Saturday, March 03, 2007

Republican Values

Glenn Greenwald again provides the evidence for the blatant hypocrisy in the right wing ideal. This is another example of how the media machine has made their sins ok and ours horrible. You really should read the whole post(and the comments) for the whole story, but here is a taste:

..Ann Coulter appeared as a featured speaker today at the Conservative Political Action Conference -- the preeminent conservative event of the year -- and called John Edwards a "faggot." Her speech was followed by an enthusiastic round of applause from the upstanding attendees.
Last year at the same event, she warned Arab "ragheads" about violence that would be done to them and called for Supreme Court justices to be murdered -- and received standing ovations...None of this is news, particularly. This is a movement propelled by an insatiable hunger for more slaughter and more wars. It is centrally dependent upon hatred of an Enemy, foreign or domestic -- the Terrorist, the Immigrant, the Faggot, the Raghead, and most of all, the Liberal. As John Dean brilliantly documented, that is the only real feature that binds the "conservative" movement at this point, the only attribute that gives it identity and purpose. It does not have any affirmative ideas, only a sense of that which it hates and wants to destroy. So to watch as the crowd wildly cheers an unapologetic hatemonger is perfectly natural and not at all surprising..... The Conference attendees who will say that they do not approve of Coulter's "joke" will act as though they found her behavior unexpected or surprising -- just as they did last year and every other time she has made similar comments. But three weeks ago, Coulter was on Fox and made virtually identical remarks -- not about Edwards specifically, just the hilarious complaint that people who say the word "faggot" have to enter rehab.
No right-wing supporter (that I know of) complained when they learned that Coulter would be a featured speaker at this event. No prominent "conservative" (that I know of) refused to be a part of the event because Coulter was a featured speaker......Andrew Sullivan was (I believe) present at this event, and
said this about Coulter's speech:

When you see her in such a context, you realize that she truly represents the heart and soul of contemporary conservative activism, especially among the young. The standing ovation for Romney was nothing like the eruption of enthusiasm that greeted her. . . .
Her endorsement of Romney today - "probably the best candidate" - is a big deal, it seems to me. McCain is a non-starter. He is as loathed as Clinton in these parts. Giuliani is, in her words, "very, very liberal." One of his sins? He opposed the impeachment of Bill Clinton. That's the new standard. She is the new Republicanism. The sooner people recognize this, the better.
She is the face of what the hard-core Republican Party has become, particularly during the Bush presidency. That is why she holds the position she holds in that movement. That's why Mitt Romney was giddy with glee when her name passed his lips. He knows that her endorsement is valuable precisely because she holds great sway within the party, and she holds great sway because the hard-core party faithful consider her a hero for expressing the thoughts which they themselves believe but which other, less courageous Republican figures are afraid to express.
This is not about a single comment or isolated remark. The more Ann Coulter says these things, the more popular she becomes in this movement. What this is about is that she reflects exactly what sort of political movement this is. She reflects its true impulses and core beliefs. If that were not the case, why would she continue to receive top billing at their most prestigious events, and why would she continue to be lavished with rock star-adoration by the party faithful?

The optimum statement is “She is the face of what the hard-core Republican Party has become.
It should be apparent that they pretty much personify the redneck Southerner. That is what they are these days. It's these ”values” that the radical talking heads espouse and these people that they speak for and thrill. Every movement has people on the fringe but the Repubs have made them a part of their mainstream. As their selected surrogate speakers. Why else would they show up year after year at critical political functions. From little miss Anne, to James Dobson, Rush, Sean et al, these are the people that are the key carriers for the Republican message. No notable Republicans that I know of has expressed disdain for their bigotry and hate mongering or usually even willing to describe it as such.
Did you hear about this? Is it a major news story(the comments from Anne, not the Conference)? Nope not much if anything. The left is ripped on every comment they make yet the right gets away with stuff like this on a daily basis. Why? It's because they have so many opinion outlets(read right wing radio) that they can pass off their bile as conventional wisdom. As one of the commenter's so deftly pointed out:

All of this nastiness can be traced directly to 15 years of the right owning the AM radio dial, pumping vicious lies and bile directly into the body politic to toxic cancerous levels. What astounds me is that now that they are in power, the Dem Congress is doing NOTHING to begin pressuring the media corporations to restore some balance to the AM talk radio dial.
For a dozen years, the prestigious Annenberg School of Communication at Penn has been studying the impact of the lies of right wing talk radio. Kathleen Hall Jameson would make an excellent witness in Congressional hearings, describing the "false certainty" which has resulted on most every issue in 20-50 million Americans, enough to swing 5 of the past 6 elections. The falsity is so pronounced that we can no longer have civil debate in this country because the right has demanded their own set of facts - think: "fuzzy math," Gore's "lies," Hillary's murders," Kerry's "smearing the troops," etc., etc.
Other witnesses in high profile hearings designed to pressure the media to bring back some balance to the AM dial as a minimum rental for using the PUBLIC airwaves: Dem statesman George Mitchell could explain why as chair of ABC he allowed his entire talk radio network to be turned over 24/7 to right wing activists who were allowed to lie without challenge, took over and destroyed the reputation of the U.S. in the world - he should pay for this with his inflated reputation. Fox News liars could be faced with their biggest whoppers on large screen and dared to defend them under oath. Even the densest of their listeners would catch on to how they have been duped, and where the nastiness in our politics came from.
Without some type of concerted pressure such as this on the media, it is clear these major corporations intend to keep the AM airwaves slanted entirely to the far right and allow outlandish lies and smears to continue as the currency standard. The temporarily demoralized right wing radio juggernaut will quickly reinflate in reaction to Dem initiatives and quash every one. Rush Limbaugh this week began branding the Dems as responsible for losing the Iraq War - don't be surprised when in short order this is the conventional wisdom. They simply hold the balance of power in this country, and without heroic efforts on our part, will soon complete the job of destroying our democracy.

