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The Spooky Silence Of Sarah Palin — Why, For Four Long Days After The Giffords Shooting, She STFU

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So some crazy young man (they’re always men) shoots a Congresswoman pointblank through the head and sprays thirty more bullets from a gun clip he bought at Walmart, killing a 9-year-old girl and five others in Arizona, “the mecca for prejudice and bigotry” according to the sheriff of Tucson … and for four long days, the biggest mouth in American politics was as MIA as an atheist in a foxhole.

How come?

Let me tell you why.

The only thing Sarah Palin could’ve said that would’ve really pricked the nation’s ears was this: “I wish I hadn’t put out that map with the cross-hairs, with one of them targeting the district represented by Gabby Giffords. And I wish I hadn’t talked about ‘don’t retreat, reload’ in a political context. Gun talk and threats around guns don’t belong in politics. We can agree to disagree, angrily if we wish, but we shouldn’t be threatening each other. I’m sorry I added to the gun talk.”

Unfortunately Sarah Palin can’t do this. Because if she did, she would lose face with her constituency. They’re ALL about guns and gun talk, and they think only wuzzes apologize. She can’t disappoint them. Mama Grizzlies don’t apologize. They attack.

Sarah Palin is screwed by her own persona. She’s boxed in by her own political posture. With no mea in her culpa, her pitbull persona has lipstick but no grace. So she has nothing worthwhile to say. Gun talk is what she is all about. How can she walk away from what she is, and what people who like her are all about?

The Tea Party extremists that Sarah Palin represents are all about threats. All about taking guns to political rallies. All about watering the tree of liberty with blood. All about taking up arms against our tyrannical government. All about “Second Amendment remedies,” i.e. using the Constitutional right to bear arms to get what they want. All about “we came unarmed — this time.” All about war and macho frontier posturing.

Sarah Palin stands for something all right: the victory of right-wing dumbfuckery in America. We’re dysfunctional because we have more influential idiots in our nation than any other industrialized nation has in theirs. You have to ask yourself what kind of a nation elevates dumb-brunette loons like Michele Bachmann into our government and raging moonbats like Glenn Beck into our punditry. Anywhere else they’d be laughed out of public life, but here they’re heroes. It’s like the Attack of the Zombies, or the Rule of White Trash. Half the nation is not embarrassed by these blithering lunatics, and the other half puts them on TV.

1. WALMART AND CONGRESS ARE MORE TO BLAME FOR THE SHOOTING THAN THE TEA PARTY

So who’s to blame for the shooting? No, the Tea Party doesn’t have any direct connection to what Jared Loughner did, despite Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle saying: “If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying, my goodness, what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you: the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

No, Sarah Palin had absolutely nothing to do with it either, despite Gabby Giffords herself warning that “we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted, it has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize that there are consequences to that action.”

If anything, Walmart had more to do with this tragedy than most. They should be putting out an apologetic video, and remove from their shelves all gun clips for hunting people. They’re accessories to murder, plain and simple, as are the NRA. And Congress had EVERYTHING to do with it, since they didn’t renew the ban on assault weapons when it lapsed in 2004. Congress didn’t do their job, so one of their own got shot — some kind of bizarro karmic justice in a freak world run by the Joker (his surreal glee in society’s chaos is fast replacing the idea of a benign God as an explanatory metaphor for our times).

Blaming Palin and the Tea Party for the shooting of Gabby Giffords and the death of six people is great fun, but stupid. It may be a hoot to see Faux News and Hate Radio acting like hapless virgins accused of instigating the Rape of the Sabines, as long as we realize that turning this tragedy into a political blame game is standard operational politics, hence the usual stupid politics. Of course, as a political figure, Palin had to buy into the stupidity, and in the hysterically comical way that today’s politicians do. In her video released last Wednesday, she claimed to be a “blood libel” victim of the shooting, as if she’d been pogrommed or something. Now personally, I’ve never liked the taste of a Christian child’s blood in my matzoh. It especially doesn’t blend with the taste of matzoh when you make it with eggs. Maybe Sarah Palin has the same problem. Still, she was right to remind us that “we are better than the mindless finger pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy.”

But let’s be serious for a moment: Jared Loughner did what all those guys who show up with guns at political meetings threaten to do. He did what they would like to do. He shot a Democrat. These gun-toters don’t dare say it out loud, but you can bet they’re saying in their hearts: it’s about time somebody shot one of those Democratic Party bastards, one of those socialist Marxist traitors. That’ll show them we mean business.

2. THREE RECORDED CASES IN WHICH GLENN BECK INSPIRED POLITICAL VIOLENCE

Before you think I’m being hysterical, check out this conversation between Chris Matthews on his TV show “Hardball” with David Brock, founder of Media Matters, a website that monitors and corrects conservative misinformation in our media.

BROCK: What does the Tea Party moniker stand for? Armed rebellion, right? This has been the theme of the Republican candidates and of Sarah Palin all year.

MATTHEWS: Excuse me. History lesson. The Boston Tea Party was a nonviolent economic statement against the Stamp Act, I believe. They threw the tea in the water. No guns. They dressed up like Indians. It was a demonstration. It was street theater.

BROCK: Right.

MATTHEWS: OK? No guns.

BROCK: But this is not street theater, as you know. Glenn Beck himself has been responsible for three thwarted assassination attempts this year. And Sarah Palin –

MATTHEWS: How is he responsible for them?

