08 May, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

We elect a black Democrat in a landslide, and the next thing you know, white Cons go batshit frothing insane. I mean, around-the-bend nuts. You didn't see blue states passing resolutions to ignore the federal government after eight years of Bush lies, torture, incompetence and warmongering. Yet here are the red states, after four months of a Democratic presidency, throwing screaming fits because - well, I'm not quite sure why. I think it's probably because they've had a complete break with reality:
These "sovereignty" resolutions in "red" states are generating a little too much support for our modern democracy. Hendrik Hertzberg takes a closer look at a stark-raving mad resolution out of Georgia.

[Georgia] has passed a resolution that mixes three parts inanity and one part prospective treason into a Kompletely Krazy Kocktail of militia-minded moonshine and wacko white lightning -- a resolution that not only endorses defiance of federal law but also threatens anarchy and revolution.

Really, you can't make this stuff up. You have to read it in full to believe it. Even then you can't believe it. You thought that "nullification" had been rendered inoperative by the Civil War? Well, think again. You considered secession a pre-Appomattox kind of thing? Well, reconsider. You assumed that John C. Calhoun was a dead parrot? Well, turns out he was only resting.

The resolution is written in a mock eighteenth-century style, ornate and pompous.... But the substance is even nuttier than the style.

The substance, if you want to call it that, delves into "nullification" theory (Georgia can nullify federal laws it doesn't like), and suggests federal gun-control laws can lead to the disbandment of the United States.

The measure passed the Georgia state Senate 43 to 1. Similar measures have been embraced by lawmakers in other states, primarily in the South, and all of this comes after the governor of Texas spoke publicly about secession. Other governors, including South Carolina's Mark Sanford, are reportedly warming up to Civil War-era ideas.

Hilzoy took a closer look at Georgia's ravings, and discovered something interesting:
First, while Hertzberg writes that the resolution is written in "a mock eighteenth-century style, ornate and pompous", I thought it was an unnervingly good imitation of eighteenth-century prose. And not just in general: in referring to the Constitution as "a compact under the style and title of a Constitution for the United States", the 'style and title' part struck me as pitch-perfect.

Second, there is something very peculiar about its content. Consider this passage:

"That to this compact each State acceded as a State, and is an integral party, its co-States forming, as to itself, the other party: that the government created by this compact was not made the exclusive or final judge of the extent of the powers delegated to itself; since that would have made its discretion, and not the Constitution, the measure of its powers; but that, as in all other cases of compact among powers having no common judge, each party has an equal right to judge for itself, as well of infractions as of the mode and measure of redress."

Where, I wondered, is the Supreme Court in all this? The Supreme Court determines the constitutional limits on the exercise of federal power. It has the power to nullify federal statutes. Therefore, it obviously puts a check on the executive and legislative branches. And while one might think that it has interpreted the Constitution wrongly, it's very odd to write as though it didn't exist, and did not have the authority to keep the other branches of the federal government within constitutional limits.

It occurred to me that there was a simple explanation for all this. So I googled a distinctive phrase, and lo! it turns out that the Georgia resolution is a lightly modified version of Thomas Jefferson's Resolutions Related To The Alien And Sedition Acts.

[snip]

It matters
when you write something. The Articles of Confederation were not ideal, but when they were written, they were a real solution to a real problem. Proposing them now would be idiotic. Likewise, what makes the Georgia resolution a Kompletely Krazy Kocktail is that it parrots Jefferson's words as though we had not arrived at a solution to that problem nearly two centuries ago. But we have, and acting as though that solution does not exist, or as though it does not make state nullification both superfluous and a recipe for lawlessness, is absurd.
That's right. They ripped off Thomas Jefferson, ignored a major part of early American history, and think they're going to get their way by stamping their feet and screaming until they turn blue (well, cyanotic, anyway).

Tell me why we bother to keep these idiots in the Republic? If they hate it so much, fine. Cut 'em off. Take away all of their federal funding, tell 'em to pack their things, and send them on their merry way, to survive or fail on their own. I'll bet you they don't even make it to the end of the street before they're running home crying for Mommy.

