Respectful Insolence

One more reason why John Stewart and his writers are geniuses is here, where he examines the “Tea Parties” we in the U.S. were subjected to three days ago, including one in my own town:

How is it that to the right comparing Bush to Hitler was overblown and unfair over a great many issues, including the war in Iraq (a criticism that I actually agreed with, even though I was thoroughly opposed to the war–think Hitler Zombie), but putting Obama’s head on a Seig Heil-ing Hitler body is perfectly fine over taxes? In fact, I had thought of doing a Hitler Zombie piece on the sign below (briefly shown in the clip above):

i-5e5151bdb5d05b4bc5c333f7b74e402a-ObamaHitler.jpg

But that’s pretty standard (and brain dead) Republican fare these days. I thought it couldn’t get worse, but I was wrong. Routine Obama/Hitler references aren’t enough. They were far eclipsed by this sign:

i-8f1cae3c3508152c3cb938db1e0e5ba2-ObamaOven.jpg

Because, you know, not making the Bush tax cuts permanent is exactly like the mass extermination of Jews by Hitler. Spot on analogy, there, Einstein.

You see now why the Hitler Zombie didn’t bother to make an appearance? He already had as the protests were being organized by FOX NEWS, leaving not two neurons to rub together between all the people who were carrying those preprinted Obama/Hitler signs.

i-883b59f29f08c0deababef9652fce28f-WhiteSlavery.jpg

There are certainly legitimate criticisms to make of the stimulus package as potentially being too large and generating too much additional debt to be added to our already staggering national debt. There are even more legitimate criticisms of how the various bailouts the government has been handing out to banks are more likely to help the proverbial Wall Street than Main Street (God, I hate that cliche, but got sucked in to using it anyway).

But comparing Obama to Hitler and his policies to advocating white slavery just shows the hypocrisy of the right. The right made political hay every opportunity it got when the left compared Bush to Hitler, labeling the comparison hopelessly and irredeemably offensive from 2002-2008. I actually agreed and detested such overblown analogies. I agree now that comparing Obama to Hitler is at least equally offensive and find it amazing how, after only three months of an Obama Administration, the right apparently now considers it perfectly fine and dandy to use the same gambit that they railed against mere months ago. I guess the Hitler gambit is fine, as long as it’s used against politicians conservatives don’t agree with, just as certain elements of the left now appear equally hypocritical in complaining to high heaven about the Obama/Hitler analogies after having so joyously used the same gambit against Bush so recently, particularly in antiwar protests. (John Stewart is not among them, by the way; I recall him making fun of the Bush/Hitler analogies as well.)

Be that as it may, truly John Stewart has nailed it. The conservative movement has morphed into what the right considered the loony left.

In the meantime, the protesters at one particular “Tea Party” were pretty darned brain dead, as John Oliver so hilariously showed:

Comments

  1. #1 Mandos
    April 18, 2009

    Except the point is, the “loony left” was correct out of the gate, as it were, on major issues like Iraq…

  2. #2 mercurianferret
    April 18, 2009

    Hey Mandos, why are you supporting Hitler!?!?!

    Oh, wait, that doesn’t even make sense. What worried me about much of these so-called “Tea Parties” was that it was mostly whites that were at these protests; whites that were not only anti-taxes, but also anti-administration, pro-gun, and calling for revolution.

    It only takes one person with a little training to pull a trigger, and there are a lot of people in the crowds last Wednesday that own guns and have a little training in their operation. To that extent, I’m in agreement with the DHS when they said that one of the greatest threats to this country is the extreme right-wing fringe.

  3. #3 foole
    April 18, 2009

    @Mandos

    Being right doesn’t excuse making poor arguments (for instance, comparing a politician you don’t like to Hitler). And besides a stopped clock is correct twice a day.

    Sadly, the problem is that an honest discourse and debate is shunned. We Americans much prefer to have our media cover the extreme extremes who rely not on reason, but vitriol. After all, it’s more entertaining.

  4. #4 Akusai
    April 18, 2009

    What also kills me is the same people that were calling my friends “traitors” for having anything with “Not My President” on it during the last eight years are now buying up the exact same bumper stickers and engaging in even worse stuff like the above and the “Hope He Fails” shirts I’ve seen, but can somehow justify it and cannot see their own raging hypocrisy.

    I had the unique pleasure a few weeks ago of ironically telling a militant (literally; he’s buying up ammo and guns) far-right acquaintance “Hey, love it or leave it, buddy.” I, of course, didn’t mean it, but it was funny to say it.

  5. #5 Steve
    April 18, 2009

    It’s McArdle’s law,

    “The devotees of the party in power are smug and arrogant. The devotees of the party out of power are insane.”

