Thursday, October 11, 2012

Remember, Remember, the 8th of November

The past isn't dead. It isn't even past.” – William Faulkner, 1951

In case you weren't attentive to politics at the time, eight years ago, following the outcome of the 2004 election, the post below from "The News Blog" was a pretty accurate description of the taste in our mouths.

Katrina was still in our futures then. And Teri Schiavo. And the final collapse of the Bush Regime's efforts to pretend that everything ass just fucking peaches and cream in Iraq.  So many Conservative failures were already clear and vivid, but so many others us were looming into view.  And we on the Left who knew the wingnut victory was built on ideological delusion and lies, knew it was all doomed to fall, and that the fall would be bloody, expensive and terrible.

The post below also predates the Beltway Media's Etch-a-Sketching its own, filthy complicity in it the failures and crimes of the Bush Administration out of existence. Predates David Brooks' slow-motion, slithering moonwalk away from everything he had said and written. Predates Andrew Sullivan's discover that, OMFG!, the Conservative Movement is full of batshit bigots and bible-humping theocrats! Predates David Frum losing his job as a Bush Regime speechwriter, his fall from Wingnut Welfare Grace and his salvation through intervention of his fellow Conservative Apostates.

Predates so many things that have been lost to history, except in the memories and words of we few who will not forget and will not forgive until the guilty who broke this country are punished and the liars who abetted them are made to atone.

Which is not exactly a five-year plan for financial security, but still... :-)

The memory hole down which our nation's history and the culpability of the Right was all bulldozed did not come into existence by accident either. It's what years of North Korean-style propaganda financed by crackpot Conservative billionaires buys you, and it is the reason the Right has no recollection of any of this, and no shame about it when one of us memory traitors forces them to remember.

Finally, the astute reader will notice that virtually none of the fascist, hate-spewing clowns mentioned in this post who made out like fat rats during the Age of Bush -- Limbaugh, Hannity, Weiner, Coulterm et al -- have ever been forced to pay any price whatsoever for their casual, high-decibel treason.  In fact, at least one of them keeps getting invited into some of America's premier public interest programs as if she weren't a loathsome, bigoted gorgon.

This was it felt like on November 8th, 2004. 

And I never want to feel that way again. 

From the archives of the late, great, Steve Gilliard:

Monday, November 08, 2004 

They voted for this mess

mg_65 sent this to me and I think you might want to read this

Please, I don't deserve ANY credit for it. None. I just posted it. That's all.

OK, first of all, let's set the scene a bit here:

From Daily Kos

"I work at a domestic violence shelter in a rural conservative district in Michigan that is has had its economy gutted by NAFTA and where Christianity dominates the culture.

"Yesterday while reflecting about 4 more years of Bush I was talking with a woman staying in the shelter. I will give her a fake name, lets call her Laura B. Laura is 28, pregnant, (never considered an abortion). She finished high school and did a year of college before dropping out to have a couple of kids with her military husband. Living in Virginia on base with her autocratic mate (he doesn't allow the boys 3 and 4 to say "yeah" they have to answer "yes sir") drove her crazy and she was hospitalized for suicidal thoughts. Military dude divorced her and has custody.
"She came home to Mom in Mich and ended up at our shelter to try and sort out her life. (Mom has no money either and her own problems.) We, like all secular agencies, have seen a steady erosion of funds.
"Laura B. has found a job working in the kitchen at a local faith based Christian College. She makes $6/hour. She drives a dying Ford Escort wagon pays $2.15/gallon for gas. Her latest crisis is her insurance expired on Oct. 9 (her ex-partner  canceled policy). She needs to come up with $211 to get insurance for one month or face a $1,000 fine if she gets caught driving with no insurance. We have some public transportation, Dial-a Ride, minibus runs between 7 am and 6 p.m., M-F $1.50 one-way. She has to be at work at 6am.

"She has been walking to work lately but it is about 2 miles she is 5 months pregnant, it is dark at 5 am, and winter is coming. Solution? Go begging at the churches who seem to have money for these things. They will give her the money if she attends bible school. So last night she was at bible school until 9 p.m.
"She has never attended our domestic violence support groups as she is too tired at night and goes to bed early but the bible study was not optional.
"She was excited about "God's message" when she came back.
"This week she moves into low income subsidized housing. Her newest crisis is she has found out when the college is closed for the Christmas holiday (one month) she has no employment. She is hoping to find temporary employment as a seasonal retail worker if the Christmas sales are brisk to tide her over. She doesn't know what she will do when the baby is born, hopes she can work up till the last week (she is on her feet all day with this job). She will be eligible for subsidized daycare.

"She voted for Bush because of his 'family values.'"

But wait! 

"I know someone who lives in our neighborhood.  She is in her mid 20's has a 5 year old girl. Single parent working as a waitress at the local restaurant.  "The restaurant closes two weeks out of the year, and during that time she does not get paid.  She decided to go to night school to become a Nurse.  

She is squeamish about needles and blood, but this was the only opportunity she had to better herself.  The schooling is free, if she contracts to work for the health care organization for 4 years.
"Another waitress at the restaurant came into work sick and gave everyone a nasty virus.  She couldn't stay home sick, because she gets no sick pay.  She continued to work and got so ill, that she had to go to the emergency room and stay in the hospital."She has no health insurance, and her medical bills came to $17,000.00 she had to drop out of classes because she had to work part time to make up for her lost wages while she was sick and start paying her medical bills.
"Fortunately her daughter does have health care coverage courtesy of our previous democrat Governor Jeanne Shaheen starting a state program to provide child health care.
"She voted in this election for the first time in her life.
"She voted for George W. Bush.  Her pastor told her to." 
Now how much would you pay?  But wait!  There's more!
"My stepfather's mother, a northeast Nebraska housewife all her life, used to drive my mother crazy with her political views. A widow living solely on Social Security benefits and paying for her doctors with Medicare, grandma Elsie constantly spouted something along the lines of 'I'll never vote for a Democrat. They've never done anything for me.'"  

