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Pat Robertson: What’s so bigoted about calling Jason Collins an ‘abomination’?


 
The nation’s crazy Christian uncle-in-chief, Pat Robertson took to the airwaves of the 700 Club yesterday to defend the ESPN contributor who said that Jason Collins was “walking in open rebellion to God” for coming out of the closet in a widely praised Sports Illustrated column earlier this week.

ESPN’s Chris Broussard shared his doubts that an NBA player could be both openly gay and a Christian:

“If you’re openly living in unrepentant sin, whatever it may be, not just homosexuality, whatever it maybe, I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the bible would characterize them as a Christian.”

Why, that’s mighty Christian of you, Chris!

Yesterday, Robertson declared his agreement with Broussard, who he described as “somebody who’s brave enough to say it”:

“Somehow we’ve said if it’s heterosexual fornication, it’s bad; if it’s homosexual fornication — that used to be called an abomination in the Bible — now it’s a protected civil right. And so somebody that says that that kind of conduct is sinful is now being pilloried in the press. He’s telling the truth! This is what the Bible says!”

Robertson went on to call out “these media types” critical of Broussard’s comments, saying that they had chosen “a lifestyle that takes them outside the protection of God.”

“You can’t tell them if they want to go to hell or heaven, that’s their business. But don’t tell somebody that he can’t speak specifically about what the Christian faith says about certain conduct. There isn’t anything bigoted about that.”

No, no, Of course not, Pat. Just keep talking, you’re doing the Lord’s work with each and every batshit crazy utterance that passes through your thin lips, really you are…
 

 

 
Via Raw Story

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Anti-gay florist given a choice: Apologize or be sued under Civil Rights Act


 
There’s another update in the story of Barronelle Stuztman, the florist in Washington state who is being sued by the state’s Attorney General Bob Ferguson in a consumer protection lawsuit for refusing to “participate in the marriage,” as she put it, of two gay men because of her “relationship with Jesus Christ.” Now the couple disrespected by the proprietor of Arlene’s Flowers, who would not sell them flowers for their wedding due to her belief that the Bible teaches “marriage is between a man and a woman” is fighting back. Via The Stranger:

Robert Ingersoll and Curt Freed’s lawyers, working with the legal powerhouse at the ACLU of Washington, sent a letter today to Arlene’s Flowers owner Baronelle Stutzman saying she has two options: (1) She can vow to never again discriminate in her services for gay people, write an apology letter to be published in the Tri-City Herald, and contribute $5,000 to a local LGBT youth center, or (2) she can get sued for violating the Washington State Civil Rights Act.

That’s some offer.

This would be the second lawsuit against Stutzman, who was sued by the state yesterday in Benton County Superior Court for discrimination under the consumer protection act. And given Stutzman’s stubbornness thus far, these two cases may be on track to become the country’s biggest gay-rights-versus-religious-liberty battle to date.

Stutzman’s law firm, Gourly Bristol Hembree, responded to the AG on Monday with a letter promising “an immediate challenge in federal court” and contend that their client is entitled to act according to her religious convictions and that discrimination isn’t the issue. Furthermore, from what I can understand, they’re saying that the art of floral arrangement is an act of personal expression so that any demand or limitation on those expressive flower arrangements is a violation of Baronelle Stutzmans’s First Amendment rights to free speech.

Good luck with that floral arrangement defense, boys, you’ll be laughed out of the fucking courtroom for that one.

Naturally this will be portrayed in the conservative media as anti-religious bigotry, as opposed to the regular, straight-up bigotry bigotry that Barronelle Stutzman inflicted on the same-sex couple. As if bigotry becomes somehow okay when it’s justified by the words of desert-dwelling nomads in a supposedly magic book from 2000 years ago.

Yesterday on his on American Family Radio radio program Christian conservative whack-job Bryan Fischer described his belief that “homofascists” would force Christians to identify themselves in a manner similar to the Nazis making Jews wear a yellow Star of David during the Holocaust:

“I don’t know what the symbol would be, I’d have to think about that. [A cross? The vesica pisces? A sheep? Alfred E. Neuman? Just some thoughts] We’re getting to the point where these homofascists are going to force us to wear on our sleeves some kind of identifying marker so people will know who the racists and the homophobes and the bigots are, and can stay away from them.”

Irony deficient Fischer is, of course, conveniently forgetting that homosexuals were made to wear inverted pink triangles armbands and patches in Nazis concentration camps. But when has being an idiot ever stopped Bryan Fischer from flapping his lips? Never!

Read the full letter from Ingersoll and Freed’s attorneys, it’s a real doozy.
 

 
Via Joe.My.God.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Dr. Ben Carson: A ‘threat’ to ‘racist liberals’ or just another Republican jackass?


Can you find all four idiots in the above image?

Was it entirely predictable that Dr. Ben Carson, the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University and rightwing media darling would implode this publicly and this fast?

You’d think—or at least I did—that a man intelligent enough to run a department at a prestigious medical university would be… you know… well… smarter than the average conservative. Less prone, perhaps, to making idiotic comments when there’s a live microphone around?

You’d think that, but you’d be wrong. Dr. Ben Carson is a fucking idiot, as he proved on Fox News’ Hannity program last week when he compared marriage equality with bestiality and sex with children, and as he continued to demonstrate Monday on conservative talk radio troll Mark Levin’s show. Via TPM:

Carson, who is the head of pediatric neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, said he represents an existential threat to liberals. “They need to shut me up, they need to get rid of me,” Carson said. “They can’t find anything else to delegitimize me, so they take my words, misrepresent them and try to make it seem that I’m a bigot.”

