A new Washington Post poll shows that 70% of Americans think there should be a path to US citizenship for illegal immigrants.
About 60% of Republicans think so too.
Unless President Obama also supports it.
When told that president Obama agreed with their position, that illegal immigrants should eventually be allowed to earn US citizenship after paying a significant fine and back taxes and learning English and going to the back of the line, a significant number of conservatives changed their minds and decided they were against the idea after all.
Only 39% of conservatives polled supported the idea if President Obama's name was attached to it – even if the plan was designed by Republicans.
Thirty-nine percent, and frankly I’m surprised it was that high.
Thirty-nine percent, must be them RINO’s I keep hearing about.
If you couldn’t already see it coming, that, right there, should have heralded the oh so utterly predictable conservative response to last night’s State of the Union Address, which is basically the same response we’ve seen for the last four years, i.e: We’re for it, unless Obama is for it, in which case we’re against it, unless Obama is against it, in which case he’s a Nazi, God bless America.
The truly sad part is that this nonsense started long before the President even reached the podium.
It was pretty obvious that both the so-called Republican rebuttal given by Marco Rubio and the TEA Party response by Rand Paul were drafted way back in 2008 and updated for last night with cliff notes found in the castoff wreckage of the still-smoldering Romney Campaign.
It’s the same old crap with these people, the same old tired script, the same old thinly disguised bigotry, and the same old conspiracy theories gussied-up and dressed in a red, white, and blue Elvis Suit decorated with pseudo-patriotic rhinestones.
This morning social and news media are full of it.
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, members of Congress, fellow citizens…
It starts right there, doesn’t it? With the very first line.
Still, today, after all the debunking, the repeated certification by the State of Hawaii, two successful presidential campaigns and all the background checking that implies, more intense scrutiny than any other single president in American history – after all of that, a significant fraction of conservatives in this country still refuse to openly admit that Barack Obama is a fellow citizen, that his skinny black ass is just as American as they are. They’ll readily believe every silly poorly reasoned, logically inconsistent, idiotic, ridiculous, asinine, soundly debunked conspiracy theory that comes along from every coked-out, crazy-haired, wild-eyed fruitcake with an Internet connection, but they won’t believe Barack Obama is an American citizen, a Christian, and Capitalist. And there’s nothing you can do to convince them otherwise. Nothing.
You can’t reason with people who are not reasonable. You just can’t.
This nonsense, literally non-sense, is a disturbing symptom of a much larger sickness – one that expresses itself in a hundred different ways, from Holocaust denial to climate change denial to creationism to seeing commies lurking in every shadow to the belief that you can actually turn an enemy into a friendly democracy if you just drop enough ordnance on them.
There’s a reason, a damned good reason, why these people are called The Party of No.
It’s because they have institutionalized pessimism.
More, they’ve turned it into a reflex; If Obama is for it, they’re automatically against it. Q.E.D.
And this reflexive pessimism, this reflexive denial, taints everything.
This is why Rubio and Paul had their “rebuttals” prepared in advance.
A real rebuttal, a thoughtful and reasoned response, would have taken at least a day or so and would have countered the President’s address paragraph by paragraph, point by point and step by step with facts and references and deliberation.
Instead, the Party of No did what it has come to do best, they engaged in reflexive denial, in preemptive pessimism.
We don’t like it. You haven’t even heard it. Doesn’t matter, we don’t like it anyway.
Rubio and Paul wrote their rebuttals in advance, engaging in nonsense that we didn’t even have a word for, so we had to make one up: the pre-buttal – which to me sounds like another word for asshat, but hey, if the hat fits… And that ought to tell you just how damned silly this kind of thing is, we had to make up a word for it.
That’s some real pretty stupid, right there.
And it’s the same thing with John Boehner and Mitch McConnell and all the usual talking heads. It didn’t matter whatsoever what the President actually said, conservatives were already against it, even the parts that were their ideas, even the parts they agree with.
Both Rubio and Paul were so optimistic in their pessimism, that they distributed printed copies of their rebuttals hours in advance of the President’s address.
You have to wonder what would have happened if the President had walked down the Aisle, stood up in front of Congress, looked out over the crowd, locked eyes with Ted Nugent, and said, “To hell with it, let’s do it all your way. Peace, out” (in my mind, Obama then nods to the Master At Arms, who cranks up the music and The Prez then breaks into an awesome air guitar rendition of Boston’s More Than A Feeling, see my Maryanne walkin’ awayyyyyyyyyyyahaaaayyyy! as he dances like a boss right on out of the chamber to the stupefied open mouthed amazement of the Legislature … ur, but I digress). Given their reflexive behavior, I suspect Rubio and Paul would each calmly go down their respective position papers and change yes to no and no to yes in every bullet statement, and then they’d continue blithely on as if their handlers had written it that way from the beginning.
Tonight, thanks to the grit and determination of the American people, there is much progress to report. After a decade of grinding war, our brave men and women in uniform are coming home. After years of grueling recession, our businesses have created over six million new jobs. We buy more American cars than we have in five years, and less foreign oil than we have in twenty. Our housing market is healing, our stock market is rebounding, and consumers, patients, and homeowners enjoy stronger protections than ever before. Together, we have cleared away the rubble of crisis, and can say with renewed confidence that the state of our union is stronger. But we gather here knowing that there are millions of Americans whose hard work and dedication have not yet been rewarded. Our economy is adding jobs – but too many people still can’t find full-time employment. Corporate profits have rocketed to all-time highs – but for more than a decade, wages and incomes have barely budged.
Our troops are coming home. The war in Iraq is over, the war in Afghanistan will be over by this time next year. 34,000 troops are on their way home right now. We’re making new jobs, not fast enough, not yet, but we’re not losing them anymore either. American cars are selling, better now than they have in a decade and we’re selling them to the Chinese, you damned right we are. The housing market is finally, firmly, definitively moving in the right direction.
The state of the Union has improved, it has, provably so.
We, all of us, have reason for optimism.
We have reason, good reason, to be hopeful, to believe that things will, are, getting better.
Is the economy where we’d like it to be? Are there enough jobs? Is everybody out of the hole yet? Hell no, of course not – as the president specifically noted – but there is reason for optimism.
There is more reason for optimism than not.
But for a certain mindset it’s all doom and gloom.
For them it’s always doom and gloom.
