Tuesday, May 18, 2010


The GOP has encouraged extremists in its party by promoting and tolerating hate mongers and near-seditionists like Glenn Beck, Michelle Bachmann, Ann Coulter, Rush Limbaugh, Sarah Palin or any other jackboot who will join them in stirring up the mobs in order to nullify the election of 2008.

How many times have we heard not just nutjobs like those mentioned above but even GOP Congressmen and women refer to the government, which they are part of, as a criminal organization--a "gangster government?"

And that is why a weak-minded moron, like this teacher in Alabama, felt comfortable in casually talkiing about murdering President Barack Obama as a way of explaining cosines. When stupid people like this teacher constantly hear his cynical leaders call the leaders of the opposition party, leaders of our government criminals, it follows that they deservc to be murdered, doesn't it? And if you're a teacher, what better way to introduce this idea than in math class?

Sara Robinson at Orcinus has written an excellent piece on where this tolerance for radical insurrectionist talk can lead. She discusses the Hutaree conspirators and the group, Guardians of the Free Republic:

"These two events are a wake-up call for progressives. They're telling us that it's time to openly confront the fact that conservatives have spent the past 40 years systematically delegitimizing the very idea of constitutional democracy in America. When they're in power, they mismanage it and defund it. When they're out of power, they refuse to participate in running the country at all -- indeed, they throw all their energy into thwarting the democratic process any way they can. When they need to win an election, they use violent, polarizing, eliminationist language against their opponents to motivate their base. This is sedition in slow motion, a gradual corrosive undermining of the government's authority and capacity to run the country. And it's been at the core of their politics going all the way back to Goldwater.

This long assault has gone into overdrive since Obama's inauguration, as the rhetoric has ratcheted up from overheated to perfervid. We've reached the point where you can't go a week without hearing some prominent right wing leader calling for outright sedition -- an immediate and defiant populist uprising against some legitimate form of government authority.

Moderates and liberals are responding to this rising threat with feckless calls for "a return to civility," as if all that's needed to put things right again is a stern talking-to from Miss Manners. Though that couldn't hurt, the sad fact is that we're well past the point where it's just a matter of conservatives behaving like tantrum-throwing spoiled brats (which they are). When a mob is surrounding your house with torches and telling you they intend to burn it down, "civility" really isn't the issue any more.

At that point -- and we're there -- criminal intent and action become the real issues. Progressives need to realize that the right began defiantly dancing back and forth over the legal line, daring us to do something about it, quite some time ago. And it's high time we called it out -- and, where appropriate, start prosecuting it -- for exactly what it is."


  1. Oh man I just did a post on that teacher in Alabama too. What gets me is the parent who said that "we have to be aware of our surroundings" when talking about differences of opinion.

    Like assassinating the president is a valid "opinion."

    Cripes. I blame the media for this, I really do. At one time there was right and wrong and then we got the national news media repeating all sorts of Limbaugh and Beck crap as if it were a legitimate opinion instead of the garbage it is.

    And you just know some right winger will dig up a story of a middle school teacher who said a mean thing about Bush and it will be TOTALLY THE SAME THING as teaching kids where to stand to assassinate the POTUS and yet another line will have been crossed. It will indeed be a legitimate opinion.

    I mean, Jesus. What is wrong with this country?

  2. Shaw and SoBe, moments ago I posted a comment under tnlib's article, which is equally appropriate here:

    Rocky and Captain, as both of you know, I have tried to be a strong advocate of bipartisanship, dialogue, and civility. However, recent events have convinced me that this no longer possible.

    These days, the tendency in our body politic is to cross all boundaries of taste and decorum, spin the biggest whoppers, make the next hyperbole even more outrageous than the last, and continually ratchet up the rhetoric. What I see today cannot possibly compare to any civil discord I have witnessed in my adult life. It is beyond appalling.

    As far as I am concerned, all bets are off (pardon the cliche and the next mixed metaphor): If war is what they want, then war is what they'll get!

    This octopus intends to be well armed.

    All of us are feeling our patience wearing thin, and faced with these unrelenting assaults, it is time to push back. Let the backlash begin. I see myself as a foot soldier in the culture wars, and I am angry as hell!