  6. #6 FreeSpeaker
    April 18, 2009

    mercurianferret, you are quite correct. It takes just one nut case to pull a trigger. The same .50 sniper rifle used so well by the Navy SEALS this past week is available at unregulated gun shows and in the stores, MSRP $8900. Do not think that these nuts are not well funded.

  7. #7 Matt Springer
    April 18, 2009

    I think it’s more than a little unfair to pick the craziest signs as representative of more than 300k protesters. It would be like tarring all those opposed to war with the actions of these guys.

    Anecdote is not data, but here in uber-Republican Texas I stopped by a tea party protest and saw no such signs. In fact the one speaker who went off railing against gays and atheists was shouted down for going divisively off-topic. In the wise words of a former president: it’s the economy, silly.

  8. #8 Orac
    April 18, 2009

    I think it’s more than a little unfair to pick the craziest signs as representative of more than 300k protesters. It would be like tarring all those opposed to war with the actions of these guys.

    What’s good for the goose is good for the gander. The right spent eight years pointing to the craziest elements of the “loony left” and using them to tar anyone who opposed the war or George W. Bush’s other policies with the image those radicals presented. I’d like to think that a taste of the right’s own medicine is more than fair. I complained about all the Bush/Hitler analogies made by the left, as well as claims that Bush was a “fascist” for eight years, even to the point of getting into arguments about it. I don’t see any reason to stop making fun of such idiotic analogies now that they’re being directed against Obama.

    In any case, I’ll take the right’s claim that it wants “civil debate” seriously when it starts adding some of the Obama/Hitler stuff from recent rallies to that very page you cited. I’m not going to be holding my breath waiting.

  9. #9 foole
    April 18, 2009

    Matt Springer said:
    I think it’s more than a little unfair to pick the craziest signs as representative of more than 300k protesters.

    To be fair, Orac has done this to liberals for a long time.

    True, not all of the 300k protesters were crazy. But I would argue that a vast majority of them are irrational. If they’re against having high taxes, where were they in the 80s when Reagan helped balloon the national debt? And where were they the last eight years during W’s tenure? Those are the men who have raised taxes on all of us. It’s just they were too chicken to do it while they were in office (okay, to be fair Reagan did back off on his earlier tax cuts and signed tax increases during his second term).

    Here is the problem: the economy sucks right now. Everyone seems to agree that the amount of debt that we have is not good. But the economy will eventually change and everything will be roses again. And then we’ll all get our tax cuts. But not really, because the debt will still be there, so eventually we’ll have to pay for those tax cuts, with interest. Considering the amount of our debt, complaining that the tax rate is too high does not seem to be rational thinking.

    In all likelihood spending cuts will have to be made. But this alone will not erase our debt. I don’t worry for the damage Obama could do to the economy. I worry for the next George W. Bush that inherits a budget surplus and instead of paying down debt uses it to fund a massive tax cut. And then doesn’t back off of it even after a terrorist attack and two wars.

    And as an aside, I saw many tax protesters riding public transportation to the protests in Atlanta. The really sad thing? MARTA (Atlanta’s public transit system) is $60 million in the red and the GA state legislature did nothing to help alleviate this (the politics of this are complicated, but suffice it to say that MARTA gets very little funding from the state, even though a significant percentage of its riders are from outside the metro area). The situation is so bad that MARTA may have to cut train services on weekdays! So yeah, it does chap my hide a bit to see people scream for lower taxes and yet use a service in which they contribute very little to (in terms of fare or taxes).

  10. #10 foole
    April 18, 2009

    Matt Springer said:
    I think it’s more than a little unfair to pick the craziest signs as representative of more than 300k protesters.

    I said.
    To be fair, Orac has done this to liberals for a long time.

    I should clarify: I didn’t mean that Orac has used the craziest liberals to represent liberals. I just meant that he has frequently called out liberals for using these same sorts of ad hitlerum attacks on people they don’t like.

  11. #11 Azkyroth
    April 18, 2009

    I guess the Hitler gambit is fine, as long as it’s used against politicians conservatives don’t agree with, just as certain elements of the left now appear equally hypocritical in complaining to high heaven about the Obama/Hitler analogies after having so joyously used the same gambit against Bush so recently, particularly in antiwar protests.

    I don’t think I can agree that comparing an authoritarian egomaniac who invaded countries for pretend reasons in violation of international laws to Hitler is as inappropriate as comparing a politician who rolls back tax cuts to Hitler.

  12. #12 Rjaye
    April 18, 2009

    We all must have reservations about the bailout package, and while there are parts I like, and parts I hate, I also recognize that it took many negotiations (too quickly made and not thought about, at first glance), and so there were going to be things I didn’t like, but I’m not an expert and at some point had to go with it. I think at some level it’s necessary.

