So that right-wing creep Andrew Breitbart, who specializes in feeding tapes to Faux News that have been edited to fit in with his wacko narrative that progressives are more crooked or nuts or racist than him, comes up with his latest con.
1. Butt Me No Butts
He releases a tape to show that the folks at the NAACP are racist hypocrites. Why does he do this? Well, the NAACP had the temerity to ask the Tea Party to get rid of racists in their midst, which they started doing (Tea Party rallies have featured posters of Obama with a bone through his nose as a witchdoctor and slogans that say “The American Taxpayers are the Jews for Obama’s Ovens”).
Let me be clear: Breitbart is to journalism what a warthog’s butt is to Einstein’s mind.
So what happens? The NAACP attacks the speaker on the Breitbart tape, US Department of Agriculture employee Shirley Sherrod, who was telling a story of how she changed her mind 24 years ago when, in her job to help black farmers, these poor white farmers asked her for help, and she didn’t put her full force towards helping them, but passed them on to a white lawyer, and when the lawyer did nothing for them, she came to realize that what she did was about helping poor people, the have-nots against the haves, no matter what color they are, and she fought for them like crazy after that (this is a lady whose father was murdered in 1965 by a white man who was never charged).
The Breitbart tape was edited to just show the beginning of the story about how Sherrod felt uncomfortable about helping white farmers, and the Breitbart tape had a title card that said this happened while she was working for the USDA … all to give the impression that she was a racist, and that the NAACP people listening to her were racists.
That’s what Breitbart does; he’s a typical rightwing smear machine, a throwback to the McCarthy era. He diarrheas his poison like an elephant who went Neanderthal on a field of blueberries.
So what does Sherrod’s boss, USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack, do and what does the White House do? They fall for Breitbart’s crap, and insist that Shirley Sherrod be fired before the Glenn Beck Show can attack them that day on Faux News.
Funny thing is, Glenn Beck ends up defending Sherrod and attacks the White House for firing her.
Because meanwhile CNN and Rachel Maddow have gotten hold of the white farmer and his wife, now deep in their 80s, who say that Shirley Sherrod went beyond the beyond to help them for two years and saved their farm and couldn’t have been more helpful, and they became good friends, and Shirley Sherrod says hello to them on TV, and tells them, now that she has the time, she wants to come and visit.
Then the NAACP apologizes because, they say, they were “snookered” by Breitbart and Faux News.
Snookered my ass. Breitbart’s tapes about ACORN were exposed as total BS. So why did the NAACP, on Breitbart’s “evidence,” react with an attack before asking the woman herself about it, or at least waiting to view the full tape?
2. A Mad Rush to Injustice
We know who Breitbart is. Some hippie banged his GF when he was in high school and the wound has never healed; he’s still trying to get even. In earlier times, when journalists fabricated stuff, they got thrown out of the profession, and banished from the media, but now you get a platform all over cable news for being a lying blowhard of a scumbag.
The bigger question is this:
Why were Vilsack and the White House in such a mad rush to fire Shirley Sherrod before the advent of the Glenn Beck Show that day, insisting that she pull her car over and submit her resignation on her BlackBerry? Not giving her a chance to explain anything?
Here’s why: the White House and Obama are scared poop-less of the right wing noise machine. Obama has made such a fetish all his life of charming the pants off white people — starting with his grandparents who sacrificed everything to get him into the best private high school in Hawaii, and ending with his charm assault on the US electorate in 2008 — that now, when he’s charmed his way into the highest office in the land, he still bends over backwards to keep up his post-racial BS by taking the criticism of Breitbart and Glenn Beck and Faux News seriously.
3. Don’t Blame the Troops For the General’s Mistakes
If Obama didn’t do this personally, then someone on his staff did, because that is the atmosphere of cowardice about race and everything else that Obama has instilled in his White House and his administration.
It doesn’t matter if Obama only heard about this so late that he had to make a late-night call to Vilsack to reconsider, who has now apologized and offered Sherrod a new job. You can’t blame the troops for the general’s mistakes (the secret police in Communist Russia operated under Stalin’s orders, even though the Russian people thought that if Stalin knew what was going on, he’d stop it).
Any rot emanates from the top. The cowardice of the White House starts with Obama. He gave his top job of White House Chief of Staff to Blue Dog enabler Rahm Emanuel. He gave his top economic jobs to economic war criminal Larry Summers who made sure derivatives were unregulated under Bill Clinton, and to Wall Street toady Tim Geithner, who made sure that Goldman Sachs got 100 cents on the dollar from what AIG supposedly owed them, and then tried to hide this from Congress. These three anti-progressive Wall Street bastards sure weren’t the change that his supporters voted for.
