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Hat tip: Cato at Liberty
By David Boaz
The sight of middle-class Americans rallying to protest overtaxing, overspending, Wall Street bailouts, and government-directed health care scares the bejeezus out of a lot of people. The elite media are full of stories declaring the Tea Partiers to be racists, John Birchers, Glenn Beck zombies, and God knows what. So it’s a relief to read a sensible discussion (subscription required) by John Judis, the decidedly leftist but serious journalist-historian at the New Republic. Once the managing editor the journal Socialist Revolution, Judis went on to write a biography of William F. Buckley Jr. and other books, so he knows something about ideological movements in the United States. Judis isn’t happy about the Tea Party movement, but he warns liberals not to dismiss it as fringe, AstroTurf, or a front group for the GOP:
But the Tea Party movement is not inauthentic, and—contrary to the impression its rallies give off—it isn’t a fringe faction either. It is a genuine popular movement, one that has managed to unite a number of ideological strains from U.S. history—some recent, some older. These strains can be described as many things, but they cannot be dismissed as passing phenomena. Much as liberals would like to believe otherwise, there is good reason to think the Tea Party movement could exercise considerable influence over our politics in the coming years.
We can laugh at the desperate people who threaten violence against elected officials. But they are not the fools. We are.
March 31, 2010
by Chris Hedges
Photo Credit: cometstarmoon
hat tip: TruthDig.
The language of violence always presages violence. I watched it in war after war from Latin America to the Balkans. The impoverishment of a working class and the snuffing out of hope and opportunity always produce angry mobs ready to kill and be killed. A bankrupt, liberal elite, which proves ineffectual against the rich and the criminal, always gets swept aside, in times of economic collapse, before thugs and demagogues emerge to play to the passions of the crowd. I have seen this drama. I know each act. I know how it ends. I have heard it in other tongues in other lands. I recognize the same stock characters, the buffoons, charlatans and fools, the same confused crowds and the same impotent and despised liberal class that deserves the hatred it engenders.
“We are ruled not by two parties but one party,” Cynthia McKinney, who ran for president on the Green Party ticket, told me. “It is the party of money and war. Our country has been hijacked. And we have to take the country away from those who have hijacked it. The only question now is whose revolution gets funded.”
The Democrats and their liberal apologists are so oblivious to the profound personal and economic despair sweeping through this country that they think offering unemployed people the right to keep their unemployed children on their nonexistent health care policies is a step forward. They think that passing a jobs bill that will give tax credits to corporations is a rational response to an unemployment rate that is, in real terms, close to 20 percent. They think that making ordinary Americans, one in eight of whom depends on food stamps to eat, fork over trillions in taxpayer dollars to pay for the crimes of Wall Street and war is acceptable. They think that the refusal to save the estimated 2.4 million people who will be forced out of their homes by foreclosure this year is justified by the bloodless language of fiscal austerity. The message is clear. Laws do not apply to the power elite. Our government does not work. And the longer we stand by and do nothing, the longer we refuse to embrace and recognize the legitimate rage of the working class, the faster we will see our anemic democracy die.
by Will Durst
A few words of advice for all you anti-Obama conservatives out there. Quit it with the whole teleprompter fixation, would ya? Okay, okay, we get it, you don’t like the president. And you’ll throw the kitchen sink to attack him on everything under the sun; from being responsible for the recent rash of substandard Vermont maple syrup crops to the irksome infestation of grunge rock into country-western music, all the way to wormy pears. Everything he stands for is bad, and everything he’s against is good. Got it.
But in order to avoid major mortification, you’ve got to stop with the “overly dependent on the teleprompter” charge. Please. Really. You need a new argument. And trust me, there’s a veritable plethora of opportunities available. Why don’t you make fun of the way he cocks his head and looks Messianically upward like he’s trying to catch the whisper of God on an errant zephyr? Or you could profess incredulity at the global-cooling shade provided by his overlarge ears or remark on how he’s such a conciliator he probably clogs up the express lane for hours while dithering over the dilemma of “paper or plastic.”
I’m serious here, and only trying to help. You look like idiots. For one thing, Everybody uses a teleprompter. No. No. No. EVERYBODY. I’m talking CEOs, news anchors, dog-catchers, dog-throwers, late night talk-show hosts and every politician on the face of the planet. When Glenn Beck spits contempt at the president’s lame reliance on a teleprompter he’s reading his criticism… off a teleprompter.
A teleprompter is a tool. Like rolling notes. It’s the words that count. You might as well criticize cooks and chefs for their preposterous dependence on pots. What is it with firemen and their hoses? Ski poles are obviously snow crutches and anyone using them at the Olympics should be disqualified. And shot. Or are you just emulating Emerson by eschewing the foolish consistency that is the hobgoblin of little minds?
“I love Glenn Beck’s sanity, and I fear for it.”
Hat tip: Danny Shea, Huffington Post
posted at 9:25 AM on April 1, 2009.
Stephen Colbert ripped apart Fox News host (and New York Times cover boy) Glenn Beck Tuesday night … and it is worth watching.
Stephen Colbert ripped apart Fox News host (and New York Times cover boy) Glenn Beck Tuesday night, mocking his 9-12 project, meant to conjure the spirit of compassion and camaraderie Americans felt on September 12, 2001.
“We weren’t told how to behave that day after 9/11, we just knew,” Beck says to describe the project. “It was right, it was the opposite of what we feel today. Are you ready to be the person you were that day after 9/11, on 9/12?”
“Ready!” Colbert shouted, decked out in a gas mask, holding a gun, and wearing adult diapers.
Colbert then used a classic “Daily Show,” exposing the hypocrisy of Beck’s 9-12 project by highlighting comments he made on September 9, 2005.
“This is horrible to say, and I wonder if I’m alone in this,” Beck said on his radio program that day, “you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims’ families? I don’t hate all of them. I hate probably about 10 of them. But when I see a 9-11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up!’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. And we did our best for them.”
“The 9-12 project is not for families directly affected by 9/11, just people building their careers on it,” Colbert said.