Everything positive that happens on Obama’s watch is a failure, a harbinger of the end, a reason for the blackest of pessimism. Oh sure, things are improving, or so it seems. Things are looking up now, but just you wait, mark my words, it’s the end of America as we know it! It’s the Anti-Christ! The End Times. Socialism! Nazis! We’re doomed! Oh woe! Woe!
It is our generation’s task, then, to reignite the true engine of America’s economic growth, a rising, thriving middle class. It is our unfinished task to restore the basic bargain that built this country: the idea that if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. It is our unfinished task to make sure that this government works on behalf of the many, and not just the few; that it encourages free enterprise, rewards individual initiative, and opens the doors of opportunity to every child across this great nation.
That’s what Obama said, but what conservatives heard was “Obama wants to destroy the middle class.”
Rubio spent more than half his rebuttal on that exact message, Obama is destroying the middle class. Rubio gave credit to the presidents of both parties, “from John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan” for recognizing the “free enterprise economy” as the “source of our middle class prosperity” Rand Paul also invoked Reagan, and like Rubio he did it in the first couple of paragraphs of his pre-response. In contrasting Obama to Reagan, Paul said Obama wants “more government, more taxes, more debt.” And really what kind of conservative rebuttal would it be if Reagan wasn’t invoked at least once? You know, Reagan, Ronald Reagan, the guy who grew the government enormously (it’s just me who remembers the “600 ship Navy” right? And there wasn’t even a war on), and who massively increased the national debt and raised income taxes seven years in a row to pay for it. So much so that his successor, George H. W. Bush ran on the campaign slogan “Read my lips, no new taxes!” and who in the hell did you think Bush was talking about? But I digress. Again.
Obama says we must reignite the middle class as the true engine of America’s economic growth, Rubio replies that obviously Obama doesn’t get that the middle class is the true source of America’s economic growth. Meanwhile Paul pines for Adam Smith.
It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.
That’s what Obama said, and has said, repeatedly. But both Rubio and Paul claimed “Obama believes government is too small.”
Obama talks about opportunity and inclusion for all, Rubio says Obama wants a society where nobody gets a chance.
Obama says he believes America is exceptional, Rubio and Paul say Obama hates America.
Obama implores Congress to reform Medicare and promises to sign the bill when it reaches his desk, Rubio says Obama wants to hurt seniors by not fixing Medicare.
Obama, the black son of a broken home, says if you work hard and meet your responsibilities, you can get ahead, no matter where you come from, what you look like, or who you love. Rand Paul, the pampered scion of wealth, responds by saying Obama “fails to grasp that […] the American system that rewards hard work is what made America so prosperous.”
Obama says that deficit reduction should be achieved by a combination of cost cutting and increasing revenue by closing tax loopholes, both Rubio and Paul say the president only wants to raise taxes.
Obama implores congress to raise the minimum wage so that those working full time can rise (barely) above the poverty line, Rubio and Paul accuse Obama of hurting business and job growth, because apparently what Americans really want are a lot of shitty jobs with lousy pay and no benefits. That’s the republican version of the American dream right there, a nation of Wal-Mart employees who live on Top Ramen and can barely make the rent. When they say bring Chinese jobs back to America, they ain’t kidding, folks.
And so it went, predictable as the sunrise.
And eventually we got to guns.
The most anticipated response to that topic was the one most likely to be unreasonable, and The Nuge did not disappoint:
"I'm butt naked. I've never been so naked in all my life. If something happens, you're gonna have to call somebody else because I can't do squat to help you right now. I don't even have a pocket knife on me. Can you feel the pain? I did retain my flashlight though. I said, 'Can I bring a flashlight with me?' This is so weird. This is so un-American!"
I can’t argue with that.
I hesitate to use the word “dignity” when it comes to Congress, but Ted Nugent’s presence as an official guest reduces the gravity of the forum to the level of those clownish goofs who dress up in silly costumes and dance around on the sidewalk outside of the Good Morning America studios waving nonsensical signs and screaming their fool heads off hoping to get on TV for a brief moment.
The Motor City Madman went as the guest of congressman Steve Stockman (R-TX. Of course, of course) who called Nugent a “true patriot.” The Nuge was upset that he couldn’t go armed, just in case “something” happened. Apparently his real concern was that he “couldn’t do squat” to help others should “something” happen. Yes, how very un-American, unlike shitting your pants to get out of military service and bad mouthing the country for decades and still ending up as a conservative congressman’s prom-date. A true patriot indeed. No word on if Stockman bought Ted a corsage and slow danced with him at the TEA Party Ball afterward.
You simply cannot reason with unreasonable people, it’s really just that simple.
You cannot reason with people who seem increasingly incapable of reason, or of reasoned response, or even of modestly reasonable behavior.
The most memorable moment of Rubio’s rebuttal was his bizarre desperate lunge for hydration – and the fact that he talks like Jiminy Cricket. Republicans claim they picked him to read their rebuttal because he’s a rising superstar in the party, but the sad truth of the matter is that they picked him because they figure Latinos can’t distinguish between Cubans and Mexicans either. They’ve got themselves a Spanish Speaker and that’s all that matters and it doesn’t even occur to them to wonder why the Cuban American community and the Mexican American community don’t seem to have much in common other than similar sounding dialects of the same language. But then again these are the same people who repeatedly claim black people only voted for Obama because he’s black, and that liberal women would likely vote for Michele Bachman because she allegedly has a vagina. Supposedly Rubio is a leading candidate for a shot at the Republican nomination in 2016, but last night he looked more like a nervous freshman high schooler trying out for the debate club. On her worst day, dizzy from a concussion and seething at her husband’s ongoing Shenanigans, Hillary Clinton would eat this kid alive and screaming and then use his polished bones for toothpicks.
I have no idea what the most memorable part of Rand Paul’s response was, because nobody bothered to watch it, including me (I read the transcript, it was mostly a Greatest Hits compilation of TEA Party slogans run through a spell checker). Paul continually blames congress and government for the country’s supposed plight, and somehow seems to completely miss the part where he himself is a congressman and part of that very same government. Paul is said to be considering a run at the White House in 2016, frankly I think he’s got about as much chance of making it as his father.
Both rebuttals, or prebuttals whatever, were messages of despair, of depression, and hopelessness.
