Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Come on feel the noise

The act of picking apart all the crazy stuff that comes out of the mouths of right-wing pundits is a process akin to playing Whack-a-Mole. It requires a large, attentive staff and the job never gets done. That's why I typically shy away from that sort of thing. And quite frankly, groups like Media Matters for America do the job way better than this one man band possibly could.

The right-wing noise machine has gotten even louder, and even more obnoxious, since President Obama arrived at the White House. And even more recently, they have thrown most of their eggs into one basket, hoping that toppling the president on his biggest pet issue, health care reform, will somehow break him. Or, it will be enough rope for them to hang themselves with.

Media Matters has a nice piece up that pretty much sums up some of the things the most noteworthy of wingnut squawkers are yapping about. And apparently, the summer heat must be making them all crazy. Merely a few years after they created their own 'mockrage' over lefties who compared the previous president to Adolf Hitler and the Nazis (remember that MoveOn.org web ad contest back in '04?), well, wouldn't you know it? They're doing it now, Godwin's Law be damned! One well-known radio host even has fantasies of killing House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with poison. And of course, they're all playing the victim, hoping that their legion of lemmings will actually believe that the White House is the one that's attacking... them, even as they've been mobilizing naive fans to disrupt town halls with distorted facts, obnoxious behavior and even violent behavior. Wait! Isn't that what Hitler did when he started?

We start this merry adventure with the always-crazy Glenn Beck. Now, over the past week or so, noisemaking bloggers have been making hay about some comments made by liberal talker Mike Malloy. Malloy, never one to mince words, fantasized about Beck offing himself, with the wish of seeing it posted on YouTube (though I suspect he'll go out nonviolently via an overdose or complete mental breakdown). Of course, the Noise Machine went nuts, claiming that us lefties were all a bunch of hatemongers and terrorists. Oh, boo hoo! Meanwhile, Beck himself is not as saintly as they'd like to believe.

From Media Matters:

Then on Thursday, he poisoned the speaker of the House. Not literally, of course -- just in effigy. On live television. What's the problem? Can't you liberals take a joke?

It was a perfect example of the game conservatives in the media are playing: pouring gasoline on the fire, and then, once they are criticized, saying that they were only kidding. But what does Beck expect his viewers to take away from his broadcasts? After a week of increasingly violent protests at town halls around the country, including one such event at which protesters reportedly mentioned Beck by name when explaining what inspired them, he cannot seriously contend that his rhetoric isn't having an impact, isn't stirring up the rage and confusion that is defining opposition to Democratic reforms. How many times can Beck portray Obama as a traitor who is destroying our national sovereignty, or compare the president's health care proposals to those of the Nazis, before the anger spills over? He calls for calm, and then describes the Obama-led "brownshirts" who are silencing dissent and the "enemies list" the White House is compiling of those who dare to voice their opinions. Meanwhile, it is the Democrats, we are told, who are the irresponsible ones. It is Democrats who are using the language of "pure hate," as Frank Luntz told Beck, to describe the brave patriots who are shouting down members of Congress in defense of liberty. Why are they doing it? Beck's answer? They want to create "more problems" so "they can use the iron fist and crush people." In the meantime, Beck urged his supporters to continue pressuring their members of Congress, even if they have to "hold a meeting ... in front of their house."

Cocaine's a helluva drug, huh Glenn?

Next, Beck's partner in slime, Rush Limbaugh, has evidently forgotten Godwin's Law (an unofficial screed that claims that anyone who brings up Adolf Hitler or Nazis in an argument automatically loses - I would personally add Josef Stalin to that rule myself). Lately, he's had no shame in comparing the Obama Administration and the Democratically-controlled Congress to the Third Reich. All because of... ready for this? Health care reform. Yeah, pretty stupid, right?

With the precision the right-wing echo chamber provides on a daily basis, Rush reiterated his heartfelt belief that if Democrats have their way, senior citizens -- the very same group that benefits exclusively from that evil government-run program known as Medicare -- will spend their last days on a "Statist Farm," where they will be unable to see a doctor and suffer at the hands of heartless bureaucrats whose job it will be to "make sure certain people die." On the other hand, if you were a loyal Obama supporter, you know, like an HIV patient, you might get special treatment. Limbaugh also mocked the voice of Kathleen Sebelius (he sure hates it when women talk) and described her work promoting reform as a "campaign of pure fraud and deceit." And he had a warning for some of the crooks in D.C.: "You Blue Dogs are about to see your last days if you vote for this bill." At least he's giving them one more chance to get it right.


