Thursday, March 4, 2010


One of the things I've mentioned that changed with the brain surgery is my tolerance for the outright idiocy on the right wing of the political spectrum these days. Or to be more specific, the lies and misinformation, but even more so the absence of logic and reason, as if opinions based on repeating lies and misinformation loudly or emotionally or with the pretense of individuality makes it true (i.e. someone like Sarah Pailin or Glen Beck repeating tired rightwing propaganda as if it's coming out of their personal experience, like "death panels" being set up by Obama and the Dems to deprive her "special needs" child of his healthcare or even his life (!) etc.)

To hear Obama's successful moves that saved us all from another Great Depression characterized as "Marxist" or "socialist" or "fascism" or other completely inapplicable terms, is to watch desperate politicos and their followers overreach for ways to demonize middle-of-the-road, moderate, pragmatist Obama who has addressed and is addressing issues the Republicans neglected for decades that contributed the most to our current problems.

It's as if there are now two dictionaries of "American English"—one that is based on the meanings of words as they have always been defined in dictionaries since Webster, and another that has redefined common and uncommon words in order to give them sinister or benevolent connotations as fits the political agenda of the rightwingers who have basically stolen the language I have dedicated my life to, as have so many others.

It's an Alice in Wonderland kind of fantasy world where birth certificates and tons of factual data mean their opposite if a rightwing propagandist can strike an emotional chord in the rightwing crowd. Where one person's "retard" means one thing (Dem=sinister) and another's another thing (Repub=benevolent) etc.

I don't have the capacity to recall the kind of quotes and information I used to have easy access to in my mind (for instance I can't remember what Orwell called that kind of doubletalk, was it Newspeak?) but I also have an appreciation for clarity and precision in language I had maybe gotten away from (and may not be achieving now in my writing since my vocabulary and memory seem at times more limited).

If there's one criticism I have of Obama (and I have more than one) it's his and his team's (and most of the Dems for that matter) lack of clarity at times in presenting a simple and concise version of the facts. They either seem to assume the general populace gets the ridiculousness of some of the right's attacks and language distortions and reality manipulations etc. or get too elaborate in explaining and defending their policies, so that, as I've written here before, only 2% of the population in a recent poll are even aware that Obama LOWERED taxes for most of us, unlike the last administration that only lowered them for the wealthiest few, like themselves.

Anyway, I've already wasted too much time on this. It bores me now, because I realize how pointless it is. Not for everyone, but certainly for the rightwingers that continue to spout whatever the rightwing line of the day is (and I know the tea partyers are supposedly something new or giving the rightwingers trouble, but that's not really the case when examined closely and realistically. Whatever an individual tea partyer might believe, the core principles being espoused by those in that "movement" who have expressed themselves in interviews and speeches and signs and angry outbursts at town hall meetings and tea party rallies etc. have honed almost perfectly to the rightwing line and agenda) it is pointless to even engage in arguing. They lack the capacity to acknowledge any reality that doesn't reflect their ideology.

The facts are most, if not all, European countries, and others, that have any kind of universal health plan for their citizens, spend less on healthcare and are healthier by every statistical measure than we in the USA are. And these same industrialized (actually an outmoded term these days for Western democracies) nations have much better education systems and spend more money on education (as a part of their budgets) and get better results, while here in the richest country on earth people are homeless because of the cost of healthcare crises, or dying because of lack of healthcare, etc. etc. etc. and schools are getting worse and costing more etc. etc. etc.

The taxes are higher in these countries, and for that the citizens get a better educated, safer, healthier, body politic. While we seem to get worse and worse. That's what Obama's trying to change, but he's trying to do it incrementally and cautiously and moderately and with well thought out but often too nuanced and elaborate explanations and policies. He's criticized from the left for not taking more bold measures and by the right for taking any.

But it's late and this probably isn't even making sense. Just been meaning to address this sense of pointlessness every time i read or hear one of these rightwingers say almost anything.


Anonymous said...

Dear M:
Your post makes a lot of sense, sadly. I do agree that the Dems have performed terribly in making their case, framing the issues, etc. But they have only themselves to blame. This morning's Washington Post, e.g., reports that the House member who was in line to replace Rangel was passed over by his fellow Dems (including my own congressman, Chris Van Hollen) because of his past "intemperate" remarks, which included calling one repub a "insurance-industry whore" and another a "fruitcake." I'm not suggesting that's necessarily the most effective language, but at least it shows some fight, some willingness to challenge the anti-American policies of the right. So, naturally, the Democratic establishment has to shut the guy up.

Zuckster said...

This whole thing with the Supreme Court (think about this name "Supreme Court") and extending the scope of the Second Amendment - is scary and really f**ked up. More concealed weapons, more random shootings, more death, mayhem resulting from ignorance, fear and the lies to which you refer. What ever happened to dialog, diplomacy and intelligent conversation? What are guns going to protect us from? That terrorist deer standing still in the middle of the forest? Those evil dark skinned or slanted-eyed or turban wearing people? This world will never advance as long as so many think in terms of "us and them" . Only when we realize that it's all "us" will there be any hope for advancement, peace and true prosperity.

JIm said...

Obama has said that he is not a Socialist, but what has he done?

1-Taught the merits of achieving socialist aims through community organizing using Saul Alinsky as a model.

2. Ran for state office on the Democratic Socialist Party ticket in the 90s.

3- Greatly expanded control of government over the economy by taking over auto companies and upended bankruptcy laws in order to pay off unions.

4- Expanded government control of the financial system.

5- Proposed a government run or socialist health care system. If current reported quotes from liberal congressmen are correct, he will pass his health care “framework bill” and than implement the government takeover in a subsequent bill.

6. In Colorado Springs at a rally in the spring of 08, he proposed a domestic army to be formed out of AmeriCorps, a’la Woodrow Wilson’s unconstitutional thugs the Eagle Corps.

7. He continues to trash the 10th Amendment. To be fair, better presidents than he have also trashed the 10th Amendment.

It would be easy to see Chavez, Lenin, Mussolini, Castro and Hitler endorsing the same policies. It would be inconceivable imagining Washington, Jefferson, Madison or Reagan endorsing his policies.

JIm said...

Apparently, the Pentagon shooter was an anti Bush 9/11 Truther. By the logic of the Loony Left, who ascribe racisim and terrorist threats to folks who believe and support the US Constitution as written, we should now believe that all Loony Lefties are in fact violence prone terrorists. I actually do not believe that. I just believe Loony Lefties are well meaning people who have a very limited knowledge of history or who have taken a great leap of faith to believe that this time it will be different and that in contrast to many failures, that this time socialism will work.

Miles said...


T.R. Reid explains the myths of international health care systems very well here:

And here he is being interviewed:

I'm not sure how the Dems f'd up communicating the simple truth that EVERY affluent country in the world provides healthcare to ALL their citizens while spending less than us. It's infuriating. Combine the Dem's failure to shape the healthcare "debate" with the opposition's maniacal thirst for power (i.e. their willingness to hurt the masses in order to strengthen their futures), and I get very pessimistic about what is coming around the bend.

Miles said...

Oh yeah concerning the upside down language, here is an example of this maddening crap from Krugman's blog:

He describes an unanswered lie where the phrase "reduce the deficit" was used to describe a deficit INCREASE of.... $1.8 TRILLION!!!! Sheesh.

By far the most aggravating aspect of the lie machine is when the liars are given "equal time" (often unanswered as in the above example) to disseminate their bs on the few remaining liberal news outlets.