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Letters to the Editor

Poor memory

October 1, 2009

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To the editor:

Garrison Keillor (Journal-World, Sept. 25) is the latest in a line of commentators to assert that political incivility has sprung in its nasty entirety from the “cranky Right.” You really have to feel for him, though. In his dotage he seems to have trouble remembering things.

Herewith, a few correctives to the wisdom of the Sage of Lake Wobegon. Let us note, for example, that Harry Reid referred to President Bush as a liar and an idiot and that Democrats in Congress responded with boos to Bush’s 2004 and 2005 State of the Union addresses. Let us further recall that Bush was likened to Adolph Hitler every day of his presidency. And how can we overlook Jimmy Carter (and others) referring to the current president’s health care opponents as racists?

Keillor longs for the days when unions “knew how to deal with hecklers.” Too bad he doesn’t remember that SEIU members were arrested in August for beating Kenneth Gladney outside a town hall meeting in St. Louis where he was selling “Don’t Tread on Me” paraphernalia (now there’s some irony).

Once, we might have referred to these heckler-dealing SEIU folks as “goons” or “thugs,” but thanks to Keillor we are above that now. And fortunately we can look to the Sage himself for an uplifting example of how to describe our opponents in civil terms; Joe Wilson is not a Congressman from South Carolina, but rather a “gin-soaked cracker from South Carolina.” No incivility here on the “center-Left” — move along.

Comments

rtwngr 4 years, 10 months ago

Got news for you, grammaddy. Tom is right. What's more, your president is making a lot of other countries nervous with his "my persona will fix everything" attitude in the realm of international affairs. The French president recently called Obama "naive" in regard to Iran. This congress and this president have overreached and whenever that occurs the citizens go to the polls and fire them.

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canyon_wren 4 years, 10 months ago

Good letter!

It's you, grammaddy, who is living in a dream world! Good luck on awakening!

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cato_the_elder 4 years, 10 months ago

Of all the hypocritical, oily wimps on the left, Keillor is the most repulsive.

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canyon_wren 4 years, 10 months ago

Your laughter rings hollow, porch person. It surely means something to you, however! Enjoy!

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jaywalker 4 years, 10 months ago

"I like to think I keep up and I don't remember anyone doing that."

(raucous laughter at both fragments of that sentence!)

"Bush is an alcoholic. I myself have made that observation..."

I myself? Oh. Is that rather than 'I some other guy'? 'I not my other personality?'

Both sides have their own play books for party driven incivility. And then the left plays the 'victim' well and the right plays the 'persecuted' well. It's the same ol' song and dance, it just seems that much worse 'cuz the instant anybody says anything = instant soundbite. Everybody reads and hears it and then with email, forums like this one, cell phones, and blogs the masses' opinions feed the fire.

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canyon_wren 4 years, 10 months ago

p-p--so far I haven't made a single thing up, if you are referring to me. I suspect my sources are every bit as reliable as yours. jaywalker's post says it right--none of us here actually is an expert on these subjects--not even YOU-! It is a matter of one's own opinion, largely, and for the most part, these posters have legitimate opinions based upon what they have observed. I assume you never saw Bush IN THE FLESH as being an alcoholic and are basing that statement on on of your sources. All's fair in love and war and posting!

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

Keillor's now making jokes about cutting Republicans out of health care. He's so funny. Maybe he'll have another stroke. Wouldn't that just be a real knee-slapper!

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Satirical 4 years, 10 months ago

Another well researched and well written letter to the editor by Stephen Egbert.

The left, with help of Hollywood elite and the MSM, think they are the only ones allowed criticize the opposition. While I do not support Joe Wilson's outburst during the joint session, the hysteria from the left shows their myopia, and hypocrisy.

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canyon_wren 4 years, 10 months ago

p.p.--I didn't say he wasn't an alcoholic; I just questioned your saying that you observed it, yourself. Alcoholism is probably the least of our worries about our public officials. If we eliminated every politician who was an alcoholic, we MIGHT be better off, but we would have few in office (and THAT might WELL guarantee we would be better off!).