So here's the thing.  We're wrong.  We have to stop.  We have to do something different.

Let's examine this Laura.  What she got from us:
"Domestic violence workshops."
What she got from the church: food, a job, and people that said they loved her.  The church gave her something to do, a narrative to organize her life around.  Someone to tell her what to do.

Are we prepared to do that?  To make her a bowl of soup… and sit there and hold her hand while she eats it… and pretend to love her… and force our narrative on her--to own her?  To tell her what to think?

I think probably not.  Because we're liberals.  We believe in teaching her skills, in getting her a job, giving her a loan, maybe lecturing her.  But she doesn't want to learn skills, she's weak and tired and afraid.  She doesn't want to think.

And most people would rather be preached at by a preacher than a social worker.

We have this idealized image of our fellow humans: that human nature is perfectible, that people go for what's best for them, that given the opportunity, people want to be happy and free.  We're liberals.  We believe that, given equal access to information and resources, people will work toward happiness.  That they will act for the best for themselves, their family, their community, their country and eventually, the world.

We're wrong.

And Elsie?  She's just a willfully ignorant asshole.  Who votes.  And there's millions just like her.  They want to take what we give them and then go to the polls and vote so that those things are gone forever.  For everyone.  I say, "hey, dumbass, you don't see your Medicare, your social security, your safe food and medicine, your right to vote and own property, all these rights and safeties liberals fought and died for.  You hate liberalism because Sean Hannity told you to?  Fine--give it all up--lose all your rights, your safety and comfort.  Great.  But don't drag us down with you."  Why should I lose my rights because all the Elsies in the world go vote their hatred and delusion at their pastor Karl Rove's bidding?

We can read Mark Ames' The Spite Vote , we can read Franks' What's the Matter With Kansas?   We can think and discuss and argue and get angry with each other for various sins of political incorrectness all day long.  And in the end, we're left facing the fact that more people than we thought possible are just plain assholes.  They're mean.  They're weak.   They're cowardly.  

They're hateful.  And they're fucking stupid.

They just voted in their president.  And they're marching us toward a fascist state .

(And it doesn't matter if the election was Diebolded and robocalled and thwarted at the polls, either: it should never have been close enough to steal.)

These people never vote for good government; they don't even believe in government.  They're spoiled little toddlers who freak out when they're expected to share.  They don't think they have to pay for anything that they take.  And they're right--they don't. 

We do .

Who do you think a good, righteous, Bush-voting fundy hates more, Osama Bin Laden or a New York City liberal?

The corporate media right away dusted off the old canard that Democrats need to reach out more to the "heartland."  Reach out?  Forget that these folks blindly ignored all objective reality -- and their own best economic and national-security interests -- and voted for Bush.  Look what they did at the Senate level.

In Kentucky, they refused to use even basic sanity as a litmus test, and reelected a guy with late-stage dementia; in Oklahoma, they tapped a fellow who wants to execute doctors who perform abortions, who was sued for sterilizing a woman against her will, who pled guilty to Medicaid fraud, and who largely opposes federal subsidies, even for his own state; in Louisiana, they embraced a man who has made back-door deals with David Duke and who was revealed to have had a long-running affair with a prostitute; in South Carolina, they went with a guy who thinks all gay teachers should be fired; and in Alaska, they reelected a woman who was appointed by her father to the job after a spectacularly undistinguished career as an obscure state senator. 

And compared with the rest of the GOP Class of '04, she's the fucking prize.  These are the wonderful elected officials that the "heartland" has foisted on the rest of us.

"Reach out" to these voters?  Yeah.  Then pull back a bloody stump. We had the largest turnout of voters ever.  All sorts of people who used to vote Republican came out for Kerry.   Bush was exposed in the debates as the crooked psycho fraud with-an-unexplained-object-on-his-back that he is.   The youth vote did turn out, 5 million more.   The senate isn't all white anymore.

But still, we lost.  And now we're mega-fucked.  Big time.

Bushco are not politicians.  They do not make policy.  They are crooks, robber barons.  They've pulled an inside job.  They create failed states and terrorism so they can loot and pillage and not pay taxes and never be subject to regulations.  They will kill our planet and they'll make us like it.

Let's face it, all right?  Enough politeness.  They allowed 9/11 to happen and they profit from it.  They allowed all those munitions in Iraq to be looted, and they'll profit from it.  Endless war and chaos is good for them.  They've been fostering failed states for a long time: Sudan, Congo, Afghanistan--any place where there are tons of natural resources and no central government to impose pesky taxes or regulations.  They are not interested in, or concerned about, the well-being of any nation.  They are global supervillians, stateless CEOs of multinational corporations who benefit from war, from failed states, from terrorism, from stupidity, greed, and craven fear.  You think the Carlyle Group

doesn't benefit from the USA needing to buy more tanks, because ours keep getting blown up?  Halliburton's making, in so many ways, a killing.