There’s nothing particularly surprising about that, given that the Republican Party has become the party of the intentionally disaffected, of preemptive pessimism. These days they’re less GOP and more EMO and it’s probably only a matter of time until they start dressing like anemic vampires and sleeping with dead girls.
Both Rubio and Paul were notable for what they didn’t say – and that’s why they’ll be quickly forgotten, right along with all the other rebuttals.
In contrast, the most memorable part of President Obama’s speech wasn’t any specific word, it was his ringing endorsement of America.
It was his unflagging belief in this country and his boundless enthusiasm for her people and their future.
It was his steady and unrelenting optimism.
So, if one can't reason with unreasonable people... what can do you do with them?ReplyDelete
I'd love to say "shoot 'em", but then I'd sound like one of the NRA crazies. Truth certainly doesn't work on 'em. Show of hands for shippin' 'em all to Texas and then kick Texas out of the United States? That's about all I can think of that may work.Delete
No offense Melissa Givens and the rest of the Texans with actual grey matter that functions... :)Delete
You can and should treat them with the utter disdain they so richly deserve.Delete
Ah, love, let us be trueDelete
To one another! for the world, which seems
To lie before us like a land of dreams,
So various, so beautiful, so new,
Hath really neither joy, nor love, nor light,
Nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain;
And we are here as on a darkling plain
Swept with confused alarms of struggle and flight,
Where ignorant armies clash by night.
--Mathew Arnold 'Dover Beach' (last stanza)
Which is to say, practice patience here, eventually their ignorance will have to adapt to the inevitable light of day.
Forget that, it's far too far gone to allow them any more patience.Delete
The past 30 years of patience only netted 30 continuous years of increasingly inept and inane insanity.
Enough already. Our children can't afford to be giving with any more patience.
This crap has got to stop. And now.
I would agree with your assessment A non ee mouse except that just before Jim released this article I had been perusing 'The American Conservative' website looking for their insight on the Presidents speech... and what I found is thoughtful analysis, where they also take the unreasonable aspects of today's Republican Party to task. You may want to have a look.Delete
Just because you might find an outlier, that in itself isn't going to change the basic reality.Delete
So no, if I want thoughtful analysis, I can find it somewhere other than a place called 'American Conservative'.
Besides, conservatism is anti-American. American Conservative is literally a malapropism.
Practicing your own brand of preemptive pessimism there are we, A non?Delete
The insanity of the Republicans has gone on for over 30 years.Delete
Pre-emptive? There's nothing pre-emptive about it. It's a response to reality.
You ought to try it. Responding to reality, that is.
Evidently, it'll be a whole new experience.
Frank Israel, remember, you can't reason with unreasonable people. There are none so blind as those who WILL not see.Delete
... therefore we could speak to them in parables.Delete
the above line, by the way, becomes much more profound with the cursor blinking endlessly immediately after the last word of the sentence. Endlessly...Delete
Being overly confident in your own misconstructions is not a strategy one usually aspires to.Delete
Unless, of course, the reality you occupy depends solely on your own misconstructions.
But then, that's all that conservatives have, their misconstructions, and you can always count on them being endlessly desperate to buoy each other's delusions.
It's a feature, not a bug.
Except that not all conservatives neatly fit under your label, whomever you are...Delete
You've not proven yourself to be the exception...Delete
You are Teh Awesome, Thank you! That is all. Well, almost. I have steadfastly avoided the orthography nazi thing, but here goes: Barack vs Barrack, ordnance vs ordinance, and a suggestion: presponse! (yes, I try to be clever, but only because you provide such a high bar to clear!)ReplyDelete
A Texan with a brain and a conscience
Gotta say, I was a bit surprised about the ordinance/ordnance thingie, what with Jim claiming to be an ex-military guy and all....Delete
Hey! You don't suppose....??????
bobble boggle boggle
"You simply cannot reason with unreasonable people, it’s really just that simple."ReplyDelete
~ and the fact that our President retains his dignity and admirable character when faced with SUCH unreasonableness ~ makes him the far. Better. person!!
Love those dance moves you painted!!
"...as he dances like a boss right right on out of the chamber..." I got a great visual on it!!
Thank you for putting words to what I was thinking, Jim. More than once in the last four years I've caught myself throwing my hands up and yelling, "Fuck EVERYTHING." President Obama hasn't succumbed to that temptation, even though he has every reason to.ReplyDelete
Another thing that really strikes me about President Obama is the courtesy he extends to his opponents. Despite all the low-brow conspiracy theories, name-calling, and even jokes about his mother, the President never gives in to the temptation to abandon cordiality. The message I always take away from watching him is, "You expect me to be better than this, because our nation is better than this." For the first time in my young life, I actually believe it, even.
Greetings from an Englishwoman who takes an interest in American politics, and who is a huge fan of Jim`s ! I wish we had such a fantastic leader as Obama over here. We have a total idiot in charge, who is intent on pushing his lunatic ideas through regardless of growing alarm and opposition.. We have almost identical problems to solve here too, with the exception of our amazing free health service (which the Tories are trying to privatise) and the fact that we don`t have guns.... thank goodness, we seem to have managed being relatively safe without them for centuries, and there is no desire amongst we ordinary bods to arm ourselves. Our health service has saved my life and those of many friends and family, at no immediate charge. We pay a relatively small amount via a national insurance scheme, taken at source through salaries or wages. If you don`t work, it makes no difference - everyone is equal. This daft government is trying to give their wealthy friends, some of whom are American, control of our treasured NHS - but it may prove to be their downfall at the next election. Even many Tories value it too much to lose its universal protection. I do so hope that Obama succeeds in all his admirable aims. He is a Great Man.Delete
OMIGOD, Sylvia - When was George W. Bush elected Prime Minister? I missed it!Delete
Sylvia - I just returned 6 months ago from 3 years living and working in England. Since we had resident visas, we were enrolled in the NHS. We came away complete converts to universal health care. We were very pleased with the care we received, both quality and promptness. I can't think of any of our British friends who had any serious complaints. And no one has to worry about their health care and their health disappearing along with their job. Or how to pay for insurance for early retirement. For a little perspective, I retired early and my company generously offered that I could continue my current insurance by paying the full cost. It only would have cost me $18,000/yr. For me. Extra for my wife. Luckily her retiree health insurance is much more generous. Call me a socialist, but I think we have much to learn from our European friends when it comes to taking care of society's less fortunate and even those of us more fortunate when it comes to health care.Delete
We loved living in England. Absolutely loved it. Everyone treated us wonderfully and welcomed us into the community with open arms. People here in the US were confused about the celebration of the NHS in the London Olympics ceremonies. We tried to explain to our friends that they've been led astray with the "horror stories" about the NHS. Sure the NHS could be improved, but what institution couldn't? Overall, we felt it was great, even the little things. Most of the time I was taken right on time. And when you were told to go to room 5 for Dr. Greene, you knock on the door and there is Dr. Greene asking what he can do for me. No waiting. THAT is why they only spend 10-15 minutes per patient, not because they cut things short, because unlike here they are efficient. Here you sit in the room waiting for someone to take your temp, then sit some more, and some more, and then 3 minutes with the doctor. 45 minutes later you are done. They took care of my elderly visiting mother at a total cost to her of about $50. That included a 20 minute doctors visit and 3 prescriptions. They refused to charge her for the prescriptions because she is 84 and prescriptions are free over age 60. She tried to pay since she was a visitor but they weren't having it. "Please just get well, mum." I hope the privatization attempts fail. I think it would be a terrible mistake.