I am certainly not defending Bush--I was no fan of his--but though a dumb president is shameful, one who is actively working to destroy America is considerably more frightening. A friend of mine said maybe we just misunderstood The Great One now in office--he wasn't promising "change"--it was "chains" he was talking about.

I'm on my way out of town so can't rebut any further insults. Save them till later.

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salad 4 years, 10 months ago

"You didn't know George W. Bush is an alcoholic? It's well documented. "

I resent this type of mischaracterization! Bush was also a raging coke-head, also well documented.

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salad 4 years, 10 months ago

TomShewmon (Tom Shewmon) says… "I see a Kool-Aid mustache on someone's face."

Uh....Tom? That's a mirror you're lookin' at, dude.

-BOOM!!!-
sound of Shewmons head exploding with the self-evident cognitive dissonance.

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salad 4 years, 10 months ago

" am certainly not defending Bush—I was no fan of his—but though a dumb president is shameful, one who is actively working to destroy America is considerably more frightening."

You mean like Bush/Cheney sittin' around cutting paper dolls out of the constitution? Authorizing warrentless wiretapping of American citizens? Creating the largest and most wasteful expansion of the federal govt. in modern history (homeland security)? Putting a "For Sale" sign on the govt. so giant corporations can rape the public and get away with it? Driving the economy off a cliff? You mean THAT destroying the country???? Or were you "OK" with all that?

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

Is this whole thread a copy/paste from about a year ago? I'd swear I've read all the usual posts by the ususal people before.

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BigAl 4 years, 10 months ago

Sarah Palin had a terrible interview with Katie Couric and somehow it is Couric's fault? Classic......

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staff04 4 years, 10 months ago

"Both sides have their own play books for party driven incivility. And then the left plays the 'victim' well and the right plays the 'persecuted' well. It's the same ol' song and dance, it just seems that much worse 'cuz the instant anybody says anything = instant soundbite. Everybody reads and hears it and then with email, forums like this one, cell phones, and blogs the masses' opinions feed the fire."

FTW.

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somedude20 4 years, 10 months ago

I thought this blog was going to be about all the bushholes who "forgot" what their man did to the world (not just the US) for 8 long years. It will take many many decades to undo his magic. Reid was wrong, Bush was not the "loser" rather humanity was due to Bush's 8 years of incompetence

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Keep'm talking Tom. Stay engaged. The more our resident idiot says, the more harm he does to his own cause. He doesn't realize how he looks/sounds. He thinks he is enlightening everyone who reads his ravings. Help him maintain that self-image. He actually encourages others (in this case the whacko Bush Haters) to come out and add their baseless lunacy to the mix.

It puts all this insanity on display for the voters - which is a very good thing. You're providing a public service by giving this person a sounding board, not to mention the entertainment value. Rock on Tom!

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

If Mr. Egbert's purpose here is to convince anyone that the wacko nutjobbery on the right isn't unprecedented I'm certain that he has failed.

Mr. Bush was and is a liar (among far worse) but no one ever broke Congressional rules by disrupting his addresses to Congress and the Nation. That he was an idiot would seem to be uncontroversial to all -- at least in one of the bipolar phases the right goes through when they aren't claiming all problems began with the black man on Jan. 20th when they actually start blaming W for being an inauthentic conservative. (Seriously, you're just NOW figuring that out?)

That someone would compare W to Hitler would seem unavoidable but I'm fairly certain that wasn't the leadership of the Democratic Party in sharp contrast to daily recitation of the absurd "Liberal Fascism" meme put forth by the wingnut cult leaders daily.

I don't remember W's speeches and gathering disrupted by his opponents although that's probably because the First Amendment (and much else of the Constitution) seems to have been suspended during the Bush Administration, with attendees regularly screened to exclude all but the most loyal cult followers and opponents encaged in "free speech zones" out of sight and out of earshot. Of course, it goes without saying that no critic would have been allowed within sight of Mr. Bush while carrying a gun - or that if such a person managed such a stunt they wouldn't have disappeared into an American authoritarian gulag.