Jane Smiley writes ,
"A generation ago, the big capitalists, who have no morals, as we know, decided to make use of the religious right in their class war against the middle class and against the regulations that were protecting those whom they considered to be their rightful prey--workers and consumers. The architects of this strategy knew perfectly well that they were exploiting, among other unsavory qualities, a long American habit of virulent racism, but they did it anyway, and we see the outcome now--Cheney is the capitalist arm and Bush is the religious arm. They know no boundaries or rules. They are predatory and resentful, amoral, avaricious, and arrogant. Lots of Americans like and admire them because lots of Americans, even those who don't share those same qualities, don't know which end is up. Can the Democrats appeal to such voters? Do they want to? The Republicans have sold their souls for power. Must everyone?"

Liberals, members of the reality-based community, cannot understand why right-wingers cannot see the self-serving nature of those in charge and make much of the blind religious faith of evangelical fundamentalists who support Bush.  Again: Bushco doesn't want policies.  They want power.  The power to empty the Treasury, to enrich their golfing buddies, the power to enforce social, intellectual and cultural conformity at the expense of independent thinking.  How else will they get enough of the populace to vote against their own best interests?

Here's the thing: right-wing voters can see it.  They like it.  Jane Smiley's wrong.  They know perfectly well which end is up; they're bullies and, at heart, monarchists/theocrats, and they want to be associated with brute force.  They know it'll cause pain to people they hate, so they like it.

Bushco doesn't want to fight stateless terrorism.  They created it and they benefit from it.  You think they don't know terrorists target blue state cities?  They also know that Wyoming gets $38 a person in "Homeland Security" funds and NYC gets $5 per person

--they can buy gold-plated tractors while we close down firehouses.  They like a big ugly immoral war against another state.  The weaker the state, the better.  Then our lizardroid corporate overlords can loot all the resources.  Actual terrorism is good for them.  It may prove to be an even better issue than abortion to keep the sheep in line.  Why should they fight terrorism?

And their million and millions of loyal followers are fucking stupid. 

They choose to be.  You don't like me calling them stupid?  You're afraid it might not "win them over?"  First of all, I'm not trying to win them over.  I'm trying to disassociate myself from evil.  Secondly, you're wrong--it probably will win them over.  Because they like it.  They respect the boot in the face, rudeness, a show of force, a raised voice.

They're the ones who voted for an overprivileged fratboy deserter who makes speeches dressed in military garb; who demands loyalty oaths from all who would be in his presence; who descends from the sky in a military helicopter amid raving crowds and fireworks displays; and who ignores the real threat of stateless terrorism in favor of invading and occupying a country that was no threat to anyone.

They're the ones who voted for Abu Ghraib.

Or you don't like me calling them stupid because it's unkind and illiberal, and oh, how can I be so elitist?  Cry me a river: they are stupid.  They believe that Saddam Hussein was directly responsible for September 11, 2001. They think corn syrup is food.  They believe that there's no such thing as stateless terrorism. They believe that "the left" is responsible for the revolting cesspool of popular culture. They don't believe in evolution. 

They think Bush is a godly man. They never wonder why the Republicans never meet their promises to them.  They don't believe in global warming.  They do believe in the "Flypaper Strategy."  They believe in one paragraph out of Leviticus, but they ignore the rest of the Bible .  They let themselves get scammed over and over by robber barons and religious hucksters.  And apparently, although I find this hard to conceive of, they believe that the media is liberal.  They're fucking stupid. They've been calling me an elitist snob for many years now.  Fine.  I'm an elitist snob, fuck you very much, you mouth-breathing bloodthirsty fucktard bigot.  I work to educate myself.  I spend an inordinate amount of time, energy and money to get a more or less accurate idea of what's going on around me.

But I've been wrong.  I was wrong--I believed that, given equal access to information and resources, people will work toward their own best interests.  I was wrong.  Right-wingers will happily cause themselves suffering, as long as it means they can cause someone else a little bit more suffering.  They're happy to see their children mangled horribly in the immoral meatgrinder of the war on Iraq.  It makes them happy.  Because as long as Uncle Sam is slaughtering brown people somewhere, with lots of shock and awe, it's a good day.

As long as they can make those nasty, dirty war protesters with their silly papier-mache puppets feel scared and angry and powerless, it's a job well done.

And before you all start tut-tutting kindly and rushing to my side with cups of tea and handfuls of Prozac and loving advice about therapy, vitamins and exercise, hear me out.  OK?

You're good people.  You're educated.  You don't watch Fox News.   You don't listen to talk radio.  You, simply put, haven't the faintest idea what we're up against.

These are not Conservatives--this is not the Republican party we knew.  This is the Movement funded by Richard Mellon Scaife , the Koch Brothers ,  and Joseph Coors, among others.

This is Ann "My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times building" Coulter, whose books are huge best-sellers.  Read a few of her columns and then come back and tell me I'm over reacting.

This is Rush "Feminism was established to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream" Limbaugh , who has an adoring audience of many many millions.  Who intoned in his nice baritone about the US policy of torture at Abu Ghraib:
"I'm sorry, folks. I'm sorry. Somebody has to provide a little levity here. This is not as serious as everybody is making it out to be… This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation, and we're going to ruin people's lives over it, and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release? You [ever] heard of need to blow some steam off?"

How about Sean Hannity , on whose show a young woman caller, to much acclaim, pronounced that she was voting for Bush "because President Bush likes war.  Kerry doesn't like war.  So I'm voting for Bush."

Who said, apparently with a straight face:

"[After 9-11], liberal Democrats at first showed little interest in the investigation of the roots of this massive intelligence failure...[Bush and his team] made it clear that determining the causes of America's security failures and finding and remedying its weak points would be central to their mission."

