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Sunday, March 21, 2010

Idiots

Every village has at least one.

Here’s ours:

Blackberry 084

Now, since I took this picture with my Blackberry as I was passing through the light at the intersection of the Palmer Wasilla and the Glenn Highways you probably can’t quite make it out.  Allow me to fill in the details: the guy holding the sign is about 50, he’s wearing a Rocky The Flying Squirrel hat, Mukaluks, and a filthy parka. He’s got a short grey mountain man beard and a very red angry face. The sign he’s been waving at traffic for a week says:

LaRouche Says Impeach Obama Now. Go to LaRouchePAC.com

Look, you may not like Barack Obama, but seriously here folks, Lyndon LaRouche? Seriously?  If you’re listening to Lyndon Hermyle LaRouche - the Clown Shoes of Politics, convicted felon, and all around batshit bug eating crazy loon – well, in all seriousness, it’s time to double up on your meds before you hurt yourself.

Wow.

Welcome to the Tea Party, folks. Welcome to the fucking Tea Party.

If nothing else, the Healthcare Reform vote before the House today has certainly brought the fruitcakes out of the woodwork. 

 


Note: Over there to left of the Village Idiot you might notice another odd looking person holding a sign.  That’s the Liberty Tax shill, dressed up as Lady Liberty and waving a sign for the local Tax preparer, she’s a common sight around this time of year. She’s not a LaRouchite, so far as I know.

27 comments:

  1. In my neck of the woods all the LaRouchies are young college students. I've seen more than my share of them at Democratic Conventions. The ones that I have talked to definitely seem a little damaged, especially the young woman who tried to pick me up by going on about how men just weren't to be trusted (except, evidently, LaRouche) and trying to get me to agree with her. Uh, no.

    Nowadays I just give LaRouchies a wide berth. It's better for my own sanity.

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  2. I would think that the Liberty Tax lady is not a Larouchite, as his political philosophies would put her out of business. :D

    And yes, the LaRouche Libertarians are a special kind of freeze-dried whackaloon, the kind that make me disclaim my own politics with a "not related to the party".

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  3. That is the one thing that this whole debate has done really well: help identify the whackjobs.

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  4. I think you left a few steps out of your proof. How is a crazy LaRouchie any indictment of the Tea Party movement?

    Perhaps my inability to fill in your blanks is *evidence* of my Tea Party insanity! :)

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  5. cremes, perhaps it does.

    A rather large number of LaRoche's supporters are members of the Tea Party, along with Birchers, Birthers, Truthers, a host of other conspiracy wingnuts - including the queen of Tea Baggers herself, Sarah Palin.

    Now, perhaps like quantum physics, all that craziness at the atomic level cancels out at the macro-level. But I doubt it. Look to the company you're keeping, cremes, then get back to me.

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  6. We need to send someone to rescue Rocky from that guy's head. How dare they insult our favorite flying squirrel!!

    Anyone seen Bullwinkle??

    ON a more serious note - I'd really like to go to a doctor and get an annual exam...something I've not had in over 10 years. So I'm disappointed there is not a public option with the health care reform, but hopeful what they do pass will lead to more changes down the road.

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  7. Jim,

    there is no political group out there that doesn't have a few nuts. The first comment to this post from Carol Elaine noted how she ran into LaRouchies at some Democratic conventions. Should I now paint the Democratic Party as the party of LaRouche? You must not be a member of the Democratic Party if they allow Larouchies to run around at the convention, correct? That would be true if I were following the logic of your post.

    Must every party continually disavow the crazier elements of their membership? (How does one become a "member" of the Tea Party anyway?) When that happens few people believe the disavowal anyway. I don't like Larouchie's, Truther's, Birther's, and whatever else, but I do consider myself part of the Tea Party movement.

    Back to the nut job on the corner. Did he have any Tea Party memorabilia? Did his sign have any Tea Party elements? I can't tell from the picture so I need to rely on you to report.

    Why do you NOT use this man as evidence that the Democratic Party is full of nuts? Or the Republican Party? Greens? I bet Larouchies pop up at many of their rallies. If his banner is devoid of Tea Party slogans or even the words "tea party," why do you use this man as evidence that the Tea Party is full of nuts?

