Sunday, March 4, 2012

An Honest Fight

"Look, I have lots of problems with the president, but those problems are with things that rarely get discussed outside of the internet niches I inhabit. The war on drugs rages on under the Obama presidency. The deportations of immigrants continue at a faster pace than ever before. Obama talks just as tough, if more soberly, than any of his Republican rivals about the Iranian threat…and you know, as much as I am in denial of this, we might be going to war with Iran. Or Israel might. This is just so much more important and frightening to me than any stupid thing that Rush Limbaugh said – and yet, the two are linked inextricably with one another.

We can’t have a grown-up discussion about the problems facing this nation if one side refuses to participate. It’s just not possible. When the GOP is intent on ostracizing virtually every one of its members who refuses to speak the language of movement conservatism, how can we have an honest fight?
It’s not possible, and so everything is left in the fog of punditocracy. Maybe the mediocrity of it all is what drives me crazy. I really don’t mind the political circus itself. I enjoy seeing politicians battered and beaten as they run the campaign gauntlet. I don’t think negative ads are bad. It’s just that there seems, at times, to be something more sinister going on, even if it’s an incidental sort of sinister. Or motivated by the almighty dollar.
But really, this is also the point. The right doesn’t want to have a conversation. They don’t want to use language to speak. The conservative movement has weaponized its linguistic arsenal. They have it down to an art form, or a soft science maybe. They’ve carved away at language until words become smart bombs and targeted long-range missiles."

That's a lengthy quote from Erik Klein's lengthy post, Rise of the right-wing double-speak machine and the Sandra Fluke affair from the libertarian-friendly blog, The League of Ordinary Gentlemen.

While using the broad term 'the right' as a synonym for this ascendent style of reactionary Republicanism misses the mark, the thrust of the piece, which is that more and more political adversaries are becoming less and less capable of conversation because of professional trolls like the long-standing Rush Limbaugh and his innumerable followers, is dead-on. (Even when these demagogues are forced by their advertisers to apologize, they cower behind weasel words and self-rationalizations.)

You just have to read the comments in my own posts which tangentially mention Sarah Palin, Rachel Corrie or Barack Obama, to see how quickly these anonymous spam-bots jump in with abusive language and predetermined talking points. It shows this group's utter contempt for the idea that language should be anything other than a cudgel.

I went to university in the nineties and am well aware that dialogue-aversion can occur on any side of the ideological divide but those identity-politics types who often hold such sway in academic discourse have never been so well-connected, so well-funded that they could effectively stifle the talk of the land.

However, this powerful, reactionary force, one which labels American advocates of reproductive freedom 'sluts' or Canadian opponents of internet censorship as child-pornographers, is actively working to gut democracy and cannot be left unchallenged.


  1. Labour, Conservative. Democrates, Republicans. They're all the same. Kick out the mutha fuckers.

    1. While I can't lump all parties together, I'm always glad you're out there using your blog to remind people to keep their eyes open!

  2. Unfortunately, there is no identifiable "middle ground" in politics anymore.

  3. holy cow, you're clueless for blaming the GOP.
    Bill Maher calls conservative women "cunts" and nobody makes near as big of a deal!
    The Fluke woman is a phoney - a 30 yr old activist who wants people to pay for her sex life?! - that's absurd.

    Obama and the dems passed the most deceptive, non-partisan, non-transparent bill of all time with obamacare, which will decrease quality, increase cost and decrease choice.
    Say what you want about the GOP but they are much more for individual freedom than today's extreme democrats.
    It's OBAMA that:
    - extended the Patriot Act he ran against, AND expanded its scope!
    - insisted NDAA include Americans!
    - blocked the needed Keystone pipeline, while giving US money for foreign oil production when financially beneficial for 0bama donors!
    - is against common-sense legislation that would help insure citizens' votes aren't stolen!
    - is against workers' right to have private votes on whether to unionize!
    - pushed the obamacare in an incredibly deceptive manner. It will reduce choice and quality while increasing overall costs!
    - sold weapons to Mexican drug cartels that resulted in American deaths. "Fast & Furious"!
    - launched neo-fascit #AttackWatch site!
    - appointed the most corrupt administration in history. Including 20 unaccountable "czars" to bypass constitutional methods!
    - still pushes the man-made climate change scam in order to further control people and destroy opportunity!

    1. I saw your shit-storm coming a mile-off. Did you even read the quote which was critical of - gasp! - both parties before you insulted me?
      No, you didn't and thus you proved the point of the entire post.
      So, thanks, I guess.

  4. Well, I must say are almost a prophet, knowing that Maria and her ilk would bring up half truths and no truths to support an agenda of desperation. Broad claims, no attributions. I think people often confuse patriotism with party loyalty, and carry on as if they were one and the same. If the source of one's argument is neither the Constitution nor the Declaration of Independence, then one's arguments are just farts in the wind. Patriots are loyal to those source documents. I believe the term for those who hold party loyalty (whatever party) over the Declaration of Independence (the heart) or the Constitution (the soul) of our country is putz.

    I would like for Maria to identify where we can find those items in the dreaded Obama care initiative that says it will reduce choice and quality while increasing overall costs. I'd like to read that up for myself. those 20 unaccountable "czars" and demonstrate though the identification of applicable Constitutional law, how they are unaccountable, and in what ways they are accountable. So many people just repeat the stupidity they've heard from other ugly parrots. Please, Maria, tell us where we can find this information in FULL, so we can be informed. I look forward to your reply and sources for clarification on these matters.

    1. The funny thing is there's a point or two there, like the business with extending The hideous Patriot Act that I might agree with it but much of the rest is just hyper-partisan nonsense.

  5. Maria's a regular troll on this site, notice she pops up in the discussions Jeffen cited and *boom* she pops up again. And like all trolls/flunkies she automatically assumes that everyone not supporting the GOP must be Democrats and unreservedly support Obama. Really she's embodying the sort of "team politics" problem that plagues our public discourse. "It's okay when my guy does it but when the other guy does it it has to be bad". And before there's an attempt to justify it by pointing out that there Obama-tons who do the same thing let me just say that if I don't accept the "Someone else did it too" argument from my child I'm sure not impressed with it from supposed adults.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm impressed as all get out by the ability to block any cognitive dissonance. That's some high-quality denial. Bravo. You have done a magnificent job proving what Jeffen said.

    1. Yeah she showed up on the Palin thread too.
      And you're right that 'we've been caught -let's blame someone else!" smokescreen that type throw up is nauseating!

  6. Oh and just to be clear I hold Liberals/Democrats/NDPers/whatever liberal-left you have to the exact same standard. Defending Obama for his keeping Guantanamo open or extending the Patriot Act or signing the NDAA into law whilst condemning the actions of GWB make you as big of a hypocrite as the right-wingers who decry Obama's bowing to foreign dignitaries (as diplomatic protocol required) while ignoring Bush's hand-holds and kisses with foreign dignitaries. Or complaining about the bailouts while ignoring that it was the GOP that started them. Or blaming Obama for the economy when it was the economic policies of the GOP that led to the crash. Or... well you get the point I hope.

    1. Well I'm willing to defend Obama on some of that stuff but the entire reason I liked that post I quoted was because it was critical of both sides.


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