Michael "Savage" Weiner , who, while voicing his contempt for San Francisco's homeless and the efforts to help them, Savage, a long time Bay Area radio personality, said that female students who come from a Marin County private school to feed and provide services to the homeless "can go in and get raped by them because they seem to like the excitement of it..." These and other comments suggesting sexual activity between homeless people and minor students were peppered throughout the three-hour broadcast.

These people

And these 

This group 
Check 'em out!  They want you dead.  Don't you think you should be aware?  Browse their sites and comment boards and then come back and tell me you can reach them, educate them, live in peace with them.  Or that you want to.

And don't forget this guy, who wrote , after the election:

"If anyone needs to work to 'bring the country together' it’s those on the left who have divided it so badly. Those who sought to destroy this great man should get down upon their knees and beg the victors for mercy. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll let a few of them linger on for the simple reason that they amuse us. My life’s goal is to see the Democratic Party virtually obliterated and left as a rump of people like Stephanie Herseth who both mostly agree with us anyways and are easy on the eyes. 

"That’s the future of the Democratic Party: providing Republicans with a number of cute (but not that bright) comfort women. 

"Let’s face a hard truth: this was the bitterest Presidential campaign in living memory. The Democrats and their allies staked everything on the defeat of this President. All of the resources they had accumulated over a generation of struggle were thrown into this battle: and they have failed. Despite all of their tricks, despite all of their lies, the people have rejected them. They mean nothing. They are worth nothing. There’s no point in trying to reach out to them because they won’t be reached out to. We’ve got their teeth clutching the sidewalk and our boot above their head. Now’s the time to curb-stomp the bastards."

All of whom are wildly popular, hugely influential, make tons of money, and who want us dead.

Who just voted for Bushco.

And this is their map .

Which is the same as their  first map (scroll down).


Let's shut them off, the way we'd do with any drunken psycho breaking up the place.

Let's secede.

Daniel Gross writes :

"Essentially, the Northeast--for my definition here, I use New England plus New Jersey and New York--subsidizes the federal government to a massive degree. Incomes are far higher in the Northeast--and the equally Democratic West Coast--than they are in other regions. Meanwhile, many other regions--say, the South and the Great Plains--subsist on federal largesse. On a per capita basis, those in the Northeast pay far more taxes and receive far fewer benefits than people in other regions…
"This summer, the Tax Foundation released a detailed study that compares the federal tax burden in each state to the flow of federal funds back into the state via spending and benefits in fiscal 2002. The result is a startling pattern of income redistribution among the states. 

"As the study's Table 5 shows, the Northeast is home to the top five federal-revenue-producing states on a per capita basis: Connecticut produces $10,426 per resident; Massachusetts $9,282. New Jersey $8,821; New Hampshire $7, 778; and New York $7,568. The national per capita figure is $6,326. (The lowest is Mississippi with $3,873, which means a typical Mississippian contributes about half to the U.S. Treasury what your typical New Yorker contributes.) 

"Next, look at federal expenditures received per capita--Table 7. Of the eight Northeast states, none ranks higher than 14th (Maine). And several of the Northeasterners are way down--New Hampshire ranks 49th, New Jersey is 41st. The top recipients are Alaska, North Dakota, and Virginia.
"On a percentage basis, those with the largest disconnect between the amount they ship to Washington and they amount they receive back are in the Northeast. New Jersey receives only 62 cents back on every dollar shipped to Washington, while Connecticut and New Hampshire receive 65 cents and 66 cents, respectively. 

"The data flies in the face of received notions about wealth, partisan affiliation, and dependence on the federal government. The five largest recipients of federal largesse in 2002 were all non-Northeast states: New Mexico, North Dakota, Alaska, Mississippi, and West Virginia (four of which went Republican in 2000). The states shortchanged the most were New Jersey, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Nevada, and Massachusetts--four of five of which are in the Northeast, and three of which voted Democratic in 2000.  In fact, when you look at the voting behavior of states--based on 2000 per capita income--11 of the 13 wealthiest states voted for Gore while 15 of the poorest 17 states voted for Bush… New Yorkers and other high-earning Northeasterners support their more impecunious fellow citizens by paying more taxes. 

"…The system of federal military and crop subsidies that keeps many regions afloat, the massive military upon which our quest for national greatness rests, social benefits like Social Security and Medicare--none of these would be possible if the Northeast didn't contribute far more to the national fisc than it receives in return..."

Starting to get it?  Here's the map of who pays what.

Let's secede.

And for our first act of secession, Atrios announces The Tax Fairness Act of 2005 :
"I suggest the Democrats first major legislative proposal, complete with press conferences, laser show, hunger strike, whatever, is the "Tax Fairness Act of 2005." This Act would mandate that, within some reasonable margin of error, your state should get as much back from the feds as is sent to them in taxes. It's time to end this kind of geographic welfare!"

We have the money. We have the skills.  We have the knowledge and science and art and decency.  We have the money.  Blue state taxes go to red states. 

We subsidize their bigoted, murderous asses.

All we have to do is help the Republicans stomp the federal income tax into oblivion and then crank up our state's income tax to cover our social programs.

So, let's teach them evolution first-hand, and let them starve.  No more Blue State funds to Red States.

Write them off, because their culture war is more important to them than ethics, security, retirement, overtime, the house they live in, the food in their bellies or even the health and safety of their children.

If red state voters want to vote GOP, let them live in the world they vote for.

It will work.  We can just walk away from them, personally and nationally.  Let's concede.