That many of "teabaggers" are virulent racists and the GOP today is lead by a disgusting opportunist a vile race-baiter isn't even up for dispute. Whether their sole basis of opposition is race seems unlikely however given the depths of their pathology.

All-in-all, standard Rovian tactics by the right of taking their own limitations and then ginning up a campaign to portray their own image in their views of their opponents. Luckily, the public's response has been: been there, done that, get moving Pres. Obama, pay no attention to the chimpanzees behind the curtain.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

"Did President Bush actually lie to the public about Social Security?

Yes. President Bush has repeatedly said that those who put their money in private accounts are "guaranteed" a better return than they'll receive from the current Social Security system. But every sale of stock on the stock market includes the disclaimer: "the return on this investment is not guaranteed and may be negative"--for good reason. During the 20th century, there were several periods lasting more than 10 years where the return on stocks was negative. After the Dow Jones stock index went down by over 75% between 1929 and 1933, the Dow did not return to its 1929 level until 1953. In claiming that the rate of return on a stock investment is guaranteed to be greater than the return on any other asset, Bush is lying. If an investment-firm broker made this claim to his clients, he would be arrested and charged with stock fraud. Michael Milken went to jail for several years for making just this type of promise about financial investments.

In fact, under the most likely version of the Bush privatization proposal, a 20-year old worker joining the labor force today would see her guaranteed Social Security benefits reduced by 46%. Bush's own Social Security commission admitted that private accounts are unlikely to make up for this drop in guaranteed benefits.

President Bush also misrepresents the truth when he claims that Social Security trustees say the system will be "bankrupt" in 2042. Bankruptcy is defined as "the inability to pay ones debts" or, when applied to a business, "shutting down as a result of insolvency." Nothing the trustees have said or published indicates that Social Security will fold as a result of insolvency.

Until 1984, the trust fund was "pay-as-you-go," meaning current benefits were paid using current tax revenues. In 1984, Congress raised payroll taxes to prepare for the retirement of the baby boom generation. As a result, the Social Security trust fund, which holds government bonds as assets, has been growing. When the baby boomers retire, these bonds will be sold to help pay their retirement benefits.

If the trust fund went to zero, Social Security would simply revert to pay-as-you-go. It would continue to pay benefits using (then-current) tax revenues, and in doing so, it would be able to cover about 70% of promised benefit levels. According to analysis by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, a 70% benefit level then would actually be higher than 2005 benefit levels in constant dollars (because of wage adjustments). In other words, retirees would be taking home more in real terms than today's retirees do. The system won't be bankrupt in any sense.

On this point, President Bush is "consciously misrepresenting the truth with the intent to deceive." That is what the dictionary defines as lying."

http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0505orr.html

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Ken Lassman 4 years, 10 months ago

Pretty darn funny, don't you think, each pot calling the kettle black, both at the national political level AND in this comment section?

Do you ever wonder why we get the politicians and commentators we deserve? Look no further than this "discussion."

What if WE really displayed civility and demanded that our political leaders and commentators do the same?

I'm game, how about you?

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Flap Doodle 4 years, 10 months ago

Psst, merrill, Bush isn't President any more......

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Jimo says: "That many of “teabaggers” are virulent racists and the GOP today is lead by a disgusting opportunist a vile race-baiter isn't even up for dispute."

Of course it's up for dispute Jimo, but you go right ahead and keep thinking you're right. Don't change a thing.

You reap what you sow. Keep it up. People love it when they are lumped into groups, and accused of all manner of vile things. Vilifying Americans who have a genuine concern for the direction their country is headed is not a good idea, but hey - you and your ilk obviously think it is, so I say go for it. Let me know how that works out for you guys the next time these people you are insulting have a ballot in front of them. Thankfully, we won't have to wait very long for that verdict.