During the debate before the health care vote, we had a relative tell us "I don't care what your experience was. I know that it's terrible and we want no part of it", during a discussion on the merits of universal health care. That ended the conversation.
How do you reply to that? How do you reason with such people?
Could be we just haven't seen him while he's in private chambers. I'd be willing to bet he's had a few choice things to say about the GOP BS. He's only human after all.Delete
I keep wondering just what their game plan is - if they have one. First time around, it was to deny the country any hope or improvement so that Obama would be a one-term president. Well, that ship has sailed - or sunk - so what's the justification now? They can't deny him his next election - nothing they say about Obama will affect Hillary - public opinion polls are generally against them - so why continue to deny, obstruct, ignore...They're not all incompetent idiots, but the majority are doing really good impersonations.ReplyDelete
"disappointing Level of Intellect" from Mike Malloy just now about a freak in New Zealand government that sounds much like the RightWingnutScum in the USofA.ReplyDelete
I LOVE THIS! Thank you for saying so clearly what I've been feeling but don't have the skill to articulate. You have helped save my sanity more often than you will ever know.ReplyDelete
My favorite whoot-worthy line among many: "On her worst day, dizzy from a concussion and seething at her husband’s ongoing Shenanigans, Hillary Clinton would eat this kid alive and screaming and then use his polished bones for toothpicks."ReplyDelete
Mine too! Mine too! So LOLable that I shared it (with attribution and a strong recommendation to hie thee here posthaste for the full feast) at another site.Delete
"Greatest Hits compilation of TEA Party slogans run through a spell checker". Excellent catch, Jim. Yes, that spell checker would definitely be necessary!ReplyDelete
And the maroons still cain't spell it write!Delete
You can't reason with them, no. You CAN hold them up to public ridicule and scorn and make sarcastic jokes about them, yes. Bonus? It's fun. Double bonus? People read funny stuff, thereby making them look even more ridiculous.ReplyDelete
example(s): The Borowitz Report, The Onion, Chelsea Lately, any latenight TV show.
Had a controlling relative once that was just like the republicans. Learned pretty quick that if I wanted something,to adopt the opposite position from the get-go.ReplyDelete
Thought it was a nice touch to seat Ted next to a nice, gay, democrat gentleman, eh ?
Really? How funny. I didn't recognize Ted without cowboy hat and bristling guns.Delete
That was Thomas Louderdale, the bandleader of Pink Martini.Delete
He outclasses Ted in music, ...and I expect pretty much everything else.
I read somewhere that it President Obama warned us all not to eat yellow snow, there would be a stampede by the GOP to consume vast quantities of the stuff. They'd be on every Sunday talk show extolling it's virtues. Hmmmm.......that has potential..........ReplyDelete
As always, Jim, thanks for saying so succinctly what I couldn't possibly explain in any organized fashion.
I'm waiting for Obama to call a press conference and say: "I have come before you today with just one message. Please don't drink bleach. Thank you".Delete
Then once we have the special elections to fill the 40-50 seats in Congress that just opened up, maybe we can get some decent laws passed. The only question is who is going to end up with the FOX news broadcasting license.
Actually, I think the most memorable moment of Rubio's response is the computer-generated transcript of his Spanish version on ABCnews.com:ReplyDelete
Transcript for Marco Rubio's State of the Union Response (Spanish Language Version)
"When an auction said Michael -- Mr. into in the field were severely dollar and authorities and its analysis thousands. Carefully to that a President Obama political -- -- assume among not.
If panel to general Norton on this week -- sort of dollar and on the home and number -- equally ethically counts. -- -- that this government umbrella title beating him to -- I'm at the body in the homeless in August to pay thugs and be -- and asked what's the Hamas you've got the April not because I was -- -- of them. I'll get paneling and soaps."
I am not making this up - just saw them making fun on Colbert & looked it up. And underneath the transcript?
"This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate"
I can't make this stuff up
What's the Hamas, indeed.
I can state positively that as late as 2008 ABC did use a computer for translation of the English Closed Captions, which may already have phonetic problems as they are done on a steno machine.Delete
Choosing to have closed captions become open is flicking a switch at network or the station, as well as at your home.
I retired from ABC in 2008, so I can't speak with authority, but have not heard that they have changed this method.
Actually, the Spanish is fine in the Spanish transcript. I'm not sure where the mangled translation comes from, but that's not in the Spanish.Delete
This is not to say that the speech has anything to do with reality, or that it is complete nonsense. Only that it is grammatically and syntactically correct nonsense in Spanish.Delete
Wow, I think this machine has a real shot for being the Tea Party candidate in 2016!Delete
Rebecca, this is the English transcript of the speech delivered in Spanish.Delete
Apparently, they told the machine to "transcribe", not to "translate". So the thing - bless its pointy transistorized heart - gallantly did what it was told and wrote out the English equivalents of the Spanish sounds it heard.
Oddly enough, this glaring mistake has not been fixed as of 10:30 AM EST Thursday. You can still see it at the URL I gave above.
"Wow, I think this machine has a real shot for being the Tea Party candidate in 2016!"Delete
Bwahahahaha CyberYenta. Sadly, it would probably do a better job than some.
