The British have a great phrase for expressing the fact that someone is undergoing a particularly angering derangement syndrome. They simply say that someone "has a cob on." Well, Joan Walsh has had a massive cob on since early April, dating, specifically from the moment the President announced he was going to seek a second term in office.
Joan, being an unreconstructed PUMA, harboured hopes that Barack Obama would gallantly step aside after four years, so Hillary Clinton could step up to the plate and save America from a fate worse than death: a Dominionist-led Republican party intent on forming a fundamentalist Christian theocracy. The President could have been forgiven for doing just that, with the amount of vitriol coming from the so-called "Progressive" end of the Democratic party, criticizing his every action and parsing his ever word.
Joan, like Bill Maher, identifies with this tranche of Democrat, but often, like Bill Maher, she betrays herself as a dedicated follower of political fashion, a Madonna wannabe who, more often than not, revealed herself to be pragmatic and with an abundance of good common sense, based on a solid working class upbringing. In fact, as if to prove her Progressive credentials to people whom her mother would probably view as dubious company at best, she's often accused the President of "punching the hippy."
That's a pretty oxymoronic description of Progressives, who like to think of themselves as the natural successors to the hippies of Haight-Ashbury, considering the fact that these self-proclaimed successors are designer-clad, drink the finest wines, holiday in exclusive resorts, fly by private jet and employ people, some even illegally, for pathetically low wages, whilst pumping up their own credentials as spokesmen for the middle class. Besides, Joan's a few years younger than I. She was a little kid in elementary school, when I was in junior high and actually knowing some bona fide hippies who tuned in, turned on and dropped out of mainstream society.
Anyway, around about the time the President declared he'd be running again, Joan penned a pretty petty screed, complaining about how much the President had let everyone down, specifically pointing to the events recent to Wisconsin and its major kerfuffle with Scott Walker, accusing the President and Organising for America, basically, of not coming up with the goods in support of the striking public service workers. All real Democrats, Joan said, should do as she intended to do, which was probably vote for the President again, but she wouldn't invest so much time, energy or money into his campaign. In fact, she intended to spend this entire year working for local and state candidates, and suggested we do also; then, maybe next year we could all think about supporting the President at the last minute. After all, he's abandoned us, his base.
I used to be one of Joan's Facebook friends. Like many high-profile media pundits, she maintains a Facebook page and twitters. However, the most surprising thing about Joan I learned from her Facebook page is how utterly intolerant she is of anyone who disagrees with an opinion she's given. Even any disagreement made in a polite form was met with snark and invective, Joan invariably telling whoever disagreed to "get help" or "get a life" or even "you're scary." In other words, "You're a pleb. You don't count. If you disagree with me, find someplace else to hang out."
Wow. Real mean girl tactics.
My problem is, someone saying something like that to me, not only insults my intelligence, it's like waving the proverbial red flag to a bull. I answer back. I demand explanations. And wait a moment, not only is that condescending, it's downright rude. I might come from the rural South, but my liberal credentials are just as good and solid as those of Ms Walsh, my education is certainly on par, and besides, my mamma raised me better.
Any public figure who maintains a foothold in the social networking cybersphere is inviting an exchange of ideas, but more and more, it's becoming obvious that this instant punditocracy is demanding reinforcement and excessive stroking of ego. Short order, peeps: They think for you so you don't have to think critically. They speak. You listen. They're on television. They're paid to write. Therefore, they are your betters and you must adhere to them.
Gee, that's almost something of which Ayn Rand would be proud. Disagree with Joan, and Joan does something of which she disparagingly accuses the President: she punches down. Moreover, unlike the President, she uses snark, invective, ad hominem and bad language. She name calls. She swears at you. Univited and unsolicited.
And when all is said and done, she takes the coward's way out of any further discussion by banning the person whom she's directly vilified. She left an African American blogger who confronted her about a racial issue on Twitter with the pronouncement, "I know it must suck to be you" before blocking the lady from her account.
Joan, I know it must suck to be so insecure as well as to have made an inadvertant slip-up and to be revealed as someone who has issues with people of other races as well as people who disagree with your opinion, but you see, I've always been of the misguided opinion that anyone who is given a platform in the media needs to call upon their supposed good breeding and meet any divergence of thought with good grace and good manners. That's civilised. But then again, maybe you aren't, or maybe you just haven't got past the thinking and debating skills of the average fourteen year-old girl.