Now I must say that I am opposed to as much government interference in our airwaves as this commenter has recommended. Many of the righties on the radio, blogs etc. were or are propped up by wingnut welfare. Money, assets and promotion designed to insure their success. Money provided by wealthy right wingers, big business people, think tanks and right organizations. We on the left need to find those willing to do the same.
Find people that can make the case(I know one!) and find the moneyed interests that help get the message out for a few years. Air America was(is) a valiant attempt but it is first of all one organization rather than a diverse, disbursed effort as the right has, which makes an easy target for the right to smear. One smear covers all. Secondly many of the people that they have are not good radio people. We need people that know how to put together a program that is listenable in more than the politics(I know one!). We need to also make it clear that we are the resistance to their effort to reshape what
America is and stands for. I will put our values against theirs any a heartbeat.
More here from Digby on who the right wing spokes people wish death on and other normal for them stuff.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

On Dishing It Out And Taking It

The right is all atwitter about some unloving comments made after the big miss by the Taliban in Afganistan the other day. Some blog commenters wished for better aim. The right is mortified!! What cretins! How can they live with themselves, they rant! Anyone who has exposed themselves to wingnut world for any amount of time knows that this is accepted faire on the right. Anne Coulter wished for a bomber at the NY Times. Called some 9/11 widows "harpys" that were pushing their pain for ego driven attention. They defended these statements and include Anne as one of their chosen spokespeople. Quite different than some yokel in his living room typing something.
Yes, it was tacky for them to say these things. My hope is Cheney will be fully exposed and held responsible for his actions. That he live through the entire ordeal and punishment. The idea that the righties would get their panties in a wad over this after their proven ability to match the viciousness of the words and actions make their protestations vacuous.
Glenn Greenwald has some great points here.

.....There is a reason why those who seek to demonstrate the alleged extremism and hate-mongering in the anti-Bush blogosphere need to go digging for anonymous commenters. And the converse is also true: those who document the extremism and sociopathic mentality in the right-wing blogosphere do so by citing the twisted writings of leading right-wing pundits, not randomly chosen commenters with no connection to the content or theme of the blog. Perhaps there is a journalist somewhere who can figure out the meaning of that difference and write an article about it. .....
most of the largest right-wing blogs do not allow comments at all precisely because they know the monstrous sentiments that would spew forth. And the one large right-wing blog that does allow comments (LGF) provokes such vile and violence-advocating sentiments on such a regular basis that an entire website is devoted to tracking them.
As but one of literally countless examples, see
here, where multiple LGF commenters celebrated the allegedly accidental Israeli missile attack on a UN outpost in Lebanon and lamented that Kofi Annan was absent and therefore not among the dead. The proprietor of that site actively deletes comments he finds offensive, but left those standing. He is also, needless to say, one of the above-linked right-wing bloggers expressing such deep, deep offense at the anti-Cheney anonymous comments today.
Finally, it is undeniably true that there are people of every ideological stripe who express profane and reprehensible sentiments. The difference is that right-wing authors, talk radio hosts and bloggers -- read and listened to by millions of people -- traffic in such sentiments regularly (as several commenters noted, Dave Neiwert's superb series on the use of eliminationist rhetoric, starting
here, has documented this as well as any other resource). But to find such sentiments outside of right-wing circles, one must go where right-wing bloggers went today -- digging into anonymous blog comments (or e-mails allegedly received). That difference is so obvious -- and so meaningful -- that it all ought to go without saying. ....

.....It is hard to overstate how pervasive this lowly and manipulative weapon is wielded by right-wing demagogues to shape our political debates. LGF's simplistic trick, for instance, is to post individual stories every day of Muslims who engage in violent acts ("hey, look - I proved that Muslims are inferior and dangerous!"). Michelle Malkin repeatedly posts individual stories of supposed leftists engaging in illegal or violent acts ("hey, look -- I proved that liberals are unhinged"). Or the right finds a single obscure college professor nobody ever heard of who referred to 9/11 victims as "Little Eichmanns" ("hey, look - we proved that 'the Left' hates America and believes that the 9/11 victims deserved it!").
Those who rely on that cheap, tawdry tactic are really indistinguishable -- just in terms of the methods -- from, say, websites run by white supremacists who, every day, troll the news wires and post individual stories of crimes committed by African-Americans and then think that they've made a broader point. In that context, most people can see how transparently fallacious the tactic is, but in other contexts, they are blind to it.

This is an effect of what I have been talking about. The right with their repetition and large number of media spouters lead many to the conclusion that what they say is conventional wisdom. What others say is the shameful, reprehensible, unamerican, the list goes on.
As Glenn note in his column, one need not go to the comments to find the venom and hate on the right. Their talkers and spokespeople lead the way.
Glenns column is rather long but worth a read if you get the time.