Tuesday, January 11, 2011

No Shame

Missouri man brandishes shotgun,
demands food for pregnant wife
even though restaurant is closed.

What we commonly refer to as the “Right Wing” has blood on their hands, and what is worse they have NO SHAME! I hate what happened in Tucson and I hate this story. But do not allow yourself to be misled, this shooting was political (no matter how confused and psychotic), and both sides of the political spectrum are not equally guilty. There is no doubt which side of the political spectrum has been guilty for years of spewing forth hate and suggesting violence. There is no doubt whose side Rush Limbaugh, Bill O’Reilly, Hannity, Beck, Coulter, and others are on. There is no doubt which party Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, Sharon Angle, and others of their ilk represent. There has not been and is no equivalent bunch of vicious hate-mongers and outrageous liars on the left, none. MSNBC, while liberal, is not the equivalent of Fox “News.”

Predictably the right wing spokespersons are trying to spin this horrible event as having nothing to do with them. Limbaugh even has the gall to try to blame Democrats for the attempted assassination of a Democratic Congressperson. Fox is trying to convince people that Sarah Palin is actually the victim! Others are claiming there is no relationship between the vitriolic language and the murderous act. If you want to understand this relationship I suggest you see the truly insightful piece, “Surely Some Revelation is at Hand,” on Truthdig today. You should also see William Rivers Pitt’s fine piece, “The Wrath of Fools: An Open Letter to the Far Right,” on Buzzflash. I have never been particularly upset because of the existence of people like Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, and others like them. They are, after all, merely individuals with little or no talent who make their very generous livings simply by saying outrageous things on a daily basis. What truly bothers me is the fact they have audiences, there are thousands, even millions of people, who actually seem to believe their outrageous lies and bask in the hatred they spew. This is not only difficult for me to believe but frightening in its implications for our nation.

American politics has always been a dirty business and there have always been insults passed back and forth between candidates, and even open hostilities between business and the working class, but I do not believe there is any genuine equivalent of what has been happening in American politics in the past few years. When the Republican Party turned into a criminal enterprise during the Clinton administration, attempting to defeat him by dirty tricks when they could not otherwise do so, it signaled a new and more unprecedented political strategy. Never before had a sitting President been subjected to impeachment because of his private sex life (had this been so President John Kennedy would not have lasted a month). Granted this was an act of desperation on the part of the Republicans who could not make their other false charges stick, it was still a precedent, and, in my opinion, began a new era in American politics where “anything goes,” no matter how despicable. “Roviation” became respectable.

The next truly unprecedented and underhanded move came during the 2000 election when the Supreme Court intervened to give the election to George W. Bush when he would not truly have been the winner had they not committed this unprecedented and unconstitutional act (an act so terribly outrageous even they announced it could not be used as a precedent). This, however, was only part of the problem. When the “brown shirts” of the far right traveled to Florida and physically stopped the legal counting of ballots we should have realized that Fascism had come to America. These people should have been arrested and charged with interfering with an election, you can’t even stand too close to a voting station and electioneer, so why should this have been allowed.

It’s been downhill for our politics ever since that shameful event. Right wing radio and TV has relentlessly demonized “Liberals” and President Obama, their spokespersons have talked of using “2nd amendment solutions,” citizens have been asked to “reload,” right-wingers have begun carrying guns to political events, threatening to bring them loaded “next time,” Sarah Palin has put Democratic candidates in her “cross-hairs,” and on and on. There has been no lack of venom and hatred from the “right,” that has accelerated since Obama was elected President (he’s Black, you know). Some have warned for a long time this would eventually lead to violence and it has, not only in Tucson but in other places as well. But the right will and is doing everything possible to distance themselves from the result of their own activities and guilt, to convince us they are innocent of any wrongdoing. At the very least they are partly responsible for scrambling this young man’s brain to the point where he carried out their fantasies for them. Had it been President Obama they would be dancing in the streets (perhaps secretly, but celebrating nonetheless). The behavior of the right wing, and even the Republican Party in general, has been for the past three decades absolutely despicable. Try to name even one thing they have done to better the lives of ordinary Americans. And consider what it means when one of their most powerful leaders has announced publicly their primary goal and purpose is to make certain President Obama will be a one term President. I think this is contemptible almost beyond belief and yet, they have no shame, they will continue until they are stopped, And who, pray tell, is going to do that?

I have nothing but contempt for the kind of governor who is afraid, for whatever reason, to follow the course that he knows is best for the State; and as for the man who sets private friendship above the public welfare - I have no use for him either.

The hunting of wild pigs with swords is said to be a growing sport.

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