I woke up this morning thinking about the upcoming election, that what we’re seeing is a fascist backlash since the election of Barack Obama.
I’m not sure that “fascist” is the right word, but it’s as close as I can come right now. “Right-wing extremists”? “Jack-booted thugs”?
The point isn’t the name-calling; the point is the backlash, and finding the most accurate description of these self-named “tea partiers” who have nothing to do with the Boston Tea Party. Our country is not controlled by a foreign imperial power. The Boston Tea Party was about independence, which is no longer an issue.
Instead what we’re seeing is a very large resurgence of John Birch Society-type ideology. It’s strange, because Americans dismissed these folks as the lunatic fringe 60 years ago. Why are they back?
Why are there so many of them? And why are they so loony?
• Christine O’Donnell tells us she is not a witch. Claiming to have flirted with being a witch made her money ten years ago, but now it costs her, so she isn’t one. Never was; “I am you.”
• Rand Paul’s county coordinator stomps a young woman on the head – and then demands an apology.
• Sharron Angle, doing a fast walk away from a reporter asking about her foreign policy, says, “Yes, we have two wars.”
• Carl Paladino threatens to “take out” a reporter.
• Joe Miller hires active-duty soldiers for his security detail, and they handcuff a reporter who annoys them.
• Ken Buck says Gay people are born with a predisposition like alcoholics.
• Jan Brewer, governor of Arizona, is incoherent and can’t even start an answer during a televised debate.
• Sarah Palin can’t tell Katie Couric what newspapers and magazines she reads – because she doesn’t read any.
Meanwhile the Democrats flounder too, unable to explain what’s going on in a simple pithy phrase.
Maybe that’s why I came up with “fascist backlash.” If you’ve got a better label, leave a comment. “Fascist” seems a little too strong to me, but I don’t know what else to call it. So focus on the backlash.
I just watched President Obama give a campaign speech in Bridgeport, Connecticut on behalf of Richard Blumenthal, the Democratic Senate nominee, whose opponent is Linda McMahon of phony wrestling and “Sexy Bitch” yacht fame.
The President spoke well, with all the fire and eloquence and truth-telling of his 2008 campaign.
I’ve been hugely critical of him, because he’s been the last person to understand the fascist backlash. But once again, listening to him today, I was drawn back into his vortex while it lasted.
He’s so talented, and so smart; he’s earning his increasingly gray hair, which he joked about today, then tore off a rip-roaring speech (without TelePrompters, as if that’s a serious issue).
He was heckled at one point by a sizable group of AIDS activists, and it was interesting to see how he dealt with them. George W. Bush would have manipulated the crowd to drown them out, and then had goons drag them off. Obama didn’t handle it that way.
He engaged them, answered them back, pointing out that Democrats are increasing funding for world AIDS treatment and research, not Republicans.
(President Bush did receive good marks on this issue – for Africa, not the U.S.)
From there Obama got back on message and roused the crowd; “If we turn out this year like we did two years ago, we will win.”
Fact is, I hate what he’s done/failed to do on Gay rights. When a politician starts hurting my people, as Obama has done with his “emergency” appeal on Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell, I turn against that politician.
Still, this guy might actually be learning on the job, so I waver back and forth on supporting him. I definitely want to minimize Democratic losses next Tuesday; if the self-proclaimed tea partiers win – any of them – it will be bad for the country. The fact is, none of them are qualified for the offices they seek; none of them. And this isn’t just ideology on my part; a Senate candidate proclaims, “I am not a witch”?
Angle runs away, Palin runs away, Wilson runs away, Brewer runs away; this is a conscious strategy to keep from answering questions. Palin thinks Twitter and Facebook are all she needs – but she’s wrong. You can’t govern a country by 140-character tweets.
So let’s recognize what we’re actually dealing with here: Obama prevented a Great Depression.
He’s paying the price for the Great Recession. He’s done several things right and several things wrong, but I’m still in my house and so are most of you.
The banking system did not collapse; it’s seriously messed up, as the foreclosure scandal illustrates, but banks are open, still taking deposits, still clearing checks.
It would be nice if they also made loans, but even FDR didn’t fix everything in a week. (And Obama’s no FDR.)
Maybe Obama’s naivete is finally wearing off; today in Bridgeport he pointed out that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s #1 goal is defeating him in 2012 – not creating jobs, not returning America to world leadership in education, science, technology and manufacturing, but defeating the Dems at all costs.
Where is the patriotism of Republicans? They parade it at every chance, but they don’t act patriotically. It’s all about politics to them, it’s all about the next election.
Meanwhile Sharron Angle threatens “Second Amendment remedies” – armed rebellion, treason – if she doesn’t win.
So does some black Republican preacher/candidate in Texas; “nothing should be off the table.”
That’s why so-called “tea partiers” showed up with guns last summer at Obama speeches. That’s why they march through the streets with AK-47s.
They’re threatening to shoot their way to power. I say that’s fascist.
Obama isn’t a Nazi, isn’t a socialist, isn’t that old bugaboo, a Communist. He’s a cautious and moderate Democrat.
He’s also Black, and that’s what’s brought out these extremists.
I wish he were more of a fighter (as he was today in Bridgeport) and less of a philosopher. But he is what he is, a far better President than the last one. Despite all of his missteps on Gay rights, he still deserves our support. He’s an honest man with convictions – and he invoked Lincoln again today, which I appreciate.
He mentioned getting us out of Iraq today, a subject never mentioned by any other candidate, and people cheered.
I wish he’d get us out of Afghanistan too; I supported his initial push with more troops there, but now I think it’s hopeless. We can’t tie the USA to a crook like Karzai, when the real issue is Osama bin Laden.
Al-Qaeda in Yemen is sending airbombs to synagogues in Chicago. Thank God, the Saudis and the Brits, they never got there.
We’re being battered on all sides, and so is our President. He sure isn’t perfect, nobody’s messiah, but the smart choice is to dance with the one who brung ya.
Angle, Palin, O’Donnell, Buck, Wilson? They’re Christian Dominionists; click the link. Palin is the worst; O’Donnell and Angle are the dumbest.
The shorthand way to understand them all is this guy. He sought total control, which is the opposite of human liberty celebrated in Boston.++