    I am sincerely curious.

    - Chuck

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  8. So is the LaRouchie there every Saturday?

    People in this country are ticked and no one is helping them with their anger issues. Instead, boneheads and demagogues like Beck whip the frenzy (although to any normal thinking person, Jon Stewart's Beck send off this week is a helpful palliative).

    The real trouble is when the lone LaRouchie is able to gather a crowd. Are we there yet? In some places, I think we are. And that does not bode well for the Republic.

    SP

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  9. Reports that Palin got Bullwinkle are months old.

    http://donstuff.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/sarah-palin-kills-bullwinkle-bambi-is-next/

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  10. cremes:

    there is no political group out there that doesn't have a few nuts.


    True. But the Tea Party is composed primarily of irrationally angry people, the majority of whom make up the wingnut fringe. Birthers, for example, or Truthers (and if there's some question of whether or not these people are sane, then there's nothing for us to talk about). Randians and the rest of the Libertarian goofs. I look at who the Tea Party worships and they lose credibility with me right there. If you honestly believe that Sarah Palin is more qualified to lead this country than Barack Obama, well, you're entitled to your opinion but you and I are never going to agree.

    Must every party continually disavow the crazier elements of their membership?

    Yes. Forcefully and as often as necessary.

    (How does one become a "member" of the Tea Party anyway?)

    Exactly the way you did, by declaring yourself a member.

    Back to the nut job on the corner. Did he have any Tea Party memorabilia? Did his sign have any Tea Party elements? I can't tell from the picture so I need to rely on you to report. Why do you NOT use this man as evidence that the Democratic Party is full of nuts? Or the Republican Party? Greens? I bet Larouchies pop up at many of their rallies. If his banner is devoid of Tea Party slogans or even the words "tea party," why do you use this man as evidence that the Tea Party is full of nuts?


    Fair question.

    I don't use this man as an example of the Democratic Party, because the democratic party isn't calling for Obama's impeachment.

    I don't use this man as an example of the GOP, because the GOP as batshit crazy as they've become also isn't calling for Obama's impeachment. They've called him a socialist and a fascist and a traitor and everything in between, but it's a mark of how little they actually believe their own rhetoric, because they have not as a party called for Obama's impeachment.

    Neither have the Greens, and it is extremely unlikely that a LaRouchie would be a green.

    In fact, other than LaRouche the group of people specifically using the phrase "impeach Obama" are the various spokes-nuts of the Tea Party, to include Beck, Savage, Limbaugh, Palin, et al.

    Here, here's a perfect example of the Tea Party. And there are thousands more just like that.

    So, why do I assume that this guy is a member of the Tea Party?

    If the shoe fits...

    Again, cremes, look to who you're keeping company with. Though I have no proof whatsoever, I strongly, strongly suspect that Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Payne, Franklin, and the rest of the founding fathers would have damned little to do with the Tea Party.

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  11. cremes:

    Note, I realize that I made an assumption, and that is that you understand why calling for "impeachment" belongs firmly on the side of the lunatic fringe.

    Impeachment has very specific requirements as specified in the Constitution. Impeachment is not a recall. You can't just impeach a president because you don't like him, or you don't like the color of his skin, or you don't like his politics. There are no grounds whatsoever for impeachment of the president at this time. None. Calling for impeachment demonstrates a profound lack of understand of how this country is supposed to work - a form of ignorance that is the very hallmark of the Tea Party movement.

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  12. But the Tea Party is composed primarily of irrationally angry people, the majority of whom make up the wingnut fringe.

    I have two problems with this statement.

    1. Since when are angry people the wingnut fringe? We saw plenty of angry folks marching in the civil rights movement. Same with the Iraq War. All of the angry ones were wingnuts? Unsupportable.

    2. "But the Tea Party is composed primarily of angry people..."
    Unsupportable. Granted, I've only been to one Tea Party rally a few months back here in Chicago, but I found most people to be civil. I'd be fine if you amended your statement to "Based on the folks I have met or seen on TV, I think the Tea Party is composed primarily..." At least that is based on your observances rather than your biases.