    What irks me is that the Repubs/assoc. groups don’t offer any alternatives. They were there in congress-why weren’t they more a part of the process? And now they are making all of these pronouncements that are, one, lies, and, two, offer no alternative solutions. Oh, and those who offer the option of letting the banks fail, bite me. That suggestion only shows the shallowness of one’s thinking. I fell for that one until I read more and thought about it, which shows I have to curtail my own kneejerk reactions.

    Nothing-they offer nothing. And Fox and the RNC are right in the middle of it. Yeeeee…

    And I have no idea what they want, except Obama and the Dems out. That’s it. I think that’s all. Ayup.

  13. #13 adina
    April 18, 2009

    The problem is that Stewart featured a non-representative sample of attendees, perhaps so he could use their craziness to undermine the validity of everyone else who attended. I didn’t go to a tea party, but I know a lot of local people who did, and they would never, ever say the things that were depicted in some of these signs. The problem with putting up non-random images, rather than maybe getting a poll of the average attendees’ beliefs is that it allows observers to get a biased view of the representation at a given event. I wouldn’t base the anti-war movement on the 1% weirdest people with the craziest beliefs (the CIA committed 9/11!) used to support their cause. It is unfair to people who believe what they believe for legitimate reasons, when one uses the extremists as representatives of an entire enterprise. To me, it is no different that taking the people who happened to have the worst side effects as an example that a given (effective) medication is horrible.

  14. #14 adina
    April 18, 2009

    Orac, I think you make the same mistake when you say “the right did this” or “the left did that” and therefore deserve criticism. I agree with all of your asessements about these statements being despicable. However, I don’t know if I could say that a given movement “deserved” something, because I don’t know how many people in a non-membership based movement actually shared those views, or whether a small representative loud minority were the ones featured. Remember that Bush has low approval ratings even among Republicans, and that the majority of Republicans believe that abortion should be legal. Many of the people who attended these tea parties are libertarians who strongly oppose government wiretapping of U.S. citizens and torture of detainees (and have been criticizing these things for years). It’s very hard to say what people deserved when we’re talking about motley crews of people with varying beliefs. When we actually poll them, people often seem to be completely different than the extremists we assumed represented them. I would like to add that the same goes for Democrats. Most Democrats and Republicans are largely Centrists, if you look at Pew polling. Most Democratic voters largely believe in the basic tenets of capitalism. They are generally not some crazy Marxists, and ought not to be portrayed that way.

  15. #15 Mandos
    April 18, 2009

    @foole

    Except in the case of the “loony left”, it was not a “stopped clock” case. It was the result of a sound understanding of the situation.

  16. #16 Left_Wing_Fox
    April 18, 2009

    The problem is that Stewart featured a non-representative sample of attendees, perhaps so he could use their craziness to undermine the validity of everyone else who attended.

    Except half of that video refers to the opinions put forward by Fox News anchors. How do they stack up as a representative sample?

  17. #17 Texas Reader
    April 18, 2009

    I don’t agree that only some of the attendees were wackaloons. I think all of the people who went were either uninformed (prob because they get all their “news” from Fox and Drudge) or dishonest since 1 – only people making over $250k a year are seeing higher taxes and 2 – the increase in that tax rate puts it back to where it was during the Reagan administration. If they weren’t demonstrating about those poor over $250k people during the Reagan admin then that’s evidence that their real issue isn’t taxes at all – they are peeved that they lost the election and/or that a black man is our president. I’m white and travel in social circles where people don’t openly make hateful remarks about black people but I realize that my social circle isn’t at all typical of the country as a whole.

    So NO, there weren’t any “reasonable” protestors out there being overlooked. All of them were gullible, dishonest or racist.

  18. #18 JThompson
    April 18, 2009

    I also don’t agree that the majority were rational people. I checked one out just because I knew the nutjobs would be out in full force. The crazier the person speaking the louder they cheered.
    From what I saw it was God Guns and Greed. That and really uncomfortable white people that are trying to convey the racial slur they mean without actually USING that slur.
    Cause if you don’t actually use a racial slur, it means you aren’t a racist, no matter what else you say.
    Nevermind there was a guy that pretty much prefaced any noun referring to Obama with the word black. Of course the people went nuts and cheered his every word.
    So yeah, all I saw were a bunch of racist nutjobs with no concept of history, democracy, capitalism, socialism, communism, or freedom. Fucking idiots, in other words.
    Joe the Plumber would’ve fit right in.