“And you’re attacked also, in many respects, because of your race,” Levin said. “Because you’re not supposed to think like this and talk like this. A lot of white liberals just don’t like it, do they?”

“Well, you know, they’re the most racist people there are,” Carson said. “Because, you know, they put you in a little category, a little box, you have to think this way. How could you dare come off the plantation?”

Um… sorry Dr. Carson, you might see yourself that way, but it seems rather obvious, based solely on, hey, your own words, that clear-thinking people, be they white, liberal or whatever else they may be, think you’re a plank. You and ANYONE else, of any race, who would say such nasty, ignorant and petty things. In public.

Dr. Carson, this is not a black thing or a white thing, this is a stupidity thing. YOUR stupidity. To imply otherwise is preposterous!

No one needs to look any further than your own words to conclude that YOU are the bigot in this equation. It’s got everything to do with the actual words that came out of your mouth, on national television!

You say that your words were twisted? HOW? Where is the nuance in comparing civil rights for America’s LGBT population to sex with animals and children?

Quite a leap to compare the reaction to what you said to, well, you know… actual bigotry!

If you were white, Dr. Carson, not a whole lot would change—you might even still be invited to come on Fox News, for instance, if you weren’t black—but people would still still be perfectly justified to call you an idiot. Because you are one.

The students at Johns Hopkins who want you out as their commencement speaker aren’t racists, but you sir, are most certainly an asshole.

HOW DARE these liberal bigots speak the truth to you…

UPDATE: I just read the following on Huffington Post in a piece by Media Matters’ Eric Boehlert on Carson’s travails and found it quite amusing:

“You know, intelligent people tend to talk about the facts,” Carson recently said, condemning those who reduce political disagreements to the kind you find on a “third grade playground.” He urged partisans to “find some accommodation” and to “tone down the rhetoric a little bit.”

He said these things while appearing on Fox News, the cable bastion of name-calling and blind partisanship. (Emphasis added)

Superb!

Here’s a link to yesterday’s Hannity, where one of the whitest men in America discusses supposed “racism” directed at black conservatives and gets his dumb ass handed to him on a platter by LA-based civil rights attorney (and talk radio host), Leo Terrell.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Who’s (still) Afraid of the Big, Bad Republicans?


 
My wife recently asked me: “So why aren’t you writing any more of your political screeds for the blog lately?”

Some readers have written in and asked the same thing: When did I stop hating on Republicans, anyways?

I promise you I haven’t, but generally speaking, I get pretty burnt out on politics after an election year. This time, though, I think it goes deeper than that. The main reason I think I care less about politics today than I did only five months ago is that for years I’ve long expected to see a steep decline in the size of the GOP’s voter base and the party’s influence and I think that’s now pretty much a fait accompli. We’ve seen it happen. 2012 was the very last year that the Republicans still had a decent shot at getting in on a national level and cementing the rules of, ahem, “democracy” to favor themselves—but as we all know, that didn’t happen.

I certainly think there were very valid reasons for fearing the rise of the far right—the brief Tea party moment was admittedly not something that I saw coming—but I’m not feeling that so much anymore.

The Tea party foolishness, Glenn Beck, the birthers and the rapid rise and fall of Sarah Palin can already be seen in the rear-view mirror as the frenzied flailing of a dying elephant. By 2016, a pretty good chunk of the Grand Old Party’s aging baby boomer base will have at least one foot in the grave and by 2020 and 2024, well, forget about it.
 

 
In the very near future, America will be truly unrecognizable to itself, and this will be especially hard on the folks who don’t even live in the present to begin with. Progress cannot be stopped. Entropy is simply not possible in a country this big and with such a radically changing demographic makeup, no matter how certain personality types—low IQ authoritarians, xenophobes, racists, religious busybodies, I’m talking about the GOP base, here, of course—try to force it on everyone else.

I’m just so over it. Aren’t you?

The dam has burst on a lot of issues: immigration reform, LGBT civil rights, cannabis laws, healthcare, and the water is rushing past the reichwingers and they just got drenched.

This is not to say that I’m not still amused by soaking wet Republicans, it’s just that the 2012 election showed, I think definitively, the hard and fast limits to their influence and that the national brand is truly a spent force, one perhaps best left behind as a relic of another era (like plaid golf pants, Brylcreem, Lawrence Welk… or Jim Crow laws).

To my mind, it all looks pretty downhill from here on out for the Republican Party. Any argument that posits a resurgent national GOP moving forward is an argument made by someone who apparently still thinks that the most recent US Census was just a big ole fat gubmint LIE and who probably voted for Michele Bachmann in the Iowa Caucus.
 

 
There simply aren’t enough of them anymore. That’s a demographic fact, Jack. Don’t believe me? Go argue with reality, I don’t care what you think. Get real: The so-called “two party system” is not some immutable law of American political physics that needs to carry on without end, especially not when one of the parties has opted to radically remake itself, taking on the classic features of an extremist fringe group.

Some Republicans kinda got the “voter revulsion” message, but not really. When Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus presented the 97-page report of the RNC’s “Growth and Opportunity Project,” a post-mortem on the GOP’s 2012 losses at the National Press Club on Monday, he said:

“When Republicans lost in November, it was a wake-up call. And in response I initiated the most public and most comprehensive post-election review in the history of any national party. As it makes clear, there’s no one reason we lost. Our message was weak; our ground game was insufficient; we weren’t inclusive; we were behind in both data and digital; our primary and debate process needed improvement.”