This reminded me of a quote:ReplyDelete
"Now there's this about cynicism, Sergeant. It's the universe's most supine moral position. Real comfortable. If nothing can be done, then you're not some kind of shit for not doing it, and you can lie there and stink to yourself in perfect peace."
The kind of pessimism you talk about in this post is one of these supine moral positions--it's never about doing anything, just about saying how bad it is.
You had me at the title.ReplyDelete
Preemptive pessimism isn't a plan.
That is all I need.
Oh, just wait. When the Republicans take over the Presidency again, they'll all turn into bright, chipper, Morning in America, Ronald Reagans. They'll have at least as many disasters as He Who Must Not Be Named, but the spin will all be positive. "Yes, we've nuked Great Britain and turned Kansas into a desert. Here's Marco Rubio to explain why this is *wonderful* news..."ReplyDelete
And this is exactly, precisely, completely, why they cannot be allowed to take control of the presidency again in 2016, not so long as they are infected with advanced TEA poisoning, not until the knee-jerk ideologes retire or expire, and reasonable, sane people take over from them. I am not holding my breath for that. Hillary in 2016!Delete
Great post! You take what many of us are thinking but can't articulate in the brilliant manner that you do. And I love your sense of humor.ReplyDelete
I have a deep respect for the President for refusing to get on the GOP's level and start fighting like kids in a sandbox.
P.S. I love the word asshat.
A brilliant commentary --thank you. I could only watch Rubio for about 5 minutes, so missed the water episode, and didn't even try to watch Rand Paul. All I can really say is thank you.ReplyDelete
But if the sulking, petulant and sh-one-t for brains Republicans were only sh-one-t for brains Republicans four years ago then the state of the Union hasn't improved. ;-))ReplyDelete
Great post Jim. One thing I have learned over the years. "You cannot beat stupid. Stupid will beat you with experience." Clearly, in the case of the GOP, this is true.ReplyDelete
As I said the other day in one of my posts, the hate for Obama isn't political, it's personal. No, it's prejudice. No other word for it. He is disliked because of his skin color, except nobody is brave enough to admit it. It's as if the South has risen again and the thought-process consist of nothing but "he's a GahDamned Nigger! He shouldn't be there! This is a travesty! We've got to do something, but what?"
Public lynching anyone? You thought they outlawed it? Nah, we're seeing it right now. The GOP is publicly lynching Obama, and most everyone else is standing around, watching the gory show in typical american consumer fashion. That is, we do nothing and let it happen.
What do you think good old honest Abe thinks of his party these days? I can see it now... "Sarah Palin? Ted Nuggent? GOP spokespersons? I feel a headache coming on... just shoot me now!" Yeah, that's what Abe has to be thinking. He has probably spun in his grave so many times that his wooden coffin is either incinerated, or in shavings from all the friction of spinning he's been doing.
No matter how intelligent you are, stupid is always going to win.
Yeah, it's becoming more transparent every day. They just cannot stand the fact that one of THOSE people is POTUS, and not only that, but the country perceives him as superior to all the old white men they're so fond of trotting out for public office. They just can't STAND IT. And it's distorting their perception of reality in ways they never really exhibited before Dr. Blackenstein took office.Delete
65,899,660 voters did something about it on November 6, 2012. Stupid only wins when you play their game.
It's not just that he is black. Colin Powell would not inspire nearly the degree of hate that Obama does. Obama is worse than black. At least, Colin Powell came by his white blood honestly. His ancestors were raped by white slave holders. Obama, on the other hand, had the audacity to be the consensual offspring of a white girl from Kansas and a very black man from Kenya.Delete
Jeanne in WV
I think that Barry would be more acceptable to the melanin disadvantaged if he played ice hockey instead of basketball. Or curling. Something that no sane black man would be caught dead doing.Delete
That would be funny, Obama giving the SOTU in a Quebecois accent. On second thought, that probably would not help to prove his capitalist chops. I'm out of ideas on how to make him more acceptable to Repubs. At least the bipedal ones. Tommy D
Conspiracy junkies are capable of believing anything but the truth.ReplyDelete
Jim, I'm gonna have to reference your sub-title on this one...Don't just embrace the crazy, sidle up next to it and lick its ear. I was just wondering how much water is it gonna take to lick all of the ears of all the crazies that we have seen in just the past couple of days...ReplyDelete
I watched the Rubes re-cycled speech with the sound off, it kinda made more sense that way...I just kept watching to see if he would reach up and pick his nose...
It’s not a bigger government we need, but a smarter government that sets priorities and invests in broad-based growth.ReplyDelete
The GOP and the smarter government are, sadly, mutually exclusive.
I can't argue with a single word you wrote. What can we do with ignorants who won't listen to reason? Win elections against them and over time they will die off like the Anti-Federalists in the late 1700s, the supporters of the Confederacy, and the advocates for Segregation. Shining a spotlight on them helps too.ReplyDelete
From John F. Kennedy to Ronald Reagan? Hmmmm - that would be Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter, right?ReplyDelete
Quote - "I'm butt naked. I've never been so naked in all my life. If something happens, you're gonna have to call somebody else because I can't do squat to help you right now. I don't even have a pocket knife on me."ReplyDelete
Will everyone who thinks they "need" Ted Nugent to "help" them in any manner whatsoever please raise your hands?
What a farce!
Who paid to put that a*****e on the air?
I'm fine with Nugent being the face of the Republican party. If they can't do better than a chickenhawk statutory rapist with a gun fetish, then they should let their freak flag fly.Delete
One thing we all must do is NOT rest on the laurels from 2012. The 2014 election is coming and too many people suffer from short term memories. We can not let the GOP back into the game like 2012.ReplyDelete
No matter what the GOP promises in terms of jobs and the economy, their main objective for any election is the control of women and control of who gets to vote. Jobs and the economy are a secondary objectives.
Jim wrote - "It was pretty obvious that both the so-called Republican rebuttal given by Marco Rubio and the TEA Party response by Rand Paul were drafted way back in 2008 and updated for last night with cliff notes found in the castoff wreckage of the still-smoldering Romney Campaign."ReplyDelete
Who are those guys?
Well - "A new academic study confirms that front groups with longstanding ties to the tobacco industry and the billionaire Koch brothers planned the formation of the Tea Party movement more than a decade before it exploded onto the U.S. political scene."