BROCK: Well, you want to know what they are?

MATTHEWS: You said it.

BROCK: Sure. So, he burned Nancy Pelosi in effigy on his set. He tried to poison her with a chalice. OK. Some three weeks later, somebody tried to firebomb Nancy Pelosi`s house. That guy`s mother went on television and said he gets all his ideas from FOX News. Do you know about Senator Patty Murray and the death threat that she got?

MATTHEWS: No. Go ahead.

BROCK: OK. It`s recorded. The guy says after the health care vote, he says, you have a target on your back and I can accomplish what I want to accomplish with one bullet. He`s tried, convicted, and in the sentencing phase, his cousin writes in for leniency and she describes in a very chilling memo — it`s on our Web site — that he was slowly drawn into Glenn Beck`s world. And she portrays the guy, the attempted assassin, Charlie Wilson, as a victim of Beck. And, number three, which you probably do know about, this liberal foundation in San Francisco was targeted by a gunman, Byron Williams, in June. The shooter gave jailhouse interviews — and we published them — and he says Glenn Beck is a schoolteacher on television and points to specific episodes of the Glenn Beck show that inspired him to do it.

MATTHEWS: Oh, God.

Oh God is right. Left-wing people who are upset with right-wing vitriol aren’t barking at the moon. There are crazies with guns out there, and right-wing vitriol gives them targets for their craziness. To say lefties are equally vitriolic is not the point; we’re talking about a special kind of vitriol: incitement-to-violence vitriol. This meme of Faux News that you lefties are just as crazy as us righties is BS. It’s not like political leaders on the left are telling their followers to reload. You’re not going to find a far-out lefty like Bernie Sanders telling his followers to go gunning for Sarah Palin, like you’ll find the Glenn Becks of this world inspiring a dude to try and burn down Nancy Pelosi’s house. The crazies just waiting to be inspired aren’t on the left either; they’re on the right. I haven’t heard of any left-wing militia since the Weathermen fifty years ago, while right-wing militia are training hard down South even as you are reading this.

3. PEOPLE WHO DON’T BELIEVE IN GOVERNMENT DON’T BELIEVE IN AMERICA

This should be a time of coming together and denouncing vitriol and threats, but don’t expect any restraint from the right-wing. Palinism is not about coming together. It’s about dividing the country between “real” Americans and the rest of us. It’s about my in-group versus your out-group. It’s about us and them. Them, the government. And us, the real people. Us the hardcore Tea Party people, and them, all those Others, which include those moderate not-hardcore-enough Republicans whom we Tea Partiers primaried, to the point that we’ve now got all the GOP leaders intimidated, heh, heh. None of today’s moderate GOP leaders have the guts to tell their crazies to tone it down, like right-wing William Buckley had the guts to denounce the far-right John Birch Society decades ago (interesting that rich Fred Koch bankrolled that Society, just like his rich sons are bankrolling the Tea Party now; plus ca change, plus c’est la meme chose).

These Tea Party people don’t believe in government because they don’t believe in America. They don’t believe in the sharing, caring America of the common good, of taking social responsibility, of helping each other, of being my brother’s or sister’s keeper, of using government to get rich people to help poor people instead of the other way round. For chrissake, America is its government, and if at the moment, we’re a plutocracy instead of a democracy, we should help save our government from Wall Street and all the other bastards who milk and bilk us. The government shouldn’t be shrunk; we should make it big and smart enough to control Wall Street on our behalf.

The logical extreme of being anti-government is to start shooting members of the government. The shooting of Gabby Giffords is all of a piece with Republican anti-government propaganda; a domestic counterpart to their neocon foreign war pathology.

4. THE TWO AMERICAS: THE VIOLENT RIGHT AND THE NON-VIOLENT LEFT

This is a time for a moral judgment about violence. But that’s not what the Sarah Palins of this world are about. Sarah Palin is for violence. For guns. For shooting animals. For war. So she had nothing to say for the longest time.

There is a fault-line in American culture and politics. It’s a line running through our DNA, our genetics, our very instincts. On one side are the warmongers, the ones who cheer our troops as they go forth to kill foreign people in faraway lands, the gun-toting macho NRA people, the military-industrial complex. On the other side are our peaceniks, who take to our streets to march against war.

The warmongers are on the right, the peaceniks on the left. Unfortunately, the warmongers have always been the majority. Our killer majority even includes our Nobel Peace Prize-winning President Obama (the same man who gave a brilliantly moving speech at the Tucson Memorial — maybe the best speech from a pol since the Gettysburg address IMO — on the day that Palin released her video, inadvertently showcasing her all-about-me-ness against Obama’s all-about-us-ness; it’s just a pity that Obama’s exhortation that “our task, working together, is to constantly widen our circle of concern” hasn’t included him including in his circle of concern (a) our unemployed, whom he has the power to employ with a WPA program to rebuild our infrastructure, or (b) dead 9-year-olds in Afghanistan, who constitute yet more collateral damage of him sending more troops there). When it comes to killing people, America is the exceptional nation, and our presidents are the exceptional presidents.

Now, at this time of tragedy, when we see what happens under the tyranny of the NRA, when the results of happy gun talk lie dead and bleeding before us, the peace makers have a point, and the warmongers don’t. There is physical evidence that the left is right, and the right wrong. Somehow, somewhere, Sarah Palin must’ve felt a twinge of paralyzing cognitive dissonance, which is probably as far as her conscience can stretch itself.