In short, a sizable majority of the American electorate thinks the Republicans suck eggs and their own internal polling backs that up to the extent that they don’t even try to spin it anymore! (Something remarkable in and of itself).

The report is actually pretty brutal, acknowledging that women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and the mainstream media basically hate Republicans. These, er, “special interest groups” are, for all intents and purposes, immune to the GOP’s charms. They’re not going to just suddenly jump on the Republican train for any reason, this much seems assured.

Not to mention:

“Young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes at what the Party represents…”

Yeah, the young people. They simply aren’t that into inheriting a country with insane wealth inequality, the 1% elite owning half of everything and keeping the productive capital within their own families, tainted meat, bad air and undrinkable water. Try rounding up an electoral majority when women, gays, Blacks, Hispanics, Asians, college-educated Caucasians and young people of all races think you’re shit!.

‘Nuff said, eh GOP?
 

 

“We sound increasingly out of touch.”

That’s putting it mildly. The GOP talk about minority outreach, and then they introduce voter ID bills in their statehouses! It’s even a matter of Republicans appearing not to be able to differentiate fiction from reality anymore, let alone shit from shinola.

I mean, they’re exactly what Bobby Jindal said they—and by extension he, himself—are: “the stupid party.” Many Americans simply perceive the GOP as being closely synonymous with idiocy and they have no trouble articulating this to the GOP’s own pollsters. And like, this somehow appears to be NEWS to them! The stench of stupid is so thick on the modern Republican party brand that it’s going to be a really difficult odor to wash off.

Hands up, who wants to be a member of the stupid party? How about you?
 

 

“At our core, Republicans have comfortably remained the Party of Reagan without figuring out what comes next. Ronald Reagan is a Republican hero and role model who was first elected 33 years ago—meaning no one under the age of 51 today was old enough to vote for Reagan when he first ran for President.”

OUCH, OUCH AND DOUBLE OUCH! A knife thrust deep into the Republican heart! Why it’s conservative treason… even if it’s true!

They’ve had no new ideas since the Reagan era, either. Since before most people owned a personal computer. Since there were just three TV networks and PBS for most of America! Why would the smartest, most capable young conservatives of the up and coming generation want to make a career investment in the GOP instead of someplace… you know, not so dumb? How will the party attract talent?
 

 
And furthermore, how will the party raise money when they’ve proven to be such a shitty investment for their deep-pockets donors. Even the Koch brothers seem to be turning their back on the GOP. Who could blame them, they’re ruthless businessmen? They know the score. The ROI the GOP offer blows. Expect them to act accordingly. If Rand Paul would bolt the party for the Libertarians (as his father once did) the Kochs would be right there behind him.

“If Hispanics think we do not want them here, they will close their ears to our policies.”

Hahahaha. No shit. Well, then someone had better essplain that to the loudmouthed lamebrain from Texas, Rep. Louie “anchor babies” Gohmert, who insists that the GOP must never give into immigration reform because “they” will never vote for Republicans if offered a pathway to citizenship. It’s a “trap” Democrats have laid for the GOP, in Gohmert’s eyes.

Look, Louie Gohmert’s a fucking idiot, that’s glaringly obvious to everyone but him and his fellow idiots, but if you think about it, he’s actually quite right in this instance. It’s a real damned if they do, damned if they don’t sort of situation these Republicans have put themselves in regarding immigration reform, isn’t it? But they’ve insisted upon it, the Democrats didn’t trap them with anything. This is a giving them an awful lot of credit for what amounts to a Catch 22 that’s been hatching under their noses and in their own districts, literally for DECADES, don’tcha think?
 

 
As New York’s Jonathan Chait wrote about the RNC’s seemingly intractable woes:

The report determinedly avoids confronting the party’s most fundamental problem: Its attachment to an economic agenda that most voters correctly identify as serving the needs of a wealthy minority. Rather than confront the problem, the report is a detailed and generally shrewd plan for working around.

Yup. Tuesday on MSNBC, RNC chair Reince Priebus told Luke Russert that the party’s platform on gay marriage has not changed despite efforts to make the party appear more inclusive:

“I know our party believes marriage is between one man and one woman.”

That’s some “effort,” Reince (if that is, in fact, your real name).
 

Paul Ryan, the GOP’s pathetic idea of an intellectual…

Obviously there’s a gigantic problem with this entire RNC re-branding enterprise: It’s dead on arrival and anyone with a brain capable of critical thought on the level of, say, a peanut, can see the fatal flaw that’s got a flashing neon sign and a bunch of old coots in Revolutionary War uniforms pointing their replica muskets right at it. Republican voters, especially the ones who never went to college, the cranky old farts who are to varying degrees racist, close-minded Christianists, anti-immigrant homophobes and just angry, disapproving people, en générale, will have none of this shit!

And these troglodytes make up about half the party’s registration rolls and everyone knows it. Good luck with the fucking rebranding, boys.
 

 
Writing about the RNC autopsy at the NY Times, Thomas B. Edsall had this to say:

The highly visible presence of the candidates these voters prefer – recall the party’s Senate nominees in Missouri and Indiana, Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock, and their bizarre views on rape and abortion — suggests that the Republican Party has a severe, if not toxic, problem: a septic electorate that, in the words of the Mayo Clinic, “can trigger a cascade of changes that can damage multiple organ systems, causing them to fail.”

