Last week I asked why reporters don’t more often ask candidates, “What exactly are you talking about?” when they make sweeping claims about things like our freedoms being taken away. And last night, Rachel Maddow’s program featured her doing just that when talking to some Joe Miller supporters out waving signs on an Alaska street corner. It’s a pretty telling exchange:
Keep in mind that these are folks who are so mad about this particular issue, and so fervent in their defense of their Second Amendment rights, that they’re out on a corner talking to people about it. One supporter says they’re mad at Lisa Murkowski because she voted to confirm Attorney General Eric Holder. Maddow asks why they’re against that, and they all chime in that Holder is “the most anti-gun Attorney General this country has ever had.” Maddow politely asks a simple question: “What’s he done against guns?” And the guy is stumped – he can’t come up with anything. Maddow turns to another sign-waver and ask her the same question. She replies, “I don’t have all the facts but I know that he is anti-gun.” Maddow presses gently to see if there’s anything specific they’re mad about, and then a new Miller supporter steps in to aver that what she’s mad at Holder about is “the voter intimidation with the Black Panthers.”
Now we’re getting somewhere. You might be saying, “Wait – those two crazy guys from the New Black Panther party, who stood outside a polling place in Philadelphia with sticks on an election day in 2006 — they’re going to steal the election in Alaska?” But as Maddow explains, “This is the world that Fox News has created.”
The Right especially right-wing gun shop owners should be grateful to Obama. His mere election has skyrocketed the sales of guns and ammo. The gun issue, like taxes, the phony New Black Morons story, health care reform death panels and the alleged socialists take-over of America are about nothing. There is no there there – the wing-nuts join forces with the doughnut hole. Republican wing-nuts are flocking to the polls to take their country back from threats which do not exist. Such is the history of American politics, but more understandable in 1845 when there was no radio, internet, faxes and investigative journalism, Wikileaks or internet. Technology may have made things worse. The lies, distortions and mad delusions now make their way in the cultural zeitgeist faster than ever. Perhaps because of technology or the determination by some individuals to resist facts and new information, the right-wing mind has developed a kevlar strength resistance to rationalism in general. This phenomenon may have peaked in this cycle, but there has been and it seems likely to continue in some form. Thomas Jefferson having written the following would not see this as a healthy trend for an enlightened democracy,
“The most effectual means of preventing [the perversion of power into tyranny are] to illuminate, as far as practicable, the minds of the people at large, and more especially to give them knowledge of those facts which history exhibits, that possessed thereby of the experience of other ages and countries, they may be enabled to know ambition under all its shapes, and prompt to exert their natural powers to defeat its purposes.” –Thomas Jefferson: Diffusion of Knowledge Bill, 1779. FE 2:221, Papers 2:526
Conservatives, equipped with boatloads of nothingness, seemed determined to act contrary to Jefferson’s warning.
Amid sporadic and below-the-political-radar Tea Party threats to privatize the U.S. Dept of Veterans Affairs (DVA), Wisconsin Republican-Tea Party Senate candidate Ron Johnson maintains his secret policy specifics to be revealed should he assume office.
Asked what the Department of Veterans Affairs’ responsibility is to homeless veterans, Johnson recently declared that his election campaign is not “about details” such as the welfare of America’s 107,000 homeless veterans.
There is some glaring and tragic irony in having a Senate candidate like Johnson running on a platform of empty platitudes and a very large bank account hell-bent on protecting the rights of child molesters, but not quite sure about the rights of veterans.
“I lied about accessing all of the computers. I then admitted about accessing the computers, but lied about what I was doing. Finally, I admitted what I did,” Miller wrote in a March 17, 2008, e-mail to Fairbanks North Star Borough Attorney Rene Broker.
[ ]…The records also show that Miller left the borough amid a dispute over leave and whether work that he was doing for a private client conflicted with a case the borough wanted him to handle. Broker told the Daily News on Tuesday that Miller requested time off under the Family and Medical Leave Act for an unspecified medical reason.
“Then, whatever that was, was canceled. But he still stayed out on leave. So when we heard it was canceled he was instructed to return for work,” Broker said.
A blogger who I cannot recall at the moment called Miller – a noun, a verb and its Unconstitutional Mill. Conservatives hated the Family and Medical Leave Act (passed during The Big Dog administration) which was also described as being Unconstitutional. Between Joe and his wife they may have taken advantage of more liberal enacted government initiatives than most liberals I know. Like many conservatives Joe seems to think those government initiatives are fine as long as conservatives are the only ones using them. Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R) who is running as a write in candidate said Miller was caught ….being a liar, oh no. Murkowski has been in the pocket of the oil and gas industry for so long, if she doesn’t get elected she’ll probably find a wing-nut welfare job as an industry lobbyist.
The horror movie so terrifying it will never be made, “Inside the Mind of a Right-wing Conservative”. Lawyers, Guns and Money gives hint to how the script might proceed – Strategies For Brownshirt Apologists in commenting on this news from TPM (Kentucky Stomper Wants An Apology From Woman He Assaulted (VIDEO))
* She had it coming. The most predictable defense, and indeed it is the preferred approach of The Donalde and various other wingers. Apparently, if you have been accused of a minor criminal offense months ago in another state, then all future vigilante violence against you becomes perfectly acceptable! Rarely have I found a better illustration of Susan of Texas’s overgeneralized but very applicable to teabaggers dictum that “[c]onservatives are authoritarian followers. Libertarians are authoritarian followers who think they are authoritarian leaders.”
Some more flavors of right-wing denial, deflection and damn straight she got what was com’n to her rationales at the link.