Where was all this righteous indignation when the President said "I only saw Rod Blagojevich one time, and that was in the stands and from a distance at a Chicago Bears Football Game." Have ya seen the pictures of those two? Yeah, right...

This isn't rocket science. People see your hypocrisy on display. They justly resent being labeled by elitists who think they know them. They see that you want to divide and further harden an already politically fractured country, and cram an unpopular agenda down everybody's throats because you smugly assume you know whats best for all us unwashed dolts who simply can't fathom the mysteries of life without your rare intellect to save us.

By all means, don't stop on my account. Please sir, proceed. Your vitriol is doing us all a favor.

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

"“I only saw Rod Blagojevich one time, and that was in the stands and from a distance at a Chicago Bears Football Game.”"

Most honest people long since accepted this as a manufactured quote, even many of the dishonest ones. Its just a variation on a long history of wacko religious-historical quotes where some nutty proposition is put supposedly into the mouth of G. Washington or such rather than made up by some blogger sitting in his underwear in his mother's basement.

Why keep making up new b/s before accepting responsibility for your old b/s? More of the wingnut playbook, just keep it rolling and rely on the hope that most people have the memory of a guppy and the intelligence of a beagle. (This is only true of about 20% of people but nearly 40% of them live in the South.)

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ksdivakat 4 years, 10 months ago

"Joe Wilson is not a Congressman from South Carolina, but rather a “gin-soaked cracker from South Carolina.” No incivility here on the “center-Left" How racist can you get with this quote? Mr Egbert, your article falls on deaf ears, anytime you start spewing hate and racism, most rational thinking people turn a deaf ear...You are a joke!

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jimmyjms 4 years, 10 months ago

So let's see...the good Dr. mentions all of three instances, one of which is exceedingly general (Bush being dubbed "Hitler" every day of his admin).

Those three examples are what you base this letter on, Dr. Egbert?

That's it?

Because I can come up with literally dozens of similar comments from the right in the past nine months. If it was wrong to compare Bush with Hitler, why is the right so quiet about the current POTUS being compared to Hitler seemingly every day?

Steve Egbert is a nice guy. His political views, however, are far right of center, and the idea that the left even comes close to outright hostility of the GOP and its fringe elements does not stand up to scrutiny.

As for the "gin soaked cracker" comment...ok, tasteless and uncalled for. But you've got pictures of our president with a bone through his nose, Glenn Beck calling him a hater of white people, El Rushbo doing whatever the hell you call what he does...Hannity, Coulter, Cal, the list goes on. I'm sorry people, but there's no comparison.

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Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Isn't it time to take upon ourselves the implementation of term limits?

Lets’s demand a new system and vote in Fair Vote America http://www.fairvote.org/irv/ Demand a change on the next ballot.

The Instant Runoff Voting Solution How Instant Runoff Voting Works: IRV allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference (i.e. first, second, third, fourth and so on). Voters have the option to rank as many or as few candidates as they wish, but can vote without fear that ranking less favored candidates will harm the chances of their most preferred candidates. First choices are then tabulated, and if a candidate receives a majority of first choices, he or she is elected. If nobody has a clear majority of votes on the first count, a series of runoffs are simulated, using each voter’s preferences indicated on the ballot. The candidate who received the fewest first place choices is eliminated. All ballots are then retabulated, with each ballot counting as one vote for each voter's highest ranked candidate who has not been eliminated. Specifically, voters who chose the now-eliminated candidate will now have their ballots counted for their second ranked candidate -- just as if they were voting in a traditional two-round runoff election -- but all other voters get to continue supporting their top candidate. The weakest candidates are successively eliminated and their voters' ballots are redistributed to next choices until a candidate crosses a majority of votes.

Instant runoff voting allows for better voter choice and wider voter participation by accommodating multiple candidates in single seat races and assuring that a "spoiler effect" will not result in undemocratic outcomes. IRV allows all voters to vote for their favorite candidate without fear of helping elect their least favorite candidate, and it ensures that the winner enjoys true support from a majority of the voters. Plurality voting, as used in most American elections, does not meet these basic requirements for a fair election system that promotes cost-saving elections with wider participation.