But let’s leave these trifling inconveniences aside for now, shall we? Suffice to say, there’s a major split occurring in the GOP that’s going to seriously impact their ability to ever get back to a place of national influence. This was already obvious at the start of the primary season. As a national party, they’re no-hopers within a decade, splintering into factions (Tea party and social conservatives, RNC establishment and the wealthy elites, “Ron/Rand Paul Libertarians,” etc) and facing an increasingly insurmountable demographic irrelevancy that will grow by leaps and bounds every four years.
 

 
I don’t think the Republicans can do that much—or at least as much—damage to the country moving forward. It’s clear that there are (at least) two factions of the party who are locked in a civil war. The endgame of everyone taking their toys and going home seems like a forgone conclusion. They’re just not going to be able to work together anymore. You’ve got the wealthy elites who would like the game to stay rigged vs. the Rick Santorum “stupid” folks. They desperately need one another to add up to a nationally viable party. Divided they don’t really amount to much anymore.

They’ve been humbled, their electoral impotency was on full display for the entire country to see on election night.

Furthermore. there are boundaries now that they know they can’t cross. Those boundaries weren’t there before, but they are now. Public opinion can be employed much easier as a prophylactic against the worst Republican power grabs (like this talk of changing Electoral College rules, something that everyone is already wise to). Of course, I’m not suggesting completely ignoring what the GOP gets up to—I’m not usually someone to underestimate the power of stupid people in a group—but their best days are behind them, and I think that’s a pretty uncontroversial thing to say at this point, without any caveats coming readily to mind.
 

 
I’m noticing that this attitude is increasingly, and I think correctly, becoming the default position of the mainstream media, that the uh… I guess threat of low IQ authoritarian Republicanism has diminished considerably. Bill Maher touched on this topic on his Real Time program on HBO last week when he mocked Christian bluenose group One Million Moms (the churchladies who protest the Skittles and Geico commercials for promoting bestiality) who have not one million Twitter followers, but fewer than 3000.

When Bill Maher is brushing off silly reichwingers as a source of comedy, like a canary flying out of a coalmine, hey, he’s probably onto something: They’re a joke.

It’s a pretty steep fall from Andrew Breitbart to Ben Shapiro to put it a different way.

The 2012 election was a real “man behind the curtain” moment for the Grand OLD Party and its increasingly tenuous relationship to modern America and the up and coming generation. The slow, agonizing death of the Republican Party seems all but certain, done in by hubris, idiocy, greed, hypocrisy, terrible ideas, loathsome shit-for-brains politicians, moronic uninformed voters, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, the list can go on and on and on. They suck, but fuck ‘em, they’re not really worth nearly as much energy being expended in their direction.

Maybe it’s simply time to push past them and leave these nitwits behind to play in their sandbox of stupidity. The zeitgeist is not with the Republican Party and I think the big story of American politics in 2013 is that most people are starting to realize this.
 

 
Previously on Dangerous Minds:
The nightmare (free market) scenario the GOP faces: THEY’RE A VERY BAD INVESTMENT

The Republicans are way, way, more screwed than they thought!

Republican explains to other Republicans why the GOP is so totally fucked

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Should Christians be forced to look at gay people?


 
Christian radio host Janet Mefferd cuts to the heart of the gay rights matter and says out loud what many will not: Many conservative Christians simply do no want to be forced to look at gay people.

Whether the homosexual activists like it or not, and I know this isn’t politically correct to say this, but not everybody wants to see that. I know that that’s offensive to the activist crowd, they want us all to see it, they want us all to approve of it, they want us all to call it blessed and okay and rejoice and have parties and throw confetti in the air over this whole thing. But the fact of the matter is it’s a moral issue. You will always have Christians who will disagree with this and why should the rights of the activists trump the rights of Christians?

By this same logic why should the rights of the black people have trumped the rights of Southern slave owners?

Got an answer for that one, Janet?

I’m sure you do. I’m equally sure that it’s fucking stupid and decidedly unscientific.

(And what about people who are offended by low IQ idiots like Janet Mefford, don’t we have any rights?)

Advice to Janet Mefferd from the Holy Book itself:

If thine eye offend thee, pluck it out.

That’s right, Janet, gouge your own eyes out if you’re offended by gay people. The Bible IS the inerrant word of God, isn’t it? Out they go!

Barring that, stay at home and keep the door locked and the TV off. The 21st century is gonna really suck for you otherwise, doll.

Send a message to Janet Mefferd on Twitter.

Via Right Wing Watch/Joe.My.God.

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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Atheist comedian Patton Oswalt’s ‘Sky Cake’ stand-up bit made into parody Chick tract

Sky Cake
 
Chick tracts, for the uninitiated, are horrible little “Christian comic books,” meant to spread the gospel and warn impressionable youth against, well, everything. Characters in these comics meet terrible, horrible, awful fates (such as burning in a lake of eternal fire, etc., etc.) if they fail to repent and find Jesus. As a former waitress, I have a special hatred for Chick tracts . People used to leave them as tips when I worked at, I shit you not, an Andy Griffith Show theme restaurant in Bumfuck, Indiana.

I wish there was a special lake of eternal fire for the people who leave Chick Christian comics as tips

Perhaps incensed by the religious appropriation of an art borne of delinquent youth culture, a company called (what else?) Godless Comics has started putting out their own irreverent little responses in the Chick.milieu. Will we start seeing these little comics tucked covertly in our windshields after pit-stops in rural truck stops? Probably not! But at least the disgusting practice of using comics (comics!) for promoting religion is being subverted; all is well, and God is in his heaven!