That’s why Sarah had nothing to say for four days. She represents the “have gun will kill” side of America. The right. And it took the actual deaths of real Americans shot by her favorite implement to at last get her, for at least four days, to STFU.

What a miniscule mercy, but still, a mercy it was.

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About Adam Ash

  • Punisher

    Idiotic commentary. Most of the nation in any given poll rejects the blame done against Palin and those of the Tea Party, including minority folks like me.

    And what about the Democratic leadership having similar map as Palin did several years ago? What about all the hate speeches done against the last few years? Not just against her but her family including threats of rape against her daughters?

    Or hate speeches done by your side for eight years’ worth against Bush?

    And since you want to mention violent rhetoric how about something if they bring knives we bring guns. Guess who use that? OBAMA.

    One of many from him and others, including liberal journalists denouncing Palin for the same things they have used before.

    No, this whole thing show what those who seek to blame her and her fans for what happened in Arizona to be complete political opportunists who use the tragedy to demonize their opponents and play the blame game absence of any evidence.

    Even folks, who are no fans of Palin, like David Brooks are calling that out as grossly irresponsible and vicious behavior in the name of condemmning viciousness.

  • David Paladino

    ** Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
    ** Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
    ** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
    ** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
    ** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“
    ** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
    ** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
    ** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
    ** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

    Might want to keep a certain violent lunatic away from Congress. Better cancel the “State of the Union” speech.

  • Jordan Richardson

    You could have at least credited Jim Hoft for the list, Mr. Paladino. Of course, the list is spreading pretty far at this point – inaccuracies and all.

    The “hit back twice as hard” quotation isn’t Obama’s but Jim Messina’s. It’s in response to the television advertising around the time of all those town hauls. It has nothing to do with any “mercenary army,” but apparently Hoft only read the rebranded “Pat Dollard” headline and not the original Politico headline. It’s okay. Weird things happen when you’re in a hurry to play the rhetoric game.

    The “Get in Their Faces” quotation is from a speech to supporters in the campaign and has to do with getting people to “argue with their neighbours” over various misconceptions. I guess that could be construed as violence if you were really, really grasping for straws. It’s not quite an invitation to fire an M16, though.

    The “I’m angry!” comment comes as just about every American was also angry. It was after he learned of the bonuses given to AIG. And he followed the “I’m angry!” remark by saying “What I want to do, though, is channel our anger in a constructive way.”

    The “I know who’s ass to kick” was about the oil spill in the Gulf and again Obama was rightly expressing the tone of the people. They were looking for someone to draw some emotion out of the issue and Obama did need to kick some ass. Too bad he didn’t do much along those lines.

    Some of these other ones are just weird. You wouldn’t chastize a sports coach for telling his team to “fight for the win,” would you? Seems ridiculous. You might, however, chastize a sports coach if he had the team firing machine guns in the parking lot or telling his players to break the necks of their opponents or whatever.

    The discussion over violent rhetoric isn’t an easy one and these sorts of inaccurate out of context volleys don’t help matters. It seems to be that few Americans want to have the conversation (or even know how) and that’s honestly quite frightening. It’s too bad all you people know how to do is sling mud.

  • chris s.

    “Sarah Palin is screwed by her own persona.”

    Bingo. She’s boxed herself in a corner – as you said to keep feeding her “constituency” of Palinian Parrots. It doesn’t matter though, she’s not interested in running for office. She probably doesn’t have enough support to win a primary, but only needs enough to get ratings on Fox – she’s going for a Rush/Beck job.

  • Mickey

    Sarah Palin has, for two years, promoted fear of the government and love of the gun.

    And when you base your entire platform on those two issues, and you use gun sight cross hairs to target a particular district on a fundraising poster, and the congresswoman from that district later gets shot in the head, you should EXPECT that all eyes will immediately turn to you as having played some part in the tragedy.

    To Palin’s (or her team’s) credit, she (they) did seem to expect it, because the offending poster was removed within hours of the shooting.

    Someone felt guilty and tried to bury the evidence…..

    And now she’s got to go on Sean Hannity and play the victim. She’s pathetic.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I mean think about it, Mr. Paladino. Do you honestly think there’s a comparison between this sort of bubbling, boiling rage and Obama telling supporters that he’s angry over AIG ripping the people off?

    Or this type of thing over health care?

  • STM

    No wonder American politics is so polarised … “there are two Americas, the violent Right and the non-violent Left”.

    So every conservative is a shoot-em up right winger and the only piece of harware lefties are raising is a soy decaf latte?

    I don’t buy it. Here’s the truth: many on the extreme right ARE violent loonies, and many of the extreme left are moonbat fringe dwellers who, while painting themselves green and peaceful are actually red and committed enough to their cause to engage in violence to advance it (different country, but check out the recent violence in London for evidence of that).

    Which means, “Somewhere in America”, there’s this great swath of centrist thought among Democrats and Republicans that doesn’t buy into the extreme views at either end of the political spectrum.

    Perhaps that’s where Americans should be going in their search for answers.

    Not in bizarre generalisations.

    Because there are actually three Americas, in my experience.

    And let’s be really honest here … when you combine a nutcase and easy availability of guns, you have a recipe for disaster.

    I don’t see how anyone gets the blame for Arizone except the shooter. Well, the shooter and the dangling participle in the second amendment.