  3. I've no patience left, and I'm quite depressed by it all.

    I can't even claim to be able to be "locked and loaded." The only gun I own is an old glue gun I used to reupholster an antique chair.

    Is the keyboard mightier than the sword? If so, I'm ready to throw this one at the next yahoo I meet.

  4. Dearest Shaw, please don't become unglued, and if you happen to fall into that upholstery machine, I hope you come back fully recovered.

  5. Shaw - just tell the Palin to open wide and then shoot that glue gun right in her mouth.

    I've had an on-again off-again discussion with a good friend who also happens to be very bright. His desire is to have more civility, which is fine. But I've tried to explain that for nearly two years our president has had to listen to racial slurs and suggestions that he be shot because of some quote in the Bible; we've been the target of all kinds of verbal and physical assaults. Why in hell are we expected to play the nice guy?

  6. tnlib - Recently, I decided to give up on playing nice as you can see in these comment threads, here and here. Open season on smackdowns as far as I am concerned (and I am sure the good Captain, our Master Smackdown Artist, is locked and loaded).

  7. I just read on al.com that the teacher has been suspended.

    Octo, my only concern is that if we start down this road, we can't turn around.

  8. Radio stations and TV shows, convincing media outlets, need to be purchased and dominated by people with reason. Create a wave to counter the evil waves of Palin, Beck, Limbaugh and crew.

  9. tnlib, I hear you and, in a rational world, I would agree with you without hesitation. However, this is not a rational world, and I can longer see how to avoid going this road. I see this, not as a war, but as nothing less than a struggle for survival.

    For me, the Gulf oil spill is the turning point as Chernobyl was a tipping point for the former Soviet Union.

    The press is playing down the full scope of the disaster, and the government is either protecting someone or covering up something. But here is a simple truth: The oil spill is more than a catastrophe. It will destroy an important food supply and add to our economic burden because the deficit in food production must come from another source. With respect to oil production, we have already reached the threshold known as "Peak Oil" where supply can no longer meet demand. Under such circumstances, destroying the environment to scratch for more oil makes no economic sense since we will need every parcel of land and sea just to make up for the deficit.

    And if the stupid Republicans turn this debacle into yet another political game of gotcha, then fuck 'em. We can longer afford to play nice with them. I say this NOT FOR MYSELF but for my children and grandchildren and future generations.

  10. Oh my, I hear what you're saying, Octo. It's just so overwhelmingly sad and distressing. How can we fight this?

  11. "How can we fight this?"

    I have a glue gun and a keyboard.

  12. Attention all Swash Zoners, please see my comment at our private beach, i.e., the place for plaice.

  13. This is an excellent article and I'm bookmarking the source.

    I heard two things on NPR in the past couple of days that concern me:
    1) At least two members of the Hutaree who were arrested are being pardoned and released from the charges by a judge (?): the wife of the leader and one of the sons. More research needed.
    2) It is under consideration to release all the members from jail until trial, rather than keep them locked up. No date for trial had been set at the time.

    Also, in regards to further offshore drilling, I heard that the oil we can produce would meet only about 2% of our national needs, but it has higher value if sold to other countries...and that this revenue could be used to reduce the national deficit or as seed money for alternative energy companies.

    Doesn't seem right. Not even wrong!

  14. "and that this revenue could be used to reduce the national deficit"

    Sure and Iraqi oil would pay for the war. You know, even rats learn to avoid traps, but not Americans. . .

  15. I for one am glad that we have given up on the desire for civil discussion and Octy I have read your smackdowns and applaud you!

    For years the right has gone around blaming liberalism and liberals for everything...

    While what few true liberals there were cowered behind their intellectualism and attempted to rationalize stupidity.

    FIGHT BACK! Drive stupidity back into the cave from whence it came!

    We can return to our desire for civil society once we have levelled the playing field.

    It takes two to be civil....and basically our desire for civil debate was perceived as nothing more than waving the white flag....

    So, for now on lets just give them what they have given us all these years!

  16. Oh, you libs are such haters!

  17. Captain Fogg - "Oh, you libs are such haters!"

    Octopus at your service!

  18. Now, now...we are the free love bunch remember...

    Maybe its just that like Charles Atlas we have had enough sand kicked in our faces...

  19. The right love to play the victim.

    Get ready for it on all of the wingnut blogs.


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