Their latest is an interpretation of Patton Oswalt’s assessment of religion’s role in civilization, “Sky Cake.” You can read it all here, and check out the bit below:
 

Posted by Amber Frost | Discussion
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‘Obama is coming for the guns of anti-gay fundies’ claims anti-gay fundie


 

“What if the Attorney General, and listen the reason I say this might happen is because if you remember the first report put out by the Director of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, when the President became President of the United States, she put out a paper talking about the people who are the categories of people who might be homegrown terrorists.

In that list she put people who believe in the second coming of Jesus Christ, people who believe in pro-life issues, people who don’t believe in having illegal aliens here, they put a lot of good, decent categories of people in that paper.

Well here’s what number four says, the Attorney General can put who he wants to on the list of people who are too dangerous to get guns. What if he decides radio talk show hosts who don’t believe in gay marriage, they’re dangerous, so they shouldn’t get guns? What about pastors who preach against abortion and homosexuality? They’re too dangerous to get guns? That could happen.”

—“American Family Association” radio host Buster Wilson.

Wilson is the same fucking idiot who tried to get conservative Christians to boycott Google over their “Legalize Love Campaign” and who announced this boycott on Google-owned YouTube. The phrase “Dumber than a bag of wet hair” probably wasn’t coined to describe Buster Wilson, but it could have been.

Back in August, chucklehead Buster blamed Hurricane Issac on a New Orleans LGBT festival!

As one YouTube user commented on the clip below:

Tell me then, genius, why did the power of the most high manifest itself by destroying tiny Joplin in a state that’s 77% Christian? Why does he flood massive areas of Mississippi—the most Christian state—every year? Why is it that he makes NYC the centre of the global economy & LA the centre of global culture, yet does nothing to stop their decadence? A hurricane flattened Joplin, it didn’t even dent Manhattan. Sounds like your god is incompetent.

This guy is out of his mind. More at Right Wing Watch.
 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The nightmare (free market) scenario the GOP faces: THEY’RE A VERY BAD INVESTMENT


 

I’ve got a great dirty trick you can play on a three-year-old kid. Kids learn how to talk from listening to their parents, see? This is a good one. So here’s what you do. So you have a three-year-old kid and you wanna pull a trick on ‘em, whenever you’re around them.. TALK WRONG.

So now it’s like his first day of school and he raises his hand: “May I mambo dogface to the banana patch?”

“Give that kid a special test. Get him out of here.”

—Steve Martin, A Wild and Crazy Guy, 1978

That classic Steve Martin joke came immediately to mind when I read Columbia University’s Lincoln Mitchell’s essay, “Is Fox Even Helping the Republicans Anymore?” this morning. That and “if you have to ask, then the answer is almost certainly ‘no.’” Fox News has become a liability to the GOP? Who’d have ever thunk it?

A few other things popped into my head as well when I read Mitchell’s article:

This has been a difficult election season for Fox News. Among the most enduring media images of the last few days of the election are Karl Rove late on election night angrily denying that Ohio, and thus the presidency, had gone to President Obama, and Dick Morris only a few days before the election confidently predicting a Romney landslide. Morris later tried to explain away his mistake after the election by claiming he had done it to create enthusiasm among Republican voters. The incidents involving Rove and Morris, both of whom work as both commentators on Fox and political consultants to conservative clients, are obviously embarrassing for Fox, but also raise the question of whether the network has outlived its value, even to the Republican Party.

Because Fox generally reports news based on partisan talking points and ideological certainty rather than focusing on pesky things like facts, information and events, it has, in the past, been effective in encouraging misperceptions about President Obama’s background, nurturing the growth and development of the Tea Party movement and covering economic policy by referring to any spending by the government as socialism. These things have helped mobilize and misinform the right wing base of the Republican Party. Similarly, during the Bush administration, Fox helped increase support for the Gulf War by repeating White House positions on weapons of mass destruction, almost without question.

“Ideological certainty” sure is a fun term to mull over these days, isn’t it? Especially in light of what happened on Election Day. Imagine having your entire naive “conservative” (and all that implies outside of the cult) worldview crushed just like that by the sheer force of math and changing demographics… not that I have much sympathy for dolts.
 

 
How would people who watch Fox News all the time ever hear—let alone be able to mentally process—something like “Herbert Hoover presided over a bigger spending increase than Obama has”? Or that “Obama won more popular votes than any Democratic candidate for president in history—except for himself in 2008”? I’ll tell you how they process it: “He stole the election!”

If you follow, like I do, the far reich blogosphere, it’s very plain to see that these people live in a cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs fantasyland, in an America that doesn’t even exist, hasn’t really existed for years, and that will never exist again short of a genocide that would kill tens of millions of people, and which, frankly, isn’t something I expect to see happening in North America anytime soon.
 

 
Even in the minds of GOP bigwigs, this Bizarro World/“mambo dogface to the banana patch” shit is looming large: Did you read former Reagan economic adviser Bruce Bartlett—the guy who coined the term “Reaganomics”—writing in The American Conservative on how even elite Republicans view The New York Times as if it is some far left samizdat? WTF??

Interestingly, a couple of days after the Suskind article appeared, I happened to be at a reception for some right-wing organization that many of my think tank friends were also attending. I assumed I would get a lot of grief for my comments in the Suskind article and was surprised when there was none at all.