More here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/brendan-demelle/study-confirms-tea-party-_b_2663125.html
My favorite line: "...the sad truth of the matter is that they picked (Rubio) because they figure Latinos can’t distinguish between Cubans and Mexicans *either*."ReplyDelete
Laughing my ass off, and seething at the same time--because this is so true it needs another whole shiney new word for the level of true it is. Here's a news flash for those GOTP asswipes: "YEAH, WE CAN!!!" And if that resembles another great slogan you may've heard someplace else, well....
This isn't strictly political, it's personal. Very personal. Thank you, Jim. The whole post is wonderful as always, but that one? Magnificent.
I consider myself a pessimistic optimist. I like to think that good things will happen, so not to be too disappointed when it all does turns to shit, and am pleasantly surprised when something positive does happen.ReplyDelete
These guys are optimistic pessimists in that they really hope that things will go bad, and get a big kick when things do turn to shit.
Preemptive Pessimism - phrase of the day.
"Hillary Clinton would eat this kid alive and screaming and then use his polished bones for toothpicks."ReplyDelete
I'd goram pay to see that. Just sayin.
It's tough hearing that what we need is smarter government when the GOP has already labelled itself (regretfully, but candidly) as "the stupid party".ReplyDelete
For all the claims that Blacks only voted for President Obama solely because of his skin color, you don't hear anyone claiming that Mormons voted for Gov Romney solely because of his religion or Vietnam vets or Navy personnel only voted for Sen. McCain because he was a POW.ReplyDelete
But it is okay to demean US voters by claiming they only voted because of the "promises" or "gifts" by the President. Yet totally ignore the wealthy voters to voted for Romney because of his "promises" to them.
When we do it, it's treason. When they do it, it's patriotism.ReplyDelete
I think the Borowitz report had it right when he announced that Fox News aired the rebuttal 12 hours before the SOTU.(http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/02/tea-party-issues-scathing-rebuttal-to-state-of-union-twelve-hours-before-speech.html)ReplyDelete
I agree with Kelcy's PS on "asshat". But it's not "if the hat fits..." It should be "if the ass fits, put a hat on it..."ReplyDelete
There shore do seem to be a lot of folks from Texas fit that description. You know, asses that someone put a hat on. - a disTexed Gustan
I love how articulate and straight forward you write. I loved what you said about Hillary Clinton. Thank you for helping me feeling better about my choices with my government. Your writing is like a shot of tonic.ReplyDelete
Another great post Jim!ReplyDelete
The only trouble with reading your posts is that they're so good that they cause me to just sit back and stop trying to write anything.
President Obama has a great opportunity to create a permanent progressive majority. All he really has to do is keep describing all the Republican candidates in 2014 as intelligent thoughtful people he can really work with to solve all our problems.
If nothing else it would make the Republican primaries a lot more entertaining.
Great piece. Love the phrase "preemptive pessimism".
Oh, yeah: "ordinance">"ordnance". That is all.
Craig in Utah, dodging the UEU monitoring device....
Ouch. Thanks. Fixed.Delete
Thanks for another fantastic post. I needed it. I'm still ticked off about the stupidity in the Senate today regarding the vote for Hagel's confirmation. Who are these wackos who are trying to undermine the country? Seriously, who the he!! do they think they are?!ReplyDelete
M from MD
Have heard this mentioned everywhere except by MSM - GOP is insisting Hagel provide more tax returns to examine each line just in case the rumor (started by them) that Hagel spoke at some un-GOP forum although there is no record of it anywhere and if so - so what? I can recall Rumsfeld partying with Saddam not long before things went south...no one cared then. No one cares that Cheney's friends got no-bid contracts and did shoddy work. No one mentions any embassy bombed under W nor the big one referred to as 9-11 - no one in his administration was underqualified...except for maybe Rumsfeld, W, Cheney, Heck of a job Brownie and everyone else. Anyway I also seem to recall GOP getting their "snit" on when Dems called for Romney to release HIS tax returns -- in the end we got partials for two years - and I believe he was running for the job of Hagel's BOSS.Delete
McCain's latest stupidity amazes me and still MSM won't say a word -- his objection to Hagel is his refusal to admit he was wrong (or McCain believes he was wrong because he opposed McCain's statement in support of the "surge") and still McCain refuses to admit he was wrong about a great number of things beginning with Palin and ending with his grand gesture to postpone his campaign to save the world from financial ruin. I can handle MSM not getting into the reality but couldn't one just play the soundbite of McCain then say "pot-kettle" - that would be a start.
This is funny...the question is not who the hell do they think THEY are, it is more aptly phrased, "Who the hell do ALL of them think they are." It starts with Barry because he was elected head idiot and goes right down both lines. You can slam the Republicans and the Conservatives and I can slam the Democrats but in the end, we are the ones who pay for their selfishness, ALL of them. Forums like this or the Tea Party (whom I seldom agree with entirely)or the radical rednecks or the 1% occupiers are all ineffective because they simply continue the division. No, I didn't vote for him nor do I care for him but he is president and I am honest enough to place blame where it truly belongs...with any of them who fail to produce results FOR THE PEOPLE and Boehner is as big a problem as any. I said when Barry was first elected, if he can balance some money and find some jobs, he can be a hero. NONE of that has happened yet the division continues. How about we come together as A NATION and not elephants or donkeys or libtards or nazis or anything else that only divides further. THEY, all of them are supposed to work FOR the people...can you honestly, yes, honestly tell me that you believe any of them are doing that right now?ReplyDelete
Ah, another angry Ron Paul Libertarian. Terrific.Delete
Yes, Bruce, I can honestly say that I think a number of our elected leader are working in our best interests and are putting the country before their party and themselves, starting with the President - otherwise I wouldn't have voted for him.
This comment has been removed by the author.Delete
There in lies the problem, you begin with name calling. I have said nothing about Ron Paul, yet you cannot comprehend NOT having the upper hand on your blog and you do that by labeling those in disagreement so your readers see you as "the man with the plan". More blind obedience and allegiance. Really Jim, I know it is YOUR blog...I am simply a lowly dissenting post.Delete
Anyone that believes anyone in Washington...including Barry has anything but their personal interest at their focal point is delusional. We did have a very good system of government but government got too big and our system began to fail when the same ego-centric individuals were elected and then re-elected multiple times. We have not had a budget in four years...you cannot blame that on one party or the other, just cannot do it. I tend to appreciate the fact that my employer provides my health care plan AND I pay for it. Yet now I will be taxed to pay for all the other people too lazy or too sorry to figure it out for themselves. I believe we have protected people from themselves to the point that natural selection is nearly non-existent.