    On that score, the 2nd amendment mentions nothing about sensible control. Controls aren’t bans.

    The real madness is in a law designed to protect against the British 200 years ago and which guaranteed a militia would have instant access to a few hundred thousand muzzle loading rifles and pistols.

    … and how that’s translated in the 21st century to a law that allows most people to acquire any kind of firearm they like, ensures there are 300 million legal firearms in the US, including high-calibre automatic assault rifles, and God knows how many illegal ones.

    It’s a law that’s turned the US into the biggest shooting gallery in the developed world.

    No doubt the founding fathers would be turning in their graves and hoping that that vast pool of centrist though no one ever writes about might try to get its collective head around making a kinder, softer, gentler place – the kind of place so obviously envisioned by the founding fathers through well-intentioned laws set down in the Bill of Rights.

  • Mickey

    STM, Re your 3rd paragraph, the problem is the extreme right you talk about are part of the LEADERSHIP in the Republican party. The wingnuts have taken over on the right.

    Michele Bachmann, a sitting congresswoman, wants citizens “armed and dangerous”, Palin, the rock star and chief source of energy for the GOP, repeatedly said, “don’t retreat, RELOAD”, Sharron Angle, a candidate the RNC backed completely, hinted about 2nd amendment “remedies”.

    You will not find anything – ANYTHING – like that from the leadership on the left. And please don’t repost the lame list of out-of-context snippets from David Paladino.

  • STM

    Well, yes, whatever, but your answer is a classic case of someone on the fringe of one viewpoint not wanting to explore any other options but the two extremes you present.

    So you don’t really get my drift at all … whatever the case, I’m still suggesting that there will be a very large, untapped voice within the ranks of Republican voters who will deplore that kind of nonsense.

    There will be a very large core Democrat voters, too, whose views will jell with those of Republicans on many issues.

    The problem is, none of them are making enough noise. The debate, publicly at least, remains at polar opposites.

    The big problem in America right now is that there ARE these two separate agendas that appear to have been hijacked and re-manufactured by elements at extreme fringes of both.

    Too much bizarre reactionary thought at one end, and too much chardonnay socialist navel gazing at the other.

    Time for America to rediscover its real voice.

    You know, the one in the middle ground occupied by the majority.

  • Jordan Richardson

    There is far more than just one ingredient in this recipe for disaster currently being cooked up south of me.

    STM hits on one ingredient with the availability of guns, but Canada has quite a few guns too and yet we’ve managed to resist the urge to need them while shopping or attending public meetings. The availability of guns isn’t the sole ingredient, but it is one of them.

    Another ingredient is the poisonous political rhetoric. There are a lot of false lines being drawn here, so it’s important to be careful. Sarah Palin, on her own, did not cause or create the shooting in Arizona. Her map of targets is not some obscenely violent image. I am far, far more concerned about the equation of a machine gun and a political rally by Jesse Kelly than I am Palin’s usual shtick. The Sharron Angle “Second Amendment solutions” comment is stupid, as are many other comments from politicians and leaders on the left and right. The political rhetoric isn’t the sole ingredient, but it is one of them.

    The mental health system in the United States is, like many systems designed to serve the people, crumbling in place and people are slipping through the cracks. Because the course of action in the U.S. seems to favour the stripping of public services and the defunding of essentials, even under Democrats, this is an inevitable conclusion. The U.S. would much rather spend trillions on military might than it would spend billions on domestic services for its citizens. The mismanagement of public services isn’t the sole ingredient, but it is one of them.

    Politicians in the United States on both sides are deified, as are political pundits and the like. Many are “fans” of Sarah Palin or other political personalities much in the same way youngsters are “fans” of Justin Bieber. This sickening, clumsy adherence to political personalities produces an unquestioning, unflinching loyalty evidenced by Palin’s Facebook page and the swift scrubbing of any dissent. It’s also evidenced by America’s obsession with Obama’s basketball prowess or with the need to offer the aforementioned Palin a reality show (or more). Every ex-president writes a book or several, does talk shows, etc. Our PMs disappear when they’re out of office and don’t do much by way of PR when they’re in office. I think Stephen Harper wore a sweater once. Sometimes he plays the piano, apparently. The fervour over politics and politicians, complete with creepy fandom, is not the sole ingredient, but it is one of them.

    The hopelessness felt by job losses, foreclosures and poor economic management by the American political structure absolutely destroys the fabric of real hope in the U.S. When health insurance benefits can ruin a family’s fortunes and when the loss of one job can create homelessness, something is wrong. Instead of working towards solutions, the politicians gather to throw mud and stones. The lack of solutions, the lack of REAL responses to the issues of the day, frustrates those who are “fans” of the politicians. Americans are among the last in the world to realize that solutions never ever come from the top. They come from the bottom. The hopelessness is not the sole ingredient, but it is one.

    The aforementioned ingredients add up to a recipe for disaster. Add paranoia and ignorance for spice and you have a tasty but deadly broth that I daresay will produce many more incidents like the Arizona shooting. Eat up!

  • STM

    I’d like to think my view on this is at least sensible (if not workable given what’s actually going on in the US right now).

    Jordan’s certainly makes a whole heap of sense.

    In regard to what Jordan is saying, it’s illuminating that two suggestions that don’t resort to extreme point and counterpoint come from an Australian and a Canadian, while our American cousins on this site (whose political system is actually virtually identical to ours in function, if slightly different in form) stand at polar opposite viewpoints and always seem to opt for circular arguments no one can win as a way of political discourse, and no one ever offers any kind of solution.