Finally, I started asking people about it. Not one person had read it or cared in the slightest what the New York Times had to say about anything. They all viewed it as having as much credibility as Pravda and a similar political philosophy as well. Some were indignant that I would even suspect them of reading a left-wing rag such as the New York Times.

I was flabbergasted. Until that moment I had not realized how closed the right-wing mind had become. Even assuming that my friends’ view of the Times’ philosophy was correct, which it most certainly was not, why would they not want to know what their enemy was thinking? This was my first exposure to what has been called “epistemic closure” among conservatives—living in their own bubble where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction.

Read that last sentence again. That would describe Fox News perfectly, a place where nonsensical ideas circulate with no contradiction. EVER, or else they cut your mic. A black hole of intelligence that’s sucking the GOP faithful into a place of foolishness from which they can never return.

Back to Mitchell:

Over the last several years, this has been very helpful to the Republican Party, but during 2012, particularly in recent months, this has begun to change. Fox has now become a problem for the Republican Party because it keeps a far right base mobilized and angry making it hard for the party to move to the center, or increase its appeal as it must do to remain electorally competitive. For example, Bill O’Reilly’s explanation of why the Obama was reelected may, in fact, resonate, with the older and heavily white viewership of Fox, but it is precisely the wrong public message and messenger for the Party.

Precisely, it was the sort of grumpy old white senior citizens who reliably vote in the Republican primaries—and get their “informations” from Fox News—who forced Mitt Romney to contort himself into positions that made him an unpalatable shit-dipped pretzel to non-white, non-old, non-idiotic Americans and therefore patently un-electable.

I got yer manifest destiny right here: Romney scored the “reliable low IQ buffoon” vote, that’s for sure, and for many of us, that alone was a good enough reason to vote against him. How will the “big tent” Republicans go about courting that surefire base of the Tea party / “Moran” / covert (or overt) racist / Christian home-schooled creationist conservative bloc in elections to come without alienating absolutely everyone else?
 

 
Talk about a difficult dance step with both of your shoes tied together and nailed to the floor. Is it even possible to pull off such a doomed political tango moving forward in history? It’s a stupid uphill battle to wage to begin with. Why bother trying to swim against this kind of historical and demographic current? Why hitch your wagon to some horses who require oxygen tanks and twice daily insulin shots? It doesn’t make any sense.

Any aspiring young politician with half a brain would be a fool to think he’d be the BMOC by joining the party of people with no brains at all (Scott Brown, I’m looking at your short political career. Still glad you pledged Phi Kappa Dipshit?). Whereas, the Democrats, or at least some of them, seem more like the folks with one eye in the kingdom of the blind (I exempt Florida’s Alan Grayson from this assessment), the Republicans just seem like mean-spirited know-nothing buffoons, country blumpkins (that’s not a typo) and Jeebus freaks who belong in carnival sideshows, not voting booths. Where do you go from there when your baseline members consist of the country’s most irritating assholes and blowhards under the same “big tent”? (Think of the GOP not as a political party, but a party party. Who wants to party with the Republicans? They’ve got John Rocker signing autographs!)

And listen to the hilarious “conciliatory” noises that even the likes of Sean Hannity are starting to spout about immigration reform (he’s “evolved”—not a word typically associated with Hannity, is it?). A little late, buddy, don’t cha think? How do you solve a problem like, uh, Maria, at this late stage of the game, genius? YOU don’t. You try to fuck off with some tiny shred of dignity left! (If you care about what Sean Hannity “thinks” about immigration reform, I truly fucking pity you and anyone you come into contact with on a regular basis).

Moreover, while Fox helps the Republican Party when it slants its news coverage to the right, it damages the Party when its news coverage becomes too shoddy. A network that cannot get election night right because one of its star pundits simply refuses to accept defeat offers very little reason for potential viewers to watch it. Similarly a network whose pundits are so off in their election predictions will ultimately marginalize itself completely, as Fox is beginning to do.

Fox News “offers very little reason for potential viewers to watch it.” As Glenn Beck likes to say “Well, duh!”

If the information a news organization brings to the public is wrong and is demonstrated—easily—to be incorrect, then what is the value proposition? Fox News fills not-so-bright people’s heads with comforting bullshit and it serves to get them riled up and angry with… non-facts. It tells dum-dums, not “the news,” but what they want to hear. Study after study has shown that Fox News fans are the least informed people in America—indeed they are the very opposite of informed, as they tend to actually know less than they would had they watched no TV news at all.

There is clearly very little of nutritional value to get out of Fox News. It’s like eating Cheetos all the damned day and believing that you are consuming a futuristic health food (like Tang and Gatorade) even as you weigh 500 lbs and have to be lifted by a crane into your electric scooter.
 

 
Fox News imbicilizes its viewership. Its viewership IS the Republican base and probably comprises the greater part of its primary voters. According to Bruce Bartlett, it’s also the leadership…

Another thing that came to mind reading Mitchell’s essay was Paul Krugman’s withering quip about Newt Gingrich being “a stupid man’s idea of what a smart person sounds like.” Ouch, but it’s just so very, very true. If your mind is tiny, Newt’s must seem vast, but that doesn’t say much about the price of tea in China, just what passes for “brainy” to a group of people as dumb as a cows. Gingrich, like Hannity and Bill O’Reilly, is merely a self-confident idiot. and yet these bozos are the very ones they pass off as the smart guys because they’re louder, more emphatically blusterous and in the case of Gingrich, just flat-out fuckin’ meaner.
 