  19. #19 CulturalIconography
    April 18, 2009

    Haven’t we been through this before? According to the GOP, didn’t Clinton enact “the largest tax increase in the history of the universe”? Bill wasn’t my favorite president, but he was the target of a lot of right-wing crap. Actually, Dubya was the target of a lot of left-wing crap, too, but IMHO, he deserved a lot of it! (BIAS ALERT!) ;)

    I think each party when they’re out of power tends to go over the top–after all, they’re fundraising. But the GOP seems to have been taken over by the Limbaugh-Coulter-Fundie axis some time ago, and they finally paid for it at the polls. Not that the current Dems are anything to cheer about…

    Maybe I should be President. I’d least I’d agree with me most of the time! I think I would, anyway. :)

  20. #20 Mike
    April 18, 2009

    Guys, if you actually talked to people who were at the rallies rather than watching them on CNN or Daily Show (i did not go; I know many who did), you would have gotten a far different impression. These were people who are angry at both Republicans and Democrats. The GOP is trying to cotton on to these things, but numerous GOPers (like Mike Steele) were *refused* a podium by the tea-partiers. The partiers think the Republicans are just as bad as the Democrats, opposing Obama because he’s a Democrat not because they have any actual principles (a reality demonstrated by the past eight years).

    Moreover, I’m tired of the line that only the rich will pay taxes. 1) people aren’t so stupid as to not realize that taxes raised on businesses (many of which file as “rich” individuals) will hurt them; 2) the projected Obama deficits dwarf Bush’s and he is going to have to raise taxes on everyone else to make ends meet. In fact, he has already raised taxes on the poor through cigarette taxes.

    The left did have legitimate points to make in protesting the Iraq War (although I recall few worrying about ethnic conflict and more worrying about ‘blood for oil’). But their legitimacy was compromised by having had so many protests of the week over the last forty years.

  21. #21 adina
    April 19, 2009

    Listen, it’s understandable that many of you are angry at the Republicans. As a registered Republican, I am shocked and sickened by some of the things that the Bush administration did, such as their promotion of torture.

    However, I am dismayed that some of the commenters here don’t realize how much their reflections on these rallies are subject to so much expectation bias, attention bias, selection bias, recall bias, and any other sort of errors that would be unacceptable when arguing about any other phenomenon. I’m not saying that political matters ought to (or can) be subject to the same scrutiny as scientific studies. Even so, we ought to demonstrate the humility of recognizing that with only anectodal evidence, rather than good statistics or other data, we may be making conclusions that are just not warranted. So maybe “all” JThompson “saw” were “fucking idiots” and a bunch of “racist nutjobs.” But I don’t think he saw enough to know that, nor do I think that “seeing” is enough to allow him to ascertain the racist nutjob status of all (or even most) of the attendees across the country.

    I would like to remind everyone that one of Bush’s biggest flaws was that he always “knew” he was right, which led to his complete unwillingness to self-reflect and consider other possibilities.

  22. #22 Joseph C.
    April 19, 2009

    Guys, if you actually talked to people who were at the rallies rather than watching them on CNN or Daily Show (i did not go; I know many who did), you would have gotten a far different impression.

    Actually, I walked right by one in my town on my way to pick up lunch. It was an obviously wing nut affair driven by largely unfocused suburban angst. Then I took my lunch and walked back to work. I wonder why all the tea party participants had time to be out there during the middle of the workday.

  23. #23 epador
    April 19, 2009

    Wow, sad to say I am never impressed with your POLITICAL rants as compared to your scientific ones. Generalizations, ad hominem attacks, statements that basically say “well they did it so now its OK to do it to them” really belong on Daily Kos rather than Respectful Insolence.

    I went to a demonstration in our small NW town with a population of 5000. 300 people showed up. One ranted a little about the current state of affairs being due to our “Nation turning its back on God.” She was ignored and she shut up. Local business people predominated, with a smattering of retirees, yuppies, college students and my generation of middle-aged and working-until-we-die-types. There were no Hitler signs, but a few “Socialism Sucks” ones. Most were appalled at the quadrupling of the deficit with no relief in sight, and worried about the increase in taxes that seem imminent (there are more taxes in our lives than income tax). Other than two “counter-protestors” who jeered from there cars to “love it or leave it you ignorant assholes” there was a calm and pleasant atmosphere, with many folks smiling and honking their horns in approval as we passed. We’re talking Oregon here folks, in a staunchly Democratic, long-haired, dope-smoking counter-culture county. After the requisite speeches, a significant portion of folks went to a local restaurant to brainstorm on local organization and politics. Sure, the local Republican organization was there, but they weren’t able to co-opt the independently organized and run demonstration. They ended up listening more than preaching.

    Perhaps things are different in the big city [sarcasm here- of course they are], but you might be more careful about generalizing, drawing conclusions from your anecdotal experience, etc., or you dance a thin line closer to political woo than you ought to.

  24. #24 Orac
    April 19, 2009

    I would like to remind everyone that one of Bush’s biggest flaws was that he always “knew” he was right, which led to his complete unwillingness to self-reflect and consider other possibilities.

