Monday, April 12, 2010

Sometimes, this blog is simply a method of catharsis for me. So if I sometimes get unreasonable, it is most likely because I am venting.

I took Thursday and Friday off from work last week to relax and have some time to myself to recharge my batteries a bit. Friday ended up not working so well. Part of the reason was because my sump pump went out and I didn't notice it until a large portion of my storage area in my basement was flooded. But thanks to some quick thinking, the fact that everything of value is stored in plastic totes on plastic shelves, and the good people at Hedlund Plumbing in Lansing. I was back in working order. A few fans and a couple of dehumidifiers later, my basement is again bone dry. But that was still several hours out of my day off that I had to use to clean up my damn basement.

But that's not my big bitch.

My big bitch was that earlier that day, I went to my local book store to browse and relax and look for some new stuff...and I came across this piece of shit called How Evil Works by David Kupelian. At first, it looked interesting. Then I read the back cover of those who lent their support and thought it was the greatest book evah: Malkin, Hannity, etc.

I spent more than a goodly amount of time reading Kupelian's treatise. Here's what it boils down to: people on the left, and Kupelian's ideas about what they stand for, are evil. There is only one way for America, and those who disagree with that Way (primarily liberals and people whom they sympathize with) aren't just wrong, they're evil.

That makes me NUTS.

This is what it all boils down to: that if one disagrees with the talking heads on the Right, they aren't just "wrong" or "misguided" or even "have a different view." They're actually evil.

This could not be worse for America. I believe that this is why we see bricks through windows. Why Bart Stupak feels like he can't even connect his home phone any more and that he has to retire. Why Pelosi gets death threats. People like Kupelian have whipped people into a froth...and have paionted their political opposites as evil. And what do we good Christians do with evil? Apparently throw bricks through their windows, phone-in threats and the like.

The even bigger problem is that Kupelian doesn't speak for some fringe. Malkin, Beck and Hannity each pull viewers and readers in the millions. Malkin's venomous book spent weeks at the TOP of the NYT Bestseller list for "Culture of Corrpution." That's the real danger; this sentiment is shared among those considered the "mainstream" of conservative thought. This is unconscionable.


Bob 10:42 AM  

It is amazing that these people try to make it look like they are the flag-waving, support the constitution crowd, when they have so little respect for people of differing opinions or different religions.

This is pretty dangerous stuff and should be more loudly condemned. I think a few people will have to get killed or a domestic terrorist incident will need to occur before people push back. Why is the left afraid to call it what it is? This is unpatriotic, anti-American bullshit. These people aren’t patriots; they hate the result of our democratic process. If it goes beyond words and beyond the norms of political process, I will add another word: traitors.

Bob 12:35 PM  

You should read the reviews of this book on Amazon.

Those who don't like it, even those who take the book apart based on its arguements versus its politics are condemned by those with a conservative view.

Basically it comes down to this: "Oh, you don't like this book? Then you are an evil liberal and I must buy the book."

Smitty 1:01 PM  

are condemned by those with a conservative view

I know!! That's driving me bat-shit insane.

This is nonsense, and nobody is stopping it. I am EVIL because I disagree with someone?

And I swear to the almighty that if I hear that mealy-mouthed "lefties have their nutcases too" then I may actually seek out a kitten and throw it. Sure, lefties have their nutcases, but lefty nutcases are not the main-stream. This horrifying view...that dissent and that left-leaning "liberal" views are evil...are held and repeated by the go-to people on the right. All the talk show hosts. The fucking news anchors. This is the STANDARD mindset, not the fringe. The fringe just adds violence and a complete lack of education and world-view to the mix.

This is their regular talking point. From the fucking House Minority Leader on down to redneck fucks like Toby Keith, they repeat these talking points and this sentiment. Their fucking LEADER in Washington does NOTHING to reign this shit in.

Monk-in-Training 1:25 PM  

This is an unfortunate outcome of Nixon's Southern strategy of peeling conservative Christian voters off the Democratic party. Bit by Lee Atwater inspired bit, Republicans have become a theocracy.

In the Sacred Name of God we have had the Crusades, the Inquisition, etc. Now we have the demonization of anyone who does not say their political rosary to Our Lady of the Right, Sarah Palin.

This is no longer a political disagreement with this crowd, it is a moral issue. People who disagree are 'sinners' in their sight. Where it will end, I am afraid even Angels fear to look.

Sometime google Lee Atwater and "tumor of the soul" Good reading on how this came to be.

Smitty 2:34 PM  

Where it will end, I am afraid even Angels fear to look.

That's exactly what I'm afraid of. One side, the "liberals" are a now-unchecked voice of reason that can go astray because they have no honest critic. They will start to do whatever, because the other side is just gonna scream anyway.