As further evidence that Cons have gone completely round the bend, consider this factoid. They're still on about mustard:
During the May 6 edition of her radio show, Ingraham said of Obama: "I don't even like the way the man orders a hamburger. ... What kind of man orders a cheeseburger without ketchup but Dijon mustard?" She later added of Obama: "See, he was trying to do this whole thing with Biden -- 'We're like the regular people, we're like every other guy, you know, with our -- on our lunch break, we're going to go grab a burger, two guys, two bros.' " Like Hannity, Ingraham played a clip from a Grey Poupon commercial in which an actor asked, "Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?" Ingraham then remarked: "That would have been more appropriate." Ingraham's remarks were highlighted by The Fox Nation on May 7...

[snip]

On the May 7 edition of The Rush Limbaugh Show, Steyn said of Obama's condiment selection: "He's amazing, Obama. This coverage -- he's a regular guy. He eats a hamburger with Dijon mustard -- Dijon mustard. John Kerry couldn't get away with that stuff, but he makes it seem like just like a regular thing to do. Now there's -- I see that some of the left-wing commentators are saying, 'Why are people making a fuss about the Dijon mustard?' but that's just an example of the way Obama is able to enlighten us." Later in the program, Steyn stated: "I deeply resent Barack Obama crashing in as the Grey Poupon spokesperson, because that has been the lifesaver for non-American voiceover artists in this country for years -- getting the gig doing the Grey Poupon voiceover." He added: "[I]f you can't outsource Grey Poupon to foreigners, what can you outsource? And instead now he's apparently the big Grey Poupon spokesperson, putting it all -- putting it all over his hamburger. Barack Obama -- that was -- what was that? That was yesterday, Barack Obama had a hamburger. I don't know what he may do today to prove -- to pass for human."
Media Matters is calling it "Dijon Derangement Syndrome." A truer characterization has never before been made.

These assclowns spew secessionist bullshit and go into foaming hysterics over condiments, and then complain we're not taking them seriously enough:
When major reports are released, party leaders routinely put out public statements, hoping reporters will pick up on their spin. Sure enough, when new unemployment figures were released this morning, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) quickly released his best pitch. I was curious as to what he'd come up with.

Most of the statement is made up of the usual palaver. Boehner denounces "borrow and spend" ideas, despite the fact that Republicans have embraced "borrow and spend" for years. He insists the approach embraced by the president "isn't helping," though it seems a little premature to draw such a conclusion.

But here's the entertaining part:

"Washington's arrogance must be replaced by a new spirit of bipartisan cooperation to improve job prospects for millions of Americans. Republicans have taken every opportunity to reach out to the President and find areas of agreement. We offered a stimulus bill that created twice the jobs at half the price as the Democrats' bill. Our budget alternative curbed spending, created jobs by cutting taxes, and controlled the debt. And we've proposed legislation to help Americans' rebuild their nest eggs and college savings for their children.

Unfortunately, the Democrats in control of Congress have chosen a go-it-alone approach. It's time for the President and the Democratic leadership in Congress to reverse course and embrace this opportunity for real bipartisan action to help put more Americans back to work."

Steve Benen took those "arguments" apart, once he got himself picked up off the floor, dusted off, and the cramps worked out of his abdominal muscles. Which leads me to a public health announcement:
Never subject yourself to Con statements if you are not securely seated. People who have had hernias or are at risk for developing hernias should not read or view Con statements. Women who are nursing, pregnant, or may become pregnant should just stay the fuck away.
I wake up every day dreading the exponential increase in stupidity that I'm sure to see. It would be nice if, for just one day, the Cons could ease off the crazy. Alas, it's not likely to happen in our lifetimes.

2 comments:

USpace said...

.
The Left is just keeping this 'Mustard story' alive, the Right had a chuckle and moved on. There are many much more important things to criticize this administration about. The Left doesn't want people focusing on the big stuff, because that's where it's most dangerous to them. The Truth will bring them down, God willing.
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absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
deify your dear leaders

they are supernatural
with magical qualities

.
absurd thought -
God of the Universe says
don't protest tax increases

or support states' rights
YOU RIGHT-WING EXTREMIST
.

Efrique said...

Obama admires Lincoln

If the cons keep the crazy stuff up, his Presidency might end up being a lot more like Lincoln's than he would have hoped...