    Would that were Bush’s only big flaw! Yes, he had this belief that he was always right and was completely unwilling to undergo self-reflection, but he was also wrong about so many things that he almost single-handedly drove me away from the Republican Party. He was the worst President I can recall in my lifetime with the possible exception of Jimmy Carter.

    As for the ignorance and racism at the Tea Parties, there is abundant evidence for it coming straight from the people giving speeches at them and from the FOX News reporters who covered them. Ditto for the historical ignorance of the very concept of the Tea Party, in which participants moaned about “taxation without representation,” which in effect were whines that their candidates had lost the election and that they weren’t being represented, which is ridiculous. It was ridiculous when the left called Bush “not my President” and it’s ridiculous when the right says the same thing about Obama.

  25. #25 Orac
    April 19, 2009

    Wow, sad to say I am never impressed with your POLITICAL rants as compared to your scientific ones.

    Then don’t read them if fail to “impress” you so.

    Perhaps things are different in the big city [sarcasm here- of course they are], but you might be more careful about generalizing, drawing conclusions from your anecdotal experience, etc., or you dance a thin line closer to political woo than you ought to.

    Heh. I draw some of my conclusions from the leadup to these rallies that I heard on Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and various FOX News pundits, whom I occasionally torture myself listening. In any case, you might want to be careful about drawing conclusions from your anecdotal experience at one rally. After all, how do you know that your rally was representative? You are dancing a thin line closer to political woo than you ought to.

  26. #26 Chris
    April 19, 2009

    It was ridiculous when the left called Bush “not my President” and it’s ridiculous when the right says the same thing about Obama.
    False equivalence again. Obama didn’t lose the popular vote and get into office only by *preventing* a recount, which we will never know what the results of it would have been. (He also didn’t arrange for a bunch of white voters to be illegally removed from the voter rolls in key states.)

    Bush was about as “elected” as Rutherford B. Hayes, which is one of the things that made his smug arrogance all the more irritating.

    I get the impression that you’re uncomfortable with liberalism and would rather support the party of Eisenhower, if it still existed. But that’s no excuse for closing your eyes to what the present-day Republican Party actually is and does. Please read John Dean’s _Conservatives without Conscience_ or something like that – and consider that the Republican Party has become *more* extreme and consensus-shunning since it was written.

  27. #27 bug_girl
    April 19, 2009

    Thanks for writing about this–I saw some of these signs and wasn’t quite ready to write about it myself.

    No, we are *not* in a “post-racial” America. UGH.

  28. #28 Joseph C.
    April 19, 2009

    Obama didn’t lose the popular vote and get into office only by *preventing* a recount, which we will never know what the results of it would have been.

    Wasn’t that the Supreme Court?

  29. #29 Robster, FCD
    April 19, 2009

    What is worst is that these people are completely ignorant of the meaning of some very basic words.

    They label as socialist all forms of capitalism, including that proposed by Adam Smith, except for laissez faire capitalism, which has been demonstrated time and time again to not be functional.

    They then confuse socialism with communism, and communism with fascism, and are wholly incapable of defining a single one.

    Furthermore, they claim to protect the constitution, but ignore parts such as those declaring that treaties are equal to the constitution, disdaining the concept of international law. Never mind the articles and amendments that they ignore and don’t like, and pointedly ignore, or are ignorant of, they love the constitution. like a highschool crush.

  30. #30 Nan
    April 19, 2009

    “Furthermore, they claim to protect the constitution, but ignore parts such as those declaring that treaties are equal to the constitution, disdaining the concept of international law. Never mind the articles and amendments that they ignore and don’t like, and pointedly ignore, or are ignorant of, they love the constitution. like a highschool crush.”

    Not to mention that half the time they confuse the Declaration of Independence with the Constitution — the worst of the wackaloons are in love with a document they’ve never read (except for the 2nd Amendment, which they have memorized) and don’t understand. They’ll rant about the latter, and then start mangling quotes from the former.

    Just out of curiosity, did anyone observing the Tea Parties see even one person of color? Or people who might have actual jobs now? Every tv shot I saw, regardless of region of country, seemed to be nothing but disgruntled white retirees. They all looked like they were on their way to the early bird special at Denny’s.

  31. #31 Azkyroth
    April 19, 2009

    The same .50 sniper rifle used so well by the Navy SEALS this past week is available at unregulated gun shows and in the stores, MSRP $8900. Do not think that these nuts are not well funded.

    Seriously?

    Using a .50 cal rifle on an unarmored human target is like using a jackhammer to kill a cockroach.

  32. #32 Mike
    April 19, 2009

    “Heh. I draw some of my conclusions from the leadup to these rallies that I heard on Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and various FOX News pundits, whom I occasionally torture myself listening. In any case, you might want to be careful about drawing conclusions from your anecdotal experience at one rally. After all, how do you know that your rally was representative? You are dancing a thin line closer to political woo than you ought to.”