Adam Felber  writes ,

"I concede that I overestimated the intelligence of the American people. Though the people disagree with the President on almost every issue, you saw fit to vote for him. I never saw that coming. That's really special. And I mean "special" in the sense that we use it to describe those kids who ride the short school bus and find ways to injure themselves while eating pudding with rubber spoons. That kind of special. 

"I concede that I misjudged the power of hate. That's pretty powerful stuff, and I didn't see it. So let me take a moment to congratulate the President's strategists: Putting the gay marriage amendments on the ballot in various swing states like Ohio... well, that was just genius. Genius. It got people, a certain kind of people, to the polls. The unprecedented number of folks who showed up and cited "moral values" as their biggest issue, those people changed history. The folks who consider same sex marriage a more important issue than war, or terrorism, or the economy... Who'd have thought the election would belong to them? Well, Karl Rove did… 

"There are some who would say that I sound bitter, that now is the time for healing, to bring the nation together. Let me tell you a little story. Last night, I watched the returns come in with some friends here in Los Angeles. As the night progressed, people began to talk half-seriously about secession, a red state / blue state split. The reasoning was this: We in blue states produce the vast majority of the wealth in this country and pay the most taxes, and you in the red states receive the majority of the money from those taxes while complaining about 'em. We in the blue states are the only ones who've been attacked by foreign terrorists, yet you in the red states are gung ho to fight a war in our name. We in the blue states produce the entertainment that you consume so greedily each day, while you in the red states show open disdain for us and our values. Blue state civilians are the actual victims and targets of the war on terror, while red state civilians are the ones standing behind us and yelling "Oh, yeah!? Bring it on!"

"More than 40% of you Bush voters still believe that Saddam Hussein had something to do with 9/11. I'm impressed by that, truly I am. Your sons and daughters who might die in this war know it's not true, the people in the urban centers where al Qaeda wants to attack know it's not true, but those of you who are at practically no risk believe this easy lie because you can. As part of my concession speech, let me say that I really envy that luxury. I concede that. 

"Healing? We, the people at risk from terrorists, the people who subsidize you, the people who speak in glowing and respectful terms about the heartland of America while that heartland insults and excoriates us... we wanted some healing. We spoke loud and clear. And you refused to give it to us, largely because of your high moral values. You knew better: America doesn't need its allies, doesn't need to share the burden, doesn't need to unite the world, doesn't need to provide for its future. Hell no. Not when it's got a human shield of pointy-headed, atheistic, unconfrontational breadwinners who are willing to pay the bills and play nice in the vain hope of winning a vote that we can never have. Because we're "morally inferior," I suppose, we are supposed to respect your values while you insult ours. And the big joke here is that for 20 years, we've done just that…"

Again: fuck them. We cannot talk reasonably with these mouth-breathing, greedy, bigoted, bloodthirsty fucktards.

Cut off the red-state welfare, and they'll be part of the third world.  They can run their Ayn Randian fantasies right into the ground.

Don't fight it--don't try to delay what they're voting for, give the people what they want.  Cut to the chase, and let them reap what they sow.

Let them watch their sisters and daughters bleed to death from amateur abortions.  Let them see a fistula up close and personal.  Let them try to give birth to hydrocephalitic babies.  Take this goddamn issue off the table.  You think country club Repubs will ever outlaw abortion?  It's their best issue ever to keep the mouth-breathers in line.  We liberals will still keep our privacy.  We'll start up another underground railway for our gay brothers and sisters.  We'll barter the National parks from them with French flu vaccines.

And they will never be a threat to us.  They have nothing--no science, no wisdom, no art, no nothing.  You think they're a threat to you?  They don't even believe in evolution.  Listen, I'd just love to see a faith-based nuclear weapon, OK?

They have no skills--they don't know how to DO anything.  Even these Wall Street bankers, these Masters of the Universe--all they know how to do is talk on the phone and play golf and sell each other snake oil.  Their only skill is sales.  They pollute the air they breathe.  They borrow money from China to buy cheap crap from Walmart, which it gets from… China.  Listen, this is their idea of an economic policy: get Asia to buy our debt so we can borrow money from Asia so we can keep buying crap from Asia.  They're stupid .  They are unfamiliar with the concept of tomorrow.

We don't need them.  They need us.  Time to make them realize it.

Take me, for example:  I can write a sonnet.  I can design and install a security system.  I can sew.  I know how to change a baby's diapers. 

I keep my household clean and comfortable.  I am fiscally responsible.  I can take care of animals.  I know Photoshop and Quark and MS Word and Excel and Filemaker and Outlook and I can build and maintain a database and I can write ad copy and send a fax and build a bookcase and change the locks.  I know how to research.  I can quickly and clearly explain quantum mechanics and Jungian theory and then I'll fix the wiring.  I know sales, too--how to sell stupid people things they don't want, don't need and can't afford.  I can teach difficult technical material to exhausted adult ESL students at the end of a long day.  I can successfully waiter in a busy NYC restaurant and I know how to plant and care for a garden.  I can ride a bicycle. 

I can beat your ass in Scrabble.  I make really, really good coffee.  I know how to throw a party that's actually fun.  I am capable of smiling in the face of cruelty for a bigger tip so I can pay my bills.  I know first aid.

You can say, "OK, Moira, if you're so smart, how come you're not rich?"  And I'll tell you two things: first, my ideal of happiness and comfort is not rooted in grubbing after money.  And second, because I'm an artist and that means I have spent my life providing service, entertainment and comfort to right-wing fucks who then spit on me, revile and mock me, call me a traitor and a terrorist sympathizer and a communist and a "Massachusetts Liberal" like that's an insult, call me childish and naïve and blah blah fucking blah.  Who kick me when I'm down.  Who will beat me and jail me as soon as they think they can get away with it.