We have a government trying to ram laws down the throats of people who follow the current laws but then that same government admitting that they do not have time or resources to enforce existing laws.
WE (not me and not you as right now we are still one nation)cannot afford to provide for every single person who chooses to make their way across a line called a border...much less the people who enter legally. I want you to sneak into Iran or Russia or China and see what sort of benefits the government provides for you. This administration has done more to allow the government aggressive power over the citizens of this nation than any other in recent past. The government was criticized and even charged with crimes during the 'cold war' for actions that are now just passively agreed upon. I am not into most of the conspiracy theories, I believe simply that our government has far exceeded their authority under the Constitution and by re-electing these same people, NOT just the president, the people are saying, "okay, give me more of that." When I served as an MP in the Marine Corps, we were told that under no circumstances were we to take action against a citizen of the United States as it was a violation of the Constitution to do so...NOT anymore. And who approved that change...yes, your beloved Obama. Your rantings and rattlings of gun control and those horrible conservatives and such prove nothing except that despite your background sir, you are part of the problem. Hope I wasn't to much of a 'dick'...
Let’s review, shall we, Bruce? You start by using “Barry,” now you and I and everybody else here knows exactly how you mean that and exactly what you think of folks like me who happen to support this president. Then you finish the sentence with “head idiot in charge.” The gist of your comment is that we’re all idiots and gullible fools and only you have the wherewithal to know what’s really going on.
And then you’re upset because you think I’m resorting to “name calling.” That about right?
Continuing on in this vein in your second comment, you’re back to using “Barry” and calling all the rest of us “delusional” if we happen to believe that there are actually some good folks in government. You asked me a question, but the only answer you’ll accept that presumably doesn’t make me an idiot is the one where everybody in government sucks. Everybody.
Then, without batting an eye, you toss out the patently false nonsense about having to pay the healthcare for people who are “too lazy or too sorry to figure it out for themselves.” Now, even though you didn’t specifically say so, from the context of your complaint about “government ramming laws down the throats of people,” I’d venture that you have a beef with making all citizens pay for their own healthcare ala the Individual Mandate. Am I right? Because, see, then you go on with the whole “natural selection” bit, by which I assume you mean we shouldn’t pay for people and they shouldn't be made to pay for themselves, so therefore everybody should be on their own and only the fit and strong should survive by natural right, and the weak and sickly and stupid should just fuck off and die. In other words, the libertarian utopia: Eugenics. Did I miss anything?
And then, just for fun, you stand up a strawman and declare that we “cannot afford to provide for every single person who chooses to make their way across a line called a border… much less the people who enter legally.” Even though neither party, not the president, not his opposition, is suggesting anything such thing, and in fact they have both promoted just the opposite. That being the entire point of immigration reform. The entire point.Delete
And then there’s the rest of it, the part about the military taking action against American citizens. Bullshit. First as an MP you would have been authorized force against American c citizens, should they violate certain thresholds (including those of deadly force) while within your area of responsibility – both within the US and outside of it - and none of that has changed in any way. I find it damned hard to believe a Marine of all people could forget the General Orders of the Sentry. If you’re referring to the changes to FISA restrictions that allow military intelligence to target Americans without rigid oversight, you’ll have to lay responsibility for that abomination directly on the Patriot Act, The Protect America Act, and the guy who actually signed them into law – and that wasn’t Barack Obama. If you want to go down the road of Rendition and Indefinite Detention and Extraordinary Means and the weakening of Posse Comitatus limitations, you likewise can refer to those same laws and the guy who signed them into effect, the congress and the frightened public who let him do it, and the Supreme Court that said it was all ok. And finally, if you’re working your way around to drones, and specifically drone strikes against Americans in Yemen, then you are about seventy years off in blaming Barry, and you damned well ought to know better.
And you just couldn’t finish up without a mention of my comments about “gun control,” which is pretty fucking funny coming from a guy who claims he used to be a Marine. You’re the kind of Marine then that prefers untrained unknown heavily armed civilians at your back? You talk about stupid people and responsibility, but are opposed to keeping guns out of the hands of children and/or crazy and irresponsible people? Which is the only form of “gun control” I’ve ever talked about. Right, don’t make me laugh.
You don’t like “libtards,” you don’t like Republicans, you don’t like anybody. Everybody else is the problem, not you. We’re all idiots and lazy and un-American. You don’t want to pay for anybody else, but you (presumably from your context) don’t want others to be required to pay for themselves – they should just live up to your ideals of their own free will, right? In fact, you want everybody else to get in line and live up to your idea of what America should be and you’re pissed off that they don’t and you think America would be a swell place if only you didn’t have to put up with all the rest of us.
You are an angry Ron Paul Libertarian, aren’t you, Bruce? You just don’t like being labelled because as a libertarian you resent being called out on it. Which is pretty damned funny, because unlike your comments, that wasn’t meant as an insult.
There is also the remarkable statement that Bruce the Other appreciates " the fact that my employer provides my health care plan AND I pay for it." I assume that the employer here, like most who provide health plans, subsidizes it to the tune of 2/3 to 3/4 of the cost (though I do realize that some small businesses provide a channel into group coverage without paying part of the cost). So it is likely that Bruce pays for omly part of his healthcare. AND said healthcare is a scheme whereby the healthy help to pay for those "too lazy or sorry" to not get sick.Delete
(And by the way, we DO pay for those "who can't figure it out" - the hospitals recover the costs of treating the indigent by charging more for their services to the rest of us.)
And, yes, by all means hold up Russia and China as sterling examples of the non-socialist path you would like us to follow.