    That’s exactly what’s going wrong with the joint. Perhaps it’s easy for us to see, happily sitting outside it all and enjoying our nice, safe lives, but there’s certainly something to it.

    Americans of a certain persuasion always bang on about not wanting government in their lives, but as Jordan points out, they paradoxically then deify their politicians and expect all the answers to come from the top.

    And they don’t come from the top. In a modern democracy, they come from the will of the majority and its vote (even in the US), and the main part of the democratic contract is the side that doesn’t win has to go along with that for the next few years, whether they like it or not. Doesn’t mean you can’t have people fighting bad legislation in parliament or congress, but for the most part, what someone gets voted in for, they should be allowed to complete. Remember that term: majority vote.

    Besides, politicians don’t deserve being put on a pedestal at ANY end of the spectrum. And whatever they think they deserve, they are the ones who need to remember how they got there and why they are only doing the bidding of the rest of us as our elected representatives.

    It’s the system we’re all so proud of, and Americans seem especially so, so why is it that Americans can’t seem to accept it?

    Someone else tell me, then we’ll know.

    The more I know about how America seems to run, the less I like that aspect of it.

    I don’t particularly like our Prime Minister at the moment, but I have to put up with it. I didn’t like the previous government much either, but that’s the way it is.

    If I want change, I’ll ring a talkback show, write a story or a letter to the editor, leave comment on the web; but I won’t be waving a gun or suggesting conservatives are all violent. I’ll wait til the next election and put a 1 in a box.

    I can see why it’s all gone belly-up in the US, but it’s the fault of the people as much as the fault of any one party, person or thing.

    Maybe if Americans stopped fearing their governments so much and became more engaged in the political process in a socially acceptable fashion at either end of the spectrum, you might end up with some socially acceptable political discourse. And some workable answers …

    Right now, it’s anything but in the US – and that’s coming from both sides.

    To be honest, I’ve never seen anything like it, especially in the past 10 years. Glad I’m not experiencing it too.

    This country might be half underwater at the moment, but civil discourse is still the mainstay of our political debate. And those who are deviating from that path for their own agendas are being told in no uncertain terms by the people to pull their heads in.

    What I see over the big pond at the moment is anger and frustration, all pointed at whoever’s in charge, without any recognition that those who’ve previously beein in charge are just as much to blame for the current sorry state of affairs.

    All I see are are viewpoints on the fringes getting further and further apart, and going round in circles.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I don’t particularly like our Prime Minister at the moment, but I have to put up with it. I didn’t like the previous government much either, but that’s the way it is.

    I think I’d call it playful animosity, at least here. Nobody I know, even the so-called conservatives, really likes Stephen Harper. Sure, he has his supporters somewhere.

    But for the most part, Canadians assume by default that anyone they put in office is going to be a crook, a liar and a bum. Comes with the territory and we kind of like feeling that way, I think. It keeps us from putting our hopes and dreams in their hands. Canadians want to grow up to be Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr, not the Prime Minister.

    And we don’t piss and cry about it when the person we didn’t vote for gets in, either. We do, however, piss and cry for days and perhaps months if our hockey teams lose. Priorities, people.

    Maybe Americans need to dial down politics period, not just the rhetoric. Maybe more needs to be made out of the fact that Americans like baseball and terrible beer and less out of where Americans stand on abortion or gay marriage or even gun control. Maybe it’s time for America to realize that its place in the universe isn’t at the middle but a little off to the side with the rest of us.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    “You have to ask yourself what kind of a nation elevates dumb-brunette loons like Michele Bachmann into our government and raging moonbats like Glenn Beck into our punditry.”

    I’m not sure the Untied States has a monopoly on political lunacy as far as western democracies go.

    Consider, for example, that Italy keeps electing Silvio Berlusconi to the premiership.

    And as far as idiot pundits go, Britain has a few mildly spectacular berks, notably a gentleman named James Whale.

    (No, not that James Whale.)

  • STM

    “Canadians want to grow up to be Wayne Gretzky or Bobby Orr”.

    The most important job in Australia is still captain of the Australian cricket team, not PM … a fact our former PM John Howard has ackowledged.

    It’s true, too. A PM not doing that well … yeah, we’ll put up with that.

    Aussie cricket skipper Ricky Ponting losing The Ashes for a third time to our auld-enemy England, no one will put up with that.

    But seriously, what the f.ck’s going in in America at the moment?

    Where are their heads?

  • STM

    Doc: “Consider, for example, that Italy keeps electing Silvio Berlusconi to the premiership.”

    Lol. Yeah, there is that …

    I can’t believe the man continues to stand up and keep going, especially at his age, in the face of such public scrutiny.

    Then again, you know, it’s Italy. What Italian bloke wouldn’t like to think he could still be a red-hot lover into his mid-70s??

    He’s getting THAT vote, obviously.

  • STM

    Jordan: “A little off to the side with the rest of us.”

    Speak for yourself and your Canuck mates Jordan :)

    Aussies know where Australia stands in terms of the universe, and it ain’t off to one side.

    I’d like to think the whole of the Commonwealth sits firmly at the very centre, with Australia right in the centre of that, and the Yanks off to one side, especially right now, perhaps standing in a corner wearing a conical-shaped hat with a dirty great D on it.