But they still come whining and crying to me when they need something done.  When they need comfort.  When they need to know something.  When they need my tax dollars to pay them to sit on their fat red state asses and shiver in mortal fear of terrorists who aren't even interested in them anyway.

Fuck them.

And I know you, my fellow lefties, are the same.  You know how to write books, while you're raising a family.  You know how to cook, you know how to nurse someone you love through an ugly death.  I've seen you do it.  You know how to fix motors and do groundbreaking science and ride a horse and deal with heartbreak.  You know how to clean, load, shoot and safely store a gun.  You know how to make beautiful art and smile when your feet hurt. 

You know how to hide behind trees and shoot Redcoats.  You know how to run an underground railway and get women the right to vote and you know how to boycott cotton and sit at a lunch counter in Alabama.  You know this:  you've marched and protested and been beaten and you've gone hungry and sent money and you gave us everything we have.

But they don't want any of it.  They hate you for it.  They feel oppressed by it.

Your kindness, your warm welcome, your generosity, your concern, your love and passion--it will never work.  These people hate you.  Understand?  They HATE you.  They want you dead.  All your work, your energy, your wisdom, your experience--it means nothing to them and it reads as weakness.  They see your open, extended hand, and they feel oppressed by it-- it reads as scolding, as hectoring, as judgment, as oppression.  They think you're going to take away their children and their guns and their Bible that they never read and teach them evolution and force them to get gay married.  They really, really believe that, even as they take you for all you're worth.  In fact, this belief of theirs is what gives meaning to their sordid, hateful, fearful, resentful lives.  They will never change.  Your kindness and generosity only enables them.  They'll take what we've got--our money, our art, our science, our technology, our wisdom, our humor, our compassion--and they'll spit on us and calls us communist traitor faggots.  Time to let go.  They hate us.  It's time we realize that.

I finally did.  Listen: my kindness is not weakness.  I'm polite--I'm a nice person, but I'm not nice because I'm weak or afraid.  I'm nice because I'm nice, because it's a moral value to me.  Because I love comfort and kindness and warmth and generosity.

But I don't feel so nice these days, as these fucktards drag me toward being a Good German

They're bullies.  They hate weakness, vulnerability, anything smaller than they are, anything at a disadvantage to them.  They hate it.

Michael Moore thinks that if he just educates them--if he shows the beautiful young soldier with his limbs blown off, in the inescapable horror of morphine addiction; if he shows endless lists of the names of the young working-class people who died so horribly for a lie; if he shows Iraqi children flying kites; if he makes them watch an Iraqi elder get sexually molested and then mocked for it--if they just see it, they'll understand.

He's wrong.  Michael Moore's the one that doesn't understand.  They do see it.  They do know it.  They are fully aware.  They understand just fine.  They like it.  And god help anyone that gets in their way.

If they can make someone else suffer--suffer more than they do, even a little bit more (a lot more, that's a bonus) even if they have to increase their own suffering to make sure someone else suffers--they will do it--they'll do whatever it takes.  Someone's suffering, somewhere in the world?  Small child getting limbs blown off?  Rape, torture, murder?  Children behind barbed wire?  Two adults who love each other can't get married--are second-class citizens--so it's all good.  I made someone somewhere suffer: it's a good day.

It's no use Seymour Hersch reporting on and showing the photographic evidence of the torture in Abu Ghraib.  When right-wingers saw those photos , which they did, they just hated the victims.  Because those Iraqis made the mistake of being weak, hurt, afraid and vulnerable.  And when right-wingers saw those pictures, they were happy inside.  Out loud, they yelled about propaganda, about frat hijinks, about A Few Bad Apples.  But inside, they were happy and satisfied.  They blamed the troops, as Limbaugh did, but really they envied them.  And just because liberals don't understand that doesn't mean it isn't true.  We have to know this.  We have to know that the only way to deal with them is to stand up to them.  They are not amenable to education; they do not react well to kindness.  The only way to deal with them is to always display strength and force.

Or, as is my plan, to walk away from them--to withdraw our energy and our resources entirely.

Fuck them.  Walk away.  Just say no.

So call, write and hector your representativessenators and congresscritters ( 202-224-3121) to pass the Tax Fairness Act of 2005.  Demand ceaselessly and loudly, even if in an Abbie Hoffman sort of way, that we secede.

The North Will Rise Again.

Right-wingers are cowards.  They want a monarchy, a theocracy.  They hate Liberalism.  They worship hierarchical power.  The only thing they respect is a boot in the face.  That gets them rolling over and peeing in exciting submission.  Fuck them.  Let's give them some of that Shock and Awe they love so much.  Let's withdraw.  They will not change.  They are just plain bad.  Spend your time and money on yourself, your family, your community, your values.  Let them drown in their own filth.

Let them have what they want.  Let them have the totalitarian theocratic feudal system they want so much.  See how long they last.  No FDA: good luck with that aspirin.  Enjoy your hamburger!  No CDC, no OSHA, no EPA.  No labor laws, no minimum wage, no right to sue the corporation that put the mercury in their medicine and arsenic in their water and whose machinery ripped their arm off.  No right to declare bankruptcy.  Let them wallow in their hatred of us and when they need us and all our works, they can just go pray to Jesus.