    I look at who the Tea Party worships and they lose credibility with me right there.

    We're not going to agree on this point though I worship no man. :)

    Yes. Forcefully and as often as necessary.

    Okay, I'll grant this one as long as every statement made by someone claiming to be Tea Party doesn't have to begin with a 500 word disclaimer.

    Also, for a rather distributed movement without national leaders, it's pretty hard for anyone to disclaim or disavow the nut jobs. You view that as a bug, I as a feature.

    I don't use this man as an example of the Democratic Party, because the democratic party isn't calling for Obama's impeachment.

    All of the parties are nuts by this measurement. It's just a matter of timing. We've had calls for impeachment of every president in my lifetime (Carter is my earliest solid memory of a president). Self-appointed spokesheads for each party were always railing on about how Reagan should be impeached for Iran-Contra, Clinton for everything, Bush2 for everything, etc.

    My point is that nearly every political group is guilty of this particular overreach. But it's inconsistent for you to single out the Tea Party movement and say its full of angry nuts who should be ignored because some call for impeachment.

    Also, I realize a lot of folks say impeachment when they mean recall. We don't have that, so they're dummies for doing so. We agree that they are ignorant or lunatics. So I am now denouncing any self-proclaimed Tea Party folks who are moving for impeachment. As a self-identified member of the Tea Party movement, that should be enough for you, right? :P

    ...are the various spokes-nuts of the Tea Party, to include Beck, Savage, Limbaugh, Palin, et al.

    Ugh... they aren't the spokesmen, they are just media figures with opinions chasing ratings (and yes, I include Palin). They are no more the spokesmen for the Tea Party than Moore, Maddow, Penn, and Olberman are the spokesmen for the Democrats.

    Let me throw one more note in here... let's assume that they are the *official* spokesmen. As long as they are truthfully representing the Tea Party movement ideals then it shouldn't matter who they are. To hate or dislike the ideas simply because you don't like who says them is a classic fallacy.

    Though I have no proof whatsoever, I strongly, strongly suspect that Washington, Jefferson, Adams, Payne, Franklin, and the rest of the founding fathers would have damned little to do with the Tea Party.

    Yes, you have no proof so don't bother saying it. I'll refrain from doing the same.

    Look, I've been reading you for nearly 2 years now. I found you way back when Palin landed on the national scene and I've been coming back ever since (as a lurker). We agree on a lot but obviously not everything. I just see you losing it when it comes to Tea Party stuff and I don't understand why. I suspect Palin's involvement was a triggering factor. Your explanations for your hate are not credible to me so I had to speak up to get more information.

    I'm happy to keep talking about this stuff, but if you're tired of it I am happy to go back to lurking.

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  13. Our local 'Lady Liberty' is a 6'2", 250 lb guy with a dense black beard.

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  14. The Liberty Tax shills here in Fairbanks are a couple of boys in high school (I know their moms). Apparently they bundle up under the wrap, and listen to their iPods while cavorting on the streets corners. And, the pay isn't bad for a fairly low skills job. :)

    (renet - what you use to make chese)

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  15. "But the Tea Party is composed primarily of angry people..."

    Gee, try responding to what Jim actually wrote--"But the Tea Party is composed primarily of irrationally angry people, the majority of whom make up the wingnut fringe." (emph. added)

    The people who have participated in the fight for civil rights have been rationally angry people, Cremes. Getting angry because your ancestors were forcibly enslaved and now you can't get served at a lunch counter--those were good reasons to be just a wee little bit enraged.

    People who are angry because they think the President is from Kenya, or because they're afraid of their elderly relatives being carted before death panels are irrationally angry. Their anger is based on demonstrable falsehoods and they refuse to be placated by facts. And such conspiranoiacs are indeed on the wingnut fringe, heirs to the worst traditions of Bircherism and similar creeds.

