to go to work in some of these politically correct forums."

Now, I feel kind of awkward fact-checking obvious madness, but I suppose it's worth noting two quick points. First, there's nothing in the legislation requiring public service. It's about expanding service opportunities for those who choose to pursue them.

Second, support for the expanded community service programs was bipartisan. The bill passed the Senate with 79 votes, and passed the House with 321 275 votes. Bachmann apparently believes some of her own conservative Republican colleagues backed an initiative to mandate public service and force young people into re-education camps that only exist in her twisted imagination.

It's like these people are all on hallucinogens. How much insanity does it take before they're thrown out of Congress and off the air and placed into mental institutions? Because this is genuine insanity. This is stuff you'd expect to hear only from paranoid schizophrenics, not elected officials.

And, of course, any time anyone tries to call them out on their paranoid bullshit, they believe it's a conspiracy to silence them:

You have to wonder if right-wingers will ever get it: Difference isn't a threat.

They were mewling like wounded hyenas this weekend after some of us pointed out that there was a direct connection between the irresponsible fearmongering in which they've been indulging since Barack Obama was elected and Saturday's tragedy in Pittsburgh.

Michelle Malkin, for example, whined to her cultlike audience that liberals were being mean to them: "You killed these police officers. It’s all your fault." As Oliver notes, the Instawanker has been thrashing about angrily too.

My favorite, though, was Neil Sheppard at Newsbusters:

Let's be clear what these attacks on folks like Beck, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity are all about -- the left-wing in our nation want to silence ALL opposing voices in the media, and they will do it using all tools at their disposal INCLUDING blaming journalists and political commentators for the criminal behavior of others.

This is a familiar refrain that comes up every time anyone raises a socially damning issue like this one: We're trying to oppress them, to silence their voices, by pointing out how morally and ethically bankrupt they are.

Actually, we're just pointing out how bankrupt they are. No one here has said anything about silencing their voices -- we just want them to face up to the consequences of their irresponsible rhetoric.

Not like we'll have much luck with that - they are, after all, batshit fucking insane - but you can't let crazy like this go unopposed.

I'm getting truly sick of folks on the left having to point out that the paranoid screaming from the right has no basis in reality:

As ThinkProgress recently noted, a small number of conspiracy-theory, far-right conservatives have raised concerns about Obama’s appointment of Harold Koh to be Legal Adviser to the Department of State. Their nutty views have been trumped up by Fox News and the NY Post, with extremist Glenn Beck leading the charge. This despite there being no basis in reality for the charges against Koh.

Today on his Fox News show, Beck ranted some more against Koh. Beck conceded, “There is a big debate on the internet, in the New York Times and everybody else, saying that I’m a crazy nut-job because of Harold Koh.”

No, Glenn. It's not because of Harold Koh. It's because you are a crazy nut-job, period.

Faux News has cornered the market on crazy nut-jobs, but they've got competition when it comes to the stupid:

Following up on an item from the weekend, President Obama, in a speech in Prague, outlined his vision of reducing nuclear stockpiles as part of the larger goal of eliminating all nuclear weapons. The race was on -- who would be the first high-profile mindless conservative to mock the idea? It looks like Joe Scarborough gets the prize.

This morning, on "Morning Joe," the former Republican congressman from Florida, with a child-like tone, equated eliminating nuclear arsenals with missiles that "can shoot dandelions," banning "hate," and altering the one-dollar bill to encourage Americans to "turn their frowns upside down." For Scarborough, the very idea of the U.S. launching a global initiative to rid the world of nuclear weapons is so ridiculous, it doesn't even deserve scrutiny. Instead of discussing the idea, the MSNBC personality jumped straight to mockery.

As is usually the case, Scarborough is painfully clueless.

Obama's proposal is very much in line with the bipartisan approach outlined two years ago by George Shultz, secretary of state in the Reagan administration; Henry Kissinger, secretary of state in the Nixon and Ford administrations; William Perry, secretary of defense in the Clinton administration; and Sam Nunn, a former chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.

It's also in line with the vision articulated by Ronald Reagan, who called for the abolishment of "all nuclear weapons," which he considered to be "totally irrational, totally inhumane, good for nothing but killing, possibly destructive of life on earth and civilization."

So I suppose Reagan wanted daisy-guns, too.

I can't even express my disgust with these people. I used to want to give the right wing a chance to stop being so bloody ridiculous, but all Cons have done is increased their stupidity exponentially. Every day, it seems, they get more and more outrageously idiotic, more paranoid, more delusional, and more shrill. They went beyond self-parody a long time ago. I don't think there's words for what they are now.

Bugger this. I want a better citizenry.


Cujo359 said...

I seem to recall it was a Republican who, back in the '80s, said "Screw nuclear arms limitation. Let's reduce the things." They don't make Republicans like they used to, that's for sure. Not that this was such a high standard.

Chris said...

The morning of the Pittsburg shooting I read an amazingly prescient opinion piece in the NYT, "Pitchforks and Pistols", by Charles Blow. It included a link to a (9-08)FactCheck article on an NRA advertising campaign which falsely accused Obama of wanting, among other things, to ban handguns altogether. That very afternoon Richard Poplawski ambushed and gunned down 3 police officers. From the AP account of the shooting: "Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon,” said Edward Perkovic, his best friend."

Now I don't believe people who offer honest opinions should ever be blamed for the actions of a nutcase like Poplawski. But the NRA spent 15 million dollars last election to pursue a false, irresponsible and cynical political campaign against Obama - and are just as guilty as if they actually pulled the trigger. Do any of these dickheads actually realize the extent of the damage they are causing?