Obama’s cowardice in making those appointments (instead of having someone like Joseph Stiglitz on his economic team) is a cowardice that infects his entire administration. Obama has spent more time courting the right wing than his own progressive base. He might call it inclusiveness; I call it cowardice, a cowardice that springs from political calculation. Many years ago, when he started his career, he calculated that he had to become a credible black man, because his ease with white people raised suspicion among blacks. So he became a community organizer among poor black people, became a Christian in a black church, and married a black woman (his girlfriend at Columbia was white). A friend tells me his nickname at Harvard was “Mr. President,” because his ambition was that nakedly obvious. Obama is a man whose sincerity is calculated. That doesn’t make his sincerity bogus; merely calculated. With Obama, principles and calculation go hand in hand, like with any politician.
4. No Heads Will Roll
Now that the Shirley Sherrod fracas has been exposed as the high-tech lynching of a good woman, what is Obama going to do?
My guess is, not all that much. I’d be surprised if any heads roll. General McChrystal had to malign Joe Biden openly in print before Obama fired him.
Sherrod herself asked what her grandchildren would think if they heard that the first black Agricultural Director was fired by the first black president.
Mind you, I still think Obama is a better president than any of the candidates supplied by the reckless “Cut-Taxes-of-the-Rich-and-Kick-the-Middle-Class-Now-That-They’re-Down” GOP. These are the guys who apologized to BP and want to run the Bush-Cheney playbook again. The gap between them and reality is wider than the gap between Nelson Mandela and Lindsay Lohan. Their dumbfuckery is greater than all the dumbfuckery of history put together in the totality of the immensity of all dumbfuckosity to the most infinite dumfuckallity of desperately dimwitted dumbfucked dumbfuckelosity. Let’s face it, the Bush-Cheney presidency was the most dysfunctional government since Caligula, who made his horse a senator. Just think of the GOP’s presidential aspirants, all bad jokes in a John Cleese sketch about stumblebum politicians: John Flip-Flop McCain, Sarah Dumbass Palin, Mitt Suck-Up Romney, Newt Big-Lie Gingrich and Jeb Right-Wingnut Bush. The bar they set is lower than the one established by BP semi-CEO Tony Wayward, who in his Congressional testimony was such an evasive BS merchant, an irate Rep. Cliff Stearns (R-FL) asked him: “Is today Thursday, yes or no?”
5. What Should Those of Us Do Who Still Love America?
What are we to do, those of us who still love our country enough not to be so un-American as to give rich people more tax cuts when so many of them are shielding their money from the IRS in Swiss banks? In 2007 Goldman Sachs paid 1% taxes; how much did you pay?
It is becoming increasingly evident that the progressive wing of the Democratic Party should do something bigger besides making sure that Ben Nelson and Joe Lieberman get thrown out of office ASAP — they should primary Obama in 2012. Not that a primary candidate would win. But Obama has to be scared into growing a spine. He has to be reminded who voted for him (the minute he walked into the White House, he acted as if the 13 million email addresses of his young supporters did not exist).
FDR had a spine. LBJ had a spine. Obama does not, even though he has done more good than Bill Clinton ever did. By 2014, the health insurance industry will not be able to kick out people with a pre-existing condition, although it may be too late to save my friend’s brother who was diagnosed with terminal cancer this year. But this one little thing in the health care reform bill will actually save lives. (Of course, the bad Obama things go on forever, from not closing Guantanamo to the Afghan war where Obama is backing corrupt opium warlords against non-corrupt religious wingnuts because of some asshole Petraeus COIN theory, instead of getting the hell out.)
However, in the health care reform debate, Obama did not fight for the public option. He kept mentioning that he favors it to keep the industry “honest,” but when push came to shove on that issue, he and Rahm were MIA. Obama only ever fights when he knows he’s got the votes. He NEVER fights when he thinks he’s going to lose.
He thinks losing for a principle will make him look bad or weak. That is not what leadership is about. That’s not what change is about. That’s what cowardice is all about.
In this latest political brouhaha, the White House and Obama have established their credentials of cowardice for all to see.
Which is ironic, in view of the fact that Obama is the best president we could possibly have now, even though he is hobbled by a GOP who held up unemployment insurance because they think it encourages people to stop looking for work. This makes it all the more of a pity that Obama kowtows to the likes of Breitbart, Glenn Beck, and Faux News. If you’re going to be a coward, you should at least choose worthier boogiemen.
6. The Problem Is Not Just Obama, It’s You and Me
It’s not just Obama who’s the problem. It’s you and me and the people next door. We’ve been taking it up the posterior from Big Oil and Big Pharma and Big Agribusiness and Wall Street, all of them subsidized by our tax dollars. They love big government when it is subsidizing them. But when middle class or poor people need a cut of the pie, suddenly government is “intruding on our lives” and our wonderful “free market” is being “regulated” to death. We all know what the “free market” is: it’s the rigged market where the casino capitalists of Wall Street can make 40% of corporate profits in one year and small businesses die like flies and subsidized big business exports all our jobs to slave labor outfits in other countries.
