16 September, 2009

Happy Hour Discurso

Today's opining on the public discourse.

Could Teabaggers possibly get any more pathetic than they already are? Oh, yes, they can!
The "debate" over the size of the crowd for the right-wing protests in D.C. on Saturday have been painful to watch the last few days. Absurd claims and bogus photographs abound. This morning, Glenn Beck said a "university" put the number at 1.7 million, but he couldn't remember which one.

All of this has been embarrassing for a few days now, but the story didn't become farcical until today.

Yesterday on his radio program, while discussing the crowds at this weekend's 9/12 protests, Glenn Beck claimed that the London Telegraph "quote[d] a source from the Park Service, the National Park Service, saying that it is the largest march on Washington ever." This led to a good deal of confusion here, as the Telegraph article contains no such quote. Just another case of Beck making things up? Actually, the story behind this turns out to be much funnier than we could have anticipated.

Several conservative blogs have been quoting National Park Service spokesman "Dan Bana" as saying the 9/12 protest was "the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever." This appears to be a repurposing of this quote from David Barna (who, unlike Dan Bana, appears to be a real person):

"David Barna, a Park Service spokesman, said the agency did not conduct its own count. Instead, it will use a Washington Post account that said 1.8 million people gathered on the US Capitol grounds, National Mall, and parade route. 'It is a record,' Barna said. 'We believe it is the largest event held in Washington, D.C., ever.'"


The problem, of course, is that the quote conservatives are so excited about referenced the Obama inauguration. The article that generated all of this right-wing excitement has a headline that reads, "Inaugural crowd size reportedly D.C. record." The very first sentence in the article that the conservative bloggers relied on reads, "The National Park Service says it will rely on a media report that says 1.8 million people attended President Obama's inauguration."

They're so beyond pathetic now they've pretty much become the Platonic Idea of pathetic, the basis from which all other pathetic is measured. I don't know if it's possible to medicate a movement, but all of these people need antipsychotic drugs, like, now.

I mean, seriously. What else can you conclude about a group of people who run around screaming about the evil Marxist dictator in office and how they have to fight the horrible communist takeover of America - while sporting a logo based on classic communist designs:

Taxpayer March

Ever since Glenn Beck took to the Fox television airwaves recently to offer a bizarre reading of the art commissioned 70 years ago for New York's Rockefeller Center, I've been puzzled by the graphic design element of his 9-12 Project. The logo (pictured) for his affiliated groups' rally in Washington, D.C., this weekend derives from century-old communist, socialist and other left-wing designs.

Those were the motifs he railed against in his Rockefeller rant.

For the logo, three raised and clenched red fists are superimposed over the U.S. Capitol. Obviously the bloody fist represents the tea-baggers' themes of unity and resistance.


Unity and resistance are what the fist represented in 1917, when it was first employed by the Industrial Workers of the World, a union organization founded by socialists. And in the 1940s, when it stood for various nations' communist party organizations.

Heh heh heh whoops.

These are folks in serious need of some edimication. Happily, C&L's Jon Perr is happy to do some teaching:
Back in April, the Daily Show's Jon Stewart offered some sound advice for frothing at the mouth Tea Baggers, "I think you might be confusing tyranny with losing." Now five months after their Tax Day outburst, thousands of vein-popping Obama opponents descended Saturday on Washington for Tea Party II. But while Glenn Beck's furious followers alternately slandered the President as a "fascist," a "communist" and worse, they remained unencumbered by either the thought process - or the truth.

Here, then, are 10 Lessons for Tea Baggers:

  1. President Obama Cut Your Taxes
  2. The Stimulus is Working
  3. First Ronald Reagan Tripled the National Debt...
  4. ...Then George W. Bush Doubled It Again
  5. Republican States Have the Worst Health Care
  6. Medicare is a Government Program
  7. Barack Obama is Not a Muslim
  8. Barack Obama was Born in the United States
  9. 70,000 Does Not Equal 2,000,000
  10. The Economy Almost Always Does Better Under Democrats
We'll be back later to ask, "But is our Teabaggers learning?"

They could certainly learn a lot from the 65% of Americans smart enough to know a Bush mess when they see one:

Tom Coburn:

Voters understand that our economic challenges hardly started with George W. Bush, and that at some point the administration has to stop blaming the last guy in the Oval Office and start providing real solutions.

Guess it's not "some point" yet.


As for that whole "not blaming the last guy in the Oval Office," I'm with Steve Benen: we should never forget who fucked everything (and I mean, everything) up.

And while you're at it, go find out why Steve said, "Just think, if you're not reading conservative blogs, you're missing out on all kinds of fascinating insights you probably won't find anywhere else." Go on. You know you need the laugh.

And, finally, Rep. Pete Stark gets a standing ovation here in the cantina for this brilliant performance:

Rep. Pete Stark (D-Calif.), told an anti-reform attendee at a recent town hall meeting that he wouldn't "dignify" the man by peeing on his leg.

The elderly citizen had gone on a long diatribe about the failures of government-run health care, to much applause and enthusiastic shouting from the crowd. He concluded with: "Mr. Congressman, don't pee on my leg and tell me it's raining."

"I wouldn't dignify you by peeing on your leg, it wouldn't be worth wasting the urine," Stark shot back.
It's no longer just Barney Frank the Teabaggers need fear.

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