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View Diary: Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: Scrimshaw Edition (74 comments)

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  •  Wingnuts never accepted the legitimacy... (12+ / 0-)

    …of Clinton's election, either.

    In fact, they were and are widely convinced that someone they saw as pot-smoking, draft-dodging skirt-chaser dealt drugs out of Mina, Arkansas, while governor and had a lot of people, including his friend Ron Brown, murdered. And on and on and on.

    And has any other president ever been the target of a tell-all book by a former Secret Service agent?

    While the right-wing hysteria now takes on racial overtones and certainly taps into racist hatreds, ultimately, ANY Democratic president faces (and will face) the same assault on his (or her) legitimacy. Racist hatred is simply the most useful tool at hand for them in this case.

    If the Republicans managed to get Clarence Thomas,Michael Steele or any other black conservative elected president, you would not see Teabag protestors with Confederate flags protesting in front of the White House. On the contrary, wingnuts would all be patting themselves on the back and crowing about being "the party of Lincoln," while arguing that the election proves that racism is over and there is no need for affirmative action programs.

    As for the notion that Obama "had to" become a "blank screen," no, he didn't have to. It was politically helpful for this conservative, authoritarian creature of Wall Street to do so in order to get the votes of liberals. And now, of course, his opportunism is backfiring to a degree. That's in the category of he made his bed, now he has to lie in it.

    "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

    by expatjourno on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:26:35 AM PST

    •  I'm not sure he did it as opportunism (10+ / 0-)

      There's a thoughtful analysis in the journal Church History arguing that Obama is steeped in the "Christian realism" of Reinholt Neibuhr -- a moral vision, but tempered by a strong sense of the practicalities.

      That means it isn't just a costume he put on in order to get liberal votes (or Wall St. money); it's an inherent part of his political thought.

      Interestingly, Neibuhr was also a strong influence on Martin Luther King, Jr.

    •  excellent point. the scorched earth strategy (5+ / 0-)

      of winner take all politics, by any means necessary. I recall in the Clinton era being mystified by their attacks on a him for seemingly no reason at all other than he was not from their side. It seemed transparent to me then, and now, that its all about getting back into power for themselves. Ideology or anything else having little to do with it, but endemic social prejudices such as racism, (also too, religion) being very effective tools due to our cultural history.

      I think there is still a lot to be gleaned from the article however, even if its not explicitly racism, which is of course very much in play with Obama, and that is the notions of 'freedom' and 'slavery' as held by the opposing political groups we now have thanks to the underlying 'divide and conquer' strategy which forms the basis for all of this discord.

      Been spending the past 15 minutes or so since reading the article trying to get my head around this:

      Believing in the “right to health care,” Mr. Paul once said, is “basically saying you believe in slavery.”
      This is not just the Paulite version of libertarianism but something at work on the right as a whole. It has to do with he way they have co-opted the concept of freedom itself. (I read something from Lakoff a while back. Have to dig it up again. little help?)

      Trying to get into their (and Paul's) mindset, I can't tell if the idea of accepting 'health care' from some outside provider (government, society, the 'massa') makes one a slave and thus takes away 'freedom,' or it is being 'forced' to provide it to others, as one would be obliged to if one had slaves (to protect your investment not out of empathy,) thus being 'forced' into the 'master' role, that is 'enslaving' ironically, or in either role constitutes 'believing in slavery.' Slavery then (in this mindset) has something to do with caring for someone else, or accepting care, both as Babo in the story cared for the Captain, and as the Master would care (to whatever level he chose to) for his slaves?

      All of the above? Confusing to say the least.

      I think its important because this seems to be at the root of how they are dividing us. 'They,' being the ones truly trying to 'enslave' all of us, by preventing and taking away social and economic justice and freedom from everyone but themselves.

      no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

      by srfRantz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 07:48:53 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Trying to get into their mindset is not... (5+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        JanL, 88kathy, RiveroftheWest, srfRantz, 417els

        …for the faint of heart. Someone should buy you a beer for that.

        Worth pointing out that the GOP doesn't need a black opponent even when playing the race card. For starters, we saw it with Willie Horton, opposition to busing, Reagan's apocryphal welfare queen, and, most egregiously, with Reagan launching his campaign near Philadelphia Mississppi: http://www.nytimes.com/...

        So while I don't think Obama's legitimacy has been attacked more ferociously than another Democrat's would be, I also think the GOP's racism is pretty clear.

        One might also argue that Obama's election led to a kind of harmonic convergence of different strands of GOP hatred and demagoguery.

        "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

        by expatjourno on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 09:24:28 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  If they don't believe in science, they get to (4+ / 0-)

          believe there even is such a thing as race. They get to believe that every baby is pampers commercial ready form zygote. They get to believe we can keep pooping in our own nest as long as we want. They get to believe that magic abundance and not taxes is what builds a civilization.

          Now they have the 2nd (safety net for sloppy) Amendment, and can't be infringed to actually treat their gun like a gun and not a video game controller.

          by 88kathy on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:06:45 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  how do I recommend this for comment of the week? (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          expatjourno, Calamity Jean, 417els
          One might also argue that Obama's election led to a kind of harmonic convergence of different strands of GOP hatred and demagoguery.
          btw, where are you expatting? is it warm and cheap? LOL

          and do you journo still somewhere where I might read you more?

          so anyone got any ideas on how the hell they get from health care to slavery?
          anyone?...

          no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

          by srfRantz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 02:11:58 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Thank you! (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            srfRantz, Calamity Jean

            I'm in cold, expensive northern Europe, I'm afraid.

            Rarely journo-ing these days but there's no good way to update a handle.

            Well, if one is hermetically sealed within a cult, it is easy to believe that ignorance is strength, war is peace and freedom (and affordable health care) is slavery. Because ACORN.

            "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

            by expatjourno on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 03:38:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Orwell was amazingly prescient (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              expatjourno, rambler american

              he only got the type of system reversed. the nomenclature anyhow, still authoritarian is authoritarian and totalitarian is totalitarian. we're not there yet...
              but how apt those slogans are for today's RW.
              how very very apt.

              not a day goes by when I don't hear something come out of their mouths that makes me think of them.
              and shudder.

              I've got a getaway in Nova Scotia, summers only now. At my age I don't think I can become permanent resident, have to look into it, just in case...but now they've got Harper and their own version of RWNJs and even Fox aka Sun Network.

              Costa Rica used to sound good, now overrun with gringos, driving prices through the roof and turning it into Orange County south.

              Maybe Ecuador? ...

              no man is completely worthless, he can always be used as a bad example.

              by srfRantz on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:09:37 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

    •  I was never under the illusion that he was (0+ / 0-)

      actually a "fire breathing" liberal. I have always thought that he was fairly conservative in general and that had he been able to get elected before Reagan, he would have been a pretty good Republican President.

      Racial politics being what they are and have been since he was a young man, and his early experiences as a community organizer would have never made the Republican party an option for him.  So he's a Democrat - in the same way that Clinton was a pro-business Democrat while in office.

      If he remains in the public life as Clinton has, he will suddenly seem a whole lot more liberal than he does now.

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