(not that one)
I am convinced that as a GENERAL rule, there are two basic types of people in politics, with the natural shadings, variations and gradations you would expect in Human behavior. The Two major distinctions are being Optimistic about people or Pessimistic about people. Now my premise is that if people are basically optimistic, they tend to be Democratic, whereas if people are Pessimistic, they tend to be Republican. To illustrate the general tendencies-
Democrats propose laws that tend to prevent Government from imposing arbitrary behavioral "norms" on people, such as allowing them the freedom to pursue whatever lifestyle they want as long as it doesn't restrict others, allows people to determine for themselves their medical needs, allows people to pursue their own religious convictions, and also to use the power of Government to support those who for various reasons fail to thrive in our society. They tend to trust people to do the right thing in their lives. They also know that Capitalism is not a system that tends to support this outlook, and so the laws they propose also tend to support the individual when dealing with the "objective-at-best" and often inhumane judgements made by the capitalistic economic system. Internationally, Democrats tend to think in cooperation with other countries and appreciation of their differences when dealing with international relations.
Republicans tend to propose laws that restrict people to a set of "norms" that are usually based upon religious tenets, and especially the more "orthodox christian" ones that are of the more "thall shalt not" variety. They assume that people must be stopped from pursuing personal behaviors outside of a narrow range of "acceptable". They also generally believe that "pure" Capitalism is superior to all other forms of economic system and that those who do not do well under it are just getting the results of not trying hard enough. They see Government's role as supporting the economic system and then "standing back". They assume that the "best will rise to the top" and that everyone should emulate them as much as they can. The fact that the current religious tenets they believe in (more or less) also support the idea of material success being a reflection of God's approval. They see Government's role as stopping any behavior that does not conform to the norms, and preventing any individual or group from interfering with the magic of Capitalism's benefits to society. This applies even more to their application of this attitude when dealing with other countries, assuming that most other countries' actions are based upon either taking from the US or actively seeking to stop the US from doing whatever it wants to do. The idea of cooperation with other countries, or accepting a consensus among equals rather than the rest of the world accepting the US viewpoint is anathema to them.
Clearly these are lines drawn darker than reality, but I do so in order to emphasize what I take to be real and solid distinctions in general.
Many might like this article: http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2013/02/brain-difference-democrats-republicansReplyDelete
Hey, dead girls don't say 'no.'ReplyDelete
I read this when it was first posted, then took an hour or so to wander through some of the older postings on the Station, then sat back and tried to think of something to say. It's two days later and I'm still not sure I've got any worthwhile input, other than another attaboy.ReplyDelete
Because it's a good thesis, and it hangs together. But...
(three paragraphs deleted)
If we all get together we can solve our problems is Obama's message. Or at least we can take a chunk out of them and give ourselves time to work on the rest. But the other side isn't being presumptively pessimistic - pessimism is about the future. Pessimists can work with optimists on potential solutions, even if they're not sure there are any solutions. Pessimism only says the glass is half empty. If this were the case, I suspect we would have seen more progress.
The Republican rhetoric is pessimistic. Underneath it, though, seems to be something like 'We're already totally screwed and there's nothing that can be done about it except to scramble for as much advantage as possible before you idiots realize it too.' That attitude doesn't lend itself to problem solving except on the basis of perceived personal crisis.
And, who knows? They may be right. We may be on the 'knee' of the Malthusian curve, and have sabotaged our planet past hope of recovery, and... the list goes on. But I know that the one thing that can ensure that things fall apart is that attitude gaining primacy. So I won't go there, on the chance that they're wrong and things can be done to get us out of the messes we're in.
I'm not sure the glass is half full, but I'm damn sure it's not broken, yet. I am moderately certain that the solutions we come up with will need to be implemented in spite of, not in compromise with, the Republican party and its most ardent disciples. And I hope that underneath his rhetoric Barack Obama also is aware of it.
I am a preemptive optimist. Sure, things look bad. Really bad. But if you look where the media and the nay sayers are not looking, you can see a definite trend and it is not in the direction of conservative beliefs.Delete
When the carnage in Columbine occurred people talked of the "evil" of the perpetrators and there was scant sympathy for them. After Newtown, I heard several people say that we needed more help for people like the shooter. There was less condemnation.
After Newtown, many people's response was to do 36 (or 38) good deeds, one for each of the victims of the shootings.
Although there is a majority of Republicans in the House, more people voted for Democrats for House seats across the nation than voted for Republicans. The tide is turning and the conservatives know it and are terrified. That is why they make no sense. Panicked people seldom do.
The world is changing. The consciousness of the human race is changing. The old paradigm of greed, selfishness, secrecy, war, racism, sexism, etc. is on it's way out. The old ways are dying hard. They will continue with us for some time, but will become weaker and weaker. Meanwhile, they are a pain in the ass, but they are doomed.
Jeanne in WV
I think the real GOP attitude, at least of the "leadership" seems to be this: "I'm corrupt and know it. I believe everyone else is too. Since I know they'll do what corrupt people do, I'll do it first. Anyone who claims they aren't corrupt is just lying about it. If their actions don't appear to be corrupt then there must be an angle somewhere that benefits them."Delete
Jim, I do have to disagree with one thing you said. You mentioned Obama's "skinny black ass." His ass is high and nicely rounded. I happened to notice that yesterday. (Not that I was looking or anything)ReplyDelete
Jeanne in WV
Kind of off topic, but within the Zeitgeist:ReplyDelete
I was thinking today that it was fortunate that the meteor blew up over Russia instead of Phoenix, because if it happened here we would have had a bunch of people stalking around brandishing weapons, eye shifting warily from side to side, muttering about “terrists”; Sheriff Joe would have ordered an immediate crackdown on illegals; the legislature would have passed emergency legislation to get the government boot off the necks of business, because the free market could have prevented this; and someone in Mesa would have gone out and shot a Sikh convenience store owner for revenge.
I keep being reminded of that now-infamous Clint Eastwood skit during the GOP convention. The prebuttals are pretty much the exact same thing -- confused white men of privilege loudly arguing with an imaginary opponent about talking points that only exist in their own heads...ReplyDelete
It really irks me that today's so-called GOP/Tea Party/Patriots have so very little faith in our nation. Forget the issues, that they believe that our Constitution is, seemingly, written on tissue paper that can be shredded with the slightest breeze, is telling. Who needs alQaeda when we have the Tea Party committing emotional bio-terrorism against the soft targets (ie Fox devotees, etc.) in our midst?ReplyDelete
You don't tug on Superman's cape
You don't spit into the wind
You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger
And you don't mess around with Jim
"These days they’re less GOP and more EMO and it’s probably only a matter of time until they start dressing like anemic vampires and sleeping with dead girls."ReplyDelete