    Basing your opinions of the right on those jokers is like basing your opinion of vaccines on McCarthy. They are in the entertainment business, not the political business — a point proved amply as they stood by like toilets with the lids up while Bush laid the groundwork for everything they hate Obama for doing.

    My impression of the tea parties was based on talking to over a dozen people in different states. The stories I have heard — of Republican operatives being refused speaking platforms and crazy Obama=Hitler people being ignored — are almost universal.

  33. #33 Robster, FCD
    April 19, 2009

    Mike, I think the difference is between The Fox News Channel’s sponsored tea-parties and the libertarian ones. Not that either are more connected to reality than the other.

  34. #34 Calli Arcale
    April 20, 2009

    That was priceless.

    Of course, there’s a simple reason for the apparent personality shift on the right — the reality is that there have been tax protesters like this for a long time, they tend to be conservatives (in the old sense) and thus somewhat allied with the Republican party (although most of them are libertarian and thus actually opposed to many ostensibly Republican principles). They didn’t get much airtime during the Bush administration; the right didn’t see any point in humoring them. But now they have a common cause with Republicans miffed that Obama made it into office, and so now they have more supporters and are more likely to get some press.

    The same thing happened to the left when Bush took office eight years ago. Fringe elements previously ignored by most of the Democratic supporters suddenly got a lot more supporters through finding a common enemy in Bush. Now that Bush is out and Obama is in, mainstream liberals are disregarding the loonier elements of the left again. So I don’t think it’s a real effect; it’s simply that the loonies opposed to the current administration (whichever that is) tend to be the most visible ones.

  35. #35 Natalie
    April 20, 2009

    I’m sorry Mike, but I don’t buy it. If these protesters are so opposed to the Republicans, why did they wait until now to protest? Where have they been the last 8 years?

  36. #36 PlanetaryGear
    April 20, 2009

    I think I found your sacred cow of Woo Orac ;) You’ll believe anything that the daily show tells you if it casts conservatives in a negative light. I attended the local “tea party” in this town with a friend who was so gung ho Obama that he actually flew to DC for his inauguration, and I am am no conservative either. Nothing that goofy was going on here. Since when was the daily show actually providing news? It wasn’t like that at all.

  37. #37 Phoenix Woman
    April 20, 2009

    PG, if you attended the same one I’m thinking of, it was actually pretty mild compared to the ones done nationally. (Though, like all of the “spontaneous” Conservative-Media-promoted protests, things like the presence of right-wing radio personalities and porta-potties showed the heavy levels of advance planning that went into it.)

    Even with the neo-Nazi groups and their blatantly neo-Confederate brethren being told to stay away — although the Stormies didn’t always heed that message — the teabaggers had a hard time concealing their racism, as Pam Spaulding documents.

  38. #38 LovleAnjel
    April 20, 2009

    I think everyone has overlooked the greatest part of this– conservative heterosexual white people were “teabagging” in public. On camera. Shame!

  39. #39 wolfwalker
    April 20, 2009

    foole demanded to know: If they’re against having high taxes, where were they in the 80s when Reagan helped balloon the national debt? And where were they the last eight years during W’s tenure?

    Those that remember the 80s, as you obviously don’t, remember that Reagan TRIED to cut spending through budget deals with Congress, and was repeatedly stabbed in the back by them. And most were against Bush’s enormous spending increases. Bush’s support held as high as it did for as long as it did for one reason only: his effective response to the 9/11 atrocities. Without that, he would have been a one-term president.

    Orac, your reaction the the “tea parties,” along with most of your readers, explains more clearly than I ever could why the “tea parties” took place at all. Yes, there were some moonbats in attendance. So what? There were also a lot of plain ordinary people who are simply fed up with the whole purulent mass currently infesting Washington, and just want it all to go away. And yet, instead of listening to their grievances, you dismiss them as moonbats, neonazis, and right-wing extremists. That’s stupid — even more stupid coming from someone who claims to be a student of history. If you knew half as much about history as you think you do, you’d know that the most dangerous revolutionary is not the frothing-at-the-mouth lunatic who lives in a fantasy world. The most dangerous revolutionary is the man who has serious, legitimate grievances, and is ignored by those currently in power. Most of the people who attended the “tea parties” were there because they believe they have legitimate grievances which are not being addressed by the slithering slugs currently running this country.

    Now, I have no doubt that you will turn my own words against me and make me out to be an extremist lunatic too. It happens every time; that’s why I rarely bother to stay around and debate my ideas with you and your drones. I don’t even know why I’m bothering to say this much. I suppose that somewhere deep down, I still hope that someday you’ll rise above your own petty prejudices and apply the same skilled analysis to the political/historical situation we currently face as you use on your patients and on your fight against the antivax wackos.