Then the other side is an unhinged angry mob led by demagogues whose idea of debate is "agree or be judged."

I am afraid this will lead to deaths.

Streak 5:52 PM  

Wow. I too read through some of the comments, and they made me wince. Googling the author brings up a lot of references to World Net Daily. Enough said.

This isn't new, but as you guys all noted, it seems to have taken on a mainstream status among the right wing.

Here is a question for you guys. What about Obama brings out this level of vitriol? Is this about race? Or is this just that the right wing talk radio has been frothing the right wing into such a frenzy that they truly believe that anything to the left of Ronald Reagan is socialism?

steves 8:28 PM  

I can't stand this kind of stuff, either. To be fair, I can't stand most of what is published under the guise of contemporary politics.

For every thoughtful book, there are probably 10 or 20 that are just like this. I am afraid it is what sells. Most people, I hate to say, don't want to be challenged and just would rather have their point of view reinforced.

I think the hatred directed at Obama is just a symptom of how polarized we have become. They would hate anyone else, no matter how close to the right. I would also predict that if the GOP regains power, we will see a similar level of hatred paid back.

steves 9:40 PM  

Why Bart Stupak feels like he can't even connect his home phone any more and that he has to retire.

I certainly won't condone the threats against Stupak, but back when he was the face of healthcare obstruction I saw calls from Democrats all over the country to see him defeated. I also saw some pretty nasty rhetoric from these folks that called him all sorts of bad. Stupak even lamented the fact that Democrats were calling for ethics investigations and he was getting blasted on Maddow and Kos.

I am sure that the threats have hurt, but do you honestly believe the flak he has taken from his own party had nothing to do with it?

Monk-in-Training 5:15 AM  


I want to ask you something, are you saying in your posts that you think left wing vitriol and violence is equal to right wing violence and vitriol?

That seems to be what I am getting from your response, and I am just attempting to understand your point.

Streak 8:16 AM  

I have to agree with Monk here, Steve. Are you suggesting that the left is the same as teh right because people criticized Stupak for his stalling on healthcare? Is that the same as the death threats?

I look at the last administration and yes, we called Bush an idiot (I still see no evidence to the contrary, btw), but I don't remember a surge in death threats or threats of violence. A MoveOn member compared Bush to Hitler, MoveOn yanked the video, and the media and politicians (left and right) condemned it.

How does that make the left exactly like the right?

Smitty 8:16 AM  

I am sure that the threats have hurt, but do you honestly believe the flak he has taken from his own party had nothing to do with it?

So an ethics investigation into improprieties reagrding his living arrangement in DC and jamming his phone lines with calls telling him to vote for the bill and how disgusted people are for his holding up the bill based on something that is already illegal is the same, in your world, as actual threats of physical violence?

Look, a very common tactic among grassroots organizations of all flavors is to jam an office's phone and fax lines and clog email in-boxes with vote for/against messages, especially when it comes out that a particular elected official is holding-up the process.

What is NOT standard operating procedure is actual threats phoned-in to a legislator's HOME PHONE.

So sure, maybe Stupak pissed off so many Repubs and Dems that he saw his base trickle away and doesn't want to bet Vegas odds that he gets to return.

But any legislator who faces this violent right wing vitriol may very well think twice about running again.

So good luck to Mike Prusi, if he decides to run for that seat.

Bob 9:19 AM  

"So good luck to Mike Prusi, if he decides to run for that seat."

Hope he does run considering some of the D's looking at it are worse than Stupak.

steves 4:52 PM  

No, I do not think death threats are equal to rude comments or any type of non-violent critique. I don't believe I said that and I didn't mean to imply that. I would like to make several points and want to emphasize that they are my opinion.

The death threats are neither common, nor are they widespread. How many have resulted in arrests? I recall only a few. Impolite rhetoric, hyperbole, and stupid comments have been common from the Right as of late, but I wouldn't say that death threats were.

I completely agree that the Right is on the wrong, so to speak,. That being said, extreme rhetoric and some violence from the left did occur in the recent past and was more than just a moveon video. I saw worse stuff from Kos. SEIU members beat up some tea baggers at a Carnahan town hall meeting, IIRC.

The left is not exactly like the right. I think the right is capable of more violence. My point was that I doubt we will see some kind of polite, reasoned opposition from everyone if the right regains power. I am sure we will see it here and on other fine blogs, but it won't be the mainstream.

Streak 7:44 AM  

I would just note that the right has done more than talk about violence since Obama was elected. Not necessarily about healthcare, but we have the George Tiller murder, the guy who opened fire at the Smithsonian, and several nutjobs who shot cops in several states.

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