I’ve been wanting to try my hand at one of these “Hitler learns…” videos since the meme started last year. The historic passage of health care reform gave me just the excuse I needed to give it a shot. Hopefully you’ll have as much fun watching as I had editing. Enjoy!
To date I’ve not heard someone so well define what’s wrong with the conservative movement, specifically the extremists who have hijacked their party. Franklin Schaeffer, former conservative author of Crazy For God hits the nail squarely on the head and gives us a good idea of what’s in store in the days, weeks and months ahead. Watch the entire clip.
I find it fascinating that the right can be so upset with Obama after only 6 months on the job. We’re already at the point where threats are being made and violence could erupt at any moment. All this and the President hasn’t even completed his first year in office! The fall from power must have hit certain people in this country harder than the rest of us could expect. It’s the only way I can explain the absolute fanaticism and hate we’re seeing directed at Obama. That, and of course the fact that he’s not white and doesn’t have a typical American upbringing. A large portion of them would rather spend time asking for Obama’s birth certificate than trying to actually help the country.
In their own minds many conservatives have managed to ignore the fact that they lost the last election. America decided to try a new direction (for at least 2 years) and see what happens. I’m not opposed to getting their input if they would simply have some to give, but they don’t. Since November the GOP has been saying “No!” and playing to their base each and every day since Obama took office. Now they’ve decided that since they can’t offer any real solutions, and since they were relegated to minority status for the foreseeable future, they’ve going to throw a perpetual hissy fit.
The scariest part is that we’re only now seeing the tip of the “hate” iceberg.
Ask any parent what’s one of the first things they teach their kids and they’ll probably say “Don’t call people names.” It’s a lesson we all learn and one that helps keep discourse civil between functioning adults. Although we all do it occasionally, there are some that wield it so often it eventually becomes a crutch.
Right-wing radio host Rush Limbaugh is one such person. Rush has never been known for his ability to discuss topics like an adult, but over at Wikipedia they actually have an entire page dedicated to Rush’s on-air jargon that he uses to belittle and berate others. You can read the entire list, but here are just a few of the more egregious examples Rush uses on his daily show.
• Banking Queen – Barney Frank. Reference to Frank’s homosexuality, his seat on the House Financial Services Committee and the controversy surrounding his views that there were no problems with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Rush would often accompany this with a parody of the ABBA song, “Dancing Queen”.
• Bela Pelosi – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), a pun on the name of Hungarian film star Bela Lugosi, best known for his portrayal of Count Dracula.
• Benedict Arnold – Nevada Senator Harry Reid, after the famous soldier and traitor.
• Feminazi – “Feminazis” are those that Limbaugh claims are so devoted to feminist ideology (and the pro-choice cause in particular) that they are as repressive and hostile to personal freedom as members of the Nazi party were in Germany.
• Nostrilitis, Nostrildamus – Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA).
• Senator Dick Turban – Senator Richard Durbin, (D-IL). Limbaugh began using this moniker after Durbin made controversial remarks on the Senate floor which according to Durbin’s critics amounted to a comparison of the alleged abuse of detainees at Guantanamo Bay by U.S. military personnel, with the war crimes of Pol Pot and Hitler.
• “Osama” Obama – President Barack Obama. Limbaugh uses this alternate name for Obama as a reference to Senator Ted Kennedy’s (D-MA) mis-speak during a luncheon at the National Press Club (Jan 11, 2005). Kennedy, making mention of Obama’s large win during the 2004 elections, stumbled over Obama’s first name, stating “Osama bin Laden, Osama Obama, Obamamam.”
Each and every day that passes it becomes painfully clear how far the conservative movement in this country has fallen. Still reeling from their massive losses on November 4th, right-wingers seem to have thrown all caution to the wind and embraced anything and everything extremist. Of course, not all of them feel so passionately about the dark road Glenn Beck, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and others are steering them down. But as conservative author and blogger, Rick Moran is discovering, if you dare to speak reason in the midst of a pack of rabid dogs, you’re bound to get eaten.
Moran made an honest and tough to swallow plea to conservatives with a post on April 8th titled “Glenn Beck and the Radical Right” in which he breaks with the rank and file and calls Beck and his ilk what they are – kooks. He also rightfully posits that one can disagree with our President on many things without having to resort to cries of “fascism” or “tyranny” like so many have done these last few weeks.
“Beck worries me. Conservatives worry me. I worry about myself. I feel trapped in a huge ball of cotton, trying gamely to make my way out but don’t know which direction to start pushing. I am losing contact with those conservatives who find Beck anything more than a clown – and an irrational one at that. Same goes for those who worship at the altar of Rush, Hannity, Coulter, and the whole cotton candy conservative crowd. I can’t take those people seriously. The fact that they are popular mystifies me.”