Joan most recently wrote an op-ed piece for Salon, once again, haranguing the President for abandoning his base. I disagreed, but because I have been banished from expressing an opinion on Joan's Facebook page, because I didn't worship at the altar of St Joan, I had to express my opinion to her in a Private Message, and I include the exchange herein so people can see just how our media betters respond to us plebs.
I admit, I started off with a glib remark, but I feel justified in doing so, although I know it lowers me to Joan's level, because I've been on the receiving end of Joan's standard suggestion that I "get help." (Get it? Anyone who doesn't follow Joan's line of thought is patently mental.)
This occurred several days ago:-
Me - June 15:
Puma Girl, in your screed tonight, you failed to consider the part the media - that's YOU - played in undermining the President's message. People like your BFF Arianna Closet-Republican and Corporatist Huffington in lying and telling people that the President wasn't for the middle class; people like Jane Hamsher and her racists posters and words; people like Ed Schultz, telling people not to vote in the midterms. You fail to realise the innate critical thinking inability most people in this country have and how they listen to the celebrity talking heads for their opinions. This President has been shown less respect than any President in history, including those obvious crooks, Nixon and Bush Minor. And we all know why that is? Because he's BLACK. And that's as true with the obvious racism from the Right as it is from the white privilegists on the Left. As for the analogy to FDR: horses for courses, and even Roosevelt, who was effectively separated from his wife whilst President, wouldnt' stant up to the scrutiny of you lot today. You make yellow journalism look positively pristine. And please don't resort to ad hominem and tell ME to get help until you've addressed your racism problem. Sorry, but an Irish background is no equivalent to an African American one and what they suffered.
Cleopatra,Queen of Denial.
Joan - June 16:-
You're Obama's worst enemy. I think you might be a paid GOP troll. God bless!
Me - June 16:-
In YOUR worst dreams. I am MORE of a Democrat than you can EVER hope to be.
You know, I seem to recall the President, the month before he was inaugurated, spelling out explicitly just how bad the economic situation was and how it would take 10 years to rectify; also, that he couldn't do it alone, and that we all would have to make sacrifices. I also remember during the campaign that he said repeatedly that change comes bottom up. You state almost categorically that this President has let US down. No. The public has let HIM down. The public led by provincial hacks turned into self-important media "analysts" like yourself. You DEIGN to criticize corporate power when YOU are paid and serve one of the biggest media corporations in the world. I don't hear YOU complaining about the corporate cheque you receive for your satellite appearances on Chris Matthews's or Ed Schultz's show.
From day ONE of this Administration, people like yourself, led the chorus in nit-picking everything this President did, parsing his w.every word, second-guessing his every thought or action. The GOP didn't have to do anything but say NO - because the Democratic so-called "base", in all its immature glory, did the rest for them. Even today, we see that eminent "Progressive" voice, Dennis Kucinich, turn himself into the biggest weapon the Republicans have at their disposal, all for the benefit of his Napoleonic hubris.
You, yourself, are positively simple in your analysis that EVERY African American, EVERY Latino, EVERY young person is, by nature, of a Progressive bent. WHO was behind the implementation of Prop 8 in California? The African American churches and Latino Catholics. Herman Cain? Allen West? Alan Keyes? Hardly "Progressive", which is really a poor euphemism for people who are too scared and too trendy to use the good, solid epithet of LIBERAL.
And as for the "middle class," that's a euphemism also, just to justify social climbing. If you have to work to live, you're working class. Suck it up and be proud about it. People like you, who took over the Democratic party threw the unions and the working class and working poor, chiefly located in the rural South, Midwest and Rust Belt, under the political bus. Your great Progressive hope, Gary Hart, who was, himself, a political and moral fraud, referred to them as "little Hubert Humphreys" and deemed them unworthy herd followers. You only paid attention to the unions lately when something as blatant as Scott Walker comes along and tinkers with a basic right that's virtually taken for granted by so many, but how much attention has been paid to the NLRB and the President battling Boeing for moving works from Washington to right-to-work South Carolina as punishment for a strike action previously taken. No one in the media is covering that.