The big money candidates are more beholden than ever to corporate special interests due to the very long nature of campaigns. How do they have time to do the job they were elected to do?

We need public financing of campaigns. Citizens cannot afford special interest money campaigns for it is the citizens that get left out. Let citizens vote on this issue. http://www.publicampaign.org/

Excellent reasoning behind public financing of campaigns: http://www.publicampaign.org/node/41456

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KansasVoter 4 years, 10 months ago

Even though I should be used to it by now, I'm still constantly amazed at the selective amnesia displayed by 99% of all republicans. You've forgotten that george w. bush was called a liar because he WAS constantly lying to the American people. You also forget that both of his elections were highly contested and the results were extremely questionable. You forget that he trampled our Constitution and allowed our country to do things that only "Evil" governments do. You forget all these things and more, yet you make up the silliest lies to attack Obama and the democrats.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker (Anonymous) says…

"Keep'm talking Tom. Stay engaged. The more our resident idiot says, the more harm he does to his own cause. He doesn't realize how he looks/sounds. He thinks he is enlightening everyone who reads his ravings. Help him maintain that self-image. He actually encourages others (in this case the whacko Bush Haters) to come out and add their baseless lunacy to the mix."

That river runs both ways, TBaker. Something tells me if you were to take a deep breath and actually look, you'd realize that pretty quick.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Thats right Jimo, everyone in the country who has the slightest objection to the current administration or is the least bit concerned with the direction our country is going is full of b/s. Keep quoting those percentages. Keep marginalizing those wing-nuts! Shout it from the roof tops! The majority of the country is (your choice of insult)

Don't be ashamed! Tell them how screwed up they are to think they way they do! Pour it on! Your side of the political spectrum is running things now! How could you possibly be wrong! Don't be bashful! Let out all that angst and pent-up anger!

Let the people judge you for what you are. Let the merits of your philosophy be self evident. Put them out there in the big arena and see where it gets ya in the next election!

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Merrill: Thats a fascinating idea. I'm going to look into it.

Besides the obvious objections from special interests, whats the most rational objection you've seen to this so far?

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puddleglum 4 years, 10 months ago

back to the lte.... yeah, bush was an idiot and those that voted for him should feel shame. maybe they don't like Obama, and now that is the way they can forget about what they did.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Jonas - the river runs both ways indeed. The critically reasoned way, and the pathologically partisan way. Take a deep breath and judge the commentary accordingly.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker: I do. But then, I haven't encouraged anyone who is obviously pathologically partisan to continue to post today.

/you'll also notice, if you check, that Keiller's original column has a comment from me suggesting that it's a ridiculous column

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jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

/you yourself, I'll add, do strike me as pretty reasonable for the most part, despite some of your professed alliances

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm not talking about you being pathologically partisan - but we do have a frequent poster to this blog who is. You can be reasoned with - he cannot.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

"we do have a frequent poster to this blog who is."

Several, in fact, though I didn't read the exchange thoroughly enough to tell who the original target was. But the point I lead off with is that fighting such a poster by encouraging someone else who is Also pathologically partisan to keep on posting is maybe not that great a strategy, because all of those reasons you brought up go both ways.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Jonas -

Perhaps it would be helpful if I described people who you can, through the merit of an argument, have some hope of at least moderating their opinion in spite of what obvious biases they have (we all have) - and those people who are simply impervious to the power of facts and critically reasoned argument and will not deviate in the slightest way from their "pathologically partisan" position, so much so that they stoop to personal attack, subterfuge, and the rampant use of intellectual fallacy to drive their arguments. There are some of these on both sides of the spectrum of course, but the best example of it on this blog is the P person.

I've sampled the catalog of emotions when it comes people like this and finally arrived at the place where I'm just disappointed when I see that sort of mindless raving, not because it detracts from this little artificial reality we have going on here (I actually think the loons are half the reason people visit this blog) I'm disappointed because this kind of completely intractable political ideology is fairly representative of the country. Thats what disappoints me.