 

One of the bigger challenges facing the Republican Party is that they are perceived as the, to phrase it nicely, less smart of the two major parties. The anti-science perspective, unwillingness to speak out against absurd sounding conspiracy theories, and even the attacks on Nate Silver, presumably because Silver did somewhat sophisticated math, have contributed to this and are damaging the party. It is no coincidence that the Obama campaign had a more sophisticated targeting and turnout operation and better statistical modeling. A party that refuses to take a firm stand in support of evolution or recognizing climate change is not going to draw too many people with advanced statistical training as advisors and consultants.

Don’t forget world-class computer programmers and developers.

Fox contributes to that environment by creating a climate where partisan rantings of people like Dick Morris are indulged while criticism by serious people like Tom Ricks is shut down and attacked. There is no inevitable link between conservatism and stupidity, but one could be forgiven for coming to that conclusion while watching Fox News. As it is currently constructed, Fox News is going to bring in almost no swing voters in the coming years. It will more likely continue to repel them through poor analysis and rants that strike the precise tone the party should be trying to avoid.

BAM. The toxic ménage à trois of the GOP, Fox News and the dumbest old coots in America means that they are perceived from the outside as being synonymous, and so herein lies the FAR BIGGER problem for the Republican party: Its very base, the braying Tea party dumbasses who they have so assiduously courted and pandered to, has made the Republican Party itself look like a BAD INVESTMENT. They can’t win lumbered with the imbecilic hordes of Fox News viewers, but they sure cannot win without them, either. What to do?

Tee-hee! This is yet another particularly vexing Catch 22 that I don’t think the GOP counted on. It goes far beyond their demographic problems and presents a much, much more immediate Wiley E. Coyote looking down to see that he’s already in very big trouble sort of crisis.

It’s also not something that I think is obvious to them—yet: Smart businessmen don’t tend to throw good money after bad. They certainly don’t keep doing it forever. Why would the people who have traditionally given money to the Republicans be foolish enough to do that again in 2016?

I think even the fucking US Chamber of Commerce got the message this time, don’t you? How could they have missed it?
 

 
Mitchell concluded by offering a final compelling reason for what I’m seeing as the “bad investment” aspect of the unholy trinity of Fox News, the GOP and the dumbest Americans:

It is in the interest of the Democrats, not the Republicans, for there to be a loud, extremist, heavily white faction in the Republican Party, constantly pushing that party rightward. One of the reasons Mitt Romney was so unable to pivot back to the center was due to the drumbeat at Fox which contributing to forcing him to the right during the primary season. Even after the primary season, when Fox became a big supporter for Romney, the rift between official editorial position and the political feelings of Fox viewers and hosts, was clear.

Unfortunately for the Republicans, while this is bad politics, it is good business for Fox. By positioning itself as the place where angry Republicans can go for their rhetorical red meat, Fox guarantees itself a sizable viewership, so the incentive for Fox to keep doing what it is doing is substantial, as is the potential damage to the Republican Party.

Good business for Fox News, but bad business for rich supporters of the Republican Party.

It’s a very difficult thing to convince someone that they’re stupid, however, it’s utterly infuriating when someone lets you know that they think you’re stupid and you suspect they might be right (I’d imagine, it’s not like this has ever happened to me). Faced with that uncomfortable power dynamic, stupid people tend to huff and puff and dig in their heels even harder when it comes to something that threatens them. As the Republican electorate gets older and has less and less influence, the growing realization that the rest of us think they’re knobs will see the thrashing displays of abject crazy get ratcheted up to levels of lunacy not yet seen, but that will just seem more and more silly, shrill and impotent as time goes on. For the Republicans, it used to be that automatically having the coalition of the stupid in their back pocket was a winning strategy. Today that’s why they’re losing and yet they can’t exactly cut them loose, either.
 

 
So the upshot of all of this is that GOP can’t really compete on a national level anymore, and if this isn’t an entirely 100% watertight truth (although the demographics sure seem to back it up) it’s still true enough.

If they were a sports team would you bet on them?

And ask yourself, even if you were stinking rich would you knowingly invest in a losing (hell, DOOMED) team?

As that notion sinks in, and becomes fully baked into the popular “loser” perception of the GOP, will the 1% continue to financially support the Republican party?

I think it’s pretty clear that the answer is gonna be NO.

(What this portends for the Democrats and one party rule in America is something beyond the scope of this already overlong post).
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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The Republicans are way, way, more screwed than they thought!


 
New York’s Jonathan Chait has written persuasively on several occasions in the past year about the rather obvious fear and desperation—but not, paranoia, a distinction I think he too kindly makes, but no matter—of Republicans and the importance to the conservative right to win big in 2012, for the reason that it might be their very last chance to win nationally before rapidly changing racial demographics in the American electorate make that all but impossible.

The Republican Party is way, way more fucked than they dared suspect. New findings from Pew Research Survey’s close analysis of the youth vote in the 2012 elections strongly suggests the GOP’s worst nightmare: The rise of an increasingly liberal young electorate that cuts across racial boundaries. They’re even losing the younger white people!

Chait writes:

Among the 2012 electorate, more voters identified themselves as conservative (35 percent) than liberal (25 percent), and more said the government is already doing too much that should be left to the private sector (51 percent) than asserted that the government ought to be doing more to solve problems (44 percent). But this is not the case with younger voters. By a 59 percent to 37 percent margin, voters under 30 say the government should do more to solve problems. More remarkably, 33 percent of voters under 30 identified themselves as liberal, as against 26 percent who called themselves conservative.

