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Simple Answers to Stupid Questions

Noam Scheiber on the financial reform bill now being written in Congress:

According to this same official, the administration doesn’t expect to have trouble finding one or two Republican senators to break a filibuster, even for a hawkish bill. “Frankly there’s a category of [Republican] who is fed up with the party on the issue. They’ve told me so privately,” the official says. “They don’t want to be caught on wrong side of it.” Which means Democrats have the ability to force Wall Street to move their way—not just on the consumer agency, but across the board. The only question is whether they use it.

No, they won't.


Mon, April 5, 2010 | link

Your Weekly Thersday

Al Gore... or ROMULANS?!???!!!


"I think if you asked most Americans which is the Bigger Threat, Global Warming or Romulans, they would say, "Less Filling!" I know I would, and if you're like me, and I know I am, you would also say, 'Tastes Great.'"



Mon, April 5, 2010 | link



Here’s the incomparable Michelle Bachman blaming the Democrats for the threats made against them by tea-partiers:


Opponents of HCR, you see, have been victimized by Democratic lawmakers who thwarted their efforts to kill the bill, so they have only themselves to blame if someone takes a shot at them. 


According to Erick Erickson:

First of all, I would point out that it was the Democrats who just took over 1/6th of the American economy despite upwards of 56% of the American public being opposed. And they expect people to . . . what . . . clap?

Tom Smith really brings the self-righteousness:

This latest Dem hysteria over the scariness of tea partiers is just beneath contempt.  Obviously nobody should do anything illegal, but, heck, you trample on people's basic rights in an area of intimate concern to them and put the financial survival of the nation at risk, and everybody is supposed to just lie down and be all polite about it?  What a bunch of cry-babies.  But dangerous crybabies.  They're making omelettes like crazy, breaking eggs by the gross, and when one of them squeaks, "I'm a little chick, please don't hurt me!" it's all, the right wing terrorists are on the loose!  Transparent, contemptible political theater and utter cluelessness about, you know, freedom.  People, as in the People, have every right to be angry, furious, shocked, appalled and disgusted by what Congress and our ambitious young prince have done.  And bringing the FBI into it?  Oh, the FBI is watching!  Everybody be careful that they not get too angry!  Or else who knows who might come knocking at 3 in the morning! It sure looks like a disgraceful attempt to intimidate those of us who don't like what the Dems have wrought, who hate it in fact, into silence.

I’m not sure what accounts for this.  Some of it seems cynical and calculated, as in Eric Cantor’s false claim that a bullet was fired into his district office, or Gateway Pundit's falsely representing a threatening phone call to Bachmann as a threat to Bachmann herself, instead of to her tea-partying cohort. 


It’s clear, though, that they really believe that threats and attacks directed at Democrats are deserved and that similar threats and attacks directed at Republicans are comparable instead of, you know, not so much.  I think that it comes down to a fundamental confusion about victims and aggressors.  Liberals are always the aggressors and conservatives are always the victims. 


This is something that digby , Glenn Greenwald, and others have talked about for years, which is a persistent culture and self-perception of victimhood.  Conservatives are persecuted by the dominant culture generally and by the media in particular.  It’s one of the most prominent characteristics of the tea-partiers.  It’s clear that they feel oppressed and silenced.  That was, after all, the thrust of their opposition to HCR.  President Obama and the Democratic Congress were thwarting the will of The People – never mind that The People gave Obama the White House with 53% of the popular vote and that the Democrats were given control of the Congress by a comparably large margin, in free and fair elections.


Just how radical this misperception is is on display in three videos I came across while checking the links on one of Malkin’s posts claiming that attacks on tea partiers have been under-reported by the dominant media.  (Not all three are linked to by Malkin.  I came across at least one by following a subsequent link). 


This video, for example, is billed as an attack on tea-party anti-immigrant protesters by a “Pro-Amnesty Socialist Group.”  If you watch closely, you’ll see a guy with a video camera walk up to the tea-partiers, say something, and then get chased down the street by a picket-wielding Hurley.  Meanwhile, his friend is thrown to the ground and beaten.   

As you can plainly see, it’s the socialist group of two who attack the tea-partiers – although I think I missed that part.


Here’s another one.  You’ll see “union thugs” from the Communications Workers of  America whom a Democratic Congressman has packed the town hall with.


You can always identify a union thug by his purple polo shirt.  So contrary to what you heard last August, it was union thugs that took over the congressional town meetings and shouted down the tea-partiers.


And another.  This is “An Obama Nut Goes Crazy on Tea Party,” helpfully subtitled “Tea Partiers are the Victims!”  Watch how the Obama Nut surrounds ten or so tea-partiers and “plays the race card” by pointing out that some of the other tea partiers' signs are racist, right after assuring the people he is talking to that he doesn't assume that they themselves are racist.  

The most telling moment in this video may be right at the beginning, when a woman complains that "That is your way of oppressing how we feel." 


It is about feelings for them.  It's not even ideology, because it's not intellectually coherent at all.  They subsist on Social Security and Medicaid, and blame The Government for high unemployment because it failed to make rules so that jobs wouldn't be exported to India.  And it's all tribal.  I don't care whether you think I'm a racist.  It's enough that you think the other tea-partiers are racist.  You're playing the race card to oppress how we feel.  


And, to them, it really is oppression.  Socialists attack tea-partiers by being chased down the street and beaten.  Union thugs dressed in neat, brightly colored polo shirts go to congressional town meetings and force the tea-partiers to shout them down.  Obama Nuts go wild defending themselves from a constantly advancing crowd of shouting Beckists.  The victimhood is what ties it all together -- because it has the capacity to skew perception itself 180 degrees off reality. 


Sun, April 4, 2010 | link

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