The whole truth of the matter is simply that when the US collectively found good common sense and elected someone who genuinely cared about serving and working for the people who elected him and those who didn't, privileged, WHITE America suddenly developed Negro Derangement Syndrome - the Right hating the fact that a black man was in the White House and the "Progressives" hating the fact that there was a black man in the White House, smarter than they were and who wouldn't do what THEY said. Of course, giving him a second term would tacitly tell others of his ilk that they're entitled to try for the Presidency too, wouldn't it? I have lived in Europe too long. I was one of those Americans who didn't hide behind false Canadiancy from shame at having someone like Bush represent our interests, but I'm even more ashamed at the behaviour of my countrymen in their return to petulant adolescence because the man they elected cannot right the wrongs that took 30 years to fester in less than one Presidential term. I've also lived in Europe long enough to know that the US media sucks cack in comparison to entities like the BBC, and that you are part of the problem. And, PLEASE, don't presume to question my political affiliation.
YOU and self-important, inexperienced faux journalists and the lowest common denominator who listen to you and expect you to formulate opinions for them have done far more damage to this Presidency and its legacy than you will ever know. But perhaps you'll have a long time to think about that, under the theocratic Rightwing regime of a President Palin, Bachmann or Perry. God HELP you.
Joan - June 16th (this one's the doozy!)
Go tell your friends you think the black church was behind Prop. 8! That'll get a good discussion going! God help YOU. You don't know a fucking thing about my life or my background. You run with a gang that harasses other progressives instead of fighting the good fight. You're probably paid by Breitbart. Oh, and I don't get paid for my MSNBC appearances. Again, you know nothing about me -- and you never will.
Me - June 16th:-
AND YOU KNOW VERY LITTLE ABOUT ME! YOU HAVE BREITBART OF THE BRAIN! HOW NICE THAT YOU SWEAR SO READILY AT THE VIEWING PUBLIC - THAT SHOWS HOW MUCH DISDAIN YOU HAVE FOR THE PLEBS. AND MY AFRICAN AMERICAN FRIENDS READILY ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THAT PART OF THEIR SOCIAL DYNAMIC HAD A LOT TO DO WITH PROP 8 PASSING. YOU SEE, THEY KNOW THAT THERE ARE SOCIAL AND EVEN FISCAL CONSERVATIVES AMONGST THEM. UNLIKE YOU WHO TAKE A PARTICULARLY PATRONISING VIEW OF AFRICAN AMERICANS AND, INDEED, OF ANYONE IN GENERAL WHO DOESN'T OCCUPY SUCH LOFTY HEIGHTS OF THE MEDIA. YOU ARE PATHETIC. TO THINK I USED TO ADMIRE YOU AND THOUGHT YOU HAD COMMON SENSE. YOU LONG TO BE PART OF THE RADICAL CHIC AND YET YOU'RE KEPT OUTSIDE ON THE WINDOWLEDGE OF THE BOURGEOISIE WHOM THEY DISDAIN. YOU ARE ONE OF THEIR USEFUL IDIOTS. SUCK ON THIS ... IT PERTAINS TO YOU:-
Oops! Forgot this ... this is how bourgeois you are ... You are Larue to the rich girls' (Arianna and KaTREEna) Gidget. Bet you even cover up on the beach too, just like Larue. You have a really cute dog - I'm a dog lover. Shame about the owner, though.
I guess life is a bitch, and so are Joan and I; but I take particular exception to anyone accusing me of being a Rightwing troll. Anyone who knows me, and certainly anyone who knows me from childhood and adolescence, knows I am anything but Rightwing; but that's the best Joan can do: When in doubt, accuse someone of being a Rightwing troll in the employ of Andrew Breitbart. I know Joan's having a small problem with Breitbart at the moment, but there's no reason to project her opinion of Breitbart on anyone who disagrees with her. I mean, that's tantamount to saying that anyone disagreeing with Joan Walsh's idea of things is invariably dishonest and journalistic scum of the earth.