For as long as we have been a country, our big achievements have always been examples of people with serious political differences coming together to get something done. It is disappointing to ponder the likelihood of that happening in today's fractured political environment. It dooms us to waiting for things to get so bad politicians are left with no options, and forces them to do things they would never otherwise do. Following whats going in the California State Legislature is a very instructive example of where out congress is headed in the very near future. A national display of the rankest sort of partisanship as the country collapses is not something I look forward to.

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker, AGAIN, Why keep making up new b/s before accepting responsibility for your old b/s?

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker: ““I only saw Rod Blagojevich one time, and that was in the stands and from a distance at a Chicago Bears Football Game.””

AGAIN, an objective lie. Correct and retract.

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

"Your side of the political spectrum is running things now! "

Uhhh...I'm a conservative. My "side of the political spectrum" hasn't run things for quite some time now. My "side" has more than a slight objection to the current administration just like the last one too. My "side" is concerned with the direction our country and was concerned when YOU were running it off the cliff!

You seem to be under the impression that those who don't lick up your barf and call it manna from heaven are limited to Democrats or liberals (or whatever gibberish).

Sorry but Jesus had his Judas - all we get is you.

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grammaddy 4 years, 10 months ago

Nancy Tom, Canyon wren, and rightwinger, please tell me who the Republicans can run against Obama that actually might have an ice cube's chance in hell of winning. Please tell me it's Sarah Palin.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

tbaker: "There are some of these on both sides of the spectrum of course, but the best example of it on this blog is the P person."

Not the worst, I'd say. I can think of at least one worse.

I understand your point perfectly, I simply think you are failing to understand mine.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Don't worry Barry - Iran is going to define his four years.

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jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

Chuckle. When you run away for the evening rather than face the daylight, it looks less than good when you come back and change the subject with silly and inflamatory gibberish.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

David Brooks...now there's is a paragon of conservatism. There is nothing "imaginary" about the growing number of folks in this country who have serious concerns about the things going on in DC, and the direction they are taking our country.

Sure Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, etc are bombastic and often divisive, but to dispute the fact their audience is growing and their message, at least in some part, is resonating with more people every day is just a dumb move. Brooks must be suspending his disbelief.

Like I've said before, politicians who are perceived as someone who discounts or denigrates the average folks for voicing strongly held beliefs are going to regret it come election day. Brooks validates this elitist arrogance. For every one person the likes of Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity are able to motivate to take action, get involved, attend rally's etc, Mr. Brooks and his ilk drive another three or four into the ranks of the conservative / libertarian opposition by their smugly dismissive attitude. Mr. Brooks (and many like) marginalization of common folks serves as the best community organizer of conservatives and libertarians since Ronald Reagan. God bless him, and those who are helping him.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

This letter, and the attitude to which it relates, can be summed up in two ways. One is "But, but ... Bush!," and the other is that two wrongs apparently do make a right. If you felt it was wrong for people to demonize President Bush, why would you then turn around and demonize President Obama?

The letter states: "In [Keillor's] dotage he seems to have trouble remembering things."

This comes from someone who almost certainly voted for John McCain, who is five years older than Keillor. Hypocrisy much?

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Tom: "Funny, he doesn't tie in the millions of tea-partiers and anti-ObamaCare demonstrators in his piece."

Millions? Not even close. At the big demonstration in D.C. recently, the anti-Obama group could barely get enough people to fill a football stadium. I beleive more people went to the Arizona Cardinal's game that same weekend. Millions is only in your imagination.

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 10 months ago

True, many things were said about Bush. It is one thing to call a President a liar or fool or idiot or even a nazi.

It is quite another to issue threats of violence and to question the nationality and religion of a President and whether he is qualified to be president.

Bush had name calling used against him. Obama has this plus violent threats and derogatory lies about his birth.

It is the violent threats and nasty lies about things like birth and religion that the nutty right has added to the debate.