It’s obvious reading his recent posts, Moran is struggling to bring order to political chaos. He sounds like the one sane man shouting for calm amidst a firestorm of political nihilism. But the worst part comes in a post just 2 days later, after he’s evidently taken a savage beating at the hands of his conservative readers.
“Only The Glad Game for me. I will take note that Rush is a funny, smart, real conservative who is almost always right and who conservatives would do well to take whatever advice he offers. I will wax poetic about Ann Coulter and her charm, her wit, her balanced critiques. Same goes for Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, and all the other popular conservatives.
I see the error of my ways. And this goes for anything I say about the GOP too. No more dire pronouncements of electoral disaster. From here on out, it’s tea parties and triumph at the polls for me. I promise to ignore polls that don’t have Republicans sweeping to victory in 2010. And I will enthusiastically cover the tea parties that are going to change America.
Although he obviously writes with his tongue planted firmly in his cheek, I can’t help but think that moderate conservatives like Moran are a dying breed. Republicans have been lead up the garden path by the likes of Rove, Bush, Limbaugh and others for so long that they can’t bring themselves to find their own way. What’s worse, their frustration over losing in the last election cycle and seething resentment of Obama keeps them from recognizing are they are self-destructing. It would be better for all Americans if they would grow a pair, wake up and cast off the dead weight. Doing so however, takes real courage and that’s something that, at least for now, the right is sadly lacking.
UPDATE: There might be hope for conservatives yet.
How anyone can listen to one word that comes out of this hate-spewing, hard-core right-wing loon is beyond me. Conservatives always try to make comparisons to Olberman or Schultz when you talk about Rush, Hannity and their ilk, but they don’t even come close. No one on the left would do to a veteran who served in two branches of the military what Rush Limbaugh does to this caller. This loyal GOP voter simply had had enough of Rush’s bullshit and decided to call him on it.
Rather than take his lumps and move on, Limbaugh decides to cut him off, berate and insult him and the entire United States military in one fell swoop. Our brave men and women in uniform deserve far better than anything this neocon has to offer. In addition, no one on the right who listens to this man has a moral leg to stand on when accusing the left of not loving their country or the military. Listen to the whole thing, it’s simply disgusting.
On Monday, conservative Mark Frum wrote the following in his weekly column:
On the one side, the president of the United States: soft-spoken and conciliatory, never angry, always invoking the recession and its victims. This president invokes the language of “responsibility,” and in his own life seems to epitomize that ideal: He is physically honed and disciplined, his worst vice an occasional cigarette. He is at the same time an apparently devoted husband and father. Unsurprisingly, women voters trust and admire him.
And for the leader of the Republicans? A man who is aggressive and bombastic, cutting and sarcastic, who dismisses the concerned citizens in network news focus groups as “losers.” With his private plane and his cigars, his history of drug dependency and his personal bulk, not to mention his tangled marital history, Rush is a walking stereotype of self-indulgence – exactly the image that Barack Obama most wants to affix to our philosophy and our party. And we’re cooperating!
That didn’t sit well with fellow conservative radio talk show host Mark Levin who launched into a 10 minute tirade on his show on Tuesday on how Frum was out of line. Levin used words like “putz”, “a-hole” and “frat boy” to describe Frum. Turns out Frum’s 15 year old son heard the nasty things Levin was broadcasting and attempted to call into the show to take the radio personality to task. Levin wouldn’t let him through cause he was just a kid, but he did later let Frum himself on and the result was a 30 minute slice of Republican hell. If you enjoy listening to two right-wing ideologues ripping each other apart as I do, then this audio clip is for you. You can read Frum’s account of the dust-up on his blog.
I find it utterly hilarious that the GOP and their neocon allies have fallen so far so fast. The entire party is in disarray and with each passing hour they seem to bury their heads even further into the muck. Oh sure they’ll eventually climb back up, probably stronger than they were before to take their rightful place in American politics. But as of this very moment, we can all see them for what they are and what they are not offering – solutions.
They have no vested interests in helping this country get back on its feet, even if it means swallowing just the smallest amount of pride. No, they are only concerned with currying favor with the base and making sure everyone who disagrees with them knows how wrong they are. I’d like to slap some sense into the entire lot, but then the dog and pony show would be over, and where’s the fun in that?
Even though I have no intention of apologizing to the him, I realize there may be some local conservative bloggers or politicans that may have said some off-the-cuff things about Rush they regret. Even if they haven’t said anything nasty about the GOP leader yet, they eventually will and might want to get out ahead of the curve. That’s why I’m doing my part to ease their pain by posting this “I’m sorry, Rush” banner graphic courtesy of AmericaBlog to help speed their reconciliation with El Rushbo.