  40. #40 Stu
    April 20, 2009

    Bush’s support held as high as it did for as long as it did for one reason only: his effective response to the 9/11 atrocities.

    Oh, do elaborate.

  41. #41 Dianne
    April 20, 2009

    Bush’s support held as high as it did for as long as it did for one reason only: his effective response to the 9/11 atrocities.

    What? Sitting there listening to “The Pet Goat” for 10 minutes after being told of the attacks? Or invading a country that had nothing to do with the attacks? Or gutting human rights in the US, (officially) instituting torture, and making eavesdropping on no suspicion legal? Which of those was the “effective response” and what was it effective at?

  42. #42 Natalie
    April 20, 2009

    wolfwalker,

    Haven’t seen you around here since the election. I seem to remember you making a lot of claims at that point that you couldn’t substantiate.

    Those that remember the 80s, as you obviously don’t, remember that Reagan TRIED to cut spending through budget deals with Congress, and was repeatedly stabbed in the back by them.

    Cite, please?

    And most were against Bush’s enormous spending increases.

    Where were the protests? Where were the opinion pieces or letters to the editor? How many conservative talking heads relentlessly criticized Bush for his spending policies the way they are currently relentlessly criticizing Obama?

  43. #43 Prudence
    April 20, 2009

    It seems utterly barbaric to cheapen the senseless and almost unimaginable tragedy that was the Holocaust by comparing the suffering and extermination of the Jews to a bunch of extremely privileged rich fuckers who are whining about paying a whopping 3% more in taxes. Lest we forget, AUSCHWITZ, Mauthausen, Bergen-Belsen, Dachau, Treblinka, Ravensbruck, Oranienburg, and all the other camps are what the *real* Nazis did to Jews during the Holocaust. 6 MILLION of them.

    Fuck you, fat bastard in orange, fuck you!

  44. #44 Prudence
    April 20, 2009

    Also, I love John Oliver. It’s nice to see a fellow Limey on the teevee who isn’t a baddie in a movie, or a mockney gekko trying to sell my bloody car insurance.

  45. #45 Joseph C.
    April 20, 2009

    It happens every time; that’s why I rarely bother to stay around and debate my ideas with you and your drones.

    When you start off with insults, you’re not looking for a debate. At least be honest about that.

  46. #46 The Crack Emcee
    April 21, 2009

    Orac,

    Like The Daily Show you so admire, you’re being disingenuous here:

    Sure, you’ve spoken out about the Left’s Hitler references, but you’ve never turned on the Left – despite the fact they used bald-faced lies to tar the last administration as a way to attain power, or act as mindless as any CAM advocate (because they’re one and the same) – you’re comfortable sleeping with the enemy. Though you claim to be a scientist, you don’t challenged your own assumptions when it comes to the metaphysics in politics, no matter what the Left does – including driving us into the poor house or dismantling our authority.

    I get it: you’re a Leftist, capable of falling for the most outrageous nonsense, but you also pose as an authority to some and that imposes on you a higher level of honesty – which you attain from time-to-time – but very, very selectively. My point is, you appear not to be fighting for truth but for yourself. The Right may be wrong on some things but that distinction – what’s being attempted – while not everything, it’s important.

    Just as you (along with the Hoofnagle boys at Denialism Blog) dissed me when I first told you scientists the NewAgers were cultists – something you’ve corrected in your declarations but, still, have never given me credit for – I’m still waiting for proof that you give a damn about this country – as the Tea Party activists do – and not just your comfort level.

    Your ruthlessness comes out for those of us on the Right – right or wrong – and that, my friend, just ain’t right.

    I expect more – and better – from you.

    But, hey, I’m no big-brained “scientist” – I’m just another black guy nobody takes seriously – what do I know?

  47. #47 Orac
    April 22, 2009

    Give me a break. You have no clue over my politics. None. Nada. Zip.

    I voted Republican my entire adult life (well, with the exception of that time I voted for John Glenn for Senate when I used to in Ohio, but Glenn is about as Republican a Democrat as there is). Then, beginning in the early 2000s, specifically around the time of the run up to the war in Iraq, I realized just how screwed up George Bush was. I started reexamining my political beliefs and found that I did not like the groups and beliefs the Republicans had associated themselves with. Worse, Republicans had completely given up fiscal responsibility–more than ever. So, my friend, I did reevaluate my beliefs critically, and I did change. I’m still far more conservative than most of the ScienceBlogs collective, but I’m far more “liberal” now than I’ve ever been.

    Pretty good, eh? To be able to change after over 20 years?