A majority of Americans have fallen for the bizarro narrative constructed by our elite. It started with Ronald Reagan, who lowered the top marginal tax rate from where it was at 60% to a ridiculous 28% right after he took office, and there was talk of wealth “trickling down” from the top to the bottom. Yeah, sure, if you believe in trickle down, I’ve got a bottle of pee labeled lemonade for you to share with your loved ones. Under Bush Two trickle down morphed into gusher up from the poor to the rich, and it is this that the GOP is fighting to continue. Another thing about Reagan: he’s the guy who started the whole tradition of vilifying black women that now happened under Obama, when Ronnie picked on “welfare queens” as the America’s prime villains.
Whereas before Reagan, a regular guy could work for General Motors all his life and afford a home for his family and retire with dignity on one salary, suddenly and mysteriously it all changed after the Reagan tax cut, by the most bizarre coincidence ever in the economic history of humankind, inexplicably and miraculously, to the point that today most middle class couples struggle to get by on two salaries. Ask a member of the elite what’s going on when he turns off his golden faucet and opens his $6,000 shower curtain, and he’ll tell you that in the “free market” there are winners and losers. Yeah, sure. In our “free market” the banks get to borrow millions from the Fed at 0.2% interest and then go play with it. My granny with Alzheimer’s can make money on that.
And they say the people at Goldman Sachs are smart. If they’re so smart, how come they ran crying like babies to Congress to bail them out with our tax dollars? If they’re so smart, why do they need a rigged market to make money? Goldman Sachs were about to go under like Lehman Brothers because there was a run on them. Believe me, Goldman Sachs is way, way dumb. They’re just not quite as dumb as the other assholes on Wall Street, who have their jobs because they’re so useless, Daddy sent them to Wall Street because that’s where the dumbass gentlemen C kids of the elite can sell crooked derivatives to their contacts running pension funds. Wall Street is a protected reservation for the disabled offspring of the elite. And these are the entitled bastards who’ve bought Congress wholesale, who were the biggest contributors to Obama’s campaign, and whose lobbyists write our laws.
7. The BS of Morning in America
For Reagan’s re-election campaign, the elite hired the advertising genius Hal Riney. Riney came up with the brilliant “Morning in America” campaign, and that’s when our elite realized they could control the narrative and the voice of American populism with prime BS. They went ahead and bought up all the media properties, and changed the laws so they could destroy all diversity of media in every big city.
The result? Today, after constant propaganda about the “free market” and government “takeover,” most Americans are suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. We love the guys who are screwing us, even a vulgar shithead like Donald Trump that I wouldn’t allow near my dinner table for fear of barfing before I got to the soup. We non-elite Americans have only two options: to suck dick or take it up the Hershey tunnel, and we’re happy to pick one or the other; some of us even like to switch hit between oral and anal. We rant and rave about the fat cats on Wall Street, but we don’t move our money out of the “too big to fail” banks like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup, Wells Fargo, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley and into small community banks and credit unions.
The lower-earning 80% of Americans have to share 15% of the shrinking American pie, yet the latest incarnation of populist Americans, the Tea Party folks, who are older, wealthier Republicans, are saying that spending is out of control (on Social Security, NOT on subsidies for big business or on wars; by them, it’s okay if we blow trillions on whacking Arabs who had nothing to do with 9/11, but hell, we’ve got to cut Social Security, it’s the “responsible” thing to do). These Tea Party deaf-dumb-and-blind humans say the government is “taking over” our lives with “social engineering” and that Obama is a “socialist.” They represent a typical section of the petit bourgeoisie, who have traditionally been more scared of the classes below them than of the upper classes who are shafting them along with everyone else.
The whole charade is more absurd than Eugene Ionesco’s play Rhinoceros. While we’re burning and our elite is fiddling, what are the Tea Party people doing? They’re complaining about the quality of the firewood.
America has lost its mind and keeps losing its mind. In Europe they’re coming down hard on the banks and on the outsize bonuses that inspired the reckless behavior that led to meltdown.
In America, we’re still right behind the Wall Street mantra of IBGYBG: “I’ll be gone and you’ll be gone, so let’s make the deal and let the suckers pay in the end.”
And some known masters of supreme assholicity, like Andrew Breitbart, Faux News, and Glenn Beck, have the White House so poop-scared they’re prepared to throw a good woman under the bus. At this point their bus has to be bigger than Sarah Palin’s mouth to contain all the good people they’ve thrown under it.
No amount of apologizing can excuse their first reaction of utter cowardice in the face of a known liar’s fake threat.
Gadzooks and forsooth, folks. The sane mind boggles. But, but, and but again: there’s more to this than just another political flap.
Obama the coward reflects the prevailing ethos driving all of us: we are a nation of cowards. Until we show some spine, we shouldn’t expect to see any from Obama.