  • dexter

    wow. that was amazing. you are a terrific writer and nailed it.

    enjoyed every minute.

    thank you.

  • Ruvy

    Adam,

    Sarah Palin stands for… the victory of right-wing dumbfuckery in America. We’re dysfunctional because we have more influential idiots in our nation than any other industrialized nation has in theirs. You have to ask yourself what kind of a nation elevates dumb-brunette loons like Michele Bachmann into our government and raging moonbats like Glenn Beck into our punditry.

    Adam, you pay lots of attention to the noise – and no attention to the news. Let’s have a little look, shall we? It’s something worth chewing on – especially if you like to eat….

    Indian PM unveils steps to curb food price inflation.

    FT.com / Commodities – Global food prices hit record high. I’d give you the link, but you have to register to read the story.

    DJ: Brazil Food Prices Could Rise From Floods – Economist.

    Australia floods: Food prices ‘to rise 30%’.


    Traders Shocked by Food Price Rise in USA
    .

    Corn advances as Russia may face feed-grain shortage.

    and finally, Obama Orders Military To Prepare For Spring Food Riots.

    These are all worth reading, Adam. This bullshit about Sarah Palin isn’t.

    I politely suggest to you that whining over Palin and friends is just noise, and Palin and friends are also just noise. They are meaningless, as they can do nothing – well Michelle Bachmann can do something, but since you don’t live in the 6th Congressional District of Minnesota, there isn’t anything you can do about her (well, there is, but let’s not go there – some dipshit in Arizona already did).

    I really await the day when you Americans (and naturalized Americans) will wake up and look at the world around you and what is actually happening there. The truth of the matter is that you Americans don’t really matter all that much anymore!

    It’s a damned shame that somebody tried to knock off one of your congresscritters – but from the point of knocking off useless fat in the government, there are 534 more of them to kill. It’s a damned shame that your media mouths make such a stink over all this, but like I said, that’s just noise. There were foods riots in Jordan, and I think there were also food riots in Egypt. That’s NEWS. Wake up, for fuck’s sake!

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Ruvy, coming in the wake of the Tucson massacre, your statement that “there are 534 more of them to kill” is outrageous. You are not just anti-American, you’re inhuman.

  • Ruvy

    Alan, it’s a damned shame that a supporter of Israel is laying in the hospital with a bullet in her brain because a nutcase decided to knock her off. I honestly hope she recovers with a full recovery. But, the Governor of the Punjab was knocked off recently also, as well as other politicians round the world. And the Punjabi governor was knocked off because he supported the right of a Christian Pakistani not to be railroaded into Islam by the country’s “anti-blasphemy” laws – and the Pakistanis appear to love the idea that he was killed off. Be grateful you do not live in a country like Pakistan. Shit happens, and in some places the shit is far worse than it is in the States.

    I’m trying to get you to move your eyes off the human tragedy of Representative Giffords, off the bullshit of your media and onto real news. And all you can do is say I’m “inhuman”. What utter blindness! What utter self centered stupidity!

    But if I had to rattle off a list of ways for the American polity to save money, it would involve cancelling all the pensions and bennies your ex-presidents enjoy, all the pensions and bennies your ex-congressmen enjoy, most of the corporate income of the fattest 5,000 Americans, seizing most of their assets, etc. etc. The only way to accomplish that would be to kill them off – they ain’t giving up their chips without a fight, Alan. And in most cases, they are YOUR chips that have been stolen that they ain’t giving up.

    Wake up, Alan! This massacre in Arizona is a damned shame – but it’s commonplace! It happens every day somewhere on the planet! And spending article after article yowling about some stupid bitches in your idiotic media and what they say is a tremendous waste of time. It’s all bullshit! But the price of food going beyond your reach is not bullshit. Hunger hurts. Hunger breeds resentment, hatred and anger. Hunger breeds war. And I’m trying to get you to pay attention to something that seems to be coming your way soon.

    Hunger.

    You don’t want to know? You don’t give a damn? I’m inhuman? Fine. YOU’LL STARVE and I won’t give a damn because I will have warned you. But you’ll be too hungry to know or even care.

    But you are too blind to see that, too.

  • Clavos

    Michele Bachmann, a sitting congresswoman, wants citizens “armed and dangerous”, Palin, the rock star and chief source of energy for the GOP, repeatedly said, “don’t retreat, RELOAD”, Sharron Angle, a candidate the RNC backed completely, hinted about 2nd amendment “remedies”.

    Notice that all three are women — the supposed “weaker sex.”

    We should resume the draft — and draft only females.

    Just sayin’

  • Clavos

    Politicians in the United States on both sides are deified, as are political pundits and the like.

    Oh puleeze. The lefties hate all the Republican pols, and the righties hate all the Democrats.

    And some of us have contempt for all of ‘em.

    It’s been a loooong time since we’ve deified our pols in this country — about the amount of time since we discovered they all have clay feet.

  • Clavos

    You are not just anti-American, you’re inhuman.

    Nothing wrong with being anti-american, Alan, most of the world is.

    And with reason…

  • Clavos

    Correction:

    Nothing wrong with being anti-american, Alan, most of the world is.

    Should be:

    Nothing unusual about being anti-american…

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    And some of us have contempt for all of ‘em.

    Well said Clav!

  • Mark

    (…and here I thought you were going to correct the comma)

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Never mind that – “anti-american”?