As Joe Conason writes ,

"Liberal policies made America the freest, wealthiest, most successful and most powerful nation in human history. Conservatism in power always threatens to undo that national progress, and is almost always frustrated by the innate decency and democratic instincts of the American people... 
"If your workplace is safe; if your children go to school rather than being forced into labor; if you are paid a living wage, including overtime; if you enjoy a 40-hour week and you are allowed to join a union to protect your rights -- you can thank liberals. If your food is not poisoned and your water is drinkable -- you can thank liberals. If your parents are eligible for Medicare and Social Security, so they can grow old in dignity without bankrupting your family -- you can thank liberals. If our rivers are getting cleaner and our air isn't black with pollution; if our wilderness is protected and our countryside is still green -- you can thank liberals. If people of all races can share the same public facilities; if everyone has the right to vote; if couples fall in love and marry regardless of race; if we have finally begun to transcend a segregated society -- you can thank liberals. Progressive innovations like those and so many others were achieved by long, difficult struggles against entrenched power. What defined conservatism, and conservatives, was their opposition to every one of those advances…"
It's ours--we fought and died for it.  They don't want it; they never did.  So fuck them.  Walk away.

Listen: in Tao, absence is a strong as presence.  I am not advocating hatred.  I am not saying to fight them, or be mean to them.  I am saying, stop trying to give them something they don't want.  It isn't working.  When you fight, your energy feeds what you're fighting against.  When you resist, your resistance props it up.  When you hate, you become what you hate. 

And when you keep reaching out your hand in loving kindness to someone who hates your fucking guts and wants you dead, you're an idiot.

So stop it.

Stop enabling them.  Stop fighting for them.  Stop trying to give them something they don't want.  Just stop.  Stop not telling the truth because it'll hurt their feelings and cause unpleasantness.  They're bigots.  They are going to change the Constitution to make you a second-class citizen. 

They are going to keep carpet-bombing cities full of civilians.  They are going to continue to disappear American citizens, keep putting innocent people in our concentration camp in Cuba, keep on encouraging and allowing terrorist acts on blue state cities, continue to rape and torture and murder and complain about how immoral liberals are.

And there's not a damn thing we can do about it, except starve them out. 

Start now.

Because this is what they voted for.


Anonymous said...

Amazing! And this nation may do it again. Unbelievable.

As you wrote, a good portion of Repiglickin's are merely insane. Most are crass and greedy opportunists. But so very many on both sides are just extremely stupid. Anyone who would swing their vote after Romney's ridiculous debate performance is an idiot.

tommo said...

Amazing! And this nation may do it again. Unbelievable.

As you wrote, a good portion of Repiglickin's are merely insane. Most are crass and greedy opportunists. But so very many on both sides are just extremely stupid. Anyone who would swing their vote after Romney's ridiculous debate performance is an idiot.

MarkGisleson said...

In the right's defense, the closest think they've got to Steve Gilliard is Andrew Sullivan.

Yeah. I mean, yes sir!

Hamfast Ruddyneck said...

"She's weak and tired and afraid. She doesn't want to think."

Basic Shock Doctrine. Make people weak and tired and afraid, and it's easier to control their minds.

Don P said...

Thanks for this, it's easy to forget sometimes.

Patricia said...

I am an artist, I don't know any artists who aren't liberals. The only time I took my money offshore, was to travel and learn more about art. Liberal/Artists like me, don't have much money, but what we do have are skills. So when the Republicans drag us back into the Dark Ages, I'd bet everything I have that Liberals and artists, are going to be the ones that drag us back out.

Anonymous said...

I am fascinated that most of They Voted For This Mess could have been spoken by Mitt during his 47% rant.

If you just divide red & blue by affluence instead of party affiliation, you can have the same diatribe forking for either party.

Clearly there is no future for society in this direction, it only seeks to disband the unwanted.

But this piece really frames you in a fascinating new light too:

I think what pisses you off so much about the movement conservative mouthpieces is that you know you are the better conservative. You have real traditional American values but were always mistaken for a hippy. You're mad because you are a much better conservative than David Brooks, or Frum, or the Tory.

And this is the interesting feature of your movement: you are fighting for True Conservatism! And you'll spend the rest of your breath on it.

But what is the world doesn't really work like this? What if there are other distinctions, and other directions?

Yes, what if you really seceded? Really left all the other assholes behind

blackdaug said...

God... how long have I been reading you now?
I remember this from the dim past and it dredged up bits of my mood of the time...which it is safe to say was continuous utter despair.
I can also remember distinctly worrying that C+ Augustus just might decide two terms were not enough sometime during that nightmare last 4 years. I worried about that right up until the man strode down that runway that amazing night in Chicago.
I really think if they get in again..two terms won't be enough; its why they are throwing everything they can muster at this one on all fronts (the river of lies, disenfranchisement..the whole bathtub).
If they win this one...and the country truly deserves the govt. they get..then this place won't be worth living in anymore.
As amazingly horrible as Bushco was, they had sociopaths in their ranks..but this time both occupants at the top of the ticket would make the guy from "American Psycho" gasp. Its not just that neither Romney or Ryan have a nickels worth of empathy between them, I don't think they can grasp the concept of the word.
I know every election is supposed to be the most important ever, but in this case I think we are really looking at the end of the dream, and what could be the beginning of the ultimate nightmare.

Sean Riley said...

So tell me, Humanity, are you better off than you were a thousand years ago? Hell yeah, THAT'S the ticket, PERSPECTIVE!!

Batocchio said...

Damn. I like the Conason piece, too, but Gilliard was on fire with this one. One of his best, and a good time to revisit it. Thanks.

Bukko Canukko said...

Thanks for making me feel better about myself!

