Keep repeating this phrase when dangerous nonsense happens, like...
This weekend, when rodeo-clown Glenn Beck and his Neo-Westboro Baptist Church, sure to be given wall-to-wall coverage by the cable tv Nonstop Carnival of Evil/Stupid, arrive in Washington, DC. Last August, it was nonsensical "death panels" pushed by a cheeto-stained Facebooker that managed to get everyone into a stir. It's amazing the damage one mean person in her pajamas can do from the basement of her home in the outer reaches of Wasilla.
Let's face it, while August may be the "silly season," ever since about March, 2009, the hard right has done nothing but drag the GOP in a more conservative direction. Like bad cosmetic surgery that pulls too tight, any further right and the GOP's ears will meet behind its head like a clasp on a cheap purse--any further right, and Pol Pot will be wondering why he didn't think to burn some Qu'rans first.
I joke, but in all seriousness the political atmosphere has been Tea Party-toxic for some time now. And deliberately so. If you pay attention, you're punished with daily assaults on your sense of decency, values, understanding of the Constitution, ability to tolerate hypocrisy, and fondness for facts. If you don't pay attention, the sewage still manages to seep in somehow despite your best efforts.
That's just it. The Koch Brothers and Dick Armey's jobs program for the criminally ignorant and willfully stupid--Teabag! Just add hot water!--would be happy to know that their busy astroturf efforts have soured progressives on the president and poisoned the undecided against his agenda. Karl Rove and his American Crossroads organization will be spending record amounts to spread distortions and lies favoring Republican candidates this fall. But these extremists will take what they can get--demoralized Democrats, holier-than-thou progressives upset that Obama is not Alan Grayson, tender young voters disappointed at the pace of change.
They're hoping we're delicate flowers who'll cry into our cappuccinos and go--or stay--home. If the lies don't take root, the next best thing for them is to turn off as many moderate and liberal voters as possible to the democratic process.
What they didn't count on: Democrats who'll get out the vote because we realize, We're Not Done Yet. We have something to fight for. Progressives who look around and see how far "center" has slid right (looks like the John Birch Society's back in fashion, boys! Lemme know how that Chomsky '12 thing works out) and know we have a hard scramble to re-set anywhere near moderate, not to mention left of center. I mean, when NIXON looks effin' reasonable...? And young voters already had mean people slam doors in their faces and heard voters say racist shit aloud to them as they canvassed in 2008.
The hard right thinks we scare easy--when what we need is to coffee up and do more Get Out the Vote drives. We can do this. Yes We Can. We did it before, only now it's a little easier because the ground work has been laid. The time for bed-wetting and hand-wringing is over.
I think we've heard enough from the hard right. There's nothing new there, and certainly no solutions to the problems we face. In fact, I think it's possible, as well as mentally healthy, to tune out the noise from now til November 2, 2010, and focus on influencing the people in your circle and getting them to the polls.
Let's look at who the Grand Old Tea Party has offended with their bigotry and lies:
- Latinos (demeaning Sotomayor, conjuring "anchor" babies out of thin air, supporting "danged fences" and racial profiling law SB1070). They've disgusted other immigrants to this fine country.
- Women (looking at you, Senator "I don't need maternity care in my health insurance" Kyl).
- Muslim Americans (Park51 and all that religious bigotry, anyone?).
- People who love the Constitution, have actually read it, and what's more, understand basic concepts like Freedom of Religion (once again, Park51, or how about Rand Paul's nonsense about removing equal protection under the law, or the commerce clause?).
- Teh Geyz (with him, you know there's hope for repeal of DADT, and you could hold Obama's feet to the fire plus hope for more REAL supreme court justices under him; good luck under Romney-Palin).
- Seniors, who don't want to see their Social Security go anywhere near a Wall Street casino (President Obama has pledged to fight GOP privatization plans), and those on the cusp who don't want to see the eligibility age raised just as they get close.
- Unemployed people whose unemployment insurance expired while Republicans couldn't be bothered to vote on two extensions that Democrats brought to the table.
- Scientists and others in the reality-based community who know that global climate crisis is a fact.
The hard right's takeover of the GOP? Is there anyone they haven't insulted or offended? More pup tent than big tent. (Made from a old white sheet, no less.)
And if all the rest of us--reasonable people who are TIRED of bullshit that stirs up fear, anger, and division YET DOESN'T CREATE JOBS would kindly go to the polls in November, 2010, we would win. And what would that look like? We'd have more people in the House and Senate (yes, Democrats, the only functioning party) who'll focus on fixing problems.
Maybe the Senate would even pass some of the 290+ bills forwarded to it by the House so the president can sign some of those bills into law. They've been sitting on those bills since February, 2010.
Cynematic blogs at P i l l o w b o o k.