  • Clavos

    Deliberate, Chris.

  • Boeke

    Good article AA.

    To summarize, the lust for political assassination is on the right, and the left is so ‘fair’ that it puts up with being flagrantly manipulated by loudmouth rightists who customarily use threats of violence to punctuate their spiels.

    All the ‘Tu quoque’ attempts by rightists to drag the left down to their level fail. Opposed to outright demands for violence from rightist politicians and officials the right tries to counterpose leftist comedians and actors.

    Meanwhile, the rightist MSM in the USA supports this effort by endlessly repeating the Moral Equivalence mantra, as if hoping it is so would make it so.

    Even the rightist editors of BlogCritics promotes that false equivalency, by, for example, twice censoring me when I attempted to post the verified list of rightwing shootings of the last 2 years. Oh well, that leaves more space on BC for ‘Irvs’ nonsensical maunderings.

    This is a great failing of the right: they boldly call for violence, then cowardly run away and seek a contrived refuge when it happens.

    If they had any guts they’d stand up and say “see, that’s what we do to commie-pinko democrats!”

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/dr-dreadful/ Dr Dreadful

    Boeke, I also twice explained to you why that list was deleted, and you know perfectly well that it had nothing to do with ideology.

  • Jordan Richardson

    The lefties hate all the Republican pols, and the righties hate all the Democrats

    Yep. With religious fervour. I never suggested that ALL politicians are deified equally, but I think you have to have some rather significant blinders on to not see that the Right thinks their politicians can save the day and the Left thinks their politicians can save the day. If the politicians were hated equally or held in such contempt, why such partisanship? Why does Sarah Palin’s Facebook page have nearly three million fans? Why does Obama’s have nearly 18 million fans? PM Stephen Harper, by contrast, doesn’t even reach 40,000.

    The point is that there is a vastly different political energy in the United States. Many look to their “sides” to save them.

    It’s been a loooong time since we’ve deified our pols in this country

    Interesting. I must have been watching a different feed at the Inauguration or on Election Day or during those rather large and weird political rallies or town hall meetings or…

  • El Bicho

    “PM Stephen Harper, by contrast, doesn’t even reach 40,000. ”

    That’s because he posts too many Farmville updates.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I always took him for more of a Mafia Wars guy.

  • http://blogcritics.org/writers/alan-kurtz/ Alan Kurtz

    Ruvy (#20), I don’t care how you rationalize it, your statement (#18) that “there are 534 more of them to kill” is despicable. I would never write such a thing about the 120 members of the Knesset, no matter how much I detested Israeli politics. I suspect your cruelty springs not from the rational mind anyhow, but from a deeply embittered soul, to which compassion is as alien as lilies on the moon.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Alan, I completely agree with you.

    If somebody had written that about Jews, Ruvy would be on here having a massive tantrum about Jew-hatred and racism.

    Like all adherents of magical thinking, Ruvy doesn’t actually have a rational mind though, so it is no surprise that compassion, one of several hugely under-rated qualities, is entirely lacking in Ruvy’s world view unless it is limited to the right kind of Jew.

  • Clavos

    Still, it would be nice to get rid of all those 534.

    Perhaps we could strip them of their citizenship and send them to live with the Castro brothers or monkey-face Chávez…

  • Boeke

    #34 Alan is right. Ruvy is demented.

    IMO we MUST get rid of the senate (but by constitutional means), which was given mildly skewed powers in the expectation that wise heads would be careful with that power. But instead, the mild skew has been exaggerated into a severe skew and we have elected power seekers rather than wise men.

  • Clavos

    …and we have elected power seekers rather than wise men.

    And for decades now.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    I think we should follow the excellent recent example shown by the people of Tunisia.

    Not only have they managed to get rid of a once great leader without violence, they are refusing to accept the usual political fix of bringing in a couple of new faces.

    These peaceful rebels won’t accept anything short of a complete replacement of all politicians tainted by being part of the old system.

  • Cannonshop

    #37 Boeke, there is no system (so far) that can survive and function correctly when the owner/operator is negligent on their maintenance-that includes our Political system. I bring that up, because initially the Senate was chosen by their State Legislatures, the idea at the writing being that the House of Representatives would represent the current will of the people, while the Senate would represent the needs and agendas of the several states-whose legislatures were elected by those same people. This ended some time ago by Constitutional Amendment, hence we now have direct election of Senators-an attempt at Populist Reform that has not resulted in the intended reform-and why not? after all, the real problem is a broad voter base that really just doesn’t give a shit, as long as they can get Texting and forty channels of Reality Shows and Sports.

  • Boeke

    “Originalists” and “Strict Constructionists” must yield. We must amend the constitution to reflect modern knowledge and sensibilities. The process itself is sufficiently difficult to (one hopes) prevent frivolous and narrowly partisan changes.

    But maybe not; maybe our republic will go down in flames because of this one inadequacy.

  • Cannonshop

    #41 Counter-point, It could be argued that attempts to redefine to cater to today’s fads may be largely responsible for the bulk of the problems, Boeke-it’s not like we haven’t as a species seen this before. Rome, for instance, “redefined” itself right into extinction, complete with early model socialism (Bread and Circuses anyone?), dictatorship to “make the government more efficient”, deification of leaders, religious fads, etc. etc.