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yourworstnightmare 4 years, 10 months ago

Bush was called names.

Obama is called names and: -threatened with violence. -has his birth and nationality questioned. -has mention of violent overthrow of the government and secession because of him. -is painted as not being a "real" american.

The rabid right has brought this filthy stew to the table.

Read Tom Friedman's column today. It is about the right wing vitriol that was spewed about Itzak Rabin in Israel. There are striking parallels.

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

"Millions of tea partiers and anti-Obama care demonstrators?”

Here's Bruce Bartlett, domestic policy adviser to Ronald Reagan writing in Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/2009/10/01/medicare-part-b-tea-party-opinions-columnists-bruce-bartlett.html

He demands to know where the tea baggers were last month when Congress overwhelmingly voted to give fat-cat wealthy retirees with incomes over $170k/yr. a freeze on their Medicare Part B premiums and adding the $2.8 BILLION dollar cost onto our begging list to the Chinese. The only person to speak against this anti-taxpayer giveaway was the House Democratic Majority Leader.

So, here we have a health care bill, billions of dollars are at stake, poor people are being asked to pay socialist benefits to rich people, and the tea baggers ...............? AWOL

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

And to argue that the various demagogues' "audience is growing and their message, at least in some part, is resonating with more people every day" is exceedingly silly.

As Time Magazine couldn't help to point out in their recent cover story puff piece on Glenn beck: In 1987 comedian David Brenner bombed in syndication with about 2.5 million viewers at midnight — which is roughly what Fox, the leading network for political talk shows, averages in prime time. 20 years ago Beck's daily circus would have been canceled without a thought and no one would have noticed. (It may get canceled yet if his remaining sponsors bail out.) Today, with media scattered all over cable and the internet, is enough to cited as a success. It still represents virtually nobody.

Sorry, all the nutjobs put together don't add up to more than about 10% of the country. Add in another 10-15% of Wall Street, country club types and you have the entire modern day GOP - a small, primarily regional Party of loud people, not serious about governing, unable to do more than disrupt the course of government, but nonetheless hopeful that, being the not-Democratic choice, people will have short memories and elect a Dubya II if they can just get some traction de-legitimizing Obama (although it doesn't help that the Democrats themselves seem to have an attraction to GOP-lite suicide and equally weak leadership).

Put differently: in a parliamentary democracy, which doesn't force a 2 party choice, the GOP would be a tiny party excluded from any governmental role whatsoever, a mere protest vote right along with the Beer-drinkers Party and the Socialist Workers Party.

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tbaker 4 years, 10 months ago

Silly, huh Jimo? Too bad we'll not settle that assertion on this blog, but rest assured, it will be settled. Debate the validity of the numbers all you want, but this matter is slowly but surely being settled by ever-more viewers and ever-more voters. You're just standing on the beach screaming at the tsunami my friend. The more you discount it, the bigger it gets.

Go ahead, denigrate, insult, and marginalize honest people who have genuine concerns with our government. Shout it from the rooftops. See what happens in the next election. You're making the rope you'll be hung with.

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Mike Blur 4 years, 10 months ago

I want the last 10 minutes of my life back.

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Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

"ever-more viewers"

Viewers? What does that have to do with reality in American politics?

"ever-more voters"

Only a madman could take a Party flat on its back, more irrelevant than at any time since its founding and lie about "ever-more voters".

Speaking of lies - still waiting for the retraction and apology for the fake, manufactured quotation. Waiting ... still waiting.....

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mr_right_wing 4 years, 10 months ago

You know, it's not fair to say Obama lies all the time.....

.....his mouth is actually shut from time to time.

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beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Tom, "All of the nearly 1000 tea parties plus 912 march is thought to be close to a million"

If it is almost or "close to" a million, that doesn't exactly qualify as "millions" then, does it? "Close to one million" means "less than one million," let alone "millions."

So were you lying when you originally claimed there were "millions" of protesters against Obama, or were you simply mistaken?

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