What all this suggests is that we may soon see a political landscape that will appear from the perspective of today and virtually all of American history as unrecognizably liberal. Democrats today must amass huge majorities of moderate voters in order to overcome conservatives’ numerical advantage over liberals. They must carefully wrap any proposal for activist government within the strictures of limited government, which is why Bill Clinton declared the era of big government to be over, and Obama has promised not to raise taxes for 99 percent of Americans. It’s entirely possible that, by the time today’s twentysomethings have reached middle age, these sorts of limits will cease to apply.

Obviously, such a future hinges on the generational patterns of the last two election cycles persisting. But, as another Pew survey showed, generational patterns to tend to be sticky. It’s not the case that voters start out liberal and move rightward. Americans form a voting pattern early in their life and tend to hold to it. That isn’t to say something couldn’t shake these voters loose from their attachment to the liberal worldview. Republicans fervently (and plausibly) hoped the Great Recession would be that thing; having voted for Obama and borne the brunt of mass unemployment, once-idealistic voters would stare at the faded Obama posters on their wall and accept the Republican analysis that failed Big Government policies have brought about their misery.

But young voters haven’t drawn this conclusion — or not many of them have, at any rate. So either something else is going to have to happen to disrupt the liberalism of the rising youth cohort, or else the Republican Party itself will have to change in ways far more dramatic than any of its leading lights seem prepared to contemplate.

I personally don’t expect to see much of a reversal of fortune for Republicans. They’re a party of silly old men, “morans,” racists, idiots, jingoists and religious fanatics and to many people, this is ALL that their shit-for-brains “semiotic” stands for. How do you go about rebranding the very gestalt of American political stupidity to make it more attractive to young, liberally inclined voters?

I don’t think you can do this. How would that even work?

And which one of these mentally deficient special interest bozo groups that constitute the modern day Republican party will be the first to embrace abortion rights, universal healthcare, gay marriage, Blacks and Latinos, living wages, equal pay for women and the separation of church and state?

It would be like turning on Fox News and all of a sudden Sean Hannity had grown a fucking brain or that Bill O’Reilly woke up wondering if maybe—just maybe, I said—he’s been wrong all of these years? About almost everything?

That ain’t gonna happen…

I’ll leave you with this tasty morsel of Republican idiocy: Rick Santorum is back and he’s got a new cause: Opposing the disabled.

I’m sure this will be a winning issue for Santorum and the GOP moving forward. If at first you don’t succeed, um… pick on the cripples, I guess.

That’s moral leadership, Republican style!
 

 

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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‘Are your there, God? It’s me, a foaming at the mouth, raving rightwing lunatic’


 
Larry Klayman, Esq., a former Justice Department prosecutor, the founder of Judicial Watch and Freedom Watch and the author of WHORES: Why and How I Came to Fight the Establishment, went off on one of the most hilariously tweaked post-election rants that I’ve yet found. It’s a mini-masterpiece of spittle-flecked reichwing Christian conspiracy theories and just total bughouse, nutjob batshit craziness.

This is mind rot at its absolute finest. Savor it:

Many times in the history of the world, God has destroyed His people and started anew when they strayed from His word. Just ask Noah what the flood was all about! This time, even with the floods of Hurricane Sandy and the re-election of the President Barack Hussein Obama, God has spared us for the moment. Instead God has sent a dire warning and encouraged We the People to rise up, in His name, to restore His kingdom.

Had Mitt Romney been elected president, many among the flock would have been lulled asleep and deluded into thinking that a Moses had appeared to deliver us out of the Egyptian-like bondage we find ourselves in – thanks to our “Mullah in Chief” and his growing voter hoards of socialists, communists, anti-Semites, anti-Christians, atheists, radical gays and lesbians, feminists, illegal immigrants, Muslims, anti-Anglo whites and others who last Tuesday cemented his destructive hold on the White House and our country.

It is now clear that there is no Republican Moses [Ya think?]. Indeed, if Mitt Romney could go back in time, he should have first advocated putting the Grand Ol’ Party into bankruptcy, along with Chrysler and GM. Now, with this latest stunning political defeat, the party has finally had its last hurrah and is dead once and for all. Good riddance! One party down and one more to go. The Democrats, who are even more corrupt than the Republican establishment (and that is hard to fathom, I know), are, despite their election victory, not far behind – that is, if We the People rise up and exercise our God-given rights and fight for our freedom.

The bottom line is this: Americans of faith and those who believe in capitalism and hard work as the means to achieve, not “Atlas Shrugged”-portrayed government handouts, have now seen their country taken over largely by uneducated and lazy morons, goons and thugs who want to dismantle all our Founding Fathers conceived of and fought for. And, their hateful Marxist desire to destroy Western civilization is not limited to the “Great Satan,” the United States, but to its biblical Judeo-Christian roots, embodied in the nation of Israel. With no racial slur intended, but only to employ the same lingo used sarcastically by many of Obama’s supporters to describe their past plight, if we do nothing and simply look to future elections to restore the nation, we will soon become the “new niggers,” relegated to the back of the bus – as the bus speeds away to quickly fall over the fiscal, social and moral cliff. African-Americans were right when they said this years ago, and we’re now right to feel the same way today.

I’m sure you get the point. It goes on (and on and on) from there.

Larry Klayman, you are one crazy motherfucker, that’s all I have to say… because commentary in this case is quite unnecessary!

Read more of “God Has A Bigger Plan,” if you can stand to, at WorldNutDaily.

HT TPM

Posted by Richard Metzger | Discussion
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