Nuts to You

by matttbastard

Jesse Taylor provides the ultimate breakdown of the teabagging phenomenon:

It’s a group of fucknuts joining other groups of marginally related fucknuts to protest something or other, in a hugely fucknutty way.  The point of the Tea Party movement, besides the largest thrusting of testicles to America’s collective face since the Soviets launched Sputnik, is to protest…well, basically the entire functioning of the government with no alternative plan or goal whatsoever.  The stated purpose of the protests is “protest against out of control government spending”, which, while something, is also terribly and uselessly vague.  It’s easy to lump in the gun nut survivalists and the Paulies and any number of other wackos because a mission to do stuff (and things!) tends to welcome in anyone who has similar feelings about the top-level definition of “stuff”.  When you have a bunch of angry people welcoming a bunch of other angry people with no core principles or mission, it’s hard to get pissy when you all of a sudden find yourself standing beside Clem the White Supremacist Marksman with your “NO PORKULUS” sign.

As for the leaked DHS report that has the usual suspects gleefully ejaculating fauxtrage as if Obama was milking their persecution complex like it was a prostate gland? Yeah, I get where Steve M. and Spackerman are coming from when they earnestly ask us tax-and-spend socialists to put the collectively-made shoe on the other foot re: ‘fifth columns’. But I’ve also read enough Neiwert to know that the line separating ‘mainstream’ (snerk) wingnuts from their far-right brethren is fine as pure silk–and that line grows ever thinner with every crocodile tear Glenn Beck sheds.

Plus, as Dave Weigel, quoted by Spackerman, observes:

I struggle to find anything wrong in a close — not a willfully obtuse — reading of the report. I’m nine days out of a huge machine gun show in Kentucky. I know that all of the gun stuff in this report is true.

[…]

Do I actually think the [teaparty] protesters want to overthrow the government? No, of course not. But if they want to use this rhetoric, they can’t really be too angry when the government frets about a rising tide of violent government overthrow rhetoric. If the Tea Parties are just a bunch of harmless cosplay nonsense directed at beating Democrats in the 2010 elections, they can say so.

Seriously.

Because, really, this:

oklahomacity

is a pretty goddamn good reason for the US federal government to be just a little bit wary about the increasingly shrill anti-government rhetoric eminating from the right.

YMMV.

Update: Ok, this is starting to freak me out — when the flying Malkin monkey fuck did Little Green Footballs become, um, rational and reasonable?

I’m frightened.

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Greenwald: Right-Wing Hypocrisy is “healthy”

by matttbastard

After surveying some of the rightwing opposition to the $700 billion Paulson bail-out (and acidly noting that such sentiments from these quarters are unfortunately “vital for having any meaningful chance to stop [the Paulson plan]” thanks to the sorry record during the Bush years of craven Democrats in Congress), Glenn Greenwald explains how the sharp, self-interested reversals on display are actually indicative of democracy in action:

The blatant hypocrisy here, while extreme, craven and obvious, is also healthy. Hypocrisy of this sort is actually a vital part of how checks and balances are supposed to work. It is expected that political factions, when in charge of the government, will seek to obtain greater power for themselves, and the check against that is that the “opposition party” will battle and resist — not necessarily out of ideology or principle but due to raw power considerations and self-interest. That is what has been so tragically missing from our political process for the last eight years: while the GOP sought greater and greater government power, Democrats acquiesced almost completely when they weren’t complicitly enabling it. While the Executive was off the charts in terms of the power it seized, the Congress was off the charts in its passivity and eagerness to relinquish its Constitutionally assigned powers to the Bush White House. That’s what has caused the extreme imbalance, with a bloated Republican Party and virtually unlimited presidential power: the failure of Democrats and the Congress to serve as a check on any of that. As their newfound contempt for unlimited power makes conclusively clear, the executive-power-worshipping Republicans of the last eight years — if there is an Obama presidency — will quickly re-discover their limited government power “principles” and won’t be nearly as accommodating.

Related: Jim Johnson on how bipartisanship poses a threat to a healthy US democracy (h/t Crooked Timber):

In terms of consequences, why should we endorse bi-partisanship? That is a fundamentally anti-democratic response. Here I am persuaded by argument by political theorists who, following Joseph Schumpeter (whose conception of democracy is, despite common caricatures, neither a ‘realist’ nor ‘minimalist’), insist that robust competition is crucial to a healthy democracy. For instance, Ian Shapiro* suggests that competition has two salutary effects: (i) it allows voters to throw out incumbents (known more appropriately as ‘the bastards’) and (ii) it pressures the opposition to solicit as wide a range of constituencies as they are able. Given these effects, Shapiro suggests quite pointedly:

If competition for power is the lifeblood of democracy, then the search for bi-partisan consensus … is really anticompetitive collusion in restraint of democracy. Why is it that people do not challenge legislation that has bi-partisan backing, or other forms of bi-partisan agreement on these grounds? …

Among the crucial empirical observations about partisan polarization in the U.S. is that it reflects the economic bifurcation (in terms of wealth and income mal-distribution) among the population. Because the poor participate at relatively low levels, and because many recent immigrants remain unnaturalized (hence disenfranchised), the constituency for a real alternative to right-wing policies remains politically inchoate. The solution to political polarization is to attack economic inequality, to resist anti-immigration policies, and so forth. That might, in fact, require Democrats to stop their headlong rush to mimic Republicans and prompt them to seek to forge broader and deeper alliances between constituencies that do not now see one another as allies. But that would require the Dems to be political rather than play the bi-partisan game. What we need is more robust competition.

That sonic boom you heard was Johnson’s point swooping over David Broder’s shiny pate.

Update: Greenwald pwns the mother of all shameless partisan hacks, “Captain” Ed Morrissey.

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I write letters to the enemy

Dear Wingnuttia,

Congratulations. With this latest five-alarm inferno of assembly-line red-baiting stupid you have finally roasted the shark that you gleefully keep jumping over and covered its charred remains in a burial shroud that maybe-kinda-sorta looks like scary Muslim head gear. Try not to choke on any donuts in the midst of your perpetual orgy of faux-outrage.

Hugs and kisses,

mattt-che-hussein-arafat-motherfucking-free-mumia-bastard

(h/t maha)

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