    The teabagger movement has provided a haven for irrationality and racism. That certainly doesn't mean everybody who's been a part of it has been crazy or a bigot--no more than every Berliner wearing a party lapel pin in 1936 was an anti-Semite. But lie down with pigs, as the old saying goes, wake up with swine (or, if you prefer, there's the similar expression about dogs and fleas--it works, too).

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  16. Somewhere, sometime today (maybe it was even here), someone was commenting that the Tea Party Movement would have to distance itself from its nutjob fringe members if it is to be taken seriously.

    Unfortunately, it seems that the nutjob members are the ones who will have to distance themselves from their rational members on the fringe. I just haven't seen any evidence that the whackos are the ones in the minority.

    Oh, and I have no evidence that this comes from a Tea Party Member (when do we get to amend the words "card carrying"), but someone's getting a visit from the Secret Service.

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  17. >Gee, try responding to what Jim actually wrote

    (sigh) I need to work on my copy/paste skills. But I'd have written exactly the same response even with the additional word(s).

    I reject the statement that these people are irrational or that it's an irrational majority. Neither you nor Jim have provided any evidence or proof of this.

    As a brief aside, another site I like to visit (Get The Flick) posted a hilarious video from a recent Tea Party gathering. A videographer went around interviewing various people. They all spouted the usual righteous indignation about this and that. The videographer then pressed them for details, e.g. what specific elements of the health care bill do you dislike; where does it say death panels; etc.

    None of them could answer it or even tried. It was very funny; these people made fools of themselves. It was also straight out of Leno's "Jay Walking." It's a parlor trick that can be played at any rally for any political group. It tells us nothing about the larger movement.

    I'll point you back to my earlier response. Just because these people aren't good spokesmen for the "movement" or are not glib or can't even string a coherent sentence together does NOT undermine the correctness or rightness of the underlying ideas. Judge the message and not the messenger.

    Now you say the message is nonsense. Apparently, all you hear is racism, falsehoods, and conspiracies. So let's address that.

    I say none of that is the point of the Tea Party. It's barely a fringe. For that idiocy to be the mainstream position of the movement, it would need to be at least a large minority of the people & signage & speeches. But it isn't. If you'd like, I'll be happy to list a set of URLs from over the past year (from the MSM or other sources) that show this growing Tea Party movement to be coherent and grounded. You may do the same to "prove" that the movement is all about irrational anger, racism, bigotry, ad nauseum.

    I know we love to focus on the nutty antics of those whose political views we don't share (I do it too occasionally), but it makes us look just as ignorant. Perhaps Alaska is filled with racist, bigoted conspiracy theorists and that's who make up your local Tea Party. If that's the case, then I'm sorry they've taken the name; it sullies it for the rest of us.

    Here in Chicago, which is hardly a stronghold of any conservative or libertarian thought, I haven't seen it. The gatherings have been civil. The signage has been in the best tradition of American protests. The speakers have been coherent and brave. At *least* 40% of them are self-identified Democrats (not a scientific measurement, just my own empirical observation so feel free to distrust it). Chicago is a huge Democratic Party stronghold and a majority of the people here vote that way. They are pissed too.

    I find this discussion fun though not very educational; you probably feel likewise.

    Why do I see a motivated populace getting interested in the idea of expanding liberty rather than curtailing it, yet you only see hate and ignorance? Does that fault lie with me or with you?

    Chuck

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  18. Okay, so what are the underlying ideas of the Tea Party movement that aren't well-represented by Palin/Beck/Limbaugh et al.? Where you say "motivated populace interested in expanding liberty rather than curtailing it" that makes me think of the core philosophy of the Libertarians. How's the Tea Party different from that?

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  19. cremes,

    I'm too damned tired to play this game tonight. You want to know why I think most of the Tea Party is made up of certifiable idiots? Here.

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  20. Your politics are so much more entertaining then ours :)

    Congrats on the Health Bill passing..while it still needs some work it is a step in the right direction for sure.