You see, for me and my wife, it wasn't Nov. 8, 2004 when we hit the point described by the person who wrote what you reprinted there. It was on the night of Nov. 2, when the election results were coming in, and Mr. Member-of-the-1%rolled over and played dead for his fellow Skull 'n' Bonesman Bush.

All through the summer of 2004, Mrs. Bukko and I had been saying loudly "If Bush gets back in, we're leaving the country." I'm a man of my word, and figured I'd look like a fool if I didn't follow through. That very night, I got onto the Australian Immigration Department's website and started researching what it would take to move Down Under.

My wife and I were both born when Nixon was VICE president, and neither of us had ever been to Australia (I had a lot of Aussie friends online with whom I swapped mix CDs of obscure punk bands from our respective countries, so I knew a bit about the place.)

It's not easy to leave your country. We both had decent-paying jobs, lived in a house on top of a hill in San Francisco that had an ocean view that even took the breath away from other city residents who visited, and my wife was especially in love with S.F. after living there for 25 years. She had been involved in anti-war efforts since Vietnam era, me only since Gulf War I, and we both spent a lot of time demonstrating against the Iraq Attaq. I wonder sometimes whether it would have been more noble to stay in the States and fight politically.

Reading this made me realize that what we did was secede from the USA, "seceded with our feet." What's the point of fighting to save a nation full of people who will support the same sociopaths who are making their lives shittier and shittier? I have relatives, including my mother, who hates them some gubbermint, even as they are drawing the money the need to live on from that same evil .gov. And a lot of our California liberal friends, whose hearts are in the right places, still glaze over in the ears when we talk to them on the phone about how Obama is Bush's 3rd term in a black velvet face.

So yeah, fuck the USA. I haz a sadd for good people like you who are stuck there. Not everybody can be a country-hopping butt-wiper like me, because it takes an in-demand profession, personal flexibility and a boatload of money to move across oceans. (It helped that we sold our San Fran house at the peak of the bubble -- we saw THAT coming -- and have rented ever since.)

We'll probably be going back to Australia in the next few months. Because no matter who wins the Inverted Totalitarianism dog-n-phony show (sic) there will be a collapse brought on by attacking Iran, a financial system panic brought on by some manipulation that spins out of control of the Wall Street scamsters, or sheer rebellion by the revanchist Repukes. Canada, nice as it is (but boring as all hell) is going to be too close. It's selfish of me to say this about the U.S., but let it burn. It's time for the Pig People to get exactly what they have been wishing for.

Good luck to you and yours, dude. Like the lady who wrote that, I'd wager that you're smart enough to survive when it hits the fan. Prepare yourself. Half the battle is just wrapping your mind around the idea that it's all gonna come crashing down.

Anonymous said...

God, I miss Steve

n1ck said...

Gilliard is an excellent writer, and his piece sums up what a lot of us feel.

The big lie of Centrism is your major fight, DG, and it's definitely there enabling most of the problems that plague this country. My fight is against Capitalism, which of course makes me a Very Unserious Radical, but that's ok, because Capitalism IS evil.

Capitalism requires finite growth, and we live on a finite planet. When humans could just pack up their shit and move somewhere not populated, Capitalism was fine, although still evil. This is no longer possible, so what we have is Capitalism that requires fraud and theft. I don't think you can really argue with that. And, Capitalism's natural successor is Feudalism, and that is where I think we're heading.

Diatribe aside, Gilliard is right. We should secede. But what I hope we do when we secede is build a good society, not just one that is better than what we have now...a GOOD society. And while I'm a peaceful person, I honestly don't think it is possible to secede without a fight.

I just hope fellow decent people understand that they're going to get a fight at some point. Gilliard described the evil PigPeople perfectly, and it should come as no surprise that they won't just let the good people walk away and do something good.

They will fight it, and good, decent people need to be prepared.

Neo Tuxedo said...

On the other hand, eight years ago, John Cole and Charles Johnson were among the people mg_65 was writing off. And I can't say I blame her.

We cannot reach anyone who's still inside the Republican Cult Party, any more than you can talk your Scientologist or Moonie friend into walking away. All you can do is hope that something happens to them that they can't explain in terms of the cult's ideology, and that whatever it is, it doesn't hurt too much. And be there to help them if they do walk away: as Cole did after the Terri Schiavo circus showed him that the cult's claims to want "small government" were somewhere between situational and inoperative; as Johnson did when he realized that the militant Christianists with whom he was allied against the militant Islamists had more in common with their supposed common enemy than they did with him; as I'm sure other right-bloggers have done that I'm just forgetting or have never noticed.

Anonymous said...

Maybe it is the perspective of 8 years, but what to do about the assholes in the blue states? Somebody voted for Scott Brown (not me), after all. I know of the Big Sort, but it is not at the point where battle lines are clear. Not all the 'people who don't care if they are crushed by the metaphorical boot-heel as long as people they do not like are squished harder' are yet in one region.

I also do not think people have equal access to education. Information, perhaps, but most, if they do not understand most detailed information, rely on hearsay, overheard TV shows, and other bits of fragmented communication. Also, as one person pointed out, making them tired, harried, and drained is a method of control.

Not that I do not fear a Second Civil War. I have read Freeper posts just drooling at the prospect of shooting me. I also think about how people are trained and hired could be improved, greatly.

If I manage to do that, it won't be so that authoritarians will change their minds, but to make sure people do not become authoritarians.

drbopperthp said...

Drifty - this brought tears to my eyes. I miss our friend...

Tata said...

Mr. Gilliard still rocks so hard.

Thank you, Drifty.

Comrade Physioprof said...

Thanks for posting that, bro! And fucke the fucken Yankees!