  48. #48 ron
    April 22, 2009

    dont wingnuts realize it always takes lots of $$$ to rebuild after a disaster, ie the last 8 years?

    and remember when simply saying, “im embarrassed to be from the same state as teh president.” was enough to get you attacked by the full force of the right, banned from country radio, called traitorous, and have your cds burned in the streets and your concerts protested? ah, the good ol’ days when showing respect for the president was equal to loving your country. gee, i wonder what changed…

    at this point the right has less credibility than the woo purveyors.

  49. #49 The Crack Emcee
    April 23, 2009

    “Give me a break. You have no clue over my politics. None. Nada. Zip.”

    Fine – agreed: whatever you say about your past – but I know what you’ve written since I found you, and you’re not fair.

    “Beginning in the early 2000s, specifically around the time of the run up to the war in Iraq, I realized just how screwed up George Bush was.”

    I get it: you and I are on opposite trajectories (I became an “R” at about the same time) but what does your statement mean? The beef on the Bushs, before the war, was that daddy made a promise he didn’t keep (to free the Iraqi people) Bush II did it – problem? Bush II didn’t lose the war, as the Democrats (Harry reid) declared, but it was hard – problem? When asked if he thought Jesus lived or the bible was true, Bush II said “probably not” – problem? And running up “some” debt during a war is a deal-breaker? Come On! Look at what we’re saddled with now and tell me you’re writing about being outraged over it, I dare you. Like I said, you’re not being fair.

    “I started reexamining my political beliefs and found that I did not like the groups and beliefs the Republicans had associated themselves with.”

    So you’re more comfortable with the cultists? Homeopaths voted for Obama, Orac. NewAgers are the ones who started this “messiah” and “lightworker” nonsense. He was backed by Oprah! The very people you rail against are his main supporters – and you feel better there? Better than with patriots? Some are loony, sure, but they’ve at least got enough common sense to defend where they live in a dangerous world. You seriously feel better with the guy who just got dissed on the world stage where it matters: in the corridors of power? They didn’t like Bush but, face it, they didn’t bullshit him either. Obama got nothing and that’s what you’re comfortable with? Again: Come On!

    “So, my friend, I did reevaluate my beliefs critically, and I did change.”

    I noticed it – big time – on the cult issue but, again, you haven’t given me any credit: I told you. Panda Bear, M.D. has been totally cool but not you (or the Hoofnagles) when it comes to acknowledging you didn’t know what you were dealing with and, still, refuse to do what’s necessary to stop it. You, both, would rather continue to focus on my passion (which hasn’t, and won’t, wane) to portray me as some kind of nutjob or something, when the truth is I’m the web’s “Black Lightening” and, still, far ahead of you guys on thinking this phenomena through. You’re stuck in “Scienceland”, much more concerned with showing how educated you are (Come on, you guys, one more time: let me hear you say the words “Logical Fallacy” again,…) than getting in the dirt, as I have – alone I might add, because y’all’s knew too damn much to help a desperate black guy in need, who asked for your help, because you didn’t believe I could know more than you brilliant assed scientists screaming “Logical Fallacy!” every five minutes – your jokes about NewAge ain’t doing anything serious to counter this shit. Don’t forget: The NewAgers in my life killed my mother-in-law, and two other people I know about – not to mention shit like this while you rail against jenny McCarthy – your bullshit (as much as I appreciate it) still don’t cut it with me. You’re scientists and doctors and, not only do I need your help, but I want action! Why is it just me and PBMD? Pride, maybe?

    “I’m still far more conservative than most of the ScienceBlogs collective,…”

    Big whoop. They’re a bunch of stupid Leftists and former NewAgers – I’ve pointed it out countless times – which is hardly a flattering statement about a bunch of “scientists” who are supposed to look at evidence objectively. That it takes a know-nothing black guy, without nearly your education, to point that out to you should embarrass you to no end. But not enough you’ll compound your foolishness by reacting even more foolishly: we’re allies – I just ain’t gonna be punk about it. I have to spend as much time dissecting Scienceblog nonsense as NewAge bullshit. Clean your fucking house, Orac!

    “I’m far more “liberal” now than I’ve ever been.”

    No surprise there – and nothing to be proud of.

    “Pretty good, eh? To be able to change after over 20 years?”

    No – you’ve got it backwards – paraphrasing:

    “If you’re not a liberal when you’re young, you’ve got no heart. if you’re not a conservative when you’re older, you’ve got no brains.”

    – Winston Churchill

    Quit looking for admiration and be a man.

    That’s the message of The Macho Response.

  50. #50 snerd
    April 24, 2009

    Except Churchill never said that. It’s been attributed to a lot of famous people as an appeal-to-wisdom gambit for years, but there’s plenty of debate as to it’s true source, if indeed it has one. it’s a fatuous bit of doggerel at any rate.

  51. #51 The
    April 24, 2009

    So is most liberalism.

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