"[T]he Obama health care logo is damn close to a Nazi swastika logo," he said on air. He went on to explain "the similarities between the Democrat Party of today and the Nazi Party in Germany." Key among them: "Adolf Hitler, like Barack Obama, also ruled by dictate." On Friday, he did it again, but blamed Nancy Pelosi for "starting it" because she had pointed out that one conservative protester had made a sign featuring a swastika. There was plenty of photographic evidence to back her up, but Limbaugh still called her "deranged."

...Limbaugh explained that Obama's "brownshirts" were
coming, sure to make use of the "snitch website" he had set up. He warned of "union thugs" who had "roughed up" a protester -- "Mussolini-type stuff." He accused a St. Louis SEIU local of violence, and then gave out the office's address.Uhh, yeah.

Finally, if we needed further proof that syndicated squawker and CNN host Lou Dobbs has lost what was left of his xenophobic mind, he has essentially dumped the whole "Mr. Independent" facade he's been shucking and jiving us with over the years and is now a hardcore right-wing Obama hater. Dobbs is still smarting over the much-deserved criticism from the left over the whole ridiculous Obama birth certificate conspiracy theory (nevermind that Obama has been throroughly vetted by the FBI and the Secret Service prior to running for the presidency). And because of all that, Crybaby Lou has unleashed the fangs and has now turned into Bill O'Reilly:

It was actually a banner week for Lou. In fact, he officially abandoned his stance as "Mr. Independent," using his radio show to inform Obama (a regular listener, to be sure) that he was "moving from being an independent, sir, to being absolutely opposed to ... any policy you can conceive of!" Dobbs celebrated his newfound opposition by spreading misinformation on health care reform (it's socialism, by the way, because Obama's a socialist), hosting a Michelle Malkin lovefest, defending Limbaugh, raising the specter of incipient fascism, and repeatedly attacking Keith Olbermann, whom he described as a "cretin" and a "psycho" who was "psychologically scarred" from beatings by "girls" that he supposedly suffered as a child. No wonder, then, that Olbermann works at MSNBC, the network Dobbs called a "coven of thugs."

And not to be left behind by his fellow right-wing media celebrities, Dobbs offered support to a caller who threatened to "brawl" with health care reform advocates at a town hall, encouraging others like him to make their "voice heard."

But whatever you do, don't say "birther" on his show.

So, there ya go. Love 'em or hate 'em, Media Matters does a damn good job keeping up with this nonsense, and they're nice to have around in times like this. Ironic that the right-wing nut jobs they hold accountable are so arrogant and overzealous that they would gang up to torpedo something like health care reform, which is designed to protect the American people from the greedy tactics of Big Medicine (did ya hear that United Health posted a %150 boost in profits over the past year?), all because they want to stick it to President Obama. Hey, isn't that what they accused us all of doing during the Bush regime?

But with Republican favorable ratings further circling the porcelain bowl, does the mass populace really give a shit what multi-millionaire disc jockeys like Beck, Limbaugh and Dobbs think about anything? They're really just preaching to their own misinformed choirs, feeding them endless helpings of bullshit and hoping that, if repeated enough, it will actually be mistaken for truth. However, after surviving eight years of George W. Bush, and a Democratic mandate last November, it's likely that Americans are tired of all the bullshit and conservative crybaby antics, and are just looking for real change.

What Obama himself has to realize, particularly given his past experience as a community organizer, is that he wields far greater power than a motley gang of media whiners. In the current issue of Rolling Stone, in a roundtable discussion involving columnist Paul Krugman, former political advisor David Gergen (hands down the smartest guy at CNN) and documentarian Michael Moore, they all claim that Obama should be doing more to tap into his massive grassroots organization to bypass the right-wing noise machine. Wisely, Obama has even been hinting at using the Democratic power in D.C. to push through health care bills as a last resort, with or without Republican involvement. Given that Obama has more power to get things done than Bill Clinton ever did, this would be a very smart move.

America spoke up last November, and that's that. And the fact that the wingnut militia has fallen into the role that they berated the left for during much of this decade is hypocrisy at its finest.


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