Stick it right at the top of your site so that Rush knows you’re not one of those left-wing, pinko-commie feminazis that are eroding the very fabric of our society. Then log onto Omaha Steaks and order up the 10 pack of 7oz Filet Mignons and have it sent to his house, along with the finest Cubans you can afford. Maybe you’ll have the peace of mind that comes from knowing you’re a blue-balled coward who stands proudly with Limbaugh in hoping the President, and the rest of us living in the United States of America, fails miserably. And that’s really all that matters isn’t it?
So after yesterday’s celebration, today Barack Obama got down to business. Not wanting to waste any time, Obama took off his coat, sat down in the Oval Office and started doing good things immediately. In case you missed it, here’s some of the awesome stuff President Obama got accomplished on day one:
• In order to set a good example for the country during this time of economic crisis, Obama froze the pay for many members of his administration making over $100,000 a year. Unlike the previous administration, evidently the buck stops here.
• Obama introduced sweeping new ethics reform for how lobbyists can function in his administration. The new rules Obama laid out seem pretty obvious now, but for some reason were never put into practice by previous administrations.
• Put the wheels in motion to get Gitmo closed within a year. Given how poorly the military tribunals there have been received by world governments, human rights groups and Americans at large, restoring captive’s rights toward a fair trial is critical to regaining the moral high ground.
• He pissed off Rush Limbaugh by issuing a Presidential memo restoring transparency to any and all White House records. Obama made it a point of distinction that his administration would function under the notion of more openness, not less. Secrecy, while important, should only be invoked in matters of national security or high sensitivity. Rush said on his radio show today that he’s worried the new openness will make it easier for people to dig up Bush misdeeds. You don’t say Rush, really?
• Obama re-took the oath of office late today after the botched job by Justice Roberts during the inauguration. Although he most likely didn’t have to, he none-the-less did and thereby corked any possible dispute that might have arisen from the incorrect oath he took yesterday. Obama’s willingness to correct a small error like this speaks volumes about how different he is from George W. Bush.
Five positive steps in one day. Not bad Mr. President, not bad. If you keep this up, you just may live up to all the hype. Color me impressed.
You’d think that after the pasting they received in November, the GOP would be busy figuring out why they are so out of touch with the American people. Of course, you’d be wrong. Apparently Republicans are interested in alienating even more of the country as they insist on playing to the hard base.
Witness the arrogant and bigoted tone of one RNC Chair candidate, Chip Saltsman. Saltsman sent out copies of a song entitled “Barack the Magic Negro” as part of his Christmas greeting. The song, originally publicized by Rush Limbaugh earlier this year, came under fire from the media and anyone with a brain for its racist overtones. Somehow Saltsman saw fit to make the tune part of his holiday message. All this with less than 30 day to go until the inauguration of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. To top it off, in the 20+ hours since this story first broke, only one high-ranking Republican has condemned Saltsman’s actions. Just one.
If the GOP has any hope of regaining the respect it lost over the past eight years, they must begin by pulling their heads out of their collective asses. It’s bad enough making a joke by calling someone a “magic negro”, but when that person is the next President of the United States and you actually defend said remarks, you deserve huge helpings of ridicule and scorn.
Sadly, this is yet more evidence that the right has no interest in doing what’s best for the country. Until this dipstick stunt, the prime example of the GOP’s pandering attitude was McCain pulling Palin out of obscurity as his running mate. Saltsman’s actions flow from the natural progression of this costly strategy and I for one hope they keep it up. Their foolish bravado is laying the foundation for a long-term Democratic majority the right hasn’t seen in decades. Saltsman says his song was “just a joke”, but the really funny part is the joke’s on him.
UPDATE: Peter Yarrow, one of the artists behind “Puff the Magic Dragon”, speaks out on the whole affair and hits the nail right on the head. He writes “Obama is not a candidate. He is the President-Elect, and this song insults the office of the Presidency, the people who voted for him, as well as those who did not — and taking a children’s song and twisting it in such vulgar, mean-spirited way, is a slur to our entire country and our common agreement to move beyond racism.”
UPDATE II: Simon Rosenberg, head of the Democratic organization NDN, is quoted in a recent Huffington Post piece as saying the GOP just don’t get it. “The core play in the GOP playbook for 44 years has been the magic negro playbook, whether it is Willie Horton, or welfare queens and tax and spend, or the way they have dealt with immigration… they don’t have a play in their playbook that doesn’t start with the exploitation of racial divisions. They are going to have to reject 44 years of GOP politics in order to have any chance in the 21st century America.”