    (inueti- an italian female inuit)

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  21. Cremes:

    Let me see if I've got this correct: Except for the Birthers, the Truthers, The 2nd Amendmenters, the Right To Lifers, the Birchers, the ignorant and the stupid like those in the above video, the LaRochies, Rush, Sarah, Glenn, the racists, the bigots, Orly Taitz, Alan Keyes, the separatists, and the secessionists, the Tea Party is a great place.

    You claim the Tea Party is without leaders, a ground swell movement, without a single coherent theme or set of unifying principles - that makes you a mob, all you're lacking are the torches and pitchforks.

    But I don't buy your claim. You've got leaders, you paid them to speak at your convention and you cheered them when they called for the invasion of Iran. Your claim of "don't shoot the messenger" fallacy is false, people such as Beck are shaping your movement not simply reporting on it. You do have unifying themes, and they are the themes that Rush and Glenn and Palin spew into the public consciousness every day. Note the continued and extensive use of the term "death panels" by members of the Tea Party - Palin shapes your movements message, provably so. So does Beck. So does Rush.

    The Tea Party is almost universally white, evangelical christian conservatives. You hate diversity and rail against 'multiculturalism' at every turn. You sound like the rightwing fringe - because that's where the majority of your base comes from.

    There in Chicago, your little Tea Party coven might be made up of nice little church ladies who get together to sell cookies and talk about the Constitution, but nationally your movement is made up of mindless rabble who do what Beck and Palin tell them to do. I just spent a week in the deep South where I met plenty of Tea Party folks. Racists, Bigots, and ignorant, every single one with FoxNews blaring from their TVs 24/7. And here in Palinville, Alaska, I am surrounded by the same nonsense. I see it everything single day.

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  22. Cremes, the birthers, death panelers, truthers and the obvious bigots (the ones who shouted epithets at Representatives Carson, Lewis and Frank, for instance, or the ones using racist iconography in their signs for other examples) are de facto irrational. They are acting on outrageous falsehoods, disproven claims, logical fallacies and outright emotional prejudice. If you're going to defend these people as "rational," there's no sense in having a conversation at all because you're either just trolling or you're as crazy as they are.

    Now, as Jim says, maybe you have a point that if you leave all of the crazy people, ignorant people and bigots out of the picture, you have a nice little movement there. Only problem with that is that these are the people who are the face of your movement. A quote about healthcare reform from a friend, Nathan, is making the rounds right now (thanks, Janiece):

    [The anti-reform] side of this discussion includes racists, nutjobs and opportunists. So does mine. The difference is that on your side, they've become the loudest voices in the room...Even if you've got some valid point to make, I CAN'T FUCKING HEAR YOU over the racists, opportunists and nutjobs. It's YOUR job to make YOUR point in a way that can be heard...NOT MINE! If you want to have a discussion and maybe...just maybe sway anyone's opinions, you're going to have to get the racists, opportunists and nutjobs to shut the fuck up. Or at least, you're going to have to protest somewhere WITHOUT them.

    Maybe you're right, Cremes, that the wackos are only a minority--but they're the vocal minority that appears to control the agenda and the message. So if they're not the heart of the movement, I have some bad news for you--the nice, huggy, reasonable side of the movement has failed. Maybe you need to rally somewhere else and disinvite the assholes. Maybe you need to purge the ranks. I don't know, and to tell you the truth, I don't much care--as long as you're associating with swine, I'm not going to waste a whole lot of effort trying to figure out why non-pigs are rolling around in the mud and eating offal.

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  23. We're all clearly talking right past each other and the tone is getting (irrationally?) angry. There's no real dialogue here. My empirical evidence is ignored because your empirical evidence trumps it. Wash, rinse, repeat, but no progress. Okay, your house, your rules.

    I will retreat from this echo chamber to being a lurker again.

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  24. You could always secede from the Union.

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  25. Just because these people aren't good spokesmen for the "movement" or are not glib or can't even string a coherent sentence together does NOT undermine the correctness or rightness of the underlying ideas.

    But if you can't coherently describe what your underlying ideas are, how can you demonstrate the correctness or rightness of them?

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  26. Yes, exactly, Bill. Mine was an honest question. Cremes sounds like he's reasonably intelligent, so I'd like to hear his take on it.

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