    The purpose of a Constitution is not to limit the “People”-for that, we can have ordinary laws. It is to limit what the GOVERNMENT may do-because power not merely corrupts, but also attracts the corrupt, and there is nothing more permanent in practice, than the ‘temporary’ solutions governments concoct for short-term, transitory, crises.

  • STM

    Ah yes, elected power seekers.

    Seeking to govern for the sake of governing, or hanging on to power for the sake of hanging on to power and little else except an outdated idea that some people are just born to govern while the rest of us can stick it fair up our you know whats.

    King Charles I lost his head for the latter. But it’s good that we can still make heads roll, even if only figuratively. More people should exercise the right.

  • Ruvy

    I’m happy that you all agree about my state of mind. Bless you! I assert once more that you are all blind. This bullshit about what Sarah Palin said or didn’t say as to influencing a nut-job in Arizona is a waste of ink. While you rant on and on about MY state of mind like so many lunatics in a ward – or monkeys in a cage – you deliberately IGNORE the issues I raised.

    Nu. So you’ll starve and I won’t because I will have taken precautions to deal with the coming food shortages and you will just ignore them and those who warn you of them.

    I should feel compassion for idiots who blind themselves to the facts and rant and rave about nonsense? The Book of Proverbs has quite a lot to say about such people – calling them fools.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Oh look, there’s Ruvy ignoring what we say to him whilst accusing us of ignoring what he thinks are the important matters of the day.

    Ruvy, please let us know exactly what precautions you have actually taken to deal with the “coming food shortages”?

  • Ruvy

    Chris,

    For an Englishman who ought to know better, you have lots of trouble with conditional verb tenses. So you’ll starve and I won’t because I will have taken precautions to deal…

    “Will have”, the conditional verb in the sentence, indicates a future action intended that has not occurred yet but WILL HAVE OCCURRED by the time the condition stated in the sentence (or linked sentence) has occurred….

    You’re welcome for the English lesson – the bill for services rendered is on its way.

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    OK, I stand corrected but am sure you feel all lovely and warm for your pointless grammar issues whilst ignoring the substance of what I wrote.

    What are you actually going to do or is all this simply more empty posturing, which is what is expected of you?

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Oh, and as to your bill, well done on playing up to your stereotype, but actually any bill you made would be completely negated by my invoice for all the many lessons in thinking clearly you’ve been schooled in through this site. The fact that you are a wilfully poor student doesn’t negate the charges!

  • Clavos

    But it’s good that we can still make heads roll, even if only figuratively.

    Except it’s no longer very effective; we just swap one set of clowns for a newer set.

    Perhaps we should go back to literally — complete with masked ax wielder and chopping block set up in a public square.

    From an entertainment standpoint alone, it would be an improvement…

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Clavos: Are you watching events in Tunisia?

    I’m surprised this particular peaceful but really quite radical revolution isn’t getting a lot more attention…

  • Ruvy

    …whilst ignoring the substance of what I wrote.

    I answered your question with my English lesson. As to what I will so, it is not complicated – stock up on non-perishables and water as my wallet allows me to. Any problems? Do you approve, O great and esteamed comments editor?

  • http://www.RoseDigitalMarketing.com Christopher Rose

    Ruvy: Thanks for demonstrating the perils of being a language nazi with your two embarrassing spelling mistakes above.

    As to your plan, have you thought this through?

    How will you amass all this non-perishable food and water?

    Where will you keep it?

    How will you defend it against marauding madmen?

    Have you identified a defensible location to protect you in such a quasi-Apocalyptic scenario?

    Do you have an escape route planned that will allow you to take all this heavy food and water with you and where is it?

    Enquiring minds want to know!

  • Cannonshop

    #43 It requires more than making people go-no elective system has ever worked without active, informed participation.

    Unfortunately for the “Moderate Middle” in America (at least) once people go beyond “damn campaign ads interrupting my Dancing with the Stars” and inform themselves, they tend to stop being “Moderate”-that is, they begin holding strong opinions, and being American, that comes with a certain loss of civility.

    The extent is the only real limiting factor-how radicalized, as opposed to how “Moderate” someone is.

    I suspect the graph for political radicalism in AMERICA is a clock-face, not a linear tape-get far enough to the left, and you’re indistinguishable from the radical right, at least in terms of how you tolerate opposing views, and similar going the opposite direction.

  • Cannonshop

    #49 Who Decides, Clav? who decides “We’ll cut x’s head off, but not y’s head”?

    While a somewhat entertaining prospect, I’m rather leery of letting a falwellite or Alinskyite make those choices, and forget letting a disciple of Fred Phelps do it!

    The problem is a people-problem: The vast majority of people just don’t give a shit as long as the burdens are not so heavy that they can’t endure them, the remainder tend to become polarized and shades of fanatical. Tar and Feathers or beheadings sound good in theory, but in practice? We would ALL be on the chopping block.

    (admittedly, this likely would tend to focus some people’s thinking a bit more sharply…)

  • Clavos

    Cannon,

    A fair question, but my comment was made with more than a little of my tongue in my cheek, firm believer though I am in the death penalty.

  • Cannonshop

    alas, my sense-to-humour still doesn’t work quite right…I recognized the tongue-in-cheek, Clav, I was just trying to milk it out into the absurd…and failed miserably.

  • Clavos

    …or mayhap it was a failure on my part to recognize your escalation of the irony — my apologies.

  • Cannonshop

    #57 If I fail to communicate, it is not YOUR defect, but mine own.