Sorry, Joan, but no less than Bill Maher, amongst others acknowledged as early as March 2009 that Prop 8's success in the 2008 election was down to three factors:- massive campaign funding from the Mormon Church, the support of Catholic Latinos and the support of the Evangelical African American churches. It's not my problem if you, a Progressive, hold a disgustingly patronising view of African Americans, assuming that because of your natural descendence from the politically fashionable but shallow radical chic, all African Americans hold the same political views as the saintly and pure Progressives. If that be so, how does one explain the Blue Dog Harold Ford Jnr, or the Republican Alan Keyes, or the Tea Partiers Herman Cain, Tim Scott and Allen West?
Joan's the Queen of Twitter, who recently reviewed a new history of the Civil War and who, in her review tried valiantly to equate the hardships and suffering endured by people of her heritage, the Irish, to the sufferings endured by African Americans, both as slaves and freed men. Sorry, Joan. As they say in my part of America, "That dog don't bark." And it doesn't land you any kudos. In fact, I had an African American blogger remark to me in your domain of Twitter that in actual fact, most African American churches were originally part of the Evangelical movement which started in the South, so their religious faith is akin to that found in the South.
As for accusing me of being a troll from the Right who attacks Progressives, Joan, you really should get out more. People like you, Arianna and Katrina van den Heuvel, along with Hamsher, the grifter Adam Green, and ex-neocon Cenk Uygar and others, have been doing their damnedest since the beginning of this Administration to drive a wedge in the Left; and mostly, you've succeeded, if the GOP's retaking of the House in 2010 is anything by which to measure this.
Arianna toured the country telling people that the President wasn't "that into" the middle class. Jane Hamsher and the craven Dan Choi sat at Netroots Nation and proclaimed Obama to be the worst President for gay rights in history. (By the way, didn't the President get DADT repealed and didn't he invite Choi to the signing? And wasn't Choi photographed atop a light pole waving a flag outside the White House on the night Osama bin Laden was killed, and wasn't he in the company of Rachel Maddow?)
If I attack Progressives and if others do so, it's because we're sick and tired of Progressives or closeted Koch-infested libertarians like your homeboy Glenn Greenwald, referring to us as "Obamabots" and calling us names because we more than sorta kinda remember what the President has said and when, as well as knowing how government is supposed to work and function and maybe being a bit familiar with the Constitution. And as for history - well, revisionist history isn't something to be found exclusively in the realms of the Teaparty. Sarah Palin may think that Paul Revere warned the British not to tamper with our Second Amendment rights, but Netroots Nation tried to label "Uncle Tom's Cabin" as a pro-slavery book. Go figure.
Many of us REAL Democrats - those of us who eschew Gary Hart's label "Progressive" label in favour of the traditional LIBERALS which we're supposed to be - remember that Hart hated the unions because the unions backed LBJ on the Viet Namese War, mainly because it was the sons of working class union members who had to heed the draft call. Hart's minions were the white, affluent, privileged sons and daughters of the professional middle class, with no ties to the union movement and no contact with working class people, except for the ones who cleaned their parents' houses and cut their grass. And it was Hart, who cacked on the real traditional base of the Democratic party - the working classes and working poor of the rural South, Midwest and the industrial Rust Belt, the "ordinary Joes" your friend Chris Matthews tries to channel - calling them "little Hubert Humprheys" and "herd followers."
Hart ushered these people directly into the arms of the Republican Party, even figuratively holding the door open for their exit and pointing the way right.
Of course, Hart, the great white Progressive hope, handed us all a bill of goods, didn't he? It wasn't a coincidence that his name, more than anyone else's, surfaced in comparison to the Weinergate plight, was it?
If there's a movement at all amongst the rank-and-file Democrats, it's a movement against the extreme Left, who's allying itself ignorantly with certain elements of the extreme Right, in an effort to undermine this Administration. I hope there will also be a backlash against the irresponsible, uninformed and deliberately misinforming tranches of the faux liberal media for promoting dissension from the onset of Obama's tenure.
An informed public can be relied upon to chose responsible leadership, said Jefferson. Thus, an informed public needs a reliable media - not one who lies about the President "punching hippies" whilst they're busy punching plebs.
Sorry, Joan. You lose.